For the Love of Joe

Three months ago, I went to Fenway Park.  Remember?  The Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians that night, 7 – 5.  It was a good game.

The Red Sox met up with Cleveland again this weekend; they managed to split the series, topping the weekend off with a 14 – 1 slug fest.

I listened to the game yesterday afternoon.  I tune in to WEEI every day, too.  I like to hear what the “script” will be.  It starts around 6:00 a.m. with a “Dennis and Callahan” opening “monologue”.  Sports talk radio is no different from any other polarizing “talk” radio.  There is a script and talking points; occasionally, a talker will stray from the script.  Sometimes, it’s by design to create faux arguments and generate calls.  Sometimes, it’s authentic.  But if it’s real, the “talker in charge” will reign in the stray talker and convince them to repeat the script.

Last Thursday, the script was “the season is over; Beckett and Lester have to go.”

Glenn Ordway is like another talk radio guru named Glenn; it was liberating to realize this.  After my epiphany, I was able to see WEEI for what it was and enjoy the drama.  I was able to think my own thoughts about the Red Sox.  I could think my own thoughts about the Patriots and the Celtics too.

Ordway could say “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” but I was free and I was now “one” with Red Sox ownership.  Fenway Sports Group is in charge; the partners don’t care what callers on WEEI have to say.

Neither do I.

Following last night’s victory, Butch Stearns hosted the post-game talk.  He asked listeners to call and text him with their thoughts about the rest of the season.  Here’s what I texted him:

“I’m going to follow the Sox until the end.  Not because I’m a devoted fan and follow no matter what, but because I want to listen to how Joe C. handles the demise.”

Joe Castiglione is the current Red Sox radio announcer.  He is factual and polite; a gentleman.  He never starts a fight with his co-workers in the broadcast booth.  They don’t discuss uncomfortable and inappropriate conversations filled with innuendo.  They discuss baseball, baseball statistics, and other G-rated topics based, in part, on what they’re advertising.  They’ve talked about Maine a lot this summer because the Maine Department of Travel and Tourism bought advertising with WEEI.  They discussed Moxie for about two weeks in July.

I am curious to hear how Joe Castiglione will handle the Red Sox demise.  My sense is that he will be dignified and professional, like a purser on the Titanic.  Knowing how to handle adversity in a graceful and civilized manner is a skill I want to cultivate and I think I can learn a few things from Joe; I’m going to listen to as many games as possible.

By the way, the script for today is “It’s Patriots Monday.  The summer is over and we’re not going to talk about the Red Sox anymore because the Texas series was the end of the season.”

Got it?  Good.

Are you going to follow the Red Sox through October?

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