Now, of course those of us in Red Sox Nation with dear memories of 2004 are predisposed to loving Dave Roberts. There’s little the man could do that would cause us to turn on him. Short of kicking a puppy, insulting my mom and donning a Yankees cap, I’d say the guy’s pretty golden around here. (Though my mom is a lovely women and I’m sure she and Mr. Roberts would get along swimmingly as he’d no doubt take a keen interest in all her scrapbooking activities). That said, there’s a very clear difference in the NESN booth between Dave Roberts’ commentary and that of our other Remy-filler-in-er, Dennis Eckersley.
Take, for instance, last night’s game against the Nationals in which Massachusetts Senator and erstwhile Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry visited the NESN booth. Where Dave Roberts surely made his mother proud and referred to him quite respectfully as “Senator” (treatment far better than I’m sure he frequently receives in Congress), I can only imagine that Eck would have brought up the 2004 election and been all “What was that crap about, huh? Does it cheese you off that you lost to a guy stupider than a roisin bag?” (I may be editorializing a bit as I’ve got no clue as to Eckersley’s political leanings). Where Kerry and Roberts quaintly discussed the Nationals park and how it compares to Fenway, I’m sure Eck would have mentioned something about how it’s easier to find a strip joint in DC than it is around Fenway. I mean, I’m guessing.
Then there was the talk about the Sox ownership group and what it’s done for the team and the fan experience over the past few years. “Mr. Henry, Mr. Lucchino and Mr. Werner have done a terrific job,” Roberts said. And while that’s certainly true, I thought, “Mr. Dave? Jesus, you’ve got the job already.” But it’s all part of his charm, surely.
Of course, his love affair with Jacoby Ellsbury is fantastic as I’m sure he sees himself in the “young speedster” as he might call him. But it’ll be amusing to see how he keeps his raging mancrush under control. What might be good times, however, is to put Roberts and Eckersley in the booth together some evening and watch the show. I delight in the metaphorical pearl clutching Dave Roberts would surely engage in when Eck calls someone a bozo or challenges the likes of Joba Chamberlain from the booth by taunting “No one likes you anyway!” It would be, in the parlance of Mr. Roberts, splendid.