BSMW Teams Up With TiqIQ For The Best Prices on Boston Sports

For a few months now, I’ve been working behind the scenes with an exciting new startup in the secondary ticket market – TiqIQ and I’m pleased to announce that BSMW is ready to become the official cross-sports Boston partner of TiqIQ.

What is TiqIQ? Basically it is Kayak for tickets. Just as Kayak allows you to search across all the travel sites for the best deals, TiqIQ goes out and grabs all the prices from the top ticket sites out there, like StubHub, eBay, Ticket Network, TicketsNow, etc, and puts them all together in one place so you can find the best deals on seats for the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics or Bruins. (Celtics and Bruins pages to come as the season approaches.) There are links to the Red Sox and Patriots pages in the nvaigation bar at the top of this page.

While that is great, they go a step further, and provide some great data and content to help you understand the ticket market and make better purchase decisions.  Their content ranges from series previews to series comparison to trends for future games as well and even cool stuff like how much more or less do people pay to see Tim Wakefield start as opposed to a Jon Lester start…Can’t wait for that one!

The centerpiece of the partnership is a buying portal for BSMW that will provide the best overview of what’s going in Boston sports, and be your one-stop destination for any games you are planning to go to or even thinking about going to.

If you’re going to buy tickets through the online secondary market, I hope you’ll consider going through BSMW Tickets to get the best deal and help support this site at the same time.

Specifically, Boston Sports Ticket Watch will include the following features:

  • Aggregated Listings: TiqIQ track tickets from major sellers including Stubhub, TicketsNow, eBay and TicketNetwork.
    • We show these in both a Market Tab (Stubhub, TicketsNow, TicketNetwork, eBay) and Auction Tab (eBay)
  • TiqZone Categorization: TiqIQ breaks each stadium up into TiqZones, which are groupings of sections that we’ve determined are comparable in value. 
    TiqIQ Statistics:
    TiqIQ provides ticket-level buying intelligence through the IQ rating and TiqIQ Statistics.
  • Event Details: TiqIQ gives you time and location information on the event.

I get a lot of offers for various partnerships here at BSMW, and believe it or not, I turn many of them down, while there are quite a lot of ads here on the site, my goal is to actually reduce the number of various advertisements, and still bring in the revenue I need to run the site. When I first saw the presentation for TiqIQ, I was blown away. This was something I wanted to be involved in, and if it is as successful as I think it will be, you’ll ultimately be seeing a lot fewer ads here on the site.

What you will see is a couple posts a week (in the afternoons) analyzing the Boston sports ticket market, giving you the data (along with some commentary) to make smart decisions on ticket buying, and I just think it’s really interesting looking at the business side of things as well. How well are the Red Sox drawing this season? What’s the market like, and is it indicative of the team’s overall health? There will also be a box in the sidebar with cool data and graphics on the current market as well.

I had concerns that this might pull away from the focus of the site, or “flood” the site with pushy ads trying to get you to spend your money. I don’t see those as worries any longer. The data and commentary I plan to use will be mostly focused, as noted above, on the business side of sports and providing my readers with a great new destination to buy sports tickets.  I hope you enjoy, and ask that you provide us feedback as we get going on anything you like, dislike, or data that you want to see.  You can email BSMW Tickets at [email protected] with any questions or thoughts.

Please email the TiqIQ folks at that address with any issues you might have, as they will be the ones to take care of it for you. The site and service are still in Beta, so please provide them with feedback for improvements.

Wakefield, Sox Start Second Half On Wrong Foot

Tim Wakefield gave up six runs in the first inning last night and the Red Sox never recovered, falling to the Texas Rangers 7-2at Fenway Park to open the post-All Star Game part of the schedule.

Casting NESN in a new light - Chad Finn’s media column has more on NESN Daily, and ESPN’s World Cup Ratings.

ESPN steals ABC’s show - Bill Doyle looks at the British Open becoming the first of the four majors to be exclusively broadcast on ESPN.

The Boss, the bully - My Metro column this week looks at the lionization in the media of a man who probably didn’t deserve it.

How The Boston Globe Crowdsourced Its World Cup Coverage - I thought this was an interesting piece on Poynter Online.

Bowden will get chance to pitch in - Peter Abraham’s minor league notebook has Michael Bowden looking to return the majors as a reliever.

Ortiz, Guerrero continue similar paths - Joe McDonald has two aging sluggers still getting it done.

Red Sox notes: Martinez takes some swings - The CSNNE.com notebook touches on a number of Red Sox items.

Logan Mankins still waiting - Ian Rapoport has the agent for the guard still hoping to patch things up with the Patriots.

Pierce’s simple math: Additions must come - Julian Benbow has the Celtics captain making his signing official, and urging Danny Ainge to add more pieces. The Celtics did add former Nets coach Lawrence Frank to Doc Rivers’ staff.

Positional Previews – Safeties - Patriots Daily with a look at the safeties on the New England roster.

Week Log: Second Half Kick-Off Edition

It’s the dog days all right. NHL and NBA hot stoves have cooled; NFL OTAs are done and training camp awaits; and the three-day MLB All-Star break has just concluded. We stand ready to roll into the official start of the second half of the Red Sox season, so let’s kick it off there.

Red Sox

At 51-37 at the break, Boston Blood Sox calls it a laudable first half for the Sox, but the fourth-best record in all of baseball may still leave them out in the cold come October. Touching All The Bases has the best and worst of the first half of a season they think shouldn’t start until May 1. Beantown Sports Observer looks at the castoffs and journeymen who have kept the Sox within striking distance of the A.L. East lead. Jessica Isner has Erin Andrews, in particular, looking at one of Boston’s first half surprises.

Red Sox Monster defends MLB’s All-Star Game as the greatest in professional sports. SawxBlog concedes it is head-over-heels the best among all-star games, but finds it a ridiculous determinant of home field advantage in the biggest series of the year. Mass Hysteria would rather watch the All-Star Game than get a pizza with Hanley Ramirez.

Fenway West thinks David Ortiz may have earned his option year after winning the All-Star Home Run Derby Monday night. BoSox Injection says it’s tough not to be happy for Big Papi. Boston Sports Then And Now hopes this win will do for Ortiz what the Three-Point Contest did for Paul Pierce. Peter’s Red Sox Forever has Papi’s baserunning costing the A.L. home field advantage in the World Series.

If you’re looking forward to seeing Clay Buchholz or Victor Martinez right out of the blocks after the All-Star Break, Brownie Points will set you straight. Fenway Nation has Jacoby Ellsbury’s account of his injuries contrasting that of Sox brass. Hit And Run With Dan Roche has Josh Beckett hitting 96 down in Pawtucket, and on schedule to return mid-week next week. Baseball Heavy calls Beckett a good pitcher but a questionable human being.

Red Sox Reality Check takes pleasure in watching Jon Lester evolve into one of the elite pitchers in baseball. Surviving Grady pleads for a return of The Pappet.

Boston Dirt Dogs pays homage to George Steinbrenner, while The Crowe’s Nest reminisces of his only encounter with The Boss. Subway Squawker Lisa is shocked by the outpouring of sympathy and tributes from Yawkey Way. Toeing The Rubber doesn’t think that baseball lost ‘a good one’ so much as ‘a scandalous one’ on Tuesday.

Clubhouse Insider reports that the price hasn’t dropped for Kansas City OF David DeJesus. Fire Brand of the American League takes us behind the plate, as they examine the catcher’s craft of calling a game.

Patriots

Just another couple of weeks until camp! Pats Pulpit thinks the Pats went a long way in rebuilding their locker room by drafting character players in April. NE Patriots Draft has the NFL with a lot of work to do in signing first- and second-round picks, and the Pats are no exception as talks with first-rounder CB Devin McCourty are progressing slowly.

It Is What It Is has Terrell Owens willing to take less money and a lesser role to come to the Patriots. Having T.O. alongside Randy Moss is enough to give Masshole Sports a wet dream. Pats Fans examines the curious OTA of second-rounder TE Rob Gronkowski, whom some pundits bill as the complete player. Extra Points thinks Sebastian Vollmer is the biggest part of the Pats’ future on the offensive line. Patriots Daily has Tom Brady a polarizing figure in the ever-present war between optimists and pessimists.

Odds & Sods
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston blogging world

Steinbrenner was the second loss in the Yankees family this week. And Another Thing . . . remembers PA announcer Bob Sheppard, who evoked a semi-religious experience with his glorious tones. Although the Voice of God will never echo in Yankee Stadium again, its memories induce shivers and goosebumps through Greg Cavanaugh.

Green Street has new C’s center Jermaine O’Neal subordinating play time for the chance to win a championship. We’re Just Saying looks at the spectacle that was ‘The Decision.’

Last weekend’s 2-0 win over the L.A. Galaxy did wonders to bail out New Enlgand Revolution‘s mid-season progress report on five preseason predictions.

The Iroquois may have gifted lacrosse to the world. but Lacrosse Examiner has them being denied reentry into the U.S. if they play in the World Lacrosse Championships under their Iroquois passports.

With football around the corner, I’d love to hear about some good Pats blogs you like but never see on Week Log. Some of our old favorites won’t be back this season, so fresh blood is needed. Drop me a line. As always, I’m at [email protected]

NESN Daily With Jade McCarthy and Uri Berenguer Premieres August 6th

NESN announced today via press release plans to launch its new nightly sports series, NESN Daily presented by Sun Life Financial on Friday, August 6 at 11:00 PM.

NESN Daily is described as “a substantive and provocative sports news debate program” which features co-hosts Jade McCarthy (right) and Uri Berenguer.

The show will air live seven nights a week at 11:00 PM and again from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and Noon to 1:00 pm the following day.

McCarthy, a Newton, MA native, joined NESN in January after four years as a sports anchor and reporter at WCAU, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia.

For the past six months, McCarthy has anchored SportsDesk and reported extensively on the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Patriots.

Berenguer comes to NESN from the Spanish Beisbol Network (SBN) where he has served as the radio play-by-play voice for Boston Red Sox broadcasts for the past ten years. In 2003, at the age of 20, Berenguer was named the lead play-by-play announcer for SBN’s Red Sox Spanish radio broadcasts, making him one of the youngest play-by-play announcers in the history of the league. When he was three years old, he moved to Boston from Panama to undergo sixteen years of treatment at the Jimmy Fund clinic at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. After beating cancer, Berenguer set his sights on a career in broadcasting, first working as an intern on WEEI’s Red Sox radio broadcasts and then serving as an analyst for SBN’s Red Sox Spanish radio broadcasts in 2001, while also working for the Red Sox Community Relations department.

“With our talent team now in place, NESN Daily promises to be the go-to program for fans of New England sports. Jade and Uri’s candid, dynamic and smart approach to reporting will appeal to those who are as passionate about the stories and events of the day as they are,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer.

“Since his first day on the job, Uri has brought an energetic, smart and fun style to our broadcast,” said Bill Kulik, President & Founder of the Spanish Béisbol Network. “This new opportunity is a perfect fit for him, and we know he’ll be as great for NESN as he was for SBN.”

In addition to McCarthy and Berenguer, NESN Daily will include regular contributions from journalists, athletes and newsmakers.

Sox Look To Get Back To Business

The All Star break is over, and the Red Sox look to get back to work tonight at Fenway as they take on the Texas Rangers. (7:00 PM, NESN, if you’re in Tampa or New York, the game will be on MLB Network.)

Yesterday was a slow sports day, with no games being played, so some media outlets were reaching for stories.  There were a couple of Patriots items yesterday that were non-stories, but played up by the media:

John Clayton speculates that Tom Brady might hold out at the start of camp. Clayton states “Odds favor Brady showing up in good faith and hoping for a deal, but he has made it clear he doesn’t want to take a discount in this next contract.” Um, when exactly did he come out and say that?

Then there was Terrell Owens, who told a radio station that he would be open to playing for the Patriots. This was immediately grabbed and reported all over. On CSN Sports Tonight last night, it was even one of the top stories with their experts weighing in.

Of course Owens would be “open” to playing for the Patriots. He’s unemployed. He’d be open to playing for anyone. If the Patriots were interested, then it would be a story. There’s no indication that is the case. Non-story.

I did enjoy Tom E Curran’s segment on that same show – Five things you don’t have to worry about.

#1 on the list: Tom Brady holding out.

By the way, the CSNNE.com website has a new look. I’m not sure it’s an improvement. I liked being able to easily see all the latest stories for each team on the home page.

Onto the top 10 links for today:

Let record show, Sox pretty good - Peter Abraham notes that the Red Sox have the fourth best record in baseball, but only the third best record in the AL East.

Five questions facing the Sox in the second half- Sean McAdam looks at what the Red Sox need to do in the second half.

Will July heat bring early fall for Sox? - Bill Ballou says that the rest of this month will tell us whether the Red Sox have October hopes.

Theo Epstein not thinking big - Scott Lauber says that the Red Sox GM isn’t planning any big moves this month.

Sox are stayin’ alive - Lenny Megliola has the Red Sox hanging around despite all the injuries.

Minor stops along the way - Abraham’s notebook has a look at a few rehab assignments starting, and a number of injury updates.

O’Neal: Boston’s a perfect fit - Chris Forsberg has the newest member of the Celtics, Jermaine O’Neal talking about coming to Boston.

Celtics’ Ainge looks to plug roster holes - Jim Fenton looks some areas on the Celtics bench than need addressing.

Easy on the Boss praise - Ron Borges tosses around a few thoughts on the sports world.

Positional Previews – Cornerbacks - Patriots Daily with a look at the Leigh Bodden-led cornerback position heading into camp.

Bonus: ‘Til debt do us part - This is a feature on ESPN.com by Molly Knight about the divorce of Los Angeles Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt (former Bostonians), and it includes this weird tidbit:

In 2007, the McCourts hired PR guru Charles Steinberg, who is credited with revamping the Red Sox fan experience at Fenway, to do the same with the Dodgers. But within a year, Steinberg had aligned himself with Jamie, bringing in people from Boston and inserting them in every department. “It was a giant mess, because you had a Jamie person and a Frank person doing the same job,” says a current Dodgers employee. “And as things got tenser, it was like they were each using moles to spy on each other.”

Steinberg went so far as to unveil “Project Jamie,” a seven-page action plan with a goal to make her president of the United States, with support from a coalition of “women, minorities, Hollywood types, and sports-loving males.” Frank had seen enough of the Jamie Show. Steinberg was fired last September; his people were out by Christmas.

Looks like Dr Charles went just a bit too far this time. Wow.

Even In Death, Steinbrenner Bigger Than The Game

With his death yesterday morning, George Steinbrenner instantly became the biggest sports story of the day – bigger even, than last night’s MLB All Star game, won by the National League, 3-1.

ESPN dedicated the entire day to Steinbrenner coverage, and FOX dedicated their broadcast of the All Star game last night to the fallen Yankees owner.

The papers and websites today are full of tributes to Steinbrenner, columns of all lengths – the long (Gerry Callahan), the medium (Jon Couture), and the very short (Michael Gee).

I realize I am fully in the minority on this one, but I find it a bit hypocritical for the media to lavish such praise and make all-day glowing tributes to a man who a) was a convicted felon for making illegal campaign contributions and obstruction of justice,  resulting in a suspension from baseball and b) was suspended a second time from baseball for paying off a gambler to dig up dirt on one of his superstar players (Dave Winfield). Yes, he made huge contributions to charities, including The Jimmy Fund, but he also bullied his employees as a matter of routine.

He gave the media endless material to work with, and that, I suspect is among the biggest motivation for all the glowing tributes offered up. I’ve heard over and over – stated as fact – that any sports fan (especially Boston fans) would’ve loved to have had Steinbrenner as the owner of their franchise. You know what? At this point, I’m pretty happy with John Henry and Robert Kraft.

Just one man’s opinion.

Here’s the Top 10 for today:

“I’d have a better chance of being struck by lightning than me and him getting a pizza together,” he said. “You can take that for what it’s worth. But there was no chance on God’s green earth that I was getting a pizza with him.”

That’s Red Sox lefty Jon Lester, talking about minor league teammate Hanley Ramirez in Steve Buckley’s column this morning. (Fenway Pastoral thinks this is a terrible column premise.)

Battling back - David Willis talks to Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie, who has been rehabbing with the Lowell Spinners as he tries to make it back to the big club.

Without a bat, Ortiz at a loss - Gordon Edes has David Ortiz getting thrown out at second base in the ninth inning last night to kill a potential AL rally.

Unclear future for ailing Sox - Alex Speier looks at what the second half may hold for the Red Sox.

What becomes of the Red Sox without Adrian Gonzalez - With the Padres slugger off the trade market, Rob Bradford examines how the Red Sox might look to fill the middle of their order.

For Ray Allen, Celts are home- Mark Murphy has Ray Allen talking about his return to the Celtics, and giving his thoughts on the new-look Miami Heat.

Celtics may have to overpay for Nate - Chris Forberg says that perhaps the Celtics cannot afford to let Nate Robinson walk away.

Exciting times for the Bruins - Joe Haggerty says there is excitement among both the fans and team as they prepare for the “Seguin Effect.”

Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate’s Skills Could Add New Dimensions to Patriots’ Offense - Jeff Howe looks at the potential impact of the two second-year receivers.

Positional Previews – Special Teams - Patriots Daily kicks off training camp previews with a look at the Patriots special teams.

Bill Griffith on Jack Craig

Bill Griffith was one of Jack Craig’s successors on the “SporTView” column in the Globe. (Howard Manly was in between Craig and Griffith) He was also a big influence on BSMW coming into existence.

I traded messages with Bill yesterday and today, and he offered a few thoughts and memories on Craig.

He remembered how then-sports editor Ernie Roberts plucked Craig off the copy desk, where had been working on the PM edition of the Globe, and put him in this new role – TV sports writer.

Griffith says Craig was the right guy to originate the beat of TV sports writer, as he had a “good layer of cynicism” and that he “questioned everything”. He could be a “little crusty” and “very abrupt” but was a good guy.

In the early days there was a lot of coverage of Curt Gowdy, Ned Martin, Jim Woods, or national guys like Chris Schenkel out of New York. He also covered the very early Olympic television coverage, in the days before it became what it is now.

Griffith, who worked at the Globe with Craig for the latter’s entire tenure there, recalled witnessing “huge screaming matches with Howard Cosell” and Craig getting calls from Roone Arledge (Cosell’s boss on Monday Night Football).

To do his job in the days before email and the proliferation of cell phones, Griffith says Craig kept “a Rolodex the likes of which I’ve never seen” and since phone numbers change so frequently in the TV business, the Rolodex cards were filled with “cross-outs and scribbles, and all kinds of backup numbers…he had a great contact list.”

When he was given the job of carrying on the Globe SporTView column, Griffth says that he “used (Craig) as a role model, and was proud to try and emulate the stuff he had done. He got into issues, had a lot of notes, and did some behind the scenes stuff.”

I’d like to thank Bill once again for his time and memories of Mr Craig.

Jack Craig Remembered in Globe

The Boston Globe, Jack Craig’s longtime employer, remembers the longtime TV Sports critic with a pair of columns today.

In the obituary written by Bryan Marquard, Craig’s career and influence on the sports world. Don Skwar, John Powers, Mike Lynch and Kevin Paul Dupont are among those with memories and thoughts on Craig.

I thought this quote from Craig, which he made in 1976 hold true to this very day:

“I’m dealing with people who have enlarged egos simply because they’re on television,’’ he told Boston Magazine in 1976, nearly a decade into his 29-year run as a Globe columnist.

“These people are less able to handle criticism than others. They’re fearful that the audience is looking at them in a different light because the audience reads my column.

Nothing has changed in 34 years.

Dan Shaughnessy also has an excellent column on Craig, and he taps Bob Lobel, Joe Amorosino, Bob Ryan, Dave Smith, Vince Doria, Leslie Visser, Bud Collins and David Stern to remember Craig.

He examines the respect that Craig had from those in the industry, including a priceless tale involving then-NBA executive vice president Stern.

Craig was a true pioneer. No one had covered the sports media prior to him. He started it all, which is why I’m very disappointed to look at a bunch of sports media blogs that I follow and not see them mentioning anything at all about his passing.

Do these guys have any idea who Jack Craig was, and that they have him to thank for what they’re doing now? I doubt it.

I can remember reading Craig’s columns in the late 80′s and early 90′s and always finding the business of sports TV and reporting to be fascinating. I hope he’s remembered as the trailblazer and pioneer that he was.

——————————–

A few quick links from this morning:

George Steinbrenner, Yankees’ Owner, Dies at 80 - From The New York Times.

Ortiz takes the Home Run Derby crown - Sean McAdam has the David Ortiz reclamation story adding another chapter.

Ortiz offers ultimate punctuation - Rob Bradford looks at Ortiz’s victory, but also has a lot of All Star notes.

Plucky Red Sox team easy to like - Daniel Barbarisi looks at “a pretty darn likable Red Sox team.”

Buchholz puts bumpy road behind - Joe McDonald has a mini-feature on the Red Sox righthander.

Gerald Green: How the high flyer was grounded - Jessica Camerato with a look at the former Celtics first round pick.

Nate Robinson going Green again - Mark Murphy reports that the guard is close to a new deal with the team.

Boston Celtics need to find quality bench players this summer - Jim Fenton says this is the top priority for Danny Ainge.

Jack Craig – First Full Time TV Sports Critic, Passes Away

For many of you, Jack Craig might’ve been your first exposure to the world of sports media criticism. His SporTView column in the Boston Globe was really the first of its kind, and he was the first full-time TV sports critic in an industry that is now full of them (along with many part-timers and countless bloggers).

Craig passed away on Friday afternoon at his home. He was retired from the Globe, where he had worked for 29 years. He was a 1956 graduate of Boston University.

The SporTView columns appeared three times a week – Tuesday, usually with a recap of the weekend sports ratings numbers, Friday with a preview of the weekend’s events, and Sunday with a feature and notes column.

There will be more on Craig in the days to come.

Here’s a 1994 column from Craig on the 15th anniversary of ESPN: You needed ESP to know ESPN would click

Red Sox Hit Much-Needed Break

The Red Sox reached the All Star break with a 3-2win over the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday afternoon. Darnell McDonald and David Ortiz homered for Boston, and Daisuke Matsuzaka was solid in picking up the win, as the Red Sox hit the break at 51-37, five games behind the Yankees in the AL East and three games behind the Tampa Rays for the Wild Card. Get the full links from today at RedSoxLinks.com.

Here are your top 10 articles from this morning:

Ready for recharging - Joe McDonald says that this break really could not have come at a better time for these battered and bruised Red Sox.

For most, All-Star break a chance to exhale = Brian MacPherson has many of the Red Sox looking forward to a couple days off.

First half highs and lows - John Tomase has a quick look back at the first half of the season for the Red Sox.

McDonald finally making a believer of everyone - Joe Haggerty looks at one of the Red Sox success stories from the first half, outfielder Darnell McDonald, who has finally gotten the chance to prove he can play at the big league level.

Futures scouts are peer group - Nick Cafardo checks out The Futures Game, and the Red Sox participant, righthander Stolmy Pimentel.

It strains the imagination: Now Beltre hurt - Peter Abraham’s notebook has the Red Sox suffering yet another injury yesterday.

Ellsbury disputes Red Sox’ account of injury, recovery - MacPherson gives a details account of where Jacoby Ellsbury and the Red Sox differ on their views of the outfielder’s injury.

Why we care if C’s lose Tony Allen - If you knew halfway through the season that Tony Allen wouldn’t be coming back to the Celtics next season, would you have cared? Chris Forsberg explains why Allen signing with Memphis is suddenly a big blow to the Celtics.

Boston Bruins’ Development Camp was more than The Tyler Seguin Show- Mike Loftus reviews what he learned at the Bruins development camp last week.

Brian Hoyer Can Handle More Than Normal Patriots Backup Quarterback - Jeff Howe notes that Hoyer is already one of Tom Brady’s better backups.