Jim Edmonds’ lack of appearances in the St. Louis Cardinals’ booth lately is disappointing.
Jim Edmonds is the superior color commentator for the St. Louis Cardinals, and the fact that he hasn’t done too many games in recent series is a bummer.
While Edmonds and the other color guy, Brad Thompson, obviously differ in expertise regarding the positions they played and thus know best, Edmonds’ 17 years as an elite center fielder give him a perspective that Thompson can’t match in his comparatively brief and unremarkable six-year career. Edmonds uses his knowledge of the outfield well in the broadcast, pointing out what a player did wrong or right on a difficult play. While Thompson is a good sport about his time in the major leagues, the self-deprecation regarding it can get old.
Edmonds is always eager to give his thoughts on what a player might need to fix in the batter’s box as well. He would likely make for a solid hitting coach if he chose to go that route. Thompson, though, doesn’t contribute much on the analytical side. He’ll give his thoughts about a pitcher’s performance when Dan McLaughlin asks for them, but they usually aren’t especially deep or insightful
Edmonds’ detractors often mention a lack of chemistry with McLaughlin. I’d argue that the occasional awkward exchange or joke that doesn’t land makes Edmonds feel more human and relatable. The same goes for the often criticized “tangents” he sometimes gets carried away with. Edmonds is obviously brimming with enthusiasm for the game, and it seeps into his broadcasting.
To listen to Edmonds is to listen to someone who lives and breathes baseball. I have nothing against Thompson, but his jokester persona isn’t what I’m always in the mood for when I watch a game. I want to hear what the broadcasters have to say about the game; I want to hear how they break down the sport and the players. To me, Edmonds does that brilliantly. I feel like I’m learning about baseball and its many intricacies when I’m listening to him.
I’m hoping Edmonds doesn’t have a reduced role in the booth going forward, because he is a pleasure to hear. He might not be the most clean, polished, rounded-off broadcaster there is, but that’s exactly why I like him so much.