So now that the Texas Rangers have a hitter (Adrian Beltre) and a pitcher (Brandon Webb), they've got one more important hole to fill this off-season:
Television play-by-play voice.
Remember just before Game 5 of the ALDS, the Rangers announced they weren't bringing back nine-year veteran Josh Lewin. Not just saying this because he's now a co-worker over at 105.3 The Fan, but I always enjoyed Lewin. I liked his irreverence, his Seinfeld references and his injection of pop culture into games that began to drag.
But team president Nolan Ryan? Notsamuch.
Ryan never cracked a smile at Lewin's humor because he likes nothing if it ain't good ol' country hardball. Ryan smirks at bottled water and central air and, truth be told, probably isn't too fond of this silly claw and antler business.
He's the epitome of a baseball man, Texan first and foremost.
So as the Rangers have began searching for Lewin's replacement, they haven't looked far from home.
Included on the Rangers' wish list are three voices with Texas ties: Scott Franzke, Brian Anderson and Mike Capps.
Franzke would be a logical choice, a Dallas native that hosted Rangers pre- and post-game radio shows in 1997-98 and 2002-05. But turns out the current voice of the Philadelphia Phillies - the man who replaced Harry Kalas - is under contract for 2011.
Also in the mix is Milwaukee Brewers voice Brian Anderson, who played college ball at St. Mary's in Texas and started his broadcasting career with the minor league San Antonio Missions before rising to become a host on The Golf Channel and finally a signature voice of TBS' Major League coverage.
And at the front of the line might be a familiar name to Dallas TV viewers: Mike Capps. He currently is working for the Ryan family as the play-by-play voice/director of broadcasting for the Rangers' AAA affiliate, the Round Rock Express. Capps is known around these parts as the former sports director for Channel 8, where he orchestrated Dale Hansen's coverage of the SMU football scandal into a prestigious Peabody Award. He also won Emmys while covering the Gulf War and the siege of the Branch Davidian Compound for CNN.
How about some odds on who will become the Rangers' TV voice in 2011 and beyond?
Mike Capps 2/1
Brian Anderson 5/1
Scott Franzke 7/1
Dewayne Staats 10/1
Dave Barnett 20/1
Eric Nadel 30/1
Jon Miller 40/1
Those Two Nuns 50/1
Greg Lucas 50/1
Bill Jones 50/1
Norm Hitzges 75/1
Ted Davis 75/1
Matt Pinto 75/1
Rusty Greer 100/1
Dale Hansen 100/1
Brad Sham 250/1
Jim Knox 250/1
Rafael Palmeiro 250/1
Mike Rhyner/Greg Williams 1,000,000/1
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