Loose Cannons Still Firing
Maybe Lee Hamilton is a racist, but since this is a baseball site,
and Hamilton basically just does "The Best 15 Minutes in Football,"
we'll discuss him another time.
Let's give the Loose Cannons some pub for a change. Steve Hartman and
Bill Werndl are the Cannons, airing weekdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on XTRA
690 AM radio.
It's a fun show, with a nice mix of personalities. Hartman is the "liberal,"
young, L.A. guy turned San Diegan, who used to work for Al Davis, and
knows everything that ever happened in the three major sports (hockey
too, like that matters.) Good voice, sound broadcasting acumen, and
does as well as can be expected pretending to care about the Padres.
Werndl plays the old-school Philadelphia workhorse, who does real reporting
and breaks stories. He talks about the offensive line too much, but
knows his stuff and has been without question, the best possible man
to follow Chet Forte.
This isn't Greg Brock replacing Steve Garvey we're talking here. This
works, and in much the same way as the former duo. Steve and Chet were
a real team, and Steve and Bill have developed into one too. The banter
is similar, the point-counterpoint as good, even though you know Hartman
actually likes Mike Piazza and doesn't think Pete Rose belongs in the
Hall of Fame, and the sports talk is perhaps better than before.
A few small criticisms. The show could use a little less talk about
Billy being supine all the time, about Hooters, and maybe a tad less
about the Drake. Also, Werndl should can the fake laugh, and just laugh
if something is funny.
Oh, and guys, please re-record the Koufax award intro, so that the voiceover
goes "Here's Steve Hartman and Bill Werndl." Having Billy
chime in with "and Bill Werndl" is weak. Spend the two dollars.
Aside from that, it's a great show. One would think the sales staff
could find better advertisers. Teddy bears and penile enlargement? Maybe
it's teddy bear penile enlargement, I don't know.
Body Solution is lame too. C'mon. "Just a teaspoon of Body Solution
and an eight ounce glass of water, eat nothing for three hours before
you go to bed, and the pounds just melt away." Please. A teaspoon
of water and an eight-ounce glass of water will do the same thing, if
you stop the scarfing three hours before bed.
Anyway, the Loose Cannons, the Coach and Chris Ello (even if he does
misspell Bobby Thomson on the XTRA website) make the station. Not Hacksaw.
Oh, and for the record, Hartman can be stumped. Anytime, Steve, your
place or mine.
Enough with the whining from media critics about the job MLB did scheduling
playoff broadcasts. Look, I love jumping on baseball and Bud Selig as
much as the next guy, but they're damned if they do or don't, whatever
they come up with. The scheduling is fine. Find something else to complain
Fox also gets too much flak. They're solid on baseball. Sure, Thom Brennaman
thinks every thing in every game is "outstanding," when in
reality not everything can be outstanding, but that's no biggie.
The camera work is as good as NBC ever dreamed of, Joe Buck is great
and improving, and Tim McCarver is OK too. Jeanne Zelasko and Kevin
Kennedy do a yeoman's job in the studio too, and at least one of them
has a pretty smile.
The ex-jock in the booth thing is as old as Dizzy Dean, but Steve Lyons
may be the first guy to go from the field to the studio host and anchor's
chair, in addition to doing color. In that, Lyons is unique to his profession,
and deserves some credit.
From the "ding, dong, the witch is dead" department, the Dodgers
and KXTA are no more. Finally.
Finally, when driving, oh, twenty miles from the transmitter, or passing
a two-story building almost anywhere in Los Angeles, we'll actually
be able to hear a Dodger game. KFWB, 980 on your AM dial, early March,
Vero Beach or perhaps West Palm. Be there. Aloha....