Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-07-23

Patriots Monday/Friday Correction From WEEI

So this is interesting…

Yesterday’s press release, which announced the signing of extensions for both Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday programming and for Westwood One programming has been corrected with the following information from the WEEI PR company:

WEEI is in its SECOND year of the contract with the New England Patriots for Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday programming.

So the extension on that particular set of programs was signed LAST YEAR, not this week. It appears that WEEI did just sign a two year extension on the Westwood One programming.

It is not known how long the Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday agreement with WEEI is for.

The China Syndrome, Boston Edition

Lately, the Nation goes to bed each night another game worse in the division. Each morning, we rise to a lineup that can’t hit good pitchers or bad; starters who can’t bring it to another level to carry the anemic bats; opponents who run wild on the bases; and the expectation of dropping another game in the standings.

Twice before, the Sox have squantered large advantages over the Yankees in record time (12 days to lose 5.5 games in May, 15 days to lose 5 games in July, thanks to Baseball Race). Now, they’ve done the same in just five days, leaving one question: If the Sox continue to play this way, is it possible they could melt down all the way to China?

Boston Sports Blog acknowledges things could be worse, even as the threat of sinking deeper looms. Toeing The Rubber says losing is real and it’s here, but we gotta support these guys anyway. So many demons make Boston Dirt Dogs want to scream. Mazz says the Sox’s inability to hit right-handed pitching is a reason to worry, but their ability to pummel lefties is a cause for jubilation. The unasked question is, aren’t there more righties than lefties in MLB?

A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory tells the media to go become Washington Nationals fans if they can’t handle a one-game [make that two] deficit in July. New England Sports 24/7 says Boston will need quite the militia to fend off the Yankees attack. YFSF takes solace in the pitching, which has historically been the culprit during previous swoons. Alas, all is not lost. Justin Masterson says life can be fun if you allow it to be.

Last night, I tried that, sitting in front of NESN determined to disprove the charge that this is an unwatchable team. The opening witness was Jacoby Ellsbury, who struck out on four poitches, two of them called. Lead-off is a black hole in the 2009 Red Sox, where Hacks With Haggs has some stats that have Theo falling short of his goal to be average everywhere. Ironically, he just traded his best lead-off hitter. State of the Sox likes Ellsbury leading off since he’s the only one who wants the job, but Don Orsillo says he doesn’t get on base enough.

Gary Tanguay thinks John Smoltz in the bullpen will make these a better Sox. The House That Dewey Built takes a quantitative look at Smoltz’s plunging velocity. Then there’s Jason Varitek’s velocity, as Projo Sports Blog has opponents running unabated around the bases. One If By Land analyzes the problem of J.D. Drew, who is grounding into overshifts when he’s not outright swinging through the ball.

Tom Caron draws a parallel between Theo’s July trades and his team’s success in October. Fighting Words thinks a sleight of hand has helped Theo shop Clay Buchholz in the weeks leading up to the MLB trade deadline. Extra Bases has newly-acquired Adam LaRoche historically morphing from minor-leaguer to All-Star during the season’s second half. Small White Ball is thankful we’ve moved onto the positive side of LaRoche’s season-long ledger. FanGraphs says the Sox exploited their financial resources to get an overpaid backup but, hey, he won’t be a disaster. Year Of The Sox expected this as a hedge against the wince-and-hobble fest that is Mike Lowell in the field, but The Hardball Times calls him a below-average fielder. SportsCenter 5 Overtime suspects LaRoche’s Pittsburgh connection to Jason Bay may be at play in this acquisition.

Sox Addict has Theo ridding himself of one of his biggest mistakes with Julio Lugo’s trade to St. Louis. Fire Brand of the American League likes the much-needed pop Chris Duncan may provide against righties. Sweet Spot can’t figure out what Duncan offers that Kotsay doesn’t.

Thanks For Playing has Jim Rice out of the spotlight at his own HoF induction this weekend. There’ll be another ceremony for Rice later, when No. 14 is hung from the rightfield facade at Fenway. Ask 14 comments on the retirement of his number. Empyreal Environs exploits Rice’s honors and Henry Gates’ recent arrest as his platform for commenting on Boston bigotry, which he contends hasn’t improved enough since No. 14’s rookie season.

Patriots

Musket Fire allays our fears of a reportedly tough schedule facing the Patriots in 2009. NE Patriots Draft has the Pats going 14-2 this year . . . if they keep out the Bernard Pollards of the world. Speaking of which, Patriots Notebook looks at this year’s O line, which has a magnified significance. Shutdown Corner hopes honorary captain Elton John can hold Tom Brady closer.

Blaug runs down the progress made in signing this year’s rookie class. Not so fast, says It Is What It Is, as negotiations with long snapper Jake Ingram have snagged.

His paychecks might be in New England, but Pats Chowder has Jarvis Green’s heart in New Orleans with the Saints. However, Reiss’s Pieces has Green backtracking and sending some lovin’ New England’s way. Sports of Boston looks forward to messing with PETA if Michael Vick ever comes to Foxborough. Don’t hold your breath, Jon, despite what you hear.

And finally, Pats Pulpit catches up with the newest Pats beat writer, the Herald’s Ian Rapoport.

I’ll be joining Tim Wakefield on the 15-day DL after today, as vacation and day job commitments call. We’ll see you in three weeks or, in Red Sox math, another 21 games behind.

Will WEEI Add FM Simulcast In Boston?

Will the new WBZ-FM The SportsHub force Entercom to get themselves a WEEI presence on the FM airwaves in Boston?

To this point, there has really been no reason for Entercom/WEEI to make the move to FM in Boston, (They’ve already gone to FM in Providence) the AM signal is strong, and there hasn’t been competition on the FM airwaves to compel them to make this move.

With WBZ-FM starting up at 98.5FM next month, is now the time for WEEI to get simulcast on FM radio in the Boston area? Might they even try to beat the new station to the FM dial?

If they decided to make this move, they have a few options available.

Entercom has three FM frequencies currently in Boston, plus the 103.7 WEEI-FM in Rhode Island.

They have “Active” rock station WAAF, which is broadcast on 97.7 and 107.3 and there is WMKK “MikeFM” variety hits which is on 93.7

Here are the signal coverage maps for the three frequencies:

Coverage area for WAAF 107.3 FM

Coverage area for WKAF 97.7 FM

Coverage area for WMKK 93.7 FM

And here is WEEI – Daytime and Nighttime.

(Read their Frequently Asked Questions about these coverage maps)

Since WAAF is already broadcasting on two frequencies, if they wanted to, Entercom could simulcast WEEI on FM without taking another station off the air. They could just take either 107.3 or 97.7 and make that a WEEI simulcast.

Putting them on 97.7 would place them near to 98.5 as well as to the other FM talker on the dial, WTKK 96.9. Or do they move WMKK to one of the current WAAF frequencies and put WEEI on 93.7?

Would they take the WEEI-FM call letters away from Providence (maybe make it WWEI-FM or something) and give them to the new Boston FM station?

There’s an interesting thread on this topic at the radio-info.com website: Entercom waited too long…

Anemic Sox Need Transfusion of Offense

The Red Sox offense continues to sputter, only able to manage a single run last night off a Texas pitcher making a spot start for the Rangers. Nick Green’s solo homer was the only offense generated by the Red Sox, who lost 3-1 in Texas, their fifth straight loss.

Sean McAdam has the Red Sox bats remaining ice cold in the Texas heat. Amalie Benjamin has the Sox finally coming to the end of just a horrible road trip. Joe McDonald has the offense ruining Clay Buchholz’s Texas homecoming.

Adam Kilgore examines a couple of trades made by the Red Sox yesterday, acquiring Pittsburgh first baseman Adam LaRoche and Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan. Ron Borges suggests that Mike Lowell isn’t thrilled at the move by the Sox to pick up someone that could take his place in the lineup. Brian MacPherson says that LaRoche gives the Sox some options. Paul Jarvey says the trade could give the lineup a lift. McDonald has Theo Epstein telling us how LaRoche will fit in with the Red Sox.

Nick Cafardo wonders if these moves by the Sox could just be setting the stage for a larger trade. McAdam seems to agree that the LaRoche trade could set up something big down the line. McDonald has the trades making some wonder where they fit in now. Rob Bradford tells us what has changed, and what hasn’t for the Sox.

Kilgore has J.D. Drew frustrated at his slump. McDonald has more from Drew on his 0-for-22 slump.  Borges has Clay Buchholz unable to get his curve working last night. McDonald has Buchholz disappointed in his outing last night. He also notes that the Rangers are the latest team to run wild on the Sox.

Bill Burt says it isn’t time yet to hit the panic button. Buddy Thomas says Theo Epstein can still do more to improve this team.

The Red Sox are set to retire No. 14 next week.

Benjamin’s notebook says that Mark Kotsay could be the odd man out on the roster. McAdam’s notebook is impressed that the Sox were able to get a body for Julio Lugo.

Patriots

We’re just a week away from training camp. We can expect the previews to start really pouring in now.

 Shalise Manza Young says that the mental part of Tom Brady’s comeback could be tougher than the physical part. Glen Farley says that this is a make or break season for Laurence Maroney. Christopher Price examines the wide receivers, while Mike Reiss has the safeties. Christopher L. Gasper has Jarvis Green straightening out a misunderstanding about his future.

Paul Flannery looks at how Marquis Daniels fits in with the Celtics.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-07-22

  • RT @Gary_Tanguay: According to a league source the possibility exists that Stephon Marbury could return to Boston. #
  • BSMW Network Post: A Super-sized Wednesday Links http://tr.im/tydi #
  • NESN's Kathryn Tappen marries Jay Leach: http://tr.im/txRL #
  • 'EEI says Delcarmen NOT involved in trade for Adam LaRoche. #
  • Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports Adam LaRoche traded to #redsox. #
  • Howard Bryant on 50th anniversary of Pumpsie Green's debut with the #redsox : http://tr.im/twBu #
  • BSMW Network Post: WEEI, Patriots, Westwood One Extend Deals http://tr.im/tw71 #
  • I've said it before…few things I hate more than media referring to fans "panicking" over the #redsox Who does this? #
  • BSMW Network Post: Wednesday’s Viewing Picks http://tr.im/tvL1 #
  • BSMW Network Post: Sox Offense Still Stalled. Now In 2nd Place. http://tr.im/tuX1 #
  • BSMW Network Post: Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-07-21 http://tr.im/tsmr #

WEEI, Patriots, Westwood One Extend Deals

In part of the buzz around the new 98.5 The SportsHub, some wondered the future status of the Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday programming, as well as the primetime NFL games through Westwood One.

WEEI announced this morning that they have extended their current deals to keep all that programming in place at WEEI.

WEEI has inked a multi-year extension with the Patriots to continue the top-rated Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday programs for the foreseeable future. The two shows provide listeners with the most comprehensive and insightful pre and post game analysis, and consist of top-flight interviews with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and a host of players. Past participants have included Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork and Tedy Bruschi.

The network will also continue its exclusive local programming of NFL Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and NFL playoffs through its partnership with Westwood One. The contract has just been extended another two years.

“Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday are staples of the WEEI lineup and are appointment listening for New England fans,” said Entercom New England Vice President of AM Programming Jason Wolfe. “The Patriots are tremendous partners and we’re thrilled to continue this can’t miss programming while expanding our relationship with the team.” Wolfe continued, “The Patriots are primed for another Super Bowl run, and that will put a much larger emphasis on the games, league wide. WEEI is proud to be Boston’s only home for the NFL’s primetime lineup for the next two years.”

Smart move by WEEI to protect some of the most valuable aspects of their programming.

Update: This is weird. WEEI sent out a correction to say that the extension for Patriots Monday and Friday was was actually signed LAST YEAR. I’m trying to determine why they chose to announce it now.

Sox Offense Still Stalled. Now In 2nd Place.

There’s no denying it, the Red Sox are in a major funk to begin the second half of the season. Their woes continued last night in Texas as rookie pitcher Tommy Hunter outdueled ace Josh Beckett to the tune of a 4-2 Rangers win.

Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox pretty demoralized following this one. Sean McAdam notes that while the pitching got plenty of rest around the All Star break, apparently the offense is still on vacation. Joe McDonald says that even Josh Beckett “the stopper” wasn’t enough last night.

Ron Borges says that Nolan Ryan’s view of pitching is paying off for the Rangers. Jim Donaldson says that the Red Sox have the luxury of being able to afford mistakes like Julio Lugo. Kilgore has Josh Beckett taking the blame for last night’s loss, despite throwing a complete game. Borges has a Shaky first inning spelling doom for Beckett and the Sox last night. McDonald says that the Red Sox offense is officially kaput.

Adam Kilgore has Clay Buchholz getting called back up to start tonight in place of Tim Wakefield. McAdam has Tim Wakefield being placed on the DL with a back strain. McDonald has a sore back doing in Wakefield this time. He also has Clay Buchholz getting the called to replace Wake tonight. Alex Speier says that the AL East is unforgiving of slumps.

Lenny Megliola has Fred Lynn happy for friend and former teammate Jim Rice, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend. Dan Duggan has a Jim Rice retrospective.

Benjamin’s notebook has Wakefield getting placed on the DL. McAdam’s notebook says that it seems unlikely now that the Red Sox will deal a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. McDonald’s Red Sox journal says that the chances of a Halladay trade seem to be shrinking.

Misc

Frank Dell’Apa has the Nets the latest team interested in Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Duggan has Austin Ainge being named the head coach of the Maine Red Claws. Jonathan Comey hopes that Ainge has more to offer the Red Claws than just his name. Steve Solloway says that the younger Ainge is ready to make a name of his own.

Fluto Shinzawa has a healthy Matt Hunwick looking forward to getting back on the ice with his new deal. Joe Haggerty has more on the signing. Rich Thompson has Peter Chiarelli determined to get Phil Kessel signed next.

Glen Farley says that Tom Brady’s return is the key to the Patriots season. Christopher Price looks ahead to some training camp position battles. Mike Reiss has a look at the cornerbacks.

Bob Ryan defends golf as a sport.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-07-21

Sox Continue Post All-Star Funk In Texas

Through five innings last night, John Smoltz had given up one run, and things were looking promising for the Red Sox, who held a 2-1 lead. Then came the sixth inning. Smoltz gave up five runs in the frame, and the Sox couldn’t recover, falling to the Rangers 6-3 in Texas.

I’m not quite at the Gary Tanguay stage, who posted the following on Twitter last night:

Gary_Tanguay Smoltz is killing the Sox! It’s over. Get Bucholz up here. NOW!

But I’m getting close. Gary – I especially like the NOW! at the end. Nice touch. You’re well on your way to becoming a Boston.com commenter.

Sean McAdam has the Sox still waiting for Smoltz to round into form. Amalie Benjamin has things getting away from Smoltz quickly in the sixth. Joe McDonald has three homers in the sixth sinking Smoltz.

Ron Borges has the Sox looking for hot bats. McDonald has the offense continuing its Post-All-Star slumber last night. Adam Kilgore has a “golfed” home run by former Red Sox prospect David Murphy the backbreaker for Smoltz. Borges has Smoltz getting closer, but still so far away from where he wants to be.

Kilgore has the Sox prepping to face another rookie starter, a situation in which they’ve historically struggled. Alex Speier looks at the bond between Josh Beckett and Josh Hamilton.

Kirk Minihane insists that Dwight Evans, not Jim Rice should be going into the Hall of Fame this summer.

Benjamin’s notebook has Jacoby Ellsbury back in the leadoff spot for the Red Sox last night. McAdam’s notebook has more on the lineup shift by Francona. McDonald’s Red Sox journal notes J.D. Drew’s struggling in the leadoff role.

Misc

Ron Chimelis has a look at South Hadley native Lesley Visser, who was voted the No. 1 female sportscaster last week by the American Sportscasters Association.

Gerry Callahan says Michael Vick should be allowed to do his job and get back into the NFL. Shalise Manza Young says that the Patriots will not be one of the teams interested in Vick’s services.

Glen Farley previews the Patriots defensive line. Christopher Price has the Patriots closing in on deals with draftees Patrick Chung and Jake Ingram.

Fluto Shinzawa and Karl Zerfoss report on Matt Hunwick getting a new two-year deal from the Bruins.

Robert Lee says that Danny Ainge has built his best Celtics roster yet, but don’t print the championship tickets just yet. Lenny Megliola says that Antoine Walker is yet another cautionary tale for young athletes.

Patriots Daily has a quick look at the Patriots 2009 Annual from Maple Street Press, which has a Patriots Daily-heavy cast of writers on board.