Regal Blue

Hudler and Physioc fired, LA/OC area 65% less homer-y

Posted in Sports by gklarsen on November 25, 2009

This is just the best.  If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time (and my statistics show that you haven’t) then you know my special loathing for poor announcers.  Hudler and Physioc have always been two of my least favorite.  Steve Physioc isn’t a terrible announcer, but it’s his voice that gets to me.  It just sounds so…white.  It sounds like south Orange County.  It sounds like a voice that’s mass-produced in some factory overseas.  The passion is all fake.  It’s only all too obvious that he calls baseball games because, well, that’s who hired him.  He would sound exactly the same if he were calling games for the Arena Football League.

Hudler is another matter altogether.  I do not doubt for one second that he loves him some baseball.  He’s an Angel fan.  Oh my dear lord is he an Angel fan.  He probably remembers his playing days for them fondly, given that he was actually an okay hitter in limited at bats (couldn’t get on base to save his life, but walks are for losers, right Rex?).  Hudler is indeed so much of a fan that he had become one of the biggest homer announcers this side of the Hawk.  The Angels can do no wrong in his book.  His favorite, of course, was Vladimir Guererro for whom he coined many an irritating nick name.

Yet it wasn’t his exceptional homerism that made Hudler so bad as much as his constant awfulness at, well, announcing.  Commonplace were calls that were simply wrong.  As Rudy Kelly pointed out, getting a run and making it 5 – 2 does not “cut the score in half.”  He could mix his metaphors with the best of ’em (Looks like Salmon is gonna swim upstream and pull that line drive right out of the water!).  Statistics were not his forte, and he wouldn’t be caught dead using anything but wins and batting average.  If Hudler were to ever cheat on Guererro it’d be with Chone Figgins whom he affectionately called “Figgy.”  There was no bigger fan of Mike Scioscia’s brand of hustle/gritty/Eckstein-y baseball.  And he seemed to really like Steve Physioc which was actually kind of sweet.  I’ve never counted but I bet on an average night you’d hear an emphatic “That’s right, Phys!” about 38.3 times.

So it is perhaps appropriate that the Physioc/Hudler era is coming to an end when Guererro and Figgins are leaving.  The Angels as a team are entering a transition phase which will probably hinge upon the quality of their farm system.  Vlad and Chone won’t be resigned, nor will John Lackey, meaning that their biggest stars will be out the door.  It’s a good time for Phys and Hudler to be on their way too.

***

After what seems like a month-long layoff, the Kings have a game tonight!  The big story for us is that we’ll all finally get a chance to watch Andrei Loktionov.  The Manchester Monarch’s point leader will be skating in the second line along with Handzus and Frolov.  The other new guy, Brandon Segal, seems to be the definition of a replacement level player from what I understand.  I mean, he’s 26 and has played two NHL games.  His job will likely be not to screw up too badly while we wait for some guys to come back from injury.

The losses in our last two games certainly make tonight seem like one we’ve got to win.  More importantly, however, this team needs to show that it can score goals without Ryan Smyth.  I have no idea if Loktionov will be that guy but someone has to contribute.  Teddy Purell is getting a start on the first line tonight but I can’t imagine it’ll be too successful.  Smyth defined the first line.  He gave Kopitar tons of scoring opportunities by harassing the crease.  So far no one has shown that they’re capable of replicating that, thus the whole strategy kind of goes out the window.

I haven’t been able to find out who is in goal for Edmonton tonight but I’m pretty sure it won’t be Khabibulin (still listed day to day with a back injury) so odds are we’ll get a back-up.  Hey, I’ll take it.

Despite my negative game preview, I call Kings 3 Oilers 2 with at least one goal by Loktionov.

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