Less than two months into the first season of his three-year contract, new Rangers TV play by play man John Rhadigan is out.
I just spoke to Rhadigan on Monday in the Rangers clubhouse at length and he was telling me how much more comfortable he was feeling in this new role as a team play-by-play guy. How much he was enjoying the job. Working with Tom Grieve. Getting into it as the voice of the team.
And less than five days later he's gone?
The fact that the Rangers would not give this guy a full season, much less to the All-Star break, to settle into this role is another piece of evidence that absolutely no one in electronic media has any time to impress anyone. Rhadigan got Paul Reisered.
In this day and age Vin Scully wouldn't have lasted a year with the Dodgers, the Cincinnati Reds would never, ever allow the outspoken Marty Brenneman to call their games, and Harry Caray would have been in the production truck. Those three are Hall of Fame broadcasters.
Rhadigan was not a HOF broadcaster, but who is going to get the time to build the credentials to become one any more?
Rhadigan was hired in the offseason to replace Josh Lewin. The immediate feedback from the fans has not been glowing, but it never is. Ever. This is a no-win job. People whined about Josh. They whined about Bill Jones. They whined about Rhadigan. They'll whine about Dave Barnett, too.
Dave Barnett will take over as the TV voice of the Rangers working next to Grieve.
The problem isn't necessarily the announcer; the problem is the game of baseball is inherently slow moving and this generation of viewers requires constant stimulation. Baseball is not a product of constant stimulation. Hell, it's a game that could go weeks without anything interesting happening. There is nothing any announcer can do to make the game what it isn't.
Rhadigan will return to his old gig doing pre and post-games on Fox Sports Southwest.
The one good thing the Rangers announced today is that long, long time part-time color man Steve Busby will be the primary color analyst on the radio broadcasts next to Eric Nadel.
After reading some of the comments I felt the need to add the following:
I'm not saying Rhadigan was great. I'm not saying he was bad. The Texas Rangers knew Rhadigan had no experience doing this job, and to think he was going to "nail it" in less than two months is preposterous. This is a case where the guy had no chance. Literally.