I Like Eck!


Amidst the unfortunate absence of Jerry Remy from the NESN booth, Dennis Eckersley has been filling in, and filling in admirably. Sure, he has some moments when his brain doesn’t catch up with his mouth and the constant references to “cheddar” and “cheese” and his other Eck-isms can be a little weird at first, I’m really enjoying listening to him call a game.

All of which leads me to an interesting thought; I wonder if NESN would ever experiment with an occasional 3-man booth for games. While it is clear that when Remy is healthy he’s back in his seat, and rightfully so, and it’s hard to argue with changing something (Don and Jerry) that has worked so excellently over the years, BUT, just because something HAS worked doesn’t mean adding beneficial pieces won’t make it even BETTER.

Now, usually I’m opposed to the adding of more people into a booth, but there are times when a three man booth can really work. For example, I end up watching a lot of games on SNY, the Mets network, and they feature at times a three man booth with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez. The thing I enjoy most about this threesome, besides their obvious chemistry and seeming real like of each other, is that each brings a very different take on the game. Ron Darling knows pitching and is able to give the viewers lots of inside information regarding how or why a pitcher would throw a pitch at any given time. Meanwhile, Keith brings the everyday player perspective to the broadcast and helps break down the action on the field and in the batter’s box from the unique position of being a former MVP player. Finally, Gary serves as the play-by-play man and nicely pivots to the two former players to help move the broadcast along. The three of them work, they’re funny and interesting together and make the broadcasts enjoyable to watch, almost so that you can forget you’re watching the Mets.

Why couldn’t that work in Boston. Now, again, I’m not saying that the NESN broadcast is broke, it ain’t, but who knows, it could get better. With Eck providing the deep pitching analysis and Jerry bringing the everyday prospective the games would become even more interesting to watch because the amount of knowledge the two men would bring. As for Don, we’ve seen that he can seemingly effortlessly switch between partners and maintain good chemistry and move the broadcast along. He’d be perfectly cast in the Gary Cohen role.

I don’t necessarily expect this to happen this season, once Remy comes back they’ll want to give him his rightful spot back and the fanfare appropriate with such a fan favorite. However, this is something they should seriously consider, especially if Remy’s health problems aren’t totally licked. I’m not advocating an every day 3-man booth either, maybe something like a once or twice a week affair that would add to certain broadcasts. Something to consider.

3 Responses to “I Like Eck!”

  1. 1 Garnold
    June 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Also, Keith brings a giant nose full of cocaine to viewers everywhere. You can’t really put a price tag on that.

  2. 2 shatraw
    June 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    you didn’t mention the other super-annoying eck-ism: “hair”


    “that was some high cheese with some hair on it”

    “the ball came screaming at lugo. coming off the bat, there was some hair on that thing.”

    “cheddar cheese with hair. hair on the cheese. cheesy hair.”

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