TV: Los Angeles Angels

Flagship: Fox Sports West

PxP: Victor Rojas (3rd year as play by play voice)

Color: Mark Gubicza (11th year on the Angels TV network)

Reviewer: Dave Bodemer

Category: Play by Play
Grade: 60

Victor Rojas has over ten years of experience broadcasting baseball games at the local and national level. He has been the Angel’s play by play voice since 2009.

Rojas has a smooth delivery and articulates the play on the field excellently and clearly standouts as the star of this broadcasting team. He does not get overdramatic or excited but does have a great signature for the end of the game after an Angel’s victory: “Light that baby up”, he proclaims a reference to the 230 foot tall “A” that stands outside of the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

While the fact he doesn’t get overly dramatic is generally a positive, at times it can also be a negative. A home run or great play by an infielder is sometimes barely aurally recognizable, let alone spoken with an explanation point. If you are casually watching the game, you might miss the play until you catch the replay.

Category: Color Commentary
Grade: 45

Mark Gubicza has worked Angel broadcasts for over 11 years. He is an ex-MLB pitcher but does not seem to bring his experiences and insights from the playing field into the booth. That is not to say that his color commentary is bad but viewers have learned to expect more insight from someone in his position. He does excel at breaking down the Angels’ or the opposing team’s pitchers, but beyond that he provides limited insight into the game at hand.

Gubicza is comfortable working with Rojas and his analysis; he doesn’t try to step over the words of the play by play voice. He seems to be at home in front of the TV cameras and as well as the microphone.

Category: Broadcast Team Commentary
Grade: 50

This team of Rojas and Gubicza is smooth and professional and seems to have taken a page out of a school for broadcasting. They are not overly wordy and their conversation is mainly about baseball, and minimal on the non-baseball talk. However, during one recent game, Mike Trout’s parents were in attendance and with every Trout at bat, the camera kept looking over for their reaction. They even ventured to say that Trout promised his parents a hit.

At times, Rojas and Gubicza do not seem to be overly critical of the Angels even during a challenging year such as this one.

The insights they offer in their interactions are subdued and often uninspired. If you didn’t know better, it would be hard to tell whether you are listening to a spring training game or regular season baseball game.

Category: Charisma and Chemistry
Grade: 50

This team has worked together for three seasons. While they are friendly towards each other, the charisma and chemistry is only average between them. Because their delivery is calm and not overly exciting, it tends to affect the chemistry. It’s easy to listen to their conversations, but at times their stiff interaction makes it seem like the listener is tuning into a national broadcast where the on-air talent doesn’t work with each other on a nightly basis.

Category: Analysis
Grade: 45

While this team fills up the airtime with play by play and light color commentary, there is minimal use of statistics and game time strategy and the team does not try to manage from the broadcast booth. Rojas and Gubicza are content to let the game action play out and to just announce the facts of the game. The analysis and statistics they did offer were of the baseball card variety, geared for the casual fan.

Category: Production Values
Grade: 55

The production and sound quality of the Fox Sports broadcast is professional grade. When the Angels are the visiting team, the production team always shows captivating images from the opposing team’s city when the commercials end and the next inning is about to start. One negative is that the graphics and on-screen presentation mimic the other regional Fox Networks. While the quality is consistent, it does rob the staff’s creativity and does not make it unique.

Category: Commercialism and Cutaways
Grade: 55

The commercialism is at a minimum for these broadcasts. They do utilize banner ads that do not interfere with the game. These appear along the bottom corner of the screen and disappear when a game statistic is displayed. The spoken sponsored ads are limited to a few advertisers and for future Angel ticket offers and are worked into the broadcast with minimal interference.

Category: Overall
Grade: 51

The Rojas-Gubicza team is solid and professional. They are very South Californian in that their style is laid back and impartial. This gives the appearance that you are viewing a national broadcast of the Angels.

This team’s score falls solidly in the average range. The smart wit of Rojas cannot overcome the lack of consistent chemistry between the two and the spotty color commentary from Gubicza. 

 

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this evaluation are solely those of the author.  As such, the views expressed by the author should not be interpreted as representing the opinions of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), its board, or anyone otherwise affiliated with SABR.  Likewise, the conclusions included in these evaluations are not to be viewed or interpreted as official endorsements (or lack thereof) by SABR, or of anyone affiliated with SABR, of any particular broadcasters or broadcast organizations.

 

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