The Texas Rangers announced over the weekend their TV play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin would not be returning in 2011. “Maybe they hoped the news would be lost in the advance hype for Game 5 of the ALDS in St. Petersburg, Fla,” wondered the Dallas Morning News’ Barry Horn, who did his best to ensure said story remains as prominent as possible.
Know this: The parting did not happen Monday. The Rangers told Lewin he was finished before the end of the regular season. If you watched his final broadcast, he almost told you so when he thanked viewers for the time they had spent watching. He sounded sad.
The Rangers said Lewin asked them to wait. They said they obliged until now but want broadcasters around the country to know their switchboard is open and they are accepting applications. They don’t want a good one to get away.
I used the phrase “canceling Lewin” for a reason: Because Lewin sometimes seemed more like a TV variety show host than a play-by-play voice. Sometimes it seemed as if he were spending as much time surfing the Internet for material as he spent watching the game in front of him. Some viewers loved him for that, especially in the dog days of most Rangers summers. Others could never get used to the shtick. He was a lightning rod.
I can’t believe team president Nolan Ryan ever saw Lewin as his kind of baseball broadcaster. I know the Rangers never were fully comfortable with the idea of Lewin hiring on as the radio voice of the San Diego Chargers in 2005. That meant September Sundays with fill-in announcers.