. . . . . . . * . .

06 June 2007

Jerry Trupiano was inexplicably released as the play-by-play man on the Red Sox radio broadcasts, replaced by an announcer perfectly capable but inadequate, who doesn't fit in the way that Trupiano did.

Baseball is the one sport that can still be reduced to radio: a background noise for life, not the center of attention but the accompaniment to a summer day. A story to drive to, fall asleep to. Ball, pause, strike, pause, ball, pause, foul, pause ... and on for two or three hours, the moments filled as much by ambience as action, giving time describe the events and their actors. Trupiano and Joe Castiglione were the perfect pair, two slow-spoken and aging men who'd watched many games before, pacing themselves with the gradual ebbs and flows of the games. Trupiano's was a deep voice. His replacement is high-pitched, too quick to speak, to insistent on a rapid flow of information.

If Castiglione and Trupiano's gravelly meanderings could have been found sitting together outside a store in a small town, in the bleachers or a rainy-afternoon bar, the new announcer belongs to a loud and crowded bar on an afternoon where you'd be better off outside, to sports scores updated on top of taxis. So long, Jerry. Baseball won't be right without him.