A Few Quick Links

Just a few quick links for the mid-day today, as we get ready for the hurricane…

Fantasy is surely part of reality – Chad Finn’s media column today has a number of items, leading off with the interest in fantasy football, to the point that even WEEI is having on-air experts talking about the subject. Chad also reports that @Jen_Royle is a candidate for one of the job openings at NESN.

Who Is Apologizing For Albert Haynesworth? In my SB Nation Boston media column, I’m trying find all these Albert Haynesworth apologists that the media tell me are out there.

Pats Pregame Points: Preseason Three At Lions – Chris Warner on PD gets you ready for tomorrow night’s all-important third preseason game.

 Weekend Viewing Picks – Ken Fang tells you what to watch this weekend. (As long as the power doesn’t go out.)

Sports Media Musings: ESPN’s White Mike Vick, Deadspin’s ESPN Invasion, And More

This Was, uh, Strange

ESPN posing the question what the ramifications of Mike Vick’s race had on his life and career isn’t anything novel. On the contrary, the odd decision to transpose a picture of the controversial signal-caller to make him caucasian certainly is.

The Big Lead takes a look at the four-letter network’s curious choice here. I’m not saying it is wrong or right. I think it was strange. I couldn’t help but think of the 80’s film, Soul Man

Speaking of Dated References

For the professional wrestling fans out there (I know, there aren’t many), remember when D-Generation X invaded WCW’s Monday Night Nitro taping? It was innovative because the WWE was openly breaking the fourth wall by addressing competition. A great moment.

Tommy Craggs, of Deadspin, decided to take part in a similar mission. He infiltrated a ESPN talent meeting. The full report is coming out today, but he apparently had some run-ins with high-ranking ESPN executives as he was escorted off the Bristol campus.

I think Deadspin has built up a great amount of credibility. They are the first blog outfit to gain recognition in mainstream media. The influx of blogs has created an accountability that consistently challenges “old media” outlets. This, obviously, is a good aspect on the Internet in general. In the same token, there needs to be accountability towards the blogosphere. The critics have to maintain propensity towards responsibility. This is accentuated as an outlet flourishes. That’s why the Portnoy thing sucked. He spat in the face of accountability.

Deadspin’s “field trip” doesn’t broach the same zip code as Barstool’s recent actions. The site’s previous tactics have been questionable, nonetheless. And this was an example of going for Stern-esq shock value over good content. And that’s fine. But Deadspin will always be Star Magazine as long as they pull stunts like this.

One More Wrestling Reference

Grantland’s article on the demise of Rick Flair was overwhelming. Who has the time to read this? I’m the audience for this type of content, and I couldn’t get through it. I preferred Simmons’ ode to Macho Man Randy Savage. Ironically this is the last column updated on his old Sports Guy website.

He’s A BAD GUY, Mike

When the Albert Haynesworth deal went down, I quipped Tony Massarotti’s worrisome tone made it seem like he thought Fat Albert was going to go to his home and eat his family. Gerry Callahan offers a similar distaste for Haynesworth’s transgressions here.

The whole Haynesworth debate is interesting. It reminds me of how baseball writers subjectively decide – with individual sets of criteria – which players in the steroid era should get in the HOF. Callahan concedes he knows players already in the Boston market aren’t all humanitarians. I guess he is drawing the line at Haynesworth’s wrong-doings. Everyone has a breaking point. Dale Arnold’s is when Kevin Garnett swears on the basketball court. No one seemed to care about the Joe Corvo signing, because the Bruins won the cup — and that makes everything good, right? Meanwhile you, me, and your dog serenaded Wil Cordero with boos in Fenway for his criminal history.

I’m not saying it is fine to castigate one guy and not another. I’m not saying anyone has a moral agenda. I’m simply implying a lot of this opinion is subjective by nature. The line is arbitrary. I’m not a Fat Albert fan. He seems like a troubled dude, and lacks remorse. I also think Donte Stallworth made one REALLY bad decision, and he is not a terrible guy for it. So where are my values when stacked against Callahan? The central theme here is the power of the platform and deciding things – as a consumer – for yourself.

 

Sox Tee Off On Rangers, Retake First Place

The Red Sox are back in first place in the AL East following a 13-2 win over the Texas Rangers last night. Couple that with a Yankees loss to the Oakland A’s, and the Red Sox have a one-game lead in the division.

A real diamond sparkler – Bob Ryan has the Red Sox answering any questions people had about whether they can beat the Rangers.

With hot combo, Sox can’t go wrong – Joe McDonald has both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford showing off all their skills last night.

A reminder regarding the importance of Carl Crawford – Rob Bradford says that last night showed what a big piece to the puzzle Crawford can be when he is on his game.

Homers go a long way for Red Sox – John Tomase looks at the Red Sox home run derby in Texas last night.

Changing His Stripes – Christopher Smith chats with Red Sox first round pick Matt Barnes, who grew up a Yankees fan.

John Henry downplays talk of Theo Epstein joining the Cubs – Tomase has the Red Sox owner releasing a statement on the rumors of the Cubs interest in the Red Sox GM.

1-2-3 Inning: Alfredo Aceves – Jessica Camerato takes a few minutes with the Red Sox reliever.

Doubleheader in forecast? – Peter Abraham’s notebook has the Red Sox pondering a double-header with the A’s in advance of the potential hurricane on Sunday. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has former teammates Adrian Gonzalez and Michael Young battling it out for the batting title. The Red Sox Journal has Andrew Miller feeling good going into tonight’s start. The CSNNE.com notes from Sean McAdam look at the return of David Ortiz to the lineup.

Tom Brady quick to pick up pace – Karen Guregian looks at the importance of a quick tempo by the Patriots QB and offense. More on Brady from Shalise Manza Young | Mark Farinella | Chris Forsberg | A. Sherrod Blakely | Paul Kenyon 

Caserio indicates trade winds could blow – Tom E Curran says that the Patriots might have some trades in their future.

Because he’s the best, in Belichick we all trust – Bill Reynolds says that the Patriots coach’s knowledge is his power.

Belichick views players’ growth from first to second season as a potential leap year – Glen Farley looks at the development of players coming off their rookie season.

Living on the edge: Rookie free agents have odds stacked against them this year – Christopher Price notes that an undrafted guy like Jeremy Ross will face long odds to make the team this year.

Albert Haynesworth OK by old coaches – Guregian’s notebook has former Titans assistants Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham speaking highly of Haynesworth. The Globe notebook from Julian Benbow has Taylor Price eager to get back to game action. The Patriots Journal has more on possible trades.

Summer is short but sweet – Fluto Shinzawa has Nathan Horton and the Bruins ready to start camp in a few weeks. Tom Layman has Horton saying that his concussion symptoms are gone. DJ Bean has more on Horton.

Get Your Barf Bags Ready—The Matt Cooke Redemption Press Assault Has Commenced – Rear Admiral on Barstool Sports has the despicable Penguins forward trying to line up sympathy for his cheap shots. (Warning – adult language.) 

In defense of Jeff Green – Paul Flannery looks to make a case for the Celtics forward.