→ Evaluating NESN

What do you write about when the Red Sox are out of the playoff race this early in the season? The network that broadcasts their games.

It has become a chore to listen to and watch NESN’s amateurish Red Sox broadcasts.

Fans routinely misses pitches because NESN tries to cram an excessive number of commercials between innings, airs excessive replays, and lingers on irrelevant dugout shots. NESN gives us worthless “tours” of concrete hallways in other stadiums and asinine non-baseball segments. Worse than that, the network often fails to show the action on the field.

Announcers Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy have become sad parodies of themselves. While Orsillo still calls a decent play-by-play, he also swamps viewers with waves of useless information between pitches and batters. Remy, ostensibly an analyst, offers no analysis whatsoever.

I have admittedly not been watching as many games this year1, however, I have always enjoyed the Orsillo-Remy broadcast team. I agree with Fangraphs, who ranked them as the #5 best television broadcasting team in baseball:

Three [Fangraphs] Reader Comments

• “The broadcasts feel appropriately ‘regional.’ (Accents help.)”

• “They can be hilarious. Sometimes being hilarious is unprofessional. Sometimes being hilarious leads to unintentionally unrestrained laughter-squeaks and pauses in commentary due to breath-catching. Never have I seen/hear this from other broadcasting teams, so it’s pleasantly unique.”

• “They don’t try to do too much, they’re comfortable with their audience, and they can be hilarious. They almost never tell me something I don’t know though, and tell me things I know are wrong not unfrequently.”

Notes

The comment about the broadcast being regionally appropriate is astute, I think. The accents, yeah, but also the nature of the banter between Ramy and Orsillo. My guess is that the sorts of things that readers dislike about Remy and Orsillo are the sorts of things they dislike about Bostonians, generally.


  1. I do not enjoy watching as much when things seem to always break against the Sox