Providing Your Friday Megalinks

Hello once again. Ken from Fang’s Bites and it’s time for the Friday megalinks today. Lots of stuff to get to and so little time. Let’s do the Weekend Viewing Picks first.

Weekend Viewing Picks

The Open Championship and baseball dominate our viewing this weekend.

TNT and ESPN/ABC combine for weekend coverage of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. TNT provides early 3rd round coverage Saturday morning starting at 7. ABC joins in at 9 .m. Then on Sunday, TNT begins very early at 6 a.m. and ABC takes the coverage to the conclusion starting at 8. We’ll see if Greg Norman can win his third Claret Jug or if he’ll find a way to fade.

The AL East leading Red Sox are back in action after the All-Star break and they’re on the West Coast meaning a lack of sleep (and complaining by Dennis & Callahan that they won’t be able to watch the games). The Sox take on Anaheim in a weekend series. NESN has tonight’s game starting at 10. Then Fox25 and Fox 64 carry Saturday’s game at 3:55 p.m. with Thom Brennaman, Eric Karros and Ken Rosenthal with the call. Then on Sunday, ESPN has the series finale at the early time of 6 p.m. If you’re wondering, ESPN is showing some silly awards show that I refuse to acknowledge or link to at 9 p.m. My wish is that the Red Sox-Angels game goes until 11 p.m. forcing the Alleged Worldwide Leader to move that show to another channel and scrapping its broadcast. But I digress.

In other baseball action, WGN has the White Sox hosting Kansas City, Saturday night at 7 and the Cubs visiting Houston, Sunday afternoon at 2. TBS’ Sunday afternoon telecast will have the Yankees at home taking on the Oakland A’s at 1.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series takes the week off, but the Nationwide Series will be in full swing with the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 which ESPN2 will air Saturday night at 9:30.

The IndyCar Series travels to Ohio for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on ABC this Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

The Formula 1′s German Grand Prix will be shown on tape Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fox.

Versus shows the Tour de France this weekend on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. then on Sunday at the early time of 7 a.m.

The USTA’s US Open Series has begun with the first tournament finals on Sunday. ESPN2 shows the Indianapolis Tennis Championships men’s final at 1 p.m., then the women’s Bank of the West Classic final at 5 p.m.

If you’re into Beach Volleyball, the Brooklyn Open will be shown on NBC both Saturday and Sunday starting at 2:30 p.m.

Now to the links.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that because ESPN is not an Olympics rightsholder, it has to resort to creative ways in covering the games in Communist China.

Kathy Orton of Newsweek says ESPN’s Rick Reilly chose some strange words about atheists while Josh Hamilton was hitting during the Home Run Derby.

The Sports Media Watch has some random news and notes including an NHL season opening doubleheader in Europe.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott lists the winners and losers in the WEEI.com re-launch. And David was part of a podcast hosted by young Alex Reimer over at Mysportsradio.com.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe says even without Tiger Woods, the Open Championship is still Must See TV.

Eric McHugh of the Quincy (MA) Patriot-Ledger profiles Red Sox announcer Dave O’Brien.

Boston.com’s Extra Bases Red Sox blog recaps former WBZ-TV anchor Bob Lobel’s statements on WEEI today in which he said the Red Sox fined Manny Ramirez six figures for his shove of Jack McCormick and then alleged Manny purposely did not swing during an at-bat at Yankee Stadium earlier this month.

Newsday’s Neil Best writes about ESPN’s special on the 100th anniversary of “Take Me out to the Ball Game”. And Neil says MSG Network will carry the WNBA outdoor game between the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever this Sunday.

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says the Yankee Stadium crowd at the All-Star Game did not know how to react to George Steinbrenner’s appearance (if this is the best Raissman can do, I may have to drop him from the megalinks).

The perpetually angry Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is mad at MLB for scheduling the Yankees last home game on September 21 for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and making the first pitch for the All-Star Game at 8:45 p.m. ET. Of course, Phil does not take into consideration that MLB delays the first pitch so fans on the West Coast can be home in time to watch.

Also from the Post, Justin Terranova talks with NBC Sports golf analyst Gary Koch about the Open Championship. And Justin has five questions for Philadelphia Phillies announcer Tom McCarthy.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the New York Jets’ exhibition games will be seen on local TV for the first time in over a decade.

Dafney Tales of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that alcohol was a factor in John Marzano’s death.

Laura Nachman’s Philadelphia TV and radio blog mentions that a sports radio WIP host was auditioning for a TV gig this week.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun talks about Bob Papa going to the NFL Network and Billy Packer’s departure from CBS Sports and Raycom among other things.

Tim Lemke of the Washington Times looks at the All-Star Game ratings and the selling of Brett Favre’s jersey.

South

Doug Nye of The State would have preferred an earlier starting time for the All-Star Game.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the MLB Network is preparing for launch on New Year’s Day and unlike the NFL Network, will have a wide distribution.

Dave Darling in the Orlando Sentinel writes about a new Amazing Race-like program that debuts on Golf Channel this Tuesday.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says FSN Houston is going through a retooling to show more local programming in the fall.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Open Championship will have plenty of drama even without Tiger Woods.

From the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht talks about Tom Watson joining the ESPN on ABC booth for the Open Championship. Mel likes two major broadcast changes coming up for the NFL and college basketball seasons. Mel has some college football news in his media notebook. And Mel provides his weekend viewing picks.

West

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the local Fox affiliate will do sports on its newscasts only when events dictate. Here are the ratings from last weekend in the always classy San Diego market.

John Maffei from the North County Times says San Diego State did not really solve its problem by lacking a color analyst on its football radio broadcasts.

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star writes that the Open Championship faces an uphill battle for ratings.

John Scheibe writing in the Los Angeles Times that Dodgers fans can see plenty of archival pictures of the team at the library.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says a reinvigorated DodgerTalk program has given fans another chance to talk about the games. And Tom has more on DodgerTalk in his media notes segment of his blog.

Midwest

George M. Thomas from the Akron Beacon Journal talks about former Ohio State Buckeye Clark Kellogg becoming CBS Sports’ #1 analyst for college basketball.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says Billy Packer is not the only polarizing announcer.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says Tom Watson might be pulling double duty at the Open Championship this weekend.

Blogs

The 38Cliches blog heard through a third party that the son of former Red Sox announcer Jerry Trupiano has visited the site.

Awful Announcing has the MLB announcing schedule for the weekend.

Deadspin has the Ashley Harkleroad nude Playboy layout pics.

SportsbyBrooks says Ashley’s boyfriend did the negotiating for the Playboy layout.

Joe Favorito tried to take advantage of the quietest day in sports.

That’s going to do it for us today. Enjoy your weekend.

About Ken Fang

A former award-winning radio reporter, Ken Fang lives in Rhode Island and blogs at Fang's Bites and Fang's Bites at BSMW. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to sports media, he is addicted to The Amazing Race and Mad Men.