WSJ: Rod Allen and Jim Price the Worst Players Behind the Mic


Seemingly as far back as baseball has been broadcast across the airwaves, radio and television booths have been occupied by former players employed to explain the action. In rare instances, a former player will handle the play-by-play, as George Kell did for the Tigers TV side for so many years, but most of the time, the radio team and the TV team will each have one former player.

The Wall Street Journal produced an interesting piece today, taking a maximum of two players-turned-broadcasters per team and ranking the duos by career WAR. The Twins, with Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris, ranked well ahead of the field in career WAR, with a good distance separating them from the D-backs pair of Mark Grace and Tom Candiotti.

As you might have guessed, the Tigers, with Rod Allen and Jim Price, ranked dead last. What’s worse, their career combined WAR was -1.4 (according to the WSJ article), the only team with a negative WAR. Some would say that they are below replacement level as broadcasters as well. I’ll agree that Price certainly is, but Allen has grown on me. I’d miss him if he were gone.

If we look at their careers via fangraphs, we get a slightly higher WAR. Allen played a grand total of 31 games in the major leagues with three different clubs over three different seasons. His best “season” came as a member of the 1984 Tigers, where he posted a .296 average in 31 plate appearances. He had his lone career stolen base that season and posted a WAR of 0.1. For his career, Allen’s WAR was -0.3

Price’s career was a bit longer an a shade more distinguished, but not by a lot. Price spent five years as Bill Freehan’s backup with the Tigers in the late 60s and early 70s. Like Allen, Price was a member of a World Championship team with Detroit. His best season came in 1969 when he clubbed half of his 18 career home runs and posted a .234 batting average. He was good for 0.6 WAR that season. His career WAR, according to fangraphs, was that same total: 0.6.

Between Allen and Price, the Tigers might not have the best dup of players-turned-broadcasters in baseball, but Allen has fun catch phrases like “I see ya (insert name here)” or “Stop it” when someone does something amazing. I enjoy how he refuses to ever call a home run a home run, always referring to it as “playing long ball”. Price has a personal trademark on the phrase “the art of pitching” and well, not much else.

No, the rest of baseball might have Hall of Famers behind the mics, but none of them, not one, has a highlight video quite like the one belonging to Rod Allen.


Tags: Detroit Tigers Jim Price Rod Allen

  • MCBjohnverburg

    John, always love the Rod Allen video. It never gets old.

  • Bob1951

    I subscribe to MLB audio, but whenever I listen to a Tiger game, I always listen to the opposition’s broadcast simply because Price makes me want to upchuck a lung. What that imbecilic cretin and his never-ending cliches is doing broadcasting a game is something I’ll never fathom. He’s an insult to baseball announcers everywhere. Maybe we’ll get lucky and his cancer will return and kill him prior to next season. It seems like the only way we’ll ever get rid of him.

    • Papa_oo_Mao_Mao

      Get your dose of karma yet kunt?

  • MCBjohnverburg

    @Bob1951 Not a fan of Price either, but wishing cancer on anyone seems a little harsh.

  • JohnJParent

    @Bob1951 I choose to tolerate Price simply so I am not robbed of the enjoyment of listening to Dan Dickerson. But I wish he was either doing the games alone, or had someone a bit better beside him.

  • Bob1951

    @MCBjohnverburg “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”.

  • Bob1951

    @JohnParent_MCB You must have a high tolerance of pain John. I’d rather be water boarded every night instead of listening to Price sling his mind numbingly repetitive slop. He’s terrible, and I don’t (for the life of me) understand how he keeps his job.

  • Papa_oo_Mao_Mao

    The motor city moron quoting the WSJ…..you fahking clown are you really as kahk stupid as you look??