Meet Baseball's Chattiest TV Announcers
If it seems like your baseball team's play-by-play man jabbers endlessly at 1,000 words a minute, well, he doesn't. But the St. Louis Cardinals' Dan McLaughlin comes closer than most of his peers, talking at an estimated 109.9 words every 60 seconds.
In a quest to figure out how much play-by-play men actually talk, we listened to the first scoreless inning of every team's home broadcast last Friday—tally counter in hand—and calculated how many words they uttered per minute. The Yankees' Michael Kay and the White Sox's Ken "Hawk" Harrelson may be considered by some to be prolific talkers, but to be scientific about it, they're no worse than Houston's Bill Brown or Seattle's Dave Niehaus.
Mr. McLaughlin drove up his word count with a riff comparing Albert Pujols to Babe Ruth (based on how many extra-base-hits each player had in his first 500 at-bats), as well as expressing the opinion that Chris Duncan, a former Cardinal, was cut too quickly by the Boston Red Sox.
Apparently, announcers for bad teams feel an urge to fill dead air. Trailing Mr. McLaughlin was the Nationals' Bob Carpenter at 102.3 words per minute, the Reds' George Grande (102.1) and the Diamondbacks' Daron Sutton (100.4).
Perhaps not surprisingly, the laidback play-by-play guys mostly reside in California. The Giants' Duane Kuiper was the quietest at 55.4 words per minute, and the Padres, Athletics and Angels also were among the bottom six teams. Dodgers' legend Vin Scully smashed that trend with 143.4 words per minute, but that makes sense: He's the only announcer in the league who works the booth without a partner.