Royals new announcer hard on Midwestern ears
The Kansas City Star
It’s not the Royals bad start Friday night that has me concerned. There are 161 games left, and sometimes it’s good to get that first loss out the way.
On the other hand, I’m having a hard time contemplating 161 more games of Rex Hudler, our new TV announcer from California.
I’m not gunning for Rex just because he took the place of our own number “20”. As far as I’m concerned that’s water under the bridge. Once it became clear that Frank White was gone, I looked forward to a fresh voice on the air
Friday’s game started out well enough, with announcer Ryan Lefebvre kicking off the season in his usual good humor. Ryan’s been here for 14 years now, and he knows how to talk to us.
Then suddenly, blasting out of what sounded like the furnace, boomed Rex. I wondered if Rex was getting paid by the word, because he was shooting them out a fast clip Friday night.
And what he was saying usually had no connection to anything Ryan was talking about. I wondered if they were even in the same booth together.
After a few innings of Rex I quickly realized that his thing is to instruct. He says things like “he has a soft step to the inside.” Or, “it’s easiest to start low and come up on a hop.”
Sure, I like to learn a few things while taking in a game, but mostly I just want to watch it, and enjoy a sportscaster who doesn’t sound like he’s going to give me a quiz during the seventh inning stretch.
If I can borrow a word from my daughter, I found his shtick “annoying.”
But OK, this was just the first game. Maybe Rex had put away one too many Red Bulls for this one. Otherwise I’m going to have to dig out the radio.
It’s clear that Rex Hudler loves the game and knows a lot about it, and back in California maybe that style worked. But more important than knowing the game, he needs to know his audience.
Rex, this is the Midwest. You can relax now.