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Monday, August 08, 2022

Red Sox announcer and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley to retire from NESN after the 2022 season

Dennis Eckersley is retiring from the NESN booth at the end of the season after 20 years.

“I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I really have,” the former Hall of Fame pitcher told The Boston Globe. “Not that it matters, but it’s kind of a round number, leaving. I started in pro ball in ‘72, when I was a 17-year-old kid right out of high school. Fifty years ago. And I’ve been with NESN for 20 years, even though it doesn’t feel like that because I didn’t do much my first four or five years. So it’s time.”

After Eckersley retires as a color analyst, he will move to California in October with his wife Jennifer to spend more time with his twin four-year-old grandchildren.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2022 at 10:46 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dennis eckersley, nesn

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   1. villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2022 at 11:16 AM (#6090611)
Eck was never planning to do this on a regular basis, IIRC. Even at the start he might fill in for a few days on a homestand, or swing a free trip to Oakland when the team was heading out there. But he generally didn't want to go on the road otherwise. He started doing more when Remy had health issues, and even more during the pandemic - when the broadcast team wasn't going on the road anyway.

I'm actually glad he's retiring. He was fantastic for a long time - very insightful, and openly sharing stuff from his career that others might be too prideful to discuss. He's still a colorful and insightful guy, but it feels in the last year or two he's been drifting toward Harrelson territory, just rooting and not really adding as much insight.
   2. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 08, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6090629)
Even this year, I felt that he was able to be critical of the team when criticism was warranted. I don't remember him not acknowledging any poor performances from the team. He's my favorite of all the NESN on air people.


edit...Burks and Youkilis, they try to put lipstick on this pig of a season. Dave O'Brien tries to lead them to be critical, without being heavy handed. Anyway, it doesn't matter. They can paint as rosy a picture as they want, the team's record reflects their ability. There's no getting away from it, no matter what they say.
   3. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 08, 2022 at 02:03 PM (#6090642)
I still remember a game in 2003 where the Sox were playing Milwaukee and the Brewers' starter was Glendon Rusch, who had no arm left at that point. He didn't have much on the ball and Eck actually said, early on in the game, "They're gonna kill this guy!" It's stuck with me because it was so refreshingly candid. They had a great offense in 2003 and Rusch had nothing. He said what any pro could see right away but which almost none of them would actually say on the air.
   4. villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2022 at 02:14 PM (#6090643)
Even this year, I felt that he was able to be critical of the team when criticism was warranted. I don't remember him not acknowledging any poor performances from the team.
Yes, the good thing he still brings to the table is candor. But his analysis at this point is devolving into just saying what he wants to happen as a fan, which, I mean, they might as well have Lou Merloni.

(Note: they should *not* have Lou Merloni.)
   5. McCoy Posted: August 08, 2022 at 02:18 PM (#6090645)
And in Glendon's next ~200 innings after that red Sox game he would post a 3.69 ERA
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 08, 2022 at 03:39 PM (#6090658)
Eck has been my favorite locally for a long time. His candor and obvious continued enthusiasm for the game really lifts the viewing experience, and he will be missed!
   7. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 08, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6090673)
But his analysis at this point is devolving into just saying what he wants to happen as a fan, which, I mean, they might as well have Lou Merloni.


I don't know. Maybe he does, and I don't notice it. I do notice that he's been honest about the team this year, which, when coupled with what he would LIKE to see from them, is fine with me.

   8. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 08, 2022 at 04:49 PM (#6090674)
It's stuck with me because it was so refreshingly candid.


People that have graduated from "the program" are required* to be honest.

*I'm not sure if it's written in stone, but one of the ways to maintain recovery is to be honest, and not make excuses.
   9. villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2022 at 08:30 PM (#6090718)
I do notice that he's been honest about the team this year, which, when coupled with what he would LIKE to see from them, is fine with me.
Oh, yeah, I still like him in the role. I'm saying there's a difference between candor and insight. In the past he'd tell you (a) what pitches should be coming, and why, and a bit about the strategies and the thoughts players have, while also sharing (b) what either you or I could see with our own eyes that every other broadcaster would be too timid to acknowledge fully. Now he's still doing (b), with diminishing amounts of (a). I'm just saying glad he's getting out now before he gets worse.
   10. Jay Seaver Posted: August 08, 2022 at 09:02 PM (#6090731)
I've got to wonder how much being around Remy during the past few years helped him make the decision. As much as he clearly still loves baseball - and I don't know that there's another guy with his resumé who seems as unreservedly excited about the game's young players rather than being a back-in-my-day type - no need to be doing this right until the moment you die. Sounds like he's smart enough to decide what's important to him and commit to it.

It's going to be a lot less fun watching the team with him gone. Among the new play-by-play guys, Youk has the enthusiasm though he sometimes seems to be trying too hard to be one of the fans, but Masserotti and Millar are different types of awful and the last time I heard Burks, he was one of those guys that said players needed to be more consistent with remarkable consistency, even if you're talking about Franchy Cordero hitting .142, which is kinda consistent.

Burks and Youkilis, they try to put lipstick on this pig of a season. Dave O'Brien tries to lead them to be critical, without being heavy handed


Does he? Granted, I've been out of town for the better part of a month as they collapsed, but I mostly think of O'Brien trying to lead his partners to be more old-school "I hate the newer rules and stats and think it's okay to throw at guys" garbage (a thing Eck cheerily tended to reject; I remember him responding to O'Brien talking about how back in his and Remy's day you could just barrel through someone to break up a double play by getting excited about the crazy ninja slides players do now), but I don't recall him ever being critical of the business that pays his salary.
   11. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 09, 2022 at 07:48 AM (#6090787)
He's subtle about it. If I thought about it, I would have jotted down some examples.
   12. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: August 09, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6090801)
Very subtle, I guess. In the past he was noticeably more of a "defend the team, find a silver lining to everything that goes wrong" company man than McDonough, Castiglione or Orsillo (though admittedly I've gone out of my way to swap in the radio audio for the past few years so maybe he's grown a spine).

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