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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A conversation with Josh Maurer

After two years in the Trenton broadcast booth, Josh Maurer is moving on, having accepted a broadcasting position with the Pawtucket Red Sox (read the full release here). Minor Matters recently caught up with Josh, discussing the big shoes he'll be filling in Pawtucket, the Thunder's championship run a season ago, and Tyler Austin's playoff swagger.

MM: Eight former Pawtucket broadcasters are now broadcasting for major professional teams. That must have been appealing.

JM: One of the things about minor league broadcasters is that you want to get to the major leagues. I think that’s all of our ultimate goals. We’ve always heard about the Pawtucket radio booth. From the time I got into the industry 11 years ago, Pawtucket has always been the benchmark job that minor league broadcasters look at. I probably applied to that job four of five times in the past decade, so to actually be considered for it and get it is really mindboggling, to be honest with you. Its pretty humbling to be put in that category with the other guys that have been there, and have then gone on to the major leagues. I don’t think its really sunk in for me yet.

MM: Is it the premier minor league broadcasting job?

JM: I would say it is, at last as far as exposure that you get from being in the booth. Pawtucket is probably it, and that’s not to belittle any other team or any other broadcast. I’d actually put Trenton in the top five. I think that’s one of the big reasons I was considered for this, because I had the Thunder name on my resume. They had hired Andy Freed — Andy is now the radio broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Rays — Pawtucket had hired Andy about a decade ago from Trenton, so there was already that lineage there. There was a familiarity with the PawSox folks, knowing that Trenton produces really good broadcasters.

NP: Most memorable moment in Trenton?

JM: It has to be the championship run last year. I’ll never forget it. The whole month of September, to be honest with you, they didn’t lose a game. Going back to the end of the regular season, that series in Portland when they clinched the playoffs, and the uncertainty really of the whole month of August. Remember, we weren’t even sure they were going to make the playoffs. They had to play well down the stretch, and there was really no margin for error. To play the way they did — they didn’t lose a single game in September — get in the playoffs, sweep Binghamton who was heavily favored. After the Binghamton series, I feel that Harrisburg in the championship almost felt like a formality with all the momentum they had. It was just fun. It was almost like a joyride, the Harrisburg championship, because at least me — I’m guessing Tony Franklin would not agree with me — it never really was in doubt in my mind with the way the team was playing and how confident they were. That’s what I’ll remember.

JM: The game you pointed out, where they beat Syndergaard, that’s the one that more than any of the other ones — even more than the championship clincher. Tyler Austin before the game giving that salvoto Syndergaard, saying that it was going to be a long night for him, and then he backed it up. The game went to extra innings, and they had to come from behind in that 10th inning, which was probably the most remarkable comeback I saw in two years. It was that Game 1 against Binghamton. That was dream stuff.

MM: You also broadcast UMass football and basketball. Did that factor in?

JM: That’s another reason, to be honest with you, that this job was appealing. It makes my life a lot easier. It’s significantly easier to travel back and forth between Pawtucket and western Massachusetts than Trenton and Massachusetts.


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