Kevin Calabro called up

DMZ · July 8, 2005 at 2:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Sigh. He’ll be joining the team’s broadcast crew while Niehaus takes his mid-year vacation. The Sonics’ site on has four dates (July 14,15,16,17) but no details about when or where.

Calabro’s a good basketball announcer (though I admit I don’t know the different crews as well as I do baseball), but this is still disappointing. He’s a locally-known name, without deep baseball broadcast experience. Why not find someone who can do play-by-play, especially someone local who knows the players and the organization like Mike Curto?

It strikes me as part of the long-standing (and possibly slowly changing) organizational philosophy to favor the familiar and the safe over the interesting and risky.


58 Responses to “Kevin Calabro called up”

  1. Tim on July 8th, 2005 11:28 pm

    Sorry to come so late to the party, but it must be said that the reason Curto gets no respect is obvious and endemic: the big club simply does not get that minor league performance indicates major league potential.

  2. goodbye baseball on July 9th, 2005 12:15 am

    No. 4 I would rather hear Jim Morrison or Van Morrison do baseball play-by-play over Matt Morrison. And the deceased former and very much alive latter couldn’t care less about baseball.

    Jim Morrison after a Mariners win: “This is the End.”
    Jim Morrison after a Mariners loss: “Oh Show Me The Way to the Next Whiskey Bar”

    Seriously, does Matt Morrison have compromising pictures of FSN and/or Mariner execs? I can’t think of any other way he got this gig and is still keeping it. I can stutter and malaprop just as much as he does — I did it over two years of callimg my alma mater’s basketball games on our campus radio station.

  3. thros on July 9th, 2005 4:13 pm

    Calabro, in a local paper interview a couple of years ago, flat out said he wouldn’t mind doing Mariner baseball sometime in the future. I think he is the heir apparant (M’s management choice) to Neihaus when Dave decides to hang up his cleats or has too many mistaken identity situations like the recent Piniero for Ibanez episode. It would be hard for me to imagine Mariner baseball being called by anyone but Neihaus. Calabro would be the last on my list as his replacement. I agree that there are better choices like Bill Kruger. I was very impressed with Darnell Coles. But, as I recall he was getting a little too honest in his comments about some of the M’s performance on the field when he filled in a few weeks ago and that, as we all know, is a no no. I find Tom Hutyler the most annoying. He is just too intense.

  4. High Cheese McGee on July 9th, 2005 6:23 pm

    Man, I feel like such a minority here.

    I’m from Tacoma, and I have listened to Mike Curto call games for several years now. Why does everyone think he is so great? The dead air is annoying…several seconds at a time where it is just silent. He obviously could be worse; in fact, I believe him to be a serviceable announcer for the Rainiers. But a major league announcer…not until he learns how to turn the game into a narrative instead of calling a game like he is announcing train stops.

  5. And the sunshine band on July 10th, 2005 9:37 am

    How about the Mariners get that guy with the lisp from KGY in Olympia, Larry Bailey? Sort of an affirmative action move for guys with speech impediments. Or did the Mariners already reach their quota with Dave “mouth full of marbles” Valle?

  6. thros on July 11th, 2005 6:31 am

    I’m sure M’s management would even consider that ESPN guy who did the college world seires who sounds like Principal Skinner.

  7. thros on July 11th, 2005 7:16 am

    Yes, Mike Curto is generous with those long intervals of nothingness between pitches. He reminds me of a “wire re creation” baseball announcer. Minor league clubs who couldn’t afford to send their play by play guy on the road had him re create the game in the studio. When I was a kid in Portland you could watch Rollie Truitt and Bob Blackburn at KWJJ, (the PCL Beaver station) “produce” away games from a long ribbon of paper that looked like stock market ticker tape. Even though the game was reported on the wire as it happened they had to make the pace slow and deliberate so they were always an inning or two behind. In close games when the 7th or 8th rolled around you could tell by the inflection in their voices if the Beavs had won or lost.

  8. Jay R on July 11th, 2005 9:21 am

    I am all for KC getting the gig while Dave is gone. He is intelligent and hilarious. I really enjoy listening to his informal interviews on KJR with Groz and Gas- he is relaxed and just having fun shooting the breeze with them. The guy is seriously cool, IMHO.

    OTOH, I am shocked and appalled at all the Rich Waltz love. The guy was so vanilla and boring it was tough to stay awake listening to him. I can only imagine that would be exacerbated on radio (with no picture to help entertain).