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Dodger Broadcasters: Five in '05
2004-12-29 08:48
by Jon Weisman

To help make sense of the Dodger announcer reconstruction for 2005, I checked in with Tom Hoffarth, who succeeded me as sports media columnist for the Daily News nearly 13 years ago and hasn't let go of the gig since. (It's the relative equivalent of Franklin Roosevelt succeeding William Henry Harrison, without the polio or pneumonia.)

One thing you'll notice is that the yet-to-be-hired color commentators may get more air time in some games than play-by-play men Charley Steiner and Rick Monday. And, despite rumors to the contrary, Monday will do no color, "although that's probably what he's better suited for," according to Hoffarth.

Here's the breakdown, as Hoffarth sees it:

When Vin Scully is working a TV game:
TV play-by-play: Vin (entire game)
TV commentary: none
Radio play-by-play: Vin (innings 1-3), Steiner or Monday (innings 4-6), Steiner or Monday (innings 7-9)
Radio commentary: none (innings 1-3), one analyst, "probably" Al Downing (innings 4-9)

When Vin is not working, Steiner and Monday will alternate between radio and television for play-by-play, but the individual color commentators will stay on either television or radio throughout the game. Downing, if hired, would do radio only.

The current leading candidate for TV commentary when Vin doesn't work is somewhat astonishing. From Hoffarth's column last week:

After a merry-go-round search to find a credible former Dodgers player who could serve as a TV analyst willing to work 50-odd road games a season, several sources indicate the Dodgers appear ready to give up and hand the job over to Steve Lyons, who has been doing Fox national and regional games for the past few years as well as TV for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lyons has no connection to the team either as a player or broadcaster, except for the fact he was suspended by Fox last season after insensitive comments he made concerning Shawn Green sitting out a game in October in observance of Yom Kippur. Lyons also has a pending sexual assault and battery charge case coming up next month in L.A. Superior Court from a woman who filed a suit after an incident in Maui in 2002. If the Dodgers do use Lyons, sources say it will have to be for more than the $1,000 a game that the team was reportedly trying to pay someone like Steve Sax or Eric Karros.

Does any of this make sense?

Five people will work behind the Dodger microphone in 2005. It's not quite this simple or direct, but it may tickle some of you to note that it will have taken three people to replace Ross Porter.

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