Steve Physioc is a terrible commentator. He does a terrible job of actually describing what is happening on the field as it happens, which is of course his main duty on the radio. More often he’ll give half-sentences of vague information and then describe the play afterward which makes it incredibly hard to actually enjoy the game. And then there is the fact that he is way too dramatic and negative. A little bit of negativity is to be expected in a commentator, of course, no team is perfect and especially when the team is 71-88 the commentator needs to be able to honestly explain what went wrong. But Physioc takes it to an entirely new level. He harps on for ages about things that go wrong but without bothering to explain exactly what happened and what the players involved could or should have done. It isn’t analysis and it isn’t useful; it’s just mindless criticism. To listen to him speak one would think that the Kansas City Royals had just lost their 162nd game of the season every single time they fall behind or give up a lead. Combined with his needless gravitas it leads to situations where he announces that the opposition has scored with roughly the same intonation as one would expect of a newsreader announcing that the nuclear button had been pushed. It is absurd and when he is paired with Bob Davis (who prefers to just fill his voice with disgust whenever the team is less than perfect) it makes it impossible to listen on the radio. Also, he has referred to the Royals as the Los Angeles Angels more than once. It’s not a major problem compared to the rest, but it is really annoying.
Whilst his utter ineptitude as a broadcaster ought to be reason enough to sack him over the offseason it probably will not be. After all, Davis has been employed for years now. But incompetence is one thing and during today’s game against the Cleveland Indians he went for outright offensiveness. In the fifth inning the Indian’s leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo came up to the plate with Physioc on commentary. Most baseball viewers will be at least casually familiar with Choo and especially Royals fans as he tends to do very well against us. But Physioc ran into trouble with his fairly straightforward three syllable name and after a couple of attempts finally asked what Choo’s parents had been thinking when they gave him a ‘tongue-twister’ of a name. He then went on to wonder aloud why they could not have named him something ‘easy to pronounce like “Don”‘. There are almost no words for this. Anyone with a semi-functioning brain can infer that Choo is east Asian and anyone with a media guide in front of him or her (such as, for instance, the commentators) can see that he was born in Busan, South Korea. Which to a normal person would give a hint as to why he was named Shin-Soo and not ‘Don’.
It’s fair to say that I could not believe my ears. I don’t know how many other people heard it on a late September Sunday, but that should not matter. The attitude displayed by Physioc is one that started to fall out of fashion several decades ago; it has no place being aired by someone representing a respectable organisation in 2012. Physioc has been terrible all year, but now he is an actual embarrassment to the Royals and he needs to be sacked immediately.