Breaking Down the Bucco Broadcasters

The Jackson 5   The Pirates 5

A Pirates broadcast is often tough to watch. Not only can the play on the field be frustrating at times, ROOT Sports also overuses gimmicks such as the AGH Cam and Range Resources Strike Zone. But even before changing the brand name to ROOT last spring, we have been faced with another monstrosity: the broadcasters. While they do a good job in the booth, it is awfully hard to listen to them 162 times a year. Here are our thoughts on the Pirates broadcasters:

Greg Brown

Pros: – Enthusiasm.  Greg loves the Buccos.  You can really tell that it pains him when the Pirates aren’t playing well, and he gets so emotional in key situations.  Greg does have good voice for broadcasting, and loves his job.  Plus, he coined the celebratory phrase “Raise the Jolly Roger!”

Cons: – Surprisingly, there are not many flaws in a Greg Brown call. However, he can get overhyped about big plays, but this can be expected by a play-by-play man.

Grade: B+

Tim Neverett


Pros: – Tim seems like a really nice guy who just loves calling sports games. He’s called every type of sporting event; from lacrosse to track and field.  He even did some broadcasting for the 2004 and 2008 olympics.  He would be the type of guy you’d love to have a sports conversation with.

Cons: – The biggest con of all the broadcasters is definitely Tim’s lack of depth perception. There’s nothing like missing a pitch, hearing “Jones hammers it! DEEEEP TO RIGHT”, only to look up and find a fly ball that didn’t even reach the warning track. Very frustrating.

Grade: C+

Bob Walk



Pros: – When it comes to pitching, Bob does know what he’s talking about.  He is always able to break down a pitcher’s mechanics and explain why a certain pitch should be thrown in a certain situation.  Plus, he played for the Bucs.

Cons: – Often calls out bad plays, such as miserable hitting or poor fielding, as if he could do a better job. He was a pitcher after all, so he should stick to pitching advice. Also rarely shows enthusiasm.

Grade: C

Steve Blass


Pros: – Steve is never afraid to let his emotion show.  Between Cutch’s walkoff against the Diamondbacks, Tabata’s walkoff against the Phillies, or Pedro’s walkoff against the Rockies, Steve has had some great calls.  2012 will be Steve’s 53rd year with the Buccos, and he couldn’t be more proud of that.  He is always able to come up with an entertaining story about his days in Pittsburgh.  Sadly though, we only get to hear him for 81 games a year.

Cons: – While it can be very enertaining, he rarely has self-control after big plays (walk-off homers) and unleashes his inner-child. However, he is 69 years old… settle down, Steve.

Grade: A-

John Wehner


Pros: – Being from the Pittsburgh area and playing for the Pirates, Wehner probably has the biggest tie to the Bucs of the 5 broadcasters.  Rock does know what he is talking about, and it’s entertaining to hear him get upset with the Pirates’ poor play (especially bad baserunning).

Cons: – Wehner can often ramble on and on about nothing, and his boring voice doesn’t help the cause. However, it doesn’t get too annoying since he only calls away games.

Grade: C+

Are we being somewhat critical of the broadcasters? Absolutely. But there is nothing more frustrating than listening to constant rambling while the Bucs are losing. Hopefully, the Pirates will be successful, which will lead to the broadcasters being entertaining in 2012.

Go Bucs


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