[nfbwatlk] {Disarmed} Fwd: Fw: Mariners to use committee to fillNiehaus' spot

Lauren Merryfield lauren1 at catliness.com
Thu Jan 20 07:02:34 UTC 2011

Thanks for this info.  I've been wondering and wondering.  Bet we all have 
been!  I'm so glad Rick Rizzs will still be around in a major way!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Freeman" <k7uij at panix.com>
To: "NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 3:46 PM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] {Disarmed} Fwd: Fw: Mariners to use committee to 
fillNiehaus' spot

> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: "Denise Colley" <dmc0124 at comcast.net>
>> Date: January 19, 2011 14:44:53 PST
>> To: "wcb list" <wcb-l at wcbinfo.org>
>> Subject: [Wcb-l] Fw: Mariners to use committee to fill Niehaus' spot
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:48 AM
>> Subject: Mariners to use committee to fill Niehaus' spot
>> Mariners to use committee to fill Niehaus' spot
>> At least five announcers will rotate after Hall of Famer's passing
>> SEATTLE -- The Mariners have made a decision on how best to replace Hall 
>> of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus, with the answer being to use a group of 
>> familiar personalities to fill the void created by the passing of the 
>> franchise's longtime voice.
>> Randy Adamack, the Mariners' vice president of communications, confirmed 
>> Wednesday that the club will employ at least five announcers with prior 
>> experience in the booth on a rotating basis to work primarily with Rick 
>> Rizzs on radio broadcasts for the upcoming season.
>> Rizzs, who worked alongside Niehaus for 25 years, will be the main 
>> play-by-play man on radio. His partners will be Ron Fairly, Ken Levine, 
>> Ken Wilson, Dave Valle and Dan Wilson, with more names possibly being 
>> added to that list, Adamack said.
>> Dave Sims and Mike Blowers, who have been part of the announcing crew 
>> since 2007, will handle most of the television duties.
>> "All the conversations I've had publicly have said this is the direction 
>> we were thinking about," Adamack said. "The news today is that we're 
>> confirming it's the direction we're going to go."
>> The only possible change now is adding further partners for Rizzs, though 
>> Adamack said that pool will likely be limited to those who've previously 
>> worked on Mariners broadcasts.
>> "I'm still working on it, but these are the guys that have confirmed 
>> they'll be part of it," he said. "It'll be like putting a puzzle together 
>> now to figure out who can work which games with everyone's individual 
>> schedules."
>> Niehaus, who died Nov. 10 at the age of 75, had been the club's primary 
>> broadcaster since its expansion season in 1977. Rizzs said he appreciates 
>> the way the Mariners are going about the difficult task of replacing 
>> their legendary broadcaster.
>> "I think this is the right way to go," Rizzs said. "These are the guys 
>> who worked with Dave in the past and are best at carrying his legacy and 
>> telling stories about him and the franchise. It would be rough to replace 
>> Dave, because Dave is irreplaceable. The fans are familiar with all these 
>> guys, and for me, they'll be great to work with as well."
>> Niehaus split time between the radio and television broadcasts each game, 
>> but the Mariners now will keep those crews separate.
>> Though Sims and Blowers could do some radio games during the season, 
>> their primary duty will be on the TV side. Similarly, Rizzs will do a few 
>> television games, but for the most part, he will stick with radio. And 
>> there will be no flip-flopping between radio and TV mid-game in the new 
>> format.
>> Fairly, Levine and Ken Wilson all have play-by-play experience and will 
>> be able to handle that duty at times, allowing Rizzs to switch over to a 
>> secondary role or take an occasional break. But other nights, when former 
>> players like Valle or Dan Wilson are his partners, he'll call all nine 
>> innings of action.
>> "In the past few years, Rick has done about 4 1/2 to 5 innings of 
>> play-by-play," Adamack said. "Now he'll likely be doing six to seven, and 
>> depending who he's working with, sometimes nine."
>> That's no issue for Rizzs, who noted he'd always done nine innings of 
>> play-by-play while switching between radio and TV with Niehaus for 21 
>> years, until Sims was added to the crew four years ago.
>> "It's no problem at all," Rizzs said. "I look forward to working with the 
>> former players, because I get to talk nine innings of baseball with these 
>> guys who lived it and breathed it and wrote the history of this 
>> franchise.
>> "I told Randy, 'Whatever you need me to do, I'll do it.' I love doing 
>> radio because I get to paint the whole picture. That's what made Dave so 
>> great. He was able to paint that picture as well as anybody."
>> There has been no decision yet on who will pair with Rizzs on the radio 
>> for Opening Day or any specifics in scheduling. Instead, the focus to 
>> this point has just been how to do what many consider the impossible.
>> "I think everybody agrees that replacing Dave Niehaus is not realistic," 
>> Adamack said. "What we've focused on at this point is how we move 
>> forward. With the commitments we'd already made with our full-time 
>> announcers, we're trying to do what's best for our radio and TV partners, 
>> our fans and for us."
>> Ken Wilson was Niehaus' original partner on Mariners broadcasts from 
>> 1977-82. Levine worked as part of the crew from 1992-95, while Fairly 
>> spent time in the booth with Niehaus and Rizzs from 1993-2006. All three 
>> have filled in briefly  for Niehaus in recent years.
>> Valle and Dan Wilson are former Mariners catchers who've spent time as 
>> color analysts since retiring from the game. Jay Buhner and Dave 
>> Henderson are two other former players who've done games in the past, but 
>> Adamack said nothing had been finalized yet with them.
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