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.