The Legend of Holt Continues in 2016

Using the word “Legend” might be a stretch of the imagination, but when you consider what the 27-year-old Brock Holt has done since arriving via trade from the Pittsburg Pirates, legend actually kind of suits him. The phrase the Legend of Holt Continues was coined by former NESN Red Sox Analyst Don Orsillo during the 2014 season.

After being drafted in the 9th round by the Pittsburg Pirates in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, Brock Holt put up some pretty impressive numbers as he climbed the ranks of the farm system. The Legend of Holt
In 2012, Brock hit .322 in 102 games with Double-A Altoona, and later that season hit .432 in 24 games for Triple-A Indianapolis before joining the big club on September 1st and batted .292 with a triple and 3 RBI in 24 games.

And on December 26th, 2012, the Brock Star was traded to the Boston Red Sox in what has become one of the greatest Christmas gifts this team has ever received.

The Legend of Holt is Born

We didn’t get to see much of Holt during the 2013 Championship season. He played in only 26 games, while hitting .203 with 11 RBI. Despite not making the postseason roster Holt received his first championship ring when the Sox beat the Cardinals in the World Series.

During the 2014 season Holt was called-up on May 17 to replace former Red Sox, Will Middlebrooks. Immediately manager John Farrell inserted Holt in the leadoff spot in which he would continue to occupy for the remainder of the season. Holt not only went on to hit .281 in 449 at-bats, but he also showed his athleticism, versatility, and tremendous defense by starting games at every position except pitcher and catcher.

He carried that momentum heading into the 2015 season by cracking the Opening Day roster for the first time in his short but history making career. On June 16 against the Atlanta Braves the Legend of Holt reached new heights when he became the first Red Sox since John Valentine in 1996 to hit for the cycle. Just a few short weeks later, Holt’s game was taken to another level when he was chosen to represent the Red Sox in the 2015 All-Star Game.

Holt finished the season hitting .280 after again seeing time at every position except pitcher and catcher. Now one big knock that fans have highlighted is that he’s not an everyday player and he’s going to breakdown half way through the season. You guys are right, at the time he wasn’t expected to be an everyday player but injuries arose throughout the team and Holt welcomed the challenge with open arms.

2016 looks to be no different and in the first 4 games he’s batting .412 with 2 long balls and 8 RBI. Heading into the season knowing he was going to be counted on all year-long, Holt was able to not only physically prepare but also mentally prepare and that is going to pay huge dividends as the season goes on, believe it.

So go ahead and call him the Brock Star, the man of many gloves, All-Star, hell I’ll even throw Gold Glover and Silver Slugger in there as well. He hits, he plays terrific defense, and he wins. All he does is win. So call him what you want but just rest assure that in 2016 the Legend of Holt will continue and will surely reach another height.

A Farewell to Don Orsillo

It was revealed on Tuesday that Don Orsillo will not return in 2016 as the Red Sox play-by-play announcer on NESN after NESN declined to renew his contract after this season, per the Boston Globe. Speculation on Dennis & Callahan on WEEI placed some of the blame on falling ratings. Let’s be honest here—the reason for the falling ratings has to do more with the team’s underwhelming performance in the past 2 seasons. This is not Don Orsillo’s fault, obviously.

According to reports, Orsillo was never a favorite of executive VP of programming, Don OrsilloJoseph Marr, who has been at NESN since 2012. NESN had considered removing  him effective immediately, but decided better of it.

The combination of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy made Red Sox broadcasts fun to watch, even when the team wasn’t very fun to watch on the field. Some of the crazy conversations they had made the broadcasts infinitely more enjoyable, and it’s something that I will sorely miss.

I personally like Dave O’Brien, who will replace Don Orsillo next year and who has done an excellent job as the play-by-play guy for WEEI. Don Orsillo was unique in that he had a great sense of humor and combined it seamlessly with a professionalism that I always admired as someone who aspires to go into that field.

If Don Orsillo was in any way upset by the news, he did not show it tonight, as the broadcast against the Chicago White Sox seemed like business as usual from an outsiders prospective. I’m sure Don will move on to better things after NESN. He does have experience doing postseason games with TBS, as he started doing the games in 2007. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I would love to see him take Joe Buck’s job at Fox. He would be a massive improvement over Buck, as he can bring out the best in the guys he works with.

Good luck, Don. I, and the rest of Red Sox Nation, wish you all the best in whatever you decide to pursue. You deserved better.

Jerry Remy is Back in the Booth

jerry remy

You don’t realize you miss something until it’ss gone. In this case it was Jerry Remy, who works alongside Don Orsillo calling games for the Boston Red Sox on NESN. Remy was out sick during most of the month of June. During the games he missed, a few radio and other NESN personalities sat in his place. Some of those that took the Remdawg’s seat talked too little, others talked far too much. Still others had voices like nails on chalkboard. It just wasn’t the same.

Don and Jerry get it just right.

Don and Jerry know when to allow silence. Many broadcasters fear this “dead air.” Viewers most definitely saw this with some of the personalities that sat in for Jerry during his bout of pneumonia. Don and Jerry know it is okay to shut up, once in a while, throughout the broadcast. They are both very funny at times and talk about silly topics, but are also very attentive to the game. Don and Jerry have just the right timbre of voices for calling games. This is very important to me. I like a deeper voice and they both have it. Other teams, like the Yankees, are not so blessed (so I hear from the New York radio personalities that I listen to). These guys know the game and make it an experience for the viewers, and the fans at the game, too. Jerry likes to buy hot dogs for fans that hold up signs asking for them.

When I’ve had a tough day and just want to relax, not be overwhelmed by too much noise from the tube, I know where to turn. Don and Jerry have lulled me to sleep some nights, calmed my nerves, and made me laugh on days I have been down.

Welcome back to the booth, Jerry. Please take care of yourself. New Englanders want to hear more of you and Don each night when we tune in to NESN. You are both a big part of Red Sox nation.