Media Assists NFL Tampering

Quick thought – Almost every NFL reporter out there has been writing or talking the last two weeks about which team is interested in which free agent, and which player is likely to end up at one of a couple of teams. Isn’t this just enabling tamperers? You can assume there are plenty of league memos out there about tampering. It’s pretty transparent when the ones spreading these types of rumors are the same ones who are also crying about cheating scandals and following the rules, when in reality they are fine with it…as long as they understand it and benefit from it.

This piece: If everyone’s doing it, free-agent tampering is OK from ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas tells us that the tampering certainly goes on.

The media gets used in this process by reporting rumors and interest from both players and teams, and is quite happy to oblige with this.

You could make the argument that gaining an illegal advantage on acquiring players is a little more egregious than illegally obtaining information that is perfectly legal to have in other ways.

Mike Florio has the latest “scuttlebutt” on the “Spygate II” scandal with Matt Walsh.

I’m reluctant to post that link, as I’ve avoided linked to all of Florio’s stuff that goes the other way. In fact, Florio has tried to play a tricky game here, spreading rumor and innuendo involving the Patriots situation with as much (or more) gusto than anyone out there, while at the same time making comments such as the following:

But the sense we’re getting is that many in the media are hoping for this to become a story of cheating and scandal and cover-ups and suspensions and forfeits.

“Many in the media?” Does he include himself in that?

That’s not to say that Florio doesn’t sometimes provide interesting information or sources. This Sport Magazine archive piece about spying in the 1960’s NFL was a great read.

A couple of WEEI items:

If you’ve listened to WEEI in the last week, you’ve heard that Dennis & Callahan producer Steve Ciaccio has been blogging from spring training. You actually have to navigate the WEEI web site a bit to find it, but here’s the link if you’re looking for it:

38 Glitches: Ciaccio’s Spring Training Blog

Talkers Magazine has its list of the 100 Most Important talk Radio Hosts in America. At #91 is this guy:

The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and Hall of Fame will name The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan as Sportswriter of Year on May 3-5, 2008, in Salisbury, N.C.

Here are the state winners for New England:

Sportscaster – Mike Lynch, WCVB
Sportswriter – Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe

New Hampshire
Sportscaster – Jim Jeannotte, UNH Sports Network
Sportswriter – Allen Lessels, The Union Leader

Rhode Island
Sportscaster – Steve Hyder, Pawtucket Red Sox
Sportswriter – Joe McDonald, Providence Journal

Sportscaster – Kevin Nathan, WVIT-TV
Sportswriter – Mike DiMauro, The Day (London)

Sportscaster – Dale Duff, WZON
Sportswriter – Ernie Clark, Bangor Daily News

Sportscaster – George Commo, Vermont Broadcast Sports & Jack Healey, WYSB
Sportswriter – Mike Donoghue, The Burlington Free Press

Congratulations to all!

Celtics Head Home – Cassell to Follow?

The Celtics ended their five game Western road trip on a high note, as they routed a totally uninspired Clippers team, 104-76 in Los Angeles. The win made the Celtics 2-3 on the trip and now they head home to take on the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night at the Garden.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics were more than good enough against a total disinterested Clippers club. Peter May notes that this one had a “distinct air of inevitability” right from the outset. Out in Los Angeles, Jonathan Abrams has a club looking like the “Celtics of yesteryear, in all their mystique,” handing the Clippers their worst loss of the season. Joe Stevens says that this one seemed to be over before it even began. Art Thompson III has the Clippers with no answers for the Celtics.

Bulpett has the Celtics still looking to add to their backcourt, but Brent Barry doesn’t appear to be walking through that door, and Sam Cassell’s buyout is progressing slowly. Abrams has Cassell confirming that buyout talks with Clippers are taking place. Stevens notes that Cassell will need to be waived before midnight Eastern time tomorrow in order to play in the postseason for another team, as he has to be off the Clippers roster by midnight Friday and NBA waivers take 48 hours to clear.

May’s notebook though, reports that sources say that the Clippers will announce today that they are buying out Cassell’s contract, and that the Celtics, Nuggets and Mavericks are all prepared to make him an offer once he clears waivers. Bulpett’s notebook has the Celtics feeling pretty good about their position in the East.

Red Sox

There’s quite a difference in the lead baseball columns between the papers this morning after a fairly slow day at Red Sox camp yesterday: Gordon Edes tells the story of Kevin Davis, a Navy fighter pilot and huge Red Sox fan, who got to see his biggest dream get fulfilled up close. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox set to visit the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington as part of their trip to the White House tomorrow. Meanwhile, Gerry Callahan grouses that the Red Sox are World Champions, and appear that they might be even better now, but asserts that they’re boring, and he wants more storylines and controversy in camp.

Rob Bradford has the Red Sox believing that Bartolo Colon is worth taking a gamble on. Sean McAdam has Theo Epstein characterizing the signing as low-risk, potentially high reward.

Bradford has Bruce Hurst happy to rejoin the Red Sox as a special instructor, 20 years after he last pitched for the club. Bradford also has Hurst revealing that his regrets started immediately once he signed with the San Diego Padres and left Boston and the Red Sox. Rob Duca has more on Hurst, and his rejoining Red Sox nation after 20 years away.

Michael Silverman says that there is virtually no trade market for Coco Crisp right now. Joe Haggerty has Manny Delcarmen looking to get down to business after a winter of heavy workouts. Silverman also has the Red Sox’ Hall of Fame Class of 2008, which was announced yesterday.

Amalie Benjamin‘s notebook has more on Colon, as well as Hurst. Silverman’s notebook has Jed Lowrie having a mishap in a rundown drill yesterday. McAdam’s notebook has more on the Hall of Fame class and on Hurst. Duca’s notebook has more on the low risk signing of Colon. Goldberg’s notebook also has a look at the signing of Colon, and the return of Hurst.


Kevin Paul Dupont has Patrice Bergeron talking about his second skate in two days yesterday. Steve Conroy also has the Bruins star feeling his way through his efforts to return to the team. Bergeron was a guest of the Dale & Holley program on WEEI yesterday…

Dupont’s notebook has Peter Chiarelli expecting to stand pat at today’s NHL trading deadline. Conroy’s notebook also has a look at what figures to be a quiet day for the Bruins.


Mike Reiss has Eugene Wilson and the Patriots set to part ways after five seasons. Bob Halloran tells us that the Patriots won’t be as good next season, and that their window of opportunity could be closing.

Bob Ryan gushes over how fortunate we are to be watching Tiger Woods right now. He says even Cole Porter might be at a loss for words to describe him.

David Scott reports that 890 ESPN Boston might not be long for this market, as signs point to its imminent demise.

Comcast SportsNet HD Growing Pains

If you watched the Celtics broadcasts from Phoenix on Friday night and last night from Portland on Comcast SportsNet HD, you likely noticed that the game wasn’t actually in HD. In talking with a CSN representative today, the explanation was given that apparently while the network is able to broadcast each game in High Definition, they were not able to find a production truck in those cities that had the necessary equipment to get the HD signals out. As the person noted, it’s part of the price to pay for switching to full HD coverage in the middle of a season. This type of equipment, especially on the road, usually needs to be arranged for well in advance.

Tonight’s game in Los Angeles against the Clippers will be in full HD.