Lou Merloni, Will Middlebrooks Excited To Join NESN Red Sox Broadcast

Merloni and Middlebrooks are making the leap to the booth


January 21

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It ended up being a blessing in disguise for Lou Merloni.

Merloni, a daily talk show host with WEEI for more than a decade, didn’t have his contract renewed by the station in mid-December. That door closing for the former Boston Red Sox infielder led to another opportunity that will bring him even closer to the ball field.

NESN announced Saturday morning that Merloni will join its Red Sox broadcast team as a color analyst for the upcoming season, and he can’t wait to get started.

“I’m super excited,” Merloni said at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “In ’08, my first year out (of the big leagues), I did pre and post with NESN. … I grew up a Red Sox fan, I played for the Red Sox and this is a great opportunity. Kind of humbling to be able to sit there and call games with Dave O’Brien.”

The Framingham, Mass. native, who played five-plus seasons with the Red Sox from 1998-2003, is preparing to call a good chunk of games on NESN, but didn’t know an exact number as of yet. He said he will still do 50 to 60 games on the radio with WEEI.

The new gig for Merloni will reunite him with O’Brien, NESN’s play-by-play announcer who called the 2013 World Series alongside Merloni for WEEI.

“I’ve always been so impressed with what a bright guy he is, baseball smart,” O’Brien said. “He has great connections, and I think that’s what people are going to realize. To me, he’s sort of a young Jerry Remy. He’s going to earn every bit of that (praise). He grew up in New England, in the Boston area, played for the Red Sox, broadcasting now for the Red Sox. He’s followed that path that the RemDawg did. … I think he’s going to be phenomenal in the booth. I can’t wait to work with him.”

Merloni isn’t the only former Red Sox infielder making the jump into the broadcast booth. Will Middlebrooks, who played three of his six years in the big leagues in Boston and won a World Series title with the club, will also call games for NESN after serving as a pregame and postgame analyst for the network last season.

Middlebrooks didn’t envision taking this path once he hung up his cleats for good in 2019, but is ecstatic now that he did.

“I never thought this would be for me, and I’ve fallen in love with it,” Middlebrooks said.

And as a former ball player who experienced ups and downs in his career, Middlebrooks believes he can provide valuable insight to the broadcast.

“There’s a lot of Hall of Famers that can go up there (and) they explain the game differently,” Middlebrooks said. “They see the game differently than who was grinding for a spot on the team every year. I think that can be relatable to fans a little bit and to explain why the game’s so hard. And I lived that.”

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Thumbnail photo via Marc Vasconcellos/The Enterprise/USA TODAY Sports Images
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