Former Red Sox player calls out Boston media in epic rant

31 May 1998: Lou Merloni #50 of the Boston Red Sox in action during a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 13-7. Mandatory Credit: David Seelig /Allsport
31 May 1998: Lou Merloni #50 of the Boston Red Sox in action during a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 13-7. Mandatory Credit: David Seelig /Allsport /

WEEI’s Lou Merloni goes on epic rant against anti-Red Sox Boston media members

Lou Merloni, the hometown kid who played multiple stints for the Boston Red Sox before moving into broadcasting and radio work, has a bone to pick with a certain faction of the Boston media.

Merloni, who now co-hosts “Merloni & Fauria” on WEEI, opened Thursday’s show with what they accurately described on social media as a “rant.”

The rant was so long that it had to be split into multiple parts, as the show’s Twitter account is unverified and therefore subject to Twitter’s video limit of two minutes and about twenty seconds. Here’s part one of four:

In his rant, Merloni picks apart former EEI host Gerry Callahan, one of many who have talked about low attendance at Fenway Park this season. Except, as Merloni notes, Fenway had the lowest capacity of any MLB ballpark for the first couple months of the season due to COVID restrictions. And now that the ballpark is open for full capacity, games have been exceeding 20,000 in attendance regularly, while other MLB teams with larger ballparks struggle to average 10,000. For the final home series of the season against the Yankees this weekend, there are few tickets left, and they’re quite pricey.

Rival station 98.5 The Sports Hub‘s coverage of the Red Sox is overwhelmingly negative, and Merloni has a compelling theory as to why. The station is marketed as “Your Flagship Station” for the New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, and New England Revolution. Merloni says the reason for their vitriol towards the Red Sox and their fans is that they don’t offer the game coverage themselves; basically, if they can’t get the listens/clicks/views, no one should get to:

"“The tone of that show is that baseball sucks, the sport is dead, you shouldn’t care, you shouldn’t go, and you people are too dumb to realize that it’s the only team that they don’t broadcast. This is the memo that they have passed to their entire station; they don’t want you to watch, they don’t want you to care, they don’t want you to listen.”"

Merloni then played a clip of 98.5’s Friday night host Adam Jones saying he hopes Red Sox fans boycott the final homestand of the season. The Red Sox have won seven in a row and the final homestand is a must-win series against the Yankees as both teams vie for a Wild Card spot. Telling fans not to go, watch, or listen to the games, which are broadcast on NESN and WEEI, makes absolutely no sense.

"“You’re being told what to like and what not to like. You’ve got a team that’s about to walk into the playoffs right now, and you are being told and you are being shamed if you root for them… How you don’t like this team, I don’t get it. They’ve given you everything, it’s been entertaining since Day One.”– Lou Merloni"

The 2021 Red Sox have more than exceeded expectations

Merloni is absolutely correct that no matter how good the Red Sox are, there are always media members who will find something to complain about. For some, it’s a habit formed during the 86-year curse, unbreakable despite the four subsequent championships. For others, as Merloni alleges, it’s because they have a more self-serving business angle in mind. Overall, it feels as though many in the Boston media are incapable of simply enjoying the good as it comes.

The 2021 Red Sox have been largely good and almost always fun, two things that many did not expect them to be after the dismal 2020 season, the Mookie Betts trade, the Alex Cora scandal, Chris Sale’s Tommy John, and the overhanging cloud of the global pandemic that persists after over a year and a half. And overall, the last two decades have been a golden age of Red Sox: David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, now Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Chris Sale. The future in the farm system is bright, and the team is poised to earn a Wild Card slot.

The season will be over in a matter of days, the Fenway games end on Sunday, and who knows how long a postseason run will last before a cold, bleak winter. Enjoy the Red Sox while they’re here.

Next. Red Sox will continue to wear lucky yellow City Connect uniforms. dark