WEEI has assembled an all-star team of announcers for the upcoming 2019 season of Boston Red Sox baseball. Boston’s radio home for the Sox will feature Sean McDonough, Dave O’Brien, and Chris Berman on game broadcasts as part of a booth rotation alongside longtime radio voice Joe Castiglione. The rotation also includes Lou Merloni, Dale Arnold, Tom Caron, and newcomers Mario Impemba, and Josh Lewin.
“As the flagship radio home of the world champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI is proud to extend our relationship with Joe Castiglione and to welcome this elite group of broadcasters to join him in the booth,” said Mark Hannon, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Boston. “We are committed to providing listeners with premier and innovative coverage of the Sox and are looking forward to a great season.”
Lewin and Impemba will work the majority of games this season (55 each) with Castiglione. McDonough has signed on to call 30 games. He’ll make his debut on April 11th when the Sox face the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. The following week he’ll be behind the mic for the first Yankees series.
It’s a return to calling Sox games for McDonough who previously served as the television play-by-play announcer for the Red Sox on New England Sports Network (NESN) from 1988-2004. During that time, he was honored four times with the New England Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Play-by-Play. The Hingham, MA native is currently a leading play-by-play voice on ESPN college sports broadcasts.
“It’s nice to be back in the Red Sox fold, if that’s the right word,” McDonough told WEEI.com. “I didn’t want to leave 15 years ago, but in many ways, it was a good thing that I did, because it enabled me to do a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have done –– the U.S. Open, British Open. I’ve just had a lot of opportunities that wouldn’t have come along if I were still doing Red Sox games on TV. My path has been winding and interesting, and I’m glad it’s brought me back to this place –– particularly at this time.”
For Castiglione, this will be his 37th season in the booth. He believes the cast WEEI has assembled to call Sox games will lead to a lot of interplay in the booth.
“We’ll have conversation. They’re all good baseball people,” Castiglione told WEEI.com. “It should flow well. We like to have good conversation –– and tell stories and have background information on players to try and personalize them. That makes the fans feel like they know these people versus ‘Here’s a guy who’s hitting .302 with 20 home runs.”
The Red Sox radio vacancy was created following the departure of play-by-play voice Tim Neverett, a Boston-area native who left the booth after three seasons with the team. Neverett has since joined the Los Angeles Dodgers radio broadcast team. Following his exit rumors circulated that WEEI might drop the traditional radio baseball broadcast in favor of a talk show style approach. WEEI PD Joe Zarbano quickly dismissed those rumors, and the latest additions to the booth confirm they were untrue.
Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP
“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”
Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.
One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.
“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”
More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”
Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”
An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.
“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.
“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.
Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”
Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”