Archive: February 7th, 2012

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.