Watney Officially Out At NESN, Sox Still Searching…

While Sean McAdam and Chad Finn reported yesterday that Heidi Watney would not be returning to NESN, the network officially confirmed the news this morning by issuing a statement from NESN President and CEO Sean McGrail:

“Heidi Watney will not be returning to NESN next year. She is pursuing other opportunities that would bring her closer to her family on the west coast. We respect Heidi’s decision and would like to thank her for everything that she has brought to NESN over the past 4 years and wish her the very best.”

Watney was a popular topic this morning, as several outlets wrote about her departure.

Heidi Watney heads back to California – The Boston Herald tells of a humiliating encounter with a rude Bill Murray a few years back.

NESN reporter latest to leave Fenway – Mike Fine has Watney as the latest in a long line of exits from Fenway Park this offseason.

Heidi Watney trading Red Sox beat to cover Los Angeles Lakers – Vernon Hill reports for the Springfield Republican.

Heidi Watney Leaving NESN to Head West & Cover the Lakers - Ryan Durling has Watney urging followers just the other day not to jump to conclusions.

Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney is leaving NESN – Brian Rabuffetti on Examiner.com cites rumors of Watney’s personal life.

Say it ain’t so! Heidi Watney leaves Red Sox for Lakers gig – The Yahoo! Sports baseball blog notes that Watney worked hard to improve her game over her four seasons here.

The Red Sox may have lost out on their top managerial candidate, as Dale Sveum has emerged as the favorite to be hired by Theo Epstein to manage the Cubs in 2012.

Cubs want Dale Sveum; Sox search goes on – Scott Lauber has the Cubs offering Sveum the job. Sean McAdam says that it’s likely that Sveum will take the job. In the Globe, Peter Abraham says that this may force the Red Sox to re-open their search for a new manager.

Sox hoping slow, steady wins race – Michael Silverman notes that in the three weeks since Ben Cherington took over, the Red Sox have yet to make a single significant decision.

Sox want the goods from Cubs – Nick Cafardo reports that the Red Sox are still insisting on “significant” compensation from the Cubs for Epstein.

Sox could bring on Minaya to baseball ops staff – Maureen Mullen reports that the Sox might be considering the former Mets GM for a front office role here.

Down in Foxborough yesterday, Rob Ninkovich was one of the centers of attention, following his two pick night (one of which, Steve Burton noted after the game, was an interception!) in New York on Sunday.

Handy man – Julian Benbow as a look at Ninkovich once again proving himself on a national stage. Mark Farinella wonders if Ninkovich, in addition to taking his number #50, might fill Mike Vrabel’s old role as a goal-line tight end at some point. Rich Garven has the linebacker rising up with the rest of the no-name defense. Jeff Howe looks at how far Ninkovich has come from being an overwhelmed Saints rookie in 2006. Paul Kenyon has Ninkovich becoming an overnight sensation – in six years.

Andre Carter, Brian Waters make Bill look good – Following the theme of my PD column yesterday, Karen Guregian notes that not every move this year has been a Haynesworth-sized disaster.

Tyler Palko, not Matt Cassel, next up on Pats’ slate – Ian Rapoport has Cassel’s homecoming getting canceled because of injury.

Cannon practices for first time as member of Pats’ active roster – Glen Farley’s notebook has the fifth round pick going through his first practice. The Herald notebook has more on Cannon. The Patriots Journal has Bill Belichick talking about Tyler Palko. The Globe notebook from Julian Benbow and Monique Walker has more on Chiefs QB.

With no end in sight to the NBA lockout, we’ve got a pair of Celtics writers doing features on the Bruins this morning:

Peter’s Principles: How the Bruins’ architect built the Cup champions – Paul Flannery has a feature on the Bruins GM.

Chara: The journey, sacrifices, and Stanley Cup – Jessica Camerato has a feature on the Bruins captain.

Bruins putting it all together in win streak – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins hitting their stride.

  • Eddie

    Wow! A three sentence statement from the GM of NESN about Heidi leaving.

    Translated: Heidi asked for a 1.5% cost of living raise, we said no. Hey, we offer great prices on our vending machines, and when she traveled we gave her $6 a day in meal money. We felt she was fairly compensated, and would not give her any further remuneration.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    I wish the Sox would just cut the BS and name Larry Lucchino GM, Manager, Opening Day starter, cleanup hitter/DH, and batboy, because it seems he'll just f–k everything up until he gets what he wants.

    • latetodinner

      Come on Dave…don't make me spit coffee at my monitor because I am laughing so hard…now I have to clean it up.

    • tl;138

      Lucchino runs the Red Sox. John Henry said so. Take it for what it's worth. The President and CEO of every team has influence and direct control of the people under him. I don't know what Red Sox fans don't get about that.

  • latetodinner

    If Boston had a vibrant sports press wouldn't they be asking the $64,000 question:

    What else can Sox management do to look even more incompetent?

    The don't seem to be able to hire a manager for one of the best jobs in baseball. They are destroying NESN (no I don't care if Watney goes…just look at the programing in general). They don't seem to have a closer plan (if they sign a Type A because they did not want to sign Pap that will cement them as dumb).They seem to be negotiating against themselves with Ortiz. They don't look to be in a rush to sign a right fielder. We have not even gotten to the pitching staff. I wonder if the dollars LeBron is generating on South Beach are offsetting the loses here in Boston?

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    Rumor has it Linda Pizzuti, or another poor man's Catherine Zeta-Jones, will be taking over NESN programming and sideline reporting @ RedSox games.

    • tl;138

      Since John Henry has more money than Michael Douglas, wouldn't that make Catherine Zeta-Jones the poor man's Linda Pizzuti?

  • Angry Old Bastard

    yes, yes, and YES!..Hedi was great to look at, other than that a dime a dozen as far as asking questions and overall baseball knowledge…of course that's basicly a "window dressing" job anyway. It's not like I expected her to "grill" Francona or anything….They'll hire another "hot babe" to replace her, no worries.

  • Winning_

    Can the redsox be contracted? Lets bring back the Boston Braves.

  • Andrew

    HD treated Heidi well. I will miss her during sox broadcasts simply because she did her job- which was to be top notch eye candy- without being annoying. Something not easily done by a sideline reporter, which is a completely needless role on a broadcast team. Let's not pretend it is something it isn't.

  • tl;138

    Well, at least sports talk radio has mostly gotten over the Penn State thing. Too bad it's after the big Pat/Jets game…

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