08.16.07 Afternoon Links

The WEEI / NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon is in full swing.

A couple notes of interest from the local teams, Clay Buchholz will start in Game 1 of tomorrow’s doubleheader with the Angels, and it appears Jacoby Ellsbury wll be up for the second game.

The Patriots released punter Josh Miller today, and it appears that Danny Baugher has the advantage in the race with Tom Malone to be the new punter for New England. Each player is 23 years old.

David Scott checks in with the program director at WCRB 99.5 FM, who was surprised to learn that his station might be part of a proposed regional sports radio network.

Steve Krause has Rich Conigliaro reflecting on his brother Tony’s life 40 years after the beaning that changed it.

Shaun Kelly updates his already terrific story on the 1967 Red Sox.

The Connecticut Post has a frame-by-frame look at the Jose Offerman incident Tuesday night, which is the closest to a video as we’re going to get.

In light of the Kevin Garnett trade, Bill Simmons breaks trades out into 13 categories.

Red Sox Monster has an interview with Feeding the Monster author Seth Mnookin.

The Media Circus examines which outlet will provide more inane material for them; ESPN’s NFL Live or Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

Ian Thomsen selects his All Time NBA team, which includes four Celtics on the twelve man roster, and has Red Auerbach as coach.

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Tonight

7:30pm, TBS – Giants @ Braves
8:00pm, ESPN – NFL Preseason – Dolphins @ Chiefs
9:00pm, FSN – Revolution @ Colorado

Sox Back To Old Ways

David Scott has details on the regional sports talk network that is said to be courting Dennis & Callahan during this lockout period. While Scott hints at it, the Inside Track reports today that outgoing ESPN star Dan Patrick has been signed up for fill-in duties in the morning next week.

Red Sox
The Red Sox followed up their rousing come-from-behind victory on Tuesday night by coming out and falling behind 6-0 to Tampa Bay yesterday afternoon. They attempted the rally again, but came up on the short end of a 6-5 final score.

Jeff Horrigan has the Rays getting to Daisuke Matsuzaka early and ruining the Red Sox chances for a sweep. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox unable to come through with a knockout punch in the ninth inning to break through against the Rays. Joe McDonald has Daisuke Matsuzaka lamenting the loss after his disappointing outing. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox unable to complete their comeback at Fenway this time. Garry Brown has the Rays spoiling Boston’s efforts to sweep the series. Phil O’Neill looks at the rally falling short this time in the ninth inning. Joe Haggerty also reports on the failed rally.

Rob Bradford notes that scoreboard watching is already in full force at Fenway. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox achilles heels were on full display yesterday – they can’t get to pitchers that they are unfamiliar with, and they don’t come through in the clutch. Maureen Mullen has former teammates reacting to the meltdown of Jose Offerman on Tuesday night . Steven Krasner has Julio Lugo getting his job done in the ninth inning against Rays closer Al Reyes.

Mullen also has a look at the rough outing for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was roughed up for six runs. Daniel Malloy has more on Matsuzaka, who was once again plagued by a single big inning. Kevin Gray has the Rays figuring out Dice-K yesterday.

Bradford also looks at how much the homer that Mike Lowell hit on Tuesday night meant to a pair of families. Sarah Green says that it is August, so it must be time to panic. Horrigan says that the buzz is already starting about a possible Clay Buchholz start at Fenway tomorrow. In the Metro, we look at how Jon Lester and Rick Ankiel should be the feel-good stories of the summer.

Horrigan’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis going 0-5 and missing out on chances to be a hero yesterday. Benjamin’s notebook has Dustin Pedroia unable to put down a ninth inning bunt that could’ve changed the game. Brown’s notebook also looks at that play as one of the keys to the afternoon. Goldberg’s notebook says that all signs are pointing to Clay Buchholz getting the afternoon start against the Angels tomorrow. O’Neill’s notebook says that the Red Sox could play themselves right out of the playoffs over the next six weeks.

Patriots
Over on Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp has Drew Bledsoe showing his true colors. Seems like the former Patriots quarterback just didn’t enjoy football all that much.

John Tomase has Tom Brady and the Patriots limiting the use of the quarterback’s arm in practice this summer, and talks to Brady’s throwing guru Tom Martinez about his mechanics and routines. Christopher L. Gasper has Eugene Wilson offering support to Brandon Meriweather in regards to changing positions, something that Wilson also had to do as a rookie. Albert Breer has Meriweather admitting to having a case of the nerves on Friday night. David Heuschkel has Meriweather not concerned with what his role is, but just focusing on playing football. Christopher Price has Meriweather making it through the first stage of NFL life. Shalise Manza Young has a profile of Larry Izzo, who has made a career of being a special teams standout.

Karen Guregian says that the Patriots aren’t worked up over Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck’s comments about what he is going to do to them and Reche Caldwell in particular. Chris Kennedy has more on the Titans being unable to forget the last meeting between the teams. Breer has Whitman’s Sean Conover entering his second season with the Titans. Jennifer Tolandhas more on Bullock seeking payback.

Ian M. Clark has another rookie cornerback, Mike Richardson from Notre Dame, making the most of his chances in camp. Mark Farinella also has a good look at Richardson. Kennedy looks at the defensive line, which he calls the team’s strongest position group.

Tomase’s notebook has Vince Wilfork receiving some high praise from Bill Belichick. Gasper’s notebook has more on Belichick’s praise for Wilfork. Farinella’s notebook has Belichick refusing to take the Titans’ bait. Young’s notebook reports that Danny Baugher might have the edge in the punting competition thus far at camp.

Other
Scott Souza has Reggie Miller sounding like someone ready to make an NBA comeback. Mark Murphy has Miller working on getting into shape.

Shira Springer has Tim Donaghy pleading guilty.

Buddy Thomas says that the Red Sox blowing this lead would be worse than the Yankees blowing a 3-0 lead in the 2004 ALCS, and has a number of other deep thoughts.

Dennis: Lockout not a stunt

David Scott has John Dennis denying that the WEEI lockout is a stunt.

On Patriots Daily, we’ve got another bit from the Bill Walsh book Finding the Winning Edge.

Kevin Henkin wonders if we’re about to see an invasion of pink hat nation at Celtics games this season.

Sox Rally, At Last

Yesterday afternoon’s post about the possibility of the D&C lockout being staged prompted many emails, several insisted that the lockout is in fact real, and is simply all about the money. Two separate emails claiming to come from Entercom/WEEI sources stated that Dennis and Callahan are seeking a new contract that will pay each of them 1 to 1.5 million dollars annually. As this would be quite a bit more than Glenn Ordway current makes, and he is up for renewal next year, the company is reluctant to pay the duo each more than the Big Show host makes, know that they’ll have to pony up big next year.

Other emails supported the notion that the whole thing is staged, pointing out that John Dennis is still being featured in the promotions for the Jimmy Fund event which kicks off tomorrow, but what is clear is that this whole episode has the attention of many people, and the potential is there for it to get Entercom/WEEI good exposure, or it could also blow up in their faces. We’ll see which it is in the days/weeks to come.

Red Sox
Now that’s more like it.

In a season marked by the absence of ninth inning comebacks, the Red Sox finally put one together last night. Completely shut down as usual by Scott Kazmir, Boston entered the ninth inning trailing 1-0. A Mike Lowell home run up and over the Green Monster tied the game, Jason Varitek doubled and Coco Crisp singled him home, giving the Red Sox the 2-1 win in Jon Lester’s return to Fenway. The young lefty pitched well himself, going seven innings and only giving up the single run.

Jeff Horrigan has the rally caps working for the Sox in only their second ninth inning comeback of the season. Gordon Edes has Mike Lowell supporting fellow cancer survivor Lester by tying the game in the ninth inning with his home run. Carolyn Thornton has the Red Sox recapturing some of their old magic last night. Jeff Goldberghas more on Lowell coming through for Lester. Garry Brown and Phil O’Neill wrap up the game stories from Fenway.

Steve Buckley says that Lester can now focus solely on pitching and put the cancer talk behind him. Sean McAdam says that whether Lester wants to admit it or not, he is someone special for what he has been through and accomplished. Lenny Megliolahas more on an impressive return to Fenway for Lester.

Ken Powtak has Eric Gagne picking up the win with a scoreless ninth inning of relief. Dan Shaughnessy has Gagne feeling the whole range of Boston emotions in a single one-inning outing.

Steve Krasner looks at the Red Sox decision to leave Jason Varitek in the game after he doubled in the ninth inning, rather than taking him out for a faster pinch runner. Alex Speier looks at the lack of power from David Ortiz this season and the causes of it. Powtak has Julian Tavarez happy for Lester’s return, even though it cost him a spot in the starting rotation. Buckley has more on the attorney’s representing Barry Bonds possibly targeting Curt Schilling for his remarks earlier this season about the Giants slugger. Goldberg has Johnny Pesky and the Red Sox remembering Phil Rizzuto, who passed away yesterday.

Horrigan’s notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka looking to extend a streak of terrific starting pitching performances for the Red Sox. Edes’ notebook looks at the milestone opportunities ahead for Tim Wakefield. The Projo notebook reports on Coco Crisp returning to centerfield for the Red Sox. Goldberg’s notebook looks at Gagne’s scoreless ninth inning of relief. O’Neill’s notebook has Terry Francona saying that rest is unlikely to help David Ortiz regain his power stroke. Brown’s notebook has Mike Timlin’s contributions last night getting overshadowed in the comeback.

Patriots
Mike Reiss and Karen Guregian examine the way in which the Patriots are handling Laurence Maroney this preseason, hoping to keep him fresh and injury-free heading into the season. Reiss compares it to the way that the Chargers handle LaDainian Tomlinson. David Heuschkel has Maroney just about up to speed…except for in Madden football. Shalise Manza Young has a nice profile on second year linebacker Pierre Woods, who learned the value of hard work from his late father.

John Tomase looks at Donte’ Stallworth, who seems prepared to inject a little personality into the Patriots locker room. Mike Grimala has Stallworth getting into the flow of things on the field, as well. David Brown has the Patriots looking for the right combination in the return game. Mark Farinella has Josh Miller feeling in limbo about his place on the team.

There’s another take on the morning’s stories over at Patriots Daily.

Reiss has Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck talking tough and issuing threats against Reche Caldwell and Vinny Testeverde for what happened in the regular season last year. Albert Breer says that Vince Young poses a unique problem for the Patriots and all opponents.

The Globe notebook has Josh Miller frustrated at his lack of work this preseason, as he is competing with a pair of youngsters for the punting job. Guregian’s notebook has more on Miller, who wants a bigger chance to show that he can still get the job done. Young’s notebook has the Patriots debuting their own comedy team in Stallworth and Maroney. Farinella’s notebook has the defense drawing the ire of coach Belichick in practice yesterday.

Alex Beam says that the David Beckham hype won’t be enough to transform soccer in America.

Jessica Camerato has the Celtics growing from boys to men this summer.

Five Reasons Why This Dennis & Callahan Lockout COULD Be Staged

I really don’t know what to think about this whole situation. Part of me firmly believes that at sometime during the Jimmy Fund Radiothon at the end of this week, there is going to be a WWE-like return of Dennis & Callahan to the WEEI airwaves. Another part of me says that they’ll drag this out until the first week of September, just as the Patriots season is ready to start, with the media attention increasing with each passing day as the situation is played out in the newspapers and on the internet blogs. The third possibility is that there really IS a contract dispute going on here.

I’m not all the way convinced that this whole thing is a ratings stunt, but if I were, here are some of the reasons I’d cite:

  1. The constant jokes from other programs on the station. The Big Show has been making incessant mentions of being “locked out” and giggling like they’re on the inside of a big joke. If this was real, wouldn’t there be a company-issued gag order in place here? (Much like discussing Callahan’s illness.)
  2. Along those same lines, for months we’ve heard nothing about Callahan’s illness, or about the status of their contracts. Now, all of a sudden there are moles all over the place, eagerly feeding the likes of myself, David Scott and the Herald.
  3. The line from George Regan, spokesman for WEEI and parent company Entercom Communications: “It’s a great time for a vacation, and it’s a great time to walk the beaches of Cape Cod to relax, reflect and think” – just seems way too casual for what the situation is purported to be. If it is revealed that this was just a stunt, then Regan’s quote suddenly takes on new meaning.
  4. They’ve done this before. (See Adams, Mike.) The station would like nothing better than to make their critics look like fools. If they can “use” certain people to further the sham, all the better. It’s the bully mentality, which has in part, made them so successful. With the WWE tactics, they’re aiming to grab the attention of the casual fan, while knowing that the smarter fan is probably going to come back and listen even if they’re ticked off by the antics in the short term.
  5. If this drags out, can’t you just imagine the daily updates on the situation and the attention it would bring to the station. Then in the end, it all just works out and the station has their ratings AND their top ranked duo, with Callahan back to work after his courageous battle.

Other items to consider:

If this situation is real, then somewhere along the line, Callahan changed his absence from a health-related one, into a labor-related one.

I can’t believe they’d mess with the Jimmy Fund Radiothon. It seems both sides might be using this huge charity event as part of the negotiations. In the sparse quotes that have come from both John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, they have mentioned the Radiothon, you can be sure that Entercom and WEEI are using the Radiothon on their end as well to pressure the duo. Rather than bringing attention to the Radiothon, they’re actually causing a distraction from the more important cause.

If D&C are really broken up about missing the Radiothon, nothing is preventing them from visiting the kids on their own or writing out their own checks to the cause.

And as a BSMW reader points out: “The hosts at the station should not accept any credit for, or otherwise feel good about themselves during, the Radiothon. They are simply showing up for work and getting paid for talking into a microphone, as they are contractually obligated to do. The only difference is that for this one day, the boss man tells them to talk about cancer-stricken kids instead of sports. They are not sacrificing a thing.”

The Jimmy Fund Radiothon is all about the listeners who donate the fund to reach the goals and about the patients who need the support to continue treatment. It’s not about the hosts, but that is what WEEI is trying to do. There is always plenty of back-patting among themselves for this event, and if Dennis and Callahan come riding in on the white horse during the event (with Callahan having a cancer survival story to tell) it will reach new heights.

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Patriots Friday will be back on 890 ESPN this season, and it was announced today that Troy Brown, Matt Light, Ben Watson and Mike Vrabel will be the Patriots Players on the Mike Felger-led show this Patriots season.

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We’ve got a new staff member over at Patriots Daily.

Mike Reiss checks in with another edition of the Ask Reiss Mailbag

Eric Wilbur notes that Jon Lester faces a really nasty challenge on what should be “his” night at Fenway.

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Barry Bonds’ new legal team looking to sue those who make unproven accusations against the Giants’ slugger is “directed at (Curt) Schilling more than anybody.”

Gregg Easterbrook has another edition of Tuesday Morning Quarterback, including a section on the Patriots.

Peter King mentions Asante Samuel’s situation in his Tuesday edition of MMQB.

Tom Verducci picks his All Time MLB team.

Sean Deveney looks at the top remaining NBA free agents.

Sports Media Journal has an interview with New York Newsday sports media columnist Neil Best.

WFAN announced their new morning show – Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton.

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Tonight
7:00pm, NESN – Devil Rays @ Red Sox

D&C Lockout, Day Two

We’re in day two of the Dennis and Callahan lockout, and David Scott has the latest on the story, with advertisers shockingly balking at paying premium rates for their ads to be run on shows hosted by Craig Mustard, Larry Johnson and the other list of fill-ins the station has been trotting out.

Jessica Heslam has more on the advertisers concerns, and Susan Bickelhaupt gets in on the act with a recap of the items reported yesterday.

Red Sox
The Red Sox returned to the Fenway Park last night, and had Tim Wakefield facing a Tampa team he has dominated throughout his Red Sox career (18-2) – a recipe for success. Things held true to form, and Boston came away with a 3-0 win over the Devil Rays.

Dom Amore has Tim Wakefield calming the anxious fans with eight shutout innings last night. Jeff Horrigan has the Red Sox following Wakefield’s lead to victory. Gordon Edes has Wakefield’s terrific performance covering for another lackluster offensive night for the Red Sox. Sean McAdam has more on Wakefield making waste of the Rays. Garry Brown also looks at Wakefield’s latest gem against Tampa. Phil O’Neill reports on the Red Sox keeping their lead at 4 games over the Yankees.

Brendan McGair says that tonight’s 2007 Fenway Park debut for Jon Lester promises to be an emotional night. Horrigan says that Lester would like to reward the fans by pitching how he feels he is capable tonight against the Devil Rays. Joe Haggerty says that Lester will get a hero’s welcome at Fenway tonight.

Steve Buckley has Tim Wakefield calming down the masses with his performance last night, just as he has done many other times in the past. Steven Krasner says that Wakefield’s knuckler was so good last night that he didn’t need to mix in other pitches, as he sometimes needs to do. Nick Cafardo says that now is the time for the Red Sox bats to come alive and to make a stand here at home. Alex Speier says that it is OK to look in the rearview mirror. Jon Couture says that panic is stupid, and that the Red Sox have made their own bed.

Buckley reports on Coco Crisp being down and out with the flu. Cafardo talks to a few people about whether Eric Gagne might be thrown off by his new role as a setup man. Joe McDonald has a further look at Wakefield’s continued dominance of the Devil Rays. Bob Albright has Bill Lee saying that he doesn’t think the Red Sox will give up the lead like they did in 1978. Haggerty has a look at Manny Delcarmen as the forgotten one in the Red Sox bullpen since the Gagne trade.

McGair has a look at the continued injury problems of Rocco Baldelli, who just can’t seem to stay on the field. Speier notes that no one has dominated the Red Sox like Scott Kazmir.

Horrigan’s notebook has Terry Francona still planning on using Gagne in close games despite his recent struggles. Edes’ notebook has an Orioles broadcaster and Angels outfielder each ripping Fenway Park and Boston. Amore’s notebook says that the Red Sox haven’t pushed the panic button yet. Brown’s notebook looks ahead to Lester’s start tonight. O’Neill’s notebook has more on Lester getting excited to return to the Fenway mound tonight. Couture’s notebook has more on Francona’s plans to stick with Gagne.

Rich Thompson reports on the uniforms from the 14th Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game, which takes place tomorrow night at 7:00.

Patriots
Going to have to rely mostly on Patriotslinks.com this morning, but here are a few links that are outside of that RSS world.

Michael Parente has Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees talking yesterday about a wide range of topics, including the AFC title game loss to the Colts. David Heuschkel has the loss weighing on Pees for the entire offseason. Rich Garven also has Pees getting comfortable in his role as defensive coordinator. Eric McHugh has Sammy Morris and Kelley Washington showing a little bit of why the Patriots were interested in them this offseason. Mark Farinella has Tedy Bruschi hoping to raise stroke awareness with his new book. Farinella’s notebook has Pees talking about how the Patriots are planning on using Adalius Thomas.

As always, there are more thoughts over at PatriotsDaily.com. We hope to have a new personnel announcement up sometime later today.

Other
Shira Springer and Mark Murphy each talk to Paul Pierce about the upcoming season and what’s left for the team to do before camp starts.

Bob Ryan says that Tiger Woods is the greatest athlete of our time, and perhaps of any time.

D&C Locked Out At WEEI

If you got up and turned on your radio this morning to WEEI, you found out that Dennis and Callahan were once again not on the 850 airwaves. It seems that Entercom has decided to play hardball with the duo, and perhaps trying to avoid a repeat of the Howie Carr fiasco over at company owned WRKO, has “locked out” D&C until their contract situation is resolved.

At this point, the pair will not be on the air for the biggest day on the WEEI calendar, this week’s Jimmy Fund Radiothon. John Dennis, quoted in today’s edition of Scott’s Shots, says that “Gerry has an important story to tell this year” which would seem to strengthen rumors that have come into BSMW over the last few months that said that Callahan was suffering from throat cancer.

This episode could be Jason Wolfe’s Waterloo with Entercom, following as it is right on the heels of the WRKO mess. As mentioned, David Scott has a longer write-up on the situation over at Shots, with John Dennis on-the-record. In the Herald, Jessica Heslam and Laurel J. Sweet have the story, with the Entercom PR firm denying that a “lockout” is in place. The Herald does not have quotes from their colleague, Callahan.

Dan Kennedy also weighs in on Entercom’s latest disaster.

Stay tuned.

Red Sox
The good thing about the D&C mess is that it pushed the Red Sox down a bit on the page here. Eric Gagne blew two games over the weekend as the AL East lead has shrunk to four.

Michael Silverman has Gagne getting pounded once again yesterday as he blew a two run lead in the eighth inning yesterday. Gordon Edes looks at the division lead shrinking to its smallest point since May 1st. Bill Ballou has more on the Red Sox road trip ending miserably in Baltimore. Steve Krasner says that the Eric Gagne era wasn’t quite supposed to work out this way. Jeff Goldberg writes that it is time for the Red Sox to Cowboy Up after their dreadful performances in Baltimore.

Amalie Benjamin has Kevin Millar haunting his old team with the 11th inning home run that won the game for the Orioles. Steve Buckley has Gagne ticked off at himself for his performance and vowing to improve his game. Lenny Megliola says that thanks to Gagne, the Yankees could catch the Red Sox by this weekend. In an effort to remain positive, Bill Burt offers 10 reasons not to panic about the Red Sox as we hit the final six weeks of the season.

With Tampa Bay in town starting tonight, Mike Petraglia has a piece on Rhode Island’s Rocco Baldelli, whose fast-track career appears to have been derailed at bit. Buckley has Dustin Pedroia saying that Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima both deserve rookie-of-the-year consideration, even if they do cost him votes in that balloting. Chad Finn is dazed and confused after the weekend losses.

Silverman’s notebook says that Clay Buchholz could make his major league debut this Friday in a doubleheader with the Angels. The Globe notebook has more on Buchholz, and also reports on the brief confrontation between Josh Beckett and Melvin Mora on Saturday when the Red Sox pitcher accused the Orioles third baseman of stealing signs. Ballou’s notebook says that the team’s struggles cannot all be blamed on the bullpen. Krasner’s notebook agrees that the offense deserves its share of the blame. Goldberg’s notebooksays that lost in Gagne’s blowup was another strong start from Curt Schilling.

Patriots
Over on Patriots Daily, Scott Benson breaks down a piece in the New York Post, where writer Steve Serby claims that Eric Mangini has a “strategy for slaying (the) dragon” – Bill Belichick. Check elsewhere on the site for a look at the Sunday links and a recap of Friday night’s exhibition opener.

John Tomase profiles Kyle Brady this morning, as the massive tight end is revealed to be a civil war buff. Shalise Manza Young has more on Brady and his interest in the civil war. Daniel Malloy has a piece on Kevin Faulk in this morning’s Globe, as the running back enters his ninth season with the Patriots. David Heuschkel says that there was plenty to take from Friday night’s game, the most encouraging of which has to be seeing Rodney Harrison on the field.

Christopher Price has his 10 Things We Learned from Friday night’s game. Albert Breer has the Patriots injured tight ends trying to work their way back onto the field. Jennifer Toland has Bam Childress staying in the mix at wide receiver for the Patriots. Dan Pires looks at “preseason all-star” Matt Cassell. Jeff Howe wonders if undrafted rookie Matt Gutierrez could start a quarterback controversy in New England.

The Globe Patriots notebook has Kyle Brady participating in yesterday’s walk-through, though he is still unable to practice full speed. Tomase’s notebook says that the injury suffered by Ty Warren on Friday night is not considered serious. Young’s notebook says that it is like old times for Rodney Harrison in camp this year.

Revolution
David Beckham didn’t play for the Los Angeles Galaxy last night, depriving New England fans of the opportunity to see the soccer superstar in action.

John Powers looks at the importance of Beckham. John Connolly has the Revolution stealing the spotlight with Beckham sidelined. Carolyn Thornton says that no one can bend fan support like Beckham. Brendan A. McGrail has more on Taylor Twellman and the Revs stealing the show last night. Jon Couture says that soccer’s success in the US is just getting started. Peter Gobis has more on the Revs stealing the show.

BSMW’s Kevin Henkin was a guest on CelticsStuffLive last night.

Weekend Watch – PGA Championship Edition

It’s a busy summer weekend of sports as a golf major, baseball and preseason football is all on the schedule, along with David Beckham coming to Foxboro.

*The Patriots preseason kicks off tonight down in Tampa at 7:30 on Channel 5 (WCVB). Patriots Daily will have a Game Day Rear View feature following the action, and is the place to check in over the weekend for Sunday football links.

*The PGA Championship takes place this weekend, as golf wraps up the final major of the season. TNT coverage from 11:00am to 2:00pm Saturday and Sunday, while CBS follows with 2:00pm to 7:00pm coverage each of those days.

*The Red Sox are in Baltimore to face the Orioles this weekend, hoping to keep their AL East lead comfortable over the New York Yankees. Keep up with the action on RedSoxLinks.com.

*British Soccer superstar David Beckham is in New England this weekend as the first place (9-4-6) New England Revolution take on the Los Angeles Galaxy this Sunday, August 12 at 7:00PM. The game can only be seen on TV38. This is also the only match-up this season between the two teams.

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David Scott checks in with another Dennis and Callahan negotiations update. He says Dennis’ vacation this week was planned, but that Entercom could possibly not put him back on the air until the contract situation with he and Gerry Callahan is straightened out.

Bill Simmons takes a break from the book writing to bang out a mailbag.

Chad Finn has nine innings worth of Red Sox thoughts.

Clark Booth loves The Bronx is Burning.

Eric Wilbur is glad football is back, but doesn’t care for the league’s restrictive media policies.

Bill Wallace remembers Bucky Kilroy.

Tom Curran reports from Steelers training camp.

Tim Sullivan in the San Diego Union Tribune has an interesting feature on Richard Birch, whose father Paul had his career ruined by the Jack Molinas point shaving scandal in the 1950’s.

Dr. Z. has an NFL mailbag.

Mike Freeman doesn’t appear to be a fan of Bob Costas.

Eric Edholm is enjoying Hard Knocks on HBO.

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New England
David Scott looks at WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan mystery, and also 890 ESPN being on the market. Susan Bickelhaupt talks to Red Sox announcer Dave O’Brien, who made the calls of Barry Bonds’ record tying and breaking home runs in the last week for ESPN. Jeff Howe talks to CBS football analyst Randy Cross about the Patriots, and also the passing of his former coach, Bill Walsh.

New York
Neil Best examines the various calls of the announcers who were there for Barry Bonds’ 756th home run. Richard Sandomir compares the ratings and viewership for the game in which Hank Aaron broke the home run record in 1974, to the game in which Bonds broke the record this week. Aaron’s game drew 15 times as many viewers and Sandomir says there is more to it than simply the difference in TV eras. Phil Mushnick says that it is fine to feel repulsed over Bonds breaking the record, no matter what the networks tell you. Justin Terranova has 5 questions with Nick Faldo. Bob Raissman says that Carl Banks displayed a brain and a conscience in declining to attach ARod’s name to the steroid discussion on WFAN this week.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand says ESPN is planning plenty of storylines for Monday Night Football each week, and suggests several of his own…such as showing Joe Theismann in the stands. Howard Kurtz notes that following the Barry Bonds home run chase has been a “joyless process for many of the journalists” assigned to the story. Chris Zelkovich has the new executive producer for Hockey Night in Canada promising to keep the show on top. Laura Nachman has NBC10’s Jade McCarthy leading all Philadelphia sportscasters with four Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations.

South
Dave Darling credits his DVR with allowing him to view the Bonds record breaking blast on his own schedule. He also looks at FSN Florida trying to get Bright House Network to put the channel on their expanded-basic cable lineup. Barry Jackson has Ron Jaworski getting ready to take on his Monday Night Football duties, and also talks to Dave O’Brien about his call of the Barry Bonds record breaking home run. David Barron has Ken Double working his last game for the Houston Aeros.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein observes that the recent Hawk Harrelson/Steve Stone pairing on White Sox broadcasts was a hit, and wonders if things might be in the works to make it a permanent change. Bob Wolfley says that the ratings numbers for the Bonds home run are not impressive. Dan Caesar says that the chase has been good for ESPN’s ratings. Judd Zulgad looks over the latest Twins ratings numbers as well as other figures from the ratings book. Jeffrey Flanagan has Brian McRae likely moving with the Royals broadcasts to Entercom next season, even if he is an investor in their competitor.

West Coast
Larry Stewart tells about the time that Nick Faldo dropped Jim Nantz’s name to get into the NCAA Final Four…before they really knew each other. Tom Hoffarth notes that after two years of basically stalking Barry Bonds for ESPN, Pedro Gomez almost missed the record breaking home run. Jay Posner has John Madden talking about the Chargers atop a collection of media notes. Jim Williams says that the Bonds chase was a ratings monster for FSN Bay Area. John Maffei has San Diego State football “unofficially” putting together their broadcast team.

Blogs
Awful Announcing has a season preview of the FOX NFL Broadcast crew. The Starting Five has baseball writers trying to abort Barry Bonds from their systems now that the chase is over. Sports Media Journal checks out the scene inside the press box at a Pawtucket Red Sox game. Sports Media Watch has more on the Bonds coverage. TheBigLead has Bob Costas and Bill Rhoden going a few rounds over Bonds. Fire Joe Morgan tears into a Ian O’Connor column about Bonds. the Journal of Sports Media examines jockocracy ethics. Sports Law Blog has a look at how teams and leagues are limiting media access to boost online profits.

Kickoff Time

The Patriots open up their preseason slate tonight in Tampa. At Patriots Daily, we’re told that this must more than an exhibition game, since the columnist have come out to tell us what tonight really means…

Christopher L. Gasper has Matt Cassel hoping to show that he is ready to take over for Tom Brady if needed. John Tomase examines the popularity of this year’s Patriots training camp, where newcomers such as Randy Moss have attracted huge crowds. Albert Breer notes that many players will be fighting for their jobs and even careers as they take the field tonight in Tampa. Rich Garven looks at the Patriots opening up the preseason tonight against the Bucs. Michael Parente says that Bill Belichick will be looking for hidden gems in tonight’s game. Jeff Howe talks to Randy Cross about the Patriots, and also the passing of his former coach, Bill Walsh.

Mike Reiss has 10 things to look for in tonight’s preseason opener. Shalise Manza Young also provides a list of things to look for on the field tonight. David Heuschkel says that tonight is a chance for some players to make an impression. Ian M. Clark has 10 players and positions to keep an eye on tonight. David Brown says there really isn’t too much to look for in tonight’s opener. Mark Farinella says that tonight is simply a game, and after two weeks of training camp it’s being welcomed by the players .

Bob Ryan says that the Patriots potential and expectations are both rightfully very high, but does note some areas of concern for the team. Steve Buckley says that tonight is a test run for TV remote controls as fans will likely be flipping between the Red Sox and Patriots.

Tomase’s notebook has the Patriots eager to hit someone other than each other tonight.

Red Sox
Tony Massarotti is worried about the back end of the Red Sox starting rotation. Gordon Edes looks at the baffling absence of power and clutch hitting from David Ortiz this season. Tom Yantz has the Red Sox coming East feeling OK about going 3-3 on the West coast. Bill Ballou has the Red Sox trying to end the trip on a high note in Baltimore.

Rob Bradford looks at the Red Sox bullpen as a source of real relief for the team. Lenny Megliola touches on a number of Red Sox items for the stretch run and beyond. Garry Brown looks at the Red Sox trying to hold on over the final 48 games. Joe Haggerty says that there could still be more moves by the Red Sox front office before the end of this month.

Heuschkel has a feature on Jimmie Foxx, one of the strongest players to pick up a bat in the majors.

Bradford’s notebook has Wily Mo Pena’s agent denying a Globe report that he wants to be traded. Edes’ notebook has Brandon Moss being sent back to Pawtucket as Eric Hinske returns to the club tonight.

Maureen Mullen has a look at PawSox pitcher Lincoln Holdzkom. Michael Silverman has a look at the “Futures at Fenway” event tomorrow, in which both the Lowell Spinners and the Portland Sea Dogs will play regular season games at Fenway. Ken Fratus in the Globe has a look at some players to watch in those games. Amalie Benjamin has a minor league notebook that leads off with Chad Spann, who isn’t down after being demoted from Pawtucket to Portland recently.

David Scott looks at the D&C mystery, and 890 ESPN being on the market. Susan Bickelhaupt talks to Red Sox announcer Dave O’Brien, who made the calls of Barry Bonds’ record tying and breaking home runs in the last week for ESPN.

Mark Murphy looks at Eddie House and Scot Pollard being introduced as the newest Celtics yesterday. Jessica Camerato has House and Pollard bringing enthusiasm and humor to Boston.

Fluto Shinzawa looks at David Beckham coming to Foxboro with the Galaxy on Sunday. Rich Thompson says that the Revolution aren’t getting caught up in the Beckham circus.

Jim McCabe looks at John Daly as a surprise leader after the first round of the PGA Championship.

More Troubles For Entercom?

So what exactly is happening on the WEEI morning show?

I think its safe to say that there is more going on than what we are being told. We know Gerry Callahan is out with his continued throat issue, but now John Dennis is out as well. It is rumored that this is an “unplanned” absence.

We also know that the duo’s contracts are set to expire sometime near the end of this summer. We’re also approaching a very important time of the sports calendar. With the AL East race tightening up, the Celtics making headlines on a seemingly daily basis and the Patriots starting to play preseason games, there are many things to talk about, and you would think that the station would need these guys in there. (Especially with Glenn Ordway taking his annual August sabbatical.)

Listeners to the show, even the most loyal ones (and the show does have its share) are starting to smell a rat here. Is Dennis trying to get some leverage with the station by sitting out? Does he feel he should get a bigger piece of the pie after carrying the show since Callahan went out in April? Is the station going to lose listeners with these tactics?

Entercom management seems to have more than just Howie Carr to worry about.

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Over on Patriots Daily, we launch a recurring feature that will examine parts of Bill Walsh’s book Finding the Winning Edge as they relate to the Patriots.

Tony Mejia says that the Celtics season rides on Rajon Rondo.

The Celtics have added Tom Thibodeau as an assistant coach. Thibodeau was essentially Jeff Van Gundy’s “defensive coordinator” in Houston this past season.

Eric Wilbur wonders if the struggles of Jon Lester might open up a slot for Clay Buchholz. He also floats the suggestion that Theo Epstein swing a waiver deal for Kevin Millar.

The latest Media Circus is up and this week’s installment discusses the silliness that is Jay Mohr writing for Foxsports.com and Joe Morgan’s continued assault on the idiot record books.

Tom Curran (video) says that the Colts have too many issues to overcome this season. He also has the team responding to doubters in the media.

Dime Magazine gives the Celtics credit for thinking outside the box with this Reggie Miller pursuit.

Vic Carucci tells us which teams have a shot at the Super Bowl, and which teams are out of the running already.

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Tonight
7:00pm, ESPN2 – LA Galaxy @ D.C.United.
8:00pm, FOX – NFL Preseason – Colts @ Cowboys