Weekend Watch – The Open Edition

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The Open Championship headlines this weekend’s sports viewing. TNT has the early morning coverage both days this weekend, with ABC taking over two hours later.

The weekend also sees the US debut of David Beckham, when he dons the uniform of the Los Angeles Galaxy in an exhibition against the against English Chelsea FC, which won the English Premier League in two of the last three seasons. The match will be aired on ESPN Saturday night at 8:30. However an ankle injury suffered by Beckham could limit his playing time to about 15 minutes or so.

It’s a battle of the Sox at Fenway this weekend. FOX has Saturday’s game between the Red Sox and White Sox, Thom Brennaman and Joe Girardi will have the call of that game. Keep up with the Red Sox coverage this weekend on RedSoxLinks.com.

It’s possible that this weekend could also see Barry Bonds tying or breaking Hank Aaron’s home run record. The Giants are appropriately enough in Milwaukee this weekend, both Bud Selig’s hometown and the city where Aaron played 14 of his 23 season. Most still feel that the Giants will manipulate things so that the record is broken in San Francisco, but FOX will still show Bonds’ at-bats live on Saturday in a split screen. Ken Rosenthal is also in Milwaukee for the weekend. If Bonds is on the verge of breaking the record on the other days of this weekend, ESPN will cut to the at-bats.

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890 ESPN is rolling out a new Sunday program, the Baseline Report which will air from 10:00-11:00am. Former major leaguer Mike Pagliarulo co-hosts with Adam White, and they promise “a very candid, hard-hitting evaluation of players and front office personnel from a player’s standpoint.”

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A pair of TNT announcers had very different opinions on the Thursday telecast about the accusations by Gary Player that professional golfers are using performance-enhancing drugs. Here’s what Bobby Clampett said:

Gary (Player's) got so much integrity, he speaks from the heart. As a player, it saddens me that these kinds of reports would be coming out. This is a game of integrity that we have enjoyed being free of any of these kinds of allegations in the history of the game. It looks like we might have to move into drug testing of players, that saddens me.

And here is Peter Alliss’ take on the comments:

I have no idea (what prompted Gary Player’s statement) unless he needed the publicity. I don’t know why he waited until he was 70-odd years of age to come out with it and then not tell us who it is. Just taking a stick and stirring a muddy pond for no reason, it’s very stupid.

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Murray Weiss has the HUGE story of an NBA referee being investigated for allegedly betting on basketball games over the last two season, including games in which he worked. You can bet this will take some attention off of Michael Vick and his problems. (Jackie MacMullan says the official is 13 year veteran Tim Donaghy)

Joe Haggerty has Peter Gammons’ comments on Craig Hansen from his appearance on 890 ESPN this week, where Gammons says that Scott Boras’ coaching staff has completely changed Hansen’s delivery from what it was a St John’s and blames this for his struggles in the minors.

Jessica Camerato has a Celtics summer league recap.

The Media Circus confirms for us that Steve Phillips is unequivocally an idiot.

Three more Patriots positional previews today, Mike Reiss has the linebackers, Albert Breer the receivers and Erik Scalavino the cornerbacks.

Pat Kirwan notes that the Patriots have loaded up on experience this offseason, which he says fits in very well with the Bill Belichick/Scott Pioli method of doing business.

Don Pierson thinks that only the Patriots can beat the Patriots.

Dave Hollander talks to Frank Deford about his new book The Entitled. The interview starts off with a few thoughts on the state of sports media today.

Chad Finn has his Nine Innings national column for FoxSports, complete with a baseball card of Tim McCarver as a member of the Red Sox.

Dan Lamothe is disappointed with the Inside Track.

Paul Gardner says that the David Beckham hype is very much like the hype when Pelé joined the New York Cosmos.

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Weekend Highlights

Friday
7:00pm, NESN – White Sox @ Red Sox

Saturday
7:00am, TNT – British Open
8:00am, Versus – Tour De France
9:00am, ABC – British Open
3:30pm, FOX – White Sox @ Red Sox
8:30pm, ESPN – Chelsea FC @ Los Angeles (Beckham debut)
8:30pm, ESPN2 – Busch Series: Gateway 250

Sunday
6:00am, TNT – British Open
8:00am, ABC – British Open
8:00am, Versus – Tour De France
2:00pm, NESN – White Sox @ Red Sox
4:00pm, TV38 – Dynamo @ Revolution
8:00pm, ESPN – Cardinals @ Braves

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New England
David Scott is back, with a look at all that has been going on this summer in the world of Boston sports media, from Jason Wolfe’s embarrassments, to NESN making a mistake by dumping Dale Arnold, the Globe’s attempts at create Boston’s version of PTI, and Bill Simmons declaring himself still in the race for President of Red Sox Nation after all. Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at ABC’s coverage of The (British) Open this weekend. Bill Doyle has more on ESPN/ABC putting its own stamp on their coverage of The Open Championship.

New York
Phil Mushnick has Joe Morgan’s untrue story on Sunday Night Baseball last week as just the latest example of how ESPN is killing sports for viewers. Neil Best says that ESPN’s Who’s Nowis definitely not must-see TV. He also offers tips for watching SportsCenter. Bob Raissman says that the Michael Vick story will be a costly one for the NFL and its TV partners. Richard Sandomir looks at the coincidence that Barry Bonds could be going for the all time home run record this weekend, in Milwaukee, where Hank Aaron spent much of his career with the Braves and Brewers.

Mid Atlantic
Michael Hiestand says that NBC and FOX are both destinations that make sense for Dan Patrick in the future. Laura Nachman has Sports Radio 950-AM looking to increase local programming. With the Michael Vick case everywhere, Jim Williams asks if the media has learned anything from the Duke lacrosse case. Chris Zelkovich notes that amateur sports, even to the level of the Pan Am Games, are getting virtually no airtime. Williams also talks to Sirius Radio’s Giorgio Chinaglia about David Beckham’s potential impact on US Soccer.

South
Dave Darling has a whole cornucopia of information about ESPN, including a look at the network finally getting around to devoting a daily highlight show to college football. Barry Jackson has the Dolphins media coverage getting an upgrade with revamped shows. He also reports that former Dolphins Rob Konrad and Keith Byars are not being retained by 790 The Ticket. David Barron has Chronicle columnist Richard Justice joining Houston’s newest sports talk station, KILE (1560 AM) this summer. Barry Horn has the All Star ratings hitting new lows.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein has NFL photographers from several prominent newspapers considering boycotting NFL games this fall because of a league edict that would require them to wear red vests with prominent product logos. Bob Wolfley has SportsCenter anchor John Anderson – a Green Bay native talking about his family history related to the Packers. Judd Zulgad examines a report that ran Wednesday night on KSTP-TV’s news which “painted a rather unflattering picture — literally — of various Gophers football players who have Internet pages on MySpace and Facebook.”

West Coast
Larry Stewart covers a number of items in his column this week, starting off with this weekend’s coverage of The British Open. Tom Hoffarth wonders if David Beckham will be able to carry ESPN’s soccer coverage, even with a bad ankle. His media blog delves even deeper into Beckham. John Maffei says that Beckham’s US debut is the “equivalent of Babe Ruth coming back from the dead to play right field for the New York Yankees.” Jim Carlisle says that The Open being played at Carnoustie brings back memories of Jean Van de Velde’s 1999 meltdown. Jay Posner has channel 4 covering more than just the Padres these days, and a number of other media notes.