Sean McDonough is facing backlash after seeming to make fun of the name of Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi on Tuesday night during the radio broadcast of the Red Sox’ playoff victory over the Yankees.
During the top of the fifth inning of the wild-card matchup, McDonough, who was calling the game with Joe Castiglione and Will Flemming on flagship station WEEI, mentioned the success of the 107-win Giants to Flemming, whose brother Dave is a broadcaster for the team.
Zaidi, a graduate of MIT, is the first Muslim and first Asian American general manager in major US professional sports.
“A lot of people are surprised by the Red Sox’s 92 wins,” said McDonough. “Tell me, who saw San Francisco’s 107 wins coming?”
“Maybe nobody outside of Farhan Zaidi and [Giants manager] Gabe Kapler, they just did an unbelievable job,” said Flemming. “And who knows? Maybe we can have a World Series reunion.”
Said McDonough after Flemming pronounced Zaidi’s name precisely: “Their GM’s name is ‘High Anxiety’?”
Flemming, after calling the action at the moment on the field, repeated Zaidi’s name, with emphasis.
“Oh, OK,” said McDonough before chuckling.
“Architect of a lot of great teams and he’s just been brilliant for them,” said Flemming, before Castiglione turned the conversation toward National League manager of the year candidates.
Audio of the conversation was posted on the SFGate.com web site, which first reported the interaction Wednesday.
McDonough chose not to comment on the record when reached by phone Thursday morning. A spokesperson for Audacy, WEEI’s parent company, said, “We will not have comment at this time.”
McDonough, who has called around 40 Red Sox games per season the past three years, made his name in broadcasting as the Red Sox’ television play-by-play voice on Ch. 38 and other stations from 1988–2004.
He is one of the most accomplished current sports broadcasters, and has called almost every major event in his career. Most recently, he was named as the lead play-by-play voice for the NHL at ESPN, where he also calls college basketball and football.