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.