A familiar voice from Boston sports radio will be part of the Red Sox’s NESN broadcast team this upcoming season. Tony Massarotti, half of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz, will be one of the new analysts, along with former Red Sox favorites Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Millar. (He’ll remain on the enormously popular radio show. His summers will just be busier.)
Earlier this month, Massarotti revealed to Felger & Mazz listeners that he auditioned for one of the NESN analyst positions.
“I’d love to tell you that this is like a done deal and it’s – but I don’t know that yet,” Massarotti said on-air. “I think there’s still some things that we have to figure out. But I am, first of all, I’m flattered to even be considered for it.”
Massarotti was excited about the possibility, but was cautious because media — writers, reporters, radio hosts, etc. — aren’t typically considered for TV analyst positions anymore. More often than not, an ex-athlete, someone who played for the team (in the case of regional sports coverage), and more recognizable name gets those jobs.
But Massarotti certainly has bona fides with Boston fans and knowledge of the Red Sox. Prior to becoming part of Boston’s top-rated sports radio program (and BSM’s No. 1 major market afternoon show of 2021), Massarotti covered the team for 14 seasons with the Boston Herald and as a columnist for the Boston Globe.
(Felger and Massarotti were also honored with the first Mike & The Mad Dog Award for the country’s best local sports radio show at the 2022 BSM Summit. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo were on hand to present the award.)
While Massarotti can’t offer the insight of a former Red Sox or major league player, he brings the perspective of a fan and outside observer. That’s not always heard on MLB game telecasts and fans will likely enjoy a broadcaster calling something as they see it at home.
“I think I can offer the perspective of what a fan feels and what a fan thinks when they watch the game,” Massarotti told NESN’s Mike Cole. “I was (a fan), I like to think I can separate the two, but I grew up knowing what the team means to the people here and what sports mean to people in this market.”
Will Massarotti be as candid or critical on NESN telecasts as he can be on 98.5 The Sports Hub or was as a reporter and columnist? The presumption is that the network knows who they hired and expect him to be fair, but tough in his analysis and commentary.
“I just think as a member of the print media, in particular, you can be really harsh sometimes, let alone in talk radio, said Massarotti. “Heaven knows I’ve probably lost control of my emotions on multiple occasions over the years for things that have happened with the Red Sox.”
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.