Fluto Shinzawa on the Boston.com Bruins blog reports that NESN has hired Naoko Funayama to replace Rob Simpson as Bruins reporter on the network’s telecasts.

Funayama has been a freelance reporter for NESN on Red Sox stories while working at NH’s WMUR-TV as a full time sports reporter.

She was born in Tokyo and speaks fluent Japanese, this garnered her some attention during the early days of the Daisuke Matsuzaka era as she was pretty much the only local media person who could talk directly wth the Japanese ace. She stepped in as a translator in at least one early press conference.

She has a hockey background, as her NESN bio states that she is a youth hockey volunteer and serves as a coach for SCORE Boston, a program that provides inner-city youth with an opportunity to participate in the sport of hockey.

Here’s an archived article from the New Hampshire Union Leader on Funayama.


11 thoughts on “Funayama To Replace Simpson on B’s Telecasts

    1. NESN continues its dumbing-down by hiring another female reporter. Whatever happened to maybe getting some actual information from your reporters, rather than simply trying to fulfill quotas and hire girls?

      The prior comment is correct: soon, Remy will be replaced by Jenny Finch, Orsillo by Suzyn Waldman and Caron by … oh wait, has he already been replaced by that other dumb blonde?

      And as for the pregame “Sox talk” with Heidi Watney and Amalie Benjamin … puh-leeze.


      1. See, the difference here is that Naoko knows what she’s talking about. Try listening sometime, not just looking at the boobs.


  1. Great move … “The Flute” is an intelligent and attractive broad with a bright future … Simpson was an oversized, unfunny goof who will never get another job in sports.


  2. I’m so happy Simpson is out. I don’t understand how he lasted as long as he did. He annoyed me.

    When’s Remy gone?


  3. It’s about time Rob Simpson is gone. That must’ve been the most awkward sideline reporter of all time. The guy never looked comfortable in front of the camera. I was starting to wonder if he was Jacobs nephew.


  4. Good luck, Naoko. You’re working for complete incompetent’s…and you deserve better.

    I haven’t purchased a thing from any NESN advertiser since they changed the centerfield camera angle at Fenway.

    Worst view in Baseball. Absolute worst. It makes Sox games completely unwatchable.

    Thank goodness for the MLB TV package and the quality telecast options it offers the viewer.


  5. Mitch, the new camera angle looks straight into homeplate. How can you not think it was an improvement from an angle off to the side? You get a true view of the plate left-to-right.


    1. If it’s so great, then why don’t either Fox or ESPN utilize the camera when they televise games from Fenway? They only use it for replays of close pitches, which is the only purpose that it should serve.

      Fox and ESPN know an awful lot more about sports television than NESN does, and they want nothing to do with that camera.

      It can’t pull back fast enough to cover a stolen base, a wild pitch, or a pitcher’s fielding play.

      I know for a fact that they get complaints every week from all over the country about this camera, and at least two advertisers that I’ve contacted are not happy with it either.


  6. I agree with Mitch on the center field camera angle by NESN. I’ve been complaining about it all year, and even wrote to NESN as well. I find nothing good about it to be honest with you. Besides the fact that it always shakes and is never steady, I can never tell a proper break on a pitch. The only benefit of it is that you get to see inside/outside pitches better, but that’s it.

    I am just surprised they insist on using it if so many people (and even advertisers) are unhappy with it. Not only that, but they sometimes show the original (and better) angle midway through games. This whole thing bothers me to no end.

    At least they don’t have this hideous angle during away games. 🙂


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