After two years on WLS, I’m happy that this season, the White Sox will instead have their games on WGN Radio.
Where as WLS seemed to put in the bare minimum as a radio partner for the White Sox, WGN has been a great partner for the Blackhawks, and previously as the longtime home for the Cubs and I am hoping the same will happen with the Sox.
The only downside is that the radio broadcasts will still be called by Ed Farmer. I’ve been hoping for years that the Sox would come to the decision that an upgrade at radio play-by-play was badly needed, and each year I am surprised when he is brought back.
Farmer’s delivery, in my opinion, comes across as dull and I find the overall broadcast boring. While not a Cubs fan, their radio play-by-play voice Pat Hughes is a fantastic broadcaster and I wish the Sox would have higher expectations for their own broadcasts. When driving home from work yesterday, I came across the Cubs on the radio and heard the voice of Len Kasper (their television play-by-play guy) who was filling in for Hughes. Even Kasper sounds so much better on the radio and calls a more interesting broadcast than Farmer.
Prior to the Sox signing on with WGN, I had heard that an alleged sticking point in negotiations revolved around the play-by-play position. WGN wanted someone different while team owner Jerry Reinsdorf was not interested, at least for the time being. I am hoping that Andy Masur, who will host White Sox pregame shows on WGN this season, might be in line to eventually succeed Farmer.
Masur previously was the voice of the San Diego Padres and also had a minor stint with the Cubs. Reading enough about Masur over the years, he seemed to be well liked within the industry and was popular among fans in San Diego up until when he was surprisingly dismissed in early 2014. Masur has since turned up part-time on various WGN sports reports in addition to a few fill-in stints as Blackhawks pre and postgame host. I like his voice, I like his delivery and I think he would provide a nice upgrade to the Sox radio broadcasts if he were to become the play-by-play guy.
With this being Hawk Harrelson’s final year on the television side, as the Sox transition to Jason Benetti going full-time, I can only hope that the team will be ready to entertain the same type of change on the radio side as soon as next year.