If you’re expecting to read a thoughtful review of the Jae-Kuk Ryu trade, you’re about to be disappointed. (You'll find one of those right here.)
The subject of today’s entry is Andy Masur, who, until 96 hours ago, was the third stooge in the WGN Radio booth, playing Larry Fine to Pat Hughes’s Moe and Ron Santo’s Curly. On Friday, Masur was hired to do radio play-by-play and color work for the Padres, where he’ll join local fixtures, Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner.
If you haven’t listened to Cubs radio broadcasts for the past eight years, odds are you’re not familiar with Masur’s work. Actually, even if you have listened to Cubs radio broadcasts, you could have missed Masur’s work. You see, the guy didn’t do much. Part of the pre-game show, the occasional Dusty Baker interview when Santo wasn’t traveling with the team, the out-of-town scoreboard update now and then during the game, and a late half-inning of play-by-play to enable Pat Hughes to urinate. (I’m assuming Hughes urinated during that half inning; it was never openly acknowledged.)
As I said, he didn’t do much, and what he did was utterly undistinguished. Masur has a pleasant voice and crisp pronunciation, two things that distinguished him from Santo. But he always sounded stiff and uncomfortable on the air, especially when doing play-by-play, like some guy whose wife had bought him a special anniversary gift at a charity auction—“Give the Cub fan in your life a chance to announce a real Cubs game!”
Obviously, the Padres didn’t see it that way.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “(Padres’ CEO Sandy Alderson) said there were three major factors that led the Padres to select Masur: his ability to work well with an established broadcast team, which Masur did in Chicago with Pat Hughes and Ron Santo; the fact he had some experience ‘but is still on the upward trajectory of his career,’ and his style.
With the Pads, Masur is slated to do two innings of play-by-play and five innings of color. He will also have a role in the pre-game show and possibly host an off-season Padres talk show.
All I can say is, Congratulations, Andy Masur…and I have absolutely no idea how you did it.