The Portland Sea Dogs have transferred their flag to another ship as they sail into the 2005 season.
For the fourth time since 1994, The Sea Dogs radio network has a new flagship station: Portland’s WBAE (1490 AM), a.k.a. “The Bay.”
As has been the case for the last 12 years, all 142 Sea Dogs regular season games will be aired live on local (Portland area) radio. WBAE takes over for fellow Portland AM station WMTW (870 AM), the Sea Dogs’ flagship station the last three years.
“There was an ownership change with the WMTW group and there was a lot of uncertainty with what their programming was and as they sorted that out, time became an issue for us, so we’re back with WBAE,” said Charlie Eshbach, Sea Dogs president and general manager.
Ironically, the switch means the Dogs have teamed back up with the same ownership group (Portland Radio Group) that ran the Sea Dogs’ first radio flagship station: Portland’s WPOR (101.9 FM).
An additional game will be aired on the schedule this season – the 2005 Hannaford Eastern League All-Star Game, which will be hosted for the first time by the city of Portland at Fitzpatrick Stadium on Wednesday, July 13.
The Sea Dogs’ network currently has seven member stations: WBAE, WKTQ (1450 AM) in South Paris, WOXO (92.7 FM) in Norway, Mexico’s WTBM (100.7 FM), Rumford’s WTME (780 AM), WPHX (1220 AM) in Sanford, and Rochester, N.H., station WMEX (106.5 FM).
All-sports stations WZON (620 AM) of Bangor and WRKD (1450 AM) of Rockland aired selected Sea Dogs broadcasts last season, but not all 142 games. Neither station has officially committed for the 2005 season yet. WRKD has aired Sea Dogs broadcasts the last five years.
One of the largest minor league baseball radio networks in the country, the Sea Dogs’ network reached an all-time high last season with 12 stations and the historic success and interest generated by the Boston Red Sox 2004 season should do nothing to hurt the popularity of their Double A minor league farm club.
Todd Jamison will be back for his fourth season behind the microphone as the Sea Dogs’ play-by-play voice.
If you’re wondering how much longer you’ll have to wait for the sound of “play ball!”, circle Thursday, April 7 on your calendars because that’s when the Dogs will open their 2005 season at home against the Norwich Navigators.
Orsillo, Caron re-up with NESN
Former Portland Pirates radio play-by-play announcer Tom Caron and Red Sox television play-by-play man Don Orsillo have had their contracts with New England Sports Network extended.
Caron has been with NESN since 1995 and is now the studio host of NESN’s Red Sox and Boston Bruins pre- and postgame coverage shows. He also serves as Red Sox broadcast field reporter, college hockey and Pawtucket Red Sox play-by-play man, and host of the NESN Retro and The Boston Globe SportsPlus shows.
Caron referenced Boston’s memorable 2004 season in a press release when he said “Coming off the most thrilling season in Red Sox history, I’m thrilled to be staying with NESN.”
Orsillo has been doing NESN’s Red Sox play-by-play since the 2001 season and will return to team up with former Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy. Before NESN, Orsillo spent five seasons as radio play-by-play announcer and director of community relations for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Caron has won three New England Emmy awards and Orsillo has won one.
Andrew Neff can be reached at 990-8205, 1-800-310-8600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org