Analysis of the Mets announcers: Howie Rose and Josh Lewin

For the last 25 years, Howie Rose and Mets baseball have been synonymous.  Since 1987, Rose has been the host of Mets Extra, done TV play-by-play on Fox Sports New York, and in 2004, moved to the radio booth to replace the legendary Bob Murphy.

Rose, a Queens native, has become a staple on WFAN’s airwaves since then, giving Mets fans all the action from the perspective of someone who grew up a fan of the Amazins.

Despite his fandom, Rose resists the temptation to be a homer, being as objective as he can, but when something good happens for the Mets, his sense of excitement really shines through in his voice.

In his time at the FAN, Rose has had many partners, including Gary Cohen (2004-2005), Tom McCarthy (2006-2007), Wayne Hagin (2008-2011), and Josh Lewin (2012-Present).

Rose and Cohen were a beloved team, broken up when Cohen made the jump to TV to do games on SNY.  Fans generally were lukewarm on McCarthy and despised Hagin, perhaps one of the reasons Lewin received positive reviews during his first season with the Mets.

Lewin’s resume is very impressive, he has announced for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Stars, SMU and Michigan State Basketball, Big Ten Network Football, and national baseball games for FOX.

Some of Lewin’s trademarks are his distinctive half-Boston, half-New York accent and an encyclopedia-like knowledge of both Seinfeld and obscure 80’s and 90’s players.

Despite only being partners for one season, Lewin and Rose have developed a nice chemistry together, cracking jokes throughout the broadcast which help to lighten up the mood, especially once the Mets slid out of contention after the all-star break.

The jokes mostly originate with Lewin, and Rose, playing the Bud Abbott role, will respond as dryly as possible, then eventually they both break down laughing.

Listening to games which Rose and Lewin call is always an entertaining thing to do, even when the team is not playing well.

Some of their best moments come at times when you can clearly tell that Rose and Lewin would rather be anywhere else but calling the game.   The level off exasperation in Rose’s voice and his biting sarcasm is only matched by Lewin’s attempts to make Rose laugh through frequent allusions to Seinfeld.

As they do more and more games together, their chemistry should continue to develop, and they could become one of the best broadcasting tandems in the bigs.

Joe is a freelance sports broadcaster and host of ‘Ball Four with Joe Vasile’ on 91.3 FM WTSR in Trenton on Tuesdays from 12:00-12:30 p.m.  You can follow him on Twitter at @JoeVasilePBP.

9 comments for “Analysis of the Mets announcers: Howie Rose and Josh Lewin

  1. Chris F
    March 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I totally agree Joe. Living out of market means I get them through mlb.tv audio. Nothing like plugging in the headphones on a Sunday afternoon, firing up the lawn mower and listening to Howie and Josh call a game. With them on the airwaves and GKR on the tube, we are spoiled in having an elite broadcast core…

    Now if we had the team to match!

  2. March 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Joe, last week you mentioned Cohen not embracing advanced numbers. How would you rate Rose on the same subject?

    • Name
      March 4, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      He could be one to embrace them, but it’s hard to tell from his body of work because he has to use radio as his medium. It’s hard to give stats over the radio, and so he limits the stats he gives to the basic and simple ones such as batting avg, HR’s, ERA.

      I generally like Rose, but that may be due to familiarity than any other factor.

      • Joe Vasile
        March 5, 2013 at 12:48 am

        I agree with Name. I don’t get the feeling that Rose necessarily embraces advanced statistics, but he doesn’t go out of his way to bash them like Cohen does from time to time, at least not that I’ve heard.

  3. March 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I actually miss Rose on TV. I would rather have him than Cohen leading TV. Cohen is better on radio. Either way better than anyone else in NY radio or TV.

  4. Michael von Graevenitz
    June 23, 2013 at 12:16 am

    When it comes to broadcasters, I have the luxury of having Howie Rose doing two of my favorite teams (islanders and of course the mets).I also am very prejudiced toward Gary Cohen. Can’t get enough of either. I wish I tell them of my memories of met games. My first was at the Polo Grounds in ’62. Maybe one of these days they can tell people and especially myselff when the first camp day at a met game occured. I think I was at that game sitting roughly where Bobby Thomson’s shot heard round the world landed eleven years earlier. Also looking forward to Howie’s book “Put it in the book”.

  5. Syd Henry
    May 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I wish Howie, who is terrific, was on the air alone or did the broadcast with Ed Coleman, who is also terrific.

    I can’t listen to Josh Lewin. He is awful, in my opinion. He tries to be “too cute” with his verbiage. Tries to be funny and isn’t funny.

    I wish he would just go away.

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