Results tagged ‘ Joe Castiglione ’
In my first day off in 26 days it seemed like the only logical thing to do was to take in a baseball game, right?
After a sunny afternoon at the beach, my wife Heather and I made made our first trip of the year to Fenway Park for last night’s Red Sox vs. Rangers game.
With some help, I was able to secure a couple of press passes for the two of us so we could visit the press box and say “hi” to the Red Sox radio team of Joe Castiglione, Dave O’Brien, and Jon Rish.
The game had some extra meaning for me since I had spent the last two seasons broadcasting for the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate in Frisco, TX. Eric Nadel, the “Voice of the Rangers” has been a terrific mentor to me over the past few years and, in his 34th season behind the microphone, has been with the Rangers even longer than Castiglione has been with the Red Sox.
Maybe the best thrill from last night was seeing one of my closest Texas League friends, Matt Hicks, in the Rangers’ radio booth. After a 20+ year minor league broadcasting career, most recently with Double-A Corpus Christi, “Hicksie” was asked to be the Rangers’ No. 2 broadcaster halfway through this season after some shuffling of personnel in Texas’ radio and television broadcasts. He’s one of the funniest guys in the business and also one of the most deserving of the “call-up.”
After 24 hours to recharge, it’s back to work tonight as the PawSox open a quick two-game series at McCoy against the Syracuse Chiefs. And remember, on August 18 the PawSox take on the Buffalo Bisons at Fenway in the seventh annual Futures at Fenway minor league doubleheader. Click here for tickets and more information.
While filling out my scorebook last night in the broadcast booth in Louisville, I was listening to the Red Sox game when Junichi Tazawa took the mound for the fifth time since being recalled from Pawtucket.
I heard all three scoreless innings the right-hander pitched and wasn’t shocked when I heard Joe Castiglione say, with surprise in his voice, that Tazawa hit 95 mph on the Fenway radar gun. While we had seen him sit around 91-92 during Aril and May, Tazawa’s fastball climbed to 93-94 while touching 95 in his final outings with the PawSox.
“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what exactly is the reason,” Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur told me from his clubhouse office Monday. “If I were to guess the reason for his increased velocity, I’d have to say it’s a because of his new confidence.”
Last year, Tazawa was throwing between 89-90 mph without giving up many hits. This season however, the righty was throwing 91-92 in the early months, yet was surrendering more hits than when he had less velocity.
“I sat down with him and told him to stop worrying about giving up hits. Just go out there and pitch,” Sauveur said. “Since then, not only has he pitched better, but his velocity has gone up even more.”
As the PawSox pitching coach was quick to point out, it’s important to remember that Tazawa is coming off major surgery (Tommy John) and there’s a certain physical and mental adjustment period that follows.
“It all comes down to Junichi being able to trust his arm more. You can tell that he’s not worried about anything else now when he’s out there.”
Well before Bobby Valentine created a stir by saying he was upset by Joe Giradi’s decision to end Thursday night’s game in a 4-4 tie, it was a circus at JetBlue Park for one reason: Terry Francona.
The former Red Sox manager was part of the ESPN broadcast team covering the game and the media went crazy over Tito’s return to Red Sox Spring Training. Below are some pics I took throughout the day.
Every reporter in the house wanted to talk with Tito before the game.
Francona looked like he enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from the Boson media.
Bobby Valentine talking with David Ortiz during batting practice.
PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler throwing BP before the game.
The view of batting practice from the dugout.
A single Rawlings MLB baseball on the MLB.com Shop costs $16.99. Maybe this is why parking at Fenway costs so much?
Red Sox super-shortstop-prospect Jose Iglesias taking some infield during batting practice.
Bobby Valentine chatting with Dan Schulman and Orel Hershiser of ESPN. Buster Olney is sitting to the left.
This was taken about two hours before first pitch. Gates open at JetBlue Park 90 minutes prior to the start of the game. One security guard told me that there were people who camped out overnight!
This was a real thrill for me to be able to see these three great broadcasters: Joe Castiglione, the “Voice of the Red Sox,” Don Orsillo, the TV voice of the Red Sox on NESN, and all the way at the end is Dan Schulman of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
There is seating on top of the Monster and in the Monster. You can’t see it well in this picture, but there is netting in front of the seats in the Monster to protect the fans.
Pesky’s Pole in right field already getting some signatures.
The view from on top of the Green Monster.
Today I’m off to the Twins’ complex for a 1:00 first pitch between Pawtucket and Rochester with my good friend and “Voice of the Portland Sea Dogs,” Mike Antonellis. More on today’s game coming later tonight.
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!
After some minor technical issues, our PawSox Insider podcast page on iTunes has been fully updated and now has the two most recent episodes of the show.
PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler joined us to talk about Spring Training, his early observations of JetBlue Park, and what it ‘s like working with Bobby Valentine. Joe Castiglione, the long-time “Voice of the Red Sox,” spoke to us from Ft. Myers and talked about his excitement for the upcoming season. In the final segment, Alex Speier, Red Sox reporter for WEEI.com, talked with Steve and me about Valentine, Andrew Bailey, Jose Iglesias, and what he watching for in 2012.
Episode 3 Summary
Ryan Kalish phoned in from Spring Training in Ft. Myers and talked about how his rehab from shoulder and neck surgery is coming along. In the third segment of the show, Ben Crockett, the Red Sox Director of Player Development, chatted about how he’s transitioning into his new job and what his day-to-day is like during Spring Training. To wrap up the show, Brian MacPherson, the Red Sox beat writer for the Providence Journal, talked about his recent visit to Spring Training and what he feels are the most interesting storylines to keep an eye on entering the 2012 Red Sox season.
Thanks for listening to the show; we’re really excited to now have it on iTunes. As always, if you ever have any ideas or suggestions for the program, don’t hesitate to let me know.
“Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He has it. He underhands to first, and the Boston Red Sox are the world champions! For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball’s world championship! Can YOU believe it?”‘ – Joe Castiglione
In my short time with the PawSox, I can already tell that they’re all about the community. From banquet dinners, to chamber events, to last night’s gathering in Providence put on by WEEI, my social life has boomed since arriving in Pawtucket (am I the first person to say that?).
No doubt the highlight for me last night, along with everyone else in attendance, was meeting the “Voice of the Red Sox,” Joe Castiglione. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe in the booth at Fenway Park at the end of the 2010 season, but he was on the mic and I only had time to say a quick “hi” in-between innings.
There’s no doubting Joe’s dedication, knowledge, and passion. Can you remember what you were doing professionally 30 years ago? If you’re like me, you weren’t even alive 30 years ago. Well, I can tell you what Joe was doing. He was beginning his first year calling games on radio for the Boston Red Sox. Before that, Joe called play-by-play for the Cleveland Indians on television and broadcast the Milwaukee Brewers on TV as well.
When talking with him last night I was surprised to learn that Boston was his first actual radio job. I also found it interesting that Bobby Valentine will be the 10th Red Sox manager Joe has worked with while in Boston. Can you name the other nine?
1. Ralph Houk (1981-84; 312-282)
2. John McNamara (1985-88; 297, 273)
3. Joe Morgan (1988-91; 301-262)
4. Butch Hobson (1992-94; 207-232)
5. Kevin Kennedy (1995-96; 171-135)
6. Jimy Williams (1997-2001; 414-352)
7. Joe Kerrigan (2001; 17-26)
8. Grady Little (2002-03; 188-136)
9. Terry Francona (2004-11; 375-273)
Joe was very gracious with his time, answered everyone’s questions, and posed for countless pictures (I wasn’t the only one). My hope is to have more of a “sit-down” style interview with him at some point during Spring Training this year and will post that conversation on the blog.
Speaking of Spring Training, the Sox first game against major league competition is March 3 versus Minnesota.
In the meantime, Joe’s second book, Can You Believe it?: 30 Years of Insider Stories with the Boston Red Sox, will soon be available at Amazon.com and at local retailers. You an currently pre-order it through Barnes & Noble. Should be a terrific read.