Former PawSox announcers making it big
Some former Pawtucket Red Sox radio announcers have had very successful careers in the major leagues, NFL and NBA.
Andy Freed, the voice of the PawSox from 2001-2004, has been the Tampa Bay Rays radio announcer since 2005.
Boston Red Sox play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo was the Pawtucket's radio announcer from 1997-2000.
Dan Hoard, the PawSox radio guy from 2006-2011, is the Cincinnati Bengals radio announcer.
Dave Jageler is in his seventh season with the Washington Nationals as their radio play-by-play guy. He spent 2005 as the radio and television voice of Pawtucket.
Dave Flemming is in his seventh year of broadcasting for the San Francisco Giants. He worked as Boston's Triple-A radio guy from 2001-2003.
Gary Cohen is the television play-by-play announcer for the New York Mets. He was a radio announcer in Pawtucket during 1987 and 1988.
Matt Pinto, Pawtucket's radio announcer in 1985 and 1986, is the radio voice of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Best debut of Lester's career
Boston ace Jon Lester allowed one run on six hits and three walks and struck out four over 7 innings in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Tigers yesterday on Opening Day.
It certainly was the best season debut of Lester's career. He has gotten hit hard in four previous season debuts.
On Opening Day 2011, Lester allowed five earned runs on six hits, including three homers, and one walk in 5 1/3 innings, losing 9-5 at Texas.
Lester allowed four earned runs on five hits and three walks in 5 innings against the Yankees in a 6-4 loss in his first outing of 2010.
In his first start of 2009, Lester allowed five earned runs on eight hits and two walks in a 7-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
Lester gave up four earned runs on five hits and three walks in 4 innings pitches during a 5-1 loss to Oakland in his 2008 debut.
Ryan Sweeney misplayed an Austin Jackson triple to right field to begin the bottom of the eighth inning in the Red Sox' loss to Detroit yesterday.
Sweeney turned the wrong way, got twisted up and missed a ball he should have caught.
Sweeney also had some trouble making a routine catch during the seventh inning.
Someone asked me about Sweeney's defense a couple of weeks ago, saying he looked uncomfortable out in the outfield during spring training.
I haven't seen Sweeney play much. But I have heard that he played above-average defense in Oakland. He has committed only four errors in 938 career chances entering yesterday.
Yesterday though, there was shaky defense in both corner outfield positions.
Getting to Valverde
Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde blew a save yesterday for Detroit, giving up two runs to the Red Sox in the top of the ninth. Valverde actually was 49 for 49 in save opportunities last year.
Melo to the NBA
Syracuse University 7-foot center Fab Melo will enter the NBA draft after averaging 7.8 points and 2.9 blocks per game for the Orange this year but also missing some time during the regular season and the entire NCAA tournament because ineligibility issues.
Here is the statement he released:
"After meeting with my mother, my family and coach (Jim) Boeheim, I have decided to enter my name into the 2012 NBA Draft. Being able to play professional basketball has been my dream since I first starting playing this game and now I have the opportunity to accomplish that dream. Coach Boeheim, coach Hopkins and the rest of the Syracuse staff have helped me develop as a player and as a man and I will always be appreciative for what they've done for me. I wish Syracuse University, the basketball program and the Syracuse fans nothing but the best."