February 14, 2013

NESN broadcast team goes distance

And they also take some heat from savvy third-graders at St. Brigid's in Portland.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - With the 2013 Boston Red Sox season on the horizon, it is time to ask questions about the team that has thrilled and frustrated New England through the years.

click image to enlarge

St. Brigid’s School pupils line up for autographs from Jerry Remy, Jenny Dell and Don Orsillo on Thursday when NESN’s team of Red Sox announcers brought their offseason road show to Portland as part of their preseason promotion.

Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Jenny Dell, Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, Red Sox announcers for the New England Sports Network, hold the attention of pupils at St. Brigid’s School in Portland during a New England road show that brought them to Portland Thursday.

Additional Photos Below

That interest brought the NESN broadcast team of Jerry Remy, Don Orsillo and Jenny Dell to Portland Thursday.

They planned to answer a lot of questions at various stops.

Not all of the queries were hard hitting, as Remy found out quickly.

"Have you ever been in David Ortiz's Lamborghini?"

Remy stepped to the microphone at St. Brigid's School and, with a straight face, said he had not.

"But every once in a while, he lets us wash it," Remy said.

Remy and company were visiting St. Brigid's third-grade class Thursday morning as part of NESN's "Spring Training Kick-off Tour."

The popular trio were in Vermont Tuesday, Connecticut and Massachusetts Wednesday, and now Maine. They visited a couple of radio stations before heading to St. Brigid's. From there, they planned to visit some of NESN's clients, and then a public appearance at Binga's Stadium Sports Bar at 3 p.m.

At St. Brigid's, where the young students were dressed in Red Sox and Sea Dogs attire, Remy told them, "You better pay attention," saying good questions would merit an A.

And the questions came, most of them to Remy, the former Red Sox player who is starting his 26th season as an analyst on NESN's broadcast of the Red Sox games.

"What was your average?"

"It was .275," Remy said with a shrug. "That's not bad."

"Who has the most Red Sox home runs?"

Orsillo jumped in on that one, saying David Ortiz had the most in one season (54 in 2006).

Dell asked, "Do you guys like Big Papi?" After an enthusiastic "yeah!" Dell asked who were the kids' other favorite players. Dustin Pedroia was a solid runner-up to Ortiz.

Some questioners did their research.

To Remy: "Is it true you only hit seven home runs in your career?"

"Yes," Remy said, adding his own statistical trivia.

"But I also had 62 bunts for base hits in one year."

Bella Moulton, 9, asked the trio if it was "scary" to be on TV.

Orsillo, in his 13th season on NESN, after being a radio play-by-play announcer in the minor leagues, said he was nervous at first.

Remy invited Bella to the microphone. With local TV stations filming the visit, Remy told Bella to look in the camera and say "the 2-2" (as in a pitch with a 2-2 count).

Bella said "the 2-2" like a pro.

"See," Remy said. "You were just on TV. It's that simple."

One student, a fan of that baseball team from the Bronx, asked Remy, "How many times have the Red Sox lost to the Yankees?"

"How about asking about the Red Sox beating the Yankees four straight in 2004?" Remy said, referring to Boston's comeback sweep in the American League Championship Series.

After the questions, the trio signed autographs and handed out Wally the Mascot dolls.

Before leaving, Remy did answer one question that had nothing to do with Lamborghinis or his personal statistics. How will the 2013 Red Sox do?

"I think the team on the field will be very competitive," he said. "They have to have good starting pitching."

From Maine, the NESN group will head to Providence, R.I., before flying to Fort Myers, Fla., Saturday for spring training. NESN will broadcast its first exhibition game Feb. 23. A certain group of third-graders will be watching.

Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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Additional Photos

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Unlike Tinker to Evers to Chance, Dell to Remy to Orsillo are not the saddest of all possible words, as a gathering of third-graders happily discover.

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Topher Kavookjian displays what might be a fine pitching arm while putting NESN on the spot with a question that’s right on the mark.

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St. Brigid School third-graders were dressed in Red Sox and Sea Dogs attire during the NESN announcers' visit on Thursday. Remy told them, "you better pay attention," saying good questions would merit an A.



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