UPDATED MAY 21, 2012: Nats: Charlie Slowes says he’s not in the final year of his contract
Remember when Dave Jageler astutely noted that Bryce Harper might be looking to steal home about 10 days ago. Harper did and Jageler’s partner, Charlie Slowes breathlessly called it, even taking a few seconds to let the crowd noise tell the story. It was just another reminder of how great Washington Nationals fans have it when it comes to the radio team. I have called for Charlie & Dave to be granted tenure before and I’m doing it again. The Nats may want to act fast because competition for their services may be pretty strong after the 2012 season. I speculated during spring training that their deals were up and a source indicated that’s the case.
Changes to the New York Yankees Radio Network may be on the way (River City Blues). The rights are in play and play-by-play voice John Sterling and sidekick Suzyn Waldman are not signed past this season. Whether there will be a changing of the guard is nothing but speculation, but if the Yankees decided to go with a new voice, it is not unreasonable to think that there may be interest on the part of Slowes and/or the Yankees. Slowes, after all grew up in the Bronx and Yonkers and graduated from Fordham. I believe Slowes also makes his offseason home in the Tampa Bay area which is where the Yankees have spring training.
Sterling has been with the Yankees for about 20 years. I remember listening to him when he and Michael Kay were partners and liking him, maybe because I was younger and less discerning. These days Sterling is pretty bad. He talks to much about himself and seems engaged only when he gets to use one of his catch phrases (An “A-bomb for A-Rod, A Tex message, The Grandy Man can, etc.) I don’t dislike Waldman as much as others, but she mostly serves as Sterling’s enabler. A change is needed in the Yankee Stadium radio booth (Though the “Here Come the Yankees” instrumental should remain. For all time. Best part of the current broadcasts.). Since I’m a selfish Washingtonian, I don’t want it to be Slowes, though I’d be very happy for him and enjoy listening to him do Yankees games.
I don’t have much insight on Jageler’s situation other than his contract is up. I believe he is still a resident of Rhode Island — his previous job was calling Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) games. It isn’t unreasonable to assume that any opening with the Boston Red Sox would be of interest to a native New Englander. I don’t know the radio situation up there though, so that may not be an issue.
Slowes and Jageler (and the Jack of All Things, Jack Hicks) have been left hanging in the past one contracts, part of the “not doing things well on the business side” that has plagued the Nats. Getting them locked in for a number of years would be a good show of faith to them, plus the fans. Slowes’ “and a curly W is in the books” has contributed greatly to the team’s identity and branding. It is time for the Andy Feffer, the Nats COO and the Lerners to show some commitment to a few important people who kept fans engaged when the team’s play could not.
(Bring back the pancakes ads too)
UPDATE: FanGraphs says they are the 6th best radio team in the majors