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NESN’s Jenny Dell off Red Sox broadcasts amid relationship with player

Jan 30, 2014, 6:27 PM EDT

Jenny Dell, Will Middlebrooks (tweeted by Jenny Dell)

Is it a conflict of interests if you’re not really a reporter? It appears NESN may think so.

The Boston Herald’s Inside Track reports that Red Sox “sideline reporter” Jenny Dell has been reassigned by NESN after she and Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks went public with their relationship on New Year’s Day by tweeting pictures with one another. While that wasn’t given as a reason for the move, the timing makes it pretty obvious.

Still, one wonders if it was really a necessary step for NESN. Dell’s role is certainly much more one of public relations than reporting. If she were covering the Red Sox for the Herald or the Globe, of course the relationship would be inappropriate. Really, though, her reporting on the team consists of press releases and materials given to her by NESN. On the other hand, interviews with players are a big part of her job and those could, on occasion, become awkward, particularly if she’s talking to someone who might be competing with Middlebrooks for playing time; the players might not always keep it professional.

Regardless, Dell figures to land on her feet. She’s still employed by NESN at the moment, but there’s been talk of her joining FOX Sports 1.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Nice to see he didn’t strike out for a change.

    Not nice to see a potential distraction in a make-or-break year for him.

    • Caught Looking - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Wow, someone scored some major league talent.

      Way to go Will.

    • genericcommenter - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      Dating is a distraction? Do you think ballplayers are chaste?

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        Dating isn’t a distraction.

        Dating someone you sort work with who ends up getting fired because of the relationship is.

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Sideline reporters interview players after the game. If they have a less than amicable breakup that it might not be pretty. Heck, it might be just as bad watching a reporter interview her boyfriend while giving him the bedroom eyes.

  3. mtr75 - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Come on, man, she’s a serious reporter. They hired her for her journalistic integrity and ability to get the big story. A Pulitzer Prize is pretty much a given.

  4. aceinthehole12 - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    I’m an A’s fan but I watch Red Sox games just for Ms. Dell’s she won’t be on air anymore.

    • chinahand11 - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:07 PM

      If she was my GF I’d be tweeting pics of her and me all over the place. Congrats Will! Good luck, Jenny! Go Red Sox!

  5. flosox - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    You had a typo in that last paragraph. It’s “back” not “feet”! She’ll land on her back. The feet will be somewhere else.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      Haha! I get it!

      Because she’s a woman and thus she’s easy!

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        Thank you.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        You have no idea how many times I had to rewrite that to get past the filters.

        I almost had to go with “trollop”

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:55 PM

        And you’re welcome.

        You know I like looking out for the little missies around here.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        Well, you’re taller.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        Comes in handy for reaching things on the upper shelves.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        I’m not that short!

  6. Glenn - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    As I said when the story first broke, if John Henry owning the Red Sox, NESN, and the Globe isn’t a conflict of interest; how the heck can Jenny Dell be a problem?

    • moogro - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      That is pretty weird.

    • themuddychicken - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      Hmm excellent point

  7. Old Gator - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    I somehow doubt if her feet are what she’s gonna land on.

    • clemente2 - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:42 PM

      Gator, you got some ‘splainin’ to do with Mr. tfbuck and Ms. histrio, especially as he is looking out for her…

    • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      Hey, and I stood up for you with doofybear. Gators are horrible.

    • Old Gator - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM

      Hey hey wait a minute….I think her “reassignment” is a lot of p/c bullcoprolite. I’m sure they knew there’d be some pole-up-the-butt reactions from the buttondowns and they didn’t care. Good for them both. This ain’t like Wade Boggs.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      Actually, I’m kinda mad at her. This is exactly the kind of thing women do that screws themselves.

      • Old Gator - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:52 AM

        Yeah, falling in love will net you nothing but grief. Just ask Helen of Troy.

  8. coachjac30 - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    The only thing she offered to the viewer was her looks. As long as her replacement is just as hot, and sleeping with someone else on the team, I’m ok with that.

    How long before she makes the rumored jump to Fox Sports now?

    • paperlions - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      People can try to disagree with this all they want, but female sideline reporters are not hired for their reporting ability, they are hired for how they look on camera….does anyone really think there are no average looking women that aren’t qualified to do that job (or to be “meteorologists”)? I am all for equality in the work place, but it doesn’t do anyone any favors to act like the primary qualifications for these jobs is youth and hotness.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        It sucks that we can’t be competent and look like Edith Bunker and get a job because no suit will hire us if we aren’t also pretty. It’s not like Costas and Rosenthal are hotties. They *could* hire someone besides Erin Andrews, et al. I’d rather we not “acknowledge” this fact, and instead push to change it.

      • paperlions - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        Totally agree….but it is also true that some jobs don’t require a great deal of skill. Indeed, some of these “jobs” (such as sideline reporter) don’t even need to exist. The only reason they really exist is to hire someone like Dell.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        Well, they have to have a place to put one of us so they can say they’re diverse. It’s not like any of us could actually work the booth because we *know* something about baseball.

      • paperlions - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Now we are getting somewhere. You just smashed that nail.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        Ooops, sorry about your toe then. Was that new information?

      • paperlions - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        Nope, that’s usually how it works. We (white guys) gotta him some of them (not white guys), how do we do it in the way that pains us the least?

        In just about every state in the 1990s, the respective departments that manage wildlife (fish and game, department of natural resources, whatever they call it), created or expanded their division of non-game researchers/technicians…and they hired almost exclusively not white guys, so that they could keep only hiring white guys in the other sections.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:20 PM

        You know that just makes the rest of us bitter, right? Thanks a lot. Now I’m all pissed off. 😦

      • paperlions - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:33 PM

        How do you think I feel, being a white guy working in an industry that prefers to hire everyone else if at all possible? According to the US government, I am “other”. In annual reports filed by any institution that receives any amount of federal funding, we report the number of women, and the number of people of different races or heritages, but there is no category for men or white/Caucasian….but there is “other”, that is where I go. I feel special, too.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:41 PM

        Well, you should be consoled by the fact that universities hire less of us full-time and pay us bupkis. Why are you so salty on this?

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        Oh, my God, does that mean you hate affirmative action?

      • paperlions - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM

        Nope. I completely understand the necessity to provide an even playing field and to provide opportunities….but we are really not much closer to hiring being merit based in most professions than we were decades ago. Academia is one of the few places where hiring practices are now focused on merit and race, sex, or nationality are rarely considered an issue…at least, where I live and work now. Were I got my PhD, being a white guy is still generally a big positive factor in getting a job or moving into administration.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        Well, honestly, in my field part of the problem is that the old white guys who ran the departments often refused to see that the work others were doing was meritorious. In the 1930’s Angie Debo dared to write Native American history that took the Indians; perspective into account. Her work still hasn’t been incorporated into the mainstream (you can still find a ton of history books with that manifest destiny bullsh!t in it). She became a librarian, btw, because no one would hire her as a historian (even with a PhD). I don’t know how many male professors I had who merely added a lecture about women or separate spheres into their classes and called it good — instead of using new narratives that addressed other perspectives (see every apologia still published about the Founders). Forcing departments to hire women and minorities was the only way they were going to get in, because most of the old dudes still in charge (and the pro-business administrations) do NOT see value in much of their work and would not consider them the best qualified candidate. Interestingly, disparities in pay grow greater the more education women obtain. Conveniently, many departments have turned to adjucts to “save money” — denying women the same protections old white men used to have. We gain entrance as the opportunities are devalued. It was the same with teaching and with clerks in the late 19th & early 20th centuries.

      • paperlions - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        I agree that the only way real change was going to happen was by force….there really still is a HUGE and strong gradient in the rate at which that change has occurred. The most sexist place I’ve lived in the US was Texas, and there really isn’t a close 2nd….well, Puerto Rico, I guess comes close. Moving from Lubbock to CT, the difference in the attitude of the old guys that were still around was night and day.

        The contributions of women in science were often ignored historically….but many of the most prominent ecologists today are women because now it really is a global community and the sex of the scientist (if you even know it) just isn’t important to anyone anymore.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:18 PM

        It might be better in the sciences because of the nature of the beast. Frequently, I can tell the sex and race of a historian just from reading the work. Have no fear, a future generation of lady historians has been trained at Mt. Holyoke by a white guy who falsely claimed to have served in Vietnam and told moving stories of his “service” to attentive young college women but kept his professorship and won a Pulitzer for his laudatory book on George Washington in spite of the scandal. It was his dysfunctional family that made him do it, so it’s all good. This is the same dude who denied that Jefferson could’ve had sex with a slave because it wasn’t in his character. Quality work.

      • paperlions - Jan 31, 2014 at 7:25 AM

        That’s just embarrassing. Yeah, in science, if an idea can’t be falsified, people ignore it, and if it is shown it has little support (after much investigation) and you cling to it, people just shake their head (and reject your papers that insist on ignoring evidence or disproven ideas). You have to shape opinion based on evidence or you quickly become irrelevant, novel ideas and insights are the currency.

      • paperlions - Jan 31, 2014 at 7:29 AM

        I may have gotten a bit of a head start on not being a professional misogynist as my undergraduate thesis advisor was a woman, my master’s advisor was a woman, and my boss in a field job I had for 3 seasons and then a full year was a woman. When you are mentored by a bunch of capable and tough women (women that had to fight through the sexism of the 60s and 70s, I got to hear a lot of horrifying stories) from the time you are 20, it probably knocks any tendency to disregard opinions based on sex right out of you.

      • butchhuskey - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:54 PM

        I think this is the exception to the rule, but the Mets have had Kevin Burkhardt as their sideline guy since 2007. He’s very good at his job, but also a noticeably handsome guy. I’d assume that many female Mets fans enjoy seeing him on tv.

      • Old Gator - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:58 AM

        Paper: big exception on the meteorologist front (well, at least you didn’t call ’em “weather girls”) is the wonderful Stephanie Abrams of the Sometimes Weather Channel (also sometimes referred to as the Former Weather Channel). You wouldn’t call her “pretty” by conventional standards, but by force of her intelligence and ebullience, you very well might call her beautiful. I think by general agreement she’s the best at what she does in the industry, and she got uploaded to NBC/proper (and just in time too) on the strength of her qualifications.

      • stex52 - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        Paper, it is difficult enough to generalize Texas culture from any particular place because of its sheer size and population. But if you have to generalize all Texans from one location, for God’s sake don’t choose Lubbock. That’s a back water, even for west Texas.

      • paperlions - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:05 AM

        That’s fair….of course there is a gradient across the state….west Texas is certainly an insular entity that doesn’t represent the entire state.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        PS Apparently someone glitterbombed the OK Dept of Ag yesterday — so of course a haz-mat team responded and the department was quarantined until some humorless bureaucrat declared the suspect substance “glitter.” smh

      • paperlions - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        This should make you proud, beating all the guys to be the world’s best:

      • historiophiliac - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:41 PM

        Really? Sigh

      • historiophiliac - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        Hey, since you’re gonna watch it, let me know if they show that Congress of American Indians ad during the Stupor Bowl. I don’t think they are, but it would be awesome.

      • paperlions - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        I don’t usually watch commercials….if I am paying attention, as soon as it looks like they are sending it to commercial I hit mute and/or get up to do something….if I see it or find a link to it, I’ll let you know.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        I found a link to it. I’ve seen it. It’s awesome, btw. I was just wondering if they would show it during the game.

      • paperlions - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        If they do show it, I’m sure there will be stories about it. Seems like an expensive time to show an ad, but…I guess you get what you pay for if you are looking for eye balls.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        It would be ideal for making that statement. he he

  9. gerryb323 - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Bring back Heidi!

  10. jwbiii - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    particularly if she’s talking to someone who might be competing with Middlebrooks for playing time

    What do you mean by “playing time”?

  11. nymets4ever - Jan 30, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    She’s Cute

  12. js20011041 - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    This sucks. I don’t think there’s a single Red Sox fan that would rather have Middlebrooks than Dell.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      It really depends what happens with Cecchini. It sure looks like Middlebrooks will be expendable after the 2014, doesn’t it? I mean, chances are Cecchini is playing third in 2015. And maybe Bogaerts (whose name I really ought to learn to spell without going to every damn time) moves to third and Deven Marrero is playing shortstop in 2015.

      Man, I love having a farm system. It’s so great.

      • rc33 - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        Marrero’s glove is terrific. Serious concerns about his ability to hit ML pitching. Not sure at all about him as an every day SS…

  13. dylanthom2013 - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Lol, I’m ever so sure she really cares about what some sad ugly undersocialized tiny-dicked sports forum losers who couldn’t get laid if an unconscious hooker fell on them have to say about her. You opining on women is like a guy on welfare offering opinions on Porsche’s. You’ve never had one, you don’t have one now, and you never will so why do you think your opinion on the topic is relevant to anyone except yourself exactly? Know your place at the bottom of the barrel freaks.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Just shut up.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      Says the guy who felt the need to waste his own time descending to our level.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      I’m confused by one thing….

      Opinions on Porche’s what?

      Also, why does the unconscious woman have to be a hooker? Are unconscious hookers easier to violate than unconscious regular women?

      • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        Josh Lueke says no.

    • jwbiii - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      You don’t know me. You don’t know how often my wife and I make love. You don’t know what I drive. You will have the opportunity to learn the difference between plurals and possessives in the fourth grade.

    • sawxalicious - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:40 AM

      dylanthom2013 has achieved douche level 73…congrats

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:24 AM

      I love the internet. I love the way we can go from a reasoned and intelligent discussion by two people who know what they are talking about to a screed from someone who who can’t even punctuate.

      One day the world will be a much different place. The facelessness and relative obscurity of the internet will isolate some and marginalize others. But the thing it may have the most power to do is demonstrate that a person is not alone with their craziness and wondering about the world and why it is the way it is.

      People who ordinarily would never meet now do. People who would ordinarily have no platform to shout their nonsense now do. The good and the bad. There it is. Something for everyone. That’s rather wonderful.

      Does some pretty girl who happens to be a sideline reporter hooking up with a pro athlete really matter? Nah. That’s actually pretty ordinary. The extraordinary stuff is that discussions like this spring up, noisy shouting and all. The world was poorer place before all this was possible.

  14. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Sideline reporting is generally a pretty useless job anyways. They sometimes break some injury news a little sooner and but they generally don’t bring much to most broadcasts in my opinion.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      Which is why they stick the chicks there.

  15. sdelmonte - Jan 30, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    I think it’s definitely a conflict of interest, and she should have never accepted a date with him in the first place.

  16. eastcoastgambler - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    The last time something like this happened here, the results were pretty messy. When Mayor Menino said “Varitek split the uprights” everyone assumed he mixed up Varitek and Vinatieri. He wasn’t talking about goalposts, he was talking about the last Sox sideline reporter!

    • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      Not funny.

  17. drewsylvania - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Fire her. Not because of this. Because she’s lousy at her job.

  18. Minoring In Baseball - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    I don’t think that it’s that much of a conflict of interest. I’ll miss seeing her on the BoSox broadcasts, though.

  19. therooneyskilledwebster - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Mary Paoletti, formerly of CSNE is available, very intelligent and, of course, easy on the eyes.

  20. sawxalicious - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    It is no coincidence that female sports reporters are overwhelmingly on the attractive side. Some are great at their job, some are terrible. You can observe the same thing with men, too. Generally attractiveness is a requirement when a TV station is going to be having viewers watch them. Just like how a nice voice is usually a prerequisite for radio.

    I think a lot of guys enjoy looking at the female reporters but may not take what they have too seriously because they think the women can’t know anything about sports. Some of the women impress me with their knowledge of the game, some make me gag because they obviously don’t know anything. My least favorite female sports reporter is Rachel Nichols. She is terrible.

  21. cur1968 - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    The day a pro athlete (unmarried, too) can’t date a pretty girl, well that’s the day I step off this world. Well done Will Middlebrooks. Lets hope she’s as smart as she is pretty. Now go get in BSOYL. There’s a ball season to start.

  22. xdj511 - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    I thought I read somewhere that pro cheerleaders are forbidden to fraternize with the athletes. Maybe there was something similar like that written into her contract.

  23. anxovies - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Oh wow! No more Jenny Dell. What a looker. I’m a Yankee fan but I used to flip over to the Boston games sometimes on the off-chance I could catch Jenny doing an interview.

  24. aceshigh11 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I still miss Heidi Watney. That woman is absolutely stunning…of course, Jenny is as well.

  25. rc33 - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    On a scale of 1-10, Jenny Dell’s body is about a 14.
    The quality of her work was marginal but really, who cares? It’s not like she was doing play-by-play…

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