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mezz1962
07-14-2011, 02:06
I knew going in that these guys not having called a Brooklyn Cyclones game since last year would be rusty as far as players names, talent evaluations and flow of the over all broadcast.

I was 100% positive that being a minor league team, there was no way these three guest announcers would be following the Cyclones everyday so small background stories would be hard to insert during dead periods in the game or long at bats.

So my plan going in about reviewing their performance calling the 7/13 game between the Doubledays vs Cyclones minor league game was to listen to the first few innings, turn off the radio and come back later to see if they made any adjustments by the end of the game.

After listening to Adam the Bull, John Minko and John Franco call the Brooklyn Cyclones game, there are two things I am sure of:
#1 - if there is ever a drought call these guys to do the radio broadcast for your baseball team, because these guys make it rain faster than pac-man Jones in a strip joint.
#2- I know for a fact Adam the Bull ran out of vending machine nickels by the end of the unexpected 48 minute rain delay and he also owes his radio audience the story about how he got booed for dropping a foul ball.

Adam the Bull -
Overall a great job. A little rough at the start, but again I fully expected Bull to have a little trouble with the names of the players so the first inning he called there were a few ahhh moments, and in a few spots Bull had to resort to calling the position when he could not recall the players names immediately so the call went similar to this:

'Grounder up the middle and ........the second baseman throws to first and gets the out."

By the later innings Bull was all-pro material. Bull was able to smoothly call the more exciting plays using the players name without hesitation or having to resort to the earlier fall backs.

Having called these players names a few times, and also witnessing their individual talent level, by the late innings Bull sounded like he had been calling Cyclone games all year, which to me was extremely impressive.

Additionally with these players now having been up to the plate a few times, or having made a few plays in the field, Bull was able to use those moments to fill in dead air by recapping what they previously did at bat or in the field.

I was happy to hear Bull using the caveat "I have not been watching a lot of Cyclone baseball, so my opinion of these players are based on my limited observations" Bull never came across as a know-it-all when giving his opinion of the potential of these young ball players.

Bull came off as himself, he did not change anything that he normally does on WFAN. Throughout the game Bull talked to the audience as a fan just watching the game, who happens to have a mic in front of him.

John Minko -
Another overall great job and if it wasn't for Adam the Bull I would have probably rated him a little lower. I know Minko was the play-by-play voice of Army football for years, and he occasionally fills in as the voice of the New Jersey Nets, so unlike Bull who does not have a regular announcers job for a team (I have no clue why not), coming into the game I expected Minko to be much more polished than Bull was going to be.

Minko did not disappoint in his presentation. He was smooth, and extremely professional which I expected having listened to Minko doing play by play before.

My one critique was the "Mink Man" had a habit of raising his voice to Micheal Kay shrill levels even on the most basic fly balls. Everything it seemed was a Home Run or a ball that was inches foul or fair.

Adam the Bull saved the day, or in this case my John Minko review because as the game ended Bull told us that this was Minko's first game in 25 years and then it all made sense to me. I placed my bias of Minko being a more season sports announcer to the side and reviewed him on his performance, instead of my expectations.

Minko was very smooth and he seemed to know all the players names immediately, but NOT knowing the players power, speed and/or ability, a fly ball call left listeners scratching their heads for a moment because judging solely by Minko's voice, and excitement level any listeners would have assume that it was long gone, only to discover that it was a medium fly ball out.

I have been to many Long Island Ducks game and I thought back to the first few times I went, whether it was the small ball parks, the acoustics of the ball hitting the bat, there were many times I was fooled into thinking the ball was long gone, only to be left wondering what happened because the ball never even got close to going out. I can safely assume Minko had the same troubles I had, and calling play by play to a radio audience would only add to an already tough situation.

So overall The Mink man was great, I was very very impressed by how he called the game, and how professional he was.

John Franco - It's very hard to judge someone who is judging players he had never really seen. Franco did a great job when it came to telling us his experience being a former major leaguer compared to what these minors were doing in a similar game situation.

Where Franco went wrong was telling the audience what the pitcher should throw next. I train kids in pitching so I knew right away Franco gave out some really bad advice,

Example:
One of the Brooklyn Cyclone pitchers threw a nasty curve-ball, even Adam the Bull commented that he was extremely impressed by the tremendous break on this kids pitch. Franco also commented on the pitch and then he made the mistake of saying the kid should throw it again.

One of my biggest rules in teaching kids how to pitch is this. If you throw a crappy pitch and you know it was crappy, then come right back with it. If you threw say a curve-ball and it was as perfect as you could ever throw it, odds are you will not throw it that well again so never ever comeback with it, because your giving the hitter an advantage. Luckily the kid came back with a fastball and struck the Doubleday batter out.

Overall Franco did well, and provided the listener with some great insight into his minor league days, and of course his days of playing at the professional level.

The Broadcast overall
These three announcers provided us with a few hours of listening fun, and hopefully they will once again be back next year to do it all over again (except of course "bringing the rain")....Well done guys, be proud, you did great!

Dominick Mezzapesa
Twitter @dmezz1120

Jersey John
07-14-2011, 10:03
I heard a few minutes last night and Minko was yelling something trying to be dramatic and forgot what he was saying half way through the sentence.

The Boss
07-14-2011, 23:00
Yea I heard the game a bit last night too, and the Bull sounded good. Minko was rough in spots, and Franco does not have a future in the booth.