Another PawSox “alum” has been promoted to the Big leagues. Joe McDonald, the Cranston native and exceptional sports writer for the Providence Journal has been hired by ESPN to write for their website, ESPNBoston.com. “Joey Mac” cut his teeth at the Projo and proved himself to be not only a good writer, but a tremendous reporter, as well. He was one of the very first people to come up and welcome me to the PawSox when I began broadcasting their games in 2004. We have since forged a friendship that is based on much more than professional respect.
One of the reasons he has been so successful is his ability to develop relationships with anyone and everyone. Joe reminds you of an old time reporter, a mans’ man. He has cultivated bonds with players while they were in Pawtucket and when they see him in the clubhouse at Fenway, it’s a natural progression. A lot of guys try to do that and it is unnatural for them. I think you can spot a phony a mile away. Joe McDonald is the real thing. When Steve Krasner retired and Sean McAdam left the Journal, there was not even a hint of a dropoff due to Joes’ hard work. The Projo brought Dan Barbarisi over to sports from news and McDonald found himself in the mentor role. Dan now takes on the lead role in the sports department. covering the Sox and his strong journalistic instincts will help him continue the high standard set by McDonald. Joe now works with veteran Gordon Edes to form an incredible 1-2 punch for ESPNBoston.
Selfishly, I hope we’ll see him around McCoy Stadium every once in a while. His sense of humor helps get you through a three and a half hour ball game. He is the consumate post-game companion, as well. Never a better guy to wind down with after a night at the ballpark! For his efforts, Joe has been honored as the Rhode Island Sportswriter of the year for 2009 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. It is his third such award. He’s going to win more. My prediction is that he will become a star in the ESPN galaxy. He breaks stories. He gets guys to talk and he does it with what I think he’d refer to as his “Irish Charm”. It’s tough to make accurate predictions in sports, but this one is a “no-brainer.” It won’t be long before the rest of the country gets to know “our” Joey Mac.