The Scully Series 2021: Sunday Night Baseball & Los Angeles Angels

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.

By broadening my scope for the whole season, I plan to have some “special guest” features from around the baseball writing community to share and review their favorite team’s broadcasters. This week, I had a request to feature the Los Angeles Angels as well as the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew. Let’s get to it!

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…


Sunday Night Baseball


Announcers: Matt Vasgersian & Alex Rodriguez




As baseball fans, we are all familiar with Matt Vasgerian from over the years. From his time with MLB Network, MLB The Show & now ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, his voice is synonymous with baseball’s national broadcast.  The game flow is a bit choppy, mainly because ESPN is constantly introducing different graphics, sideline reports, and traditional elements of the host ballpark that would otherwise go unsaid with a local crew. As far as a ranking goes, Vasgersian brings emotion to the game at the correct times and is for the most part very natural transitioning between plays, and better yet, transitioning through some of the slip-ups that ARod has. Rating: B


Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History


With such an emphasis on staying relevant in the eyes of the modern baseball fan, ESPN seems to be one of the broadcasts that features advanced baseball lingo for us, the baseball junkies. Statcast data, spray charts, spin rate and exit velocity dominate the broadcast as the segue from Baseball Savant to the everyday fan. Accompanying these stats are stunning visual graphics that can relay some of the understanding down to a more basic level. It would be nice, however, if there was slightly more time allotted to explaining certain visual aids or even doing a split-screen to help the casual fan take a minute to fully comprehend what they are looking at.

As far as storytelling goes, Alex Rodriguez can bring the most polarizing Hall of Fame perspective of the last 30 years (aside from Barry Bonds) and communicate certain aspects of what he looks for in the game. Unfortunately, a lot is left to be desired as most of the stories are very vanilla and watered down. For instance, I didn’t need to hear ARod go on a two-minute rant about how a young pitcher’s ideal player to model their game after is Kyle Hendricks because he doesn’t throw hard and can locate (all while getting smacked around by the Braves). I want to hear some more raw emotions and personal encounters with players to help bridge the gap between the Hall of Fame player and our living room the way that Tony Romo did for NFL fans on CBS over the last few years. Rating: C


Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 


Anytime you have a likeability score and Alex Rodriguez in the same conversation, you know there is bound to be controversy throughout your audience. I will admit, I am a fan of listening to Vasgersian’s broadcasting style, as his pitch/tone is very easy to listen to with the amount of detail that he delivers. ARod, on the other hand, is not natural to calling games, even as a color analyst. There is a sense of Rodriguez trying to fill the air with fluff rather than quality, as most stories and commentary comes out jumbled and confusing.

Regardless, ESPN has found a mainstream pairing that can get the game across to fans, while having a connection to the viewers between the ages of 13 – 45. If Matty V were calling the game himself, this rating would be a bit higher, but as a duo, ARod ultimately drags down the action.  Rating: C


Signature Calls


“Santa Maria!!!” – Matt Vasgersian. Usually at the apex moment of a game, typically towards the end of a home run call, this unique phrase is something that baseball fans may not truly know the meaning of. One of the most memorable uses of this call was in the 2016 World Series after Rajai Davis tied Game 6 with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning off Aroldis Chapman. I have personally loved the phrase for years and really appreciate the originality of the call to go outside of the box and not conform to traditional baseball sayings. The way Vasgersian incorporates real emotion and inflection in his voice during these special moments is something that all national broadcasters should aspire to do.  Rating: A+


Los Angeles Angels


Announcers: Daron Sutton & Mark Gubicza (BSW)




This was actually my first time hearing a game called by Sutton & Gubicza, and I will say that the two of them made a terrific natural pairing on the first listen. After getting a request to do an Angels game, I knew that I needed to mark my calendar for Shohei Ohtani taking the mound against the Rangers to get the full excitement from this crew. Conversation freely flowed, with no observable hiccups that I can recall. There was also a decent mixture throughout the game of dugout reporter José Mota (who I also enjoyed), without having to make a traditional break away from the action.  Rating: B+


Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History


With a team like the Angels featuring Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, a crew would be remiss if they didn’t bring some of baseball’s past to the present and compare these two pillars of the modern era. With seemingly every positive statistic known to mankind linked to Trout, Sutton and Gubicza have a lot to work with, but I didn’t hear as much as I thought I should. There was however a great deal of attention focused on the two best players, which is something that I wished other announcers would do as well. If you have players that transcend the game, spend your time on them, not the David Fletchers of the world. Rating: B 


Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 


As I mentioned previously, without any background knowledge of these two, I was pleasantly surprised and can definitely see why Angels fans enjoy their new pairing. I was actually able to move away from the visual aspect of the game and still not have the feeling that I was missing the action by not seeing the game with my eyes. Throughout the game, there was a consistent back and forth that carried the broadcast without much dead air. Sutton and Gubicza did a nice job not to over-analyze plays and talk through the almost three-hour gameplay.  Rating: A-


Signature Calls


As strange as this may sound, I was not able to notice, nor find through research, any signature calls for Sutton or Gubicza. I’m sure that there is something that Sutton has been remembered for over his career, but as of now, I will leave this alone. Rating: Incomplete


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.

2 responses to “The Scully Series 2021: Sunday Night Baseball & Los Angeles Angels”

  1. DB says:

    A-Rod never belonged in the booth. He got his job after being a out-of-game playoff analyst (on FOX, I believe,) and in limited doses there, he was fine. I still think he’d be OK in a similar role as an analyst at a RSN or on MLB Network, but, PLEASE, for the sake of all that’s holy, get him out of the booth on SNBB!!!

    • Collin Carlone says:

      Hey there DB! That’s definitely a sentiment that I’ve heard before. I personally thought that he ok on FOX initially as well. I just don’t think he has the ability to carry the load in the current format that he’s in.

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