Hot Summer Nights

The Patriots are in Charlotte taking on the Carolina Panthers tonight and the Red Sox are in Chicago, headlining this weekend’s local sports events.

The Red Sox play a doubleheader with the White Sox Friday on NESN, (though the weather isn’t looking good) while Saturday’s 3:30pm game is on FOX, with Matt Vasgersian & Joe Girardi calling the game. Sunday’s game is back on NESN. Keep up with all the Red Sox coverage on RedSoxLinks.com.

The Patriots are on CBS Friday night, where Greg Gumbel teams with Dan Dierdorf in calling the action from the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. This game will be shown in HDTV at 1080i lines of picture resolution along with 5.1 digital audio.

On Patriots Daily, we’ll have a wrapup of the game, and the coverage from the weekend, including the extensive Sunday Links posting.

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It was another eventful week in the Boston sports media, with the Boston Globe bringing on board former Denver Post NBA writer Marc Spears to headline what would seem to be a new emphasis on Celtics coverage at the Globe.

Local guy and former Boston Herald columnist Howard Bryant had his first column for ESPN.com this week, writing about the how the NFL Players Association has failed both Michael Vick and itself.

A pair of curious comments stood out this week in reading over sports coverage. Both statements appeared to be overreaction on the part of the writers. The first one was regarding the Patriots kicker when the Providence Journal Patriots notebook stated that “many Patriots fans started to lose confidence in Stephen Gostkowski” after the second year kicked missed some kicks in practice last week, and then missed a 33 yard kick and sent a kickoff out of bounds in the second preseason game.

Were “many” Patriots fans really losing confidence in a guy who made some huge kicks towards the end of last season (including the game winner in the San Diego playoff game and outkicking Adam Vinatieri in the AFC championship game- both road games, by the way)? It seems a little far-fetched that fans would be jumping off the Gostkowski bandwagon so quickly.

The other comment was from Worcester Telegram & Gazette baseball writer Bill Ballou, who led off Thursday Red Sox game story thusly:

This certainly isn't what the Red Sox expected when they shelled out $100 million, give or take a nickel, to obtain the services of Daisuke Matsuzaka.

They didn't expect him to be 13-10, just three games over .500 on a team that is 25 games over. And they didn't expect him to be 1-3 against the Devil Rays, the worst team in the AL East, especially when the rest of the Boston pitching staff is 8-1 against Tampa Bay.

Seth Mnookin tackled this ridiculous statement already in a post on his blog, which shows that if anything, Matsuzaka has actually exceeded expectations thus far in his first season in Boston.

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Many of those not in the Boston market this weekend will see the Mets and Dodgers on FOX, in a broadcast that will feature a special coming together of two prominent voices in the history of the New York Mets when Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner rejoins long-time broadcast partner Tim McCarver. In the third inning of Saturday’s game, Kiner will enter the Shea Stadium television booth named in his honor and broadcast with McCarver for the first time since 1998. Kiner, who has been a part of the Mets broadcast team since their inception in 1962, spent 16 seasons (1983-1998) working alongside McCarver, a span that covered the Mets incredible World Series run in 1986 and division title in 1988. During Ralph’s visit to the booth, McCarver will resume his old duties and call an inning of play-by-play alongside Kiner, just like the old days. “We spent sixteen great years together,” said McCarver. “I’m looking very forward to seeing my good friend.”

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Starting next Wednesday, at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN will feature 25 consecutive hours of college football-themed programming leading up to the #2 LSU at Mississippi State telecast Thursday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. also on ESPN.

The schedule will include six special editions of College Football Live, while ESPN’s regularly scheduled programming – such as SportsCenter, NFL Live, PTI, Rome is Burning, Around the Horn and Outside the Lines – will provide extensive college football content. Davis will host every college football show and segments in non-college football programs during the 25 hours of coverage.

They’re promoting it as a 25 hour pregame show leading up to the first televised college football game of the season.
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Jessica Camerato lists out five reasons that Reggie Miller should’ve come to Boston.

Pink Hat Hell reviews the fourth episode of Sox Appeal.

Kevin Hench says that we shouldn’t expect J.D. Drew to all of a sudden turn on the power switch.

Tom Pedulla in USA Today has the Patriots hoping for big returns from Wes Welker.

Steve Henson has an interesting look at Jim Bouton’s first Vintage Base Ball Federation World Series which took place last weekend in Westfield, Ma.

Tony Massarotti looks at the 16 MLB teams that are still in playoff contention.

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Nationals Sports Media Columns

New England
Susan Bickelhaupt has Doug Flutie insisting that he’ll be able to remain objective when analyzing a Boston College game for ESPN. She also enjoyed Dan Patrick’s co-host stint on WEEI Thursday. Bill Doyle talks to Evan Brunell, founder of the sports blog network Most Valuable Network. David Scott checks in with new Boston Globe Celtics writer Marc Spears, who seems thrilled to be here in Boston with everything that is going on in the world of Boston sports. Andrew Neff has Time Warner cable apologizing to viewers for going to a commercial just as the Angels were in the process of executing a walk-off win against the Yankees on Monday night.

New York
Phil Mushnick says that Tiki Barber may not have been correct in his comments about Eli Manning and Giants Sunday night, but he wasn’t far off, and his is now being paid to give him opinion, for better or for worse. Richard Sandomir has Bill Cowher settling into his new role as analyst on CBS’ The NFL Today. He also has Nike featuring 18 women in an ad that will debut tomorrow. Bob Raissman says that the Michael Vick story is going to linger throughout the NFL season.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has Keith Olbermann getting back into sports with his debut on NBC’s NFL coverage this Sunday. Laura Nachman has former NBA assistant coach and “Post Game Live” analyst Bob Salmi being hired as an analyst for Sixers games on Comcast SportsNet. Leonard Shapiro remembers the late Phil Rizzuto. Chris Zelkovich says that like it or not, mixed martial arts fighting is here to stay. Jim Williams notes that with the Redskins and Ravens playing their annual preseason game, viewers get to see dueling game broadcasts. He also notes that Michael Vick has become more than a sports story.

South
Barry Jackson has the sports radio wars in Miami heating up. He also says that Sid Rosenberg needs to stop telling guests how fabulous they are. Dave Darling notes that Roger Federer’s dominance flies under the public radar. David Barron has Jim Rome saying that the Michael Vick story tops all the hot button issues, from O.J. Simpson to Ray Lewis to Kobe Bryant and beyond. Barry Horn has Daryl Johnston noting letting his NFL job for FOX silence him from supporting retired NFL players’ gripes with the league and its players association over disability payouts.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein has Comcast and the Big Ten Network battling over the channel’s placement on the cable system, and with the season getting close, no deal is on the horizon. Judd Zulgad also reports on the Comcast/Big Ten Network battle. Dan Caesar has Tim McKernan staying on the St. Louis airwaves rather than taking an offer from SportsNet New York. Bob Wolfley says that Tiki Barber’s candor was just what NBC hired him for. Jeffrey Flanagan has FOX planning changes to the Royals broadcasts for next season.

West Coast
Jay Posner notes that despite having the Padres leading in the NL Wildcard chase, this has still been a summer of discontent for San Diego fans. Tom Hoffarth says that the media has been on target in the Michael Vick case. He also has a collection of wiseacre media comments in his blog. Larry Stewart looks at the upcoming coverage of the U.S. Open Tennis championships. John Maffei has ESPN pushing hype to new levels with their upcoming “25 Hours of College Football” event. Jim Carlisle looks at a number of changes coming in NFL telecasts this season.

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