“I love listening to baseball on the radio!”
Is this something you say on occasion? If so, I bet if I press, you’d have to admit if your next birthday cake is lit properly it will feature enough smoke to set off the sprinkler system at work.
Hey, I’m with you. I love listening to Red Sox games on the radio. But I’m no rookie any longer myself.
Folks who listen to baseball the most on the radio are closing in on, or have passed, the half century mark. Heck the average age of the World Series viewer on TV is in the mid 50’s. Only The Masters viewers tend to have an older average age.
With this in mind, the Red Sox and WEEI, the flagship radio station, have tried to find a way to reinvent the Sox radio broadcasts this season.
Tim Neverett is tagging along with Joe Kelly to move to LA. He was a competent radio broadcaster but his voice made him sound older than Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies.
Pair that sound with legendary Joe Castiglione and it sounded like two guys talking sports at a retirement home. Not the image the WEEI folks want to project to advertisers looking for slightly younger demographic.
There was a report that they wanted the broadcast to sound a little more like talk radio than a traditional broadcast. But the blow back on that was not positive. Personally I’m not sure it was an awful idea.
So this year, they have brought in an “All Star Team” of people to pair with Castiglione. Can you believe it?
Perhaps most notably Sean McDonough, who used to do Sox TV games on TV 38 WSBK and NESN, will be in the booth for some games. He is a mega talent and does a ton of national games for various sports.
McDonough was the play by play voice of Monday Night Football but brought zero energy, humor or enthusiasm to those broadcasts. I think he will be much better on the Sox radio games. He can be critical which listeners like but thin skinned Sox ownership is never crazy about. We’ll see how it goes.
Chris Berman from ESPN fame will call a few games too. Hopefully he says “back, back, back”many times when Mookie, JD and the boys are at bat.
Also on board will be Lou Merloni, WEEI-FM talent Dale Arnold, NESN studio host Tom Caron, NESN play-by-play man Dave O’Brien and Josh Lewin and Mario Impemba. The latter two come to the Sox from other teams.
I like the recipe they have cooked up for these broadcasts. The comfortable voice of Castiglione will still be around after signing a new contract. But the buffet of other voices, opinions and stories is welcome.
The average age of these announcers is little lofty for me still. Seems like there must be one up and coming 28 year old in the country somewhere that could be added.
And how about a female voice too? Trenni Kusnierek of NBC Sports Boston is legit. She's great on TV and sports radio in Boston. Just my take.
So tune in this season and let me know what you think of the renovated broadcast. And be careful blowing out all those candles. We don’t want to have to call the local fire department.