Carl Beane, who became the announcer in 2003, died last May 9 when he suffered a heart attack while driving. The Red Sox used a rotating cast of announcers for the remainder of the season including Flavin, Mahegan, and Lobel.
Further tryouts were held over the winter and during spring training. In all, the Red Sox said, 342 people sought the position.
Flavin, 76, spent 20 years in Boston television, primarily at WBZ, and won seven regional Emmy awards. The Quincy native was enshrined in the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011.
His one-man show about Congressman Tip O’Neill, “According to Tip,” has been performed more than 50 times in Massachusetts since its debut in 2008.
Flavin drove Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio to Florida to see their lifelong friend Ted Williams in a trip immortalized in David Halberstam’s book “The Teammates.”
Mahegan, 31, teaches civics and United States history at Charlestown High. The Marblehead native assisted in the Red Sox media relations department before embarking on his teaching career in 2010.
Lobel, 68, was a fixture at WBZ radio and television for nearly 30 years. He has won awards for his sportscasting and community efforts with the Genesis Fund and Boston Children’s Hospital. He currently hosts a daily show on WTPL-FM in Hillsboro, N.H.
It’s Lackey’s time
It has been 557 days since John Lackey pitched in a major league game. That ends on Saturday when he faces the Blue Jays.
Lackey, 34, had Tommy John surgery after the 2011 season and has spent 18 months recovering.
“You talk to any number of pitchers who have gone through Tommy John surgery and the countless hours of rehab. I would hope he takes a moment, and I’m sure he will, to reflect back,” said manager John Farrell, who twice had that surgery during his playing career.
Lackey pitched well in spring training, posting a 4.29 earned run average in five starts, one against Puerto Rico’s World Baseball Classic team. He walked only three in 14⅔
“Probably more consistent [than expected]. Not just from the stuff he took to the mound every day but the consistency to his command throughout spring training,” Farrell said. “You’re going to see guys go through some arm strength fluctuations that could lead to inconsistent command or stuff. I think that’s a tribute to what he’s done with his body in reshaping it.”
Lackey will not be under any pitch limit because of the surgery, only the usual care shown with any other starter to start the season.
“Other than that there’s no other restrictions on John,” Farrell said.
Lackey is 5-7 with a 5.48 ERA in 19 career starts against Toronto.
Drew closer to return
Stephen Drew started his second consecutive game for Double A Portland and went seven innings at shortstop. He was 1 for 3 with a double and a sacrifice fly. Farrell said the plan was for Drew to play nine innings on Saturday.
Drew has had seven plate appearances in two days as he returns from a concussion suffered in spring training. He is being prepared to join the Red Sox on Monday.
In Fort Myers, Fla., David Ortiz did some running in the outfield but did not run the bases because of wet conditions. He remains scheduled to play in an extended spring training game on Monday. Ortiz is recovering from a right Achilles’ tendon injury.
A driven rookie
Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in runs in each of his first three major league games. The last Red Sox player to do that was Hall of Famer Jim Rice in 1974. Since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920, Rice and Bradley are the only two Red Sox to accomplish that feat . . . The Red Sox went three games without a home run to start the season, the first time that has happened since 1993. That team went five games before Mo Vaughn connected. The Sox snapped their streak on Friday when Mike Napoli went deep in the fifth inning . . . Minor league first baseman Mike Flacco, obtained from Baltimore on March 15, retired. The 26-year-old had been assigned to Single A Salem. Flacco is the brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Mike Flacco said at the Super Bowl that he was interested in pursuing a NFL career as a tight end . . . The Red Sox will recognize the 60th anniversary of the Jimmy Fund as part of Opening Day. The Jimmy Fund Chorus, a group comprised of singers who are involved in some way with the Jimmy Fund or the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will sing the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Several Jimmy Fund patients will participate in the first pitch. The flyover will be by two vintage P-51 Mustangs from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation. Charles Hainline and Vlado Lenoch will pilot the World War II fighters.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.