Monday, June 04, 2007

Phony Alert!

Did you read Ted Weesner, Jr.'s article about Jerry Trupiano?

I'm not gonna give it a full-on "terrible job," but it's close. The guy mourns the loss of an announcer, and does a good job of it. But I don't think this article has anything to do with Trupiano. Trup was not beloved the way Ken Coleman or Ned Martin or Curt Gowdy was. He wasn't even as near to our hearts as Joe Castiglione is. In fact, the sentiment of this article would better suit a Castiglione piece, should he get fired at some point. Joe was there when Jerry came on board, and remains in the booth now.

Besides, anyone who listens regularly knows that in the last few years, Trup's banter with Joe became one-sided, almost as if Jerry was the bully to our old friend Joe. That and his decidedly mediocre play-by-play meant it was time for him to go. He gave it a good run, and we won't soon forget his voice, but I can't say I was expecting any kind of "going away" ceremony.

But that's not my main problem with the article. This author, to me, came across as a phony, in regards to him being a Sox fan. He gave himself away when he talked about a decades-ago car ride, in which he listened to a Red Sox game to get him through a difficult time. He says

I flipped on the radio. Music didn't work; it only caused a pile up of more painful memories. But then, in the far corner of Connecticut, I had the good fortune of finding that afternoon's Red Sox game on the air. With some frantic turning of the dial, I kept it going all the way to New Hampshire.

Good fortune? You don't know what station the Red Sox are on? And this is after listening to music. Finding a Red Sox game by accident is something only a casual fan can do. We know when the game is on, and what station to find it on. Every day. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being a casual fan. But if you're going to write an article for the Globe, don't pretend you're part of "Red Sox Nation" if you're just some dude from Michigan (I looked him up) who's randomly listened to a game now and then.

Early in his piece, he describes the loss of Trupiano:

Tune your radio to a game and you might have been taken by surprise.

The additions of our two new radio announcers were made public on December 15, 2006. Yes, a very casual fan might be surprised, in June of 2007, to hear a Red Sox game on radio without the voice of Jerry Trupiano. But even a monthly check-in on the state of the team would've probably clued you in that Trup hasn't been around for a good while.

So maybe I will go all-out and give Ted Weesner a "TJ." I was trying to figure out the year of his infamous drive. This page tells me he got a college degree in 1962. That was after quitting school and serving three years in the army. I'm pretty sure you have to be 18 to join the army, so that would mean he didn't start college until he was at least 21. Add four years to that, and that has him getting the degree at a minimum age of 25, making his birthyear 1937. He says he was 24 on his trip, so that would be 1961. He says he took Interstate 95 from CT to NH. I-95 wasn't completed, at least not the portion from eastern CT to RI, until 1964. And it wasn't fully completed within RI until 1969.

So, I don't know what this guy's deal is. He's lived near Boston for a while now, and he must've just discovered this Trup thing, and decided to write an otherwise good piece on baseball announcers. I'm sure he's not a phony in real life. He seems like a nice, older, gay dude, making a living in New England doing freelance writing. I can respect all that. But leave the Red Sox pieces to the baseball crazies. We're not easily fooled.

[I also noticed that someone else wasn't too happy with the piece in question.]

There was a lot not to like about the article, but I think your comment about about him "Not knowing what station the Red Sox are on" missed his point entirely. He was driving through Connecticut, for pete's sake! Do you know what station the Sox are on down in Connecticut?

He also mentioned something about a sick mother, so perhaps his thoughts were not on exactly what time the Sox game started.

I too have issues. I remember Ken Coleman and Ned Martin and the magic they literally spun in my mind. Curt too, but he was before my time when he was the voice of the Sox.
They (Ken and Ned) are the true voices behind my fondest Red Sox memories. Ned Martin literally died being a Red Sox ambassador. He was on his way back home from Fenway, at an airport, while sticken. "Oh Mercy!" And Coleman's famous call..."He (Yaz) dives and makes a TREMENDOUS catch!" That was the Billy Rohr game.
Those calls will live for me for eternity. And I'm happy about that. Good job Jere.
I think your piece is unfair. It takes weeks to get an op-ed piece in the Globe. My take on it is at
Dear anonymous: Do I, a Connecticut native, who grew up unable to get NESN, listening to the Sox every day of my life on radio, know what station they're on in Connecticut? I think so. And lots of people know about 1080 WTIC Hartford, as the Sox have been on there for over 50 years. His drive took him from CT to NH, meaning, much of that time, he had the Boston station on. (which is what I really meant by him not knowing what station the Sox were on).

Clinton: I still get hits from your site after you linked me that time, so I did see your take on this. I thought you of all people would've jumped down the throat of a person acting like Trup was this great announcer. But maybe I was assuming too much. I'll give you the fact that maybe he wrote it earlier in the season--that doesn't change my opinion on how big a fan this guy really is. Seems like a Johnny-come-lately, and after I saw he was from Michigan, I kind of knew I was right. You don't do a piece drooling over Trup unless you at least MENTION the greats we've had before him.
"He also mentioned something about a sick mother, so perhaps his thoughts were not on exactly what time the Sox game started."

My mom would have the game on in her room and would be giving ME updates:)

The guy is still living his life to the point where he thinks "Gee, what should I listen to in the car?" and chooses music first, when, if he were a Sox fan, he would've been thinking, "Hey, I'm getting close to the area, let me check for the Sox game."
I would have no idea what station the Red Sox are on in CT. Whatever it is, I know it doesn't come in all that clearly.

Alas, CBS 880 out of NYC, I can get in my basement. In Massachusetts. The old WABC 770 was almost as clear.

So on a long drive up into VT or NH, finding the Red Sox on is always a happy accident. Also, you have to change the station approximately 57 times per inning to keep it, as you progress into the mountains.
While I've had my troubles with 1080 coming in (I was right behind a certain hill...), it is one of the more powerful Sox stations: Try it if you're ever way out in Pennsylvania, or driving down 95 below NYC, supposedly even into the Carolinas. Especially at night.

I just still think if the guy was a fan, he would've been actively seeking out the game. And I almost feel like him finding it (since he could've been driving from Michigan originally) was maybe the start of him being a "Sox fan." But if it was, wouldn't he say that? He professes no love for the Sox in this article. And the way he acts like Trup is some kind of gad makes me think he's only recently gotten into the team--one of those "I picked it up in '03" types. I mean, he acts like baseball is important to him, and was when he go the game in 40 years ago, but if that was true, where are his memories of past Sox announcers? Sounds phony to me.
And you still say you don't know the station--it's 1080 WTIC Hartford, like I said above. Hartford is in CT.

By the way, CT is part of New England and there are several other stations there that carry the Sox, but Hartford is the biggie.
New England ends at the Connecticut River, especially in Connecticut. Everything west of that is a bloody battleground where fans of the sox and yankees have dueled more than half a century for the hearts and minds of each new generation. In southwestern Connecticut the struggle, if there ever was one, is long over. That land has long been usurped by New York. In fact, western Connecticut on the whole is an artificial 'New England World', existing only to amuse wealthy, vacationing, New Yorkers.
Well I'm from there, and I'm a New Englander....

All I ask is they put NESN into Fairfield Co., not that they take the Mets or Yanks out. Note: Yanks and Mets games can be seen in parts of CT OUTSIDE Fairfield County...

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