February 1, 2013

Could NESN's Baseball Broadcasts Get Much Worse?

For the past nine years, Russ Kenn had been the coordinating producer for NESN's Red Sox broadcasts. The Globe's Chad Finn reported in early January that Kenn - who navigated "that delicate balance between the expectations of his bosses and those of diehard viewers" - was leaving for another job.

I have been a persistent critic of NESN's many failures to concentrate on baseball. So what might Kenn's departure mean for fans who want nothing more than to watch a Red Sox game in its entirety? After seeing some of Finn's tweets last night, it sounds like the broadcasts could actually get worse in 2013.
@GlobeChadFinn: NESN has hired Mike Baker as remote coordinating producer for Sox telecasts. Worked at NESN from 1984-'93. Most recently freelanced at ESPN.

@GlobeChadFinn: Curious to see how the Sox broadcast changes. Former producer Russ Kenn was a baseball guy with stature to challenge goofy suggestions.

@mikewichter: i dunno, chad. Looks like a few goofy suggestions got through the last few yrs.

@GlobeChadFinn: Yeah, which should make you wonder what didn't ... Trust me, he fought the power.

@brendan_myers: Given the silly hijinks in the booth, particularly the last season or two, I can't imagine it can get worse. Can it?

@GlobeChadFinn: Oh, yes. It can get worse if there's a yes-man in there now. Russ wasn't that.

@brendan_myers: There have been more and more missing plays (even home runs) because of "schtick." They wanna fix things, might start there.


FenFan said...

"Next half inning, we will see what's in the back seat of Jerry's car..."

"As we start the fourth inning, we welcome former manager Grady Little to the booth..."

[following the first out of the inning] "Tune in to NESN's latest reality series, Scalpers, brought to you by Ace Ticket, the official scalper... er, ticket partner of the Boston Red Sox."

The depths of viewership hell know no bounds. :-)

allan said...

I fear I will be watching on mute from G1 onwards.

Ignacio Cifuentes said...

allan, do you use mlbtv? (my guess is that you do... yes, now that i remember you have talked extensibly about it)
why i ask? because if you watch the games on mlbtv using an app (i have the ps3 app) you can watch the games with "ballpark sound" it's like "sap" where you can listen just the people on the ballpark. no announcers, no nesn... :)
there's another option, to watch the games with the radio broadcast overlapped. problem is that all those options only run on apps, not on the computer :(
sometimes when remy and announcerboy start commenting anything but the game, boom. i just change it to ballpark sound.

tim said...

More like "Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. And the Red Sox trail 3-1 at the end of the sixth."

allan said...

I do watch via mlbtv, but I have never had that option. I know it exists, though.

allan said...

Oh, we also sometimes have the radio on. It is not in sync with the video, but it is not too bad. The only problem with that is the existence of Dave O'Brien. Me no likey.

Jim said...

I really try to be a positive person, rejecting doom and gloom thoughts, but to answer your question--Yes, they can. More commercials read by Remy/Don during live action, more guests in the booth doing nothing except talk about whatever commercial venture they're shilling (somebody ought to seriously investigate the cash flows of all these 'foundations'), more 'features' like tours of visiting clubhouses (again, shown during live action). These are just a few. To add insult I don't look forward to the 18 games vs. the Blue Jays, where Rogers muscles in with the blackout card and we are subjected to Buck and Tabler. I fully agree with your opinion of O'Brien. He is an unctious toady. I see nothing but mute buttons in my future, however I keep watching (and bitching). There must be a celebrity-sponsored foundation out there to help me. Where can I send the money?

laura k said...

I wish so much we had the "ballpark sound" option.

We also have to get on MLB to provide the international feed to Canada.


To add insult I don't look forward to the 18 games vs. the Blue Jays, where Rogers muscles in with the blackout card and we are subjected to Buck and Tabler.

Try changing your IP address with TunnelBear.com. The feed quality may not be as good, but at least you won't have to suffer through a Blue Jays broadcast.

Jim said...

Thanks Laura. I'm also waiting to see who replaces Ashby on Jays radio, ya never know. Still, just a muted, high-def big screen with piped in crowd noise conjures visions of summer on this snowy day.

9casey said...

I don't understand why this bothers so many people. It is the same everywhere. We have a big market team they have to have the ads. I am usually easily annoyed but this doesnt annoy me as it does most.

laura k said...

9C, if it doesn't bother you, then you are lucky. If it's the same everywhere, that just means fans of all teams suffer from the same problems. It doesn't mean it bothers us less because other teams have the same issues.

I don't buy the belief that the amount of advertising in the game now is a necessary evil. We're supposed to accept that as fact with no evidence. I would need some kind of proof.

Not just ads - the level of advertising we see now.

allan said...

I wish I could block it out, like Amy seems to be able to do. But the annoying stuff goes directly into my ears. It is horrible!

And as long as the team is not on fire, ratings will dip, and NESN will think it needs to put more shit on the broadcast to make people keep watching. Why they think people will tune in to see a tour of an empty cement walkway in an out-of-town stadium is something only NESN can answer.

9casey said...

NESN's biggest problem is I dont watch it unless the Red Sox are on. YES actually has better programming outside of baseball.