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April 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm ET
Is the wrist bothering Papi?
By Jon Rish

If it is he has yet to say so publicly. However, Joe Christianson notes in today’s Minnesota Star Tribune that the left wrist is indeed a problem.

Friends of David Ortiz say the Red Sox slugger’s left wrist is hurting, though he refuses to make excuses.

Ortiz is 0 for 4 with a walk and 4 strikeouts. Ortiz strick out twice with a runner on third and less than two out today. So far on the season Ortiz is 2 for 18 with 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. Boston is at Minnesota for the first of three tomorrow.

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April 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm ET
Pawtucket’s Alan Embree
By Jon Rish

Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster Dan Hoard catches up with veteran reliever Alan Embree before today’s doubleheader. Dan talks to Alan about when he might be ready to pitch in the majors, what his though process would be if he’s not on the major league roster when he can opt out of his contract and they also take a trip down memory lane to the 2004 playoffs.

Dan Hoard w/ Alan Embree 4-10

The Pawsox are home for a doubleheader with Rochester this afternoon after last night’s rain out. Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching in game one.

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April 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm ET
Portland Pitcher Robert Coello is Ready to go
By Jon Rish

The latest in what will be a continuing effort to introduce you to many in the players, managers and coaches up and down the Red Sox organization comes to us from Portland. Mike Antonellis is the radio play by play voice of the Sea Dogs. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike last month in Fort Myers, and thanks to him we have this feature on right-handed pitcher Robert Coello.

Mike Antonellis with RHP Robert Coello

Coello was originally drafted by the Reds as a catcher in 2004. He missed all of 2005 due to injury. The Reds let him go and the Angels picked him up and converted him into a pitcher. In 2008 he pitched with Edmonton in the independent Golden Baseball League. Boston signed him after the 2008 season and he spent most of 2009 with high A Salem in the Carolina League.

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April 9, 2010 at 9:52 am ET
Checking in with Salem
By Jon Rish

One of the many things we hope to bring you on a regular basis here at SoxBooth is a look at the minor league system. Evan Lepler is the voice of the High A Salem Red Sox. Their season was set to begin last night – before the rain came, but before all of that Evan had a chance to sit down with manager Kevin Boles.

kevin-boles-preseason-chat-4-8-10

Take a listen for a nice preview of the season as well as a look at pitching prospect Stolmy Pimental.

One unrelated note, Boston is at Kansas City tonight for the Royals home opener. The first pitch won’t come until about 8:20 – ten minutes or so later than originally scheduled. There will be a ceremony on the filed for Zach Grienke. Fellow Cy Young winners Brett Saberhagen and David Cone are expected to be there.

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April 8, 2010 at 11:03 am ET
Do you care about TOG?
By Jon Rish

Time of game that is. Cue up the speed up the game discussions, they’re always front and center when the Sox play the Yankees. I like a quick game as much or more than the next guy. Heck we almost made it in three hours last night!

This morning I read Crew Chief Joe West’s take on TOG from the series.

“They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest?

“It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.”

Hey Joe, how about you call some strikes? You know the pitches that are strikes that you called balls? West had the plate Sunday night. Jason at IIATMS (I know a Yankee blog – but a good one) breaks it down with strike zone plots to illustrate.

Thrilling 3:30 games? No problem. 3:48 because batters are stepping out, pitchers are holding the ball and catchers are walking to the mound? Not so much. As is usually the case the onus falls on the umpires to play the bad guys, enforce the rules and move things along. Not an easy job at all. One thing that is easy, call pitches that are strikes strikes.


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March 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm ET
Sea Dogs SoxBooth
By Jon Rish

One of the things we’re going to try and bring you this season is a look into the broadcasting booths in Boston’s minor league affiliates. Our first stop is Portland where Mike Antonellis is the radio voice of the Sea Dogs. Mike caught up with Richie Lentz.  The 25 year old right handed pitcher announced his retirement earlier this week.

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March 6, 2010 at 7:17 pm ET
South Dakota
By Jon Rish

So I asked Joe today during the ninth inning of Boston’s 9-3 win over Minnesota if he and Dave made it out to South Dakota in the off season. It turns out they’re waiting for an all expenses paid trip! If somebody can come up with that then I think we might just be able to get them there. Or almost anywhere for that matter, as long as it’s an all expenses paid trip. I think I heard OB mention that South Dakota was exactly where he wanted to go for the All Star Break. Or maybe he said he wanted to send our producer – Jon Albanese – in his place. I’ll have to check on that.

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February 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm ET
Bats That Ted might have liked
By Jon Rish

Interesting link from the Seattle times: Maple bats with handles that are shaped like an axe.

The bat is called the “Axe” and a company sales manager, Rusty Trudeau, says the name was inspired by legendary slugger Williams, who once said he wishes bat handles could be designed like an axe handle.

Supposedly, axe handles are shaped to fit more comfortably into a hand, and that’s how this bat has been contoured.

MLB has given provisional approaval to the bats. One of the benefits of it is that it will apparently shatter less often than traditional bats. That’s because, if held correctly so the hand fits the “axe handle”, the hitter will make contact with the ball using the strongest part of the wood — with the lable turned away.

Anything to reduce the number of shattered bats seems like it’s worth a try.


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February 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm ET
Sabermetrics on the air
By Jon Rish

Came across this column by my friend Jon Sciambi at Baseball Prospectus today.

How can the broadcast world do a better job of delivering sabermetrics to the masses? And, more importantly, how do we make it “illuminating” instead of “coma-inducing?

I’m “mathematically challenged” and find lots of BP, Fangraphs, Tango, etc., tough to digest. I am somewhat “tentative” to push SABR-type stuff on air because of the aforementioned coma potential. That’s not an excuse, just reality. But it’s also on me to do better.

Please click through (no subscription required) if you can. I’ve often thought about many of the same issues raised in the column as well. Jon’s dynamic on television (and on radio in an ESPN setting) is that of a play by play announcer along with a former player/manager as his analyst. However, to avoid the coma inducing effect it doesn’t matter who your partner is, there needs to be discussion, not just a presentation of statistics. Statistics that can be interesting and informative, but will be confusing to at least some percentage of audience.

People expect to hear average and RBI, even though I don’t value them much compared to OBP and slugging. OPS is about as far as I go, even though I really like to look at OPS+. Fielding Indipendent Pitching is a great metric compared to traditional ERA, but please don’t ask me to calculate it. Wins and Losses? Who cares?

I found Jon’s assertion that it’s just as important to back away from using traditional and less informative stats as it is introduce new and better metrics as the key point. He’s right, in most cases it’s not a matter of preference, some metrics are just better. Period. The question going forward for me is how much, how often and how fast. It has to be in the context of an entertaining broadcast. Baseball on the radio is not a classroom, not too mention I’m hardly qualified to teach any of this. I’m learning just like many others.

BTW, our first spring broadcast: Thursday 3/4 – 7pm v MIN.

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September 30, 2009 at 2:16 am ET
Playoffs? Yes, Please!!!
By Jon "Bernie" Albanese

The Rangers JUST lost to the Angels 5-2, sealing the Red Sox’ spot in the 2009 MLB Playoffs!  Some of the Red Sox players have decided to come back to the clubhouse to celebrate…here’s the audio from the late-night festivities:

 1am 9/30/09 Mike Lowell Post-Clinch Wild Card Sound

1am 9/30/09 Dustin Pedroia Post-Clinch Wild Card Sound

1am 9/30/09 Jason Bay Post-Clinch Wild Card Sound

1am 9/30/09 Tim Wakefield #1 – showing our character

1am 9/30/09 Tim Wakefield #2 – organization-improved team

1am 9/30/09 Tim Wakefield #3 – this never gets old.

 

Just over a month ago, someone who emailed Sox Booth invited the guys to visit their home state of South Dakota.  I decided to get them more information by applying for a South Dakota visitor’s guide.  A few days ago, guess what came in the mail??

Look, we're going to go somewhere...

Look, we're going to go somewhere...

...right THERE in South Dakota!!

...right THERE in South Dakota!!

 

Now, let’s go get that World Series!!

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