June 7, 2009

Red Sox Radio Also Fails To Give A Full Picture

It is no secret that Yankees radio man John Sterling, in addition to being hopelessly addicted to his idiotic catch-phrases (oops!), simply makes shit up.

The Red Sox announcers are nowhere near as insufferable and inaccurate. Nevertheless,they also fail to give a full picture of what is happening on the field or act as though their audience is following along on TV.

On Thursday afternoon, after Ramon Santiago singled to start the sixth, Dave O'Brien said that was the 4th hit off Wakefield, then corrected himself and said it was the 5th. ... It was actually the 7th hit Wakefield had allowed. I assume that O'Brien keeps a scorecard as part of his job. If not, there is a big electronic scoreboard somewhere in the stadium that presumably has the proper hit totals. O'Brien never corrected his "correction".

Earlier in the game, O'Brien told us that Kevin Youkilis dove for Miguel Cabrera's grounder, but failed to inform us whether he dove to his left or right. Since he did not mention the foul line, I assumed Yook dove to his right. But I have absolutely no idea.

Likewise, on a foul ball to the third base side, O'Brien told us a player was "racing, racing" after it, but neglected to say whether it was the third baseman or the left fielder. Are we supposed to infer that it was the third baseman and O'Brien would have said "left field side" if it has been the outfielder?

(Also: Joe Castiglione, with Rocco Baldelli batting in the eighth, did not bother to say that Mike Lowell was running on the 2-1 pitch. I learned about that only because I was also following along on Gameday.)

O'Brien's errors were more than simple misspeak -- which will happen when talking about a live event for roughly three hours. During the few times I listen to baseball on the radio (with the Tigers feed on EI, we decided to sit outside last Thursday afternoon) and the play-by-play man says the pitch is "fouled down the line", I want to know (so I can visualize it in my mind) which side of the field it was.

Some listeners may not care that much or listen that carefully. But it's a reasonable expectation from someone whose job is describing an event that others cannot see.


Rob said...

I think it's funny (and sometimes a little annoying) when either of them, especially Joe, will say the pitch is a fastball when it's a curveball. Or it's a changeup when it's a curveball. What I'd like to know is are they just peering over the ledge from the booth as the pitch comes in? I wonder how hard it is to tell what a pitch is when you're looking from up top.

Sometimes it feels like the game doesn't matter until something important happens. When it's the 9th and Bot is trying to save it, or if a pitcher is trying to keep a no-hitter, Joe will be all over it, describing every minute detail short of exactly how tall the grass is at this very moment.

The way the games are called should not have changed as television began to carry all the games but I wonder if it has anyway.

allan said...

They have TV monitors. They must because they sometimes talk about replays.

laura k said...

Thanks for this post. I know Sterling has fallen off the rails, but I am often irritated by Sox fans giving Sox announcers a free pass while criticizing all the other announcers.

I do like Castig and O'B, but I also wish they paid more attention to detail. As you correctly say, that's their job - or it should be.

It often seems like they think their job is talking about the weather, complaining about the length of road trips and how late they got in, and giving updates on college sports.

allan said...

If I am lucky, I won't have to hear them again until July 17, when the Sox are in Toronto and I'm blacked out at work.

Rob said...

Some of it is nice, to just help pass the time between pitches or outs. Help the game flow through the middle of the innings. Sometimes it's excessive. Like yesterday. Castig and O'B, since it was New Hampshire Day, mentioned every baseball person they know of from New Hampshire. They'll do it again with Maine Day, and Rhode Island Day, and Connecticut Day, and Vermont Day. I'm sure Carlton Fisk will be mentioned again on VT day.

On another note, coincidentally on NH day yesterday I listened to almost the entire game while driving across the state of New Hampshire. First pitch was in Keene. Crossed into Maine in the middle of the 8th inning.

Jim said...

I tune in to the Sox radio feed on MLB when 'EI carries the non-Sox broadcast, so I have had plenty of exposure. I'll say it loud, and I'll say it proud--I can't stand Dave O'Brien. He's one of these guys who continually says "everybody is ...", this guy "always", this guy "never" etc etc when adding his colour. Not that I expect everything parsed like a lawyer, but he sounds to me like he's just gossiping. And everything is said with such conviction, no nuance to his baseball. Plus I don't need him telling me what "THE STORY" is (although he is one of many here). The story to me is who is winning. The beauty of baseball is that you have plenty of time to discuss the whys and hows. Even in between commercials. BTW, I love Eck. He just says what he feels. Seems to bring out a better DO, too.

laura k said...

"Some of it is nice, to just help pass the time between pitches or outs. "

Absolutely. I'm not suggesting they only call the game, like robots, and never chat.

We hear the state-day stuff every year, it gets a bit old, but it's not a big deal.

My point wasn't that the chatty stuff is bad, but that they don't pay enough attention (IMO) to the heart of why they're there - verbally recreating the game on the field. The chat should be extra, not instead.

I also dislike what Woti is referring to, the gossip and innuendo. I don't find O'Brien as bad as some for that, but he still does it way too much.

laura k said...

I'm almost alone in my dislike of Eck as announcer. I really can't stand him.

allan said...

Eck has improved in the past two weeks or so. Not always yakking, has cut down on his paint and cheese comments and, in this Rangers series, seems to be developing a rapport with Don.

He's clearly the best of what we've had since Remy took a break.

allan said...

Castiglione's college sports chatter -- or going on (and on) about what college a player went to and how that school's various teams are faring this season -- DRIVES ME RIGHT UP THE FUCKING WALL!

Like anyone truly gives a shit, and if someone does, he or she probably already follows the fucking team and is well informed. You are not hosting fucking Sportscenter, Joe, so pls stfu about college sports.

My hate is all out of proportion, I know, but man, it's like fingernails on a fucking chalkboard.

Doogie said...

I know I'm alone in this, but I miss Troupiano. I think dumping him was a bad call and the unimpressive selection of attempted replacements they've brought in are shades of bad and worse.

I *like* listening to baseball on the radio. It allows me to listen to the game and not be visually distracted from the things I need to do. And I grew up listening to baseball on the radio, so I'm very comfortable with it, but....not so much anymore.

laura k said...

I love listening to baseball on the radio. You're not alone in that!

Tom said...

Agreed, I miss Jerry Trupiano, as well. Jerry was much more of a pro than O'Brien, who, sadly, is vastly overrated by the Sox and ESPN. Joe C's best days have passed. As for John Sterling, holy crap, what an egomaniac.