From Minor League Baseball to Major Fun: Part 2

Yesterday, I made another trip to Rhode Island. Over the past six months, I’ve become accustomed to driving south for Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, but that was for the Providence Bruins’ games. This time around, I made a hardball road trip. (The last 2010-2011 season installation of my minor league hockey & baseball series is here.)

I had never been to an AAA baseball game before surprisingly enough, so naturally I got a couple in yesterday (that is if you count the two-inning continuation of Saturday’s game, which was suspended after eight innings). Instead of just visiting the booth before the game(s) like I did last weekend at the New Hampshire Fisher Cats game, I got to stay in the booth the whole time, picking the brains of Dan Hoard and Steve Hyder for an entire afternoon.

The Pawtucket Red Sox do things a bit differently than most minor league teams, but they do them well their own way. Baseball is the main focus of a day at McCoy Stadium, which some hugs and high-fives thrown in from Paws and Sox, the inseparable Polar Bears that inhabit the place.

In the booth, I experienced a walk-off win and a blowout win for the Paw Sox over the Buffalo Bisons, with the extra-inning affair ending with a Daniel Nava single. In the regularly-scheduled game, the Paw Sox’ lineup caught fire, with multiple players racking up totals bases and runs batted in. Nate Spears had his first International League homerun, Luis Exposito had a pair of doubles, and Kris Johnson picked up the win, bouncing back with four scoreless innings after allowing a couple of runs in the first.

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or at least I have been): the broadcast breakdown. Dan and Steve go together about as well as lamb and tuna fish (if you’re the delivery guy in Big Daddy). “Maybe you prefer spaghetti and meatball.” The point is, Dan was equal parts descriptive and hilarious, which is what I strive to be as a lead broadcaster. Steve made me want to laugh harder than I ever have in a broadcast before. It’s a good thing I was a few feet behind him during the call, and not within reach of his mic.

Before, during and after the broadcast, Dan and Steve were friendly, open and real. It’s comforting to know they’re the same guys on the air live as they are without a mic up in their grill.

Although neither of them have speaking parts in it, you might want to check out the newest version of their favorite weekly segment: The Chronicles of Reddick. Outfielder Josh Reddick will (attempt to) interview one of his teammates each time, with humor being the driving factor. Regardless of your feelings toward the Red Sox, it should be an enjoyable few minutes in the pre-game show.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Paw Sox’ game callers, you have a multitude of options: you can check out their page on the Pawtucket site, follow Dan Hoard on Twitter, or read “Heard it from Hoard,” Dan’s MLBlog.

*****

This post was informative and entertaining to you, right? That’s why you’re actually reading this part. Sweet! You’ll probably like the other editions of the “From Minor League Baseball to Major Fun” segment then:

Part 1

Part 4

Part 3

Part 3.5 (aka Part 5)

Part 6

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