Brian Anderson had done all of two games as a Rays television analyst and was ready to quit. For good.
"I hated it," Anderson said. "I was so miserable that I thought, 'This isn't for me.' I wasn't comfortable at all."
This was back in 2008 when Anderson did a six-game stint while then-analyst Joe Magrane was covering Olympic baseball for NBC. But between the second and third game, Anderson came to a decision.
"Those first two games, I was trying to be like (play-by-play announcer) Dewayne (Staats), who is an old-school, straight-forward type of announcer," Anderson said. "I decided that I had to just be me. I figured this wasn't even my job, so I might as well have fun and let it all hang out.
"It turned out to be the right thing. Dewayne has been doing this for 30-some years and has worked with a million people. He can adapt to anyone. Once I was myself, I got comfortable."
And pretty good. Now, nearly three years later, Anderson will be the full-time color analyst for Sun Sports on Rays telecasts this season. In a quirky schedule the past two years, Anderson split time with former analyst Kevin Kennedy, working about 40 games in 2009 and 50 last season. Viewers, it appeared, took to Anderson, who now is scheduled to work a full load.
Despite working only part-time the past two years, Anderson already has built an easy camaraderie with Staats.
"Hopefully, you can tell that we genuinely enjoy being around one another," Anderson said. "I think people have picked up on the chemistry we have. We do have a good time up there, and I try to say something at least once a game that will make his head snap as if to say, 'I can't believe you just said that.' This is supposed to be entertainment. You're on for three hours and it can be pretty boring if you let it."
Anderson is known for a zany sense of humor, but it's not all grins and giggles. A pitcher who spent 13 seasons in the big leagues with the Angels, Indians, Diamondbacks and Royals and won 82 games, Anderson, 38, plans on being critical when necessary and bringing his expertise to the booth, particularly when it comes to pitching. Best of all, he will get to do it every day instead of 40 or 50 times.
"Working every game now will certainly allow me to get into more of rhythm, and that's a good thing," Anderson said. "Last year, I might see a story line develop over a few games, but those were games Kevin was calling, and by the time I got back into the booth, it almost was too late to tell that story. I had to start from the beginning and I'm bringing up something that started like five games ago and it wasn't fresh anymore.
"Now, we can weave a story from day-to-day throughout the season. I can't wait."