Labor Day Weekend Media Notes

It’s actually been a fairly busy week in terms of media news and happenings.

ESPN extension is good for baseball – Chad Finn looks at a number of things, starting with the extension between ESPN and MLB. He also looks at the interest in Ryen Russillo from WEEI, the continued slippage of Don Criqui and Randy Cross on the Patriots preseason broadcasts, and NESN.com’s decision to do away with beat reporters in an effort to fully become the TMZ of Boston sports.

FOX Jumps Into First Full Season Of College Football – My SB Nation media column has a look at FOX launching its first season of over-the-air football games, and their new pregame show with their new star, Erin Andrews.

WEEI announced their NFL programming this season. The biggest change is on the NFL Sunday show, which will still feature Dale Arnold and Christopher Price, but instead of Troy Brown and Christian Fauria, (who took Steve DeOssie‘s spot on WBZ-TV programming – and yes it was related to fallout over DeOssie’s appearance at the Giants Super Bowl pep rally.) former Patriots Matt Chatham and Kevin Faulk will be with Arnold and Price on the show, which will originate from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place before home games.

The addition of Faulk seems to be a recent development as Dale Arnold had tweeted this on Sunday:

(Chatham will also be writing two columns a week for the Boston HeraldEx-Patriot Matt Chatham joins Herald NFL team. )

WEEI will return The Real Postgame Show, which will be hosted by Butch Stearns (! I’d have thought Pete Sheppard was a lock to be back in there.) and Fred Smerlas.

Patriots Monday and Friday lineups will remain much the same.

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It’s official, AM 1510 will again be a sports radio station (at least at nights) starting next Tuesday, September 4th. The station is among eight nationwide that will carry all of the offerings of the new NBC Sports Radio network. Initially, this programming is only from 7:00pm to 5:00am ET.

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New England sports media had two more anchors recently leave the market, CSNNE’s Carolyn Manno, long tabbed a rising star is starting  at NBC Sports Network today.  Courtney Fallon left WLNE in Providence on Monday, according to her friend Jen Royle, Fallon is landing in Miami. As reported last week by Finn, Kristine Leahy left FOX 25, no announcement has been made yet as to her next job.

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Patriots.com radio is also expanding their lineup. In addition to its  flagship show “PFW in Progress” and “Patriots Playbook with John Rooke,” the team’s website will also feature three new shows: “Fantasy Football Champs,” “Cold Hard Football Facts” and “Football Nation.” All three shows will premier the week of September 3, leading into the NFL season kickoff.

“Fantasy Football Champs” is hosted by Todd DeVries and Bill Enright, and will air Tuesdays 4:00-6:00pm. Kerry Byrne hosts “Cold Hard Football Facts,”  airing Wednesdays 4:00-6:00pm and will also write a weekly column for Patriots.com during the season. “Football Nation” is also hosted by Todd DeVries and Bill Enright on Thursdays from 4:00 -6:00pm and will focus on the latest storylines and matchups around the NFL.

And oh yeah, today is Patriots cutdown day. Keep up with everything at PatriotsLinks.com.

Patriots wrap up preseason, Red Sox stumble again

The Patriots finished up their preseason schedule with a 6-3 loss to the Giants Wednesday night. No Patriot starters on offense or defense played with the exception of Sebastian Vollmer who made his preseason debut and only played 2.5 series. There was very little offense as the two teams combined for 18 punts. Now all that is left to do is finalize the 53-man roster, which needs to be done by Friday, and then all attention turns toward the season opener Sept. 9 at Tennessee.

On Mallett, the jury is still out- Greg A. Bedard looks at the preseason and where things stand for Ryan Mallett.

Sebastian Vollmer boots O-Line- Jeff Howe looks at Vollmer’s return to game action and a few other key players who made impacts Wednesday night.

Could Koppen get axed in final cuts?- Mike Reiss looks at the center position competition and wonders whether longtime Patriot Dan Koppen could be cut.

What we learned Wednesday: Ready for the real thing- Christopher Price has ten things that were learned following the preseason finale.

Pats players prepare for news on future- Tom E. Curran looks at a few players who are on the bubble for the cuts to get down to the 53-man roster.

Wednesday night wasn’t the debut Zach Stewart was looking for with the Red Sox. The right-hander allowed nine runs on ten hits in just three inning of work in the Red Sox’ 10-3 loss to the Angels. Stewart was part of the trade that sent Kevin Youkilis to Chicago. The Red Sox are now seven games under .500 at 62-69.

Dustin Pedroia clears the air while declaring the best is yet to come- Rob Bradford sits down with Dustin Pedroia touching on a number of subjects including the meeting in New York, Johnny Peskey’s funeral, his comments about Valentine early in the year and the infamous picture message. Good for Pedroia to take some accountability unlike most of his teammates and Felger can finally shut up about no one asking Pedroia about the picture. I bet he never imagined Bradford would be the first one to ask about it.

Theo Epstein’s clean getaway irks Red Sox owners- Dan Shaughnessy says Theo Epstein deserves more of the blame for the mess the Red Sox had this season. He tried to get responses from ownership and got responses like, “I can’t believe you are asking that seriously, Dan. Anything we would comment to you would be distorted.’’ Do you think he is liked among Red Sox owners?

This Top 10 not worth any replays- John Tomase looks at the top 10 losses for the Red Sox this season.

Ron Borges, Voice of Sanity

What is: a headline you perhaps never thought you would read?

Well, its is true for today anyway.

The screeching over the Red Sox continues with now talk turning to media-on-media crime. LA columnist TJ Simers has become a hero to some here locally because of his childish attempt to rile up Josh Beckett after his start on Monday. CSNNE had a segment last night -  Beckett finally gets challenged by a reporter – and Michael Felger (who didn’t even like the Simers bit) is critical of Red Sox beat reporters for not asking tough questions. Alex Speier, one of the most even-keeled professional, talented writers you’ll come across, answers calmly that in fact most of those questions have been asked.

They also talked about lines being blurred between columnists and beat writers. How more and more, they’re becoming interchangeable, which according to Ron Borges isn’t such a great thing. I agree 100% with Borges there.

Then comes the topic of the picture that was allegedly circulating of Dustin Pedroia next to a sleeping Bobby Valentine, and Felger is apoplectic that no one locally had the stones to ask Pedroia about it. That led to this exchange between Ron Borges and Felger.

Borges: Well, I’ll say one thing in defense of Alex and his colleagues over there: Michael, if you want to ask those questions, you can drive over the Fenway Park whenever you want. The easiest thing in the world is to sit in a studio somewhere telling everybody else what they should ask and what they should say, and boy I got some big ones when I don’t have to do anything. Nothing stops you from going to Fenway Park and asking any question you want, anytime you want. They’d be happy to have you. Where you been?

Felger: (smirking) It’s a fair point, I’m much more comfortable here. Absolutely.

Borges: You sure are.

Felger: Telling other people what to do. But I mean, when you say I can…well….I’m on 2:00-6:00, the locker room is usually at 2:00, so to say I can go down there any time isn’t exactly accurate. But I see your point.

Borges: How about 2:00 to midnight? Or 10:30 whatever time it is they get done. Or you could go on a day game, or a Saturday. You could go on Sunday. They’d be happy to see you. But they don’t.

Felger: You’re right, I could make a trip down there. But I think when I was a beat reporter, on balance, I asked those questions, I mean I almost got beat up by several guys, including a guy you carried water for, out in Oakland right now, in Richard Seymour. So when I was down there, I think for the most part, I did ask those questions, and if I was covering the Red Sox, I would ask Dustin, at least once just so he could deny it about that picture, it’s not an unfair question.

Borges: I’ll tell you what. When they come back in town next week, why don’t you go do that.

Felger: Maybe I will. Me and Bradford, we’ll go down together, arm in arm to the clubhouse so we can ask those questions.

If Felger actually went into the locker room, and attempted to ask some of these questions, I’d grudgingly give him respect for doing so, but I can’t see it. It’s one thing I will give Dan Shaughnessy credit for: when he tears someone up, he will show his face in the locker room. Of course today, he’s got a ripjob on Adrian Gonzalez, Dan is out in LA right now, but the Dodgers are in Colorado. I wonder if Shaughnessy plans on sticking around till tomorrow night and heading into the Dodgers lockerroom.

CSNNE is also running a question today – Is the Boston media too hard or too soft on the athletes it covers? and asking for comment feedback.

It’s a question that can’t be answered in generalities. It’s not the job of the beat writer to be “hard” or “soft” on the teams and athletes. It’s their job to get facts and report on that is happening with the team, leaving their own opinion out of it. I won’t say that  the columnists and sports radio hosts are too hard on the teams, but I will say that they’re focused on entirely the wrong things. They’re about drama, about storylines and pounding a topic that is going to get people fired up. They’re not about the technical aspect of sports.

But in looking at the question, who is the media? The beat writers or the columnists/talk show hosts? They’re very different. Opinion and drama-hungry people are going to say that the beat writers are too soft, while those who want the facts and don’t care about all the manufactured drama are going to say that the columnists and hosts are too hard.

Do we want them all to be the same? All hard or all soft, no middle ground? I’m OK with a mix. When I want the facts and even-handed analysis, I read the likes of Alex Speier. When I need something more visceral and opinionated, I’ll go elsewhere. There’s a huge difference between what Shaughnessy wrote today, and something like what Rob Bradford wrote. (Which is countered nicely by Peter Abraham.)

Is there a place for both? I hope so.

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Some conspiracy theorists – both media and fan – had a bit of a field day with Wes Welker’s recent absence from the field and from some comments he made. The leap was immediately made that there was a contract issue and that Welker was disgruntled.

Is it an injury? Or some other form of disconnect that has suddenly developed between Patriots’ wide receiver Wes Welker and head coach Bill Belichick?

Neither would say Monday as the Patriots started their very short week of preparation for the preseason finale against the New York Giants on Wednesday (7 p.m.; Ch. 4, 64). But it was clear to reporters that clustered around Welker in the Gillette Stadium locker room that the use of polite but dismissive “Ask Coach Belichick ” answers to simple questions might be indications of some sort of rift – one that may have been intensified Monday with the revelation that tight end Aaron Hernandez has been given a five-year, $40 million contract extension.

Greg Bedard cleared that up yesterday – Ending the Welker speculation.

Check in at Patriotslinks.com for the full coverage of the team leading into tonight’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.

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Chad Finn had the following this morning, which is intriguing.

WEEI of course, never gave Russillo a chance in the past, and after his (first) run-in with John Dennis, he became something of a joke to the hosts on the station. It would’ve been delicious to have him come in and take over a role on the station.

In a follow-up tweet, Finn says Russillo wouldn’t have been taking Dennis’ job, but how good would a Russillo/Michael Holley afternoon drive show be?

Dice-K, Red Sox beat Royals

Daisuke Matsuzaka, returning from the DL and pitching his first game in well over a month, led the Red Sox to a 5-1 win over the Royals in the finale of their four-game series. Matsuzaka was outstanding in his seven innings of work where he allowed one run over five inning. It was his first major league win in over 16 months. Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross led the offensive with Ellsbury homering in the first inning while Ross finished with 3 RBIs.

Fresh start- Michael Vega looks at Matsuzaka’s outing yesterday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka eyes a strong future, but isn’t contemplating free agency- Alex Speier looks at yesterday’s start as well as the future for Matuszaka.

Careful on signing Papi- Steve Buckley says the Red Sox need to be careful this off season when deciding on whether or not to sign David Ortiz.

School of hard Sox- Michael Silverman looks back at the blockbuster trade and says he cannot grade it until he sees what the team does with the freed up cash.

[UPDATED at 5:30 p.m. with a few notable stories I missed this morning.]

Twenty-four hours that turned the Red Sox inside out- Rob Bradford has an in-depth look at what took place Friday and Saturday for Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto including quotes from Gonzalez and Punto.

After losing to Rockies, Josh Beckett takes on L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers- Bradford also has the exchange between Beckett and an L.A. columnist following last night’s game.

Where do the Red Sox go from here?- Gary Dzen has a number of questions/and answers about the future of the Red Sox in a photo slideshow format.

The Patriots cut their roster down to 75 players yesterday. Among the cuts were wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth, both of which were surprising to many.  The roster will once again be shrunk down Friday, when it will go down to 53 players, the mandated number for the regular season. Aaron Hernandez was also reportedly signed to a five-year contract extension worth $40 million.

Hernandez $41.1 million extension shows Patriots evolving- Greg A. Bedard says the future is bright with Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski locked up long-term.

Branch backs pro’s attitude- Ron Borges looks at Deion Branch and gets his thoughts on Gaffney and Stallworth being released.

Hernandez and Welker are world’s apart- Tom E. Curran looks at Hernandez’s extension and he and Welker are two different situations, with Hernandez being a much younger guy where the Patriots are looking to the long-term future.

For more on this Patriots visit Patriotslinks.com.

Did anyone else catch this picture over the weekend on Joe Haggerty’s Facebook page? I thought beer wasn’t allowed in the clubhouse, yet alone the dugout. Maybe LeLacheur Park is considered a road game. I guess he knew the rule on that one, unlike a few weeks ago in Cleveland with the Red Sox.

Still Trying To Absorb Sox Mega-Deal, Patriots Sign Up Hernandez

The weekend trade/salary dump by the Red Sox is still the topic of conversation, and attention is turning to how the future will play out for this franchise.  What will the 2013 Red Sox look like, who will be the manager, and will they even be competitive?

Where do Red Sox go from here? A challenging reload — but not a rebuild — awaits  - As usual, Alex Speier goes deep, look at every area of the team and what options they have.

Red Sox just getting started? – Joe McDonald thinks at the team is only getting started in making changes, but that Bobby Valentine might just survive it all.

Red Sox will make culture change with blockbuster deal – Sean McAdam says that the Sox need to avoid trying for the quick fix.

The most ridiculous thing I saw all weekend was in the Globe Sunday Baseball notes from Nick Cafardo:

Adrian Gonzalez’s comments to ESPNdeportes.com are laughable: “In Boston, there is always a novel — in here, they never talk about baseball; it’s always the same. That’s one of the reasons why I almost never talk to the press here. Very few times they ask me about baseball. But most of the time it’s about gossip, rumors, plots, well . . . a soap opera.” A soap opera created by whom? The media, or by you, Adrian, and your partners in crime?

What’s laughable is that Cafardo and some of this comrades are unable to see that Gonzalez is exactly right. Baseball in many ways for much of the media has become secondary to whatever drama or soap opera can be crafted to fill time on sports radio or generate an appearance on CSNNE or NESN to talk about said drama. Are the players blameless for these dramas? Of course not, but the media takes these things, runs with them and turns them into 10-times whatever they were to begin with.

The Patriots locked in the second half for their tight end duo by coming to terms with Aaron Hernandez on a reported 5-year, $40 million extension which is tacked onto the end of his rookie contract, which still has this season and next to run.

Hernandez signs 5-year extension with Patriots – Tom E Curran looks at the Patriots keeping their dynamic dup intact.

It’s also the first cutdown day for the Patriots, who need to be down to 75 players by 4:00pm.  Donte Stallworth is among those who have been cut already, shredding my notion that the Patriots would keep both he and Deion Branch on the final roster.

Breaking the news – Mark Farinella says that you can’t possibly expect to get real news from house organ media outlets like NESN and Kraft Sports Productions.

Why does Belichick trust this man? – After three preseason games, Hector Longo is demanding the head of Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

Ben Cherington, Red Sox Send Clear Message With Blockbuster

When Ben Cherington ascended to the position of GM of the Red Sox, he made sure to call attention to his own deliberate style, noting that he tends to gather as much information as possible and not rush into decisions.

I’ll admit, I’ve had my moments where I felt that this quality of my NH homeboy would work against him when it came to being able to pull off big deals.

With his historic blockbuster deal today, Cherington has made it clear that he is capable of thinking and performing big. In one move, he was able to hit a giant reset button and do what many thought impossible – find someone to take Josh Beckett, and clear out the enormous salaries of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, while still getting something in return.

That someone was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who, with new ownership, are looking to make a big slash. They’ve wanted Gonzalez, a Southern California native who had his best years down the road in San Diego, and to get him, they were willing to take on the contracts of Beckett and Crawford.

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston was in the lead on this story:

However, in a column that sure seems prophetic, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times pretty much proposed this deal on Thursday morning:

Directing the dream of Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers

While Larry Lucchino was heavily involved in this deal, working extensively with his Dodgers counterpart Stan Kasten, this deal belongs to Cherington, who in one swoop corrected a number of organizational mistakes, removed a lightning rod from the clubhouse, and put the team in a position to be able to build the team he wants going forward.

His press conference announcing the deal showed a confident Cherington, who had the answers, and was eager to start the process of building the team he wants to build.

The offseason has begun for the Red Sox. I wasn’t crazy with the idea of dumping Gonzalez, but I’m not overly broken up over his departure either. While he was terrific last season, and showed signs of late of rounding into form, (he also hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat with the Dodgers tonight.) he just never quite captured the affection of the fans as much as we hoped.

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On a completely unrelated note, I felt really, really bad for Don Criqui last night. At 72, he’s still got the voice, but just cannot keep up with the action, and keep his facts straight. I lost track of the player misidentifications, the errors (Nate Ebner was not a “free agent” from Ohio State.) and just general confusion that was on display in that telecast last night.

It’s time for the Krafts to make a move on their preseason telecasts.

Another Epic Loss For Sox, Patriots Set For Tampa

Wow.

Any other season, and last night’s game would’ve been looked at as just a crazy, infuriating but entertaining game.

For this team, it’s just another night at the ballpark, and another kick in the nuts.

The insane 14-13 extra innings loss to the Angels was epically painful. Much like the entire season has been.

I don’t think there is much else to say. Most everyone – players, fans, media are just counting down the days until the season is over and the dismantling and rebuilding can begin. Those die-hards – real fans – who continue to watch each night and look for things to build on for the future, I salute you. I don’t know how you do it, but if anything, maybe this year separates out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the Red Sox fans, and we can go back to a time when those who were at the games and who followed the team did so out of love for baseball and the Red Sox, not because it is the cool thing to do or the place to go and be seen.

The Patriots are in Tampa for their third preseason game, and second this week. While most of the starters are expected to play tonight, given the very weird schedule the Patriots have, it’s hard to tell how much they will play.

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Onto the media columns and notes:

Kristine Leahy leaving Boston for another large market – Chad Finn has the former FOX25 sports anchor set to land a gig in another major city.

He also notes that Steve DeOssie is no longer part of WBZ-TV’s Fifth Quarter programming and recalls his appearance at the Giants pep rally prior to the Super Bowl. Is there a connection? I recall at the time, the feeling at least among media was that DeOssie should not be negatively impacted.

Media Roundup: Are Patriots’ Offensive Line Struggles Overblown? - My SB Nation Boston media column has Matt Chatham telling us to disregard media reports of the Patriots offensive line struggling.

Struggling Solder finds friend in Gruden – Bill Doyle has ESPN’s Jon Gruden defending the play of Nate Solder on Monday night.

Your weekly Joe Sullivan tweet.

The pride with which he tweets this completely embodies everything that is wrong with sports coverage today.

I will say though, that Shaughnessy’s column, (the link in the tweet takes you around the paywall) is actually good today. He has some valid thoughts on the disaster that is the S.S. Red Sox. He also thinks that the uproar over the team attendance to Johnny Pesky’s funeral has been overblown.

Red Sox fall to six games under .500

The Red Sox fell to the Angels 7-3 and now have 14 losses in the month of August. The last time the Red Sox lost 14 games in August was all the way back in 2003 with Grady Little as manager. Clay Buchholz allowed a season-high and tied a career-high by allowing 12 hits in just 5 1/3 innings. The seven runs also matched a season-high for Buchholz, who allowed seven runs in his first start of the year against Detroit. Buchholz had allowed three runs or less in his last six starts going into last night.

Even Clay Buchholz at a loss- Joe McDonald looks at Buchholz’s night, who going into the game was the teams’ most consistent pitcher, but just didn’t have it Wednesday night.

Buchholz: ‘I’m not really disappointed’- Maureen Mullen also looks at Buchholz’s start Wednesday night.

It was bound to happen eventually, even to Red Sox- Peter Abraham looks at some of the most respected and successful franchises in the league who have had losing records since the last time the Red Sox did.

Revolving coaches might be real Sox issue- Scott Lauber says having three pitching coaches in the past four seasons could be playing a role in the pitching staff’s struggles.

Daisuke Matsuzaka era may not end yet- Nick Cafardo says the Red Sox have not “closed the door” on the idea of bringing Matsuzaka back for another season.

It’s all over for the Red Sox- Christopher Gasper (subscription required) says with 38 games remaining the season is all but over, with players just looking to get it over with.

Will anyone frame the 2012 Sox photo?- With the team photo being taken today, Gordon Edes looks at the disappointing season and even ahead to next season.

According to the Inside Track, only four players attended Johnny Pesky’s funeral on Monday. This after the front office had ordered busses for the front office and the team. The report says the front office was “extremely disappointed.” As they should be, Pesky was a Red Sox icon, who no one could ever say anything negative about. Making matters worse was the entire team made it to Josh Beckett’s charity bowling event later that night.

The two-day NESN/WEEI Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon wrapped up at midnight last night and over the two days $3.2 million was raised to help strike out cancer. All of the local sports teams chipped in to help this great cause. The Red Sox players took time to all go out to center field prior to the game Wednesday and pose for a photo with the tote board showing how much money was raised at that time. This is an absolutely great event and continues to grow year after year. This was the 11th year of the event.

The Patriots are in Tampa for their second practice with the Buccaneers before their preseason game Friday night. Get all your Patriots links at Patriotslinks.com.

Patriots fall to Eagles as many starters sit, Red Sox still in news on off day

Playing the first of three games in an 11-day span Bill Belichick decided to rest many of the Patriots starters, including Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork and many more. The end result was a 27-17 loss to the Eagles on Monday Night Football in an ugly, sloppy game. The Eagles played their starters into the third quarter where at that point they were going against the second and third string Patriots defense.

The big story coming out of the game was Michael Vick being injured on his sixth play of the game. The quarterback injured his ribs after taking a hit from Jermaine Cunningham. X-rays were negative, but he did not return. Patriots safety Patrick Chung was also injured, reportedly injuring his shoulder, but it isn’t very serious.

Patriots defense answers few questions against Eagles- Chris Gasper (subscription required) says with a lot of the starters being held out it is difficult to see how well the defense really is after they have stood out in practice.

Given a second chance, Vereen carries himself well- Greg A. Bedard says with last night’s performance Shane Vereen is now challenging Stevan Ridley for the lead running back position.

Mallett makes impact- Karen Guregian looks at quarterback Ryan Mallett’s night.

Bill Belichick has it all under control- Mike Reiss says not to worry about not seeing many Patriot starters, Belichick has a plan with the demanding schedule the next week to ten days.

Cannon, Solder struggle again- Tom E. Curran looks at two players, Marcus Cannon and Nate Solder who struggled once again on Monday. The offensive line still remains a cause for concern.

Patriots’ Hightower learns through play-calling- Mary Paoletti has rookie Dont’a Hightower calling the defense plays Monday night, which allowed him to learn even more about the Patriots defense.

Ten things we learned from Monday: Protection remains a problem for Patriots- Christopher Price has ten things that we learned coming out of Monday night’s game.

Although the Red Sox were off on Monday they were still in the news as it became official that Carl Crawford will have Tommy John Surgery on Thursday and the team fired pitching coach Bob McClure, naming Randy Niemann the pitching coach for the remainder of the season. Niemann has been with the time the entire season, he just has not been in the dugout per MLB rules.

The firing of McClure this late in the season is a bit odd to me. In a way it is almost like the Red Sox are backing Valentine, going with “his guy” in Niemann. Could the team still be considering bringing Valentine back for next season? This would be the first move that would suggest that.

Red Sox GM knows bigger fixes needed- Scott Lauber says Ben Cherington knows more decisions like the firing of McClure will need to be made for the Red Sox to get back to where they need to be.

Red Sox fire pitching coach Bob McClure- Sean McAdam looks at the Red Sox’ decision to fire their pitching coach.

Bob McClure just couldn’t last- Gordon Edes says there have been hints all season long of the disconnect between Valentine and McClure so it was only a matter of time before he was let go.

Bruce Is Gone, Let’s Move On

Wait, what?

I mean Springsteen, of course. While I honestly don’t mind, and actually enjoy his music, I am SO glad he’s finally finished up his local concerts at Fenway and Gillette.

What is it with sports media and Bruce Springsteen? What exactly about him turns middle-aged white men into quivering teenage girls? I’m reminded of the packs of screaming young women lined up to catch a glimpse of the Beatles on their first visit to America.

I’m just glad it’s over for now.

The Red Sox continue to flounder, losing two of three to the Yankees over the weekend, but as is par for the course for this team, there was more drama off then field than on it.

First is Carl Crawford and his elbow, which he apparently will have Tommy John Surgery on tomorrow. Why he hasn’t had the surgery already is a mystery, given that this team is going absolutely nowhere, and that has been obvious for some time now.

Pete Sheppard had a great rant on this and on the Red Sox and their ownership in general while on WEEI this weekend.

Then there was this story from the New York Daily News:

Adrian Gonzalez off the hook as NY Mets’ Kelly Shoppach takes fall for Boston’s text mutiny

Essentially, the story claims that Gonzalez grew weary of his teammates constant complaints and bickering and allowed them to use his phone to text management, knowing that the face that it came from his phone it would hold more weight with the owners, but that the first basement had nothing to do with the content of the message.

OK then.

Roger Rubin one of the co-authors of the story, appeared on Toucher and Rich this morning to discuss it.

End of the road for Red Sox – Sean McAdam says that the show is over.

Josh Beckett not worth it – John Tomase says the Red Sox need to jettison Beckett however they can before next season.

The Patriots take the field tonight for the second preseason game, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles on ESPN. It doesn’t appear that Tom Brady and several other veterans will play much, if at all tonight, (The Eagles have said their starters might play into the third quarter.) with another game on Friday and another next Wednesday, the team needs to evaluate the lower end of the roster.

Get all the coverage over at PatriotsLinks.com.

Last week Boston.com add Alice Cook’s She’s Game Sports blog to it’s offerings. So far Cook, Kathryn Tappen and Stephanie Silva have posted entries. Cook’s entry, The evolution of the female fan looks at how far things have come since she started in the business in 1985.

It’s worth a read.