Sox Go The Distance In Toronto

Jeff Horrigan reports on the Red Sox 6-5 extra inning win over the Blue Jays in Toronto. Amalie Benjamin looks at the importance of the Sox winning their second straight series on the road. Joe McDonald looks at the list of heroes in yesterday’s game for the Sox. Dom Amore says that the Sox had to have this one, “and with the nose of a championship team they sniffed out a path to win it.” Bill Ballou has the Sox feeling this was one they had to get.

Nick Cafardo has the bullpen coming up big for the Red Sox yesterday. John Tomase looks at the Red Sox getting a chance to really bury the Yankees over the next three games. Tomase also looks at Jed Lowrie, who hit the game winning home run yesterday, and is opening eyes with his poise and play for the Red Sox.

Benjamin’s notebook looks at Ellsbury staying in the game after crashing into the fence hard while making a catch in the fourth inning. Horrigan’s notebook has J.D. Drew slow to heal from his back injury and he could be headed for the DL. McDonald’s notebook has more on the impact Lowrie has had with the Sox. Amore’s notebook has Ellsbury too fast for his own well-being. Ballou’s notebook has Ellsbury taking one for the team by remaining in the game.

Patriots

Chris Warner over on Patriots Daily has the post-mortem from Friday night’s stinker against the Eagles.

Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots needing to find a way to shore up the specials teams coverage units, and fast. Karen Guregian has Vince Wilfork trying to deal with the reputation he has gotten as a dirty player. Stephen Harris says that it won’t be as simple as flipping a switch for the Patriots to straighten out all their problems from this preseason. Robert Lee says that this week will be another full of questions about the status of Tom Brady.

Glen Farley has a look at punter Chris Hanson, who found himself getting a tongue-lashing from coach Bill Belichick during Friday night’s game. David Brown examines the urgency to get things straightened out in the special teams units. Jennifer Toland has more on this phase of the game.

Gasper’s notebook has the Patriots facing yet another short week of preparation this preseason. Lee’s notebook has the Patriots refusing to use injuries and backups as the reason for their poor play this preseason.

Need another example of why Bill Belichick doesn’t discuss injuries with the media? Consider what happened with the Giants over the weekend. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora left the game with an injury to his knee. Following the game, coach Tom Coughlin tells the media that the doctors “discovered no ligament damage through their initial exams.” He also added that “”I’m thinking it’s going to be OK.”

The next day, after a more thorough exam and MRI, it was discovered that there was no ligament damage, however, Umenyiora will still miss the entire season with with torn cartilage in his left knee. Ouch.

It’s not so much that Coughlin did anything wrong in this instance, but imagine the roller coaster ride that Giants fans went on this weekend. They see the injury, fear the worst, are comforted by Coughlin’s words, and then devastated the next day when their Pro Bowl defensive end is out for the season.

In contrast, Belichick would’ve said nothing after the game, other than “The Doctors will take a look at it” and then the news would’ve come out by itself the next day, without the embarrassment of having the previous night’s words (“I’m thinking it’s going to be OK.”) still hanging there in the minds of the fans. It’s why Belichick will often say “I’m not a Doctor.”

Again, it’s no doubt frustrating for the media not to be able to get any injury information from the Patriots, but the upside is that you’re not going to get inaccurate or “guessed” injury information from someone not qualified to talk about them, either.

Misc

Marc J. Spears has the US mens basketball team achieving their goal of returning the gold medal to the US for the first time since 2000. Bob Ryan says that by coming together, the US was able to reach their goal of redemption. Jeff Jacobs says that the US earned their redemption in this Olympics.

John Powers wraps things up with a sport-by-sport look at how the US did over in Beijing. Ryan says that the Chinese put on an Olympics that will be a tough act to follow.

Eric Avidon has the BC football team prepping for the season opener. Steve Conroy has coach Jeff Jagodzinski seeing a familiar foe in the Kent State Golden Flashes, even though the two programs have never played each other.  

Last Olympic-Sized Friday Megalinks Until 2010

Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog with your Friday megalinks once again.

This marks the final weekend of Olympics action and it’s really time for the Games to end. I enjoyed the Games really up until Wednesday when I started to get burned out on the Mary Carillo puff pieces, the tape delay of track & field and stories about Tiki Barber, whether he muttered or didn’t mutter the “c” word during an MSNBC Olympic update show. It’ll all be over by this Sunday and we won’t have to worry about a Summer Olympics until 2012, but we will have to deal with the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, but that’s a ways away.

Of course, the last weekend of the Olympics from Communist China dominate the Weekend Viewing Picks.

Among the action coming up on Saturday are live coverage of gold medal matches in men’s basketball (2:30 a.m. on NBC), boxing (shown between 12:30 a.m. – 5 a.m), men’s marathon (7:30 p.m.), men’s soccer (midnight, CNBC), and baseball (USA/Telemundo, 6 a.m.). Tape delayed coverage on NBC includes the men’s 4 x 400 relay in track (Saturday, primetime) and men’s diving.

Finally on Sunday, NBC delays the Closing Ceremonies for primetime although I’m sure someone will have them streaming live on the internet sometime around 8 a.m. 7NBC in Boston and NBC10 in Providence have the broadcasts.

The Red Sox are up in Canada to take on their AL East nemesis, the Toronto Blue Jays. NESN has tonight’s game at 7, then Saturday and Sunday, the games are on at 1 p.m.

Fox Sports has regional coverage of three games Saturday at 3:55 p.jm. including Tampa Bay at the White Sox. The regional divide, announcing assignments and probable starters can all be seen here. On Sunday, TBS has the Rays-White Sox at 2 p.m., WGN has the Cubs in action against Washington at Wrigley Field at 2:10 p.m. and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball has the Dodgers taking on the Phillies at 8 p.m.

The Patriots with or without Tom Brady limp into Gillette Stadium to take on the Philadelphia Eagles tonight. WCVB carries the Patriots Television Network broadcast with the venerable Don Criqui and verbose Randy Cross calling the game with Mike Lynch on the sidelines. The game starts at 7:30 tonight.

In other exhibition action, CBS has two games, one tonight which has the battle of Texas, Houston at Dallas at 8. Then on Saturday night, CBS beams Pittsburgh and Minnesota, also at 8. The NFL Network jumps in Sunday night with the Indianapolis Colts hosting Buffalo again at 8.

The Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA finally finishes this weekend. ESPN and ABC combine for coverage. On Saturday, ABC has a championship doubleheader starting with the International Championship between Japan and Mexico which starts at 12:30 p.m. Then the US Championship pits Lake Charles, LA against Waipahu, HI at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, the 3rd place game is on ESPN at noon followed by the LLWS Championship Game on ABC at 3:30 p.m.

NASCAR heads to Bristol, TN for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. Tonight, it’s the Food City 250, Saturday night at 8. On Saturday, it’s primetime again for ESPN as the Sharpie 500 gets underway also at 8 p.m.

Formula 1 racing heads to Valencia, Spain for the European Grand Prix. Speed Channel has coverage of qualifying this Saturday morning at 8, then the actual race, Sunday morning at 7:30.

For golf, the LPGA Tour’s Safeway Classic is covered by ESPN2, Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The first leg of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup which no one can understand begins with The Barclays. This will mark the end of CBS’ golf coverage for the year. The Barclays gets underway on CBS with 3rd round coverage on Saturday at 3 p.m. On Sunday, final round coverage begins at 2 p.m.

The last tennis tournament before the U.S. Open begins on Monday concludes on Saturday. CBS has the women’s final of the Pilot Pen from New Haven, CT at 1 p.m. ESPN2 has the men’s final at 7 p.m.

And the Travers Stakes, horse racing from Saratoga Springs, New York will be seen on ESPN this Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Now let’s do your links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that the Olympics will end with a bang on Sunday.

The Sports Business Daily/Journal’s Olympics website reports that NBC’s ratings for Wednesday were below Athens for the comparable night.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at some of the most marketable sports names over the years.

The Sports Media Watch says Michael Phelps’ success has brought swimming more exposure for the next four years. On Wednesday, Awful Announcing had a clip of Usain Bolt’s record breaking 200 meter win before NBC showed the race and SMW talks about how the network used its muscle to have Google shut down AA for a short period. And the blog says NBC had its lowest rated night of the Olympics on Thursday.

John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that the Olympics also dominated NBC Nightly News, more than any other network newscast.

Larry Barrett of Multichannel News says the former “Bachelor”, Jesse Palmer joins ESPN’s Thursday Night college football crew.

Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine writes that the Beijing Games now ranks second after Lillehammer in 1994 as the most watched Olympics in history. And Toni reports that the only major demographic that’s not into the Olympics are girls aged 12-17.

Clifford Coonan of Variety says the International Olympic Committee is proud to have opened the viewing to online platforms.

Daisy Whitney of TV reports that NBC did not rake in the cash from online ad revenue for its Olympics website.

CBS says the lovely beach volleyball gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh make their first late night appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday. And CBS Sports has announced the announcer pairings for the 2008 NFL season. A good pickup for CBS is Dan Fouts who was with ESPN/ABC for the last ten seasons.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott has some good words for Michael Felger in the first week of operation for the new WEEI.com.

Barbara Matson of the Boston Globe is not happy with NBCOlympics.com.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post writes that the YES Network’s Michael Kay made some strange comments about replay in baseball.

The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with SNY’s Lee Mazzilli about the baseball pennant races. And Justin has five questions for CBS’ Dick Enberg who will be in New York for the U.S. Open.

The spiteful Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News complains about the New York Jets giving favorable treatment regarding Brett Favre to 1050 ESPN Radio and WFAN while slighting beat reporters and cable partner SNY on which Raissman regularly appears and the Daily News is a partner.

Newsday’s Neil Best has CBS being giddy over having Brett Favre and the Jets on their network for most of the NFL season. In his blog, Neil likes Ato Boldon’s commentary on track & field. And Neil has an item on John McEnroe which did not make it into his column.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says NBC wants to ride the Michael Phelps wave for as long as it can.

Tim Lemke from the Washington Times says Gene Upshaw’s death has left the NFL Players Association in limbo.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says maybe it’s not a bad thing for the national college football analysts to disrespect Brigham Young University.

Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune talks about ESPN horse racing analyst Randy Moss (not to be confused with the Patriots’ Randy Moss) picking up work with the NFL Network. Jay says the Sporting News picked the Chargers to win the Super Bowl, but nary a Charger to be on the cover. And Jay has the ratings for San Diego over the last week.

John Maffei of the North County Times feels track & field is getting the short stick on NBC’s Olympics primetime coverage.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with FSN West’s Lindsay Soto who’s doing yeoman’s work for NBC in Communist China. And Tom has more with the lovely Lindsay in his extensive media notes in his blog.

Brent Hunsberger of The Oregonian’s Playbooks & Profits blog says this has not been a good Olympics for Nike.

South

Doug Nye of The State in South Carolina says he’ll have plenty of non-Michael Phelps memories of the Olympics. And Doug says ESPN has set its crew for the South Carolina-NC State game next Thursday.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald doles out his medals to NBC’s announcers for the Olympics.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says NBC did a solid job in broadcasting the Games.

Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News says NBCOlympics.com has had plenty of visitors during the 17 Days of Glory.

Jeff Caplan of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that long-time Mavericks analyst Bob Ortegel returns to TV after being on radio for a year.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks about the NBA possibly streaming live local games to your computer. Here’s Mel’s media notes. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.

Midwest

George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal does not like a new DVD documentary on the late Ohio State coach Woody Hayes.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says NBC gets a silver medal for its Olympics coverage.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin says the clock is running out on NBC’s Olympics broadcasts.

Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star writes about infamous “Boom Goes the Dynamite” anchor Brian Collins who after his disastrous sportscast has managed to find work in Texas. And Jeffrey writes about a Dan Patrick/Sports Illustrated interview with ex-decathlete Bruce Jenner.

Canada

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star prefers watching CBC’s live coverage of the Olympics over NBC’s production of taped primetime program.

William Houston from the Toronto Globe and Mail says Ron McLean’s reveal about his mother’s death was poignant and telling.

That’s it. Have a good weekend.

Time To Get Serious

Christopher L. Gasper says that the Patriots need to show some progress in tonight’s third preseason game. Mark Farinella says that the Patriots have work to do in tonight’s third game of the summer. Douglas Flynn agrees that tonight’s tuneup is a bit more important when it comes to games that don’t really count. Rich Garven has the Patriots at least attempting to win the game within the game tonight. David Brown says that the Patriots need to find a rhythm tonight.

Eric McHugh has seven players and positions we should be checking out tonight. Mike Reiss gives us six areas to watch for in tonight’s game. Karen Guregian gives us five things to watch for. Shalise Manza Young chimes in with four things to look for tonight.

Old Bastard Jim Donaldson misses the good old days of Patriots training camp over at Bryant College. Ian M. Clark looks at the signing of veteran offensive lineman Mike Flynn in an effort to shore things up on the front line. Jeff Howe says that expectations are high for Randy Moss coming into his second season with the Patriots. Ron Borges says that Gene Upshaw made a huge impact on the NFL.

Gasper’s notebook has Welker insisting that he didn’t mean that Samuel chose money over championships when he made that very statement this summer. Guregian’s notebook looks at the importance of the third preseason game. Young’s notebook has the Patriots signing Flynn for depth on the offensive line.

Red Sox

Tony Massarotti realizes that hey…the more the Red Sox win now, the better shape they’ll be in later. There is actually more to it than that, as he looks at the importance of things such as being able to choose a game one starter in the postseason. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox becoming the first team to hand out $10 million in signing bonuses to a single year draft class. Jeff Horrigan has Jason Bay getting to play in his home country of Canada as the Red Sox take on the Blue Jays tonight. Bill Ballou says that a hockey mindset helps Bay.

Marty Dobrow has a minor league notebook which says that no matter where the Red Sox finish in 2008, this season is a major success from a player development standpoint. Lenny Megliola has Clay Buchholz beginning the long road back to the majors. Garry Brown has more on Buchholz.

Joe Haggerty has David Ortiz expressing his affection for “little Pedro” – Dustin Pedroia. Rob Bradford looks at Pedroia’s run-in with the umpires on Tuesday night. Terry Nau has Mike Schmidt talking baseball down in Pawtucket. Jeff Goldberg looks back at the career of Carl Yastrzemski on his 69th birthday.

Benjamin’s notebook has Jacoby Ellsbury getting back into a groove on the basepaths. Horrigan’s notebook has the Sox signing catcher David Ross to a minor league deal.

Misc

David Scott singles out Michael Felger for praise in WEEI.com’s first week.

Barbara Matson looks at the limitations of NBC’s internet Olympic coverage.

Marc J. Spears has the US mens basketball team looking to get over the wall of semi-final competition in international play, something they haven’t done in a few years now.

 

Who Should Be the Herald’s New Patriots Reporter?

The Boston Herald has been looking for an NFL reporter to take on the Patriots beat. The Heraldsports editor has already all but confirmed that John Tomase will be going over to the Red Sox beat, which is in need of help with both Rob Bradford and Tony Massarotti leaving. Tomase is also in need of a fresh start given his disastrous “walk-through” story.

Who are some of the candidates for the position, and which one should they hire?

Here are some reporters who might seem to be a logical fit for the position, and could very well end up with the job.

David Heuschkel

Heuschkel covered the Patriots for the Hartford Courant until July 31st, when as part of a downsizing of the sports department, he was let go. He had been with the paper for 17 years, covering the Red Sox for seven seasons (2000-2006) and moving to the Patriots beat last season. Heuschkel scored a number of scoops and exclusives while on the Red Sox beat and now also has the football credentials as well. The fact that he is currently out of work may actually be in his favor as he could step into the job immediately.

Christopher Price

Currently at the Boston Metro, Price has covered the Patriots for the paper since 2001. He has written a book on the team, The Blueprint which was published last season. Price writes the very popular “10 Things We Learned…” column following each game, which is one of the most clicked-through columns each week here on BSMW. Price has also been a contributor to Patriots Daily, penning the weekly “Inside Gillette” notes column.

Douglas Flynn

Flynn was profiled in this space yesterday, and his past association with the Herald through the former content sharing agreement between the Metrowest Daily News and the Herald make him well known to management at the latter. His work on the Patriots beat has been impressive in his one year on the job.

Eric McHugh

McHugh is another Patriots beat writer who has paid his dues at a smaller paper, having taken the reins from the legendary Ron Hobson at the Quincy Patriot Ledger. McHugh has done some solid work in his time on the beat, avoiding most of the hysterics that some of his colleagues occasionally fall into.

Jon Couture

Couture could be a long shot, as he is more of a baseball guy. He writes for the Standard-Times of New Bedford, doing Red Sox columns and notes for the paper. He’s a young guy with a bright future in the business, and with his paper having recently followed the trend of many others in the industry and doing away with most of their professional sports coverage, he might be ready to step out and make a move to a larger paper. Edit – I had the Standard-Times mixed up with another paper that is cutting back coverage…I’m assured that they’re trying to do more, not less. However, Couture is still a great candidate for the job.

Now is your chance to weigh in on these candidates, or to suggest your own. If you vote “someone else,” please put their name down in the comments section and give us some reasons why.

——————–

Who Should The Herald Hire To Cover the Patriots?
Total Votes: 453 Started: August 21, 2008 Back to Vote Screen

Clay Crumbles One Last Time

The Red Sox were pounded by the Orioles last night, 11-6 in Baltimore.

Amalie Benjamin has Clay Buchholz headed for AA after his latest poor outing. Jeff Horrigan has Buchholz collapsing again in embarrassing fashion, resulting in his demotion. Joe McDonald asserts that someday, this season will all be just a blur for Buchholz. Jeff Goldberg says that with the Red Sox in a playoff race, at some point reality had to trump potential when it came to Buchholz. Bill Ballou says that because of the way Buchholz handled the demotion, there may be hope for him yet.

Tony Massarotti examines whether the Red Sox can rebuild Buchholz down in the minors. Nick Cafardo has Julio Lugo suffering a setback in his attempt to return from his quad injury, with Jed Lowrie playing so well in Lugo’s absence, Cafardo wonders if we’ve seen the last of Lugo in a Red Sox uniform. The Herald also has a quick note about how Lugo reinjured his left quadriceps running sprints yesterday.

Ron Chimelis says that the Red Sox hopes for the post season rest with Josh Beckett. Rob Bradford agrees that Beckett’s health is a must for the Red Sox. Massarotti says Beckett will throw a side session tomorrow after feeling numbness and tingling in his arm earlier this week.

Joe Haggerty has pitching prospect Daniel Bard making progress in his second year in the organization. Buddy Thomas examines the AL MVP race. Jim Donaldson looks at how Carl Yastrzemski almost single-handedly revived baseball in Boston back in 1967. Alex Speier wonders if we’ll ever see a player spend his entire 20+ year career with the Red Sox again, as Yaz did.

Benjamin’s notebook has Francona believing that Beckett will be ready to go on Tuesday. Horrigan’s notebook examines whether Francona ruined the season of Orioles closer George Sherrill by using him for two innings in the All Star game. McDonald’s notebook also says that Beckett could be back in time for the Yankees series next week. Goldberg’s notebook has Tim Wakefield able to throw without pain yesterday. Ballou’s notebook has Beckett ready to start throwing again.

Patriots

Over on Patriots Daily, we’ve got the debut of a new column, The Turning Point, by Tyler Carter.

Mark Farinella looks at the mutual admiration society between veteran safeties John Lynch and Rodney Harrison. Douglas Flynn has Lynch learning the Patriot way in his first camp with New England. Rich Garven has the Patriots putting twin terrors in the secondary with the teaming of Lynch and Harrison. Eric McHugh has Lynch talking about the first time he saw Tom Brady and how far the QB has come since then.

Michael Vega has tight end David Thomas hoping to stay healthy and productive this season. Karen Guregian says that the Patriots run defense needs to hold its ground, or it will be a target of opponents all season long. David Brown has Ellis Hobbs not wishing to look back at the Super Bowl, but instead to remain focus on the present and future. Shalise Manza Young has rookie cornerback Jonathan Wilhite putting his time on the sidelines while he was injured to good use.

Steve Buckley has Bill Belichick not wishing to talk about the possibility of the NFL expanding the schedule to 17 or 18 games. With Matt Light still out with an injury, Young has a look at Wesley Britt, who has been playing in Light’s spot this preseason with the all-important job of keeping the QB healthy. McHugh has a look at Asante Samuel returning to Foxboro tomorrow night. Guregian has more on the Samuel visit.

The Globe notebook looks at Brady’s return to practice, without any wrap on his foot. Guregian’s notebook says that we might see Lynch and Harrison on the field together at times this season. Farinella
s notebook
has Belichick seeing value in preseason games and not wishing to lose those with an expanded schedule. Flynn’s notebook has the Patriots looking forward to seeing Samuel tomorrow night. Garven’s notebook says that Ellis Hobbs may just stick to cornerback this season and not do kick returns in addition. Brown’s notebook has more reaction from the Patriots on seeing Samuel tomorrow night.

Misc

Bob Ryan has Lisa Leslie shooting for her fourth gold medal as the Queen mother of women’s basketball. Marc J. Spears has Kobe Bryant leading a mens basketball team that is looking unstoppable right now.

Mark Blaudschun has junior cornerback Mark Maglio, a walk-on who is Boston College’s version of “Rudy,” being rewarded with a scholarship. Steve Conroy has linebacker Mark Herzlich compiling a pretty good resume for the NFL. Eric Avidon says that defense looks to be the stronger unit for BC this season.

Who Are These Guys? – Douglas Flynn

Douglas Flynn is an interesting guy, one with a background you might not see in many sports writers out there.

He grew up in Massachusetts, and then went to Brown University, earning an honors degree in History as well as a second degree in Afro-American Studies. He then accepted a fellowship at Ohio State in a doctoral program in military history. He gave that a year before decided he had enough of school.

Coming back to New England, he wasn’t sure what he actually wanted to do, so he started working in sports information at Brown, then stringing for a number of papers. His first full time sports reporting job with with the Daily Transcript in Dedham, where eventually served as sports editor.

He moved to the Metrowest Daily News in 2000, where he was put on the Bruins beat. This is probably where you might’ve first come across his work, and even now you might think of him as a “hockey guy.” While on the Bruins beat the paper was purchased by the Boston Herald, and Flynn wrote the Bruins Insider blog and Sunday NHL notes for the Herald, while remaining on beat coverage for the MWDN.

Once the paper was sold again, this time to Gatehouse media, and at the same time, Albert Breer left the Patriots beat to go to the Dallas Morning News. This allowed Flynn to move over to the Patriots beat. He says:

“As much as I love hockey and enjoyed my time covering the B’s (which I still get to do, though not as much with the Pats now my primary focus), I’m even more passionate about football. I actually only started following hockey (other than the B’s) as a kid when the NFL went on strike and I needed to fill the void (still miss those days of the battle of Alberta, Philly and Hartford in the long sweatpants and the Caps led by Randolph’s own Rod Langway). Still, getting to cover the Pats has kind of allowed me to come full circle back to my first love.”

Flynn followed some big names on the Pats beat at the MWDN, including Tom E. Curran, Mike Reiss and Breer, and hopes that he’s been able to learn from each one of them. He notes that his own style is “to focus primarily on the game itself and not get too embroiled in the soap opera storylines that seem to get so much attention in Foxboro, but hopefully still manage to entertain with some unique story angles, insight and humor.”

Some recent examples of his work include A job for the fearless – a look at the job of the gunner on special teams and Proven draft strategy – examining the draft philosophy of Scott Pioli.

Flynn still covers the Bruins when the Patriots season is over, and also writes about baseball on occasion.

Outside of print work, Flynn has done quite a bit of radio work, co-hosting the Inside Hockey Show on 1510 (and later XM Radio) with James Murphy for two years before turning his focus to football last year. He’s done some TV guest spots on CN8’s SportsPulse and NECN’s Sports LateNight and other radio spots both locally and in other markets discussing the Bruins and Patriots.

Quick Wednesday AM

Scott Benson wants your opinion on which veteran free agent quarterback the Patriots should’ve added this offseason over on Patriots Daily.

Get the rest of the Patriots coverage this morning at PatriotsLinks.com.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was his usual self last night, which means the Red Sox won. Dice-K improved to 15-2 on the season in the 7-2 Boston win over the Orioles. Check the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

I’ll be back later on with another edition of “Who Are These Guys?”

 

Tuesday Quick Hits

The ever-expanding empire of WEEI is on the move again, this time to Maine. From the Portland Press Herald:

The owners of WJJB, a Portland sports talk radio station known as the Big Jab, will begin simulcasting Boston sports talk station WEEI in southern Maine on Sept. 1.

WJJB’s owner, Atlantic Coast Radio, has finalized a contract to simulcast WEEI through 2013, said Jon Van Hoogenstyn, general manager of WJJB. Jim Rushton, vice president of sales for Entercom New England, confirmed that the contract had been finalized. Entercom owns WEEI.

Rushton said the announcement of the contract is very different than the announcement made last summer, when Nassau Broadcasting declared its intent to simulcast WEEI in Portland.

At that time, Entercom and Nassau had signed a letter of intent, said Rushton, but the contract was not finalized and the simulcasting never happened. But Entercom and WJJB have a signed contract.

WEEI will be heard in southern Maine at two dial positions, said Van Hoogenstyn. One is 95.5 FM, currently the FM home of WJJB. The other is 95.9 FM, currently a hip hop station owned by Atlantic Coast Radio, WRED. Van Hoogenstyn said the hip hop station will go off the air.

Mad Dog To SIRIUS XM Radio

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, the former star of the Mike and the Mad Dog show on WFAN in New York has signed a five year deal with SIRIUS XM radio to headline his own branded sports talk channel.

SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144 will relaunch as Mad Dog Radio. Russo will host the channel’s anchor program, “The Mad Dog Sports Show,” live from SIRIUS’ New York studios every weekday afternoon from 2:00 to 7:00pm ET. The exclusive show will begin airing daily on SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144 on Monday, September 15.

NFL Network to Give Sharpe a Shot

If you loved Shannon Sterling Sharpe’s insightful commentary during Sunday night’s Patriots/Bucs preseason game, you’re going to love his expanded role during this Sunday’s Bills/Colts game on NFLN, as Sharpe will step into the play-by-play role. He will be joined in the booth by the equally brilliant Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders, who will be counted on to bring some sanity to the booth.

Fouts Returns to CBS

Dan Fouts, NFL Hall of Famer and former All-Pro quarterback with the San Diego Chargers, will be returning to CBS Sports as an analyst for THE NFL ON CBS. The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports.

Fouts will call selected games throughout the 2008 NFL ON CBS schedule, as well as selected games for CBS Sports’ SEC ON CBS broadcasts and CBS College Sports Network’s college football coverage.

Fouts returns to the network he called home from 1988 to 1993. From 1997 to 2008 he was at ABC working on College football broadcasts and spending two years on Monday Night Football.

Lester’s The Stopper Once Again

Jon Lester came up big once again last night, as the lefty went seven innings, giving up just one run to improve to 12-4 on the season. Jason Bay hit a pair of home runs to lead the offense, and Jonathan Papelbon went four outs to pick up his 33rd save in the 6-3 Red Sox win over Baltimore.

Jeff Horrigan has Lester enhancing his status as a stopper, as his numbers following a Red Sox loss are eye-popping this season. Amalie Benjamin has an unexpected punch of offense from Jason Varitek providing a boost as well. Joe McDonald has three homers and Lester on the mound proving to be the recipe for a win last night. Jeff Goldberg has Jason Bay looking like Manny Ramirez at the plate last night. Bill Ballou has more on Bay looking like the Manny of old last night.

Tony Massarotti says that these Red Sox are still pretty much a mystery, as we still can’t tell if they have anything in common with their immediate ancestors. Nick Cafardo has Lester and David Ortiz stepping up their games for a playoff run. Lenny Megliola says that Kevin Youkilis has been the Red Sox MVP this season.

Massarotti has John Farrell and Terry Francona talking about the struggles of Josh Beckett, who they still insist is the ace of their staff. Garry Brown says that Joe Madden of Tampa Bay is a manager with guts. Rob Bradford talks to Kevin Millar about Manny Ramirez, and the former Red Sox says that the club had to be proactive in confronting Manny in the past.

Tuned in to WEEI last night for a few minutes in the car, and was relieved to know that Mike Adams is still talking about Manny. It’s good to know you can always count on certain things, like death and taxes. I’m glad he’s not like, obsessed, or anything.

Horrigan’s notebook has Jason Bay adjusting back to his normal swing after trying too hard to take aim at the Green Monster at Fenway. Benjamin’s notebook has Youkilis and Sean Casey talking about the difficulty of starting a double play from first base. McDonald’s notebook has more on Lester as the stopper. Goldberg’s notebook has the Red Sox placing a call to the Shelton team that is representing New England in the Little League World Series. Ballou’s notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka looking to add to his Cy Young credentials with tonight’s start.

Patriots

Mark Farinella remembers James Busch Orthwein, who in many ways, saved the Patriots franchise and allowed it to become what it is today under Robert Kraft.

Christopher L. Gasper says there is no reason to panic regarding the Patriots play in the preseason, as there are many reasons why they’re looking the way they are at the moment. Douglas Flynn agrees that there is no real cause for panic here. In looking back at the game, John Tomase says that there was certainly more bad than good that came out of Sunday night’s game. Robert Lee says that after these two preseason games, the Patriots are still far from a Super team. Glen Farley says that while the losses are bad, the offense is even worse at this point.

Ian Clark says that Tom Brady is proving how valuable he is to the team by not playing. Rich Garven has Brady just trying to get healthy before the season begins. Glen Farley says that a backup plan is desperately needed. Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots will only go as far as Brady’s health can take them.

Gasper’s notebook has Brady unsure if he’ll be ready to play on Friday night, and says that Brandon Meriweather should be 100% by the season opener. Tomase’s notebook has Brady characterizing the injury as “entirely different” from the one that hobbled him in the Super Bowl.

Misc

Kevin Paul Dupont has the agent for Bruins prospect Carl Soderberg and the club far apart in contract talks with camp set to begin in a month.

Mark Blaudschun has a look at BC defensive tackle B.J. Raji, who sat out last year getting his studies in order. The year off has actually boosted his standing among NFL scouts. Steve Conroy has Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski not too concerned about his struggling offense as the season opener approaches.

John Powers says that China will likely end the Olympics with the most Gold medals, and will look to sustain that dominance. Bob Ryan has a look at Tom McCarthy, a Boston area native who has been on the ground floor of every major development in basketball, baseball, and tennis in China. 

 

Pats, Sox Flop on Sunday

So, the punter looked ok, huh?

Yesterday was a forgettable day in Boston sports, with the Red Sox getting bombed by the Blue Jays at Fenway and the Patriots getting thrashed by the Buccaneers in a preseason game in Tampa.

There’s plenty of media news going on this morning, David Scott checks in with Monday Morning Media Matters with a look at the latest WEEI.com news. The site has roped former Deadspin.com editor Will Leitch into doing a twice-a-month column for the site. He also reports on the other new hires the station has lined up, and has them vigorously defending their hiring of Ron Borges.

One thing that should be cleared up involved contributing basketball writer Jeff Goodman: He is not leaving FOXSports.com to join the Boston-based site, he actually just signed a two-year deal to remain with FOX, but is also able to contribute to WEEI in a secondary capacity. Goodman feels that the Entercom site is a great way to increase his local visibility, and will be filing a weekly hoops column for the site.

WEEI.com has done a “soft launch” of their new look today, site editor Rob Bradford explains how he got lured over to the dotcom side of things by the radio station. There are a number of other news stories from the contributors this morning, and I’ll work them into the morning links…

Yesterday Scott also looked at the Globe’s hiring of Adam Kilgore to back up Amalie Benjamin on the Red Sox beat.

Patriots (27-10 preseason loss in Tampa)

Over on Patriots Daily, Chris Warner examines the damage, and manages to extract five positives from last night’s ugliness.

Christopher Price checks in with his popular 10 Things We Learned Last Night column following the debacle in Tampa. Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots ship taking on water in Tampa. John Tomase says that last night’s game illustrated an undeniable truth: without Tom Brady, the Pats aren’t that good. Robert Lee notes that without Brady, it wasn’t pretty last night.

Mike Reiss says that the best chance the Patriots will have this season is by keeping Brady healthy. Perhaps by sitting him out in these preseason games, thats exactly what they’re trying to do. Ron Borges says that the Patriots defense has a long way to go, but fortunately, there are three weeks to go in the preseason. Ian Clark agrees that as bad at the quarterbacks were for the Patriots, the main problems last night were on defense. Michael Felger makes the predictable “basement” jokes about writing for a web site, and goes on to analyze how much trouble the Patriots are in without a legit backup for Tom Brady. Lee Diekemper notes that new Patriot John Lynch is still a big hit in Tampa.

Check out all of yesterday’s Patriots stories with The Sunday Links feature by Scott Benson over on PatriotsDaily.com

I’ve got the fantasy football blues

Gasper’s notebook has Brandon Meriweather leaving the game with a leg injury on the first series, and not returning. Tomase’s notebook has Bill Belichick unwilling to shed any light on Brady’s absence. (note to the Herald editors – Meriweather isn’t a rookie anymore, the subheading “Rook doesn’t return” doesn’t fit.) Lee’s notebook has the Tampa QB’s picking apart the Patriots patchwork secondary all night long.

Red Sox (15-4 loss at Fenway to the Blue Jays)

Amalie Benjamin has the Sox let down by a disappointing performance from their ace, who only lasted 2 1/3 innings before being pulled. Joe Haggerty has the Blue Jays embarrassing the Red Sox at Fenway. Jeff Horrigan says that yesterday was a day that the Red Sox would like to purge instantly from their collective memory. Paul Kenyon says that it wasn’t just the loss, it was how they lost that was disturbing for the Red Sox. Dom Amore has Beckett and Sox enduring a frustrating afternoon at Fenway. Bob Stern has more on what could’ve been the worst outing of Beckett’s career. Ron Chimelis has another view on a bad day at the ballpark. Dave Nordman wonders what’s wrong with Beckett.

Barbara Matson has Beckett facing the music and taking the blame for the loss. Steven Krasner says that not being able to get the right snap on his pitches did in Beckett yesterday. Maureen Mullen says that this start was all the more disappointing given Beckett’s performance the last time out. Steve Buckley has Jason Varitek’s struggles at the plate continuing.

Alex Speier looks at Jason Bay’s journey from tossed around prospect to big market star. On his blog, Hacks with Hags, Haggerty has The Best of Pedroia, where Red Sox teammates recount the funniest things they’ve heard the All Star second baseman say and do. Krasner has the role for Kevin Cash changing with Tim Wakefield on the DL.

Mike McMahon has old school and new school meeting up yesterday with Dick Williams and Terry Francona comparing notes. Buckley says that the Hall of Fame hasn’t mellowed Williams one bit. Krasner has more on the Sox honoring Williams yesterday.

Pink Hat Hell has the latest scathing recap of Sox Appeal.

Benjamin’s notebook has Clay Buchholz getting some work in relief yesterday. Stern’s notebook has Buchholz saying that he felt good about his stint yesterday. Horrigan’s notebook has Buchholz glad to get the work between starts. The ProJo notebook has more on Clay’s outing. Amore’s notebook also looks at Buchholz and Williams. Chimelis’ notebook says that Wakefield’s return to the rotation is still up in the air. Nordman’s notebook says that the Sox will be patient with Wake.