Red Sox lose fourth straight, time to panic?

In what is the most pivotal road trip thus far in the 2012 Red Sox season, the team dropped the first game 9-1 in Texas to the Rangers Monday night. The loss drops them below .500 for the first time since June 16. The games don’t get any easier as they will face the Rangers the next two nights before a travel day on Thursday before taking on the Yankees this weekend in New York. Both teams lead their respective divisions. If the team doesn’t start winning now, the next few months of baseball could have very little meaning in these parts of the country.

Bad starting pitching was once again the issue Monday. Felix Doubront, who leads the team in wins with 10, struggled. He allowed six runs in 5+ innings of work. The offense wasn’t much better as they finished the game going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Their only move: Going backward– Nick Cafardo has things are not going well for the Red Sox at the worst possible time.

Cellar and sellers– Scott Lauber says this stretch for the team could turn them into sellers at the trade deadline.

Red Sox trying to hold together– Joe McDonald has the team needing to start winning games, but most players aren’t panicking yet.

One-and-done playoff might not be worth big trade for Red Sox– Brian MacPherson says the Red Sox might want to consider holding on to their top prospects and not make a big trade at the deadline.

Doubront can’t get Sox back on track– Sean McAdam looks at Doubront’s performance Monday night, one of his worst outings of the year.

On a more positive note, the Bruins signed head coach Claude Julien to a multi-year contract extension, and Patriots training camp kicks off Thursday.

Julien’s extension with Bruins well-deserved– Joe Haggerty says Julien getting the extension that he has certainly earned.

Two Brady favorites vie for jobs– Jeff Howe looks at Deion Branch and Jabar Gaffney possibly competing for playing time.

NESN Hires Former FSN, ESPN Exec Joseph Maar

NESN announced today that they have hired former FOX Sports North Coordinating Producer and ESPN Coordinating Director and Dir of Operations Joseph Maar as their new vice president of programming & production, executive producer.

Here is their full release:

BOSTON, MA – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that Joseph Maar has joined NESN as the vice president of programming & production, executive producer. Maar’s responsibilities will include leading, overseeing and managing NESN’s production, programming and network operations teams.

Maar comes to NESN with over 25 years of experience in the sports media industry, leading and developing the operational, logistical and creative aspects of studio and remote event productions. In his most recent position at FOX Sports North (FSN) regions based out of Minneapolis, Maar led the redevelopment of their original programming. He oversaw live events, studio shows, interactive projects, second screen media and new channel initiatives for two FOX regional sports networks across a five-state region of the Upper Midwest. The telecasts Maar oversaw included the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers (MLB), the Minnesota Wild (NHL), the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks (NBA), the University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Vikings (NFL).

“Joseph has a rare combination of experiences in live sports, original programming, production, operations, and social media that he’ll bring to the management team at NESN,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “We’re thrilled to have someone of Joseph’s caliber join the management team at NESN.”

Prior to working at FSN, Maar worked in ESPN’s Original Entertainment division and helped launch 20 new shows including Pardon The Interruption (PTI) and Around The Horn. Throughout his career he has received three national Emmy Awards, three Telly Awards and over two dozen regional Emmys. In addition, for over a dozen years Maar wrote feature stories and a monthly print column on television production and operations for national trades Television Broadcast and SportsTV Production. He is an oft-requested moderator and panelist at national television industry conventions.

”I am very excited at the opportunity to work with the storied franchises of the Boston Red Sox and Bruins, combined with the tiffany reputation of the programming and staff at NESN,” said Maar.  “I’m equally grateful to serve a network with such a high commitment to volunteerism and charity–something that speaks to my core values.”

Maar is an honors graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also taught for eight years as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He will be relocating to Boston with his wife and three children this summer.

Maar actually announced he was joining NESN last week on his Twitter account:

Let’s hope this leads to some improved programming from NESN.

Monday Thoughts – Ugh, Red Sox.

At what point do we declare the 2012 Red Sox a lost cause?

After the most encouraging win of the season last Thursday night, allowing the Red Sox to take 3 of 4 from the White Sox, after taking 2 of 3 from the Rays, the Red Sox were swept, in decision fashion, by the then-last place Toronto Blue Jays this weekend. As a result, now the Red Sox sit in last place in the AL East.

Horrific starts by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester did the Sox in this weekend, continuing a season-long trend. Rob Bradford notes that the Red Sox are 13-23 in starts by those two this season.

I read over and over how the team cannot trade either of those two while their value is so low. But clearly, something needs to change.

All in all, this may have been the most devastating/disappointing weekend of a season that has been disaster from the beginning.

Elsewhere:

A couple of interesting media bits from the weekend football notes. First Mike Reiss in his Sunday thoughts column:

Bill Belichick is scheduled to meet with reporters each day at training camp at 1 p.m., right before the team takes the field for its lone practice (1:30-4 p.m.). Those news conferences will be in the press box at Gillette Stadium, per usual in camp, but in a change from years past, that’s also where media will work throughout the 2012 season (instead of the media workroom). The team is expanding its weight room into the area where media members usually work during the season.

Over-under on number of times this is mentioned throughout the season? 50?

Then, in the Globe Sunday Football Notes, Shalise Manza Young, filling in for Greg Bedard cited ridiculous comments made by Jets receiver Santonio Holmes about how the media needs to be more supportive of the Jets, and used them to launch into a lecture on the impartiality of beat writers.

That’s not how media works. A good beat reporter isn’t a team’s enemy, and isn’t a fan. He or she is there to gather facts, anecdotes, and quotes and pass them on to readers or listeners. Is every reporter completely impartial? Sadly, no. Can some be accused of being a fan of the team they cover? Sadly, yes.

Being impartial means writing about the good and the bad, and trying to paint as honest a picture about what’s going on as possible. If a team or player is struggling, sometimes the truth isn’t well-received. But at the end of the day, a beat writer’s job is to present what he or she knows, good or bad.

If it were only that simple. I often wonder where the lines of being a beat reporter end. For many of them, what they write in the paper is much different than what they write on Twitter, or what they say in online chats or radio/TV appearances. Are they still a beat writer in those instances, or are they crossing over into a more opinion-based role, and does that negatively impact their self-claimed “impartial” beat writer material?

It really is not as simple as just presenting facts and quotes and passing them onto readers.

WEEI-FM is a finalist for the 2012 Marconi Awards Sports Station of the Year. That seem a little strange to you?

On the Penn State matter, I’m glad some people are keeping a proper perspective on these events:

[blackbirdpie id=”227391836145213440″]

To be fair, the original Tweet was deleted fairly quickly by Breer, but not after it had been re-tweeted extensively, thus preserving a record of it.