The Red Sox are just clipping along this spring, with their problems relatively minor complications compared to the bounty of issues this team often dealt with last season. While the health of some members of the pitching staff has been something to keep an eye on, the Sox have received help from other parts of the team, and they’ve been on top of the American League East for much of the season.
The questions earlier this season about who would close for the Red Sox have faded away now that Joel Hanrahan is gone for the year and Andrew Bailey is back from the disabled list. Bailey still hasn’t had a good, long stretch to prove that he is the closer that Boston was hoping for when the Sox traded for him a couple of offseasons ago, though. That could change as the weather gets warmer and Bailey gets the ball more often.
Can Andrew Bailey survive as the Red Sox’ closer, or do they need to go get someone to fill in the back of the bullpen? Bailey never seems to be able to close it out without dramatics.
— Neil Axelrod
I think the more save opportunities he gets, the less dramatic they will become. He went through a stretch where he only pitched twice in 11 days, and John Farrell kept trying to find the right spot for him to get some work. I think it set him back. I don’t think it was anyone’s fault. You just have some stretches where there is nothing to close.
Maybe you have insight on this — I’ve searched everywhere and have come up empty. Why is the Sox dugout on the third base side at Fenway South and not on the first base side like it is here in Boston?
— Jimmy Eaton
The reason it is at third base in Fort Myers is because the clubhouse was built behind the monster in left field. So the dugout connects from a hallway off the third base side. All the workout areas and fields are behind that area.
How do you and Jerry learn how to pronounce all the players’ names? So many players, so many teams.
— Teri Cannavino Morin
Usually we have a pretty good idea about guys on the major league rosters. It’s some of the spring training guys who are not prospects from other teams that we struggle with. Generally, we ask the other teams’ announcers how a guy likes to pronounce his name, and they rely on us for our guys as well.
What inspired you to become a baseball broadcaster?
— Carly Tefft
Listening to Ken Coleman do Red Sox games on the radio as a kid. I loved listening to him during the summer nights at home and on the road. I thought he had the coolest job in the world. He got to go to every Red Sox game, and everyone felt like they knew him, and he was their friend. It was incredible to me. Later I would have the chance to work for him in the booth as his intern and sat next to him for his final season.
Where did you grow up, and how did you get your start in broadcasting?
— Mathew Stanford
I was born in Melrose, Mass., and I grew up in Madison, N.H. I went to Northeastern University. I had the chance to work 10 seasons in minor league baseball and five in minor league hockey. Working for the Pittsfield Mets of the New York-Penn League was my first job.
When you announce, do watch the game live or on the TV next to you?
— Kevin Noel
I watch the majority of the game live and refer to the monitor for replays. Also, the monitor helps to see pitches. Sometimes the booth vantage point is too high in some parks to get a feel for a pitch. I refer to the monitor for sponsored elements and the bullpen. The rest of the time, my eyes are on the field.
How hard is it to figure out exactly what Eck is talking about when he starts using a new phrase like “cheese”?
— Laura McGondel
I have been around him the last 13 years, and I think I know all the terms he uses or can figure out the various adjectives. That said, “educated cheese” was a new one for me. Basically, that’s an older veteran pitcher who does not throw hard but can spot a fastball.