New Rays announcer is namedFebruary 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Posted in Rays | 4 Comments
One of the biggest questions of the offseason for Tampa Bay Rays fans has finally been answered. Ever since Joe Magrane left his job as the Rays TV analyst to join MLB Network, the Rays and FSN Florida have been searching for a replacement to join Dewayne Staats in the broadcast booth. Today, we found out who the new analyst will be:
That’s Kevin Kennedy, former minor league catcher for the Rochester Red Wings, former manager of the Rangers and Red Sox, and currently a talk show host on XM radio. His hiring was reported by the St. Pete Times.
I have mixed feelings about this news. I was hoping that the new analyst would be someone who had a connection to the Rays – maybe a former player or coach, or even a former major leaguer who is from the Tampa Bay area. Kennedy is a very knowledgeable baseball guy, even though he does rely too often on anecdotes about his days as a manager in the 1990s on his XM show. He hasn’t managed since 1996, so he’s not as familiar with today’s players. He obviously has a lot of homework to do on the Rays. But even when he gets up to speed on the current players, he won’t have the deep background on the entire franchise history that Magrane had. Magrane was with the team for all of their first 11 years, and you could really sense the Rays pride in his voice. It won’t be that way with Kennedy, but I’ll be interested to see what he can bring to the table.
It was also announced that former pitcher Brian Anderson, who retired due to an injury in spring training last year with the Rays, will serve as an occasional substitute for Kennedy. This is awesome news as Anderson did a terrific job filling in for Magrane when he was covering the Olympics last summer.
It’s definitely going to be different watching the Rays broadcasts this year without Joe Magrane. If Kennedy doesn’t do a good job, I can always turn down the sound and listen to Andy Freed and Dave Wills on XM radio, who I am absolutely convinced are the top duo of radio announcers in all of baseball.