During Saturday night’s Indians/Angels game, a foul ball made its way to the booth where Matt Underwood was calling the game for SportsTime Ohio. It apparently went right to the broadcaster; no cameras caught the action, which is unfortunate, because Underwood dropped the ball.
I would have loved to have seen it – the perfect physical manifestation of what Underwood has been doing in the booth during each and every Indians broadcast: Dropping the ball.
Underwood routinely misidentifies previous plays, and he has an awful habit of trying to impress with forced mentions of semi-tangential tidbits he’s picked up about long-forgotten players. Yes, radio broadcaster Rick Manning also ties in memories and stories into his call, but he does it with needlework precision. And sure, Herb Score misidentified players on a regular basis and wildly overestimated any number of pop flies, but Herb Score was, like, 128 years-old when he was calling games. We're just glad he didn't piss himself.
Underwood might be able to tell you the last Australian-born player to play for the Indians, but it always comes off as showboating -- both because of what he says (Australia? Who cares?) and how he says it (like an asshole).
Perhaps we’ve been spoiled for years with Tom Hamilton, one of the finest baseball broadcasters of our generation. And Underwood does work in a different medium in TV. But he absolutely represents the opposite end of the broadcast spectrum -- the end of the spectrum they call in broadcasting school "really not very good at all. Awful, actually. Who hired this guy anyway?" -- Vince Grzegorek