1510 Staying with Sports Format

From an afternoon press release:

1510 AM radio to stay with sports format.

BOSTON, MA- Boston’s Sports Station, WWZN 1510-AM ‘The Zone’ will not be changing formats. Blackstrap Broadcasting LLC announced that it is acquiring the 50,000-watt Boston station from Paul Allen’s Rose City Radio. Blackstrap is also buying Allen’s WSNR 620-AM in New York.

“1510 The Zone has been embedded in Boston as a sports station for the last 10 years and we would like to preserve that tradition,” said Peter Davidson, the head of Blackstrap Broadcasting, LLC. “Boston is among the greatest sports cities in the country and the demand for sports coverage in the region reflects that,” he said.

Presently, 1510 The Zone programming consists of Boston College Hockey, Harvard Football, North Shore Spirit Baseball, NASCAR, and several local, niche brokered shows.

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue with sports programming at 1510 The Zone,” said Program Director Jon Anik. “Our immediate plan is to increase the amount of local sports content for our loyal listeners,” Anik said.

1510 The Zone has been brokering time since 2005 and that will continue to be the business model under the new owners.

“We are looking forward to working with Peter, along with the new ownership group, and are eager to finally have the stability and support needed to succeed in this great sports town,” said General Manager Anthony Pepe.

Thursday Tidbits

ESPN’s newest football blog, Hashmarks is a pretty good feed to add to your RSS reader to keep up with the latest NFL news during the course of the day.

Bill Belichick was the unanimous choice of ESPN experts as the best coach in the NFL.

Tony Massarotti on NBCSports.com has a look at the spectacular failure that is the 2007 New York Yankees.

Ron Borges in Pro Football Weekly says that the Patriots have shown that character doesn’t count more than ability.

Former Roger Clemens nemesis Dave Stewart has a few things to say about the Rocket’s latest comeback.

Apparently MLB isn’t a fan of the Slingbox.

Dayn Perry of FoxSports has a look at what makes the Red Sox tick this year.

Mike Reiss and Albert Breer have Patriots player reaction from passing camp today to the passing of teammate Marquise Hill over the weekend.

In his ESPN Blog (Insider Subscription required) Buster Olney compares Kevin Youkilis to a right-handed Wade Boggs. An excerpt:

If Wade Boggs wasn’t in the Hall of Fame, you could say that Kevin Youkilis is a right-handed Wade Boggs, because of all the similarities between the two. Neither was ever considered a top prospect, neither is blessed with what scouts would call a good baseball body, and neither Boggs nor Youkilis has ever been confused with Rickey Henderson or Jose Reyes for foot speed.

And Youkilis grinds through his at-bats, likes Boggs once did. He works the count, fouls off tough pitches, makes opposing pitchers sweat. He gets a lot of cheap hits — flares and dinkers and dunkers — in the same way that Boggs and Tony Gwynn and Derek Jeter get a lot of cheap hits, the classic sign of good hitters. Now Youkilis has a 21-game hitting streak, nine consecutive multihit games, and he is hitting .358.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Columbus @ Pawtucket
8:00pm, TNT – Cavs @ Pistons

Can’t Win Them All

The Red Sox had their winning streak snapped at five last night as the Cleveland Indians got to Daisuke Matsuzaka for a total of 6 runs in the fifth and sixth innings last night during an 8-4 Indians win.


Kevin McNamara has a look at the Sox coming back to Earth last night at Fenway. Michael Silverman looks at a weak start from Matsuzaka last night. Gordon Edes has more on the struggles of Matsuzaka which led to the loss. Jeff Goldberg also looks at a rough night for Dice-K. Phil O’Neill has more on the Indians avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Red Sox.

Bob Ryan notes that you can’t win them all, especially when the opposing pitcher has a night like Paul Byrd had. Steve Buckley assures us that there is no reason to worry about the Sox or Matsuzaka. Christopher L. Gasper has more on Matsuzaka’s struggles last night, though the pitcher said he is completely over the illness that plagued him during his Texas start. Rob Bradford has a look at treatments Josh Beckett is using on his finger so as to avoid issues in the future.

Steven Krasner has a look at Big Papi losing a based loaded confrontation late in the game. Rob Bradford also looks at David Ortiz being unable to supply the needed magic in a bases loaded situation in the seventh inning.

Alex Speier looks at pitching coach John Farrell getting praise from both the Red Sox and Indians. Buckley looks at Terry Francona giving Julio Lugo the night off, which with today’s off day will mean two days of rest for the Red Sox shortstop. Ron Chimelis looks at the Yankees decision to have Roger Clemens duck the Red Sox this weekend at Fenway. Joe Haggerty looks at the hitting machine, Kevin Youkilis. Bradford has Mike Lowell trying to provide comfort to a grieving family with his bat. Brendan McGair says that there is no need to rush Jon Lester back to the Red Sox.

Bob Ryan also has a look at the baseball draft, which is a far different animal than the NBA or NFL drafts.

Silverman’s notebook has Theo Epstein and the rest of the front office brass gearing up for the draft. Edes’s notebook has more on Youkilis continuing his hitting streak last night. The Projo notebook has more on Matsuzaka’s struggles. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the draft. O’Neill’s notebook has Youkilis dishing out some praise for Dustin Pedroia.

Misc
Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics and assistant coach Tony Brown are parting ways after being unable to agree on a new contract. Shira Springer says that Brown is a candidate for the Indiana Pacers head job. Buddy Thomas says that the Celtics lost the lottery, but they didn’t lose their future. Bulpett’s notebook has Chris Wallace being consider for the top front office job with the Grizzlies.

Jackie MacMullan looks at Kobe Bryant’s trade request.

Albert Breer has free agent linebacker Chad Brown visiting with the Patriots. Mike Reiss has July 27th as the start of Patriots training camp. Jeff Jacobs examines the Michael Vick/dogfighting issue with the NFL.

Wednesday Wrap

A few mid-week afternoon links:

Dan Kennedy weighs in on Dan Shaughnessy’s column this morning.

Boston Radio Watch reports that WWZN is changing owners and format.

Patrick Sullivan has a profile of pitcher Jack McGeary from The Roxbury Latin School, who might be the best high school pitching prospect to ever come out of Massachusetts.

I missed this link this morning, Joe Fitzgerald weighs in on Marquise Hill and compares his death to that of Steve Moore.

The New York Times lays out plans for a new professional football league.

JoeSportsFan has another edition of The Media Circus, with Bob Ryan and Bill Simmons getting mentioned.

Bill Simmons had a chat on ESPN.com yesterday.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Indians @ Red Sox
8:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Ducks
9:00pm, ESPN – Jazz @ Spurs

Sox, Beckett Roll On

Josh Beckett didn’t miss a beat in his return to the rotation after missing two starts. The righthander improved to 8-0 on the season with a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians last night at Fenway Park. Kevin Youkilis extended his hitting streak to 21 games and 9 multi-hit games in a row.

Gordon Edes has a look at Beckett and Youkilis leading the Red Sox to victory. Michael Silverman has a look at Beckett’s strong return to the rotation. Paul Kenyon has Beckett not missing a beat in his return. Paul Doyle says it was like Beckett never left. Garry Brown has Beckett putting his finger on this win. Rich Garven has more on Beckett picking up his eighth win of the season.

Steve Buckley says that things are going so well for the Red Sox that Beckett didn’t look like a guy who had missed his last two starts. Dan Shaughnessy says everything the Red Sox touch is turning to gold these days. Lenny Megliola says that it is kind of scary how well things are going for the Red Sox at the moment. Alex Speier looks at the success of both Beckett and Dustin Pedroia as of late.

Steven Krasner says that the hits just keep coming for Kevin Youkilis. Rob Bradford has Mike Lowell extending his Fenway hitting streak to 21 games. Buckley also has a look at how Terry Francona and John Farrell are working well together. Alan Siegel has Coco Crisp’s former teammates with the Indians still expecting big things from him. Mike Fine says (Trot) Nixon is still the one.

Christopher L. Gasper notes that Schilling and Beckett were too much for the Indians in the first two games of this series. Bradford has Curt Schilling re-discovering his splitter with the help of Farrell having him move his hand three inches over in the grip. Silverman has Daisuke Matsuzaka offering possible solutions for his sickness in Texas. Buckley has more Sox bat boy Andrew Crosby coming back to Fenway as a police officer. Silverman has the Yankees deciding not to use Roger Clemens this weekend at Fenway Park.

Silverman’s notebookhas David Ortiz ready to return tonight after missing the last three games to rest his hamstrings. Edes’ notebook looks at Roger Clemens getting skipped this weekend at Fenway. The Projo notebook has Youkilis taking his hitting streak in stride. Doyle’s notebook has Big Papi returning to the lineup tonight. Brown’s notebook has Dustin Pedroia’s batting average just rising and rising. Garven’s notebook has more on Ortiz returning tonight.

Maureen Mullen has Jon Lester looking good in his 5th rehab start for Pawtucket. Joe McDonald has more on Lester’s outing.

Kevin Paul Dupont has a story on Ted Williams’ body which is still stored in a state of cryostasis in Scottdale Arizona, along with his son, John Henry Williams. There is also a little sidebar explaining the revival of the fittest.

Patriots
John Tomase has Marquise Hill’s fiancee Inell Benn talking about the Patriots defensive lineman who lost his life over the weekend. Tomase also has Sherry Hill, Marquise’s mother and other family members talking about him. Karen Guregian has Jarvis Green, who had known Hill since the latter was in the 10th grade, talking about the loss of his friend. Laurel J. Sweet has Hill’s high school principal remembering him as a “champion human being.”

Mike Reiss has Hill’s death being ruled an accidental drowning, with no signs of drugs or alcohol in his system. Dan Pires recalls one of his few encounters with Hill in the Patriots locker room. Eric McHugh also remembers a time with Hill and laments that Hill will never get his chance to crack the Patriots lineup,

Details Magazine has a feature on Tom Brady.

Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge open to trade offers. Jessica Camerato checks in with Jared Dudley at a pre-draft camp.

WEEI well behind WFAN

You hear the endless promos on WEEI about being the top sports radio station in the country. They brag about having higher ratings than WFAN in New York (Which is a ridiculous statement, given the fact that many more people listen to WFAN, but the population of New York is so much greater than Boston so their ratings are lower.)

Anyhow, The Houston Chronicle TV/Radio Notebook has an item comparing the revenue that some of the top stations in the country bring in. WFAN is well ahead of WEEI in that department:

Arbitron ratings are nice, but bucks are the bottom line. By that measurement, to no one’s surprise, the nation’s top sports radio station in 2006, based on revenues, was WFAN in New York City at $50.6 million, according to BIA Financial Network.

WEEI in Boston was No. 2 at $36.5 million, followed by KNBR in San Francisco at $29.7 million and KTCK in Dallas-Fort Worth at $24.7 million. Stations in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, Chicago and Philadelphia rounded out the top 10.

Marquise Hill 1982-2007

Patriots defensive end Marquise Hill hadn’t yet shown a lot on the field in his three-year NFL career, but according to reports, Hill made this play of his life this weekend just before he lost a struggle with the waters of Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans Sunday night.

April Simpson and Michael Levenson have the story in the Globe, while John Tomase and Jessica Heslam have the coverage in the Herald of this tragedy.

Mike Reiss has Hill being remembered as fun loving and positive behind the scenes by his Patriots teammates. John Tomase has another story on the death of Hill and the reaction from the Patriots. Albert Breer has more from Hill’s Patriot and LSU teammates about his tragic death. Laurel J. Sweet talks to a Mattapan multiple sclerosis sufferer who was assisted by Hill in the past.

Red Sox
The Red Sox welcomed Trot Nixon back to Fenway Park as the former Boston outfielder returned for the first time with his new club, the Cleveland Indians. It was a nailbiter at Fenway, with the Red Sox holding on for a 5-3 win.

Rob Bradford has the Sox passing what he calls their first true test of the season. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox getting a ninth inning break that might’ve saved the game for them on a night full of ovations. Kevin McNamara has Curt Schilling turning in one of his strongest performances of the season in the win. Paul Doyle has Schilling and Kevin Youkilis leading the Sox to victory. Garry Brown has more on Schilling returning to top form last night. Paul Jarvey has the Sox benefiting from a gift call to hold on at Fenway.

Bob Ryan has a look at the return of Trot Nixon to Fenway Park, and at his long career with the Red Sox. Jon Couture examines another Red Sox reunion at Fenway Park. Mark Murphy has more on Trot playing the role of homecoming king last night. Steve Krasner also has a look at the return of the ultimate Dirt Dog to Fenway. Lenny Megliola has Trot getting a hero’s welcome at Fenway Park. Jarvey says that Red Sox fans love grit, which is why Nixon was beloved by so many. Mike Petraglia has more on the return of a Red Sox folk hero.

Steve Krasner has a look at the controversial strikeout call in the top of the ninth inning which got the Red Sox a much-needed out. Karen Guregian has a look at Kevin Youkilis’ inside-the-park home run. Doyle has a good look at the competitiveness of the Papelbon brothers, which extends outside of the baseball diamond. For Wall Street Journal subscribers, there is a story today on the struggles of John Henry’s investment funds, which have taken a beating recently.

Alex Speier has a different look at the Red Sox defense, one that shows that the 2007 club is better than last year’s edition with Alex Gonzalez at shortstop. He also looks specifically at the improvement of Coco Crisp in center as a big part of the team’s success. Mark Murphy has Curt Schilling talking about finding his splitter again, and giving credit to pitching coach John Farrell. Guregian has David Ortiz sitting out another game with his sore hamstrings. She also has Josh Beckett getting ready to return to the mound tonight. Joe Haggerty has more on tonight’s return of Beckett.

Nick Cafardo has a feisty Roger Clemens ready for the majors after his final minor league tuneup last night.

Bradford’s notebook has the Indians talking about Keith Foulke’s sudden retirement in spring training. Benjamin’s notebook has Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis having a good-natured argument about who is faster. The Projo notebook has more on the Pedroia/Youkilis debate. Doyle’s notebook has more on the return of Nixon. Brown’s notebook has Schilling giving credit to John Farrell for his outing last night. Jarvey’s notebook says that the Red Sox will be cautious with Josh Beckett in his return tonight. Couture’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis stealing the thunder from Trot Nixon’s return.

Clay Getting Some Play

There will be no afternoon/weekend post today, as I will be “off grid” for a couple of days.

This weekend, keep up with the Red Sox news on the newly re-designed (again) BSMW Red Sox mashup.

Check Patriots news on the BSMW Patriots News Mashup.

Rob Bradford has a mini-feature on Sox pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, who went against Roger Clemens the other night and had scouts more impressed with him than Clemens. Bradford points out a few things about Buchholz, such as the fact that he was drafted with the compensatory pick the Sox received when Pedro Martinez signed with the New York Mets, and that he was available with that pick because of an incident in college where he showed extremely poor judgment. Jeff Horrigan notes that in addition to his .347 average, Kevin Youkilis has also “quietly fortified a reputation as one of the most adept-fielding first basemen in the American league.”

Sean McAdam looks at three areas of concern for the Red Sox despite their 9.5 game lead over the Yankees. David Heuschkel has Terry Francona managing a fair amount of stress these days in addition to his ballclub. Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox don’t need to worry about beating the Yankees as long as they beat everybody else. Lenny Megliola looks at the struggles of J.D. Drew and the stress of Francona.

Bill Ballou, who was the target of Francona’s wrath this week in New York, looks at the manager’s patience with struggling players, and how for the most part, this approach has paid off. Gordon Edes looks at the job of the official scorer, a role often filled by newspaper reporters.

Horrigan’s notebook as Daisuke Matsuzaka unsatisfied with his changeup, and working extensively on it during a bullpen session on Tuesday. Edes’s notebook has a look at Jon Lester’s rehab start last night for Pawtucket. A Projo note has Alex Rodriguez apologizing to Dustin Pedroia for his hard slide into second base on Tuesday night.

Maureen Mullen has Lester putting together a solid start for AAA Pawtucket in his rehab assignment.

Michael Silverman has a look at the Red Sox other AA pitching prospect that people paying attention, Michael Bowden. Amalie Benjamin catches up with Lancaster (Single A) first baseman Aaron Bates, who hit four home runs in a game earlier this month, the first time a Red Sox minor leaguer had done that since 1949.

Patriots
Gerry Callahan notes that the day is coming when Tom Brady is going to have to answer questions about impending fatherhood, Gisele, and of course, Randy Moss.

Randall Gay is officially back in the fold, having signed his one year tender offer. While it is a minor move, Karen Guregian has Gay and his agent hoping to stick with the Patriots for a while longer. Christopher L. Gasper and Shalise Manza Young have more on what Gay can bring to the Patriots, namely depth in the secondary, and perhaps more if he can stay healthy and recapture the form of his rookie season.

Celtics
Jackie MacMullan says that it is time for the Celtics to start making their own luck. She points to the Phoenix Suns as a team that has done the job of building a contender despite never having a really high draft pick.

Shira Springer has the Celtics shifting their focus to who will be available with the 5th pick in the draft.

More Celtics news on the BSMW Celtics News Mashup.

Misc
David Scott looks at how the Globe has no problem speaking out against Bernard McGuirk’s proposed tryout at WRKO, but won’t give a statement on their own problems with Ron Borges. He also looks at Bob Ryan’s new blogging adventure and a few other items.

Susan Bickelhaupt looks at NBC’s switching off an NHL overtime playoff game in favor of horseracing last weekend.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at former Bruin Brian Leetch calling it a career.

Frank Dell’Apa leads a Globe series examining British soccer.

Dan Duggan looks at Ultimate Fighting getting big time exposure these days, as a look at the cover of Sports Illustrated this week will confirm.

Michael Vega looks at defending Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr, while David Exum has Kasey Kahne trying to turn his season around.

Thursday Speedlinks

Bob Ryan is blogging.

Rob Bradford looks at the performance of Clay Buchholz last night.

David Picker looks at the Red Sox secret weapon…socks.

Good article from David Fleming in ESPN the magazine on the long hours put in by NFL coaches.

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Tonight

7:30pm, TBS – Mets @ Braves
8:00pm, TNT – Cavs @ Pistons

Curt Outing For Schilling

Curt Schilling struggled mightily last night while Andy Pettitte shut down the Boston bats leading the way to a 8-3 Yankees victory over the Red Sox in New York.

Jeff Horrigan says Schilling didn’t have any of his pitches working last night. Gordon Edes says Schilling may need a “thesaurus to come up with words to describe the beating he absorbed last night” when he goes to write his blog entry. (By the way, Schilling does have a pretty brief entry up on 38 Pitches about the tough outing.) Sean McAdam has the Red Sox absorbing their first series loss in a month with the loss last night. Dom Amore has the Yankees offense getting it together with 12 hits off of Schilling. Bill Ballou has more on the Yankees taking the rubber match of the series.

The New York Sports Pages have plenty of coverage from last night as well as stories on Roger Clemens’ start at the AA level last night.

Tony Massarotti says we shouldn’t “keep piling on Alex Rodriguez simply because that is what we have done in the past.” Dan Shaughnessy has ARod right in the middle of another dustup involving the Red Sox. David Heuschkel has the Yankees making Schilling pay early and often for his struggles last night. Steve Buckley notes that the Yankees really didn’t accomplish what they wanted to in this series.

Horrigan has Dustin Pedroia talking tough about ARod slide into second on Tuesday night. Jeff Howe has Gary DiSarcina getting ready to lead the Lowell Spinners. Massarotti has a look at Coco Crisp hitting his first home run of the season. Joe Haggerty looks at how Manny Delcarmen perseveres through problems he’s had this spring. Buckley has Kevin Youkilis keeping the threat of Pawtucket fresh in his mind as motivation to keep going strong.

Rob Bradford has Sox prospect Clay Buchholz outshining Roger Clemens in their start last night, impressing scouts in attendance. Rich Fisher has more on the Clemens start. Jeff Jacobs notes that with Clemens, nothing is routine.

Michael Silverman has Jason Giambi hesitant to talk about his meeting with the commissioner’s office. Nick Cafardo has more on Giambi’s sudden silence. Silverman has the Yankees trying to view their series win here as a springboard to getting their season in order. Cafardo has Andy Pettitte doing what he does…shut down the Red Sox. Amore’s notebook has more on Giambi.

Bill Reynolds notes that Buster Olney appeared to be right on the money with his book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty

Ballou’s notebook has Josh Beckett taking another step towards a return to the rotation. Horrigan’s notebook has J.D. Drew getting a “mental health” day yesterday. Edes’s notebook has a look at a Schilling streak coming to an end last night. McAdam’s notebook has Pedroia sticking to his guns in the ARod slide. Heuschkel’s notebook leads with more on the same topic.

Celtics
If misery loves company, Mark Murphy says that at least the Celtics have the Memphis Grizzlies to cry with. Peter May says that the Celtics simply fell in with the odds on Tuesday night. Bill Burt says that God has to be behind this steak of bad luck by the Celtics. Mike Fine says that the Celtics may need to shop that 5th pick. Bill Doyle agrees, saying that the Celtics need talent and experience, not another prospect.

Steve Bulpett has Doc Rivers planning on winning more games next season – without Oden or Durant. Doyle has Greg Anthony saying that the Celtics will continue to be mired in mediocrity.Bulpett also has a look at what No. 5 can buy you in the draft.

Tommy Hine has a look at the planned Patriots Hall of Fame and Museum.