(above : Canadian pop metal’s answer to Wayne Hagin)
A few weeks ago, Uni Watch’s Paul Lukas lowered the boom on Mets radio analyst Wayne Hagin, calling Howie Rose’s far lesser half, “unlistenable….the broadcasting equivalent of a four-A ballplayer…a tragic mismatch with Rose” and perhaps most damning of all, one whose “mouth writes checks that his brain can™t cash.”
Since Lukas’ initial outburst, neither the Mets nor WFAN have given any indication that Hagin’s job is in jeopardy, hence the creation of Lukas’ Fire Wayne Hagin Already! If you’re wonder what would possess a rational, well-regarded journalist and author to devote himself to Hagin’s career obliteration, Lukas attempts to explain:
1) “If you think Hagin’s bad, you should listen to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.” Frankly, I don’t care about Sterling and Waldman — they’re Yankees fans’ problem, not mine. Also, their shortcomings have been widely chronicled and documented, while Hagin’s work has flown under the radar. And for better or worse, Sterling and Waldman are institutions who aren’t going anywhere. By contrast, Hagin is just the latest placeholder announcer keeping the second seat warm in the Mets’ radio booth. It’s important to get him out of that seat before he takes root.
2) “Anyone talking on the air for three hours will make some mistakes.” True enough. Hagin’s partner, Howie Rose, whose work I admire, makes mistakes too. Every announcer does. But Hagin’s mistakes aren’t simple misstatements or garden-variety goofs. They usually have to do with him meandering down verbal blind alleys, realizing too late that he’s taken a wrong turn, and then taking the most awkward escape route, all the while maintaining an emphatically overheated tone that just throws the awkwardness into higher relief. (For an example of what I’m talking about, look here.)
3) “Oh, I suppose you could do better?” No, I couldn’t. I’d be a lousy announcer, for sure. But I don’t need to know how to make a movie to know that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is a stinker. I don’t need to know how to play guitar to know Loverboy was a lousy band. I don’t need to know how to cook a really good burger in order to know when I’m eating a crummy one.