June 21, 2016

NESN: O'Brien's Exaggerations More Annoying Than Red Sox Losses

NESN's Dave O'Brien has an extremely bad habit of creating drama where none exists, of exaggerating (and sometimes fabricating) events in an attempt to make Red Sox broadcasts more compelling. It is utterly unnecessary and damages his reputation as a straight-shooting announcer.

During Tuesday's broadcast, O'Brien obsessed over the previous night's extra-inning loss to the White Sox. He called the defeat "brutal" and "heartbreaking". The fact that the Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game and failed to score "boggles the mind" (1). Indeed, Red Sox fans were "shocked" the game hadn't ended with a walk-off win.

I'm not saying that watching the last two innings of Monday's loss was fun, but it was not heartbreaking - and if O'Brien had been a lifelong Red Sox fan like he claims (2), he should know a thing or two about heartbreaking baseball games.

Monday's loss was annoying, frustrating, exasperating ... but it was not a loss fans are going to agonize over for months and years. And it did not make Tuesday's game some kind of a must-win to save the 2016 season. It was a disappointing defeat to a mediocre team in mid-June. O'Brien was coming dangerously close to making it sound like Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

(1) During game threads years ago, having the Red Sox fail to score after loading the bases with no outs was happening so often, the frequent squander became known as "a Red Sox Special". So it obviously should not boggle any Boston fan's mind that it happens from time to time.

(2) I maintain that I heard O'Brien say (during a radio broadcast) that his favourite moment of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was Bucky Dent's home run. That is a peculiar choice, to say the least, for a Red Sox fan to make.


Unknown said...

I'm not too crazy about this guy either. I liked Orsillo a lot better. He was more real and down to earth.
Also, this may not be the most popular point of view but IMHO nesn should of canned Remy instead. I don't care if he's southie or a former red Sox or the second coming of god. He butchers the English language and his analysis of the plays is just obvious redundancy. I mute the sound when he's working and love it when Eck fills in. Eck is a much better color guy and more knowledgeable. Just MHO

Elizabeth said...

O'Brien drives me nuts with his nicknames for people: Here I am in the booth with Rem-Dog, how are you doing Remdog"? Remy mutters something. Then he decided Xander was the X-Man, "here comes the X-Man" and Eduardo Rodriguez is E-Rod! Please enough with the names! Just call them who they are. I also cannot stand it when he says, this has been a no hitter for 6 innings, can he keep it going? Of course, then he jinxes it.
I love Eck, he is so informative about the pitcher, and he is just so funny.
If they won't bring back Orsillo, which they won't at least get rid of this doofus, and bring in Eck full time.

allan said...

I don't believe in jinxes, but "E-Rod" drives me up a fucking wall. Wow, Dave, how original!

Can't say I agree with you about Eck. he can be funny sometimes, but there is only so much "paint" and "gas" and "cheese" and "salad" and "hair" I can take. I've had my fill. (Though I did like his use of the word "dork" as a verb tonight.) Eck is not quite as annoying as Remy, but he's also not all that informative.

I really don't want to go back to watching games on mute, but OB is making it an inevitable decision.

Straddling the Border said...

Watching on mlb.com, I've been switching more and more to the opposing teams' announcers. In addition to many other bothersome things about O'Brien, the way he pronounces "s" at the end of words - like a French "j", or the "s" in "Asia" - irritates me like fingernails on a chalkboard.

allan said...

Back on April 21, Maxwell Horse wrote this about O'Brien:

"O'Brien, however, feels like he's talking down to the audience, particularly in those times when he tries to joke around. It's like he's making a conscious choice to lower his IQ so that the riffraff in Titanic's steerage will be able to relate to him. It's not something you notice the first couple times you hear him. But it gradually wears on you until you realize (usually in a game in which the Sox are doing poorly), "You know, this guy is sort of getting on my nerves.""


I agree with this, a lot. O'Brien is quite bad when the Sox are struggling. After dropping two games to the White Sox, he was a real doom and gloomer, with something depressing to say about every Sox player. And then when they scored 4 runs in one inning, he acted all sarcastic about the return of the offense. Like he still wanted to push on with the gloomy outlook. ... The eventual loss will likely make him unlistenable tomorrow afternoon.

Roy said...

I find O'Brien wooden in his delivery, stringing cliches together, trying to sell every play on the field. I'm listening to a lot more radio these days. Boston fans deserve better.

Unknown said...

It’s official. I can’t take O’Brien anymore. He can’t stop talking, talking, talking. IT IS NOT RADIO! I am now an out of market viewer using MLB tv. More often than not I will listen to the opposing team’s announcer. Like tonight watching Philly. They call the game. They don’t fill in every minute with useless jabber. And why is everything so exaggerated? My God. Bring back Orsillo, please. We can’t take it anymore.

allan said...

He can’t stop talking, talking, talking. IT IS NOT RADIO!

O'Brien, in 2015: "When I'm on television, I try to keep my words at a minimum ..."