From the Backfields to the Broadcast Booth

Yesterday was as much fun as I thought it would be. Not only did I get to watch the PawSox game in Port Charlotte followed by the Red Sox game at JetBlue Park, I had the great privilege of watching the majority of the Red Sox game from the WEEI broadcast booth above home plate.

Joe Castiglione is entering his 30th year as the “Voice of the Red Sox” and it was a real thrill to be in the booth next to him while he was calling the game.  Joe and his broadcast partner Jon Rish are terrific guys and they were even kind enough to answer some of my questions between innings.  What I maybe found most interesting is that Joe carries with him a small blue three-ring binder that contains a hand-written notecard with information on every Red Sox player and every opposing player as well.

Joe writes down things he reads in the media guide, online, or that he gets directly from a player.  He told me that when he physically writes it down, he retains the information much better than when he types it (I’m the same way).  Throughout the game he would write new information on certain players’ cards for use later in the season.

Here’s a look inside the Red Sox broadcast booth at JetBlue Park.  To the left is Jon Rish, on the right is Joe Castiglione. Through the glass to the right you can see former PawSox broadcaster and current Red Sox TV broadcaster on NESN, Don Orsillo.  Next to him in the navy shirt is the one-and-only Jerry Remy.

Today the Red Sox are on the road playing the Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, but I’ll be in attendance for the PawSox 1:00 game this afternoon at home against Rochester.  But before I leave for the ballpark I wanted to share with you some more pictures I took from yesterday’s game in Port Charlotte.

Not many hot dogs were served from this concession stand behind the minor league field where the PawSox and Durham Bulls played yesterday.  It did, however, provide some shade which was in short supply.

So much for the shade! This was my view for most of the game (throwing a Gatorade towel over my head never seemed like such a good idea).  Although it got a little warm at times, I was at least grateful that they had bleachers set up for spectators to sit on.

PawSox outfielder Daniel Nava getting loose before the start of the sixth inning.

Only in Spring Training can you find a dugout as charming as this one.

Eammon Portice pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning including two strikeouts, but before he took the mound he was busy charting pitches behind home plate.

The Texas Rangers called Port Charlotte their Spring Training home for 15 years before leaving in 2002 for a newer ballpark in Surprise, Arizona.  In 2009 the Tampa Bay Rays reached an agreement with the county to invest over $27 million in renovation costs in order to bring Charlotte Sports Park up to state-of-the-art standards. The renovation costs were more than five times the ballpark’s original cost of $5 million.

I’ll talk with you again late this afternoon/early evening to update the blog on today’s PawSox game.  For live updates during the game you can follow me on Twitter.  Have a great day!



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