Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’
by Josh Maurer
For one week, I got to live out a dream. Thanks to the folks at NESN and the Red Sox, I was able to broadcast seven Major League Baseball games on real, live television. And they were seven unbelievable days I will remember the rest of my life.
For that road trip, I got to work with a wonderful crew and a legendary analyst. In traveling with the Red Sox to Anaheim and Houston, I was able to experience firsthand what it is like to live the MLB lifestyle (and it is everything one might imagine it is.)
While calling the action for the team’s worst road trip since 1951, I got to understand the unfortunate feeling of reality setting in for a season that began with great hopes fading into “what could have been” mode. I could feel the growing anguish of Red Sox nation as the team lost, in sometimes excruciating fashion, night after night out west.
I was able to broadcast the Major League debut of one of the PawSox’ best players this season, Brian Johnson. It was an honor to be the man on the microphone when Johnson first stepped onto a big league mound and to describe his first MLB strikeout.
I was also on the play-by-play for Deven Marrero’s first Major League base hit – a player I’ve been watching grow at the plate and with the glove for over a year now in Pawtucket.
I watched as two of the best players in the game today – Mike Trout and Jose Altuve – broke the Red Sox’ hearts with walk-off home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to bookend the team’s 0-7 trip. And I marveled as I was able to call long balls from three potential future Hall of Famers – Trout, Albert Pujols and David Ortiz – all in the same game last Monday night.
These were just a few highlights from my week “in the show.” There are so many more that will be etched in my memory that I wouldn’t have the time to recount in this space.
I have to give a big heartfelt thank you to Jerry Remy, who warmly welcomed me into his booth for a week and taught me so much about the game and how to broadcast it. It was a true pleasure to sit next to him for those seven days and see why he has been so successful in the business for nearly three decades.
Thank yous are also in order to everybody at NESN who put faith in me to guide the Red Sox broadcasts for a week, and to those who helped carry me through the experience. I especially want to name VP of Programming and Production/EP Joseph Maar, Director of Production/Senior Coordinating Producer Howard Zalkowitz, each of whom showed great trust in putting me on their airwaves.
Veteran Producer Jeff Mitchell was an absolute treat to work with on the trip, and he along with the rest of the traveling NESN crew made me feel so comfortable in an unnerving situation that I cannot thank them all enough.
Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal captured some more of my thoughts on the Red Sox broadcasting experience – check out the story here.
I want to thank everyone who has reached out with feedback – positive or negative – about my play-by-play work during the trip. I am so appreciative of all the Red Sox fans who watched the games despite the poor results on the field mounting.
I hope all those in “Red Sox Nation” will continue to follow the rest of the season with Don and Jerry. Even with the team likely out of contention, those two are so great together that I believe it is worth tuning in every night.
I had a chance to sit down with the Red Sox long-time radio voice Joe Castiglione while we were in Houston last week and chat with him for PawSox Insider. He is a wonderful broadcaster whom I have looked up to for several years. Below is a link to that interview:
Later this week I’ll bring “45 Miles From Fenway” back to the PawSox. But for today, I again want to express my gratitude for an unforgettable week in the big leagues. Thanks for reading, looking forward to speaking to you from McCoy on Tuesday night!
In a move that was just announced today, the Red Sox have sent right-handed pitching prospect Alex Wilson to the bullpen and have replaced him in the Pawtucket rotation with Brandon Duckworth.
Wilson, Boston’s 2nd round pick in 2009, entered this season as the Red Sox No. 11 overall prospect – their No. 3 pitching prospect. Judging by the needs of the Red Sox, moving Wilson to the bullpen seems like a logical move, and it’s something that the right-hander is embracing.
“The way I look at it is an opportunity right now. I talked with [Red Sox] management and they said that’s where they’d like to see me. I’m going to take the opportunity and run with it.”
Working out of a relief role is not entirely new to Wilson. In his final season with Texas A&M, he appeared primarily out of the bullpen.
“Outside of my first eight games which were starts, I came out of the ‘pen and had some real good success,” Wilson said. “I’m not that far removed from it, I’ll be able to remember after a game or two what to do.”
Aside from now needing to be ready to pitch almost any day, Alex told me that this won’t change the way he commands the game on the mound.
“My stuff is going to play the same. I’m still going to come at hitters and challenge them the whole way.”
We could get a look at Wilson’s first-career relief appearance tonight as the PawSox open a brief two-game series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre from McCoy Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:15, we’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 6:00.
Talk with you then,
Although it now feels like the baseball season has been in full-swing for weeks, it’s Opening Day at Fenway Park this afternoon at 2:05 as the Red Sox host Tampa Bay. Josh Beckett takes on David Price in what should be a great matchup and, hopefully, the Sox second win of the season.
As the first pitch of the Red Sox vs. Rays game is being thrown, the PawSox will be loading the bus and heading over to Frontier Field in Rochester where they’ll wrap up a three game series to end the first leg of the current nine-game road trip. As the PawSox set numerous season-highs last night en route to a 10-1 win to even the series 1-1, here are some interesting facts and figures through eight games this season.
- PawSox pitchers have allowed just four runs over the last 36 innings (1.00 ERA)
Pawtucket’s bullpen has not allowed a single run since Game 4 of the season on April 7 (15 1/3 innings).
- The ‘pen has allowed just two earned runs over 22 1/3 innings so far (0.81 ERA).
- With the best team ERA in the International League of 1.34, the PawSox are more than 1.5 runs better than second-place Lehigh Valley (2.86 ERA).
- The club’s 1.34 ERA is the third-best in all of minor league baseball. (Triple-A New Orleans, 0.91 ERA; High-A Myrtle Beach, 1.17 ERA.)
- Thanks to a season-high 13 hits last night, the PawSox raised their team average from .245 (7th) to .260 (3rd).
- Pawtucket scored 13 runs last night with only thee extra base hits.
- Two of those XBH came from outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin who connected on his first home run of the year and also doubled.
- Per Alex Speier of WEEI.com, it was just the second time in 90 Triple-A games that Lin has had multiple extra-base hits in the same game.
- Lin had only two Triple-A home runs last year. The first came on June 22 vs. Louisville when he homered off Bats’ starter Daryl Thompson in a game that Brandon Duckworth started for the PawSox. Last night it was once again Thompson (now with Rochester) who surrendered Lin’s longball in a game were, you guessed it, Brandon Duckworth started for Pawtucket.
- Shortstop Jose Iglesias had two hits over his first five games this year. Last night he went 3-for-5 with a sacrifice bunt. His batting average went from .111 to .217.
- Third baseman Will Middlebrooks has a hit in six of the first eight games, including three multi-hit efforts.
A victory tonight for the PawSox would win the three-game series versus the Red Wings and would make the PawSox an impressive 12-2-5 in their last 18 series dating back to July 4th of last year. Righty Aaron Cook makes his second start for Pawtucket and is opposed by right-hander Cole DeVries.
First pitch from Frontier Field is at 7:05, pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.
Talk with you then,
After two successful rehab outings with Single-A Greenville, Red Sox pitcher Andrew Miller is now in Rochester with the PawSox and will pitch in tonight’s 7:05 game versus the Red Wings. At this time, it’s not known if Miller will start tonight’s game or pitch out of the bullpen, but we do know that he should pitch two innings (35-40 pitches).
Miller, who becomes the first lefty of the year for Pawtucket, feels good about how is rehabilitation is coming along. “A lot of it is letting it heal and fix itself. Then you have to rebuild the strength and stamina. I think we’re pretty much there, I’m just here to test it out and make sure it’s right.”
How close is he to being fully recovered and ready to join the Red Sox? “I’m very close. I’m about as close as you can get. I feel like I’m going 100% on the mound, I think they just want to keep making sure – we’ll know here shortly.”
You can listen to my interview with Andrew by using the embedded audio player above. We hit the air tonight with our pre-game coverage at 6:50, first pitch is 15 minutes later.
Talk with you then,
Every baseball broadcaster needs certain books in order to survive the season. In the last 48 hours, I’ve had virtually everything on my in-season reading list arrive on my desk here at McCoy Stadium. Here are the books I make sure to have with me during each game:
Red Sox Media Guide
This has everything I need on the Red Sox and their minor leaguers.
PawSox Media Guide
Produced in-house, this 226 page book has all of our club’s history, stats, and player bios.
Baseball America Prospect Handbook
This awesome book breaks down the top 30 prospects in every farm system.
This is my favorite. I’ll score all 144 games in this 330 page book where I keep track of every at-bat of the season.
International League Media Guide
Produced by the league office, this has statistical information on the I.L. along with interesting league history.
PawSox Official Program
Although I won’t use this as much as the Media Guide, our graphics department did a great job with our program – it’s only $3.00!
Maybe this is a stretch, but I’ll be seeing the movie Saturday night with my wife, Heather. Our last date night before the season starts.
Hard to imagine, but this will be our last weekend without PawSox baseball until September. Wouldn’t you know it, we’re supposed to get snow tomorrow! That might not be the worst thing in the world – I have some reading to get caught up on.
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.
I’ll always remember August 8, 2009, the date of the Futures at Fenway game the year I was the No. 2 broadcaster for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
When I first started in this business back in 2007, I knew that there was a chance that I could spend my entire professional career broadcasting baseball and never have the opportunity to call a game from a major league ballpark. Although it wasn’t a major league game, Mike Antonellis and I were able to broadcast a Sea Dogs’ game from Fenway Park on that perfect Saturday afternoon from Fenway. It remains the biggest thrill of my career, and being able to share it with my great friend Mike was the only thing that could have made it even better.
Not only was it my first time broadcasting a game from a big league park, as a kid from St. Louis, it was my first time inside Fenway Park (needless to say, the second time wasn’t quite as cool, but still great).
Because of the fantastic memories I have from that afternoon, I’m thrilled to know that this year I’ll once again be able to broadcast from Fenway – this time as a member of the PawSox. The Red Sox formally announced this morning that the PawSox and short-season Lowell Spinners have been selected as the two teams to participate in this year’s Futures at Fenway.
The seventh annual minor league doubleheader will be held on Saturday, August 18. The Spinners will make their fifth overall appearance at Futures at Fenway, taking on the Hudson Valley Renegades, the short-season affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, at 1:05pm. Game two will feature the PawSox, also making their fifth Futures at Fenway appearance, as they face off against the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
While this great event is a thrill for the players and broadcasters, one of the biggest beneficiaries is the fans, many of whom will have the opportunity to enjoy seating locations they may have never before had the chance to experience. For the sixth consecutive year, tickets will start as low as $5.00 (for Bleacher seats) and range up to just $30.00 (for Green Monster Seats, Dugout Seats, the EMC Club and the State Street Pavilion Club). In addition, discounted concession items will be available for fans attending the games. Maybe the best part is that one ticket gets you into both games.
Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, March 17. Fans can visit www.redsox.com/futures or call (877) REDSOX-9 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In case you’re curious, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino originally approached the Red Sox seven years ago with the idea to host minor league games at Fenway Park. Although records are incomplete, the Futures at Fenway games in 2006 are believed to be the first minor league games played at Fenway Park since the 1977 Eastern League All-Star Game. The last known regular season minor league game played at Fenway had been a 1966 Eastern League contest between Pittsfield (Red Sox) and Pawtucket (Indians).
My calendar is marked, hope yours is, too.