Cheap Seats

McLaughlin talks a lot? So what?

A report came out yesterday that found claims Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin is one of the more verbose announcers in Major League Baseball.

McLaughlin spits out about 110 words a minute, according to the report, and trails only Dodgers Broadcaster Vin Scully (143.51) who works without a partner.


Who cares how much someone talks as long as they are saying something intelligent and they aren't obnoxious? White Sox announcer Ken Harrelson ranks near the bottom of the list at about 79 words a minute. But I can't stand to listen to him -- even on the highlight reels in the morning -- because all he does is spout his nauseating catch phrases ("you can put it on the board, yes!" every single time the White Sox hit a home run) and shamelessly cheerlead for the home team. Maybe he tallies less words a minute because he doesn't bother trying to be grammatically correct.

Lately Harrelson's schtick revolves around him saying "he gone" when an opposing batter strikes out. That's a lot more word economical than "Smith strikes out the hitter with a curveball to end the inning." But it's more obnoxious and less informative than the alternative. I want to go all Elvis on my TV every morning when they show three or four strikeouts by White Sox pitchers in a row and I have to hear "he gone, he gone, he gone" rapid fire.

I never even thought of the number of words an announcer says per minute as the standard by which i judge him. I am more concerned about how informative he is, how easy to listen to he is and what he adds to the game that I couldn't have gleaned just by watching it with the sound down. And in my book, McLaughlin and his radio counterpart John Rooney are two of the best announcers in the game. Vin Scully may be the best.

I wonder how many White Sox fans still rue the day when Rooney left to join the Cardinals broadcast team and they could no longer watch the game with the sound down on the TV and the radio on.

Click here to read the whole report.