SporTView (sort of)

No daily links this morning, and really not a full version of SporTView. I’m out of town again today taking care of some details related to the next item.

I’ve made a couple references in this space recently about how May is going to be a bit of a different month here at BSMW. Some have inquired as to what that cryptic statement means. Well, I guess it’s time to fill you in. Simply put, I’m going to be away for pretty much the entire month of May, and likely without Internet access during that time.

So what’s going on? I’m getting married. It will be the first weekend in May, and since the ceremony will be out in California because that is where my bride-to-be is originally from, I’ll be leaving here a few days in advance of that date. Afterwards, we’ll be taking a three week trip through Australia. We’ll be getting back Memorial Day weekend.

So that leaves me with a month to fill on BSMW. I’m scrambling to try to provide something for the site almost every day that I’m gone. Some of the days will be filled with recaps of the BSMW Awards, others with original columns that hopefully won’t be dated by the time they actually run. I’m also trying to line up a few people to sort of be “on call” to post some links should anything significant happen in the world of Boston sports.

I’ll post more details as we get closer, if you’re interested in writing a column or being a “guest blogger” on this, or any of the other blogs please let me know.

This weekend brings us the NCAA Final Four on CBS Saturday evening and the Women’s Final Four (From Boston) on ESPN on Sunday Night. MLB also opens up on Sunday night with the White Sox and Indians being shown on ESPN2.

With opening day for the Red Sox coming on Monday, NESN is devoting this weekend to the team, with All Red Sox All Weekend.

033106.png

Today is the final day of the BSMW Awards poll. Please take a few minutes and vote if you haven’t already.

Here are the sections of the balloting:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

*This Sunday marks the debut of Eddie Andelman’s new “Sports Huddle” radio show on 96.9 FM. The show will air from 7-10 PM and Andelman will be joined by Billy Fairweather and comedian Mike Donovan. It’s hard to see this program becoming a success. Additionally, it’s too bad that this show had to lead to the demise of “Calling All Sports”. (As reported in John Molori’s Media Blitz)

*In other sports radio news, AM 900 in Nashua has been playing spots this week noting that they will no longer be an ESPN affiliate and will instead be a Fox Sports Radio affiliate. Apparently this move was against their wishes, but ESPN Radio informed them that they would be pulling out of the station, apparently in deference to ESPN 890 in Boston. Seems a bit of a curious move, especially since the ESPN Boston radio signal really does not do well in Southern NH.

*Next week marks an April tradition: The Masters. Here are some details from CBS on their coverage, which will once again be done in top-of-the-line High Definition TV:

For the fourth year, CBS

Celtics Beat Up Knicks

The BSMW Media Poll will close tomorrow. Please take a few minutes and vote if you haven’t already.

Here are the sections of the balloting:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

The Celtics went down to New York last night and found a team that made Doc Rivers’ crew feel much better about themselves, as Boston rolled to a 123-98 win over the hapless Knicks. Shira Springer says the Knicks looked as though they could not have care less about the game, while the Celtics came to play. Steve Bulpett notes that the Knicks have a ton of “names” but it didn’t translate into even a competitive game last night. You can check out all the games stories from the Big Apple on the New York Sports Pages.

Bulpett talks to Doc Rivers about the discipline being given to rookie point guard Orien Greene after his arrest Monday morning. It seems that the “indefinite” suspension could be just one game. Springer’s notebook has more on Greene, and news of a Celtics front office person leaving for a post with the Rockets. Bulpett’s notebook has Paul Pierce saying that the Larry Brown/Stephon Marbury daily soap opera is good for the NBA, because it creates interest.

Kelsie Smith has a feature in the Globe on Bill James, his work with baseball numbers and formulas, and how he came to work for the Boston Red Sox. The Globe also shares most of the original email from John Henry, inviting James to work for the Red Sox. Joe Haggerty has a nice piece on Alex Gonzalez, who impresses anyone who sees him play the field. Sean McAdam says that whining in baseball is already at mid season form. He singles out Tony Graffanino as an example of someone who would’ve been better served shutting his mouth. Lenny Megliola says that it will not be a pretty season for Barry Bonds. A lot of people are talking today about the feature by Bob Nightengale in USA Today about Bonds and whether this controversy around him has to do with steroids or racism.

Tony Massarotti has a look at Curt Schilling, who is trying to adjust his pitching style to make up for some lost velocity and is trying to keep hitters off balance more. David Heuschkel also looks at Schilling, who says he feels as good as he has in two years, but knows there are still questions as to whether he will the ace he was in 2004. David Borges says Schilling is ready to begin a new chapter to his career. Chris Snow’s notebook also focuses on Schilling. McAdam’s notebook has more on Schilling as well.

Borges’ notebook has Terry Francona very happy with the work and attitude of Manny Ramirez this spring. Massarotti’s notebook has Francona pleased with the state of his club despite their 9-17 record down in Florida. Heuschkel’s notebook has Schilling talking to Pirates manager Jim Tracy, more praise for Ramirez, and the note that Julian Tav

Greene Suspended

The Celtics have suspended rookie guard Orien Greene indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. This of course stems from the early morning speeding incident earlier this week.

Mike Fine says that even with his team likely out of the playoffs, Doc Rivers is not going to stop trying to make them better and improve their play.

Albert Breer takes a quick look at some options at wide receiver available to the Patriots. Today, John Tomase went around the NFL owner’s meetings asking everyone if the Patriots dynasty was dead.

Mike Loftus looks at the Bruins’ Marco Sturm, who is having the best season of his career, but still won’t see the postseason. Loftus’ notebook looks at coach Mike Sullivan needing to make a decision on the blue line for tonight.

Paring Down

With opening day coming up next Monday, the Red Sox have some paring to do on their roster. Tony Massarotti looks at what the team’s roster will look like position-by=position to start the season. Chris Snow takes a little more detailed look at who will be staying on the roster and who will be heading to Pawtucket, or elsewhere. Sean McAdam notes that Hee-Seop Choi could be the only player on the fence in terms of making the roster. David Borges also has a breakdown of what the opening day roster is going to look like for your 2006 Red Sox.

David Heuschkel looks at Tony Graffanino heading back to the Kansas City Royals, the team that traded him to the Red Sox last summer. Massarotti looks at Matt Clement, who feels ready to begin the season and like he has more weapons in his pitching arsenal. Kevin Gray looks at preparations in Manchester for next week’s opening day for the Fisher Cats. Jason Remillard has a look at former Red Sox player and manager Butch Hobson visiting Smith College.

Snow’s notebook has MLB disciplinarian Bob Watson searching for some video of the Juli

Celtics Rookie in Trouble?

WEEI reports that Celtics rookie guard Orien Greene was arrested after a high speed chase at 3:30 AM. Celticsblog.com points to this Police log in the Daily News Tribune of Waltham, which has a 24-year-old Orien Greene being arrested last night. (CBS4 says it was the Greene of the Celtics.) In addition, Shira Springer on the Boston.com Celtics Blog says Al Jefferson could miss the rest of his season with his ankle injury.

Tim Bresnahan says that Jeff Gorton has already made a big impact on the Bruins with his work on the draft and the good young prospects the Bruins have from the last several years. Mike Loftus takes a look at one of those promising prospects, defenseman Mark Stuart, who has been impressing the Bruins in the short time he has been with the big club. Win Bates looks at the Bruins falling once again in a shootout. Loftus’ notebook has more on the Bruins losing another shootout.

Rob Bradford has a look at Julian Tavarez making friends and influencing people yesterday. Garry Brown looks at the Red Sox new second baseball, Mark Loretta . Kevin Thomas looks at David Wells as the lefty attempts to get ready for the regular season.

Glen Farley has a look at the opening weekend NFL National TV schedule which does not include the Patriots. Mike Reiss has a look at new Patriots receiver Reche Caldwell as well as the Patriots bringing in Eric Warfield for a look at cornerback. John Tomase in the new Herald Patriots blog “The Point After” seems angry that Bill Belichick was “the only head coach not in attendance at this morning

Tav

When the Red Sox signed Juli

Celtics Gored By Bulls

After leading throughout the game, the Celtics sputtered down the stretch and coughed up a 101-97 home loss to the Chicago Bulls. Ben Gordon took over down the stretch for Chicago, who put another dent in the Celtics rapidly closing playoff opportunities. Steve Bulpett takes a look at the Celtics taking another step down the road towards the draft lottery. Shira Springer calls the game a “spectacular failure in a sold-out arena with so much at stake”. Shalise Manza Young looks at Paul Pierce getting shots swallowed up by Tyson Chandler down the stretch as a big reason for the Celtics inability to score in the closing moments. Scott Souza says that this loss may have been the one that finally locks the Celtics out of the playoffs. John Jackson and Bob Foltman report on the game for the Chicago papers.

Rich Thompson looks at Kendrick Perkins responding on the boards (14) and defense (5 blocks) after a talking-to from coach Doc Rivers. Tim Weisberg says that a trip to the lottery could yield good things for the Celtics. Thompson also looks at Ben Gordon scoring 8 points in the stretch run to help the Bulls to victory. Springer’s notebook has more on Perkins. Young’s notebook and Souza’s notebook also each look at Perkins getting a pep talk from Rivers and responding. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Pierce’s fourth quarter struggles against the Bulls.

Things got a little testy yesterday in Clearwater as the Josh Beckett of the Red Sox and Ryan Howard had a staredown after exchanges words in the Red Sox/Phillies spring training game. Chris Snow has a report from the game. Jeff Horrigan says that Beckett showed himself to be something of a younger version of Curt Schilling. Sean McAdam looks at Red Sox short-timers Tony Graffanino and Dustan Mohr, who are trying to make the best of an awkward situation. Horrigan also looks at Graffanino, trying to concentrate on impressing potential employers. The Globe notebook has the Red Sox checking out a 16-year-old catching prospect from Venezuela. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Dustan Mohr.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins management situation and wonders if Bobby Orr, among others could be approached for the General Manager position. Kevin Paul Dupont has Jeremy Jacobs disputing Mike O’Connell’s account of events. Steve Conroy looks at interim GM Jeff Gorton, who has a great interest in getting the job full-time. Conroy also has Harry Sinden pondering his own fate. Conroy’s notebook has the players voicing their support of coach Mike Sullivan. Dupont’s notebook has an injury update on P.J. Axelsson.

NESN has Bruins/Panthers at 7:00.

Bruins Fire O’Connell

A couple quick updates…

According to TSN and Boston.com, the Bruins will hold a press conference shortly to announce the firing of GM Mike O’Connell.

You can also check the Herald Bruins Insider and Projo Bruins blog for updates.

Also, former ESPN Boston 890 Program Director Doug Tribou checked in after he was let go by the station this week.

"Overseeing the WAMG/WLLH format change from Latin music to ESPN Radio was an excellent programming opportunity. Having joined the team two months prior the launch in July, I'm very pleased to be able to say the station is already outpacing the early ratings expectations the ownership had laid out for us. There are a lot of great people involved with the project and there's more room for growth. I wish 890 ESPN Boston the best of luck."

Tribou is planning on remaining in Boston and looking for radio opportunities in the local area.

SporTView

March Madness once again reigns this weekend as the field will be pared down to the Final Four come Sunday afternoon. The NCAA Hockey playoffs are also in swing this weekend, being shown locally on CN8.

If you haven’t already, please go and vote in the 2006 BSMW Awards. We’ve had a great turnout thus far (around 1300 voters as of this writing) and are looking to get the largest possible sample size. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get as many people as possible to cast their votes. A week like the one we just went through should really be an impetus for many to let their voice be heard.

Because of the length of the survey, we broke it out into three sections. You can do one section at a time, or all at once. One thing you need to remember, however, you cannot start one section, then submit it, and then go back to finish it. Once you’ve started a section, make sure you answer all the questions in that section before submitting it.

As mentioned, the voting will be open until March 31st. Then during April I’ll be writing up recaps of the voting, and posting them in May.

Here are the sections of the balloting:
032406SporTView.png
2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

Some links for the weekend:

Patriots Daily Links page

Red Sox Daily Links

EagleAction.com

New York Sports pages

This week was a wild one in the Boston media, we had it all. Early in the week, talk centered around the trade of Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena. People questioned whether the Red Sox were dishonest and disloyal to their former pitcher who signed a trade-friendly contract in the offseason. Then as the afternoon wound down on Tuesday, Michael Holley broke the news on the Big Show that Adam Vinatieri had agreed to join the Indianapolis Colts. That dominated the airwaves for the rest of the week, and my thoughts on the coverage are below.

Holley also had word later in the week that Troy Brown was going to re-sign with the Patriots. It took him a full year, but Holley has finally been delivering the Patriots scoops that many thought he would bring to the program when he joined the station last year. On the day that Willie McGinest signed with the Browns, Holley had reported on the air that McGinest would be visiting the Jets. That visit didn’t come about since the former Patriots linebacker signed that day with the Browns. Holley then had the Vinatieri story and the Brown story. Was there a common thread that could reveal where Holley’s sources where? All three players were being represented by Gary Uberstine, which may or may not mean anything. Other than that, it has been rumored that Holley has a new project in the works as a follow-up to “Patriot Reign”. Could he have connections/access from that?

Media Coverage Following the Adam Vinatieri Defection

Jim Baker has a look at how the local media outlets handled the news of Adam Vinatieri leaving the Patriots and signing with the Indianapolis Colts. He takes them to task for their coverage, saying that the viewer/listener got no information as to why Vinatieri left. While I agree that the coverage this week was awful, I think Baker’s focus is off here. Vinatieri is gone, so I’m more focused on understanding why the Patriots let him leave instead of why the kicker left. It seems fairly clear that Vinatieri did what was best for himself. He got more money from the Colts, he gets to kick indoors in a dome for at least half the season, and the division road games are in the southern part of the country, meaning less chances of inclement weather. He could easily extend his career. Should the Colts break through and win the Super Bowl, his legacy will be extended even further. As a guy from the Midwest, he you could see the endorsement coming his way out there pretty quick as well. It’s not hard to see things from his perspective. Yes, he likely was a little upset at the Patriots for having franchised him in the past, but I think he took a more business-like approach to his career and what would be best for it.

I’m more interested in analysis of what the Patriots are doing and what their plan is. This is where the local media has utterly failed the consumer. There is little to no insight offered, especially on television. Instead of reasoned analysis of the team in the big picture, we get hysterical screaming by reporters who tell us the sky is falling, that Bill Belichick has “personality flaws” that the Patriots organization is “arrogant”, (term used on more than one show this week) “cheap”, and “bottom feeders” and that the team is falling apart. In indignation of these so-called “experts” is nauseating. Michael Smith on Friday’s Dale & Holley show was one of the worst offenders. The ones who attempt to rationalize what the Patriots are going don’t show any great grasp of the matter either. They mostly repeat the same statements about how the Patriots won’t “set the market” for any player, and that they “set a value for each player and won’t go beyond that.” Shouldn’t there be some more detailed talk about the approach that the Patriots use to build their roster? More specifically why that approach meant they would let Vinatieri walk?

The word “cheap” is thrown around quite a bit when it comes to the Patriots. However, is it that hard to understand that when you overpay one player, it means you have to underpay another guy on the roster? An ambitious reporter would do well to pour over the NFL rosters and see that the Patriots pay the middle to lower end of their roster as compared to the league average at those slots. It’s not too hard realize that their numbers for those players are likely going to be higher than other clubs. They may pay their “stars” a bit less, but the overall depth of the roster can be better because they can pay those players more than other clubs do. The depth and talent on the roster is what has made the Patriots Super Bowl champions three times this decade. I really don’t think that concept is that difficult to grasp, however many media people in this region seem to be just unable to understand that. That’s why the term “bottom feeders” is the most ludicrous of all, since the bottom of their roster is likely better paid than most clubs.

Much of the media coverage this week has been self-serving, lusting after “storylines”. Thing that will make their jobs easier. The possibility of Mike Vanderjagt kicking for the Patriots was quickly eliminated when he signed with Dallas, but in the interim you had media guys saying it would be great to have him in the locker room to see what he would stir up in there. You had others hoping for Keyshawn Johnson to come in. When did we reach the point in sports coverage when the media is calling for players to be brought in, not because they’d be a good fit for the team, but because they would give great quotes and make their jobs easier?

Chad Finn tries to collect his thoughts on this whole Adam Vinatieri situation, but can’t quite figure everything out right now.

Sports Radio NH

Sports fans in Southern New Hampshire will soon have another option in sports radio. WKBR AM 1250 in Manchester, which had been operating under an “Oldies” format is converting to an all-sports format. The station will be a Fox Sports radio affiliate. National programming will be mixed in with local shows, one of which is “The Home Team” with Michael Mutnansky and Pete Tarrier which is currently broadcast from 4-6 PM weekdays on ESPN 900 in Nashua. The show will be simulcast between the two stations, according to General Manager Jerry DiGrezio. Mutnansky incidentally has been heard doing weekend sports flashes on WEEI in recent weeks. “Game Night NH” with Tarrier will also be simulcast on the two stations. “Game Night NH” airs from 6-7 weekdays. Fox Sports Radio national programming is currently airing on 1250, and simulcasting will begin on April 2nd.

Painful Radio Moment of the Week: Despite the Adam Vinatieri hysterics, Dale Arnold skinning the cat story wins top honors. The story, which originated out of an innoculous reference to the saying “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”, involved a high school aged Arnold and friend finding a roadkill cat, taking it to school, boiling it in a pot in the Home Ec classroom, and then trying to gut and skin the poor deceased creature. Ugh.

Gordo’s Not Happy

In response to a question in a Boston.com chat earlier this week, Gordon Edes appears to have “issues” with a fellow media member. The question was about David Wells making an “idiot” comment directed towards Terry Francona, and why that term is used so much in regards to the Red Sox. Edes’ answers:

You may have noticed that you didn't read about the 'idiot' business under my byline for the last week, and that was not by accident. I think the whole thing was a manufactured attempt at controversy created by a reporter who began the week with a sensationalized story about Wells not in camp, implying that he was unhappy. Turns out that Wells had an excused absence to attend a charity event on the other side of the state, which the reporter eventually got around to reporting. Then, IMO, he misrepresented some stuff that Francona had said to Wells-- who we all know has a big mouth anyway, and Wells popped off. The whole thing was bogus. In any event, Wells met with Francona and apologized. The one thing that was true is that Wells didn't want to get skipped over in the rotation, but now he's accepted that his first start will come April 12.

David Heuschkel of the Hartford Courant had the Wells/Francona “idiot” business last weekend. It appears that Edes believes Heuschkel made too much of the incident.

Sports Media Columns

Mike Reiss, Boston Globe – Packer picks apart matchup.

Andrew Neff, Bangor Daily News – Sea Dogs undergo changes.

Richard Sandomir, New York Times – Waiting on Deck in Rights Lineup.

Bob Raissman, New York Daily News – Yank voices avoid ‘roids.

Neil Best, New York Newsday – Mets covering Hispanic bases.

Phil Mushnick, New York Post – ESPN Hits New Low for ‘Highlights’.

Andrew Marchand, New York Post – NFL Net Huddles with Bryant.

Michael Hiestand, USA Today – Wallace raring to add insight to IRL races.

Jim Williams, Washington DC Examiner – Tark not shocked by mid-major success.

Dave Darling, Orlando Sentinel – Nantz, Packer stand firm.

Chris Zelkovich, Toronto Star – Fans take advantage of Mouse Madness.

Barry Jackson, Miami Herald – ESPN’s Stark apologizes for Cuba remarks.

David Barron, Houston Chronicle – Thrills keep coming for Tournament viewers.

Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News – Packer backers few and far between.

Larry Stewart, Los Angles Times – Sunderland Moves On After His Laker Setback.

Jay Posner, San Diego Union Tribune – Chandler cooks up tasty tales of Padres.

Extras

This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated contains an article entitled “Writing up a Storm” with Bill Simmons featured prominently as someone who put internet sports writing on the map. The Bill Simmons interview link which was posted here yesterday was the entire session that Simmons had with the author, Chris Ballard. Much of that interview did not appear in the SI article

The Article contains a box entitled “Welcome Sites” which they tout as “SI’s list of go-to dotcoms.” Here are links to the sites on the list:

Newsprint Alternative

SportsPages.com

Hard-Core Gossip

HoopsHype

ProFootballTalk

Softball Gossip

BenMaller

SportsByBrooks

Humor

SportsPickle

Field Guides

Ballparks

GolfClubAtlas

Surfline

Police Blotter

BadJocks

Way To Get To Know An NBA Owner

BlogMaverick

Reference Libraries

databaseBasketball

BaseballLibrary

Pro-Football-Reference

HockeyDB

High School Coverage

Scout

Rivals

Insight Into The Media

SportsJournalists

Quick Links

Quick links for this morning:

Patriots Daily Links page – plenty of Vinatieri coverage and snide remarks from various objective reporters.

Red Sox Daily Links – Foulke, Papelbon have their roles solidified by Terry Francona.

EagleAction.com – Coverage of the Boston College Eagles, who play the #1 seed Villanova tonight.

New York Sports pages – NCAA coverage and keeping an eye on the Yankees.

Scott’s Shots has a look at the NCAA coverage, NESN stuff, and NECN getting in on the blogging craze.

Check back later for BSMW SporTView…