Josh Lewin Joins Mets Radio Team

Howie's new partner.

The Mets are preparing to sign Josh Lewin to join Howie Rose in the WFAN broadcast booth in 2012.

Lewin was the TV play-by-play voice of the Texas Rangers, until he was let go following the 2010 season.  Rumor has it Nolan Ryan wanted a more serious voice in the play-by-play chair next to analyst (and former Rangers GM) Tom Grieve.

I lived in the Dallas area for a while and caught many a Rangers TV broadcast, and I can verify that Lewin certainly did enjoy bringing some humor to his broadcasts.

Think of Josh as Matt Vasgersian Lite.

Many of his quips are obviously thought about before hand, and can sound artificial – kind of like the banter between anchors of a local newscast.  Most New York sports fans will have trouble warming to this style, especially in contrast to the brutally honest Howie Rose, who is a fan favorite.  He can also be a homer, the kind that not only pumps up his team, but disparages the opposition.

His play-by-play chops are not in question.  When he broadcasts national ballgames for Fox, he tones down the humor, cranks up the objectivity, and calls a solid game – never boring, but rarely over-the-top.  If the Mets and WFAN ask him to stick to this style, he’ll appeal to even the most jaded of Mets fans.  But if he throws in one too many of his patented groaners, the patience of the listeners will wear thin.

Lewin replaces Wayne Hagin, whose vanilla style (which also included some awkward attempts at humor) didn’t appeal to Mets fans.

In addition to baseball, Lewin is also the radio voice of the San Diego Chargers during the NFL season (he’s going to rack up some serious frequent flyer miles in September).  After he lost his play-by-play gig with the Rangers, he became the co-host of a Dallas sports talk radio show.

 

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. Joe February 8, 2012 at 2:10 am
    Wayne Hagin is a low bar to replace.
  2. Rob February 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm
    I realize that every announcer is a matter of taste, but I for one liked Wayne in the broadcast booth. He was objective, he was appropriately humorous, and I liked (and grew accustomed) to his voice. I’m going to miss Wayne. I wish him good fortune in his next gig. I hope others feel the same.
    • Joe February 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm
      I agree he was objective but I found him pretty boring. I don’t like “homers” though the guys in the SNY booth at times go a bit far in the other direction, so that’s good.
      • Joe Janish February 10, 2012 at 12:48 am
        Agreed. Wayne Hagin was a snoozefest and his “aw shucks” personality and feeble attempts at humor were perfect for middle America, but completely inappropriate for the NY-Metro area. Nice guy, I’m sure, but like many people associated with the Mets a square peg forced into a round hole.
  3. Walnutz15 February 9, 2012 at 8:29 am
    Guess I can go back to listening in the car again, now that Hagin’s out.

    I typically like to know the names of the players playing when listening to a radio broadcast, rather than “ground ball hit to the second baseman, who picks it up, cocks it back, and throws (*crowd cheers to indicate the out has already been recorded*) over to first – where his teammate scoops it out of the dirt, to record the final out of the inning.”

    - Who the hell is playing 2B/1B, Wayne?
    - Who’s in the field?
    - Why are you so deliberately slow, and behind the action?

    Hagin may be a 1st Class Citizen, but he was definitely a 2nd Rate broadcaster…..definitely not up to NY Standard.

    Best of luck to Josh Lewin. Hopefully, he has good chemistry with Howie Rose.

  4. PM February 9, 2012 at 8:46 am
    How come no one ever speaks about the disproportionate number of Jews that the Mets hire? Is it a coincidence that ALL of their top level executives are Jewish? I’m only commenting because so many people were upset with Los Mets. Jew know what I’m sayin?
    • Joe Janish February 10, 2012 at 12:56 am
      Maybe for the same reason nobody made a big deal about all the Italians on the early 21st-century Mets (Piazza, Franco, Valentine, Scutaro, Galante, etc.)
  5. larry fox February 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm
    Heard him many times as voice of the Rangers via the MLB “Extra Innings.” He was, bar none, the worst of the play by play people I heard. Sounded a lot like the fellow who did the voices for Beavis and Butthead. Dreadful choice.