Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Thoughts from Charley Steiner ahead of his 10th season with Dodgers

SNLA crew at Town Hall

By Jon Weisman

Charley Steiner hasn’t gotten that much attention this offseason among Dodger announcers, given the spotlight on the new members of the Dodger broadcast team at SportsNet LA (Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung) and the focus that rightfully always falls on Vin Scully.

But Steiner, believe it or not, is entering his 10th season as a Dodger play-by-play man (the only one who does 162 games a year in that role). It’s not only a milestone, it also dwarfs his tenure doing New York Yankee games and is beginning to catch up to his long-running stint at ESPN.

I always find Steiner a warm, positive presence, someone who enjoys the game and appreciates it but never takes it excessively seriously. So I took the opportunity before Monday’s Town Hall to chat with him for a few minutes.

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Steiner is always quick to credit Scully for inspiring his love for radio and career as a sportscaster.

“Radio was the first thing that attracted me to broadcasting,” Steiner said, “when I was 7 years old – listening to Vin, in New York.”

That’s why Steiner has always been comfortable even in years – unlike the coming year – when he has been paired with Rick Monday on radio and hasn’t done games for television. But he’s happy to switch between the two formats – and is eager to work with Hershiser on TV.

“It’s the difference between softball and hardball,” he said. “You still have to score runs, and you still have to put people on base. … In television, obviously, the picture tells the story, and in radio, it’s your responsibility to paint the picture. So we are backselling a play. Everybody has seen it, then it will be up to Orel to explain why we saw what we just saw, whether it’s a pitch or how a team is defending a given player. On radio, we have to do that all in a hurry.

“Orel is a really bright guy, who above and beyond the experience and career he had as a player, has coaching experience, front-office experience, television experience. His baseball IQ is way off the charts. So getting to work with him and getting to learn from him – we’ve spent a fair amount of time already in the offseason – it’s exciting. It’s exciting for me, that I’ll be able to just basically throw him BP fastballs and listen to him. He’s gonna be something.”

It won’t hurt that the Dodgers figure to be anything but dull in 2014. 

“This is just a wonderful confluence of events,” Steiner said. “Ownership. A franchise that has really been reborn. Then you throw into the mix this unbelievable television network that’s about to start.

“What I find so remarkable about beginning SportsNet LA is the people we are beginning it with. A: Vin – let’s set that aside. But the group that they’ve put together – Orel and I will get to do a ton of television games, and get to do a little with Nomar. Alanna’s a great talent; we all saw her at the MLB network. John Hartung has been in town forever and he’s just a perfectly cast quarterback – how’s that for a mixed metaphor – for the set. We’re working for and with one of the elite, iconic franchises in all of sports. We’re starting fresh and new with essentially an All-Star team. It’s hard to beat.”


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  1. JhallWally

    Steiner has a long way to go… Right now, he’s not very good… He has gotten somewhat better over the last couple of years, but, he’s just not that good…

    We could do alot better……

  2. oldbrooklynfan

    I remember Charley broadcasting Yankee games and I think he does a great job in the booth. Good to have him with us now. I met him at CBR last year, spoke with him at got his autograph. Congrats on his 10th year with the Dodgers.

  3. If you hold Charley up to Vin, then yeah, he’s going to be ‘of a lesser God’. But Charley is good. Charley is his own person, knows his way around a booth, works well with a ‘color man’, and is able to shift between TV and Radio styles. And is far better than what we had on-the-road last year.

    The one thing which I just love about Vin is that regardless of his being on TV or Radio, he describes as if he is on radio, except for those rare moments when the cheers tell the story. But few others can get away with that.

    Vin is Vin, can be all to all, but Charley is good and getting better. Don’t hate Charley because he called Yankee games – hate the Yankees. That is always in-season.

  4. steiner is really bad. i mean if you are comparing him to ross porter, kevin kennedy, rick monday. even steve lyons, he offers no insight in regard to baseball. has no cool stories about any dodgers cause he was brooklyn dodger fan at heart. and he makes alot of mistakes (just check out awfulannouncing’s article of Charley botching the end of the blue jays game. its pretty embarrasing

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