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The voices: Ranking Chicago's sports broadcasters

February 28, 2012|RedEye

This might get a "dadgummit!" or two out of Hawk Harrelson. In a months-long survey, fangraphs.com asked its readers to rate the best local TV announcers in Major League Baseball, and the White Sox play-by-play man and color analyst Steve Stone struck out. As in, they came in dead last. That made us curious as to where the duo fits in the Chicago broadcast landscape. Here's our list.

1. Neil Funk and Stacey King, Bulls

King's catchphrases and Twitter presence are enough to put this team in the top spot. Chicago can't seem to get enough of the "hot sauce" and him having fun with the players' names ("Asik and destroy!" is a classic). Funk provides a veteran play-by-play voice with plenty of personality, and he and King make a solid team.

2. Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk, Blackhawks

One of the best decisions Rocky Wirtz ever made was asking Foley to rejoin the Hawks' booth. He stands out when a goalie makes a terrific save, for example, even if it's not a Chicago netminder. (He said "Luongooooo!" a lot during last year's playoffs.) Olczyk can deconstruct a play as well as anyone and points out elements of the game that are less than obvious.

3. Len Kasper and Bob Brenly, Cubs

Brenly deserves points for his brutal honesty (Google what he has to say about Alfonso Soriano's shortcomings), which probably is rooted in his days as a manager. And if you love sabermetrics, Kasper's your kind of play-by-play guy.

4. Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone, White Sox

We'll defend Harrelson in that if you're a Sox fan and the team is doing well, it's easy to get swept up in his homerism. He can be maddening when the Sox struggle, however. Stone brings vast knowledge and spot-on analysis to the table, but his presentation is uninspired.

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