Tuesday was an exciting day for Tony Massarotti, the Felger & Mazz show on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub, NESN, and Red Sox fans.
NESN and the Red Sox announced that Massarotti will be one of three new analysts joining the TV broadcast crew for game broadcasts, along with Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Millar. (Will Middlebrooks is also joining NESN as a pre- and postgame analyst.) The new faces — and voices — join play-by-play announcer Dave O’Brien and returning analyst Dennis Eckersley.
Soon after the news was announced, Massarotti called into Felger & Mazz and, as could be expected, Mike Felger had plenty of questions for his co-host. According to Massarotti, the plan is for him to call 30 to 40 broadcasts, depending on how the season develops and availability of his fellow analysts. And he’ll do a mix of home games and road games, determined by how it fits with his radio schedule.
And if anyone was concerned that this means Massarotti is leaving 98.5 The Sports Hub, he and Felger confirmed that he’s not going anywhere.
“I am not leaving The Sports Hub,” Massarotti said. “This is why it required the cooperation of a lot of people… there’s a lot of moving parts in this thing. It took a little figuring out and it’s still going to take some. But I am not leaving The Sports Hub. I love The Sports Hub and I love the show.”
Another question some, such as Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, have had when Massarotti was reported to audition for NESN was whether he might tame his opinions on the Red Sox if he joined the broadcast team. Asked about the Red Sox’s offseason, he demonstrated that won’t be the case.
“I think it sucks, that’s what I think,” said Massarotti. “I want the Red Sox to make major moves. So the luxury tax went up to $230 million; I’d like to see them spend up to, if not over that number. They can do that. I’ve always said they should never take themselves out of the market for any kind of player, no matter the cost.”
So it’s reasonable to presume that Massarotti isn’t satisfied with adding James Paxton and Rich Hill to the starting rotation. The Red Sox are one of the teams rumored to be pursuing free agent slugger Freddie Freeman, the kind of move Massarotti is referring to. Freeman’s left-handed swing at Fenway Park would give Mazz and his new fellow analysts plenty of fun moments to call.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at [email protected].
Carlo Jiménez To Be Named New Radio Voice of the Los Angeles Clippers
Jimenez follows in his predecessor Noah Eagle’s footsteps by being hired right out of college to become the Clippers radio voice.
According to sources, Carlo Jiménez will soon be named the new radio play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jiménez, 22, is a 2023 graduate from USC and a recipient of the Jim Nantz Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster. He replaces Noah Eagle, who moved to NBC Sports in a full-time capacity this summer.
Jiménez follows in Eagle’s footsteps being hired right out of college to become the Clippers radio voice. The rising broadcasting star is not only considered a strong game caller but he also possesses a strong social media presence, with over 64,000 followers on TikTok. Much of what he shares socially includes behind-the-scenes content of life as a sports broadcaster.
The young, talented new voice of the Clippers has experience calling USC football, baseball and women’s basketball, contributing his voice to broadcasts on the Pac-12+ Network. While at USC, Jiménez served as the sports director and play-by-play broadcaster for the school’s radio station KXSC.
Jiménez is of Mexican heritage. It is believed his hiring makes him the only Hispanic radio play-by-play voice on American broadcasts in the NBA.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Dan Le Batard Mourns Damian Lillard Trade, Calls Dan Patrick a ‘Dirty Trickster’
“I was not expecting for people to say this is a journalistic, objective guarantee.”
Following a blockbuster trade that sent All-NBA guard Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz mourned that the Miami Heat had lost the sweepstakes for the superstar player. For much of the summer, reports had indicated that the Heat were the frontrunners for Lillard, considering that he reportedly had the team at the top of his wish list upon requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. Broadcasting the show from Miami, Fla. and growing up just outside of the city, Dan Le Batard was crestfallen that a deal never came to fruition. Moreover, he now had to address his discourse over the last few months on the hit digital program where he adumbrated that the Heat would end up with the guard.
Le Batard had appeared on The Dan Patrick Show earlier in the week and began his appearance with praise of Patrick, who is retiring upon the completion of a new four-year contract. The former ESPN SportsCenter anchor has had a long and distinguished career in sports media, highlighted by his choosing to leave the “Worldwide Leader” and build his own platform from scratch. While Le Batard admires what Patrick did, he emitted a much different tone to begin his abbreviated appearance on Friday.
“You are a dirty trickster that now, I resent deeply,” Le Batard said to Patrick. “….For 20 years basically, Dan Patrick – maybe not 20, but 15 years – he calls me when a [Miami] Dolphins offensive line coach does cocaine off his desk and sends a romantic video to an exotic worker in Las Vegas; or some such Miami calamity to talk about the Dolphins, usually only something they’ve done wrong. I go and I make a bunch of people at ESPN mad by never asking permission to go on your show and just doing it anyway.”
As he continued his soliloquy, Le Batard said that Patrick invited him on the show last week to discuss the Dolphins, who are 3-0 and considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender by many football experts. The interview was proceeding well until Patrick concluded by asking an unrelated question about another Miami sports team, the Heat, and their pursuit of Lillard.
“Dan Patrick calls me and tricks me into talking about the Dolphins for a while,” Le Batard said. “Then at the end, what does he do? He asks the question that makes me publicly a larger fool [and] more wrong than I’ve ever been about anything in front of a worldwide, intergalactic audience.”
Le Batard answered the question by guaranteeing that Lillard was coming to Miami, something that is partially true, according to Patrick. It is just that he will be visiting the city as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks rather than playing for the reigning Eastern Conference champion Heat. The entire occurrence has left Le Batard and the cast of his show moribund enough to hold a eulogy for the anticipation they had for Lillard to play alongside South Beach.
“I was wearing an actual Heat mouthpiece as I did so,” Le Batard said of his comments. “I was not expecting for people to say this is a journalistic, objective guarantee. You could barely understand me; I was muffling it through an actual Miami Heat mouthpiece.”
“You used to be a journalist; now you’re an entertainer,” Patrick replied. “You’re an entertainer.”
Le Batard did acknowledge that he is indeed an entertainer on his program and has had discussions about the role of genuine journalism in today’s sports media coverage with the cast of his show, along with ESPN featured commentator Stephen A. Smith.
“[I am] a sanctimonious, self-important entertainer who gets things profoundly wrong in a way that echoes from sea to shining sea,” Le Batard asserted.
“That should be the name of your show,” Patrick replied. “It’s a little wordy, but that should be the name of your show from now on.”
“Because of you, it’s going to be the thing on my tombstone,” Le Batard said.
Boomer Esiason: ‘Don’t Know Why’ ESPN Reported Taylor Swift Would Be at ‘Sunday Night Football’
“I’m fascinated by the whole thing; you know that.”
Over the course of the week, several reports have stated that Grammy Award-winning music superstar Taylor Swift is expected to be on hand to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the New York Jets on Sunday Night Football at MetLife Stadium. Swift unexpectedly appeared at last week’s Chiefs home game from GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chicago Bears, and she was seen exiting the facility with star tight end Travis Kelce afterwards. In the ensuing weeks, there had been reports that she and Kelce were communicating and potentially exploring dating one another, noise that was only amplified after Sunday’s occurrence. Boomer & Gio have been on the case, discussing the topic several times this week.
WFAN morning co-host Boomer Esiason is infatuated by the situation, slipping in references to Swift songs throughout the week on the show. Conversely, his co-host, Gregg Giannotti, has had enough of the entire situation and wishes that everyone could just focus on football. Even so, NBC Sports is preparing a specialized broadcast open and will likely show her on camera, even though director Drew Esocoff would “bet the under” on doing so for a total of 22 times. Esiason, interested in the situation, decided to try to uncover information as to just what may be occurring at the stadium this weekend.
“There’s no official, ‘Taylor Swift is going to be at the game,’” Esiason revealed Friday morning on WFAN. “Everybody’s assuming, and I don’t know why ESPN went with this earlier in the week.”
Since reports of Swift’s attendance were released, ticket prices for the matchup have steeply risen with fans doing anything possible to get a glimpse of the superstar. While the logistics of such an appearance still seem to be in the process of being planned out, Esiason decided to try to figure out she could be sitting. Reviewing options from the visiting team suite to the New York Giants home suite, Giannotti interjected that the venue will find a place for her one way or another, even if it means displacing fans.
“They’ll definitely figure it out,” Esiason said. “Plus, obviously she just had her tour there, so they’re very tight with the stadium authority.”
Esiason’s daughter is a fan of the artist and has informed her father about the history behind her dating life. The information has led him to assert that her fans are happy that she is “actually dating a real man” this time around, with many “Swifties” hoping that it works out.
“I’m fascinated by the whole thing; you know that,” Esiason told Giannotti. “I don’t know why.”