Jim Donaldson joined Dale &

Jim Donaldson joined Dale & Neumy. I managed to listen for about five minutes as Donaldson and Neumeier engaged in a “who can be more pompous” contest…One of the topics they debated was the premise that the NFL draft isn’t as important as it once was. Donaldson says it isn’t as important because of free agency, Neumeier says it’s more important because with the salary cap, teams need to fill out their rosters as well as rebuild with young, cheap players. Dave Jageler was joined by Mike Ratte as Eddie continues his vacation. It made for a comfortable listen. They talked Celtics, Fenway Renovations, and tickets.

The McDonough group had the Touchback Twins, Borges and Cafardo on with Sean. Cafardo said that the Krafts need to “get their house in order” and that the Patriots will be going down before they go up again. He also made the Cowboys his early SuperBowl pick for next year. He also doesn’t understand the big deal being made about the Patriots hiring a QB coach. Sean interjected noting he doesn’t think anyone is making a huge deal out of it…then Borges said “the Herald guy” was trumpeting the hiring as a huge deal…

Sean also said he doesn’t appreciate Larry Lucchino “making snide remarks” about him on another radio station. A look at the transcript (linked in the morning post) doesn’t show any snide comments that I see.

ESPN launches its new reality series “Bill Walton’s Long, Strange Trip” at 8:00 on Sunday. A quote from Walton to look for is:

“I used to have options. I used to be able to soar,” he said. “(But) I turned 50. I had 32 operations, an endless chain of stress fractures, and I have two fused ankles. … But I can still play better than Vin Baker.”

Ouch.

Edward Cossette has an interesting take on Callahan’s article today. Alan Greenwood says the changes to Fenway aren’t really going to please anyone. The people who want a new ballpark as well as the “Save Fenway lunatic fringe” are not pleased with the additions. Michael Parente and Eric McHugh report on the Patriots new QB coach. There are also reports coming in that Hufnagel has quite a daughter as well…Mike Fine gives us an update on Antoine Walker. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins need to cut down on penalties.

Gerry Callahan writes that it

Gerry Callahan writes that it is glaringly obvious that the idea of a new Fenway is dead. The Red Sox owners just want to give the old park a facelift. Steve Buckley looks at the Red Sox new ticket purchasing procedures, and how they might affect ticket scalpers. As usual, Buck cites how much better it was in the old days. Gordon Edes gives us the latest on the never-ending Kevin Millar soap opera. Christopher Price examines Theo’s pursuit of a “relentless” lineup. Tony Massarotti reports on David Ortiz having to remain in the Dominican Republic to testify for being a witness to an assault. (How soon before Shaughnessy implies that Ortiz assaulted someone down there?) Massarotti ends up the article by dismissing some trade rumors that are floating out there regarding the Sox and the Cubs. John Dennis this morning on WEEI said that today being the last day of January, guys like Manny and Burkett are probably just starting their offseason workouts. Stuff like this is clearly just thrown out there. It’s been documented over the winter that Manny and Burkett in particular have been taking part in some serious offseason conditioning, Burkett pretty much for the first time. the Boston Dirt Dogs web site has transcripts of Larry Lucchino’s visit with D&C yesterday, as well as John Henry’s on-air confrontation with Sean McDonough yesterday afternoon. A war over minor league baseball is shaping up in New Hampshire, Michael Cousineau writes about the tug between Manchester and Nashua.

The Bruins couldn’t keep it going, falling to the Blackhawks last night in their last game before the All Star game. Steve Conroy and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell recap the game that, despite the score still had some encouraging signs for the Bruins. Douglas Flynn says the the Bruins weren’t into the game mentally as much as they should’ve been. Joe Gordon notes that Paul Hackett isn’t going to win them all for the team. Karen Guregian agrees, noting that the Bruins really need another goal scorer. Jim Greenidge looks at Martin Samuelsson, who continues to makes a name for himself. Gordon also looks at Joe Thornton’s rough night with a referee. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook also looks at Thornton and the refs. Joe McDonald’s notebook has Don Sweeny remembering the old days. Conroy’s notebook has a look at Kris Vernarsky adjusting to NHL life.

The Pats get themselves a QB coach to go with Tom Brady. Tom Curran reports on the hiring of John Hufnagel. Michael Felger notes that Hufnagel will focus on the quarterback’s footwork and escapablility. Michael Smith also has a brief look at the hiring. Steve DeOssie says that you can throw all that politically correct crap out the window in the Barret Robbins situation. DeOssie says Robbins was wrong, period, to leave his teammates. Bill Burt wishes he could write as well as Bill Belichick. Chad Finn says the Patriots need a pass rusher, and no, Greg Spries wouldn’t have been the answer.

Peter May reports on Antoine Walker and the knee brace he’ll need to wear if he’s going to play tonight. Steve Bulpett reports that Walker used the time on the sideline to get a better idea of his teammates ability and play. Bulpett’s notebook has a disappointed Jim O’Brien still lamenting the loss in Detroit.

Only Bob Ryan can make me even look at an article on indoor track. Bill Simmons wonders if fans really can jinx sports events. Jim Donaldson looks at Tiger Woods getting ready to come back strong after hurting much of last year. Jim McCabe looks at 20 years of Bowdoin hockey under Terry Meagher.

Bill Griffith previews a weekend of unusual sports events. He also looks forward to some Red Sox broadcast plans. Jim Baker looks ahead to the premiere of the Arena Football League on NBC. In The Week That Was, I’m looking back at Super Bowl talk, Sean McDonough’s WFAN interview and handing out a couple of awards.

FSNE has Celtics/Pistons at 7:30. ESPN has Spurs/Magic at 8:00 and Lakers/Kings at 10:30.

Time for another edition of

Time for another edition of “Answering out loud”.

From: Brian
Subject: weei

“Do you have any info about when WEEI will get back online. Jason Wolfe continues to say they will, but won’t give any time frame. I love your site. Keep up the good work.”

Brian – I get this one alot. I wish I had an answer. One one hand, I have people telling me that the extremely high bandwidth traffic makes it cost prohibitive in that there isn’t much of a return on streaming to WEEI, and that we shouldn’t look for it to return anytime soon, especially since WEEI’s ratings have gone up from what they were a year ago…they just don’t feel the loss of streaming hurt the bottom line. That seems to be shortsighted thinking in cutting off the vast listenership outside of New England. Jason Wolfe on the other hand has always been consistent in his answer that they’re still seeking the right “business platform” to bring it back on, and don’t want to comment about it until they have a definite plan in place. Others who have contacted Wolfe have told me he’s said that Entercom has the decision with them and that his hands are tied. If you’d like to contact Entercom about this issue you can e-mail Amy Van Hook at [email protected] or the Public Relations depart for Entercom at [email protected]

From: Home Run Derby
Subject: Sox Box Office Mess

This morning on Dennis and Callahan Larry Lucchino announced that groups of 20 or more would be able to buy the new Green Monster tickets today. (He also mentioned that individual ticket would be available in about 10 days.)

He was wrong. The group tickets will not be available until sometime in February. As a result, the Red Sox Box Office, which would already be swamped answering questions about tickets going on sale this week, was in chaos today and the phone system was completely stifled. All because of Larry’s unknowing comments.

Homer- Poor Larry, he not only isn’t a “baseball guy” but he’s apparently behind in the business department as well. Thank God Eddie is on vacation this week. “Larry the Lobster” would be getting broiled.

From: Jason
Subject: Shaughnessy

I’d definitely pay to dunk him. Did you notice the shot at Todd Walker’s fielding? Of course he did lead MLB in fielding % and was 2nd in total chances. He’s also in the top 8 in those “range factor” and “zone rating” stat categories that I don’t really understand. Any way you look at it, the guy is an above average fielder. Maybe he should change his name to “Todd Gonzalez” and Dan would think he’s a better fielder.

Jason – Can the guy have his head in the sand of his own “curse” myth any deeper? Shaughnessy also today during a call in to the McDonough group said that “the Red Sox hired Bill James, who is just a fan, to help make front office decisions”. Right. I’ve got a 1000 page book on my desk here written by James which is 100 times more informative about the game of baseball than anything Shaughnessy has written. No “fans” that I know write 1000 page books. I’d love to see Shaughnessy and James debate baseball sometime. To steal a phrase, “This needs to happen”.

From: MacLaw2000
Subject: Dale does suck

(Quote from my site) Dale ended the call with the gentleman by hanging up on him and saying “bite me”.

Come on Bruce.. this guy needs to be addressed in a big bad way. I know you like him but how about some even handed treatment……. a feather in your cap for the Borges fans? He doesn’t even know what “bite me ” means.

Mac- What can I say….I do like Dale most of the time. But he’s got his detractors out there, for sure. Ones who say he gets unreasonable when defending the Bruins, and that he’s perhaps the most apt to hang up on you if you go against him on the air. (Even more so than Sarandis, but that’s a story for another day) People complain that he can’t take criticism. I don’t really watch the Bruins games…I follow them in the paper, so I can’t comment too much on his skills as a play-by-play guy. I happen to think he’s pretty good on WEEI. Perhaps if I can find a decent polling software I’ll make Dale the subject of the next poll…or if any of you out there want to comment on Dale, I’ll see if there’s enough to put up his own page.

From: Chris Matthews
Subject: Letting Felger off the hook again….

I just wanted to show you how you treat your favorite writer (Felger easily is yours) over your whipping boys (Borges,Shaughnessy, & Carfardo).

You make no snide comment when Felger mentions the following in his Tuesday article “And how good would defensive end Greg Spires have looked on the Pats this year?”

But in yesterday’s blog, your replied with this snide comment “No Dan…we weren’t thinking that” when Dan Shaughnessy asked with regard to Spires “why don’t we get players like that”

Well…….it looks like your boy Felger was thinking that! Why no snide comment for Felger’s column? You didn’t hesitate to spring forward with your venom toward another one of your Globe whipping boys.

Personally I would prefer no negative comments at all, but last week you made it clear that this is your web page and basically you’ll say whatever you want, so be it, but at least if you’re going to continue to spew venom, at least be fair and spew it all around instead of leaving Felger free and clear, when I’ve once again shown that he is deserving of this treatment that you seem to enjoy doing on your web site.

Chris- I’m sure Felger will be glad to know he’s my boy…In any event, I messed this one up. I did notice the line by Felger, and just didn’t bring it up. Then Cafardo brought up the same subject in his mailbag yesterday. I still don’t see what the big deal about Greg Spires is. I didn’t hear these guys moaning and groaning when he wasn’t re-signed here. Typical that when someone does well somewhere else it’s quick to brought up here and reminded to the fans. I didn’t like when Felger did it anymore than when Shaughnessy or Cafardo did it. I should’ve called him out the same way. In general, I think Felger is a more fair writer than those other guys. He’ll criticize anyone if they deserve it, Tom Brady included. But he doesn’t go out of his way to knock the team the way others do. I just think he does a good job covering the Pats. Now, if we’re talking listening to him talking Red Sox during a summer Big Show appearance, then forget it. I swing the other way on that pendulum. I think he loves to knock the Red Sox. Just for the record, my favorite Boston writer is a Globe guy…Bob Ryan.

From: Jonathan
Subject: Shank

“Hey Bruce,
I really enjoy the site, keep up the good work. I just had a quick comment about the whole CHB hating David Ortiz thing.

I think it’s pretty obvious what is going on here. “Scoop” picks a player the Sox may acquire, before they actually do, and to show how much insider info he has, says the guy is “a sack of [Shaughnessey]”. That way, if the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs he can trash Theo, siting his take on this transaction as evidence that he was on to them from the beginning.

Shank will point to Ortiz’ poor fielding or clubhouse demeanor or overly high OBP as a reason the Sox didn’t play well. I think he actually would have liked to use Giambi for this but the Sox got him too quickly, before CHB could run an article. Find and replace “Giambi” with “Ortiz” and “Phillies” with “Twins” and he has his column. Either way, if the Sox somehow stumble at any point this year look for a Shank column with negative references to Ortiz.

Shaughnessey is the Christina Aguilera of the Boston Media – talented, but plays dir[r]ty and not someone you want your kids to grow up to be. With really bad hair.”

Jon – Interesting theory as well as comparison. But don’t waste your time trying to tell any of this to Shaughnessy. He’ll just say “I’m sure you’re at the top of your profession” or “You’re welcome to apply for a job at the Globe” -those seem to be his two favorite responses to anyone who dares criticize him.

From: Kevin
Subject: First Base for the Sox

If I were covering the Sox for the AP, this is the story I would have submitted on the Ortiz signing:

Thursday, January 23, 2003

AP-The Red Sox announced the signing today of David Ortiz to a one-year contract. Although he was used primarily as a DH last year by the Twins, Ortiz will compete for the starting job at first base with Jeremy Giambi. Also in the mix at first are Shea Hillenbrand and Doug Mirabelli. Hillenbrand might be displaced at third by Bill Mueller, although Mueller could conceivably see some time at first as well, while Mirabelli might be used in a platoon at first against lefties. In addition, the Red Sox are still in the hunt for the services of Kevin Millar, awaiting a settlement with the Japanese club the Chunichi Dragons. Millar is slotted to be used at first. GM Theo Epstein also confirmed that Boston is still searching for another right-handed bat, preferably a 1B/DH type. “We’re looking at several options”, Epstein said. “David Justice, Andres Galarraga, and Jose Offerman are still on the market, and Ron Gant too. We could always convert Gant to first. Tim Raines, too. We’re also considering trades for Matt Stairs, Melvin Mora, or John Flaherty and then converting one of those guys to first. Or maybe lulling Jose Canseco out of retirement. We’ll see. The plan is to give Grady Little as many options as possible to fill the open positions in the lineup.”

Kevin – You should’ve sent it to the Globe. We might’ve seen it in the paper the next day.