TV: Milwaukee Brewers

Flagship: Fox Sports Wisconsin

PxP: Brian Anderson (2007-present)

Color: Bill Schroeder (1996-present)

Reviewer: Ross Carey 

Category: Play by Play
Grade: 55

Anderson comes across as smart and knowledgeable. His delivery is smooth, but also a bit slow. He seems well informed about the Brewers and their opponents, and doesn’t come across like a Brewers homer. His tone shifts appropriately during positive or negative events. He probably could encourage Schroeder to chime in a bit more.

Category: Color Commentary
Grade: 50

Schroeder doesn’t really provide any “insider” information. However, he’s a change of pace from your modern color guy, in that he doesn’t play the part of the typical ex-jock player. He doesn’t rely on catchphrases, and is articulate and knowledgeable about the game. However, his speaking cadence can come across as a little dull.

Category: Broadcast Team Commentary
Grade: 60

Anderson and Schroeder stay focused on the game. When they do engage in banter it doesn’t seem forced, nor does it take away from anything happening on the field. Schroeder does a good job identifying pitches as they’re thrown and during replays. Schroeder lets Anderson handle the bulk of the talking, and neither one tends to interrupt the other. They can come across as a little bland at times, and occasionally use some trite baseball clichés such as, “player x is a professional hitter”.

Category: Charisma and Chemistry
Grade: 55

Anderson and Schroeder seem to genuinely like each other and have a nice rapport during games. They are a low-key combination, and together they come across as a knowledgeable, competent pair who occasionally share some laughs over the course of a game. Neither is particularly charismatic, but that doesn’t hurt the broadcast overall. They work well together.

Category: Analysis
Grade: 30

Neither Anderson nor Schroeder focus on advanced metrics. Their primary focus is on AVG/HR/RBI for hitters, and W/ERA/SO for pitchers.

Anderson did make mention of pitch framing a few times. While he didn’t get into the specifics of it, he did reference this skill when praising catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He also praised batters for working the count, and both mentioned lefty/righty splits regularly.

Category: Production Values
Grade: 65

The overall production quality of the games is very good. The broadcasts are in high definition and use standard camera angles.

Replays give an excellent view of the pitcher’s grip and on the movement of the ball once it’s released from his hand.

The graphics on screen focus on traditional counting numbers (wins, hits, RBI), and on basic rate stats like (AVG & ERA). The broadcast uses PITCHf/x graphics which give viewers a better look at the strike zone. They also feature a pitch count display.

The broadcast uses the same music that every other Fox Sports broadcast does, and as such comes across sounding generic.

Category: Commercialism and Cutaways
Grade: 35

Commercials are an unavoidable part of the sports broadcasting landscape, but sometimes it’s just too much on this broadcast. The Head & Shoulders whiff and the Jimmy John’s delivery are two of the regular features that at times seem unnaturally forced and sound out of place on the broadcast.

During one broadcast a hot dog eating contest was featured. It was for a charity, so that’s good, but both Anderson and Schroeder spent way too much time talking about it. The contestants seemed to be on camera constantly, and the entire exercise definitely took away from the action on the field.

Category: Overall
Grade: 50

Anderson and Schroeder are a likeable, competent broadcast team. They mostly keep their attention focused on the game at hand and paint the picture of what’s going on clearly. Neither screams or shouts or overreacts to big plays. They both seem knowledgeable about the Brewers and the rest of the National League Central. The replays on the broadcast are excellent, but they could integrate their advertisements better and perhaps introduce more advanced metrics.

 

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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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