I’m currently watching close-ups of Daniel Bard and John Lackey on NESN warming up in Ft Myers.Â It’s reminiscent of getting to see warm-ups and BP when you go watch the team play on the road and suddenly it truly hits me that Spring Training is upon us and April 4th will be here sooner than I think!
And it really does look like mid-September in Baltimore given all these pitchers are in long sleeves or even sweatshirts.Â According to weather.com it’s 58 degrees there at 9:45 this morning (which is balmy in Boston!).Â Â Tom Caron and Peter Gammons are talking over the footage of the pitchers (hey there’s Tim Wakefield!!) and are pretty much just telling us things we’ve already heard – but it doesn’t matter, does it?Â They’re talking about baseball, we’re watching baseball players inÂ uniform doing baseball player-type things (Wakefield next to Papelbon both stretching with as little effort as they can muster is entertaining) and all looks hopeful for 2010.
Peter Gammons seems to be a tremendous Tim Wakefield fan.Â “Buchholz might have to wait his turn”, he just said.Â I’ve been critical of Gammons (and stand by my criticisms, especially in regard to his interview with Alex Rodriguez last year) but the one thing I like about him that others always criticize him for is that he isn’t afraid to admit what a baseball fan he is.Â I think, for the most part, I’m going to enjoy him being on NESN this season.
NESN has received a lot of criticism ever since they started this Spring Training coverage a couple of years ago.Â Critics complain that there is no real substance to the shows and it’s just another way to overexpose the Red Sox and take advantage of the loyal nature of Red Sox fans.Â I don’t agree at all.Â Much like many other things the Sox have done since the current owners took over, this team knows their target audience.Â I know plenty of people who are watching this along with me this morning.Â Maybe we aren’t hearing much (Heidi Watney is currently telling us how Clay “bulked” up and showing us an interview with Clay from earlier this week) but it’s no different than pre-game or post-game shows except they don’t have the “game” to dissect. My only complaint is NESN giving a forum to the sports writers, most of whom spend the season bashing the team.Â When those folks come on (Shaughnessy, Cafardo and Massarotti come springing to mind.Â Think it’s a coincidence they all work for the same paper?)Â the tv goes off.Â (Hey, I dvr it, I can come back later and fast-forward through their segments.)
NESN is going to commercial with the highlights from the Sox/Yanks games in 2009.Â Again, this station knows their audience!
Fans want to see their team and hear what’s going on with them.Â NESN is feeding our need for Red Sox baseball and I won’t be complaining about that.