Today's media column, a longer piece on Sean McDonough's return to a regular baseball gig with ESPN six years after leaving the Sox, can be found right here.
In working on the column, I talked for a bit to Jerry Remy, who credits McDonough for bringing out (or downright creating) his on-air RemDawg persona and, presumably, earning him untold millions. It's funny, they are remembered so fondly as a duo that it's hard to believe Remy's actually been paired with Don Orsillo longer. This will be their 11th season, and it's one Remy is looking forward to just like the rest of us.
"Can't wait to get going," said Remy, who's entering his 24th year as a Red Sox television analyst. "I haven't looked forward to the start of a season like this in I don't know how long. On paper, this is a team without any glaring flaw, and I'm really interested, just like everyone else around here obviously, to get a look at [Carl] Crawford and [Adrian] Gonzalez. This has a chance to be a very impressive team from top to bottom."
Remy agreed with the conventional wisdom that there's only one thing that can prevent this team from fulfilling its spring promise.
"Well, it's the injuries," Remy said. "It was one after another there for a while last year -- Ellsbury, Beckett, Pedroia, Youkilis -- and it undercut what could have been another very good season, another playoff team. I'm anxious to see how all of these guys come back, and Gonzalez coming off his shoulder surgery, too, but if you look at this roster and players play up to their ability and their track record, there's really nothing that is going to prevent this team from being an outstanding team other than injuries. And it's hard to imagine what happened last year is going to happen again."
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One more comment about the McDonough piece while I think of it:
There's definitely been an interesting reaction to this one -- had more e-mail about this than probably any other media column I've written, and only one among the dozens has been what I'd call anti-McDonough.
Yet I had a couple of voicemails and comments in my chat this afternoon from people saying he needs to quit whining about losing the gig. If that's what readers took from the story, I wrote it poorly or didn't convey the right tone, because McDonough's not whining at all. Any bitterness he had from his departure is long gone in regard to the Red Sox, and he expressed respect for Orsillo.
I've also had a couple of readers ask why the Sox let him go. I didn't elaborate on it in the column because I thought it had been rehashed plenty through the years, but maybe I should have said more.
Basically, he had been marginalized by NESN (and to a lesser degree, the Sox) in 2003-04, when he called just the Friday night games on Ch. 38. With all of the games moving to NESN in '05, there was no need for both him and Don Orsillo. Orsillo, who has grown into a very good play by play guy in own right, worked cheaper and didn't have network commitments. And NESN does like cheaper.
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Couple of other media footnotes . . .
* Thought Ryan Johnston did a terrific job filling in for Dave Goucher on the Bruins radio broadcast Wednesday night. Wasn't familiar with his work before, but he's polished and has classic pipes. It has been a little jarring to hear him filling for "Toucher and Rich" with former Maine Black Bear Mike Flynn the past couple of days, though. Their straightforward style compared to the regulars couldn't be much different.
* If Dennis and Callahan have ever had a better interview than their 25-minute chat with Ray Allen this morning, I must have missed it. Great questions -- Gerry Callahan in particular is a strong interviewer -- and Allen's engaging candor was refreshing, if hardly surprising given his reputation.
* Missed Sean Grande's call of Allen's record-breaking 3-pointer. (I was watching the TNT broadcast to see if Reggie Miller might flash him the choke sign; instead, he was beyond gracious) Curious if Grande's sounded scripted (like his "very definition of full circle" call of the final moments of the Finals three years ago) or if it came across more organically and in the moment.
* NESN begins its coverage from Fort Myers Sunday night with with "Red Sox Live," beginning at 7 p.m.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.