Media, Sox Get Early Jump On Season

Spring Training hasn’t even begun yet, (though the truck did leave yesterday) and already Red Sox oriented stories dominate the sports pages today. The enthusiasm for the season hasn’t yet hit the sports radio airwaves, where there is still plenty of football talk going on.

Truck day is entirely a media creation, pumped up and hyped by outlets such as NESN and Boston.com, and while I grasp the symbolism of that truck beginning a journey that will lead us out of winter, into spring and summer, and hopefully deep into the fall, it’s still wildly overhyped. What I find amusing is the latest trend of those in the media – the group that created the holiday of “truck day” – now turning on it and calling it stupid and insipid.

Listening to 98.5 yesterday afternoon, I was struck at how while Michael Felger has consistently killed the Patriots for allowing their players (Wilfork, Mankins, Brady, etc)  to enter the final year of their deals, and to even hit free agency, his take on the Bruins is exactly the opposite. He criticized the Bruins for signing up players early, such Zdeno Chara, wondering why they couldn’t wait another year to see if they’re worth a new deal, and then if they need to outbid other teams on the free agent market they can do it then. He’s critical for the Bruins signing players early when they’re only bidding against themselves, whereas he is critical of the Patriots for not signing players early, saying they would save themselves money if they would only do so.

This morning Patriots Safety Pat Chung did a good deed by reading to Elementary school students in Taunton. Mike Reiss Tweets: [blackbirdpie id="35352657140916224"]

It seems a little a disingenuous to me that those media people are not there to report on his working with the kids, (in my opinion) but instead for the opportuity to question him again about the fake punt in the Jets game. Would there be the same crowd if it was James Sanders, or Tully Banta-Cain reading to the kids? It turns my stomach a little bit.

Now finally, a few links.

Ex-hurler focusing on saves - Leading off with Shaughnessy? Well, this one of the few times he’s not in his usual formulaic mode, and instead tells a human interest story of former Sox reliever John Trautwein dealing with the suicide of his 15 year old son.

Managing the Red Sox’ situation - John Tomase offers some suggestions to Terry Francona on how to handle spring training.

Game of his life - Amalie Benjamin has a feature on new Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Saltalamacchia says yips are gone - I cringed at the headline of an otherwise very good article by Gordon Edes. (The catcher actually got help from a website called YipsBeGone.com)

Spelling relief: A closer look at the Red Sox’ crowded competition for bullpen roles - Alex Speier thoroughly profiles the candidates for the Red Sox bullpen. Peter Abraham looks at one of the candidates, Andrew Miller.

LaMarr Woodley Comparable to Adalius Thomas, Unlikely to Land in Foxboro and 18 Other Patriots Thoughts - Jeff Howe cranks out 20 thoughts on the Patriots.

Celtics-Lakers is a special rivalry again - Jim Fenton looks at the renewed hatred between the franchises.

Avery Bradley gets some needed prepping - Mark Murphy has the rookie guard back with the team after a stint on the developmental league.

Celtics may finally need reinforcements - Chris Forsberg has the Celtics getting tired of all the injuries.

Big week looms for Bruins - Stephen Harris looks at a tough stretch for the Bruins. Joe McDonald looks at tonight’s Bruins/Canadiens game.

  • NutCracker in NH

    Funny Bruce, I too heard Felger yakking about the Patriots not signing their players early but I figured out a long time ago that Felger just likes to whine. He often contradicts his own arguments. It's nothing new, it's just … Felger being Felger. , Whine whine, whine.

  • Ann

    Thanks for calling out Felger on the contracts. So very true! It goes without saying that signing players early has the risk of a bad contract, just as waiting bears the risk the player will walk.

  • Jon

    Someone else mentioned this – might have been mandb – but Shank is much better on the radio than he is in print.. I think your view that he's a good to great sportswriter who is wasting everyone's time on crap like The Curse of the Bambino and whatever idiocy he's babbling about these days. No one is perfect, but he can do better.

    • Lance_

      Jon, I've accidentally listened to him (Saturdays I believe) and he sounds decent. And the fact he is a talented writer makes most of his Globe work frustrating. Yes, it sounds like the muckraking b.s. his editor is demanding which makes me believe the usual blather is a fault of management. At least I'd hope so. Most of his writing is a waste.

    • mandb97

      Jon I have mentioned it. Shaughnessy is very fair on the radio. He lets callers speak their mind without being snide or interrupting. He is actually nice to listen to. It is just baffling how he writes with such a poison pen far more often than not.

      • Classless

        It's not baffling. He doesn't have to answer for his writing. On the radio, there is immediate confrontation. He's a coward, simple as that.

        • mandb97

          You might have a good point class. That being said, it is still better to listen to Shaughnessy's show as opposed to the annoying and loud Mustard and Johnson show.

        • Jon

          You're better off listening to loud static than Mustard and Johnson. I remember driving in CT and switching between Mustard and Johson and Steve Sommers. Stevarino was making fun of a Yankees fan who wouldn't root for the team because Torre was gone for being an awful fan. Meanwhile, Mustard and Johnson let some nimrod go on a 5 minute rant about he can't root for the Red Sox any more because Yaz is gone. It's like 1983 was two weeks ago… ugh.

        • mandb97

          good point

      • tl;dr

        Usually, I like Dan Shaughnessy Watch but have you read their response to Shank's piece? Wow…just wow. That guy couldn't be more wrong.

    • Jack

      I agree that Shaugnessy is decent on the radio. Maybe it's just because the weekends are so bad on both sports radio stations……..Mustard & Johnson, Gaspar and whats-his-name, Hardy & Trup are all pretty bad. One thing I've noticed though is that he's taking calls from some of the notorious WEEI callers. Joey from the North End, Steve from Fall River et al. If I hear Mike from Canton or any of M&J's menagerie, I'll stop listening.

      Also, it's nice to see that the bloom is finally off the rose for Felger. I'm surprised it's taken this long.

  • latetodinner

    Bruceman…

    Way to be famous!!! I heard Felger and Maz mention you and the blog today, then attempt to defend their idiotic position (well Felger's idiotic hypocrisy) by saying each case has to be handled individually. It seems to them crystal clear that giving Branch big money, even though he had problems staying on the field and showing up in games every day should have been a Pats priority because he was a "core" player…but resigning a guy like Bergeron was a mistake because he hasn't won anything. it was easily the dumbest argument they have made to defend their own position this week. Mankins has won nothing, he has been part of two great regular season teams, 16-0 and 14-2 but he should have been signed up early…again a core player…avoiding overpaying and contention but not David Krejci…who has been part of two playoff teams, seems to play with emotion and energy but hasn't won anything. Do these idiots listen to themselves and how stupid they sound.

    Memo to Maz and Felger it would have been far smarter to either admit you were hypocrites and that you hold the Pats to a different standard than you hold the Bruins (which I would have bought because quite frankly I do not believe the Bruins ownership is "Championship Driven", or not mentioned it at all. By saying something they just looked foolish proving Bruce's point.

    • http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com Bruce Allen

      I see, so today it is that each case has to be handled individually. That's NOT what they were saying yesterday. Felger was making blanket statements about it being stupid to sign a player before you actually have to. Oh well.

      Today's contradictory statements? They were criticizing the Red Sox for "overpaying" for Carl Crawford. The same clowns who are still killing John Henry for not "overpaying" for Mark Teixeira. So if they overpay for a player, that's bad, and if they don't overpay in order to close a deal, that's bad too.

      • latetodinner

        I am sure if they ever address BSMW again they will do so with the same condescending swarminess that they did today. Obviously you have to be dumb to think they are inconsistent or hypocritical. It would be asking too much for a little humility on the airwaves. A simple…"you know upon further thought I am holding different teams to different standards and it might come off as hypocritical" would go a long way to helping with credibility.

        • mandb97

          Felger has said time and time again you have to overpay for elite talent. Now suddenly you don't. Why does he consistently contradict himself? Because he believes the majority of listeners have a short attention spans and do not remember what he says. He finds a topic and says stuff not because he actually believes it, but because he can get a rise out of it. When cornered, like he was from Bruce, he comes up with the best answer he can make up but he does not believe it. Felger is looking for ratings and honesty be damned.

          Maz is a coward when it comes to criticism. Maz is very well aware of this site and he believes that Bruce and all commenters are "misinformed". He doesn't explain why so I'll do it for him. (Let me get into my Mickey Mouse typing voice) "Bruce and the commenters are misinformed because they catch me writing or saying one moronic thing after another. Misinformed is the only thing that I can come up with for my side of the argument."

          P.S. YARM

          One more item, does Don Cherry still believe the Bruins locker is fractured after their game with Montreal tonight? Just asking.

        • Jon

          If I'm not mistaken Ferrance has been in the middle of the most of the giant fights the Bruins have had this year, last night included. What an awful team mate he must me.

        • mandb97

          You're right Jon. NESN showed a bunch of clips where Ference has come to the aid of teammates on quite a few occasions this season.

  • http://linuxvpsreviews.com vps

    I was surprised that how Don cherry called away Mario following the tiffs the other evening.