There’s an old saying, that “a dog who lives in a small backyard will continually be stepping in his own shit.”

Actually, I’m lying. There’s no such saying. But there should be. And it’s possible that could be a Rexism on the Royals Broadcasts.

The Royals Front Office continues to make a pile of lemon rinds out of lemonade with their Broadcast team the past several months.  To briefly recap:

  • Frank White was ousted in a very public, very messy divorce from the Royals.
  • Ryan Lefebvre attemped to sneak out the back door while interviewing for the Minnesota Twins vacant radio job.
  • Denny Matthews is nearing an inevitable retirement and has scaled back his play-by-play duties significantly.
  • Team hires two new guys from the Angels organization, Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler and feedback has been horribly negative on “The Huddog” so far.  To the point where he’s been reportedly talked to by management once about his performance.
  • Broadcast teams have been shuffled on the spring training games and the opening series with HOF’er Denny Matthews only doing Opening Night in Anaheim.

Broadcasting the Royals used to be a 4-man job, 2 guys on the radio and two guys on the Television, and now has turned into a cluster fuck of humanity.  Here’s your 40-man roster for the Royals broadcasting for 2012:

  • Denny Matthews (R) – Baseball Hall of Famer, broadcaster since the team’s inception in 1969.
  • Ryan Lefebvre (R,T) – Lover of all things Minnesota, broadcaster for the team for 14 years.
  • Steve Stewart (R) – Score update guy for past several years and also does some play-by-play.
  • Bob Davis (R,T) – The ABSOLUTE BEST BROADCASTER IN THE BUSINESS, oh, wait. He’s actually just kinda okay.
  • Steve Physioc (T,R) – New to the team after broadcasting for the Angels for years.
  • Rex Hudler (T,R) – Words don’t need to be said here. But have been said here.

Everyone with both an “R” and a “T” has done the Radio and Television broadcasts so far this year.

Feedback from those watching closely have been negative about the personalities, the performance and the execution of the radio and television broadcasts.

Luckily, you’ve got me.  Here’s several ways to fix it:

  1. From this point forward, pick your teams and stay with them the rest of the season. Substitute only when Denny needs time off. Those teams should be:
    • Radio: Denny Matthews, Bob Davis, Steve Stewart – This is your three man booth.  Say what you will about Bob, but Royals on Radio should be nostalgic and nothing says nostalgia like Denny and Bob talking about Steve Balboni.
    • Television: Steve Physioc, Rex Hudler, Ryan Lefebvre – This is your three man booth.  Ideally, this should only be two people.  Ryan and Steve are both outstanding play-by-play guys, but Denny is taking 51 games off this year should drop that booth down to 2 for a third of the season.
    • Steve and Rex worked together in California for a decade. This type of familiarity is baked in and you should maximize it.
    • Ryan becomes your automatic fill in for Denny when he retires in a few years.  Physioc becomes your play-by-play guy on TV for years.
    • People need to know who they’ll get when they turn on the TV or Radio.  This shell game of “hide the Rex” is not going to work for people.
  2. Let Rex be Rex – Let the crazy out.  And let it out for at least 2 years. Beat these crazy-ass sayings into the listeners. It’s clearly what someone in upper management (or ownership) wanted, so execute the plan.  Rex came off horribly in the opening game, but has softened on folks with his numerous media appearances and Mellinger article. Own the damn thing and let Rex be Rex.  This guy has the potential to be as loved as Harry Caray or Bob Ueker or that “Circle me Bert” guy.
  3. Once you’ve settled the schedule, let these guys have some fun. Record some promos allowing everyone to poke a little fun at themselves. Put them on local radio shows as a team to do interviews. Let them have time to express their personalities.
  4. Gear a broadcast to your audience.  If you accept the assignments in #1, then announce to your audience that the Radio broadcast is going to be geared more towards baseball purists and the TV is for newer fans, moms, kids, etc.  People are smart enough to hook up with the broadcast they want.  This gives you stability.

I just mentioned to someone on twitter that Royals fans are amongst the most cynical, negative fans that you can find.  We just saw Jonathan Broxton hit TWO CONSECUTIVE BATTERS TO LOSE A GAME!!  We’ve seen this movie a hundred times.  What you don’t want is to make this worse by screwing up the broadcasts worse than you’ve already done.

Stabilize this boat and hope these guys hit their stride before the All-Star Break.

If these guys can crack the hard outer shell of a Royals fan, we’ll love them forever.

7 Responses to How to Fix the Royals Broadcasting Mess

  1. Easz88 says:

    But Kamler, Ryan doesn’t want to do TV. He wants to get back to his roots, which is radio. I’m pretty sure I saw an article somewhere that said that.

    And as you probably read in Sam’s article was Ryan’s comment on when he felt like he was part of the family… it didn’t occur until he was in his 3rd year…

    Royals fans hate new (which I don’t understand – since I’m one of them). Rexy is quirky. He’s that odd uncle… He’s the awkward nerdy kid that does all those weird things (like eats buggers) to make people laugh.

    Okay, maybe he isn’t that bad, but it’s not far from it.

  2. LastRoyalsFan says:

    I think everyone will get used to Rex over time. It seems like he’s already being accepted by the fans, just based on the reduced amount of Twitter noise generated during his broadcasts.

    One other observation about the new team – Steve Physioc is a great play-by-play guy for TV but not so much for radio. He just doesn’t seem able to ‘paint the picture’ that Denny, Bob or even Ryan can do. He’s great putting words to what you just saw on TV but seems to lack something for radio.

  3. Matt says:

    HUD is a complete wacko, and I can’t believe he played the game with the lack of game knowledge he has. I’m willing to bet he had zero natural instincts on the diamond.

  4. Paul schlitzer says:

    Change physioc and lefrbvre back check our record when Ryan was on tv paul Schlitzer if you ever. Played sport don’t jinx yourself . You had something good 816 -331-2551

  5. skip says:

    Please put Ryan back on the tv all the time. Steve is the worst announcer I know. I mute him eve night he is on. I am a Royal fan that is so tired of an announcer that gives only statistics and nothing about baseball. Ryan is so good. Please don’t ruin our tv coverage. This is crazy!!! We need Ryan in the tv all the time. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Rick Brown says:

    I agree with having Ryan as the full time T.V guy. Physiocratic is so bad. He is a total cliche guy and all he does is repeat what Ryan and HUD already said. Plus he makes do many mistakes and has no sense of humor.

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