The Scully Series 2021: Dodgers & Padres

A modern exploration of local broadcasters for all 30 MLB teams.

Welcome back to another edition of ‘The Scully Series’! After a successful relaunch on opening week, I received some terrific feedback from you, the readers, with some opinions on Twitter. When I started this series, my main goal was to expand the conversation on what brings out the emotional aspects of baseball. It’s terrific to hear others share memorable moments they’ve cherished throughout their lives that have come by listening to a game.

REFRESH* Oh, the good old days of listening to baseball broadcasts on your local radio station. As a fan, you’re partial to your hometown crew because of familiarity. As almost an extension of your family or a longtime friend, some of the greatest MLB broadcasters have a unique place in the hearts of millions of baseball fans. Are you one of the people that have the misfortune of being in a market that has a substandard color team? But here’s a thought! Have you ever said to yourself, “I wonder what other teams’ broadcast booths sound like?”

With an MLB.TV subscription, we have the capability to listen, rate, and rank every team’s broadcasters. With an homage to the best to ever do it, we have nicknamed this “The Scully Series.”  The best part is that you can do this as well along with us from the comfort of your home. Let us dive in…


Los Angeles Dodgers


Announcers: Joe Davis & Orel Hershiser (SNLA)




It’s not an easy task to follow a legend, just ask Joe Davis. After Vin Scully stepped away from the booth in 2017, he was left holding down the fort for baseball fans around the world. As Los Angeles’ marquee team, fans needed a voice that they could connect with and build another strong bond with. Since Davis took over the play-by-play duties, there has been no love lost. He is personable, uses a strong tone, and connects extremely well with Orel (evidenced by the podcast that they co-host together as well). When Vin actually decided to step away from the game, I didn’t know what it would be like to listen to another voice call Dodger games, but the pairing of Davis & Hershiser leaves little to be desired. Rating: A-


Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History


When it comes to pitching, Hershiser has an uncanny ability to break down the subtleties of the artform and translate that to the listener like few that I’ve ever heard. He brings an old-school approach to the game that he found success with as a player and has made adaptations as he’s grown in the booth. It’s pretty special that Dodger fans have been able to have someone so well respected in the baseball community here to call the careers of Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen as well as the many great players that have passed through, ala Zach Greinke and Yu Darvish.

Joe Davis is able to bring this all together by mixing in modern terminology and an energetic approach to playcalling. With highs like Mookie Betts robbing home runs in the playoffs, or Cody Bellinger hitting go-ahead homers, the energy and excitement are captivating to audiences. Rating: B+


Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 


The likeability index is high with this pairing. After having a stint on ESPN prior to joining the Dodgers in the booth, Hershiser has really come into his own as a broadcaster. Beloved by Dodger fans, he found a way to relate the success on the field into the listener’s ear; which is something that was welcome as the team went through a golden age of success the last 10 years, finally culminating with last year’s World Series.  Rating: A


Signature Calls


There are no signature calls that Davis or Hershiser are known for Rating: Incomplete


San Diego Padres


Announcers: Don Orsillo & Mark (Mud) Grant (BSSD)




Something that I always look for in regards to listening to baseball is “how well does this broadcaster portray the best players in the game?” The answer for Orsillo & Grant is that they do a fabulous job, connecting on small details with the Padres’ farm system, right on down to the effort level of a Manny Machado or Eric Hosmer. I remember hearing Orsillo while he was with Boston, and thought that it was a big loss for the Red Sox. It turns out that the home he has found in San Diego has given him an opportunity to fully blossom into someone I would rank in my top 5 to this day. Rating: A


Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History


You can just tell that Orsillo & Grant have been friends for a long time and quite frankly have the capacity to really go at each other in a humorous way as well. I would say that it is clear Orsillo is able to rely on Grant to really shine as a color analyst. Mud has to be one of my favorite color commentators in the league right now; he has such a joy to his voice and is easily transferable to the fan listening at home. As emotions reach a peak, the contrasting tone of voice between the two broadcasters is pleasant to listen to. You aren’t getting bogged down with someone that is monotone or extremely emotionless. Rating: B+


Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 


There is no other way to say this other than I would love to sit around, have a few beers and talk baseball with these two on the weekend. Jokes flow back and fourth while and the candor of the friendship is something that may not be seen around the league, at least that I have seen so far. And that truly pains me to say as a Dodger fan. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these Padres’ games. It will be fun for the league to have Fernando Tatís Jr. and this young San Diego core to have this duo together for the long haul. Rating: A+


Signature Calls


As I was doing some research around this pair, I came across a strange factoid; Don Orsillo has called four no-hitters in his career. That’s insane! If there was ever a stat to relate signature calls to an announcer, this would be it. You can relive his most recent no-hitter call from earlier this year, as Joe Musgrove became the first Padres’ pitcher to throw one. Listen in to Orsillo (around the 4:50 timestamp), definitely not a “been there, done that” approach to the call. The excitement was uncontainable. Rating: A


Since this is an exploratory series that will be continued throughout the season. let me know in the comments if you’d like to see other categories or concepts discussed. I’d love input to incorporate into future team reviews. Hope to have your eyes and ears throughout the 2021 season.


Illustration and image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Collin Carlone

Collin is somehow a fan of the Phillies & Dodgers simultaneously; although Matt Stairs had some thoughts about that back in ‘08. In his spare time, he plays disc golf like a pitcher in hopes to defy physics enough to be featured by Pitching Ninja.

One response to “The Scully Series 2021: Dodgers & Padres”

  1. DB says:

    So, here’s a suggestion, since you seem to appreciate reader input:

    When you do these, at the end of each piece, you should say who you are writing about next and should ask for input from people who are in or regularly experience a certain market’s broadcasters. This would have been very beneficial in your coverage of Michael Kay.

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