May 29, 2018

NESN: Dave O'Brien Said Many Strange Things Last Night

I had not listened to a NESN broadcast in almost a week (last Wednesday). So maybe that's why NESN's Dave O'Brien's banter annoyed me so much during last night's Blue Jays/Red Sox game. Or maybe OB had an off night. Either way, I was annoyed - and so you get to read my bitching about it!

Top of 1st - Curtis Granderson leads off. OB, who focuses on home runs way too much ("has some pop in his bat" is a cornerstone of any OB drinking game), noted that Granderson had hit four home runs "in the early going". I don't know what you consider the "early going" of a season, but I don't think three days before June qualifies. The Blue Jays had played exactly one-third of their schedule (54 games). And four home runs? That's enough to make him sound like a legit longball threat? Guess how many players had hit at least four home runs going into Tuesday's games. ... Answer: 202! (Later in the game, OB will also sound impressed when he tells us Kevin Pillar has four home runs.)

Top of 1st - Granderson walks and he tries stealing second on a 1-2 count to Pillar. Granderson may have thought Sandy Leon dropped the ball, but Leon did not. This is how it went in my apartment (it helps to remember this): Leon's throw to Dustin Pedroia was in plenty of time. Me, at the TV: "Wow. Now that's being out by 20 feet!" Immediately after that, OB: "And Pedroia waiting for Granderson. He was out by 20 feet." ... Is everything "20 feet" to this guy, like how MFY-radio man Michael Kay used to say near-home runs "missed going out by six inches". Every time!

Top of 1st - After Pillar struck out, we watched as Yangervis Solarte "climbed in". Batters do not "climb into" the batter's box. I always picture either (a) the batter crawling to the plate on his hands and knees and climbing over the chalk lines or (b) a raised rectangle of dirt, which the batter has to ascend, like a lifeguard chair. How about one of these, Dave: "And Solarte will step in" or "And Solarte steps to the plate"?

Top of 1st - Solarte flies out to right. OB: "Fly ball, and he did not hit it. Holt coming on, he's got plenty of time." What? (Four notes in the T1!)

Bottom of 3rd - OB seems to suggest that the Red Sox got rid of Hanley Ramirez to improve their roster flexibility for the postseason. Why that would necessitate DFAing him in late May, when the possibility of a postseason spot is far from nailed down, I do not know.

Bottom of 6th - With Jackie Bradley batting, OB says the Red Sox "have piled up 10 hits already". Is 10 hits in six innings really unusual? In three innings, sure, that's worth mentioning. but six? No. ... Also: "already"? Does OB consider the bottom of the sixth "the early going" of the game?

Top of 7th - The Jays have scored two runs against Rick Porcello (cutting Boston's lead from 5-1 to 5-3) and Joe Kelly is now in, with two outs. OB says this game has "tightened up in a hurry". Toronto's runs both scored on a hit by the sixth batter of the inning, on Porcello's 21st pitch. Even Chris Sale cannot throw 21 pitches "in a hurry"!

Bottom of 7th - OB notes the Red Sox "have 12 hits already". (See Bottom of 6th.)

Top of 8th - Boston leads 6-3 and there is one out. OB says the Red Sox can go "21 games over .500" with a win, but there is "a ways to go, yet". Seriously? The Red Sox are up by three and need five more outs.

Bottom of 8th - Leon is up. OB: "The Red Sox lead 6-3 ... late." Wow! In the space of only four batters (Smoak 6-3, Hernandez HBP, Martin P4, Holt HBP), the game changed from "a ways to go" to "late". The score was the same. I'm thinking of some one butchering of a Yogi-ism: "It stays early late out there."

Bottom of 8th - Leon is still up. OB: "Man on first and nobody out." He seems very impressed, but Leon is the second batter of the inning. If there is a man on first, OF COURSE there is no one out. No one else has batted!

Top of 9th - OB says the count on Kendrys Morales is "quickly 0-2". Goddamn it, I hate this. An 0-2 is never arrived at "quickly". (I would love to hear an announcer say "And the count on Betts is slowly 0-2.") An 0-2 count arrives after two pitches. Always. Every single time. No variation. Never only one pitch. And you don't need as many as three. Just. Two. Pitches.

Top of 9th - OB said the Blue Jays had the "bases loaded, that quickly". At that point, three batters had climbed in been to the plate. It is impossible to load the bases any quicker than that.

Top of 9th - Talking about the warnings given to both teams re: HBPs, OB said "both benches were warned a couple of innings ago". Actually, the benches were warned in the bottom of the 8th - the previous half-inning! Not "a couple of innings ago".

Despite all of that, I did enjoy OB and Jerry Remy talking about their first games at Fenway as young boys. What Remy said about his own first game was pretty much identical to what I would say: Walking up the ramp on the first base side and into the sun and being stunned by the green of the grass and Wall. (I would add the red of the box seats.)

They talked about the riot of colours for a bit, but Remy did not say what I fully expected him to say. The reason why we were knocked out by the colours and retain such vivid memories of that moment so many decades later (I also remember the smell of cigar smoke) is because we (or most of us) watched Red Sox games at home on a black-&-white television (and not in high-def, either!). Seeing the field in person was like walking into another world. We had seen Fenway Park on TV many times, but we had never really seen it.


Jim said...

Good thing you missed the other night (I can't even remember which--the brain trauma has taken over) when O'Brien/Remy talked at length (complete with full frontal booth shot) about O'Brien's obsession with white-out.
In other news, on the Jay's feed, Buck is back to full frontal gas-bagging and Shulman is encouraging it.
There is no escape. Resistance is futile.

Mr Punch said...

Remy did mention black & white TV.

allan said...

I missed that bit from Remy.

The attempts to create some sort of silly banter between Dave and Jerry is so painfully awkward. It is impossible to consciously "create" that rapport. O'Brien is always so uptight and concerned about appearing smart and cool that he can never goof around and make it seem natural. (And he never, ever, appears cool. As far as smart, he either gets things wrong or sounds weird, i.e., "deadaway center", "slide-in double".) He is the anti-Eck.

hrstrat57 said...

more Eck


BeaReale said...

I am yelling at the tv all the time. shut up dave! It sucks so bad!
And poor Jerry tries to do the things he did with Don to make Dave more personable. It doesn't work at all. Dave is a dead fish. He needs to live in San Diego. He is not a Boston guy. No way.

BeaReale said...

Shut up Dave! Every game. This is what I say.
And poor Jerry tries to make him human but it never works.
I just can't believe this guy is from Mass. I think he's lying.
No way the way he acts. I am thinking San Diego is more him.
If he's from Mass. that makes me double sick.
Seems like whenever we like something Dombrowski takes it away.
Changing the damn street name! He should not even have the right
to do that! I will forever call it Yawkey way and so will all my
Boston friends. Dave go find another Jersey St. lmao