Sox fans accustomed to watching games on NESN with Don and Jerry generally dread those occasions when Fox has the rights for a weekend game. Tim McCarver (who used to be pretty good, a long time back) and his crewmates offered more grist for the mill with their coverage of Saturday's Sox-Angels contest:
1. We all know how Manny Ramirez has for years made periodic great plays in the outfield while occasionally muffing some easy chances. As fate had it, Manny's fielding was first-rate on Saturday -- not a wholly unusual thing since he plays the Monster like a pro, often keeping potentially extra-base hits to a long single. As the Fox crew told it, however, Manny has suddenly turned over a new leaf with his fielding.
2. The Foxers acted surprised that Eric Hinske substituted at first for the hot-hitting Kevin Youkilis, apparently unaware that Youk, who seems to be a magnet for such stuff, had taken a fastball off the forearm the night before. Hinske went on to have a fine offensive day.
3. They called the area around Pesky's Pole "Pesky's Corner."
4. Yes, Coco Crisp is off to a slow start, but the Fox crew offered a misleading comparison of his time in Cleveland vs. his time in Boston. A graphic displayed on the screen showed how he has played far fewer game in Boston -- thanks to last year's injury -- but the announcers didn't mention the injury or even take note of how the sample sizes are entirely different.
5. In the 9th inning, McCarver referred to Sox shortstop Julio Lugo as "Cabrera," meaning Orlando Cabrera of the Angels. Earth to Tim: OC left the Sox more than two years ago.