Surprised there isn't an announcer thread...

Al Zarilla

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Dec 8, 2005
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I think he's a legit terrible pbp guy. He thinks people tune in to see him. I would enjoy him doing nothing.
I had to look up twice to verify who did this post. You're normally such a positive guy when many others are negative. But, I agree with you completely. O'Brien is a poor announcer and the only positive I could say about him is he has a good voice.
 

Whoop-La White

used to be zougwa
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This is a tiny thing to pile on with, but I hate that O'Brien calls the baseball "she" during his home run calls. He seems to do it more this year than before. Baseballs do not have genders (though I you could say they do if they're made from cows, but I digress). I know that Vin Scully did that during his call of Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series, but that was over a generation ago and O'Brien is not Vin Scully.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Sep 10, 2017
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Monaco is an up and coming broadcaster who is moving up the chain at ESPN. Why would he take the peanuts NESN would offer to do Sox full time and give up ESPN? At ESPN he can really expand his portfolio by doing a variety of sports and increase his national profile. Seems like a no brainer to me. I agree with you that Mike is pretty good especially with Youkilis.
At the same time, this calculus may change with some of the volatility going on and seemingly will continue to go on at ESPN. Disney's movie franchises are enough of a loss leader that they don't also want ESPN to be hemorrhaging money. The pay scale is now "stars or scrubs", with a limited number of people like Stephen A Smith and Pat McAfee on the high side.

Monaco could get a better gig as soon as the next round of ESPN layoffs, but with the rumblings of a pivot to all streaming I wouldn't expect the level of compensation or exposure to be what it once was.
 

EyeBob

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Dec 22, 2022
138
To me the radio product is far better. It’s harder to describe a game without pictures, so when it comes together just right, it’s terrific. I will also admit that I am nostalgic for the old TV 38 days with McDonough, so it’s great to hear him on the radio.
 

Harry Hooper

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I missed this from Cotillo back in November, but apparently Werner & Co. recently signed O'Brien to another contract extension and Monaco is a prime candidate to be the television PBP announcer for the White Sox. This is an unwelcome daily double to me, but YMMV.

Monaco, a 30-year-old Cohasset native, has filled in for O’Brien on NESN broadcasts on a regular basis since 2019 and has become a fan favorite in the booth. He also just signed a three-year extension with ESPN last week and calls college football, baseball (MLB, college and Little League World Series), college basketball and the NHL for the network. A Notre Dame graduate, Monaco lives in Chicago, making him a natural fit to potentially replace Benetti. He has filled in for Benetti on White Sox broadcasts in 2021 and 2023 while also calling Bulls games for NBC Sports Chicago.

Monaco did fewer Red Sox games in 2023 with O’Brien no longer calling football games for ACC Network. In previous years, Monaco was tasked with calling September weekend games while O’Brien did football. It’s believed O’Brien signed a recent contract extension; he’ll be back as the main play-by-play man in 2024 and beyond.


Cotillo's latest on who will join O'Brien in the booth for 2024:

The broadcast crew is expected to change little next season with the rotating cast of color commentators taking on similar workloads to what they had in 2023, according to multiple industry sources with knowledge of NESN’s plans. There will be only a few minor changes to the network’s approach.

Play-by-play man Dave O’Brien will return for his ninth year in the NESN booth. Alongside him once again will be former players Kevin Youkilis, Lou Merloni, Will Middlebrooks and Kevin Millar in a rotating cast. Youkilis is expected to once again be the primary color analyst after doing 75 games last season while Merloni, Middlebrooks and Millar will cover the rest of the schedule. The exact breakdown of games isn’t known but will be in line with last year, when Merloni did about 40, Middlebrooks had about 30 and Millar mixed in occasionally, sometimes remotely. Three-man booths throughout the year aren’t out of the question.
 

Daniel_Son

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May 25, 2021
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Merloni was the best out of the rotating cast, IMO. Youk grew on me, too, but he was definitely a little rougher around the edges.

Millar was annoying.
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
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Merloni was the best out of the rotating cast, IMO. Youk grew on me, too, but he was definitely a little rougher around the edges.

Millar was annoying.
I worry about what the 20th anniversary means for Millar coverage, honestly. 75913
 

gryoung

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Youk — getting better, still can be annoying
Middlebrook — pretty good, maybe #1 actually
Merloni — always needs to show he’s the smartest guy in the room; he’s not
Millar — clown show/embarrassing

(Man, do I miss Remdog and Eck)
 

YTF

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I feel that Merloni is the cream of this crop. He's the most experienced and polished which doesn't automatically make him the best, but I think lends a great deal to his presence in the booth. He also brings a certain insight as a former player as well as an established media personality in the Boston market. I also think that he works well with O'Brien in that he's not needing to take every cue from OB. I'm hopeful for Middlebrooks. He came in with a little bit of experience and confidence via his presence online and I think he can grow into being a very good analyst. Youk is OK in small doses. I think at times he can be very good, but usually not for an entire game and certainly not over a prolonged stint covering consecutive series. He's a bit too "schticky" for me, tries too hard, Eck lite if you will. I will admit it took a while for me to warm up to Eck and he's clearly not for everyone, but with time I saw that he was 100% genuine and he just worked so well with whoever he partnered with in the both. IMO, Youk's not that guy. Millar... I actually like Millar, but NOT as a member of the Sox broadcast booth. IMO, he's perfect as host on Intentional Talk. That's a vehicle that was made for him or vice versa. I also think he's fine as a guest in the booth for an inning a few times a year. Like many of the former players he does bring a certain perspective that can be informative, but it all quickly devolves into stories about Uncle Kev, guys he's seen in the shower and the five different guys that live near him in Texas. Hard pass. I have to say that I would have loved to have seen what a regular pairing Monaco and Merloni/Middlebrooks would have grown into, but that ship has sailed.
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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Millar was awful. The other 3 were fine. Though none were really able to break through the overall ceiling that O'Brien creates.
 

brandonchristensen

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Feb 4, 2012
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I feel that Merloni is the cream of this crop. He's the most experienced and polished which doesn't automatically make him the best, but I think lends a great deal to his presence in the booth. He also brings a certain insight as a former player as well as an established media personality in the Boston market. I also think that he works well with O'Brien in that he's not needing to take every cue from OB. I'm hopeful for Middlebrooks. He came in with a little bit of experience and confidence via his presence online and I think he can grow into being a very good analyst. Youk is OK in small doses. I think at times he can be very good, but usually not for an entire game and certainly not over a prolonged stint covering consecutive series. He's a bit too "schticky" for me, tries too hard, Eck lite if you will. I will admit it took a while for me to warm up to Eck and he's clearly not for everyone, but with time I saw that he was 100% genuine and he just worked so well with whoever he partnered with in the both. IMO, Youk's not that guy. Millar... I actually like Millar, but NOT as a member of the Sox broadcast booth. IMO, he's perfect as host on Intentional Talk. That's a vehicle that was made for him or vice versa. I also think he's fine as a guest in the booth for an inning a few times a year. Like many of the former players he does bring a certain perspective that can be informative, but it all quickly devolves into stories about Uncle Kev, guys he's seen in the shower and the five different guys that live near him in Texas. Hard pass. I have to say that I would have loved to have seen what a regular pairing Monaco and Merloni/Middlebrooks would have grown into, but that ship has sailed.
Merloni is my current favorite Boston personality. He’s pure Boston like Remy was - and he speaks off the cuff about stuff. His Twitter isn’t as good as his live stuff.
 

Rovin Romine

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1 Monaco/Merloni/Middlebrooks.
2 Monaco/Youk (but it's close.)
3 Monaco/a potted plant.
4 Monaco/Millar.
5 O'Brien/Merloni.
6 O'Brien/Youk.
7 O'Brien/Middlebrooks.
8 O'Brien/a drunken Gilbert Gottfried impersonator.
9 O'Brien/Millar.

O'Brien tends to bring out the worst in his partner; Merloni has the most pushback.
 

JCizzle

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Dec 11, 2006
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1 Monaco/Merloni/Middlebrooks.
2 Monaco/Youk (but it's close.)
3 Monaco/a potted plant.
4 Monaco/Millar.
5 O'Brien/Merloni.
6 O'Brien/Youk.
7 O'Brien/Middlebrooks.
8 O'Brien/a drunken Gilbert Gottfried impersonator.
9 O'Brien/Millar.

O'Brien tends to bring out the worst in his partner; Merloni has the most pushback.
This is the correct ranking in my opinion. Shame they doubled down on DOB.
 

simplicio

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I have no problem with Monaco's abilities as a commentator, but I will say that I won't miss listening to his actual voice at all. I always found his delivery grating.
 

BringBackMo

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Jul 15, 2005
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1 Monaco/Merloni/Middlebrooks.
2 Monaco/Youk (but it's close.)
3 Monaco/a potted plant.
4 Monaco/Millar.
5 O'Brien/Merloni.
6 O'Brien/Youk.
7 O'Brien/Middlebrooks.
8 O'Brien/a drunken Gilbert Gottfried impersonator.
9 O'Brien/Millar.

O'Brien tends to bring out the worst in his partner; Merloni has the most pushback.
I’m used to funny RR. But this really made me laugh.
 

soxhop411

news aggravator
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Dec 4, 2009
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I missed this from Cotillo back in November, but apparently Werner & Co. recently signed O'Brien to another contract extension and Monaco is a prime candidate to be the television PBP announcer for the White Sox. This is an unwelcome daily double to me, but YMMV.





Cotillo's latest on who will join O'Brien in the booth for 2024:
Mike Monaco did not get the Pale Hose job
CHICAGO -- There’s a major goal, a major focus, for John Schriffen in taking over the vast responsibilities as the White Sox new television play-by-play broadcaster, beginning with the upcoming 2024 season.
Don’t try to be Harry Caray or Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson, Hall of Famers who have previously worked in the White Sox television booth. Don’t try to be Jason Benetti, who was the White Sox previous television voice and has risen to national prominence.
The goal for Schriffen, 39, simply is to be true to himself.
“You can’t try to be somebody that you are not,” Schriffen told MLB.com. “Chicago sports fans are intelligent, they are smart, they are the best fans in the country. If you are trying to be somebody else, they are going to see you as a fraud.
“That’s not who I am. That’s not who I want to be. I can’t be someone else. My style as a broadcaster is a passionate, energetic fan. I’m going to bring the energy, the passion.”
https://www.mlb.com/news/white-sox-hire-john-schriffen-as-play-by-play-announcer
 

johnlos

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Aug 22, 2014
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Rebooting for 2024: already annoyed at DOB and Millar yacking away with the 2004 team and not paying attention to the game. They were so busy making jokes about Trot Nixon head-butting things (I don't get it) they didn't even mention TWO straight called strikes to Casas that were balls. Not asking for a lot and I get that it's rare to have so many 2004 guys around but please do the bare minimum and pay attention to game action.
80789
 

zenax

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Apr 12, 2023
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already annoyed at DOB and Millar yacking away with the 2004 team and not paying attention to the game
Must admit, I hit the mute button for a while. And the sight of Johnny Damon made me appreciate George Steinbrenner's views on ballplayers' appearance.
 

Patriot_Reign

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Apr 21, 2011
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Just speaking radio, but how is Will Flemming a host? Whenever I'm driving home and listening to the Sox game I'm astounded this guy with an ultra vanilla voice who references Rafael Devers as "Raffy" is the best option for co-hosting with Joe Costig?
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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Just speaking radio, but how is Will Flemming a host? Whenever I'm driving home and listening to the Sox game I'm astounded this guy with an ultra vanilla voice who references Rafael Devers as "Raffy" is the best option for co-hosting with Joe Costig?
I know that plenty of people don’t like Flemming, but what is wrong with him calling Raffy “Raffy?”