Doc Emrick Meanders Further On By to MLB, Will Call Pirates Spring Training Games
Pitchers and catchers reported to MLB spring training facilities in Florida and Arizona across the country this week, with position players set to join them soon enough, some of them already there in some locations. Some of those players are non-roster invitees, some of whom are good or great players of yesteryear trying to nab one more shot at making a major league rosters.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, however, will be taking that one step further, bringing in a free agent from another sports entirely to step into their broadcast booth.
Hockey announcer, walking thesaurus, and perhaps the most famous Buccos fan this side of Michael Keaton Mike "Doc" Emrick recently announced that he will briefly take over play-by-play duties for the Pirates' exhibitions in Bradenton, Florida.
Known for his enthusiastic diction and colorful vocabulary in the hockey press box, Emrick will call the games alongside the Pirates' regular play-by-play man Greg Brown. He has spent the past few weeks in Bradenton, working with players and staff to curate stories and information to use in the broadcasts for Root Sports Pittsburgh. His normal duties in the NHL on NBC booth have been temporarily handled by Kenny Albert.
It will be interesting to see how Emrick, whose pace and commentary can be as quick as the tone of the game of hockey itself, will adjust to the slower pace of baseball, which can feature somewhat stoppages between action. While Emrick has called non-hockey events, most notably anchoring NBC's water polo coverage during the 2012 London Olympics, he has called only one baseball game in his career, back when he was a young announcer at Kent State University, which a sentence I'm shocked Pierre McGuire hasn't serenaded us with during an Emrick NHL telecast yet.
Emrick has not yet stated which Pirates games he will be covering. The Bucs open their spring slate on March 1 against Detroit. To brace yourself for the shock, here's Emrick calling a series of bubble hockey games, which at least something you're not used to from him.
Geoff Magliocchetti has called many sports as well, but has yet to call hockey. Let him know what it's like on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.
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