Open Letter to the Rangers re: John Rhadigan

Mr. Ryan and Mr. Blake,

As an individual Rangers fan, I realize that my opinion is but a solitary voice in the aggregate that is the realm of Texas Rangers fandom.  However, I also understand that much like every extra ticket sold is important, every additional fan of your wonderful organization has a similar importance.  This is why I am writing to you today with this unsolicited, but unfortunately incredibly warranted, opinion on the state of the television broadcast team.

John Rhadigan is an exceptional pre- and post-game leader for the Texas Rangers, and seemingly an incredibly well-respected and liked individual both within the organization and throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth media.  That makes the criticism presented in this letter something that cannot be laced with vitriol, as is often the case when issuing displeasure with someone's performance.  Mr. Rhadigan has done nothing to warrant any disrespect; however, valid criticisms and significant issues exist with his performance.

Quite simply, John is a veritable beating to listen to on a daily basis as the voice of the Texas Rangers.  He sounds uninspired, uninterested, and seemingly detached from the game that he is presenting.  His lack of basic baseball knowledge (that Mr. Grieve has had to correct on air) is supplemented by a shockingly common confusion over which players he is witnessing on the field.  The following is just a short list of issues:

  • Mislabeling Jackie Robinson Day as Martin Luther King Day
  • Confusing Elvis Andrus and Julio Borbon, Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera, Elvis Andrus and Andres Blanco, Elvis Andrus and Julio Borbon, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez
  • Calling for an RBI on a double play, to which Tom Grieve corrected him on air
  • Calling a strike out immediately after calling a 3-1 pitch
  • A ball was hit to "left right center field"
  • Incessantly repeating "the side is retired" at the end of every half inning
  • Incessantly repeating "payoff pitch" on most 3-2 counts
  • Inability to modify his playcalling in any way and overusing "makes the play"
  • Inherently disingenuous "let's play ball, y'all" and "there ya go, boys"

I hate criticizing someone so robustly, but the plain and simple truth is this: the broadcast has become downright painful to listen to and is driving this viewer away from the television medium of enjoying the game.

It is grotesquely unfortunate that we have had to endure such a precipitous decline in the quality of the television broadcast from Josh Lewin to John Rhadigan.  The common rhetoric has been to "give John time" from fellow media outlets, and this is the reason that this letter did not come sooner.  However, there has been no trend indicating improvement.  Quite the contrary, the broadcast has stayed consistently painful.

This is an appeal, a plea... a humble request, if you will... to rectify this situation as quickly as possible.  It is upsetting to me, and to many other Rangers fans, that attempting to enjoy watching our favorite team is met with such frustration in how it is conveyed to us.

I sincerely hope you give this letter, and the others you undoubtedly receive, credence.

Thank you for your time,

Benjamin Taylor

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