Dodger do some TV repair work for ’09: Steiner back on radio fulltime; gig opens for 40-game slate

UPDATED at 5:30 p.m.

i-60861775ed5391f7b05de4da400ebb8d-steiner.jpg

Read into this however you may, but the Dodgers have decided that having a consistent radio broadcast team means Charley Steiner won’t be doing any TV work during the 2009 season.

Dodgers VP of communications Josh Rawitch confirmed that Steiner would come off the 40-odd FSN Prime Ticket and KCAL-Channel 9 road game package that Hall of Famer Vin Scully passes on each season (all games East of the Rockies) and go back to working exclusively on the KABC-AM (790) radio broadcasts for the entire season with Rick Monday as his partner.

The decision to make Steiner-Monday the radio team for all 162 regular-season games (after the three innings that Scully simulcasts to open each contest) also means a) Monday won’t have to fumble around with play-by-play any longer and b) former Dodgers pitcher Jerry Reuss unfortunately won’t be needed.

Rawitch told all the parties — Scully, Steiner, Monday, Lyons and Reuss — about the new gameplan on Thursday.

“For us, the move is solely about consistency with our KABC radio team,” said Rawitch, who, with team VP of broadcasting Lauryn Lukin, will ultimately listen to tapes of candidates and present choices to team management. “Jerry has been a valuable member of the organization and he’s understandably disappointed. But we’re looking forward to finding an energetic, talented play-by-play man for the team.”

The 59-year-old Steiner, a former ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor and Yankees TV broadcaster, was hired by the Dodgers in 2005 after the team let go Ross Porter.

“One of the great misconceptions that comes out occasionally is that I wanted to do the Dodgers because someday, I could replace Vin,” said Steiner, a Brooklyn native who grew up following the Dodgers. “The icon-replacing business really is not a flourishing one. And my ego ain’t that big.

“Radio has always been my preference, and we’ve discussed this scenario off and on over the last couple of years. This really is a matter of continuity. From a selfish point of view, I’m thrilled to get to work with Rick every day. I couldn’t be happier with this decision, and I’m sure listeners who tune into the radio will feel the same way.”

i-471dc37a2f93064c6880616bdb7b7395-dodgertv.jpg

So, where do the Dodgers look now for a strong TV presence — and, if you’re trying to figure out, whether this is a tryout for a possible successor someday to the 81-year-old Scully, the newest addition to the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame (linked here) and guaranteed to be with the team through 2009 by his latest contract to give him an even 60 years with the franchise?

Steve Lyons remains under contract for 2009, so whomever does play-by-play will have that element of surprise to contend with.

Start spitballing your list of candidates now.

==Why not bring Porter back, if he’s willing? How’s that for a nifty PR move?

==One seasoned TV guy with a strong local presence that we’d endorese is Bill Macdonald, the longtime Fox Sports Net employee who’s deserving of such a high-profile job after all these years (and should have had the Lakers’ gig by now).

==Same could be said for Jim Watson, if he’s interested.

Chime in with your choices. The team is definitely listening.

== A version of the story now up on the Dodgers’ website (linked here)

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • El Lay Dave

    Russ Langer who has been working for Las Vegas (Dodger’s AAA affiliate until this coming season) gets very good reviews. Vin’s shoes are impossible to fill, so I’d rather see an “unknown” with upside take his shot; an already known commodity will always pale in comparison.

  • Samhain31

    Ross Porter must be a helluva nice guy personally, because all the sportswriters in town love him and constantly root for his successful return.

    I think he is the worst baseball announcer in L.A MLB history., and I lived through Jerry Doggett’s sad decline.

    Ross Porter, the master of context-free and/or trivial stats.

    By trivial I mean he loves to share things like, say, “…the Dodgers so far this season have a record of 2 and 13 in Tuesday night games–1 and 2 in Tuesday day games”.
    If your’re not betting the games, what possible difference does it make?

    By context free I mean he pompously announces things like, say, “..the Dodgers average one intentional walk every 5 1/3 innings.”
    Stats like that are meaningless without an accompanying mention of league average.

  • gregb

    Both Billy Mac and Jim Watson would do a great job. Can’t imagine that Billy would give up everything else to do 40 road Dodger games. Jim is deserving of a shot at the big time. Easy to listen to (and work with) especially with a “nuts and bolts” number two to provide the “player’s” or sport perspective.

  • TeamHasHoles

    There’s a lot of good play-by-play talent out there these days, but if the Dodgers are actually going to use this 40-game-a-season contract as the exclusive “Scully Replacement” tryout, then they shouldn’t settle on one person. They need to have a listen to a number of people. So I say bring in everyone from Billy Mac and Spero Dedes (when his Laker gig is over in June) to Matt Smith and Rich Eisen. Someone who is smart and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Matt Vasgersian would also be a terrific choice, but sadly, he’s under contract elsewhere right now.

    And by the way, I’d love for the Dodgers to bring back Ross, even if for only a few games a year. Not only a class act, but I myself LOVED his statistical approach to broadcasting. After all, no game any of us watches lends itself better to stats, especially in the era of rotisserie baseball like the game of baseball. It would also be a treat to hear Al Michaels call a few Dodger games, I mean, why not??

    My point being, they shouldn’t settle on one guy to work with Lyons; they should get a few different people in during the season and see what the fans think.

  • Radio99

    Spero Dedes is not leaving the Laker broadcasts. He’ll move over to KSPN next year with Mychael Thompson.

  • MODEVIL

    Spero would be available as the Dodgers and Lakers seasons don’t usually overlap much. It depends on when the road games that are out of the NL West fall. I am guessing Spero wouldn’t take the job though.

    How about Pete Arbogast! Ha. I’m sure he’ll campaign for the job. What a joke he is.

  • dyhrdmet

    somehow I doubt Al Michaels would want to work the 40 games east of the Rockies. I remember a great majority of his ABC NBA assignments were in California. But it would be a good listen. If you were just looking for a 40 game eastern-US commitment, Bob Costas would be an interesting choice. How about a technology to keep Vin Scully’s voice calling games long after he’s gone?

  • http://www.fictionpress.com/~williambushman DodgerBuff51

    PLEASE bring back Ross Porter. Some of us enjoy the stats and he is an extremely classy and professional announcer who should have never been let go in the first place. I love the way he would always say ” A Dodgerrr double play! “

  • adevandry

    Ross was the man.

    I’m am thrilled to hear that Steiner is off the TV. I wish he was fired entirely though.

  • sierotyb

    Steiner is ok and together with Monday they make a decent team…It does kill me that sometimes I’ll put on the game in my car and it will take minutes to find out what the freaking score is…but that’s another rant.

    As another commenter stated, Al Michaels would be great to do home games…

    But I think Josh Lewin, who does a good job on Charger broadcasts, would be great as a Dodger TV play by play broadcaster.

  • MODEVIL

    Lewin does the Texas Rangers TV broadcasts. No chance he’d move to be the third man.

  • Chris Reed

    Hearing him all the time in Vegas, Russ Langer is fantastic but is more of a radio guy.

    What’s ironic to me is that Steiner is much better for the TV side of things. While nostalgic for Ross Porter, his strength was radio. Everything’s topsy turvey. The ideal situation would be Steiner on TV, Porter for radio.

    With that ideal situation seemingly out of the picture, I’ve felt for years that the Dodgers would be keep to hire the great, and young, play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian. He’s been great on the Padres and some national Fox broadcasts.

    He just left the Padres position, but on the downside it was to be the in-studio host for the MLB network. That said, a national gig with NBC didn’t stop Scully from doing 40 local Dodger TV games a year.

    After all, the Dodgers gave another young guy named Vin a shot nearly 60 years ago…

  • sierotyb

    Meant to clarify, I know that Lewin is the Ranger broadcaster…I should have stated that he would great after Vinny hangs ‘em up, as the full time TV broadcaster…

    I agree that Vasgersian would be good as well…

    Joel Myers was good when he did Dodgervision or was that SportsChannel games years ago, but alas he’s the Lakers voice…

    Hopefully Al Downing isn’t given a chance to audition…