WEEI has assembled an all-star team of announcers for the upcoming 2019 season of Boston Red Sox baseball. Boston’s radio home for the Sox will feature Sean McDonough, Dave O’Brien, and Chris Berman on game broadcasts as part of a booth rotation alongside longtime radio voice Joe Castiglione. The rotation also includes Lou Merloni, Dale Arnold, Tom Caron, and newcomers Mario Impemba, and Josh Lewin.
“As the flagship radio home of the world champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI is proud to extend our relationship with Joe Castiglione and to welcome this elite group of broadcasters to join him in the booth,” said Mark Hannon, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Boston. “We are committed to providing listeners with premier and innovative coverage of the Sox and are looking forward to a great season.”
Lewin and Impemba will work the majority of games this season (55 each) with Castiglione. McDonough has signed on to call 30 games. He’ll make his debut on April 11th when the Sox face the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. The following week he’ll be behind the mic for the first Yankees series.
It’s a return to calling Sox games for McDonough who previously served as the television play-by-play announcer for the Red Sox on New England Sports Network (NESN) from 1988-2004. During that time, he was honored four times with the New England Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Play-by-Play. The Hingham, MA native is currently a leading play-by-play voice on ESPN college sports broadcasts.
“It’s nice to be back in the Red Sox fold, if that’s the right word,” McDonough told WEEI.com. “I didn’t want to leave 15 years ago, but in many ways, it was a good thing that I did, because it enabled me to do a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have done –– the U.S. Open, British Open. I’ve just had a lot of opportunities that wouldn’t have come along if I were still doing Red Sox games on TV. My path has been winding and interesting, and I’m glad it’s brought me back to this place –– particularly at this time.”
For Castiglione, this will be his 37th season in the booth. He believes the cast WEEI has assembled to call Sox games will lead to a lot of interplay in the booth.
“We’ll have conversation. They’re all good baseball people,” Castiglione told WEEI.com. “It should flow well. We like to have good conversation –– and tell stories and have background information on players to try and personalize them. That makes the fans feel like they know these people versus ‘Here’s a guy who’s hitting .302 with 20 home runs.”
The Red Sox radio vacancy was created following the departure of play-by-play voice Tim Neverett, a Boston-area native who left the booth after three seasons with the team. Neverett has since joined the Los Angeles Dodgers radio broadcast team. Following his exit rumors circulated that WEEI might drop the traditional radio baseball broadcast in favor of a talk show style approach. WEEI PD Joe Zarbano quickly dismissed those rumors, and the latest additions to the booth confirm they were untrue.