Howard Herman: Tim Neverett at home with new job
BOSTON >> Tim Neverett said he knew what he was getting into when he came to join the Boston Red Sox radio broadcast team. So far, there have been few, if any, problems.
"It's been really good," Neverett said. "Joe [Castigilone] has been really good to work with. Everybody with the Red Sox has been really helpful. As far as transitions go from one organization to the other, it's been very smooth."
Neverett is Castiglione's new radio broadcast partner, moving in when Dave O'Brien replaced Don Orsillo as the TV play-by-play voice on NESN. That story is something we don't need to rehash.
The new radio guy, heard locally on WBEC, WNAW and WSBS, spent seven years in Pittsburgh before coming back home.
I say home because Neverett grew up in New Hampshire, like O'Brien did, and grew up going to Red Sox games. Neverett played four years of college baseball at Division III Emerson College. The school is a 2.1-mile walk down Commonwealth Ave. to Fenway Park.
The Red Sox and flagship radio station WEEI made a good selection.
On radio, I am a fan of the two play-by-play broadcaster format. It shouldn't be like television with an ex-player analyst.
Neverett, much like his partner Castiglione, is a pro. They make up a good team to listen to — and let me say that listening to baseball on the radio is one of the best things about summer.
If you are a Red Sox fan, or just a baseball fan, they are more than worth a listen.
When I talked to Neverett earlier this month, it might have been a conversation between the only two people in the Fenway Park press box who had seen the 1985 Pittsfield Cubs play baseball. He was a home broadcaster for the old Nashua Pirates.
"It is, except this is the team I grew up with," he said, in response to whether broadcasting games was the same at PNC Park as it is at Fenway. "You kind of get over that a little bit, but you don't fully get over it because you were a fan first. You never lose that love of the game."
In Pittsburgh, Neverett split his time between television and radio. He only does radio here, so the response to his work in public has been different. Positive, but different.
"I'm more invisible here than I was in Pittsburgh, so it just allows me to do my job, which is good," he said. "I do enjoy when people want to come up and talk baseball."
He said his family members have kept their eye on social media and have reported back to the newest Red Sox broadcaster that the response to his move into the radio booth has, for the most part, been positive.
"It's always going to be different for people, when they're used to hearing somebody else for a long period of time," Neverett said, when we spoke outside of the home radio booth. "Change in baseball is never easy.
"It is part of the sport, when it didn't used to be. Players change teams all the time, but broadcasters don't do it as often."
Through Saturday afternoon's games, the Red Sox were a half-game in front of the Baltimore Orioles, while the Pirates were five games behind the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. So can that be attributed to the Neverett Factor?
"No, not at all," he said with a laugh. "I don't think the Pirates are scuffling. I think that the Cubs are just dominating, and that's the team in front of them, unfortunately for them.
"They've had that with the [St. Louis] Cardinals the past several years, where the Cardinals have been so good and no matter what they did, they just couldn't catch them."
We'll see. If the Red Sox do make the playoffs after back-to-back last place finishes, maybe we can credit the Neverett Factor.
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.
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