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Red Sox talent show is all wrong

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  May 31, 2012 08:43 AM

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What better way to honor the legacy of Carl Beane than with a dog and pony show? 

In case you haven't heard, the Red Sox will be looking for the late public address announcer's replacement with a series of "invitation only" tryouts at Fenway Park over the coming weeks. Things kick off Thursday when WEEI's Jon Meterparel takes the microphone, an invitation offered by Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino during Wednesday's Red Sox-owned NESN simulcast of the "Curt Schilling Excuse Hour" "Dennis and Callahan Show."

Meterparel should do a fine job. Even if his guest appearance reeks of synergy. 

What is more concerning is that Dr. Charles told Nick Cafardo that the team will use "a host of celebrity and non-celebrity public-address announcers" in seeking Beane's successor.

Oh, boy.

Is there any doubt that this is going to turn into a rind with more cheese than the likes of "America's Got Talent?" Oh, the lucky fans who have tickets the night Mike O' Malley gets behind the microphone and butchers Edwin Encarncion's name when the Blue Jays come to town. What a hoot. Cue laughter in Section 11. 

This Red Sox ownership is relentless. Increasingly tone-deaf to the attitude of its fan base, John Henry, Lucchino, and Tom Werner, producer of TV legends such as "God, the Devil, and Bob," continue to Circus Up Fenway Park even as the product on the field attempts to Cowboy Up after a disastrous beginning to the 2012 season. You don't think Beane must be swearing in the afterlife that his chair could potentially be filled in one night by the likes of Ernie Boch, Jr.? Ken Casey? Doris Kearns Goodwin?

Meanwhile, the front office is popping champagne, chanting, "Look at us."

I'm not sure if he wants the job, but Henry Mahegan has the pipes for it, a matter he has proven in his fill-in duties. What's wrong with him? Ultimately, he may even get the job, but not before the Red Sox make this into a talent show fitting for reality TV. It's bad enough we have the NBA playoffs and that aforementioned, abysmal NBC show to deal with. We don't need any more manufactured entertainment.

Oh, and did we mention Lucchino's "revolutionary" idea to have the PA announcer call balls and strikes? Talk about assuming how dumbed-down your audience has become, which at Fenway I guess is a pretty safe guess anyway. It's tough to check the big thing in left field when you're Tweeting pictures of yourself with Wally and constantly asking when that wretched party song is going to be played. "Holy, bleep, the guys in white are down 12-4? [Shriek] Neil!!!"

Plenty of the PA wannabes will probably be great, and perhaps there is indeed a diamond in the rough there. But you just know that the team is going to turn this into a celebrity something they can market and present as part of its TV brand, a Gong Show for NESN which will milk the anticipation of the winner for all its possibly worth. "Seth Myers totally forgot the score last night in the sixth. It was hysterical." 

So, there you are, Carl. This is how the Red Sox remember you; by putting on one big talent show for the job you cherished as your idol Sherm Feller did before you. What an honor. 

Michael Chiklis, please take the stage.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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