The sounds of not talking

September 5th, 2006 → 8:18 am @

There was a lot to be happy about last night: the return of the inscrutable and delightfully coiffed Manny Ramirez, Trot Nixon swinging a bat without doubling over in pain, the vacuum cleaner known as A-Gon patrolling the infield, tight shots of Jason Varitek warily eyeing the batter from behind the plate, a possibly teary and always excitable Julian Tavarez auditioning as the ace of the staff, Carlos Pena’s 10th-inning walk-off (in case you tuned out these last few weeks, he’s one of the approximately 400 players who’ve suited up for the Sox over the past month), and, of course, Tina Cervasio struggling for the 54th time this season to figure out a new way to ask a player, “So what was that like?”

There’s also one of my favorite aspects of Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo’s broadcasts on NESN. When there’s a dramatic event on the field — Matt Clement being beaned in the head, any one of Papi’s million game-winners, Pedro returning to Fenway — Remy and Orsillo know enough to keep their traps shut and let viewers enjoy the engulfing sounds of the fans at the game. It’s how sports broadcasts should work: for those of us stuck watching the game on TV, we want to get as close to the action as possible. And in the most dramatic moments of the game, that means hearing nothing more than the sounds of tens of thousands frenzied fans reacting to another seemingly transcendent moment on the diamond.

Post Categories: Don Orsillo & Jerry Remy

They pay them to say what we’re thinking

July 22nd, 2006 → 1:18 am @

“I tell you what, if you fell asleep on the couch tonight you’re not missing much.”
— Jerry Remy, 1:11 am EST, July 22, in the middle of the top half of the ninth inning of the first game of the Sox’s West Coast swing. The Red Sox, who beat the Texas Rangers at home on Thursday afternoon, were leading Seattle 8-4 at the time.

“He’ll do this the rest of the night!”
— a clearly exasperated Remy, 1:32 am EST, after Ichiro fouled off the 10th pitch of his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth in what was now a 9-4 game.

“This is unbelievable.”
— Don Orsillo, 1:33 am EST, after the at-bat’s 12th-pitch.

Post Categories: Don Orsillo & Jerry Remy

It’s kind of sad that this is so unusual

July 6th, 2006 → 10:24 pm @

Two nice moments in the NESN broadcast of tonight’s Sox-Devil Rays game.

* In the first inning, after Manny cranked a ball into the left-field stands for a two-run shot, Jerry Remy got audibly excited. But instead of just screaming, “DEEP DRIVE, HOME RUN!” (or something inane like “that two-run shot is as good as a grand slam“), Remy’s excitement stemmed from Manny’s freakish balance on a Scott Shields change-up. Two batters earlier, Shields had struck out Mark Loretta with a change; not only did Manny take note, but Remy did too. Manny’s ability to correctly forecast the offspeed offering and sit on it is impressive; just as impressive–especially in comparison to the vast majority of broadcasters working today–is that Remy, instead of simply marveling at Manny’s power or skill or whatever, used the moment to point out how smart a player Manny is and what his at-bat illustrated.

* In the top of the ninth, with Alex Gonzalez on third, nobody out, and Kevin Youkilis at bat, Youk hit a fastball sharply between first and second. It was a hit and run–Gonzalez was off with the pitch–and Devil Rays second baseman Jorge Cantu had broken towards the bag; as a result, he had to scramble to his left, turning a potential double-play ball into a bases loaded situation. Before the play was over, Remy was explaining how Cantu should have been in position to make the play; it’s the shortstop that usually covers second when there’s a hit-and-run on with the pitcher throwing a fastball to a right-handed hitter. And unlike the rote “how many times does a guy make a great defensive play to end an inning and then lead off the next inning with a big hit?” (answer: almost exactly as much as you’d expect), Remy’s observation explained what turned out to be a game deciding play: after a Mark Loretta walk loaded the bases, David Ortiz hit a grand slam for his second home run of the game. The Boston Red Sox: fun to watch and educational.

P.S. After 83 games, David Ortiz has 29 home runs and 82 RBIs. His projected totals for the season? Fifty seven home runs and 160 RBIs. He is a god among men.

Post Categories: Baseball & Broadcasting & David Ortiz & Jerry Remy & NESN

You mean we need to sit here for five more innings?

June 20th, 2006 → 9:08 pm @

SCENE: The bottom of the fourth inning of the July 20 Red Sox-Nationals game with Boston leading, 8-0.

SETTING: NESN broadcast booth, Fenway park.

* Red Sox color analyst Jerry Remy
* Red Sox play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo
* A three-inch plushy of Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster.

Remy: We all have parties–birthday parties, crews go out and have parties. Wally likes to attend those parties and he has a heck of a time, but the next day I’ve got to put up with that. He’s miserable, not feeling well, cause it’s hard if, you know, when he goes out people take care of him.

Orsillo: See, I thought he was all done with that. I thought that was another life for Wally. I thought the whole rehab thing took care of that.

Remy: The thing about it is, he’ll look the same tomorrow, but he won’t feel good.

Orsillo: He’s always gonna be green.


Remy: The women love Wally.

Orsillo: I can see why. They’re only human.
It makes you wonder what Ron Gant would have come up with…

Post Categories: Broadcasting & Don Orsillo & Jerry Remy & Red Sox & Ron Gant & Wally the Green Monster