Who are the tbs baseball announcers tonight? On Wednesday, Turner Sports announced their lineup of broadcasters for the 2022 MLB season, featuring many familiar names.
The primary play by play broadcasters for the new Tuesday evening package on TBS will be Brian Anderson and Bob Costas, with Ron Darling and Jeff Francoeur serving as the primary analysts. In the studio, Ernie Johnson and Lauren Shehadi will host, with Curtis Granderson, Pedro Martinez, and Jimmy Rollins serving as analysts.
None of these names are all that surprising. Anderson is Turner’s primary MLB voice, calling the network’s LCS matchup each year while also serving as an NBA play by play broadcaster. In fact, his work with Turner (including his MLB duties) are reducing his schedule with the Brewers to around 50 games this season. Johnson is a pillar at Turner, and works as an MLB studio host in the Postseason in addition to his work at Inside the NBA. Darling and Francoeur have been ever-present as game analysts on Turner’s MLB coverage, while Martinez and Rollins are studio fixtures.
The somewhat (but not really) new additions are Costas, Granderson, and Shehadi. Costas hosted the NLCS for Turner last year due to Johnson’s NBA commitments, and has been a play by play broadcast on MLB Network for years. Granderson joined Turner’s studio crew for the 2020 Postseason, returning last year. Shehadi has plenty of hosting experience at MLB Network (among other companies), and has also worked as a field reporter during Turner’s Postseason coverage over the years.
Turner’s first two games of the 2022 season take place on April 12th and April 19th. On the 12th, the Giants host the Padres, with Costas and Darling on the call. On the 19th, the Dodgers host the World Series champion Braves, and Costas will call the game alongside Jeff Francoeur. In March, Turner revealed their MLB schedule through the end of June, which you can
Camera Ready: How Brian Anderson rose from tech to the broadcast booth
n the hours before San Antonio Spurs home games during the 1990s, Brian Anderson could be found crawling on his belly under the stands of the Alamodome, remnants of the prior night’s popcorn and soda leaving stains on his T-shirt and jeans. As a technician, he’d plug in the triaxial cable for the cameras that he would later set up and white balance. For nearly a decade, he shot footage for TV broadcasts or in-game entertainment.
And then, during the 1999-2000 season, Anderson made an unlikely transition from behind the lens to out in front as the fill-in sideline reporter for a dozen games. Those days, once his boss confirmed that the cameras were working, Anderson would retreat to the men’s room, wash up, don one of the two suits he owned and then get ready for pregame interviews. “AJ Squared Away,” his camera friends started calling him.
Anderson is now the lead MLB postseason voice for TBS — he’ll handle play by play for the NLDS and NLCS — and serves as a regular broadcaster for the NBA on TNT, March Madness and Milwaukee Brewers games on Bally Sports Wisconsin.
But the foundation for all that was laid through years working in broadcast tech, an experience he relies on now. “Every day it pays off,” he said. “Every single day, every game I’ve ever done.”
Never was that background more essential than in the NBA bubble, where Anderson’s skill set “came shining through,” said Andrew Greathouse, a director for WBD Sports. There were new workflows, new audio sources and new monitor stations, all with less personnel on-site.
Anderson retrofitted his basement to become a home studio for the following season when broadcasters weren’t traveling and collaborated with the production team in developing a blueprint for his on-air peers to do the same.
“We relied on him technically to help coach us through when we had an announcer sitting at home during the 2021 comeback year,” Greathouse said. “He was a big part of helping to build all that out and what those at-home studios looked like.”
Anderson grew up in Georgetown, Texas, a short drive north of Austin, and received a scholarship to NAIA Southwestern as a catcher. But when Southwestern announced plans to switch to NCAA Division III, a non-scholarship level, Anderson transferred to St. Mary’s in San Antonio, which proved a serendipitous change in geography.
“That was like the old ‘one door closes, another opens’ but, really, one door closed and 1,000 doors opened just by that move alone,” he said.
Long before the Spurs opened the glistening Victory Capital Performance Center this month — or even owned or operated any training facility — the franchise practiced at local universities. In 1991, they set up camp at St. Mary’s, where Anderson, on one of his first days on campus, came to watch.
The Spurs’ director of broadcasting, Mike Kickirillo, hired Anderson as his department’s first intern. Within a month, Anderson was on the floor at the Spurs’ HemisFair Arena with an Ikegami 79 handheld camera on his shoulder. After Patrick Ewing landed on Anderson’s leg under the baseline, Anderson switched to doing camera for the Jumbotron, a safer task, so he wouldn’t jeopardize his baseball career.
Through the internship and subsequent gigs with the local cable channel, Anderson learned the entire back side of the house, all while narrating the on-court action under his breath. Kickirillo praised Anderson’s willingness to do whatever it took to stay near broadcasting, saying, “He was still keeping an eye on the prize: ‘This is fine and it’s fun to do, but I want to do play by play.’ That was just his bulldog mentality.”
Even when Anderson became the radio voice for the Class AA San Antonio Missions and began broadcasting 140 games a summer, his income from that was paltry. That first summer, he earned $25 for calling a game — but also $25 as a batting practice pitcher and $1 for each bag he carried on road trips. (That work again required a bathroom cleanup: He’d tidy up between throwing BP and interviewing players pregame.) Such is the reality of the broadcasting business.
Anderson said the six months of tech work during the winter sustained him. “I was doing all that — camera, audio, graphics, utility, whatever I could — and I pretty much said yes to everything,” he said. “For me, it was always just survival instinct.” He added, “I tell [aspiring broadcasters] to this day, it’s really important that you find another way to make a living if you’re going to do this.”
Kickirillo laughed and said Anderson wore him down to become a fill-in TV sideline reporter. “Brian being Brian, badgering me and asking, ‘When, when?’ We had spent so much time together and talked the business, and I knew that he knew what it was supposed to look like.”
“Mike Kickirillo was the champion for me — and at the risk of his own career,” Anderson noted. “You can imagine an executive going into the VP and the president, ‘We want to put a camera operator on television.’ That just doesn’t happen. And he did that.”
Sideline interviews don’t lend themselves to advance preparation, but Kickirillo said, “Ultimately, that helped because it made him have to think on the fly. It made him be relatable and conversational. That’s quintessential Brian right there.”
That carries through to this day, according to Greathouse, who said, “BA just has that every-dude-that-you-want-to-hang-out-with delivery. It makes you feel included. He’s talking with you, not at you.”
That’s true on and off the air. Greathouse said the broadcaster has a unique empathy and willingness to understand the roles of everyone behind the camera. “I can better troubleshoot and communicate faster,” Anderson said, “because I speak the language a little bit.”
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