Weekend Watch – Barry Bonds Hits Boston

Former Boston Globe sports reporter Larry Whiteside, a pioneer in many respects, passed away Friday morning at the age of 69.

Nick Cafardo offers a few thoughts, as well as a copy of the nomination letter he sent to the national committee for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award (Baseball Hall of Fame) earlier this year. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig commented on the passing today as well.

The letter from Cafardo gives you some idea of just how great a man Whiteside was, and yet what he did and accomplished in his career is largely unknown to the average Boston fan.

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Breaking
The Bruins have “relieved” head coach Dave Lewis Dave Lewis and associate coach Marc Habscheid of their duties. Douglas Flynn and Kevin Paul Dupont report on the news.

Hmmm, the Bruins choose 6:00pm on a Friday night to announce it. I guess I just don’t get that practice in general. It’s almost insulting to the fans and public. Much like the Borges “retirement” being announced on a Friday evening.

Messageboards are buzzing that Pat Quinn could be a possible replacement.

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Barry Bonds is coming to town this weekend, and the Fenway faithful should be sufficiently stoked up enough to give the San Francisco Giants slugger a loud welcome. Certain members of the Boston media have been salivating over this weekend for months, encouraging the fans to boo Bonds and chant at him for the entire weekend.

Many of these same media types talk about the importance of being objective, and not a home town yahoo. Is encouraging the fans to taunt Bonds any more or less objective than rooting for the home team?

Granted, most of the ones encouraging this behavior are columnists and talk show hosts, not the day-to-day beat writers. But the ones who are advocating the harsh treatment of Bonds have completely lost the right to be critical of the fans for how they behave. If an ugly incident happens this weekend, are those same media types going to knock the fans for “going too far?” Bonds may be a lousy human being and a cheater, but the media’s encouragement to the fans has been distasteful.

A positive this weekend should be warm reception for 2004 ALCS hero Dave Roberts.

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Keep up with the news this weekend with the help of RedSoxLinks.com and PatriotsLinks.com.

Check out the view from the Bay Area on the Bay Area Sports Pages.

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Bob Ryan provides another entertaining blog entry with The amazing Mr. Scully.

Chad Finn has Nine Innings on FoxSports.com

He’s also got his local edition of Touching All The Bases, where he’ll be live-blogging the first matchup between the Red Sox and Giants in 95 years.

Evan Brunell on Fire Brand of the American League says that letting Orlando Cabrera go was Theo Epstein’s biggest mistake.

Pete Prisco lists out his top 50 NFL players.

Peter Schrager isn’t ready to anoint the Patriots NFL champs for the upcoming season.

Matt Mosley on ESPN’s Hashmarks is an incredibly prolific blogger.

Here’s Bill Simmons’ latest podcast with David Stern.

SI.com has an excerpt from Dan Shaughnessy‘s new book Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball.

Dr Z. has the latest edition of his NFL Mailbag.

You mean it might not be entirely Bill Belichick’s fault that Ted Johnson is having health issues? A tough column from Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune.

They’re pretty excited about their rings out in Indy.

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Sports Media Columns

New England
David Scott has a look at an unexpected infusion of intelligence on the WEEI airwaves. Susan Bickelhaupt notes that the NBA Finals lacked competition…and viewers for ABC. Clark Booth explores why the NBA and NHL ratings have been so horrible this spring.

New York
Bob Raissman says that “major significance should be attached to MLB.com hiring Harold Reynolds.” Phil Mushnick wasn’t pleased with ESPN’s opening round coverage of the U.S. Open. Neil Best looks at ticket resellers such as StubHub getting a boost with the passing of a recent New York bill. Richard Sandomir has a look at the dismal ratings for ABC in the NBA Finals.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has some ideas on how to juice up the ratings for the NBA playoffs. Chris Zelkovich has a look at the straight shooting Johnny Miller. Laura Nachman looks at Philly Sports Radio 950 bringing in a local guy to do their morning show. Jim Williams has a look at a huge weekend of racing action.

South
Dave Darling encourages you to watch the U.S. Open, even if you need to employ a drinking game to get into it. David Barron notes that the NBA Finals were an afterthought for much of the viewing public.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has Carl Pohlad-family owned Northern Lights Broadcasting purchasing an FM radio station, but issuing denials that the Twins (who are owned by Pohlad) will end up there in the future. Teddy Greenstein has WSCR-AM 670 host Mike North having a rather heated exchange with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper on the air Thursday morning. Bob Wolfley has the Milwaukee Admirals finding a new radio home.

West Coast
John Maffei looks at Johnny Miller returning to the site of his own U.S. Open triumph. Joe Davidson says that many viewers seem to prefer Nick Faldo over Miller. larry.stewart has a look at the all-out coverage that the Open is getting. Tom Hoffarth tears into Chris Berman and ESPN’s coverage of the first round of the event. Jim Carlisle notes that pars will be hard to come by for the field this weekend. He also has a notebook on the NBA finals reaching a new low. Jay Posner reports on a pair of Padres announcers keeping busy on the side with some college sports work.

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Weekend Viewing Highlights

Friday, June 15

7:00pm, NESN – Giants @ Red Sox

Saturday, June 16

1:00pm, NBC – U.S. Open, 3rd Round
2:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
3:30pm, FOX – Giants @ Red Sox
7:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
8:30pm, ESPN2 – Busch Series: Meijer 300

Sunday, June 17

1:00pm, NBC – U.S. Open, 4th Round
2:00pm, NESN – Giants @ Red Sox
2:00pm, TNT – Nextel Cup: Citizens Bank 400
2:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
7:00pm, ESPN2 – College World Series
8:00pm, ESPN – Mets @ Yankees

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