FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox had public address announcer Ted Fitzgeorge recite the count after every pitch during a 5-4 loss against Miami at JetBlue Park Tuesday.
Red Sox executive vice president Charles Steinberg said the unusual idea was a product of “spirited debate” among team officials.
“There were desires for us to try it last year and we didn’t, so I think we’re not shy about being experimental or bold or innovative,” he said.
The count was announced in a softer tone than the usual introductions. But still, Red Sox players were generally opposed to the concept.
“That’s a bad idea,” said John Lackey, who started and went 2⅓ innings. “Whoever did that hasn’t been between the lines.
“For me it was not that big a deal because I’m not that worried about throwing strikes. But I could foresee a situation with someone who is just struggling throwing strikes, you’re just pretty much beating the guy over the head with it.
“He realized it was a ball. He doesn’t want to hear it again. That’s a bad idea.”
Beyond that, the count is on multiple scoreboards at every major league park.
Steinberg said announcing the count was a one-game trial without a clear second step. He said he did not know who with the Sox came up with the idea, but said team president Larry Lucchino broached it more than a year ago.
It didn’t sound like the aural addition was coming to Fenway Park, but Steinberg didn’t rule it out.
“If it would be effective in a positive way, then yes,” he said.
Manager John Farrell, who went to Sarasota for the split-squad game there, carefully chose his words.
“Certainly different in the atmosphere of the ballpark,” he said. “You don’t hear that. Other than that, I really don’t have any comment.”