Fox brought 34-year-old Joe Davis — the play-by-play voice for the Dodgers on TV who has been part of Fox coverage since 2014 — to its No. 1 baseball booth, where he will work with analyst John Smoltz.
On the NFL side, Kevin Burkhardt, whose casual, authentic style has helped him climb the depth charts since joining Fox in 2013, will be part of the #1 booth calling the Super Bowl next February. Burkhardt teamed up with Greg Olsen on Fox’s No. 2 team last season and Olsen is expected to join him on the executive team, although nothing has been announced.
Davis and Burkhardt are excellent choices.
▪ The business model of fomenting outrage or exaggerating a team’s potential troubles to detract from a fun time has worked on Boston sports radio. Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti are the most successful current offenders of this approach, having dominated afternoon rides for more than a decade while many other shows less successfully attempt to copy the blueprint.
I’d like to think I’m in the majority who see this approach as an excellent reason to turn off the radio and tune in to a podcast, but the reality is this approach works better than any other in this market. My longstanding question is why? Is everyone really that eager to be unhappy at sports?
▪ The great Doc Emrick retired in 2020 after 47 years of refereeing hockey games, including 15 years as the main NHL voice at NBC Sports. But Emrick still contributes essays and features from time to time, and hearing from him is always welcome, especially when there’s a Boston aspect to the story he’s telling.
That will be the case on Monday, when the highlights of a feature narrated by Emrick about Johnny Kelley, the local icon who ran the Boston Marathon 61 times from 1928 to 1992 (when he was 84), preceded her program in the USA and Peacock Coverage of the marathon begins at 8:30 am. The full six-minute feature can be found on NBCSports.com.
▪ File this under “Glad to Hear”: Mike Gorman, the Celtics’ television voice since 1981, recently said on the “Celtics Beat” podcast, hosted by Adam Kaufman, that he’s happy to continue covering NBC Sports Boston games for at would announce at least two more seasons.
Of his own design, Gorman significantly restricted travel; He did not have an away game scheduled at Chicago this season until the April 6 win in Chicago. But at age 73, the Basketball Hall of Famer remains as entertaining a play-by-play voice as anyone calling NBA games nationally or in local markets.
▪ Major League Baseball’s quest for every last dollar it can rake in by shipping exclusive rights to games to streaming services is understandable, yet thoroughly galling to fans. Based on what we now know about the schedules, the Red Sox will have two exclusive shows – meaning they won’t air locally on NESN – on Apple TV+ (May 6 vs. the White Sox; May 27 vs. the Orioles), one of them Peacock (May 8 vs. the White Sox) and none on YouTube.
▪ The relationship and high spirits between Joe Castiglione and Will Flemming were spot on early this Red Sox season. The additions of Flemming and Sean McDonough, who will play 35-40 games this season, are the positive outcomes of that bizarre situation in 2019, when WEEI deployed a number of broadcasters alongside Castiglione, including Mario Impemba and Josh Lewin, neither of whom who returned the next year.
▪ ESPN news outlet Adam Schefter has had a string of unmusical tweets over the past year, most recently when he felt the need to point out that Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was struggling to break through in the NFL in a tweet announcing it Haskins had died after being hit by a vehicle in Florida. ESPN recently re-signed Schefter to a deal that reportedly pays him $9 million a year. Hopefully a few of those bucks go to someone with common sense who reads their tweets before hitting send.
▪ If you like sports and media thrillers and soft tones, Gary Tanguay’s novel The Arm and the Fall is now available in audiobook format on Audible.com. Tanguay, a longtime Boston media personality who has found a cool niche as a television host and reporter in prominent films (“Knives Out,” “Don’t Look Up,” “I Care a Lot”), narrates.