Finn: Red Sox Potentially Changing Radio Broadcast Approach

Jul 3, 2006
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I've been listening for a while, hardly ever get to see a game on TV. And I'll agree about Sean McDonough.

But, not seeing the games, I've never understood the Dave O'Brien hate. The few years he was on radio with Joe C. were a treat -- it sounded like there was real chemistry between Castiglione and him. For the last few years before Dave O'Brien it was sounding like Castiglione had had enough of the Jerry Trupiano show, and when O'Brien showed up it was sheer pleasure. The dull and clunky years with Tim Neverett only reinforce my view that O'Brien was a genuinely good fit. I'd take him back on radio in a NY minute.
 

Buckner's Boots

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I'm probably the only person who doesn't really like McDonough. I caught the part where Bradford was in the booth on Saturday, talking about the marathon. McDonough was ragging on Bradford's physique ("Have you been training?") as well as on everyone else. It all just kind of came off as wiseass, then retreat to self-deprecation, then more wiseassery...it was just too schticky for me. And his need to get in his wiseass shots cut off Bradford's story at the end of the inning, as well as went over top of Joe's PBP a couple of times. I found myself actually wishing Neverett was still around. And I really didn't think he was anything to write home about.
 

Just a bit outside

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I've been listening for a while, hardly ever get to see a game on TV. And I'll agree about Sean McDonough.

But, not seeing the games, I've never understood the Dave O'Brien hate. The few years he was on radio with Joe C. were a treat -- it sounded like there was real chemistry between Castiglione and him. For the last few years before Dave O'Brien it was sounding like Castiglione had had enough of the Jerry Trupiano show, and when O'Brien showed up it was sheer pleasure. The dull and clunky years with Tim Neverett only reinforce my view that O'Brien was a genuinely good fit. I'd take him back on radio in a NY minute.
I think most people liked DOB on radio. He is not the same on tv. He comes across as a know it all on tv and repeats the same comments throughout the game.
 

koufax32

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A SMD return would also bring back the Haiku Fever from the Nomar days.

Point, SMD.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I'm probably the only person who doesn't really like McDonough. I caught the part where Bradford was in the booth on Saturday, talking about the marathon. McDonough was ragging on Bradford's physique ("Have you been training?") as well as on everyone else. It all just kind of came off as wiseass, then retreat to self-deprecation, then more wiseassery...it was just too schticky for me. And his need to get in his wiseass shots cut off Bradford's story at the end of the inning, as well as went over top of Joe's PBP a couple of times. I found myself actually wishing Neverett was still around. And I really didn't think he was anything to write home about.
I like McDonough, but I completely agree with the assessment of the Bradford segment. It was terrible. It's pretty clear at this point that "more conversational" is just a euphemism for unfunny people force feeding their audience dumb jock humor. It's like listening to any given NFL pregame show "Been working on your golf game much, Dan?" "Not as much as you've been working on the post-game buffet, Boomer." *insert chorus of fake laughs* Even Castig was playing along the other day talking about someone texting him during the game with some useless quip. I believe Bradford even referenced some infamous EEI caller, too (as predicted when this was announced). Every once and a while during these "conversational" segments they mention the on field action. This is such a sad turn for people who enjoy listening to the games.
 

Pitt the Elder

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I thought SMD was great AND I feel like he overplayed his hand with some of the on-air chuckles. Witty one-liners and tongue-in-cheek observations can really liven up a broadcast, but when it's overdone it starts to feel hackneyed and annoying. There were a few times the guys in the booth were quipping about their name drop competition when they completely messed up the play-by-play, with several belated calls that were clearly done 5-6 seconds after the play.

You put SMD in the booth full time and I think they figure out the balance, but they messed up it a few times over the weekend.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I think SMD is just feeling himself and getting all the banter and wisecracks out due to the shortened schedule. Not pacing himself over the course of a long season. I for one will be longing for Sean again in mid-summer after a string of (fill in generic PBP guys here).
 

Cumberland Blues

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One run game in the 8th inning, I don't want to hear a debate about whether or not manatees are endangered. Save that shit for blowouts.
 

Delicious Sponge

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I like McDonough, but I completely agree with the assessment of the Bradford segment. It was terrible. It's pretty clear at this point that "more conversational" is just a euphemism for unfunny people force feeding their audience dumb jock humor. It's like listening to any given NFL pregame show "Been working on your golf game much, Dan?" "Not as much as you've been working on the post-game buffet, Boomer." *insert chorus of fake laughs* Even Castig was playing along the other day talking about someone texting him during the game with some useless quip. I believe Bradford even referenced some infamous EEI caller, too (as predicted when this was announced). Every once and a while during these "conversational" segments they mention the on field action. This is such a sad turn for people who enjoy listening to the games.
So well said.

Baseball is a game you should be able to “watch” on the radio.

This new format is unlistenable in its own right, but it also robs us of the special experience of listening to the game.

It’s a horrible idea, and poorly executed at that.

When will it stop?
 

Harry Hooper

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I thought SMD was great AND I feel like he overplayed his hand with some of the on-air chuckles. Witty one-liners and tongue-in-cheek observations can really liven up a broadcast, but when it's overdone it starts to feel hackneyed and annoying. There were a few times the guys in the booth were quipping about their name drop competition when they completely messed up the play-by-play, with several belated calls that were clearly done 5-6 seconds after the play.

You put SMD in the booth full time and I think they figure out the balance, but they messed up it a few times over the weekend.
That's on target, I think. It kind of went like this:

 

Ale Xander

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McDonough playfully made fun of Bradfo running the marathon, paraphrasing, Bradford running with the Kenyans is like Vasquez at the second base bag with Bogaerts.

Also crapped on Aruba saying something like you'll like it if you like sand blown in your face and there are better places to go.
 

Delicious Sponge

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McDonough playfully made fun of Bradfo running the marathon, paraphrasing, Bradford running with the Kenyans is like Vasquez at the second base bag with Bogaerts.

Also crapped on Aruba saying something like you'll like it if you like sand blown in your face and there are better places to go.
And why would legendary broadcasters like McDonough and Castiglione stoop to this level? It’s trash and it’s sad to see them do this.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Haven't had the chance to listen to the radio broadcasts at all this year, and the prospects of a Castig/McDonough booth are intriguing to me. The killer to me in what they're doing with the broadcasts is having a third man in the booth at all. Merloni and Bradford and the like serve no purpose in my view.

Three man booths on TV are barely tolerable but at least you get to watch the action even if the announcers are off on their own tangents. On radio, you get no such luxury. I don't need conversations. I just want descriptions of the game. If nothing's going on between pitches or hitters, silence is okay (though they tend to fill those spots with ads these days which is fine).
 

joyofsox

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I thought SMD was great AND I feel like he overplayed his hand with some of the on-air chuckles. Witty one-liners and tongue-in-cheek observations can really liven up a broadcast, but when it's overdone it starts to feel hackneyed and annoying.
It was leaning that way during today's game. If Sean kept up this pace (even if he is ragging on WEEI for squeezing every penny out of advertisers), the sarcasm would get wearying in a hurry. But having the chance to hear him for the first time in a very long time this weekend was a breath of fresh air. And as someone else here pointed out, Castig seemed more energized.

One run game in the 8th inning, I don't want to hear a debate about whether or not manatees are endangered. Save that shit for blowouts.
That digression was fairly short - and the "It tastes like elephant" was both unexpected and delivered well.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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My first hearing of Sean this season. I loved hearing him call the game. I don't like the 3 man booth. At all. But as some others have said, it was refreshing to hear him, sarcasm and all. I've always thought he was the best Sox tv guy they ever had since Ned Martin. And he translates to radio just fine. Perhaps even better than tv. I just wonder how long his sort of organizational (and network) criticism will be tolerated. Also, with Sean in there, that was the best I've heard Castig in a long time.
 

SydneySox

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It was appalling to listen to that today.

I was lucky enough to have the radio on for my commute to work early this morning and when "Boomer" came on it all went to shit. Terrible delivery, appalling timing and worse, a complete lack of play by play. He'd babble randomly about his stupid song shit and then casually mention someone had hit the ball and was out. Out where? Where'd he hit it? Was it close? Porcello ended an inning with a looking 'K' but too bad it came in the middle of a dumb story because we had no idea what was happening, no 'coming to the stretch', no 'here comes the pitch', just an offhand 'aaaand, called third strike.' Called third strike where, you fuck? High, low? Curve? Was it close, was it a sitter, what'd the batter do?

I had to flick over and watch the TV coverage which, even with the spotty internet on my train trip which meant I was jumping and pausing all over the place, at least showed me some of what was happening on the field.

Is that something we have to try to listen to again?
 

The Gray Eagle

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His voice was weird and he sounded really old. Didn’t help that he was personal friends with Buckner and wanted to talk about him all day. Understandable, but hard to listen to.
 

YTF

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His voice was weird and he sounded really old. Didn’t help that he was personal friends with Buckner and wanted to talk about him all day. Understandable, but hard to listen to.
This. Was in the car and tuned in the pregame show mid stream of Berman being interviewed. He was going on about his time in New England and how it was going to be great to do a few games with Castig as he's known him for a long time. I had no clue that it was him until he was asked about his days at ESPN.
 

scottyno

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"At any rate... back to baseball" pretty much sums up the entire couple innings I heard with him on, 90% talking about anything but the game and then every 30 seconds or so mentioning that another pitch was thrown. Literally no one can be enjoying this and no one was asking for this.
 

nattysez

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I wound up listening to a few innings -- an early inning or two and then the last two or three. He was really bad. Early on, he was panicking and stumbling over his words when trying to describe what was happening in real time. He can handle balls and strikes and homers, but anything more than that was causing vapor-lock. When it turned into a blowout, he just started doing schtick and ignored the action. They must've spent a full 5 minutes dealing with a trivia question.

He and Joe were pretty funny talking about Oliver Perez needing to change both of his shoes, but that was definitely the highlight of his day.
 

SydneySox

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I'd moved to Eck by then and he was loving the shoes as well.

That was the first time in many many years of listening to the Sox on weei (which I do almost daily at my desk at work) that I had no idea what was happening on the field.
 

chrisfont9

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Berman did the lead call in the third, while I was listening, and sounded like he thought he was doing TV. Literally no description of the game whatsoever, as if I could see it for myself. You could pick anyone from this forum and pluck them into the booth and I bet you they'd be thinking, "it's radio, I have to say what's going on." After the commercial Castig was back in charge and I continued doing yardwork fantasizing about WEEI management busting in during the break and firing Berman from his temporary spot.
 

ookami7m

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Didn’t get to listen yesterday but caught the second half of tonight’s game. Agree with all the above on Berman but what really sets him back is the amount of dead air. I turned the radio in my car up way too loud when I first plugged in my phone thinking it was just quiet. Instead it was twenty seconds of dead air from boomer.
 

Big D

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Berman did the lead call in the third, while I was listening, and sounded like he thought he was doing TV. Literally no description of the game whatsoever, as if I could see it for myself. You could pick anyone from this forum and pluck them into the booth and I bet you they'd be thinking, "it's radio, I have to say what's going on." After the commercial Castig was back in charge and I continued doing yardwork fantasizing about WEEI management busting in during the break and firing Berman from his temporary spot.
I felt like he was only saying about every third word he was thinking. It was weird.
 

jmm57

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I had 15 min to go in my commute when the game started. Berman was so bad I switched to the Cleveland broadcast in my mlb app rather than have eei on the radio. Awful job by eei management, and I didn’t think they could downgrade Neverett.