Mae chats it up with Red Sox Nation
NESN anchor fields questions online during sixth inning
Hazel Mae, the anchor for NESN SportsDesk, participated in an online chat during the sixth inning of Sunday's game. She answered questions regarding her thoughts on the Red Sox this year, the Red Sox fans and how she got started in broadcasting.
Hazel Mae: Hi everybody. Thanks for logging on. I'm all fired up to chat, so let's go!
Base_Ball_4: Hazel, will you marry me?
Mae: Let's get this one out of the way. I can't cook or clean and I work until 1 a.m. in the morning. Now, do you still want to get hitched?
nomar577: How did you start/become a NESN broadcaster?
Mae: I used to work as a national sports anchor on Sportsnet in Canada, as well as host a weekly baseball magazine show. Because the Sox and Jays play each other so often, the Sox were familiar with my work and asked if I would be interested in moving to Boston. I thought that there would be no other place to be a sports lover than in the Hub.
Base_Ball_3: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Mae: This job allows me the opportunity to attend some of the most exciting sports events. I love going to ball games and hockey games on my days off, as well as get a chance to meet some of the most interesting people involved in this industry, in front of and behind the scenes.
jjr928: Who has surprised you the most on this year's team?
Mae: I would have to say, hands down, Kevin Youkilis. To be able to switch positions like he has and play like he's been a first baseman all his career, without missing a beat, has really been impressive. His consistency at the plate has impressed me. To come out and be an everyday player is pressure enough, but he has handled himself at the plate and on the field like a wily veteran.
smith05: What is David Ortiz like in person?
Mae: I was lucky enough to have been introduced to him when I was in Toronto. He appeared on my show many times. He is one of the most genuine people I've ever met. No ego, just a big "teddy bear." His smile is infectious and you can tell by being around him that he is truly a kind and generous person. His talent at the plate pales in comparison to the person inside. Great to have a leader like Big Papi on this team!
Base_Ball_2: How's your golf game?
Mae: I recently played at Highfields Golf Course and shot a little over the century mark. Big off the tee, short game lacks any consistency whatsoever, and I have no touch around the greens. Other than that, it's great.
thesunking: Hazel, besides broadcasting, what sports did you play when you were in school? What do you do for exercise nowadays?
Mae: I played everything my schedule allowed me to play: basketball, volleyball, tennis, softball, soccer and participated in track and field. I was a huge fan of getting involved in as many sports as possible. It was a great way to get exercise, meet people and satisfy my competitive nature.
spenceox: Do you feel attached to the Sox, or do you see them as your job?
Mae: As you know, I grew up in Toronto, so naturally as a sports fan I followed the hometown team. It's funny I ended up in Boston, because I hated the Yankees when I was with the Jays, so coming to the Red Sox Nation was an easy transition. My first year was a little difficult, because I didn't follow the team as closely as I followed the Jays. Now that I have a couple of seasons under my belt, I have an emotional attachment to them. It's great, because I get totally bummed out when they lose and get totally elated when they win. That's how I knew I was officially hooked.
Inama: Was it hard to become a female broadcaster?
Mae: As a female broadcaster you are put under a microscope more than your male counterparts. When I mispronounce a name, people assume it is because I don't know what I am talking about, but if a male does it, people just brush it off as having a bad day or just a slip of the tongue. I do feel like I have to go above and beyond to gain credibility, but I'm happy to say that there are more female broadcasters nowadays than there were 10 years ago. That tells me that women are getting the props they deserve for doing a good job, and maybe one day questions like this won't have to be posed.
redsoxmonsterwall73: Do you see the Red Sox getting to the World Series?
Mae: Absolutely. This is a team that has addressed their pitching needs and it is starting to pay off. Offense has never been a big question. When you have a team that's led the league in runs scored the past few seasons, putting runs on the board wasn't a big priority in the offseason. This year's team has pitching and a much-improved defense, and when you throw in an offense led by the dynamic duo of Manny Ramirez and Big Papi, your chances of getting to the Fall Classic are pretty darn good. This team also has a lot of depth. Youkilis can take a day off and have a gold glover like J.T. Snow fill in for him. The bullpen boasts of consistent arms like Mike Timlin and young arms like Jonathan Papelbon. I see a well-balanced attack. This team is built to win, and win now.
Base_Ball_3: Who's your favorite person in the Red Sox front office? Be honest.
Mae: Wally the Green Monster.
jjr928: What's your prediction for the Red Sox at Yankees this week?
Mae: This will be the first visit to Yankee Stadium this season, so you have to think the Sox are going to be jacked up for that. Josh Beckett last pitched at the Bronx when he clinched Game 6 of the 2003 World Series, so he's going to be fired up even more, if that's possible. Add to that, he'll be up against the Big Unit, and I think the Sox have a good shot at giving the Yanks a run for their money. How's that for sitting on the fence? The Sox are certainly putting their best out on the mound for the series -- Beckett, Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield, so you're in for a treat.
Ann-marie_Martin: Do you find the Red Sox fans are as passionate as you expected?
Mae: I always knew Sox fans were passionate, but they are even more die-hard than I thought. It's a great atmosphere to be involved in. You can feel the intensity and passion everywhere in the city. Red Sox Nation rocks!
jb22379: What is your funniest NESN moment from 2005?
Mae: When I was on the live 10 p.m. ET show, I was trying to decide whether I wanted to say that "everyone was jumping on the Celtics' bandwagon OR hopping on the Celtics' bandwagon" as it turned out, I ended up saying "everyone was humping on the Celtics' bandwagon" -- how embarrassing.
mikey0875: Did you know when you were a child that you wanted to be involved in sports?
Mae: Yes, I actually wanted to be a pro sport trainer, unfortunately my science and math grades weren't the best, and to be frank, blood makes me nauseous. I knew I wanted to be involved in some aspect but didn't really think about a career in TV until I got into radio. I realized I enjoyed talking about sports and delivering the sports news. If anyone out there is interested in this field, my advice would be to put yourself in a position where you can learn the industry more hands-on. I think going to school is a huge part in getting there, but practical experience is also just as important. So, volunteer, get into an internship program where you can spend time around the people who are doing what you'd like to do someday, whether it be behind the scenes or in front of the camera.
Mae: Hey, everybody, I want to get back to watching the ball game, so I'm going to sign off now. Thanks so much for chatting with me and I'll see you Tuesday on Sportsdesk. I have Monday off, so don't miss me too much. Buh-Bye.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.