Mariner color men: fight! fight!

DMZ · May 27, 2005 at 2:44 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Last night ended John Marzano’s brief stint working alongside Rick Rizzs. While Rizzs didn’t seem to know what to do with Marzano at times, and Marzano stepped on Rizzs pretty frequently, that’s to be expected for a short stint like this.

I posted this on yesterday’s game thread, but here’s what Marzano said about his brawl with Paul O’Neill:

Tim Davis was pitching. The ball wasn’t even that close, and he started mouthing off like he was going to go out there and beat up Tim Davis. I said ‘Well, I’m right here, you don’t have to go that far’ and that’s when we got into it.

That is some quality color commentary, and a long ways off the clean-and-wonderful Mariner image we often get pushed on us.

Marzano provided a lot of insight and in particular he seemed to be pretty good about guessing pitching approaches (“I’d feed Olivo a change here”). He’s also a big believer in confidence and its viral-like properties, and timely hitting.

Part of what made it interesting was the novelty, I think — if a color man’s got a couple topics they like to wear to death, over three games it’s not that annoying. Over a couple of games, it’s not a big problem.

I’d love to have the Mariners do more of this. Of course, I think they should have Mike Curto do games, or at least rotate in so Fairly doesn’t ever have to do play-by-play.

So kudos to the team for bring Marzano in. It was a worthwhile change, and it made this awful series better.


10 Responses to “Mariner color men: fight! fight!”

  1. tp on May 27th, 2005 5:41 am

    [deleted, steroid allegation]

  2. pensive on May 27th, 2005 7:08 am

    Marzano was a refreshing change. Agree asteady diet may have one turning off the sound. He certainly got boiling over pitch to Ibanez (thrown behind him). He was still ranting, veins popping in post game summary.

    No one actually believed Franklin would retaliate. Did they? Franklin did not even throw purpose pitch when Ichiro! was beaned in Kansas City. That is why Bobby Mads is missed.

    A rotating color announcer would make the telecasts more bearable. It is going to be a long summer and studying the Big Board uncertain that the future holds much hope. The FO is going to have to be extremely active in free agent market.

  3. Gunga on May 27th, 2005 7:17 am

    I was one of the pro-Marzano listeners, but then I’ve liked Marzano for ages. He may not have been the greatest catcher in the world, but he sure brought some personality to the table. I remember watching him insert himself into the frame pretty much every time a camera was around, and he was so obvious about it that it seemed more humorous than obnoxious, like Willard Scott tipping his toupee to the ladies.

    I don’t have TV (reception, I do have TV the device) but try to listen to every game via MLB Radio and appreciate guys like Niehaus, (for entertainment) Curto, (for enlightenment) and Marzano (for a nice blend of the two).

    In defense of Valle, Hendu, and Fairly though I will say this: from time to time I’ll listen to the opposing team’s broadcast crew, especially on those rare occasions when the Mariners actually win, and as frustrating as those guys can be many other markets have it much worse. Some of them sound as though they’re doing play-by-play or color commentary on an audit. Remember, the opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy. Hendu may make me choke on my Ichiroll once in a while, but at least he generates an emotional response.

  4. Mr. Egaas on May 27th, 2005 9:42 am

    I still think bringing in Kevin Calabro for a game or two now and then wouldn’t hurt at all any. That guy has a voice smooth as molasses and an absolutely delightful copious vocabulary.

  5. Eric on May 27th, 2005 10:13 am

    I think the key is just that Marzano was new and all his stories were fresh, over time we’d get as bored with him as the others. Really does point out the benefit to rotating color guys. Begs the question are their any color guys out there who cover every game and don’t becoming boring and manage to stay fresh? About the only one I can think of is Marquez Johnson doing the Sonics, he and Calabro were head and shoulders above most anyone else.

  6. Jim on May 27th, 2005 11:28 am

    Villone’s thrown plenty of “purpose” pitches already this year – just not on purpose….
    Maybe FSN/KOMO need a football-like approach – get a pitcher/catcher, an infielder, and an outfielder in the booth with the play-by-play guy. Should make things more interesting and on-topic, while watering down the number of times you have to hear “I’d throw a changeup here, low and away” or worse, “The Mariners need to score more runs than the other team in order to win”.

  7. Jim on May 27th, 2005 11:43 am

    Another point hammered home was that “Palmiero owns the M’s” because he’s hit 51 HR’s against us. But, the dude’s hit 550+ in his career, all in the AL (I think?). Given that, you’d expect 50 each off of 11 teams=550. Or, counting expansion, 46 each off of 12 teams. Interleague play adds a bit of noise here, but am I missign something, or are we just a statisically average victim of one of the great homerun hitters of all time?

  8. Paul Covert on May 27th, 2005 2:35 pm

    Jim (re. #7): Here’s Palmeiro against the since-1977 AL teams other than Texas and Baltimore (courtesy of Retrosheet):

    Opp HR OPS
    ANA 49 0.936
    SEA 49 0.908
    NY 46 0.972
    OAK 43 0.855
    DET 40 1.001
    KC 40 0.951
    TOR 37 0.894
    CHI 33 0.897
    CLE 31 0.838
    MIN 31 0.805
    BOS 24 0.807

    So he’s done better than average against us, but not drastically beyond his performances against several other teams.

  9. Vince on May 27th, 2005 3:08 pm

    Yes! I’m not the only one who remembers how great Marques Johnson was!

    I thought Marzano was great, though the point about being fresh is a good one. But he did seem like a human being, not a “you gotta love these guys” pitchman like all the other rent-a-color guys.

  10. Dead Ball Tim on May 27th, 2005 7:48 pm

    Almost anyone is an improvement over Fairly. Even Calabro. I can hear it now: “…and Joel with the wind and the pitch… he struck him out! with a wick-ed over the top yellow hammer yacker from la-la laaaaand!”