Sox September Swoon Seriously Stinks

I could’ve used some other word to end the headline above, but this is a family website, after all.

The Red Sox continue to just play awful baseball. I sense an eagerness on the behalf of sports radio hosts, because, as I just heard one say, just a little too excitedly for my taste, “this isn’t made-up panic by sports radio hosts, this is REAL!” So it is, so it is.

Jon Lester was the latest Red Sox starter to get lit up, as he could only go four innings as the Tampa Rays finished off a weekend sweep of the Red Sox with a 9-1 win.

Red Sox end rough road trip, fall to Rays, 9-1 – Sean McAdam leads off CSNNE.com’s game story and coverage of the awful weekend.

Anatomy of a swoon: Why the Red Sox are reeling – Alex Speier breaks down what is happening to the Red Sox right now.

Beckett to throw off mound – Peter Abraham’s notebook has the Sox ace taking the first step in returning to the rotation after his ankle injury. The Herald notebook from Michael Silverman has the Sox getting positive news on a few injured pitchers. The Red Sox Journal has more on Beckett.

The Red Sox are off tonight, which is good for them, and even better for New England sports fans, as the Patriots kick off their 2011 schedule down in South Florida as they take on the Miami Dolphins in the first game of the ESPN Monday night doubleheader. The game starts at 7:00.

Tom Brady’s time starting to run out – I’m glad to see that Jackie MacMullan hasn’t lost her touch with the “game day doom-and-gloom” column.

Patriots fortunes depend on aging quarterback – Ron Borges got an exclusive one-on-one with Bill Belichick. Wait, what? Jim Donaldson continues the “clock is ticking on the Patriots window” theme.

Belichick plans sound just super – Greg A Bedard says that the Patriots coach has high expectations for this club.

Defensive facelift finally gets a look – Karen Guregian notes that we’ll finally get a chance to see the new defensive unit tonight.

Big additions stack Pats – Tom E Curran says that for all the talk about the big additions, it’s what has remained constant that will determine how far this team goes.

Some Patriots number crunching for 2011 – Bill Burt tries to spin some numbers that will determine if the 2011 Patriots will be a success.

Patriots areas of interest vs. Dolphins – Mike Reiss has the top areas of interest heading into tonight’s game.

Inside the matchup: Patriots vs. Dolphins – If you like formations and X’s and O’s, this Bedard blog post featuring Alen Dumonjic from TheScore.com will be of interest.

Solder on duty – Ian Rapoport’s notebook has rookie Nate Solder getting the start tonight in place of the injured Sebastian Vollmer. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young has Albert Haynesworth and Myron Pryor missing practice on Saturday and listed as questionable tonight.

It’s a big day for two local media companies who are attempting to catch up with the times, and competitors. The Boston Globe launched their new pay website today – BostonGlobe.com. The first 30 days will be free, but after that, you will need to subscribe in order to read the Globe online. The good news for sports fans is that all the sports content, including that of the Globe writers, will remain freely available on Boston.com. It just might be a little more difficult to find, mixed in with all the Boston.com sports coverage.

The second noteworthy event is WEEI starting their simulcast on 93.7 FM today. Some view this as the panacea for the station’s recent ratings struggles, though some are still in denial about even that. The station should see a ratings uptick from the move, I don’t doubt that at all, but there are still issues with the station’s content which need to be addressed.

Lastly, if you look at the post below this one, you’ll see that I’m doing a giveaway of the a new book/DVD combo on the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Leave a comment under that post to be entered into a giveaway for one of three available copies.

  • John

    Is Dennis capable of figuring out that everybody knows he intentionally sp

    ells people’s name wrong?

  • latetodinner

    So someone at the Boston Globe thinks people are willing to spend money to have their news delivered to them electronically when most of the content is currently available for free on the web and without the bias. Ain't America great. What I don't understand is if delivery of the e-paper costs virtually nothing…as compared to printing and delivering the paper version…why can't these guys figure out how to sell advertising that makes sense. Anyway, that is a frustration I have had for a long time and shared with more than a few Ad and Newspaper people.

    on other news…I am not sure WEEI could be running snarkier promos than the ones they are running for their new FM signal. Not sure I understand why they are choosing to brag about being 2 years late to the party.

    • Winning_

      Couldn't have said it better. I made this observation last week when D&C were incessantly bragging about having an FM signal. Big Show was doing the same thing this afternoon on my way home. It reminds me of the kid that started bragging about how cool his cassette player was everyone he was bragging to already had cd players for the last 1-2 years.

  • tl;dr

    "Not sure I understand why they are choosing to brag about being 2 years late to the party."

    More like 4+ decades. FM's been around for a long time now.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      True. But using an FM transmitter and stick for talk radio is a relatively recent phenomenon. FM radio equipment and power usage is is significantly more expensive than AM, so it wasn't "wasted" on programming that didn't benefit from the higher fidelity until recently, when the Walkman/MTV/the iPod killed off music formats and made that talky programming a huge income generator for radio.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    “this isn’t made-up panic by sports radio hosts, this is REAL!” ……..Well, that sounds like an admission that they, "make-up panic" I'll take that as progress. (God forbid the Pats lose tonight)

  • Carl

    The last contract D+C signed is up next summer isn't it? Time for another long walk on the beach.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      I'd like to see them take a long walk off a short pier

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

    So, coming off a unanimous MVP season, first time that has ever happened, the natural storyline here is how Brady is getting old and isn't what he once was?

    Reflective? I would welcome reflective. Instead we get worries over Deion Branch not catching a pass in the preseason, and wondering (speculating) about whether Brady feels the urgency. I don't see reflection.

    Moreover, it's opening night. People are excited by the start of the season. Again, the natural storyline then would be to try and throw a wet blanket on everything.

    Remind me how this isn't "doom and gloom" again?

    She's got a track record of this. Big game = wet blanket from Jackie. We've come to expect it, and she delivered again.

    I also don't recall anyone *ever* demanding all positive articles and predictions of 16-0 seasons. Nice strawman.

    • CBK

      I'm sorry but I have to (mostly) agree with JohnnyAps. Bruce, you seem to have the tendency to bring out the snark every time someone *dares* to suggest that the Patriots may not be great. And I've come to accept that. You are very pro-Patiots and you're given a lot of ammo with the Shanks and Borges' (Borgeses?) of the world. But in my opinion, you get the rabbit ears any time someone isn't exceedingly positive. And that's OK, it's your site, you're welcome to your opinions. I'll keep showing up even if we disagree on things.

      I understand your point that you're talking specifically about Jackie Mack and her "wet blanket" stories, but I think in general, the commenter has a point. Your skin gets a little thin when someone questions the greatness of Belichick and Brady. Again, just my take.

      Lastly, JohnnyApps' point about the commenters is something I've echoed in my own comments. What was Einstein's definition of insanity again?

      Thumbs down's in the top right.

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

        Yes, CBK. Your feelings are clear and on the record on this topic.

  • onyx

    i haven't read any of jm's columns since her outrage over belichick bumping into, and accidently knocking down, a photographer at the end of a game. of course, she was only angry because the photographer was HER FRIEND and thus, she stepped on her soapbox and aired her personal gripes. she’s just another boston sports media hack who either makes themselves part of the story or takes out the wet blanket when the natives are too happy for their tastes.

  • JCO

    Frankly it's good to know that someone in this market has "rabbit ears" to call out these a-clowns. Keep up the good work Bruce…

  • JohnnyApps

    any objective reader would immediately pick up the tendancies of this site. it's the same thing every day.
    – none of the commentators have listened to talk radio or have read print media for years now, but they always seem to know exactly who said or wrote what.
    – anyone who remotely questions or is critical of the pats or BB gets yelled at by said commentators.
    case in point: Last year I had the gall to call the pats 'contenders'. they haven't won a superbowl in 7 yrs or a playoff game in awhile…so that by definition makes them a contender, along with Pitt, Balt, GB, Indi, New Orleans, etc. I got killed on this site after I made that comment.

    • latetodinner

      First off most of the commenters on this site read or listen to the people the comment on. They may use hyperbole to suggest that they don't but most people who comment make pretty intelligent comments, at least those who comment regularly.

      Second, I think you do not understand the purpose of the website. This is not a Pats, Sox, Celts or Bruins site. It is a site that discusses the media coverage of those teams. Some of us can certainly talk x's and o's about our favorite teams and have done so in other forums. Here we tend to focus on the coverage itself and the historiography of coverage. We explore bias, laziness, exceptionalism and all the grades in-between. We follow Bruce's lead in looking at institutional slants, suggesting what might make things better, or correcting things that are wrong.

      Third, if you see a slant on this website it is because you are correctly seeing that Bruce correctly has identified the gap in the quality of coverage the Patriots receive as compared to the Red Sox. This is not a recent phenomena. Other than that for the most part Bruce is pretty fair. If he sees someone do or say something stupid he calls them on it. If he sees someone doing their job, regardless of where they work, he compliments them. Its not his fault some people have thin skin and can't do self introspection.

  • bettyd

    This is a good article on the Red Sox on Grantland.com – not Simmons, so a bit less pop-culture. It goes from the “there’s no way the Sox won’t make the play-offs” down to the “well, maybe we should worry”. Just in time for Sports Radio folly.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6964581/can-r

    If anyone has time to read it, it is worth the time IMO

    • mike bar

      from the bronx to tampa bay, the sound of chocking is loud & clear! r.i.p. you bean eating bastards!

  • JohnnyApps

    late to dinner…i understand what this site is about. however i do see a certain level of cynisism that is above and beyond simply pointing bias or laziness. This site is slanted more towards subjective analysis of the media coverage, not objective. I find it ironic that you mention bias… because this site is comletely biased towards the Patriots. If a media member writes a piece that is even remotely critical of BB or the Patriots or is negative in any way, that media member is torn to shreds and is told that they're a negative person or not a real Patriots team.

    please explain to me how jackie macmullan's article was "doom and gloom"?
    I think it's completely fair to explore brady's career arc at this point. He's 34…. not 24. It doesn't mean I'm being negative or doom and gloom. Just like it's fair to take a look at peyton mannin'g career arc and how many more chances he'll get. players due tend to slow down in their mid 30's.
    To me, that's an example of a writer getting labeled as 'negative' or 'lazy' when they're just taking a fair look at a HOF player. I bet many pats fans, after watching how great Brady's been the last few years, have wondered how many superbowls he might wn before he retires.

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

      I can see that there is no reasoning with you on this topic. The majority of your comments express similar sentiments. (Which begs the question of why bother coming back here if you disagree so much with everything)

      Fair criticism of the team and franchise is always accepted. The problem is too many take it beyond reasonable and go out of their way to speculate about things, or create problems that don't exist. Or they make it personal. I have big problems with those.

      If MacMullin's article actually explored Brady's career arc, that would be very interesting. It didn't. The theme of the article was "The clock is ticking. Brady is getting older. He's not perfect anymore. He doesn't have the franchise receiver. Does he feel the urgency?"

      Please explain to me how that is "exploring Brady's career arc?"

    • latetodinner

      Again I think you miss the point. Plenty of writers are critical without being negative. Plenty second guess without an agenda. If you see a slant it is because time in and time out Bruce shows the same writers saying the same negative things in order to create "look at me" controversy. Maybe he is tired of illustrating bias and not having the offending writer self-introspect and then correct. If you can't see that then I am not sure I can get you to understand why Bruce's site is pretty objective.

      To answer your second question…Jackie McMullin (*quick disclaimer…I like her work a lot and try to read all I can) column was doom and gloom because of time and place context. Its fine to think that because Brady is getting older he will start to deteriorate. My suggestion is write the column and have it ready to go when you actually see the deterioration. I don't think coming off a unanimous MVP season before the first real game was played was the right time and place. As such I completely see why Bruce thinks she is full of doom and gloom. I read her piece and thought it was weak. It was full of suppositions about what other QB's do wondering when that will happen to Brady, but had no real basis in fact regarding Brady…at least not yet.

      Let me go a step further. I believe that institutionally the Globe has a policy of being negative towards the Pats. I think being in that press room influences JM and what she sees and hears because people like Shaughnessey, Gasper, Young and Cafardo (I am leaving Bedard out because the book is still being written on him) bitch, moan, whine and kvetch about covering the Pats and as such do a lousy job of observing and reporting. Even someone as good as Jackie Mac can get caught up in that. So she goes out and writes a piece that if it were posted somewhere else might be innocent…at the Globe…there is an agenda.

  • Winning_

    You mention this site is biased towards supporting the Patriots. However, should I point to "writers" such as Shank or Borges or SMY? Do I really need to go there. There are two ends to every spectrum. You have Patriot bobo's and then the poop-throwers. This site is the in between. The problem is, many media types are drifted to one side, or left for other job pursuits, reducing their role or voice in this market. There are plenty of writers who can be critical of the Pats and not receive the Wrath of Kahn (see Rap, Curran in print of Quick Slants, Reiss). The fact of the matter is the "reporters" who seem to have the largest stage like Felger, Shank, Borges, etc are completely one-sided in the coverage. Because this is so biased and slanted left, usually based on opinion not fact, the natural reaction is to go the other direction, hence this website and its commenters.

    • latetodinner

      Good reply Winning…I was trying to say the same things…just not as articulately.

  • JohnnyApps

    Late To Dinner, newspapers across the country and websites are filled with retrospective articles about coaches, players and teams when new seasons start. It's been that way forever. JM should not have to wait until Brady starts to show signs of losing it before writing an article like that. I'll guarantee you next year or over the next several years in Feb or as the season is starting the Globe, Herald and all the media outlets will be writing about how much longer Pedey and Youk will be in their primes, how long Tito will manage, etc.

    • latetodinner

      If she wants to write a retrospective that speculates on how many more years Brady has left then have at it. If the retrospective is predictive and dependent on decline when no evidence of any exists then she is deliberately writing doom and gloom. This is not that complicated. Brady signed a 5 year extension this past off-season. Seems to me that the evidence points to him playing at least 5 more years. JM knows this. So her article is based on predicting decline not actual evidence of decaying performance. There was NO NEED to write that article now, she chose or WANTED to write that article now…why…what was the agenda? That is the point Bruce was making.

      • Winning_

        audience golf clapping in the distance…

  • bostonsportsmedia

    Little late here but the "reason" that WEEI spread about SportsHub dumptrucking their numbers ONLY because of the Bruins? Busted.

    Latest August #'s right here: http://boards.radio-info.com/smf/index.php?topic=

    Some comments also mentioned that SportHub's Pats/coverage will continue to help these #'s.

    The Marconi for SportsHub is also icing on the cake.

    Over under on certain hosts @ WEEI's shelf life?