The first thing I should say is thanks--for existing at all. Without you, I wouldn't get to hear the RemDog and Orsillo giggle uncontrollably in the late innings of blowouts. I'd probably have to suffer through vastly more programming with Tim McCarver. For that, thank you, blessings, and good wishes.
Thank you also for your "behind-the-scenes" programming. Without you, I wouldn't have gotten to see David Ortiz cooking with Sam Horn, a segment which will be preserved in Sox Nation history as a cultural high point for all time. Without you, I wouldn't know that virtually every Red Sox player, when pressed, selects Tim McGraw as his favorite recording artist. Except for Bronson Arroyo, who is skinnier than is even really believable out of his uniform, and who prefers Stone Temple Pilots' "Plush".
Thank you for SportsDesk, for Tom Caron, for Eric Frede and especially The Eck. ESPECIALLY The Eck. The man looks like he was just dropped from a teleporter after being sucked bodily out of the 1970's, and he is unfailingly fantastic viewing, whether it's berating an opposing pitcher for his "lollipop crap," berating Tom Caron for his contrarian statements, or his wide-eyed, borderline-creepy fascination with any player that enters the studio. I LOVE THE ECK. There should be nothing but MORE of this bastion of glorious, glorious mulletude. But I'll get to that.
Because of course, having said all that, I wish to register two complaints.
Numero Uno on my list of quibbles is about your extra programming. I know I just praised it highly--the problem is not the content, at least when you're in the Sox dugout / clubhouse. The problem is the quantity. There's not nearly enough of it, or so it seems.
Because why else would you foist such drivel upon us as Charlie Moore's Great Outdoors or (shudder) the Boston / New York Poker Tournament?
Get a clue, NESN: no one watches your network because they want to see some stiff in a skiff trout fishing somewhere in the Kangamangas. No one wants to tune in for crossbow hunting. People watch your network because they want to see the Red Sox. Period.
Additionally, no one wants to see random jackasses from Boston and Long Island play Texas Hold 'Em. Of course, I could be biased: I'd personally rather set my own eyelashes on fire than watch other people play poker. But I'd be willing to bet that if you were to supplant said poker tournament with, say, a day in the life of Terry Francona, or even Cooking with Mark Bellhorn, you might see a jump in your ratings.
Hell, I'd rather watch Remy, Orsillo, TC and the Eck (ALWAYS The Eck) sit outside near the hot dog stand for an extra hour before the game than any of your "alternative" programming.
But there's also an important caveat here, NESN, if you're thinking of boosting your in-studio Sox commentary: You must. Get rid. Of Gary. DiSarcina.
There is simply no other choice. I don't care if he's a hometown boy and a former Major Leaguer. It seems the perfect qualification on paper, but guess what? It isn't. I've seen Toy Story action figures with more animation than him. I've seen non-native English speakers put together better sentences. He's wooden, he's awkward, he has nothing interesting to say whatsoever, and frankly, I've stopped watching your post-game shows solely because of his constant presence there. I just can't stand the guy for more than thirty seconds, and that's pushing it. I used to think Bob Tewksbury and Sam Horn were tough on the eyes. I'd weep for joy now if they appeared on my TV screen again.
I'm sure Gary DiSarcina is a great guy. Really, I have nothing against him and hope he leads a fabulous life--somewhere far away from the NESN studios.
So here's my suggestion, which might tie my two gripes together: Give The Eck his own show. Let him wander about remeniscing with fellow players. Let him interview fans on Yawkey Way. Let him hang out in the dugout, in the clubhouse. Let him rant and rave for a half-hour about "lollipop crap." Let him have a slappers fight with the Rem-Dawg. Frankly, I don't care. I just want more Eck on my screen, tout suite.
Once again, thank you for all you do for Red Sox Nation. Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about my proposal.