Cherington Era Under Way At Fenway

NH’s Ben Cherington officially took over at Red Sox General Manager yesterday, speaking at an afternoon press conference at Fenway Park.

Reaction from the event is mostly positive this morning, as Cherington takes over a talented but troubled team that looks to return to contender status in 2012.

A lifetime of preparation for Ben Cherington – Kevin Gray in the NH Union Leader gives you the background of the new GM. Bill Burt talks to Cherington’s mother about her son’s new job. Steve Buckley says that Cherington and his family know what he signed up for with this job. Bob Ryan notes that Cherington is another certified member of Gammons Youth.

Ben Cherington steps up to the plate – Gordon Edes has Cherington taking on thorny issues head-on, giving a lesson to his absent bosses yesterday. Sean McAdam says that while the GM has changed, many of the philosophies will remain. Peter Abraham has the new GM eager to get started. Scott Lauber has Cherington finally getting the opportunity that he has waited so long for. Tim Britton says that Cherington has been preparing for this job for a long time. Tony Lee says that Cherington’s introduction yesterday was impressive. Mike Fine says that Cherington will try to keep some things the same, while bringing his own twist on certain things.

Epstein, Cherington inspire emotional tale of two cities for Red Sox – Alex Speier looks at a day that was all over the map for the Red Sox front office.

As Cherington signs on, Red Sox issues await – Maureen Mullen runs down the list of issues that Cherington must address. Visiting Carl Crawford this offseason as he works in the batting cages is on the list.

John Lackey injury blessing in disguise – John Tomase says that Tommy John surgery and a year off might be the best thing for both Lackey and the Red Sox.

Pap, Papi figure to test free agent market – Lauber’s notebook has the Red Sox top two free agents likely to at least test the free agent market. The Patriot Ledger notebook has more on Lackey’s surgery.

Brady has found Steel Curtain to be no barrier – Greg A Bedard looks at Tom Brady’s success against the Steelers’ defense.

Transition Game: Several positional battles still taking place on Patriots roster – Christopher Price looks at a few spots in the lineup where there is competition for the starting role.

Patriots still waiting on Albert Haynesworth – Karen Guregian says that the Patriots lineman talks a good game, but they need him to finally play one.

How does Kevin Faulk fit in RB mix? – Chris Forsberg looks at where the returning veteran will fit in the lineup.

Sebastian Vollmer eyes return to give line a boost – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots tackle “hoping” to play this week.

On a pretty good run – Monique Walker has BenJarvus Green-Ellis remaining a steady contributor.

Brandon Deaderick works toward return on line – Rapoport’s notebook has the second year lineman eager to get back. The Globe notebook from Gary Washburn has more on Haynesworth. The Patriots Journal has the team almost at full strength heading out of the bye.

Bruins hope to get back on track vs. Habs – Mike Loftus has the Bruins hoping that a pair of matches with their hated rivals will get them going.

Bruins aim to break bad Hab-its – Stephen Harris has the Bruins hoping the home-and-home series will get them on track.

Chiarelli preaches patience – Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has the Bruins GM insisting his team will come around.

Bruins better in net than what they’ve shown – Joe Haggerty says that the skaters around the goaltenders need to improve.

Sports Media Musings: NESN Forgot To Cover Theo Epstein’s Departure, CSNNE Flexes Muscle with Chicago Affliate

You thought “Sox Appeal” was cancelled? The laughable Red Sox-centric date program may have unceremoniously ended, but the stigma lives on. In fact, it permeates throughout the entire network. NESN decided they won’t report on Yankee victories next season. In their eyes, the World Series was cancelled after Jon Papelbon blew game 162 in Baltimore.

I’m obviously being (somewhat) sarcastic. But NESN is not a viable sports network. After 10 years as Red Sox General Manager, Theo Epstein made his first appearance in Chi-town at a Cubs press conference today. I suppose, because this isn’t exactly seen as a ‘warm’ moment for those running Yawkey Way, NESN decided to skip-out.

Oversight.

No big deal, really.

NESN decided this wasn’t newsworthy.

The station instead thought better-of-it to play a “NESN Daily” re-run. A re-run which by the way featured a Heidi Watney narrated piece on “Who Ben Cherington really is.” Of course, this had a clip of the Globe’s Nick Carfardo effusively praising the new architect of our ‘beloved’ BoSox.

Really?

NESN has been accurately accused of not covering the Patriots or Celtics as extensive as the two teams, the Bruins and Red Sox, they hold the game rights to. That argument sailed away a long time ago. Futhermore, NESN’s coverage of the Bruins is being usurped – in terms of ratings – by CSNNE. You’re telling me, the “Three Stooges” are going to lose ALL credibility in their coverage of the cash-cow (Red Sox) as well?

I understand Sox ownership, who own NESN, don’t exactly want to throw hosannas at the feet of Theo Epstein as he jettisons town — but, my God, cover the team. Cover the team. COVER THE TEAM. This is something that should have had attention and analysis  before and after-the-fact.

Ugh.

Comcast SportsNet New England had their Chicago affiliate feed their broadcast of the presser. Immediately following Theo’s Hello-Goodbye moment, Mike Giardi and Sean McAdam discussed what was said as well as projected what would happen in Ben Cherington’s introductory press-conference later in the day.

(Because, you know, they cover sports stories in this town.)

Red Sox Still Talk Of The Town

The Red Sox remain the biggest topic of conversation around here, but hopefully we’re moving away from the “drinking in the clubhouse” discussions and towards the “what moves should they be making” discussions.

In yesterday’s Globe baseball notes, Nick Cafardo made the case that the Red Sox should try and get John Farrell away from the Blue Jays. Comments from the Toronto GM would seem to indicate that the door might be open for a move, but Rob Bradford looks at Why John Farrell should be the Red Sox’ next manager but won’t be.

Also in the Sunday Globe yesterday was a full-page advertisement from Theo Epstein, thanking Red Sox fans for 10 years of support. Also, in an effort to mess with his reader’s heads, Dan Shaughnessy wrote a glowing column on Epstein and the job he did here. (Maybe Dan and Larry Lucchino are on a break these days?)

Gone, never forgotten – John Tomase reviews Epstein’s reign as Red Sox GM.

Here’s looking at you, Theo – Gordon Edes looks at what is next for Theo and for the Red Sox.

The Patriots return from their time off this week and prepare to face the Steelers next Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Patriots superlatives – Ian Rapoport gives us the superlatives (yearbook-style) for the first half of the season.

Brown’s D.J. Hernandez serves as role model for Pats’ Aaron – Bill Reynolds with a look at the Brown assistant coach, and older brother of the Patriots tight end.

Life on Pats’ practice squad is a wild ride – Glen Farley with a look at the ups and downs that come with being a practice squad player.

Patriots’ Spikes learns game on the fly – Monique Walker has a look at the second-year middle linebacker and the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the defense.

In search of some early risers – Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook has the Bruins desperately needing to finish shots early in games.

An unheralded Kelly leads B’s by example – Steve Conroy looks at the impact Kelly has made on the Bruins since coming over in a trade last February.