Red Sox broadcast doesn’t hide frustration at ‘horrendous’ defensive blunder

Aug 3, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Hall of Fame pitcher and Boston Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley in the NESN TV booth before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 3, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Hall of Fame pitcher and Boston Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley in the NESN TV booth before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Boston Red Sox are having a ‘terrible, horrible, no good, very bad’ season, and at this point, it would be foolish of the broadcast to pretend otherwise.

So when things fell apart (again) on Wednesday night, NESN color commentator Dennis Eckersley didn’t bother to mask his displeasure. In the top of the fifth inning, New York Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres came up to bat with two men on in the top of the fifth on Wednesday night and shot a single into right to drive in a run and break up the scoreless contest. But then rookie catcher Connor Wong made a wild throw past Christian Arroyo at first base, and as the ball shot down the line into right field, Aaron Judge seized the opportunity to score. Amidst the chaos, Torres, too, rounded the bases and slid safely home. 3-0 Yankees.

As play-by-play man Dave O’Brien described the events as they unfolded, Eckersley can be heard groaning, “OH NO!” and “You gotta be kidding me,” a common refrain of his, especially this year. “What a horrendous play, just awful,” he declared.

The Hall of Famer known fondly as ‘Eck’ is cherished in Boston for relishing greatness and not sugarcoating the bad moments. He calls it like he sees it. Along with his unique terminology, his spirited commentary is what’s kept fans tuning in to the most unwatchable seasons.

Almost anything and everything that could go wrong has for the Red Sox this season. Whether it’s pitchers getting injured, JD Martinez losing his power, perplexing trades, general underperforming, desperate promotions and demotions from Triple-A, the list of factors that contributed to this team falling from competing in the 2021 ALCS to finishing last in the division is a long one.

But when this unwatchable season mercifully draws to a close, one of its many losses will reverberate much longer than the rest. This winter, Eck will retire from the booth and move back to California. After years of delighting and entertaining Red Sox fans, he’s eager to share his life with a new audience: his grandchildren.

It’s the best reason to retire, but there’s no way around it: whatever bad times await will be infinitely worse without him.