Wednesday Links and Musings

Mixing things up a little bit on a Wednesday…

The Red Sox missed out on a great opportunity last night, falling to the Blue Jays 7-5 in the second game of the doubleheader. They had 3-0 and 5-2 leads in the game and couldn’t hold it. What makes it more frustrating is that the Yankees and Indians both also had rare losses and the Red Sox could’ve gone up a game on each. Get the stories on the Red Sox Daily Links page. Jon Couture looks at non-trades for the Red Sox this year that have worked out just fine. Alex Speier has Curt Schilling doubting himself after another rough start last night. Rob Bradford looks a David Ortiz once again coming up clutch…this time off the field.

Check out your Patriots headlines over at the Patriots Daily Links page . Dan Pires looks at the Patriots’ options with Rodney Harrison done for the season. Michael Parente looks ahead to the Chargers. A letter relating Tom Brady’s efforts to go out of his way towards a Make-a-Wish foundation patient makes up an article from Nick Cafardo this morning, which is a must-read.

Shira Springer has a feature on Celtics rookie Ryan Gomes, who hopes to settle into a starting position with the Atlantic Division champs.

Kevin Paul Dupont reports on Nick Boynton rejecting another offer from the Bruins. Stephen Harris reports that Sergei Samsonov is close to returning to the ice. Harris’ notebook recaps last night’s preseason game between the Bruins and Canadiens.

A few thoughts and items from the New England media this week.

Headset-Gate

On Sunday, Ron Borges in his NFL notes column led off with a section making the case for why Corey Dillon might be washed up. He did this after writing last Monday that it was far too soon for anyone to be making that assumption. Tom Curran called him out for this in a blog entry later that day. However that wasn’t the only item from Borges that has fellow media members questioning him. In the second section of the column, entitled “Caller ID: Brady on the line” Borges quotes a “defensive coach whose team has played the Patriots this season”. The coach says about the New England play calling:

"[Bill] Belichick doesn't even have a headset on, so how's he calling the plays? Smoke signals? If you think a 28-year-old kid [quarterback coach Josh McDaniels] is doing it, you don't understand much about Belichick."

Any fan who has watched the games realizes right away that this coach is incorrect in stating that Belichick doesn’t wear a headset. (This issue was curiously also discussed back in July by Nick Cafardo and Paul Attner, who stated that Belichick isolated himself on the sidelines.) Borges would obviously know this statement is incorrect as well, but he puts it in there anyway. Today Michael Felger calls out the statement commenting:

By the way: Is there really an opposing coach out there, as reported recently, who believes Belichick doesn't wear a headset during games? Is that for real? Anyone who pays attention just a little knows that Belichick never takes his headset off, save for a kneel-down at the end of a half.

Borges will tell you that he merely reports what others say. It is not his job to correct the quotes. To me, this is mind-boggling and irresponsible. For a factually incorrect statement to be allowed to stand in the paper without any sort of corrective context or statement undermines the credibility of the reporter and paper. If the unnamed coach had stated that Brady threw 50 interceptions last season, would the quote had been allowed to stand?

What’s worse for Borges and the Globe is that two reporters at rival papers have actually come on the record and basically ridiculed the content of the column. When has this happened before? The bottom line is that WEEI and internet shut-ins are not the only ones questioning the quality and quantity of the Patriots coverage in the Boston Globe. It has basically become a joke around town, and the Globe is content to sit back smugly with their measuring stick in hand and proclaim that they have the most and best Patriots coverage in the region.

When you’ve got rival papers mocking your coverage, you might want to re-examine your position.

Schilling’s Free Pass

I was asked last week if Curt Schilling deserves a free pass in Boston.

First of all, for the purposes of this site, is Schilling a media member? Obviously not. However, he is a hot topic in the media, with some circles holding the opinion that the guy does no wrong and is worthy of a complete “free pass” for what he did in helping bring the World Series Title to Boston.

How should the guy be covered by the media? That’s going to be more of how I answer here. So I as I mentioned, I was asked if he deserves a free pass.

I said absolutely. For on the field stuff. For what Curt Schilling the pitcher did for the Red Sox last season, I give him a total pass for anything on the field. He’s earned it. He can struggle this season, and even fail in the end, though I’m hoping for the best, and he will still be an untouchable in my eyes. I won’t criticize him one bit for any failings on the baseball field for the Boston Red Sox. The man gave us all he had last year, perhaps even his career.

That’s Curt Schilling, on the field, as a baseball player. Curt Schilling the man, once he steps off the baseball diamond – even into the clubhouse – he’s no longer infallible. He doesn’t have free pass in my mind to say and do whatever he wants and not be subject to criticism. Schilling isn’t afraid to speak his mind and is going to say some unpopular things. He usually is good when it comes to speaking about the ballclub, most of the time he’s not going to say anything that is going to put the team in a bad light. (Scott Williamson might disagree with me) That’s what makes this incident with the unnamed teammate so curious. That he would reveal to Bob Hohler how much this is galling him is baffling. That he would allow his wife to be brought into and comment on the matter is likewise curious. What is gained by this? Sean McAdam on FSN Tuesday night speculated that perhaps Schilling was using it as a means of motivation. To get himself charged up for the final week(s) of the season. Still, it brings unneeded heat and attention on a team already in the spotlight and pressure of a playoff chase. (More on Schilling in David Heuschkel’s notebook today.)

So the bottom line from me is that you won’t hear me knocking Schilling for anything he does on the field. He’s got a “free pass” there. Anything else, when he opens his mouth, he’s just another guy.

Old School Coach

Dale and Holley asked yesterday why Doc Rivers is referred to as an “old school coach” on those Celtics ticket promotions. On Sports Xtra Sunday night, Rivers answered that question in a sit-down with Joe Amorosino:

There are things that I think that have to be done the right way, and I think, that's where people get the 'old school coach' idea from, because I believe there are certain things you have to do to become a good teammate, and to become a good team, and I think we're starting that. And I can't...because our team is so young, I can't not allow them not to. I just can't. If this were a veteran team, you can let some of those things go, but with this team, you can't.

Hopefully that clears things up a little bit. He’s trying to instill old-school values into his young players.

Misc

  • WEEI continued to lob their own grenades in the direction of Morrissey Blvd over their Patriots coverage. Michael Holley questioned the placement of stories. Glenn Ordway ridicules the topic and placement of features and decries the lack of Patriots coverage. I agree to a certain extent. Yesterday the Globe had seven Red Sox and Baseball articles and two Patriots articles. This on a day in which the Red Sox were rained out the night before, and that the Patriots had lost one of their defensive and inspirational leaders in a huge conference win over a team they faced in the most recent AFC championship game. I think more than one Patriots story and a notebook was called for.

    Yet, the ironic thing is that the Schilling/unnamed teammate story dominated WEEI talk all day yesterday, not Patriots talk. Is WEEI really concerned about the Patriots coverage or are they trying to bully the Globe after being rebuffed once again in their efforts to bring the Globe writers onto the station?

  • If you’re looking for Patriots talk, The Drive on ESPN Boston with Mike (not Michael) Felger continues to impress. His lineup of guests is outstanding, with a variety of viewpoints and expertise, Mike Reiss is a regular and after the Rodney Harrison injury went through a list of possible roster replacements. Reiss and Felger could talk with insight on each of the candidates, something I don’t think you’d hear on 850. The weekly segment with Patriots punter Josh Miller is quickly becoming appointment radio. He even takes calls from the fans. Now if they could just do something about that signal and the online-streaming…
  • It’s again ironic that WEEI apparently tried to get the Globe writers around the same time that Felger and ESPN Boston were coming on the air. Trying to make a preemptive strike against a possible competitor?
  • CBS4 has relaunched their website, the idea to make it a place to also break news, as Bob Lobel did with the Rodney Harrison injury report on Monday. They also have a Red Sox Blog from Dan Roche.
  • Out in Los Angeles, Billy Witz says the Patriots are done. For the record, Jon Anik on 1510’s The Diehards also said on Tuesday that the Dynasty is over with the injury to Harrison.
  • In USA Today, Jon Saraceno has some interesting quotes from Phil Simms regarding Bill Belichick and his approach to injuries:
    "When we meet with NFL coaches (the day before games), many of them complain about injuries to us," Simms said. "Bill Belichick never