David Biderman either has an obsession with baseball announcers or a lot of time on his hands.
Actually, there's no doubt he has both.
Biderman, a Wall Street Journal writer, listened to the first scoreless inning of each television broadcast last Friday and counted the number of words uttered by each play-by-play man. His goal was to get an idea — albeit through an admitted unscientific process — of baseball's most verbose announcer.
The winner, not surprisingly, was broadcasting legend Vin Scully, who called the Dodgers action at a rate of 143.51 words per minute. Given the lyrical way in which he speaks, he's encouraged to use as many words as he wants.
But since Scully works the booth by himself and is theoretically responsible for filling twice the airtime, he blew away the competition. The wordiest of the multi-man boothers was the Cardinals' Dan McLaughlin at 109.93 words per minute.
McLaughlin was then followed Washington's Bob Carpenter (102.33), Cincinnati's George Grande (102.06), Arizona's Daron Sutton (100.36) and Kansas City's Ryan Lefebvre (96.71).
The quietest guys out there? San Francisco's Duane Kuiper (55.44), San Diego's Mark Neely (61.84), Toronto's Jamie Campbell (62.66), Oakland's Glen Kuiper (65) and Baltimore's Gary Thorne (66.97).
It's an interesting list, but I'm really not sure how to make heads or tails of it. I will say that when I thought of my favorite announcers to hit on Extra Innings — mainly guys who use their words sparingly in order to let the color men do their job while letting the sounds of the game talk, too — they were all mostly located in the lower tier.
Perhaps Biderman is onto something?