Sox Radio Foundation Now Set in Stone

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By Soxman

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Chicago White Sox fans tuning into radio broadcasts this season may think their ears are playing tricks on them when they will be treated to the commentary and insight of one of Chicago’s better sportscasters. Former White Sox pitcher and long-time Chicago Cubs commentator Steve Stone made his debut this week in the White Sox radio booth, joining former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer to form a 1-2 punch that would make Mark Buehrle and Javier Vasquez envious.

Like teammates learning to play effectively together, Farmer and Stone appeared to have chemistry on-air, adding insight based on personal knowledge and experience, while calling the game so vividly…you would think you were bathing in the Arizona sun. Chris Singleton departs after two seasons with Sox, taking a job with ESPN Baseball Tonight.  Singleton was one of baseball’s nice guys, and will hopefully have a successful career in television, but struggled to make an impression with Sox fans during his two years in the radio booth.
 

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Stone’s experience appears to flow naturally, and he never is at a loss for words or insight on any player or turn of events on the field.  This is the mark of a true genius of the trade.  Now that he’s paired with another knowledgeable and talented broadcaster in Farmer, the greatest struggle these two may have is whose comments or storylines lead the discussion. As a broadcaster from 1983-97, Stone was a color commentator for the Chicago Cubs, alongside Hall of Fame announcer Harry Caray. While Caray was a legend in Chicago, his reputation for being intoxicated during games, combined with his fading skills towards the end of his career, really gave Stone the opportunity to carry the load and dictate the direction of baseball play-by-play. Another skill that Stone will hopefully keep in his broadcasting arsenal is his edge.  He’s simply not afraid to call out a player, even from his own team, for not making a key play or for demonstrating poor discipline.  This type of commentating adds to the passion, pride, and grinder methodology that the White Sox promote. 
 

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What does one mean by saying Steve Stone has “an edge?”  Stone refused a contract extension as the Cubs color-man after the 2004 season amid a controversy involving Cubs players who felt he spoke too negatively about their performance. During this timeframe, Stone expressed frustration with Cubs manager Dusty Baker for not controlling his players.  While management expects you to support your team regardless of the situation, Stone remained a “rock” of character, never compromising his approach to the game. Even after former Cubs pitcher Kent Mercker called the broadcast booth from the bullpen (during a game no less) to complain about comments made and also confronted Stone in a hotel lobby, Stone never changed his approach to calling a game.
 
These traits, combined with his undeniable ability to predict the flow of a game, and to describe what managers and players are thinking in game situations, not only describes the game to the average fan, it makes you feel as if you are a part of it. This could result in some magic during the 2008 season, or possibly fireworks the first time he second-guesses a call by Ozzie Guillen.  In any event, Stone’s obvious talents and highly touted broadcasting abilities make him one of the best free agent signings by the White Sox this off-season.  Play-ball!
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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    sm, clever title. this guy is never wrong. during the season when comes on the score, he makes whatever show he’s on A LOT better. because he’s the best expert around

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