Sean McDonough gets emotional when talking return to Red Sox booth: 'To be welcomed back this way is really special'

Alex Reimer
April 15, 2019 - 11:34 am

Sean McDonough’s return to the Red Sox booth has been met with so much praise, even chief play-by-play critic Gerry Callahan is giving him kudos on a job well done. And it seems like the veteran broadcaster is enjoying his time back in Boston as much as the fans are enjoying listening to his dulcet baritone and trademark dry wit.

In an interview Sunday with Jemaine Wiggins, Rob Bradford and myself, McDonough started to shed some tears while talking about how much the last few days have meant to him. “In all sincerity, I really appreciate how nice the fans have been to me this weekend,” he said. “I don’t mean to get emotional –– though I am a little bit –– but to be greeted and welcomed back this way is really special. I appreciate it. It’s been cool. I’m grateful to WEEI and the Red Sox for giving me a chance to do this.”

There have been several highlights during each of McDonough’s games, including his quips about waiting for former announcer Tim Neverett’s arrival and warning that those who are overly critical of the Red Sox may not last long on the broadcast. He’s also been blunt with the audience, such as when he flatly declared Rick Porcello “has nothing” early in his drubbing on Saturday.

While McDonough says he recognizes broadcasters are supposed to describe the action first and foremost, he thinks conversation and camaraderie is just as important. “I think conversational is good, and that’s been the balance we’ve been trying to strike the last few days,” he explained. “Have it be conversational and fun, but still describe what’s happening in the game. You can’t go three pitches with nobody knowing what’s happening. I think we’re doing that, and I hope we are. But it’s OK to have conversation and a little fun. I’m always going to say what I think the people who are watching the game or listening to the game (are thinking). I think it’s even more important to be on honest when you’re on the radio, because people who are watching the game can’t see it.”

McDonough will remain on the call through Wednesday, when the Red Sox travel to New York for a brief series against the Yankees. He is slated to call around 30 games this season.