Sportsnet restores Ben Wagner as radio play-by-play voice of Blue Jays, for now
Thank god. Dan Shulman did his best, but anyone with a clue knew that this simulcasting garbage was never going to work especially with him not calling every game. Buck is what he is, but what he clearly isn’t is a radio announcer. Some of those broadcasts were a chore to listen to.
The plan now is to have Ben call the home games on sight and the road games from a studio in Toronto, basically what they should have been doing all along.
And no, I’m not giving Rogers any credit for this. Yes they reversed a bad decision which is both rare and nice, but all they’ve really done in making it right is clear the lowest possible bar.
Now how about we get Ben a partner. He’s doing a fine job on his own, but you really need an annalist for a proper broadcast. Not that Rogers gives much of a damn about what a proper broadcast sounds like, but I’m still gonna throw that out there.
“Taking the radio call away, we knew it would get a negative feedback — and it did,” said Rob Corte, vice-president of Sportsnet and NHL production. “There are certain elements of a radio broadcast that you can’t duplicate when you’re trying to have a broadcast of doing television and radio.”
Citing safety concerns and travel restrictions connected to COVID-19, Sportsnet began the season with its television feed grafted onto radio coverage. On social media, listeners noted when announcers were telling them to “look at this replay,” or whenever they forgot to provide the score for long stretches.
“We had tried to get as close to the middle, and as close to satisfying both mediums, as well as we could,” said Corte. “I think we did a pretty good job. It was never going to be perfect, and I think that’s where a lot of criticism came.”
You did a pretty good job in the sense that you didn’t do an even worse job, but I wouldn’t exactly be patting myself on the back for this experiment, my man.