BSMW Enemies List – Edition 1

In reality, I can’t say I have a lot of personal enemies. When it comes to the Boston sports media however, there are figures who I think do their best to simply annoy people, get under their skin and do nothing but bring attention to themselves. These people I view as “enemies” of the Boston sports fan. Their aim is not enlightenment or to be informative, but to upset and annoy people. They excel at it.

This is my current list. It is constantly changing based on events of that week or month, and I may update it periodically going forward. There are some who certainly would’ve been on the list in the past, but who have been quiet as of late, or haven’t been as effective at being annoying as they are capable.

1) Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The SportsHub, Boston.com.

I don’t see anyone knocking Tony off this perch in the near future. I know it’s called his “on-air persona” and that people insist that off the airwaves he is the nicest human being you could possibly ever want to know. I really don’t care. His 98.5 persona is the most miserable person I could imagine. According to Tony, everything and everybody SUCKS, he does incredibly terrible “impressions” of Boston sports fans (out of the Glenn Ordway playbook) and actually seems to hate sports and that fans that enjoy them. I cannot listen to him on that show. He makes Michael Felger sane, reasonable and likable by comparison.

2) Joe Sullivan, Boston Globe sports editor.

When he’s not taking shots at Patriots fans on Twitter, he’s using his staff to do it for him. Or he’s allowing his investigative reporters publish insinuations that Terry Francona was a drug-addled philanderer in his final days of his tenure as manager of the Red Sox. He does things like insist that his staff refer to Tom Brady’s Monday morning WEEI interview as a “paid contractual obligation.” He’s overseen the decline of the greatest sports section of the country, a section that pushes Dan Shaughnessy as its superstar over the much superior Bob Ryan.

3) Gerry Callahan, WEEI, Boston Herald.

Another miserable human being, though unlike Massarotti, I don’t hear a lot of people saying that he’s a great guy off the air. Maybe he is, but I haven’t heard anyone say it. If you heard Callahan’s interview with Kevin Garnett this morning, you were just waiting for him to say something that would have him back in sensitivity training. Nothing makes me switch the dial quicker than when the patented Callahan whiny sneer is employed.

4) Shalise Manza Young, Boston Globe.

What happened here? Shalise has become so much of what is wrong with the sports media today – entitled, whiny and uninformed. Her Boston.com chats are mind-numbing in terms of the strawman arguments she employs. “If you’d rather finish 13-3 and lose in the first round of the playoffs instead of going 11-5 and winning the Super Bowl, that is certainly your right as a fan.” Complaining about access and Coach Personality is her schtick, and she does it well.

5) Mark Farinella. Who?

I have a lot of respect for Farinella as the longest-tenure guy on the Patriots beat. He’s seen everything down there. Maybe he could share some of that perspective rather than talking about organizing walkouts of Bill Belichick press conferences or devoting entire columns and blog posts to childish foot-stomping against “self-appointed NH-based media critics.”

Others warranting mention: Dan Shaughnessy, Mike Adams, John Dennis, Lou Merloni, Andy Gresh, Ron Borges. Jermaine Wiggins.

  • Tom

    I was thinking the same thing last week. Felger was being miserable, although I’ve given him a pass since 2002 for being one of the first to really push the Pats as a great team. But his pass….baiscally gone. Today’s Felger you would hardly think it is the same guy. As for Mazz, it must be an act. he seemed like a fairly nice guy as little as a few years back, now he’s just Bobby bitter…big time hater of all things sport. Both Felger and Mazz seem to not even enjoy sports. To hear them diss Rondo, as well as others to be fair, but they are all over him. Is he Chris Paul? No, but is it his fault??? NO. he’s still a great player, and his contract is more than fair. Plus he plays through injury, and is tough. Take away the rapists 6/24/Stern special, and the C’s would have two titles with him. The Bruins are kicking ass, and the pats are winning without a defense. OK, if a team has Chris Wallace as GM, and is killing its chances several years into the future w/ idiotic trades, fine that’s one thing to worry. But a title each in all 4 sports within’ 6 years. Where the heck is the bitterness coming from???

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    Dear Bruce,

    This column SUCKS. This site SUCKS. Tom Brady arguing with O'Brien SUCKS. Everything SUCKS! Except Fleeger, of course. Marshmawnt. Applebon.

    Signed, Mazz.

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    In all seriousness, how many legit sports sections would allow someone to mention another paper or blog that "attacked" them? And, I'd put this site above a blog because it's not some personal bombthrowing machine where the authors just take shots at pieces. I am not a journalist but I could never see a national outlet doing this at all.

    Did you forget Fred Smerlas? Honorable mention alone for calling LawFirm "Jarvis Green" on the show (no he didn't know his first nor full name). An analyst that is paid to only cover one team can't even get his name right, even with him being somewhat of a star here? I turn off Comcast when he's on because of how bad any sort of analysis is.

    • murray

      Fred is actually one of the few who can break down a game instead of kvetch. I can see why you hate him

  • Tom

    The only one the surpises me is SMY… I follow her on Twitter and never really noticed negativity, that would be more than the norm at least, about the team or access or the answers given. Granted, I don't go on those chats, and it sounds like there is more of that there.
    When it comes to the Pats media and their reaction to BB's less-than-enlightening press conferences… I do have some sympathy for them. Not that BB doesn't give them chapter and verse on everything… too bad, they need to suck it up… but when he takes a pretty inocuous question and just rudely dismisses it, especially after losses, it's human nature to react to it.

    BTW: This is coming from someone who generally can't stand the Pats media contingent.

    • latetodinner

      Bruce and I argued about SMY when she was with the Projo. She was over her head then and it is even worse now. Not only does she not know football, she does not know how to be a reporter. She complains about access rather than looking for stories or angles that are available to her. She makes veiled insults at Bill Belichick as if she is in on some funny insider media joke. But worst of all, she thinks restating the obvious counts as reporting. I would say I am amazed she has a job but to be honest she fits perfectly at the Globe with their agenda driven Pats coverage.

  • John

    What’s wrong with Merloni? He’s only negative about the Pats defense and it’s not like he isn’t right.

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      I don't mind him on baseball but anything else, all he does is regurgitate whatever the overall talking points are from the media.. I understand that it'd be impossible to have any analyst who has played more than one sport, but aren't you paid to do more than reiterate headlines and come up with some original value? I know Comcast is not ESPN but aren't they paid >100k? I'd think that would mean you are earning the dollars to come up with something original or at least frame something in a different way? You could throw quite a few on the media outlets here.

      Maybe I'm just expecting too much? Or, if they're that good, you would have relocated to Bristol.

  • Classless

    Great call on Manza-Young. Feel free to call her out on Twitter. She'll respond all butthurt instantly and digitally roll her eyes. I can't remember anything she's added to the sports equation besides "Sigh…another pointless Belichick presser."

    Also, I would at least include Mike Adams in the top 5 for the simple reason that he actually has a show on a major sports radio station and he's had it for years. That alone is inexplicable. I guess people like talking about Manny Ramirez and Bill Spaceman Lee every night.

  • L3s

    Someone just messed their royal blue Bike Coaches Polyester Shorts down by the Emerald Square Mall.

  • rrsafety

    Mazz's column on Brady's ego being a cancer in the clubhouse was truly sickening. Just behind it was Felger's comment yesterday of, "Brady doesn't make his receivers better."

    Boston a great sports town? Not quite.

  • CBK

    I'd like to second, third, fourth, and fifth the notion on Mike Adams. The guy can name every member of the 1975 Red Sox but can he name one guy on the 2011 Bruins or Celtics? His act consists solely of toilet humor and irrational Yankees hatred. I literally can't listen to him when he's on the air.

  • Fred_West_Lynn

    While Joe Sullivan is certainly culpable for destroying what was once an informative and enjoyable sports section, I'd have to also mention his superiors, who have a perverse impulse to put Shaughnessy on the FRONT PAGE of the newspaper, with his full little caricature, byline in 20-point type and generally presenting Shanks bilious and trite observations in a manner more fitting coverage of the lunar landing or a special contribution from a famous author. Ted Kennedy himself didn't get the fawning treatment that Globe honchos lavish on their balding carrottop. I cannot stand stand Shank — as it well documented in BSMW — but sometimes the kid throwing a tantrum isn't the only one at fault. The parents get some blame, too.

  • murray

    If you can not tell the diff between Fred and Wiggy I don't know what to tell you

    • latetodinner

      George did not mention Fred Smerlas…he mentioned Pete Shepard. I really don't know what to tell you if you think they are one in the same.

      • Murray

        He did I just replied to the wrong post

  • latetodinner

    Bruce…interesting column.

    I am assuming Burt Breer was left off the list because he has gone "national"? I would add Kirk Minihan to the honorable mentions because he has no use for the fans or for that matter anyone other than himself.

    Just because of their podium I think Borges would rate in my top 5 far before the annoying excuse for a writer from Attleboro. The AEFAWFA does not exist in my world because he has no talent and no creativity. Borges has a pretty large soapbox and his anti management rhetoric is predictable and annoying.

    Lastly, I am assuming Kevin Mannix received the life time achievement award in the category.

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      Was Breer that bad when here? He must have showed promise as NFLN has him covering many prominent stories and his exposure was augmented during the lockout. From many people, I kept hearing that he really raised his stock via the non-stop NFLN coverage on the lockout.

      I know he mentions–not complains–about the "access", but when he is on with Gresh, I like how he is one of the only ones that Gresh will yield authority to.

      • latetodinner

        Breer was competent when he was with Reiss. It was clear Reiss was setting the agenda and within those constraints Breer did adequate work. As soon as Reiss left and Breer was left to set his own agenda he became insufferable. He quickly became a BB hater. He complained frequently about access and information flow. On top of that he became negatively contrarian it appeared out of spite.

        I have no idea why NFLN hired him. I am just glad he is off the Pats beat. Gresh bows to his opinion because Breer is one of the few people more negative towards the Pats than Gresh is. I might argue that Breer is the reporter Gresh dreams of being…but that would churn my stomach thinking about it.

  • Siggy

    Well, well, well…it's nice to see Bruce back in form. You could see it building in the titles of the Patriots posts the last few weeks. Nothing like a bile-filled screed to rattle the cage at the Sports Lodge (hat tip FT.) Keep it up.

    Heard an interesting exchange late today on the Fleg/Maz show. After another day enduring 3.5 hours of 'that's CRAP, he's a CRAP player, he doesn't give a CRAP because he SUCKS and he plays for a SUCK team in a SUCK town' Fleg said something like 'Tony if we're here in 4 years I will play the tape and see if you're right' on some subject, maybe the Red Sox. And then I think he said 'Don't screw it up.' Someone please correct me on the specifics, but it sounded to me like he was getting a little fed up with Tony. Maz is getting lazy and complacent and that won't play well with Fleger.

    I thought Maz was doing a good job the first year or so but no so much now. Could the Dream Team of Mike and Mike happen once Holley gets out from under the Big O?

    • latetodinner

      I have made this argument before but it bears repeating. There are two Tony Mazz's. The clown/character he plays on the Felger/Mazz show and the thoughtful, well researched and prepared Tony Mazz he plays on the Baseball Reporters. The Tony Mazz on the afternoon show has not become lazy…he was always lazy. He mocks the fans, the sports and others in his profession with utter abandon. His role is to make Felger look like the rational one…which surprises me because Felger plays the contrarian so well. Someone was smart at 98.5 making sure they made Felger's opinions seem moderate.

      I don't believe that when Holley's contract is up he will team with Felger. Aside from the fact that pairing would bore the crap out of me, I think WEEI plans on moving ordway out and giving the show and a new partner to Holley. I think 98.5 likes Felger and Mazz together. They have chemistry as much as it annoys a lot of us…they are making good ratings and a lot of money.

      • George Cain

        Mazz is like many of the old media. They have a disdain for fans, callers. They want to talk about what they want to talk about and they really don't care for many opinions outside their own. The goal is to create a topic and then open it for discussion. But more and more on radio its the Colin Cowherds of the world. I'm smart, listen to me, don't talk though. John Henry was surprised to figure out it was entertainment. And that's really what it is.
        The newer media, the twittersphere crew are much better. And there are guys like Christopher Price who are just nice guys and solid reporters.

        • bostonsportsmediafan

          Have to throw in Mike Reiss here. He's one of the two guys for Pats news that I follow on twitter for my feed.

      • 02062

        Have to disagree with you on the Baseball Reporters Show.

        The 1st year it was great and well thought and pleasant to listen to.

        Last year it was dreadful – He's in the studio by himself and all he does is yell.

        THIS IS A JOYLESS TEAM (this was when they were in the middle of that run where they were playing GREAT).

  • Bixy1

    This is some weird paranoid stuff. My lord. I've been coming here for the last year for some insight, particularly after 98.5 started challening EEI. But this is just too much. Some incredible trolling. An article like this is more than a challenge to the powers that be. It's a f'n cry for help. Sad stuff Bruce.

    • mandb97

      and what paper or station do you work for?

    • peter

      Sincerely,

      Tony Massarotti

  • Bixy1

    Comments must be reviewed? Even sadder

    • tl;138

      Bruce posted your post. No worries.

  • MrEdRomero

    I challenge anyone to get through the 6 PM DA monolog without changing the channel.

    • Smittya254087

      I agree DA is gotten progressively worse. How does stay on the air?

  • Real Journo

    Clarifying Brady's WEEI interviews for what they are is good journalism, Bruce. He is compensated to come on their program. You have to disclose that in the interest of transparency. ESPN makes reference to it, the Herald and Globe do, as do most if not all of the local TV stations.

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

      That's absolutely fine. The issue I take is that it is only done for Tom Brady/Patriots, and the manner in which it is done. They don't do this for weekly Red Sox player/manager appearances, or Bruins or Celtics, only Tom Brady. Why?

      • latetodinner

        I am shocked that Larry Lucchino's weekly appearance is not referred to as a compensated appearance. Or that the weekly Dustin Pedroia "laser show" is a compensated appearance. How about the Danny Ainge appearance on WEEI or the Cam Neeley appearance on 98.5? Are any of these ever referred to as their weekly paid appearance? Now if I were cynical (but as a Boston Sports Fan I am not so I am really stretching my imagination with this one) I might conclude that there is a double standard in town when it comes to how the Patriots and other franchises are covered.

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    After this post, Bruce might have one of the five above storm into his office and demand to be on the air or in print. We can only hope the simulcast is up in time!

  • Richard

    I think it's perfectly fine to critique the radio guys. When you've won all 4 major titles in a decade it demonstrates that the city is sports crazy and knowledgeable.
    Now regarding Mazz… absolutely pathetic. All he says (other than so and so SUCKS), is "You're right, Mike." It really does take an monumental bozo to make Felder sound rational and sincere.
    Speaking of Felger I don't know if it's because he's got another kid, the Bruins won or that his favorite punching bag (Randy Moss) he has been long gone but he seems to have mellowed and stopped the conspiratorial stuff.
    My biggest wish for 98.5 would be a four hour session in which Bob Ryan could slap the NBA hating out of Felger. His utter disdain for EVERYTHING in the NBA is awful. Anytime he even starts talking about it I have to turn the radio off. He has NOTHING positive to say about anything about basketball. I don't know how you can get away with completing alienating fans of an entire sport (especially with a successful and popular team). I wish someone could explain to him that he's losing listeners with the utter hatred and dismissiveness of the NBA.

    • George Cain

      Well Felger is guilty of the same stuff with the NBA that he condemned with Hockey in this town. I am amazed how the talent dictate to the station managers. You never want to quell an opinion, but you also don't piss off the owners of the local teams. Wyc clearly hates Felger and so would I if a media member who is on the network that we pay rights fees to is constantly attacking my product, not my team.

      There is a HUGE difference with not liking the Celtics and attacking the Sport of Basketball. Which might not be the most popular winter sport in Boston right now, but is the 2nd most widely viewed Professional sport in the country.

      I grew up a big Howard Stern fan, and what I loved when he was branching out was he attacked other radio hosts. I think that would be interesting in this town.

      Its already one step away from wrestling, make it legit wrestling.

      • Doc Michaels

        "Which might not be the most popular winter sport in Boston right now, but is the 2nd most widely viewed Professional sport in the country. "

        Based on what? Though it's dependent on match-ups both ways, the ratings for the NBA finals are often beaten soundly by the World Series when it's a match-up that has national appeal. That's more of a measuring stick than "Game of the Week" ratings IMO. In this town, the Celtics are also clearly now #4 on the roster as well. Even Bruins regular season ratings have outdrawn Celtic games over the last couple of years.

        Beyond that, how many people were really broken up over the lockout? Other than die-hard basketball fans and ESPN, I don't think the average sports fan cared at all.

    • Winning_

      WEEI got away with it for years (See Bruins or Hockey Talk) but only because there wasn't a 2nd radio station. Felger's show could contribute to that in regards to basketball but the difference is that TSH doesn't allienate the sport of basketball like all shows on WEEI did to hockey. It appears specific to Felger. I find it funny that Mazz has no spine in arguing with Felger that basketball should be talked about. he simply YARMS to death.

    • tl;138

      I think he stopped the conspiracy stuff because all of his conspiracy theories were proven to be false and it made him look even more like the dope that he is.

  • Paul of Fox

    With Felger and Mazz, they need to replace one of them with someone who will actually call the other one out on their B.S. Apparently, the 98.5 bosses haven't learned that the most entertaining radio sports talk (at least for me) is a debate between *opposing* viewpoints. With Felger and Mazz, then they actually disagree, it is more like, "He's awful." "He's really awful." "Nope, he's just awful." "No, no, no, he's really, *really* awful." Of course, it'll end up with YARM. Ho-hum. How about someone who could come in and say, "Actually, you're full of it. He's doing good and I'll tell you why…"

    Instead, the only conflict Felger and Mazz can cook up is with the fans by yelling out outrageous opinions sure to offend as many as possible. Sure, it works, but at some point you'll piss off too many of them and, even worse, become predictable and boring.

    • George Cain

      I always thought at their best, Mike and the Mad Dog was the best two man booth. Different opinions, but rational arguments. Plus Mad Dog liked only the Giants, Francesa hates the Jets, it was an interesting dichotomy. I thought Ordway and Holley would present more of that.

      Funny at lunch today, Colin Cowherd said I he hates callers because they are mostly dumb. That is indicative of most talk show hosts. Of course that's why I rarely listen to Cowherd, he only wants to talk so his show offers no debate.

  • http://twitter.com/awesomeneil @awesomeneil

    If Farinella organized a media walkout of a mid-week or post-game press conference, does he really think Belichick would care?

  • Tyler

    YAR, GC. Aside from SMY, everyone in Bruce's Top 5 is at least competent at SOMETHING. Gresh brings absolutely nothing to the table.

  • Ken

    Agree that Mazz is horrible. Even when he tries to make a point, he has to put numerous caveats on it in case he gets proven wrong. I think he get that from his big O training from EEI. I think his favorite phrases beyond “Yes Mike, I agree” are “I’m not staying”, “I don’t mean” and “I know it’s a small sample size but” He refuses to offer any points without these lead ins just so he can cover his butt. I’ve finally tired of their show and just listen to music during my commute.

  • whitey bulger

    Gerry Callahan's issues are lifelong. Who else remembers the 1979 super bowl, when he was playing for Chelmsford, and Chelmsford ran back a kick for a touchdown that would have won the game, but Callahan got flagged for a cheap shot, costing Chelmsford the win? Guy has always been a gutless turd.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    sort of off topic but now that Edelman has been cleared wonder if sports yakkers who tried and convicted him will now be contrite?….What the hell am I thinking?…of course they won't…they'll say they were trying to, "inspire debate"

    • Winning

      See Gerald Callahan

      • Angry Old Bastard

        can't see "Gerald Callahan" other than hearing him for about 2 seconds while trying to hit Brady or Boomer Esiason or Adam Schefter interview, I gave up that habit long ago.

  • Louis

    Mazz's Boston fan shtick annoys me to know end. Think about it … Tony – you are insulting your listeners! Does this make ANY sense? I wouldn't last in biz if I insulted my customers daily.

    He's annoying and a yes may to Felger but the shtick is the icing that points me over the top. #1 by a loooong margin in my book.

  • Scott

    Bruce–love this!! Tony is the worst. Is he directed to aggravate listeners? When the ratings fall, and they will,he will be tossed overboard while flushing his credibility down the drain. He is in character as "evil Tony" from WEEI. Tony is CBS—crap, blows, sucks. Buckley mentioned he has been at the Herald 15 years—he wins the Mr Irrelevant award hands down. Adams is like an unemployed uncle with nothing in life but boring stories from the 70's. Obviously mid-day and nights in radio are worthless—why does either station pay 2 people to bore us when one would be sufficient?

  • etak

    I've discovered, after not listening to The Big Show for a few months, that Ordway occasionally shuts up. Glory be! More specifically, the show (Holley, Ordway, and the producers, I assume) have found a way to let Holley talk — Ordway's positioned as In Charge, but (and this is important) Holley and the show's mechanics combine to undermine that. They're doing very well with it. (The show's still annoying, but at least Holley's not disappearing anymore.)

    As for your list — Yes, yes, God yes, dunno her, dunno him.

    What's so bad about Merloni? Or, rather, why Lou and not Mutt, too? Because ew.

  • Boston Dan

    I can't listen to any of these shows anymore and I was a diehard on WEEI for years and gave 98.5 a chance. The only show worth listening to is Toucher and Rich. The rest of the hosts are a combination of egotistical, not funny, ignorant about sports or all of the above.

    Funniest thing is Pete Sheppard doing a show for the patriots website. Oh how the fat, mighty and loud have fallen.

  • Doc Michaels

    Spot on Bruce.

    On a side note, have 98.5's ratings topped off? Ordway mentioned on the Big Show the other day "have you seen the ratings lately." I haven't seen anything recently so I can only imagine EEI took a gain since jumping to FM…a combination of that and perhaps listeners getting worn out by Mazz's shtick on that show might have slowed down the 98.5 train.

    Wouldn't surprise me if that's the case, since Chad Finn only seems to mention ratings when 98.5 does something major.

    • mandb97

      Doc, since going to FM WEEI's ratings have gone up significantly. Chad Finn did mention it in October, the first full month WEEI went to FM. Finn also said he will have a comprehensive article in January when the quarterly ratings are in. As of now WEEI is averaging fourth moving up from ninth in September. 98.5 is still pretty comfortably in first.

  • Ryan

    It the DA show was on during the day people would realize how good he is

    Compete Level 10

  • mandb97

    Bruce, this is a very good list. Two of the top five are Boston Sports Media Moron Hall of Fame members in Maz and Callahan. Gresh, another member of this elite group, is in the dishonorable mention group. I see you left out Gary Tanguay. I'll just believe that's an oversight because unfortunately, there are just so many dregs in this region.

    I was very pleased to see Joe Sullivan on the list. I understand where Fred Lynn West is coming from when saying Sullivan's bosses should hold him accountable, but I think the globe lets their editors control the content. There is no question the Globe has a huge bias against the Patriots and for the Red Sox. Sullivan, I'm sure is furious that the Patriots make the Globe's life miserable so he sets the agenda for his writers to take as many shots at the organization as possible. Nobody does it better than Shaughnessy, who still is upset at not being allowed to join a breakfast from over a decade ago. Dan, let it go.

    The one business question I have about the Globe is if they do any market research. If they do, I find it hard to believe that people would lose sleep over not being able to read Dan Shaughnessy.

    The big disappointment is Shalize Manza Young. She was a good read at the Pro Jo. Her last story was the firing of Dean Pees in which she took a lot of abuse from Glenn Ordway, Dale Arnold and others who felt she had no idea what she was talking about. Young wound up getting the last laugh. Unfortunately, Shalize has acquired the Patriots media virus that makes you whine about your job constantly. There must a cure though because Greg Bedard who suffered heavily from the virus now seems to feel better because he has stopped tweeting incessantly about how tough the Patriots make his life.

    I find it ironic that Mark Farinella is the most senior scribe on the Patriots beat but acts like the biggest child.

  • Clay

    Re Mazz
    When he was a regular on WEEI I thought he was a voice of reason and had original and well-reasoned view points.
    But as noted he has joined the dark side. He hates everything and everybody. He is totally glass half-empty all of a sudden.
    I can't help but wonder if he is playing a "role" on this station. In any case, 100$ negativity isn't balanced enough for me.

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