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Baseball’s Best Calls of 2022

I went back to watch/listen to a few of those special things that have taken place so far in 2022

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Baseball Calls

We’ve seen and heard a lot of exciting moments in baseball this season. Milestones, no-hitters, triple plays, walk-offs and more. Broadcasters live for these opportunities, to call big events and have your call be a part of history. That comes with some pressure as well. There are no re-dos. It’s live and once your call is out there, it lives on forever. How each person handles these situations is as unique as the moments themselves. You really can’t prepare for things like a triple play or even a no-no. Being in the moment is critical. Baseball broadcasters experience this every single game. You never know what you might see and that’s the beauty of baseball. 

Every season provides fans with excitement, even if their particular team isn’t very good. I went back to watch/listen to a few of those special things that have taken place so far in 2022. I have provided you with the text of the calls and I’ll offer my thoughts on why I picked that call. I know there are a bunch of others that I may have left out, so just enjoy what I chose. With a little over a month to go in the season, I’m sure there are many more crazy and great moments to come. Here we go!


A sure fire, first ballot hall of famer Miguel Cabrera was in line to join a rather exclusive club in baseball history, the 3000-hit club this season. He did it at Comerica Park and really enjoyed the big moment in his career. Longtime radio play-by-play man Dan Dickerson had the call on Tigers Radio. 

‘The 1-1, ground ball, base hit into right! 3,000 for Miguel Cabrera! Raises his arms, Iglesias is the first to hug him, the Tigers dugout empties as they charge over to first base. And let the hug dispensing begin. Oh, what an incredible journey. From a skinny 15-year-old discovered on the dusty fields of Maracay, to an icon in Motown. Miguel Cabrera the pride of Venezuela has joined one of the most exclusive clubs, containing the best hitters in baseball history, 3-thousand hits.’

This call has it all. The excitement of the enormity of the milestone is captured at the beginning of the call. The description of the aftermath is great as well. Pointing out how his former teammate was the first to get to him and hug Cabrera. What I really liked was the history lesson from Dickerson talking about Cabrera’s journey to where he is. It shows me how in tune he is with the team that he broadcasts. Dickerson caps it off with the most important aspect of the play, just how exclusive the club Cabrera just joined is. 


In one of the more improbable wins of the year. The Pittsburgh Pirates scored a run in the 8th inning of a scoreless game with the Reds, without benefit of a hit. In fact, the Pirates took their 1-0 lead into the 9th, while being no-hit in the game. The final Reds batter had a count of 3-2 with two outs. Greg Brown along with Bob Walk have the final call of this crazy game. 

Brown: Ground ball right side, sliding stop, on to first, RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER! And history, the Pirates are no-hit, but win the game! 

Bob Walk: Out of this world, I mean it’s crazy…

Brown: Such a cliché, you never what you’re gonna see, but so true. What a great win. 

Walk: Not a single batter is happy on either side, pitching staff is happy of course. Oh my word, what an incredible game. 

It was at that time the crew flashed on the screen that the Pirates were just the 6th team in MLB history to win a game in which they were no-hit. This call proved that cliché Brown spoke of. I mean who could ever imagine going to a game, watching your team get no-hit and somehow still win the game? Brown and Walk echoed that surprise and shock perfectly. They were almost laughing at the improbability. Brown talked about the history of the moment, which had only been equaled 5 other times. I loved that Walk added the line about the hitters being upset and the pitchers loving the game. This was a great call to end a very strange game indeed. 


On May 10, 2022, Angels rookie left-hander Reid Detmers threw a no-hitter in a 12-0 win over Tampa Bay. The 22-year-old was the youngest to twirl a no-no since Anibal Sanchez in 2006 for the Marlins. With one out to go, Patrick O’Neal and Mark Gubicza took over to describe the final at-bat.

O’Neal: Ground ball, Velasquez, throws across…HE’S DONE IT! Reid Detmers throws a no-hitter! (They lay out for 1:04 while the pictures and sounds take over) Truly incredible amazing Mark… 

Gubicza: Knowing the kid, great kid, a battler, what stuff, what a moment, something he will remember for the rest of his life. (He continues as a replay is shown of the final out, focused on the pitcher) Ground ball, great curveball, the anticipation, the throw and YES! No-No time for Reid Detmers!  

A great and simple call to frame the moment in Anaheim. O’Neal was economical with his words and as I’ve said many, many times before, I love that they ‘laid out’ to allow the pictures and sounds just take over. The images were compelling enough, so were the sounds of the crowd and teammates mobbing the young pitcher after what he accomplished. Gubicza sounded like a proud papa. As a former big-league pitcher, he could relate to the pressure and just how rare the no-hitter is. I was struck though with the personal nature of Gubicza’s commentary, he was genuinely touched by what the kid accomplished. It wasn’t over the top, it was just right. 


The Cleveland Guardians are right in the middle of a playoff run. Every game, especially those against a division foe like Minnesota, are important. Some announcers just have an uncanny ability to rise to the occasion. Count Tom Hamilton of Guardians Radio among the best to be able to do it. Case in point, Josh Naylor’s walk-off home run against the Twins. 

‘Two out, 2-2 count, runner at third, bottom of the tenth, here it comes…a swing and a fly ball, deep left field, down the line it goes, Gordon in the corner, GONE!!!!! A walk off 2-run home run by Josh Naylor, down the left field line, it’s a game winner, and a mob scene at home plate! And the Guardians have stunned the Twins again! 4 runs in the bottom of the tenth, and Cleveland has beaten Minnesota 7-6 in 10 innings. Unbelievable. Down to their last strike and Naylor head butting Tito who had a batting helmet on.’

Hamilton does it brilliantly, as always. Emotion, excitement, description, yet controlled. It’s not easy to accomplish but Hamilton does it. I love the fact that he was paying attention to the celebration on the field. If he wasn’t, he’d have missed, Naylor in his excitement, actually did head butt manager Terry Francona. Tito must have been expecting it, because he was in fact wearing a batting helmet. Talk about having command of a situation, he made it sound like a walk in the park. Easy, in other words!


This is one where you’d have to forgive the announcer for ‘losing it’, not that Don Orsillo lost it, but it was close. The Padres were the only franchise in baseball left, without a no-hitter to its credit. That was before a fateful night in Arlington, Texas. Where a kid from San Diego erased all of that with one tremendous outing. Here’s Orsillo’s description of the final out. 


You could just hear the years of frustration melt away with this succinct and very effective call. Orsillo was the voice of a fan base that had never experienced the highs of this type of moment. Could the story have been written any better? The alliteration Orsillo chose really worked. Padres’ fans have always been told to keep the faith, thus the Friar Faithful moniker. Orsillo didn’t have to say much, but he conveyed a lot of emotion into the few words he needed to describe the craziness of that instance. Some would try way too hard in a moment like that, but not a pro like Orsillo. Well done. 

These are just a few examples of how special, unique and monumental moments are handled by the true pros that call Major League Baseball. People tend to remember these instances through these memorable calls. They live on long after they’ve taken place thanks to the emotions these memories elicit. And thanks to the connection formed between the announcer and the fans.  

BSM Writers

Is There Still a Place for Baseball Talk on National Sports Shows?

“Its struggle has been the same since the beginning of television. There is too much baseball for any regular season baseball game or story to have national significance.”

Demetri Ravanos




Last week at the BSM Summit, I hosted a panel focused on air checks. I wish I could say we covered the topic thoroughly, but we got derailed a lot, and you know what? That is okay. It felt like real air checks that I have been on both sides of in my career. 

Rob Parker of The Odd Couple on FOX Sports Radio was the talent. He heard thoughts on his show from his boss, Scott Shapiro, and from his former boss, legendary WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff. 

Baseball was the topic that caused one of our derailments on the panel. If you know Rob, you know he is passionate about Major League Baseball. He cited download numbers that show The Odd Couple’s time-shifted audience responds to baseball talk. To him, that proves there is not just room for it on nationally syndicated shows, but that there is a sizable audience that wants it.

Chernoff disagrees. He says baseball is a regional sport. Sure, there are regions that love it and local sports talk stations will dedicate full hours to discussing their home team’s games and roster. National shows need to cast a wide net though, and baseball doesn’t do that.

Personally, I agree with Chernoff. I told Parker on stage that “I hear baseball talk and I am f***ing gone.” The reason for that, I think, is exactly what Chernoff said. I grew up in Alabama (no baseball team). I live in North Carolina (no baseball team). Where baseball is big, it is huge, but it isn’t big in most of the country. 

Now, I will add this. I used to LOVE baseball. It is the sport I played in high school. The Yankees’ logo was on the groom’s cake at my wedding. Then I had kids.

Forget 162 games. Even five games didn’t fit into my lifestyle. Maybe somewhere deep down, I still have feelings for the sport, but they are buried by years of neglect and active shunning.

Its struggle has been the same since the beginning of television. There is too much baseball for any regular season baseball game or story to have national significance. 

Me, and millions of sports talk listeners like me, look at baseball like a toddler looks at broccoli. You probably aren’t lying when you tell us how much you love it, but damn it! WE WANT CHICKEN FINGERS!

A new Major League Baseball season starts Thursday and I thought this topic was worth exploring. I asked three nationally syndicated hosts to weigh in. When is baseball right for their show and how do they use those conversations? Here is what they had to say.

FREDDIE COLEMAN (Freddie & Fitzsimmons on ESPN Radio) – “MLB can still be talked nationally IF there’s that one player like Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani can attract the casual fan.  MLB has definitely become more local because of the absence of that SUPER player and/or villainous team.  I wonder if the pace of play will help bring in the younger fans that they need, but the sport NEEDS that defining star that is must-see TV.”

JONAS KNOX (2 Pros & a Cup of Joe on FOX Sports Radio) – “While football is king for me in sports radio, I look at baseball like most other sports. I’m not opposed to talking about it, as long as I have an angle or opinion that I am confident I can deliver in an entertaining manner. A couple of times of any given year, there are stories in baseball that are big picture topics that are obvious national discussions. 

“I think it’s my job to never close the door on any topic/discussion (except politics because I don’t know anything about it).

“But also, if I’m going to discuss a localized story in baseball or any other sport for that matter – I better have an entertaining/informed angle on it. Otherwise, I’ve let down the listener and that is unacceptable. If they give you their time, you better not waste it.”

MAGGIE GRAY (Maggie & Perloff on CBS Sports Radio) – “While I was on WFAN there was almost no amount of minutia that was too small when it came to the Mets and Yankees. On Maggie and Perloff, our baseball topics have to be more centered around issues that can be universal. For example, ’Is Shohei Ohtani the face of the sport? Is Ohtani pitching and hitting more impressive than two sport athletes like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders? Do you consider Aaron Judge the single-season homerun king or Barry Bonds?’ Any baseball fan or sports fan can have an opinion about those topics, so we find they get great engagement from our audience.”

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BSM Writers

Who Can Sports Fans Trust Once Twitter Ditches Legacy Verified Blue Checks?

The potential for Twitter chaos after April 1 is looming.

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As of April 1, Twitter will finally make a dreaded change that many will view as an April Fools’ prank. Unfortunately, it won’t be a joke to any user who cares about legitimacy and truth.

Last week, Twitter officially announced that verified blue checkmarks will be removed from accounts that have not signed up for a Twitter Blue subscription. Previously, accounts whose identity had been verified were allowed to keep their blue checks when Twitter Blue was implemented.

But shortly after Elon Musk purchased Twitter and became the social media company’s CEO, he stated his intention to use verification as a revenue source. Users would have to pay $8 per month (or $84 annually) for a Twitter Blue subscription and blue checkmark verification. Paying for blue checks immediately set off red flags among users who learned to depend on verified accounts for accredited identities and trusted information.

The entire concept of verification and blue checks was simple and effective. Users and accounts bearing the blue checkmark were legitimate. These people and organizations were who they said they were.

As an example, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has faced criticism for how he framed domestic violence and sexual misconduct involving star NFL players, and deservedly so. But fans and media know Schefter’s tweets are really coming from him because his account is verified.

Furthermore, Twitter took the additional step of clarifying that accounts such as Schefter’s were verified before Twitter Blue was implemented. He didn’t pay eight dollars for that blue checkmark.


The need for verification is never more vital than when fake accounts are created to deceive users. Such accounts will put “Adam Schefter” as their Twitter name, even if their handle is something like “@TuaNeedsHelp.” Or worse, some fake accounts will create a handle with letters that look similar. So “@AdarnSchefter” with an “rn” in place of the “m,” fools some people, especially at a quick glance when people are trying to push news out as fast as possible.

Plenty of baseball fans have been duped over the years by fake accounts using a zero instead of an “o” or a capital “I” instead of a lowercase “l” to resemble Fox Sports and The Athletic reporter Ken Rosenthal. That trick didn’t get me. But when I covered Major League Baseball for Bleacher Report 10 years ago, I did fall for a fake Jim Salisbury account that reported the Philadelphia Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants. Capital “I,” not lowercase “l” in “Salisbury.” Pence was, in fact, traded to the Giants two days later, but that didn’t make my goof any less embarrassing. I should’ve looked for the blue checkmark!

But after April 1, that signifier won’t matter. Legacy blue checkmarks will be removed from accounts that haven’t paid for Twitter Blue. Some accounts that were previously verified might purchase a subscription to maintain that blue check. But those that were deemed legitimate prior to Musk taking over Twitter likely won’t. (There are also rumors that Twitter is considering a feature that would allow Twitter Blue subscribers to hide their blue check and avoid revealing that purchase.)

That could be even more true for media organizations, which are being told to pay $1000 per month for verification. Do you think ESPN, the New York Times, or the Washington Post will pay $12,000 for a blue check?

We’ve already seen the problems that paying for verification can cause. Shortly after Twitter Blue launched, accounts pretending to be legacy verified users could be created. A fake Adam Schefter account tweeted that the Las Vegas Raiders had fired head coach Josh McDaniels. Users who saw the “Adam Schefter” Twitter name went with the news without looking more closely at the “@AdamSchefterNOT” handle. But there was a blue checkmark next to the name this time!

The same thing occurred with a fake LeBron James account tweeting that the NBA superstar had requested a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers. There was a “@KINGJamez” handle, but a “LeBron James” Twitter name with a blue check next to it.

Whether it’s because fans and media have become more discerning or Twitter has done good work cracking down on such fake accounts, there haven’t been many outrageous examples of deliberate deception since last November. But the potential for Twitter chaos after April 1 is looming.

If that seems like an overstatement, it’s a very real possibility that there will be an erosion of trust among Twitter users. Media and fans may have to take a breath before quickly tweeting and retweeting news from accounts that may or may not be credible. False news and phony statements could spread quickly and go viral across social media.

Even worse, Musk has announced that only verified Twitter Blue accounts will be seen in your “For You” timeline as of April 15. (He can’t claim it’s an April Fools’ Day joke on that date.)

Obviously, that carries far more serious real-world implications beyond sports. Forget about a fake Shams Charania account tweeting that Luka Dončić wants to be traded to the Lakers. It’s not difficult to imagine a fake Joe Biden account declaring war on Russia and some people believing it’s true because of the blue checkmark.

We may be nearing the end of Twitter being a reliable news-gathering tool. If the accounts tweeting out news can’t be trusted, where’s the value? Reporters and newsmakers may end up going to other social media platforms to break stories and carry the viability of verification.

When Fox Sports’ website infamously pivoted to video in 2017, Ken Rosenthal posted his MLB reporting on Facebook prior to joining The Athletic. Hello, Instagram. Will someone take their following and reputation to a fledgling platform like Mastodon, Post, Spoutible, or BlueSky, even if it means a lesser outlet?

If and when that happens, Twitter could still be a community but not nearly as much fun. Not when it becomes a matter of trust that breaks up the party.

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BSM Writers

There’s a Lesson For Us All in Florida Atlantic’s Elite 8 Broadcast Struggle

“It is a ton of faith our industry has been forced to place in a single mode of delivery.”

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Ken LaVicka and Kevin Harlan probably don’t have a ton in common. Both of them were announcing an Elite Eight game over the weekend, that is one thing tying them together, but their experiences were wildly different. Harlan is on CBS with a production crew numbering in the dozens making certain all goes smoothly. LaVicka, the voice of the Florida Atlantic Owls, is a production crew himself, making certain those listening in South Florida heard the Owls punch their Final Four ticket. At least, that was LaVicka’s plan.

The Florida Atlantic Owls are going to the Men’s Final Four. Even while typing that sentence, it still seems odd to say. Do you know how many college basketball teams are thinking “how can Florida Atlantic make the Final Four and we can’t?” These are the types of stories that make the NCAA Tournament what it is. There is, literally, no barrier stopping any team from this tournament going on the run of their life and making it all the way.

Everyone listening in South Florida almost missed the moment it all became real for the Owls. With :18.6 to go in Florida Atlantic’s Elite Eight game against Kansas State, the Madison Square Garden Ethernet service to the front row of media seating went completely dark. 

It was on that row that Ken LaVicka was painting the picture back to South Florida. Well, he was until the internet died on him.

Nobody does a single show away from their home studio anymore without trying to avoid the nightmare of Ethernet failure. Gone are the days of phone lines and ISDN connections, all the audio and video is now sent back to the studio over the technological miracle that is the internet. It is a ton of faith our industry has been forced to place in a single mode of delivery.

Take that anxiety and multiply it by 1,000 when that Ethernet line is connected to a Comrex unit for the most important moment of your career. LaVicka had the great fortune of a Kansas State timeout to try something, anything, to save the day. In his quick thinking, he spun around and grabbed an ethernet cable from row two which, as it turns out, still had internet access flowing through it’s cables. That cable, though, was the equivalent of an iPhone charging cord; never as long as you need it to be.

One of LaVicka’s co-workers from ESPN West Palm held the Comrex unit close enough to the second row for the cable to make a connection and the day was saved. LaVicka was able to call the last :15 of the Florida Atlantic win and, presumably, get in all the necessary sponsorship mentions.

It was an exciting end to the FAU v. Kansas State game, a great defensive stop by the Owls to seal the victory. LaVicka told the NCAA’s Andy Katz he tried to channel his inner Jim Nantz to relay that excitement. The NCAA Tournament excitement started early this year. In the very first TV window 13 Seed Furman upset 4 Seed Virginia with a late three pointer by JP Pegues, who had been 0-for-15 from beyond the arc leading up to that shot. It is the type of play the NCAA Tournament is built upon.

It was called in the manner Kevin Harlan’s career was built upon. Harlan, alongside Stan Van Gundy and Dan Bonner, called the Virginia turnover leading to the made Furman basket with his trademark excitement before laying out for the crowd reaction. After a few seconds of crowd excitement he asked his analysts, and the world, “Did we just see what I think we saw? Wow!” Vintage Kevin Harlan.

One reason we are so aware of what Harlan said, and that he signaled his analysts to lay out for the crowd reaction, was a CBS Sports tweet with video of Harlan, Van Gundy and Bonner in a split screen over the play. It gave us a rare look at a pro in the middle of his craft. We got to see that Harlan reacts just like he sounds. The video has more than six million views and has been retweeted more than 6,000 times, a lot of people seem to like it.

Kevin Harlan is not in that group. Harlan appeared on Richard Deitsch’s Sports Media podcast after the video went public and said he was embarrassed by it. Harlan added he “begged” CBS not send the tweet out but to no avail. Harlan told Deitsch “I don’t know that I’m glad that they caught our expression, but I’m glad the game was on the air. I think I join a chorus of other announcers who do not like the camera.”

There’s a valuable announcer lesson from Harlan there; the audience is almost always there for the game, not you. Harlan went on to describe the broadcast booth to Deitsch as somewhat of a sacred place. He would prefer to let his words accompany the video of the action to tell the story. Kevin Harlan is as good as they come at his craft, if he thinks that way, there’s probably great value in that line of thought.

We can learn from LaVicka, as well. You work in this business long enough and you come to accept technical difficulties are as much a part of it as anything. They always seem to strike at the worst times, it is just in their nature. Those who can find a way to deal with them without everything melting down are those who can give their audience what they showed up for. Those who lose their mind and spend time complaining about them during the production simply give the audience information they don’t really care about.

The Final Four is an unlikely collection of teams; Miami, San Diego State, Connecticut and Florida Atlantic. You all had that in your brackets, right? Yep, the Florida Atlantic Owls are going to the Final Four and Ken LaVicka will be there for it. Now, if the internet will just hold out.

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Barrett Media Writers

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