Snow’s debut as announcer

Lost in the analysis of the 15-3 pounding the A’s gave the Giants last night was the debut of former Giants first baseman J.T. Snow as color announcer. Snow, who retired over the winter and was hired by the Giants as an instructor and sometime announcer, had done a few innings behind the microphone here and there beginning in spring training, but this was his first stint doing a whole game as color announcer behind Dave Flemming, who did play-by-play for the whole game.

Having the same two announcers — one talented but still with some rough edges, and the other very knowledgeable but with little experience behind the microphone — for the whole game exposed some of the weaknesses of both.

Flemming, who started with the Giants in 2004 as a 27-year-old — an amazing accomplishment in itself, considering how few openings there are in the field — has become a familiar, reliable presence, usually paired with the dean of the announcing staff, Jon Miller. His tenor voice goes well with Miller’s bass; his youthful exuberance, always reined in by a solid sense of professionalism, goes well with Miller’s unflappability and arch tone.

Miller was absent Friday night; if there was an explanation, I missed it. With Krukow and Kuiper on television as usual (I assume — my TV is out), the Giants picked J.T. Snow as Flemming’s color man for the night.

Snow, with his fifteen major league seasons, is obviously knowledgeable, and whenever it was his turn to talk, he had something interesting and pertinent to say. However, IMHO, his slightly nasal, high-pitched vocal tone was too close to Flemming’s; the combination wound up sounding a little abrasive. Tellingly, toward the end of the game, Snow seemed to relax a little more, his vocal pitch dropping — or perhaps he simply became subdued as the score became ever more one-sided.

As many fans know, Snow was the son of a famous NFL player who, after retirement, went into announcing. Once Snow polishes the rough edges from his voice, with his knowledge of the game he could be an excellent announcer too.

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