Leftridge: Bob Davis Ends 16-Year Reign of Terror

2013_crop_exactHere’s a hypothetical scenario.

Bottom of the 9th. Royals trailing the White Sox by 5 runs. One out. Lorenzo Cain on first. Eric Hosmer, who’d had the day off, is pinch-hitting. He watches the first pitch sail high for ball one. After knocking the dirt from his cleats, he steps back into the box and settles. The next pitch is low and outside, but Hosmer hacks. The end of the bat catches the ball—barely—and he lofts a long, lazy gimmee to the left-fielder, who makes the routine catch and tosses it back to the infield. Two outs.

Now here’s how this same hypothetical scenario sounded when hypothetically called by (former!!) Royals’ announcer Bob Davis.

Bottom of the… ninth? Ninth. Two outs. Lamaar Cain on first with a chance to score the winning run. Or tie it. Eric Hosmand at the plate. Hosmand takes the first pitch low and inside, strike one. The Orioles closer Brantley goes into the wind-up, and here’s the pitch. Hosmand rockets ones—it’s deep!—THIS ONE’S GOT LEGS!—IF ONLY THE WIND WILL CARRY IT—IT COULD BE!!—annnnd the left fielder Huxtable MAKES the catch, and that’s your ballgame, folks! WOW. WHAT an ending—Aaron Hostler really gave Brantley a jolt there, but the Royals come up short… oh, MY mistake—Butler’s coming up with a chance to win it.

Now quite obviously, this is an exaggeration. But the thing is, it’s not all that far from the truth and that is why I am ecstatic that the 16 year Royals’ broadcasting vet recently announced that he was hanging up his Royal blue microphone. (He will, however, continue broadcasting for KU Jayhawks basketball.)


Davis (left) breaks wind during broadcast

It would be easy to blame Davis’ frequent missteps on his age—he’s 68—but the thing that REALLY drove me bat-shit insane about his game calling was his complete inability to accurately capture the emotion of a play.

Several times a game, he’d suffer from emotional inaccuracy, often giving the impression that he was calling an entirely different game from the one you were watching. Lazy cans of corn would become towering blasts that might end up on I-70; routine 6-4-3 double plays were candidates for Sportscenter’s Web Gem of the Century. By that same token, he’d often seemingly fail to realize that a walk-off single actually just won the game, and late-inning, game-tying triples received the same treatment as a grounder to third.

For Bob Davis, every day was opposite day, and because of these maddening fallacies, I couldn’t be happier to see him ride off into the sunset, (likely sitting backwards on his horse).

Look, I don’t hate the guy—I mean, he’s probably a nice person, I’d guess. (Unless someone in the comments can convince me otherwise—PLEASE someone tell me that they have the inside story of how Davis pays young Mexican children money to throw rocks at his genitals, or something. I’d give good (“good” is totally subjective) money.) By all accounts, he’s a devoted husband, and he’s clearly very proud of Steven, his broadcasting son.

654375But being nice doesn’t make you skilled at your job, nor does it mean that the public is obligated to like you.

So to Bob Davis, the constant-exaggerator I say, “farewell, and enjoy your retirement.

Lord knows I will.

I’m on Twitter, @StanfordWhistle

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13 Responses to Leftridge: Bob Davis Ends 16-Year Reign of Terror

  1. Reggin Tnuc says:

    Mr. Brandon, your last three sentences ring true in another instance.

    But being nice doesn’t make you skilled at your job, nor does it mean that the public is obligated to like you.

    So to Craig Glazer the constant-exaggerator I say, “farewell, and enjoy your retirement.”

    Lord knows I will.

  2. smartman says:

    I always found that if you recorded Bob’s broadcast and synced it up with Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz it made for an interesting multi-media experience.

  3. gerald bostock says:

    still not as bad as denny matthews

    • Aw, man! Really? Denny has lost a step, but I’d take 4 Matthews for 1 Davis, any day.

      • gerald bostock says:

        I view a radio play by play as a kind of conversation, and for at least 25 years, Matthews has sounded bored and more than a little condescending. When you add that to his already bland personality, it is deathly radio. I’m sure part of the blame for his demeanor is the woeful record of the team this last two decades or so, but even in 1985, he drained life from what should have been exciting and riveting broadcasts. There will always be a split between sports fans on preferring homerism v. impartiality in their announcers, but you can be impartial without being as insufferable as Denny Matthews is.

        • Jess says:

          Denny is a product of the Royals. If you had to talk about them for 182 games you would sound like you would welcome the cold barrel of a 12 gauge in your mouth too.

        • I get what you’re saying. GB. That said, I find something oddly comforting in his dismissive, oft-sarcastic tenor.

  4. Ivan says:

    Great stuff. Love your take on Bob Davis. Spot on.

    I guess I’m one of the few Jayhawk fans who can’t stand to listen to his way over the top homerism. It’s child-like and embarrassing.

  5. KC Mikey V says:

    Show some respect you talentless douche. He is a hell of a nice guy, that has had a great career. He will be remembered long after you are eating dirt.

    Maybe he didn’t do the greatest job of calling games, but he deserves your respect, nonetheless. Especially for some jackass that thinks he wants to be in media… if this counts as media.

    • “Maybe he didn’t do the best job of calling games…”

      But… isn’t that the only thing we as viewers/listeners should judge him by? That’s his value to us, period.

      Thanks for reading, Mikey V!

  6. Kerouac says:

    Monte Moore? Betty Caywood? Beauty is in the ear of the beholder…

    Kerouac has missed Tom Hedrick on the KC Chiefs broadcasts ever since he departed post 1970. The others (with the exception of his sidekick, Bill Grigsby) have bored me to tears, Kevin Harlan & all the mediocre requiescat, in pace.

  7. snappietom says:

    My god Bob Davis should retire from Royals broadcasts. He is way over the top in his calling of the game. @ Ivan, your right, as a KU basketball fan, (he holds his football broadcasts in check) he is way too much of a homer and it is embrassing.

    C’mon Bob Davis, be fair and balanced, if you can.

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