Brad Blank – Agent to the media

The Patriots and their trade for Corey Dillon continue to be the focus of much talk around town. On WEEI, Gerry Callahan continues his campaign to enlighten us on everything Dillon has done in his life. It is curious to me how someone who has been suspended for participating in racist remarks and who annually fetes Tommy Spears, aka Butch from the Cape, can sit on the moral high ground in judgment of anyone. This morning, agent Brad Blank came onto the program to talk about the Dillon trade and to give his opinion of what the Patriots are doing. He said the Patriots misled him and all of New England by promoting that they go for strictly “character guys”. He said he was drinking the kool aid for a while, but no more. This move in his opinion signals a sharp change in the way Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick do business. He was critical of that, repeatedly mentioning how “miserable” Dillon is as a person and how this move can only hurt the Patriots.

To which I say, “Who is Brad Blank, and what does he know about building an NFL team?” Oh, he’s an agent, you say. In fact, he represents David Givens of the Patriots. Well, having been in the league 20 years, he must be knowledgeable. The fact is, the number of NFL clients that Blank represents has been dwindling, and at present he represents a grand total of 10…count ’em…10 NFL players. Among that total is such luminaries as Todd Collins, Brock Williams, Marcel Shipp and Tom Nalen. (Ok, Nalen is pretty good – but he’s a BC guy which could explain why Blank got him.) More telling might be that Blank represents more Boston media personalities than he does NFL players. His roster of media clients includes Ron Borges, Glenn Ordway and Jon Meterparel. Blank recently was on WEEI and made the comment about how much he enjoys reading columns from Borges as they are so “provocative”. No mention that he’s his agent. How can we expect fair, objective commentary from Blank when he’ll shamelessly stump for his client on the airwaves in that manner? Since he also is the agent for WEEI personalities, do his appearances amount to much more than free advertising for Blank? More importantly, is the public believing what this guy is saying? Agenda driven, my friends. Agenda driven.

As for the Patriots, they have stated repeatedly that they do have a core philosophy to bring in character guys. They have also said publicly, and I believe Pioli said this on his WEEI interview a few weeks back that occasionally they will deviate from that core philosophy. They have to, it’s a reality of doing business. However…what was also strongly stated is that they are not going to allow one guy to blow up what they’ve worked on. What they’ve worked on is creating a stable environment, one very much under control, in which they can occasionally take a risk like they did with Dillon and introduce him to that environment and hope that he can succeed. Dillon is a risk, no doubt, but they’ve set it up that should he falter or be trouble, he’s gone.

Patriots links for today. Bob Kraft weighed in on the Dillon trade yesterday and expressed his confidence in the judgment of Pioli and Belichick. Michael Smith, Mike Reiss, Michael Felger and Tom Curran look at the comments by the Patriots owner. Can people change? Brad Blank said the only bad guy he ever saw change was Irving Fryar. Jim Donaldson doesn’t think that people can change, either. As pointed out by a reader, Donaldson is actually a perfect example of this. Bad writers can’t change into good ones. Ever. Kevin Mannix says that the trade for Dillon shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as Belichick has historically avoided drafting running backs. Michael Parente looks at the altered plans of the Patriots draft this weekend. Michael Felger says that the trade for Dillon gives the Patriots more options this weekend. Ron Borges looks at the Patriots signing of cornerback Jeff Burris. Felger also says that Kraft still likes Ty Law, and reports on the signing of Burris. Borges looks at defensive line prospects. Smith’s notebook looks at the Burris signing and numbers on Dillon. Curran’s notebook looks at Burris. Parente’s notebook has more on Burris.

Pedro and the Sox came up with a win in Toronto last night. Game stories are filed by David HeuschkelSean McAdamJeff HorriganDavid Borges and Bob Hohler. Pedro wasn’t talking after the game, but others had plenty to say about his performance. Gordon Edes gets the reaction from Manny, Dave Wallace and others. Tony Massarotti says Pedro was in control last night. Massarotti also looks at the Sox players taking two separate flights to Toronto after several stayed in Boston to watch the Bruins play in game 7 monday night. Hohler’s notebook has Manny a little ticked off after some chin music was thrown his way. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Ellis Burks playing through his knee injury. McAdam’s notebook, Heuschkel’s notebook and Borges’ notebook all look at Burks as well.

Celtics looked good for three quarters, but collapsed in the fourth. Links are over at Fox Sports Net.

Bob Ryan says that the Bruins loss was not due to lack of effort. Stephen Harris says changes may be on the way for the Bruins. Joe McDonald says that the Canadiens never doubted that they’d beat the Bruins. Douglas Flynn looks at the Bruins looking for answers. Karen Guregian says that a blame game is useless in this case. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that it just doesn’t seem right that the Bruins season is over. Steve Conroy says that there will several keys to Montreal’s success in the series.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. TNT has Bucks/Pistons at 7:00 and Nuggets/Wolves at 9:00. NBATV has Hornets/Heat at 8:00. ESPN has Astros/Cardinals at 7:00. ESPN2 has Padres/Giants at 10:00.

Ups And Downs

Alright, we’ll get the ugly stuff out of the way first. Bruins come up short in game 7. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Stephen Harris, Douglas Flynn and Joe McDonald have the game stories from the 2-0 loss at the Fleet. Despite all the hope heading into the playoffs, Kevin Paul Dupont says the chemistry still wasn’t right for the Bruins. Karen Guregian says that Joe Thornton should be praised for just getting out on the ice at all in this series. Michael Holley looks at another Bruins season ending with a whimper. Steve Conroy looks at Andrew Raycroft taking the playoff loss very hard, though it’s hard to put any blame upon the young goaltender. Ron Indrisano says Raycroft was standup in this series. Joe Gordon looks at the efforts of Sergei Samsonov. Steve Buckley has a pay column saying that first round flops are commonplace for Thornton and the Bruins. Andy Nesbitt says the Canadiens just kept growing in confidence after the game four loss. Conroy looks at the play of Jose Theodore. Gordon also has a look at the winner by Richard Zednik. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the torn rib cartilage of Joe Thornton. Harris’ notebook has all the players saying farewell for the offseason.

Sox come from behind yesterday to beat the Yankees 5-4 with the Triple-A portion of their lineup delivering the key blows. I almost expected to see John Henry crying after the game. Game stories are served up by Jeff HorriganBob HohlerSteven KrasnerDavid Heuschkel and David Borges. With one Yankees series out of the way now, Sean McAdam notes that at least now the Sox know that the Yankees can be beaten. Dan Shaughnessy looks at a stirring finish to a impressive weekend by the Sox. Gordon Edes, Bill Reynolds, Jeff Jacobs and Tony Massarotti look at A-Rod, who is glad to get out of town. Howard Bryant has a pay column about Ellis Burks, who wants to contribute despite a knee injury. Frank Dell’Apa and Silverman look at the heroics of Gabe Kapler. Michael Silverman looks at the performance of Bronson Arroyo, who settled down nicely and matched the effort of Kevin Brown. Kevin McNamara looks at the efforts of Keith Foulke over the weekend, having ending each of the Sox wins. Borges’ notebook looks at Arroyo. Hohler’s notebook looks at Foulke, as does Heuschkel’s notebook. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the bullpen in general, while Krasner’s notebook looks at Pokey Reese.

The Patriots took over Patriots Day by making the trade for Corey Dillon. Ron Borges says that this was a tough decision, but a brilliant one for the Patriots, no matter how Dillon turns out here. Tom Curran and Michael Smith note that this trade in the end came down to Tebucky Jones for Corey Dillon. Kevin Mannix, Ian M. Clark and Michael Parente also weigh in on the deal. Mike Reiss talks with the agent for Dillon, who also represents Rodney Harrison. He says the Patriots did their homework on Dillon. Gerry Callahan’s pay column today essentially calls the Patriots hypocrites for cutting Christian Peter all those years ago and now bringing aboard Dillon. Michael Felger says Ty Law still wants out of New England. He adds though, that playing for Belichick won’t be a problem, because this is all about business. Smith adds comments from Law’s agents that he didn’t run from the police. Nick Cafardo looks at the top safety in the draft, Sean Taylor from Miami. Borges also looks at the courts blocking Maurice Clarett from the draft.

Celtics may have caught a break with Ron Artest being suspended for tonight’s game two. Links are at Fox Sports Net.

John Molori has a look at the Patriots new Three Games to Glory II DVD and a recap of FOX’s Yankee Broadcasting Network.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. FSN has Celtics/Pacers at 8:30, (yes, I checked with them.) with NBATV carrying the game nationally. TNT is showing Knicks/Nets at 8:00 and Kings/Mavs at 10:30. ESPN has Senators/Maple Leafs at 7:00.

Patriots trade for Dillon

A good day so far for Boston sports.

The Patriots announced today that they have traded the #56 pick in the draft to Cincinnati for running back Corey Dillon. CBS Sportsline also says that the Patriots have re-done Dillon’s contract as well.

Sox beat the Yankees today, 5-4.

The Celtics will not have to face Ron Artest tomorrow night. The Pacers forward was suspended by the league for game two for leaving the bench during a brief altercation in the second quarter on Saturday.

Now, we just need the Bruins to come through.