Saturday, August 12, 2006

Now Hiring

A few broadcasters found themselves without jobs recently, and here I would like to formally extend to them an invitation to join the Kanka's Sports Page team.

  • Michael Reghi, Cavaliers TV play-by-play announcer. I was shocked when I came back from vacation to find this out. Reghi had been working with both the Baltimore Orioles and the Cavs until he decided to resign from the Orioles to spend more time in Cleveland. He had gained notoriety over the past year for his excitable and unique slam dunk calls, using phrases such as "Flight 23" (for LeBron James) and "coming out of the attic."
    Reghi was one of my three favorite Cleveland broadcasters, along with Joe Tait and Tom Hamilton. Tait has been a fixture for all Cleveland sports for 30+ years. I know him mostly as the Cavaliers radio announcer. His unique basketball terminology is often immitated throughout the area. For instance, the half-court line is the timeline or center stripe, and the free throw line is the "charity stripe," surrounded by "the circle." And, of course, when you cross the timeline, you enter the forecourt. Tait is also known for his slam dunk call, "Wham with the right hand!" Hamilton has been the voice of the Indians for many years, and it's hard for me not to love the Voice of Summer that I grew up with.
    Reghi got excited when things were going well, but was never afraid to point out when things weren't going well, especially when players weren't giving their best effort. I had always thought that that made him a little "homer"-ish, but allegedly he was fired for being too objective. He will be replaced by Fred McLeod, who had been doing Pistons broadcasts, but is originally from the Cleveland area. McLeod is said to be an extreme homer, and I'm almost afraid to find out what that means. He will be watched with a sharp eye (or listened too with a sharp ear) by many this season. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert made this decision, and much has been made of Gilbert's ties to the Detroit area. We'll have to see how this new exiteable, super-homer approach to Cavaliers broadcasts works out.
    Fortunately for Reghi, or perhaps for Reghi fans, he just signed a contract extension with Fox Sports Ohio, and still does basketball broadcasts for the MAC. So, he should still be seen in the Cleveland area from time to time.

  • Harold Reynolds was fired from ESPN for repeated sexual harrassment. I don't mean in any way to make light of this situation. ESPN supposedly has a history of rampant sexual harrassment. If that is the case, they no doubt are not too lenient about it these days. But as a middle infielder and a player, I enjoyed the "love of the game" and positive vibe Harold brought to Baseball Tonight. He also was a good fit for the Little League World Series. He didn't have any deep analysis, but he was able to explain the fundamentals well - perfect for any young Little Leaguers watching at home.

  • Finally, it doesn't look like Al Leiter's doing anything right now. When he sat in on playoff broadcasts, Leiter brought great insight into what it was like to be a pitcher. As a player who never pitcher, I found him to be very informative.