Nats announcer Charlie Slowes says SiriusXM host Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo is ‘unlistenable’

(Courtesy Library of Congress)
(Courtesy Library of Congress)

This is how Charlie Slowes called the final moments of Friday’s Nats win over the Mets, which closed with Jayson Werth going up high to rob a potential game-tying home run.

“Swing and a long drive to right field,” Slowes said on the Nationals Radio Network, heard locally on 106.7 The Fan. “Werth going back, warning track, at the fence, he leaps and…it’s gone…or did he catch it? He caught it! Werth has it and the game is over. A Curly W is in the books. He reacted like no reaction, but the pitchers in the bullpen jumped up and down and Werth pulls it back in. A game-saving catch at the fence, and a Curly W’s in the books! The Nationals have won the game by the socre of 5-2! That one looked like it might get out of here.”

Etc. If you were watching the game live on television, as I was, you might also have been briefly confused about whether Werth had the ball in his glove. But apparently not everyone was willing to forgive Slowes his brief, momentary, insignificant uncertainty. Chris “Mad Dog” Russo evidently had fun at Slowes’s expense Monday afternoon on “High Heat,” his MLB Network program. Problem is, Slowes was listening in live, since he was set to appear on MLB Network’s “The Rundown” immediately after Russo finished.

Which led to these tweets.

And which led to Grant Paulsen asking Slowes about Russo on Tuesday on 106.7 The Fan, which in turn led to this.

“I’m standing there waiting to do a hit on ‘The Rundown’ yesterday,” Slowes said on Tuesday. “I’m standing there listening to myself getting hammered at the tail end of his show, so I’m thinking that’s great. He has no idea probably who I am, whether I’m the radio or the TV guy, whether I’m in a good broadcast location or nine stories high trying to see that play in the ninth inning at the end of that game. And I think everybody in the ballpark had a split decision as to whether Werth caught the ball or whether it went over the fence. … I was right on the play as opposed to maybe a split second behind, and thought for a split second it was gone. And so that was the call. …

“So he does this show,” Slowes went on, warming up. “And I guess they can’t fill an hour with his great content, and [so] it’s five minutes less of his hysterical illiterate screaming — which is his thing, which is unlistenable for me. And now they’re simulcasting his show on XM Radio, which makes it even more painful, because that’s an hour less of [Mike] Ferrin and [Jim] Duquette. Can you believe that? Anyway, I just think that’s the way he’s gonna fill his show. And I thought, you know, ok, he’s like anybody else. For one second, could he do what we do every day? And better still, if he was doing it, would anyone comprehend a single word of what he’s saying? I just thought that’s unnecessary. …

“So really, there’s no thing between me and the Mad Dog, because he’s gonna rip everybody, because that’s what he does. It’s not just me; he’s gonna do it to all play-by-play guys. And nobody’s 100 percent perfect in what they’re doing all the time. But I think that’s kind of an unnecessary segment, from my view.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Dan Steinberg · May 20, 2014

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