The time was right for Joe Davis

Part of the reason I stopped being a Laker fan was because of the loss of Chick Hearn. I often wondered if the same would happen when Vin Scully was no longer calling Dodger games.  Those were the only voices I’d heard from age 12 on up. They were part of my Los Angeles DNA.

I needn’t have worried.

Dodger fans have to feel lucky that by the time Vin decided to hang it up, a fresh face appeared to take his spot.

Laker fans weren’t so lucky when Chick Hearn left us. We not only didn’t get to say good-bye, the replacements have been horrible with the exception of Spero Dedes.  The Lakers should have done everything they could to make sure that Spero would be the new voice for the Lakers but like everything else, in the past five years they bungled it and Spero left for greener pastures.

The Dodgers didn’t bungle it. They realized they had found the TV face for the franchise going forward and signed him up for the long term. The young,  good looking, articulate, well mannered Davis brings his mid-western friendliness to the Dodger broadcasts and interacts quite well with his color analyst Orel Hershiser.

This is Joe’s first year calling the full complement of TV games for the Dodgers and he may be going overboard trying to replace Vin’s penchant for story telling but that is what Dodger fans are used to,  so he’s giving them a bit of the old storytelling with a bit of the new sabermetric bent that has entered the vernacular of the baseball world. I don’t think it would have been the same if Vin had started telling us about WAR/Exit Velocities/Launch Angles but they roll off the tongue of Joe Davis in a non-threatening way.

Originally I felt that Joe was too much of a homer.  He used the word “we” too easily.  I looked at my feeling on this and came to the conclusion that this only bothers me because Vin never did it. If I removed Vin from the equation I realized that. Hey, I like my announcer rooting for my team. Damn.

This is a new era of baseball, where technology has given the game a whole new dimension, and Joe Davis is the guy who can deliver this information and still not interfere with the basic tenants of the game. Pitch/Hit/Field.

Some might feel this is too daunting, too much too soon, and just another indication that Millennials are bad people.  I, on the other hand, enjoy avocado on my toast and am enjoying the transition just fine.

I feel that Vin retiring as he did, allowing him to say good-by to us, for us as fans to say good-bye to him, and thus letting him know what he meant to us has gone a long way in making this transition easier. I know it did for me.  You never want to miss a good-bye because you may never get another chance.

I expect Joe Davis to be calling Dodger games long after I’ve passed on and become his own fabric to the young Dodger fans just learning about the great game. Those kids got lucky,  if you peruse baseball on TV, you will find that most announcers are simply not very good.

We got a good one.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Nice piece – I totally agree, Phil.

    Like

  2. Michael Tortoro

    I really like Joe. Moving from 3 man booth with Nomar, to the 2 man booth with just Orel and Joe has helped a lot. I don’t mind Nomar, but Orel and Nomar together is just way too much talking, too much “analysis.” “Orel, as a pitcher, what do you do here?” or “Nomar, in this situation, as a batter, what are you looking for?” That constant back and forth interviewing got on my nerves. I think Joe and Orel complement one another’s strengths. And extra points to Orel for picking up and using sabr-type data and analysis. Joe is pretty natural at that sort of thing, as you point out.

    I too was wondering if the Dodgers would feel the same after Vin left. And they do! This is the best thing about this season for me, by far. Such a relief. Instead of thinking “I miss Vin” every day, I only think that thought about once a week.

    Now if we could just do something about Rick and Charley…

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    • Yes, I hate to have an opinion that would change someone’s life, and I appreciate Charlie’s enthusiasm for the game, but he’s horrible on the radio. At least on TV, I can see what is happening so when Charlie fails to explain something in his play-by-play it is no big deal but on the radio, it is a big deal to do the play by play. Sometimes he’d rather be making points about something than actually calling the game.
      Color analysts like Rick Monday don’t have a long shelf life. In the beginning, they have some insight, but once they use the same insight over and over and over, you get diminishing returns on what they bring. Rick hasn’t done anything to enhance his style over the lifetime of his color analysis. I’ve heard him do play by play when Charley is on vacation and Kennedy helps out in the color. He’s actually OK at play by play.

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  3. 68elcamino427

    I’m having a time of it adjusting to life without Vin.
    This has biased my opinion.

    Joe is a fine young announcer.
    Given time, he might become a great one.

    Orel is way too chatty for me.
    He needs to slow downvand learn to let the game come to him.
    For myself, his lectures regarding pitching mechanics are already approaching the Monday repeat button you describe above.
    However, Orel is new too this too.

    Unfortunately, I have gone out of my way to talk about this on several occasions recently.
    This morning I did not feel good about this and decided that I had done this too much.
    So going forward I will follow the principal of just not saying anything more about it unless I have something nice to say.

    These guys deserve the chance to learn and grow.

    Like

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