Jerry Remy’s Son Arrested For Murder, Friday Notes

As you’ve no doubt heard already, the son of NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy was arrested this morning on the charge of murdering his girlfriend. Jared Remy was also a former Red Sox employee, having been fired in a 2009 steroids probe.

Jared Remy arrested in girlfriend’s killing

For the second time this summer, the Boston sports media has a murder to talk about. This one has a woman, a mother as the victim.

What this means for the future of Jerry Remy is unclear. NESN has not yet released any statement on his status, though it seems safe to assume he’ll be taking some away. WEEI afternoon show Salk and Holley was originally scheduled to broadcast from Jerry Remy’s Restaurant at Fenway today, that location has been changed to the Fenway Studios.

Note: NESN has said that Dennis Eckersley will fill in for Remy through at least next week’s series with the Giants and Dodgers.

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There is some more reaction on yesterday’s firing of Jason Wolfe by Entercom Boston:

Firing took WEEI’s Jason Wolfe by surprise – Chad Finn has the former program director taking his exit well.

’EEI assures duo after boss axed – Gayle Fee reports that John Dennis and Gerry Callahan are seemingly not in danger of being replaced any time soon.

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The Patriots play their second preseason game tonight, this one will be broadcast on FOX at 8:00, so no “talk radio” format this week. The game will be rebroadcast on NFL Network on Sunday morning at 1am, and Tuesday at 10am.

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FOX Sports1 launches this weekend, and will be carried on most major TV distributors. If you’re on Comcast in the Boston area, that should end up on channel 250. If you have DirecTV, it should be channel 219. For other cable/satellite providers, check here.

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This weekend also marks the debut of  Barclays Premier League Soccer (football) coverage on the NBC Sports Group. The games will be shown on NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, Telemundo, Mun2 and other NBCU channels. Xfinity customers will have the ability to watch games on demand and can use their Comcast ID to sign in at NBCSports.com/LiveExtra and watch any matches on their desktops or laptops. Comcast customers can also download the free NBC Sports Live Extra App and sign in using their Comcast ID.

Source: Kevin Graham To Replace Jason Wolfe as WEEI Program Director

According to an industry  source, the choice to replace Jason Wolfe is likely to be current 1320 KFAN Salt Lake City Program Director Kevin Graham.

Here is a quick bio on Graham from when he returned to KFAN last summer:

Kevin Graham is no stranger to Utah Sports Radio. One of the original architects of 1320 KFAN in 1996, Kevin returns to rebuild the heritage sports talker into the dominant sports radio station in the market. After leaving KFAN Kevin went on to a successful programming career assembling and building sports stations in Columbus, ESPN Radio Pittsburgh and New York City, as well as Detroit before returning to Salt Lake to host the highly popular Monson and Graham afternoon show for five years on the old 1280 The Zone. In 2010 Kevin moved to Phoenix to program Sports Radio 620 KTAR and then left to start his own sports digital and sports radio consulting company. He is married to his wife of 18 years Amy and has 12 year old twin daughters Madie and Josie.

Graham also cohosts the Gunther & Graham radio show each day on afternoon drive.

Graham is on twitter at @KevinGrahamKFAN

I haven’t received confirmation on this, so we’ll see how things play out, but  I thought I would pass it along.

Jason Wolfe Has Been Fired by Entercom/WEEI

Entercom Boston announced this morning that Vice President of Programming for WEEI and WRKO,  Jason Wolfe, is “‘leaving the company.” They also said an announcement on a replacement would come shortly.

“Jason Wolfe has defined sports talk radio, not only in Boston, but around the country as well. There are very few people who have influenced an industry like Jason has,” said Jeff Brown, VP/Market Manager at Entercom Boston. “From his work with the Jimmy Fund and the Red Sox’s historic championship run to WRKO’s engagement with politics, Jason’s behind-the-scenes work has made an impact few people will ever understand. We thank Jason for all his hard work, dedication to Entercom, and his commitment to the Boston community.”

However, in a separate letter, Wolfe stated that “Entercom has chosen to replace me because they feel it is time for a change with my position.”  (They fired me.)

In some eyes, the move has been expected for quite a while, not only because of the declining ratings of the station, but also because of the perception that Wolfe had already been deposed and that Jeff Brown was personally making all of the recent moves at the station.

Wolfe was with WEEI for 22 years, having been brought in by Glenn Ordway and then replacing him as programming chief.

The Exaggerated Myth of Bill Parcells in New England

Let me begin this post by saying that I LOVED having Bill Parcells as coach of the New England Patriots, and wished he had stayed on. When he was hired by the Patriots, I was ecstatic, having found myself rooting for the Giants during several 1980’s postseasons – mostly because of Parcells and LT.

To that point, Chuck Fairbanks had been the best coach in franchise history, and to get another top coach into a franchise that was struggling with possible relocation at the time was a major coup.

There is no denying that Parcells, along with Robert Kraft and yes, Drew Bledsoe, led a major turnaround in the situation here in New England. When Parcells left, I was thoroughly dismayed.

The circumstances under which Parcells left New England has been documented ad nauseum, and really should’ve created much more acrimony towards the coach than it really did. He was negotiating with a division rival during Super Bowl week in which the Patriots were participating. It was betrayal of outrageous proportions, no matter what the personal situation between he and Bob Kraft was at the time.

Yet, the undeniable charisma of Parcells (along with the Patriots steady decline under Pete Carroll) led some to keep their loyalties to Parcells, and to pardon him for his actions. Particularly in the media was this case, with Parcells toadies breathlessly praising him at every opportunity.

After the Pete Carroll era flamed out, longtime Parcells assistant Bill Belichick was hired – under perhaps just as big a cloud of controversy as Parcells’ departure from New England – and after a season of adjustment, proceeded to win three Super Bowls in four seasons.

Belichick possesses none of  the innate charisma of Parcells. This has turned off many in the media, and some of the fan base as well, who wistfully pine for the entertaining press conferences of Parcells. To these, Parcells is the ultimate football guy, and no one can compare.

The people still exist, and attempt to give credit for the Super Bowl victories to Parcells, claiming that those titles were won with “his” players.

A caller to Felger and Mazz at the start of yesterday’s show was one of these people, claiming forcefully that “70% of the defense on those Super Bowl titles were Parcells’ draft picks and players.” The hosts, naturally did not disagree, though Felger tempered it somewhat by saying that by the ’04 team, “it was more 50/50 Parcells and Belichick guys.”

Complete Myth.

Let’s take a look. Now remember, the caller and host was only talking about defense here. First of all, five* Parcells draft picks on defense ever won a Super Bowl with the Patriots.

1994 Willie McGinest (3 titles)
1995 Ty Law (3 titles, though injured for 2004 postseason)
1995 Ted Johnson (3 titles)
1996 Lawyer Milloy (1 title, gone after 2002 season)
1996 Teddy Bruschi (3 titles)

*Marty Moore was a 1994 Parcells pick (Mr Irrelevant) played 3 games with 2001 Patriots, assisting on two tackles.

Granted, those are five outstanding players in Patriots history. You might eventually see all five in the Patriots’ Hall of Fame. You could call those guys the core of your defense.

What about the rest of the squad though? What guys on defense had played for Parcells previously?

2001

Bryan Cox – played two seasons under Parcells with the Jets. Played 11 games for 2001 Patriots. (1 title)

Roman Phifer – played one season under Parcells with Jets. Played four seasons under Belichick with Patriots. (3 titles)

Otis Smith – played four seasons under Parcells, with NE and Jets. Three seasons with Belichick with Patriots. (1 title)

Bobby Hamilton – played three seasons under Parcells with Jets, four seasons with Belichick with Patriots. (2 titles)

Anthony Pleasant – played five seasons under Belichick in Cleveland, two with Parcells with Jets and three with Belichick with Patriots (2 titles)

2003

Phifer
Hamilton
Pleasant
Rick Lyle – played three seasons under Parcells with Jets, two with Belichick with Patriots. (8 games in 2003)

2004

Phifer

That’s it.

Am I seeing 70% of the defense? Am I even seeing 50/50?

Furthermore, those five core guys are the only players drafted by Bill Parcells to win a Super Bowl with the Patriots, period. He didn’t draft any of the other guys who played for both him and Belichick.

Furthermore, what did Parcells say in his farewell press conference with New England? A complaint about not being able to “shop for the groceries?” Indicating that he didn’t have control over the draft picks and personnel? So are the “Parcells guys” listed above, really “Parcells guys?”

Remember, the 1996 draft was the one that yielded Milloy and Bruschi, but that was also the one that triggered the whole exodus of Parcells from New England because he was overruled in the draft when the Patriots selected Terry Glenn in the first round.

Check this quote from Charley Armey in a Michael Madden column from 2000:

Parcells, said Armey, “didn’t make any selections at all” after the infamous Terry Glenn episode on draft day in 1996. And, by then, Armey had been relegated to being “like any other scout. I wasn’t running the draft.”

In that column, Armey also states that Parcells never had full authority over the draft to begin with:

See, people think Bill had the final authority to make the picks with the Patriots but that was never in his contract. Not when I was there, and I left after he did.

The whole argument of Parcells being the architect of those Super Bowl champions is just not true.

Like I said in the opener, I loved having Bill Parcells coach the New England Patriots, but lets ease up on the legend that he “built” the defenses that won three Super Bowls here in New England. If you want to attack Belichick for not being able to build a championship defense since 2004, that’s one thing, but to give all the credit to Parcells for the three wins, or even claiming that 70% or 50% were “Parcells guys” is preposterous.

Wrapping Up The Weekend

The new preseason television format rolled out by the Patriots on Friday night was overall, not bad. It was nice to get some different voices in there, I don’t think anyone was left pining for the days of Don Criqui and Randy Cross.

Dan Roche had a few hiccups – “Ben” Vareen – a call in which he was actually trying to correct himself for first getting #34 Shane Vareen confused with #84 Quentin Sims. He also later described Will Svitek as a “rookie from Rutgers” – which I guess is a safe gamble to make on this team when you don’t know who a guy is – but Svitek is actually a 8-year veteran from Stanford. Calling the Eagles first touchdown “disturbing” was a bit much too.

But again, overall Roche was pretty solid, playing his role of “traffic cop” in trying to incorporate everyone into the broadcast. He may have talked a little too much himself, but it’s the first they have tried this.

One move I would make immediately is swap the roles of Christian Fauria and Matt Chatham. Both are solid and insightful, but it seems to me that Chatham is a bit more insightful and entertaining with his analysis, and was assertive in his role as sideline reporter, and would benefit from being in the booth and have a freer rein to talk. Fauria can fill a word count, and does make some good points, but I’d rather have him to the side.

The PFW guys, Paul Perillo and Andy Hart were pretty much what you’d expect if you’re familiar with them at all. They’re solid, though I don’t know that their segments added a whole lot to the broadcast.

It seems like the idea of the format is an attempt to keep the casual fan tuned into the broadcast. They know the diehard is going to stick with it to see the fringe players and look for development. They’re hoping the casual fan will stick to be entertained by the “sports radio” type of format. I don’t know how successful it will ultimately be.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t get to hear any of the radio broadcast with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak – I need to make that a priority soon. Anyone have any thoughts on that pairing? I did hear some of the pregame, which from the parts I heard, was exactly what it has been in the past – a negative, sky-is-falling, worst-case-scenario gabfest led by Gary Tanguay.

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These are all from the same guy. Anyone seeing a theme here:

8/6

CB Aqib Talib: Was absolutely destroyed by WR DeSean Jackson in one-on-one drills, getting beaten on a buttonhook, a slant, and then burned badly on a double move for a touchdown.

Desean Jackson is abusing Aqib Talib in 1 on 1 drills. Caught a button hook, slant and deep post for a TD

8/9

8/12

Talib was burned by Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson all week in practice, and couldn’t keep up with him on Friday night on Jackson’s 47-yard touchdown catch, in which Talib gave him a free release to the inside.

Volin was also on CSNNE over the weekend saying this same thing.

OK, you win. We believe you. It just seems odd that he feels the need to pound this in, day after day, even when other reporters (and the coach) hint and say otherwise.

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Randy Moss to FOX? Yes please, though I have a bit of a hard time seeing how he’d actually fit in. Moss was one of my all-time favorite interviews – when he spoke – but I’m not sure about how he’d fit into a structured broadcast. While you’re on TATB, check out the new Sunday Mail column.

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From the weekend:

Curt Schilling has a new lease on life – The former ace had a heart attack he doesn’t want you to know about back in 2011. Oh, he told you anyway? OK.

Don’t ever change, Nick Cafardo:

3. I think throwing programs are really long and unnecessary.

Kevin Paul Dupont is a big advocate of the “newspapers are necessary” movement. I know I sure couldn’t have gotten by yesterday without his ground-breaking investigative piece on perfume in baseball.

(I’m eagerly awaiting the “blogger” putdown from KPD. Or is that Lou Merloni’s side of the street? I can’t keep it straight.)

Dewey sees ‘special presence’ in Xander – Scott Lauber had a nice column with Dwight Evans talking about his own September callup to a pennant race in 1972 and what he sees in Bogaerts.

The Bob Socci Era Begins Tonight

The Patriots kick off their preseason schedule tonight with a game in Philadelphia against the Eagles. The game, though not all the significant on the field, marks a transition for both the radio and preseason TV booth.

Up in the radio booth, this marks the first game for play-by-play voice Bob Socci alongside analyst Scott Zolak.

On the TV side, we’ll see the first production of the new “talk radio” format with Dan Roche leading an in-game discussion of the team. Click here for a review of the format and the TV affiliate listing.

If you miss tonight’s broadcast, set your DVR for the NFL Network, which will replay the game on Monday at 4pm and Thursday at 1pm. (If you’re outside of New England, the NFL Network is also showing this game live tonight.)

Patriots debut new voices and styles – Chad Finn also previews the new voices to check out tonight.

The game will give all a first glimpse of the new receiving corps for the Patriots (by the way, did you notice that the Broncos are ALREADY phasing out Wes Welker??? Manning didn’t target him ONCE last night!!!) – a group that will be under scrutiny by all observers.

While reports from the beat reporters have been positive thus far, those same reports are mocked by the likes of Mike Felger, Tony Massarotti and Eric Wilbur. You can probably count on one finger the amount of actual practices those guys have seen – combined. Felger confessed that he had to be at his first practice in over three years recently, and only because CSNNE was doing a live set. He also said he hated every minute of it.

It reminds of when the Patriots drafted Gronkowski and Hernandez, and the same people said they would be busts because the Patriots had never successfully drafted tight ends. When good reports come from practice of those two, it was mockingly dismissed in the exact same tone.

Of course, all camp reports should come with a grain of salt. I enjoyed this difference of opinion from earlier this week:

Even better is Curran’s follow-up to someone who said it was reported elsewhere that Talib looked bad. “yeah, I’d be skeptical of whoever told you that from here on out.

I don’t know whether Talib looked good or bad. You can understand though, why there is a split opinion on many things. People go to the reporter they trust and go with that.

A few other notes from the week behind and ahead:

Glickman Debuts Aug. 26, Exclusively On HBO – This bio of the famed announcer Marty Glickman promises to be interesting. Glickman was a mentor of the late Celtics announcer Johnny Most, and Red Auerbach also had Tom Heinsohn serve an apprenticeship with Glickman before he did Celtics games on TV.

Bleacher Report Hires Veteran Sports Journalist Mike Freeman – The former CBSSports.com NFL writer is the latest to join B/R.

USGA & FOX Sports Announce 12-Year Landmark Partnership – It was announced this week that the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open will be broadcast on FOX starting in 2015.

Broadcast Teams Announced For Landmark 20th NFL on FOX Season – FOX also announced their 2013 NFL broadcast teams.

Guest Column – Henry-Owned Globe Taints Sox Beat

This story first appeared on BostonSportsToday.net

By Gethin Coolbaugh

John W. Henry is a pretty smart businessman — and if you don’t believe me, go check his bank account — but his latest acquisition is a head scratching one on some levels, to say the least.

Henry, the head of Fenway Sports Group which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C., has plucked The Boston Globe, the largest newspaper in the region, from The New York Times Co., according to multiple reports.

When considering the impact of the sale, two questions come to mind. For one, what is a successful businessman like Henry doing buying a newspaper (you know, those things with the ink and the paper you see on the subways)? As sad as it is, and this is coming from someone who loves newspapers, the print business is dying, and I’m pretty sure Henry alone isn’t enough to save it.

But hey, I’m not as smart as Henry is, nor do I have as much money as he does, so what do I know?

More importantly, though, Henry’s acquisition of The Boston Globe would immediately taint the newspaper’s coverage of the Boston Red Sox, one of the teams that Henry happens to own.

You know what’s really sad? The Globe’s baseball writers have nothing to do with it, either.

Regardless of your personal feelings about them, The Globe offers some of the greatest baseball minds in the news business today. Should they be blamed for anything in this changeover? Absolutely not. I bet if you asked them, some would say they would have preferred if Henry did not buy their newspaper, because the second he did, it instantly put a cloud over the Sox beat.

It may not be right, but when Henry steps into the picture, it creates a major conflict of interest.

What is the role of a newspaper? Or, here’s a better question, what is the proper role of a newspaper? It should strive to bring the most important news to its readers, brushing agendas and biases aside. Hopefully, that’s what Henry intends to do as assumes control of the company.

At the same time, Henry is a businessman, and a good businessman has no interest in muddying up any of his prized assets, and the Red Sox certainly qualify as one of Henry’s biggest assets.

What happens when the Red Sox need to be criticized, whether’s it’s on the field or in the front office? Will the writers be allowed to dig deep, uncover the story and say what needs to be said?

It’s a conflict of interest, and there’s no way around it. Does that mean Henry shouldn’t be allowed to buy and run The Boston Globe? Of course not. He had the money, and The New York Times Company had every right to sell the paper to him. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

Henry is smart, and hopefully he’s smart enough to tackle this issue right off the bat with a clear explanation of the way his newspaper will cover his baseball team in a fair and ethical manner.

Still, there may always be a level of mistrust when anyone reads a Red Sox story in Henry’s paper.

Not even someone as savvy as Henry will be able to fix that.

Gethin Coolbaugh is the Editor-In-Chief of Boston Sports Today. Twitter: @GethinCoolbaugh.

Forethoughts On Four Games

This season on BSMW, we’ll provide some thoughts going into each quarter of New England’s 2013 campaign. We begin with one of our favorite months of the year, August, due to the preseason.

No pressure. Low stress. Solid entertainment.

The Patriots play at Philadelphia August 9, host Tampa Bay August 16, travel to what’s left of Detroit August 22, and wrap up at home vs. the Giants August 29.

They might win. They’ll probably lose a few. That doesn’t really matter.

Here’s what we think does matter…

[Read more...]

Report: John Henry Selected As New Owner of Globe

Peter Gammons on his new site Gammons Daily has the following report:

Sources say the New York Times Corporation has chosen John Henry as the new owner of the Boston Globe.

–Peter Gammons

If the source is correct, it makes sports coverage in this town a whole lot more complicated, and pretty much all coverage of the Red Sox will be viewed as coming from a certain vantage point. Also, coverage of the other local teams will also be in question as to whether it is hurting or helping the aims of the owner and his other investment.

Will we also see coverage of Liverpool FC and Roush Fenway Racing? Will LeBron James suddenly get more positive coverage?

This whole situation should be interesting to watch going forward.

“But Mike, They’ve Proved They Can’t Hit Good Pitching!”

My buddy Chad Finn hates when I project out what will be said on the sports radio airwaves. Sometimes it’s just too much to resist. Expect talk about how King Felix shut them down, (they can’t hit good pitching!) or that Gomes should’ve been called out on strikes.

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENJOY SPORTS.

I was a little slow to jump on the “Why was Buchholz in the celebration???? He doesn’t deserve to be in there!!!” bandwagon, too.

Seriously. What is wrong with people?

Enjoy and savor a win once in a while.  Yes, I realize that the vast majority of people do enjoy this, it’s a small crew of loudmouths who try to spoil it, taking their cue from their idols on the sports talk airwaves. Aside – why do these people feel it is wrong to be a fan and “homer” yet they are even bigger fans of their idols on the air? They defend these heroes against any slight, they parrot all that they say. It’s just very odd to me.

Red Sox Game 110 (8-7 W v. SEA) Reloaded: Again x 11 – Some perspective, and links, from Jon Couture.

In the sports media field – Looking for quality sports radio? Try WBUR – Chad Finn looks at an alternative to the screaming and sky-is-falling approach.

Looking ahead to the weekend and next week, a few items on the horizon:

Tomorrow is the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, (with former Patriots coach Bill Parcells among the enshrinees) the ceremonies can be viewed on NFL Network and ESPN2.

Sunday night will feature the first preseason game of the 2013 season, the Hall of Fame game between the Cowboys and Dolphins on NBC – your first chance to be irritated by Cris Collinsworth this season!

The 2013-14 NBA regular season schedule will be released on Tuesday at 6pm on NBA TV.

Hard Knocks returns Tuesday on HBO. This season features the Cincinnati Bengals, a team many are viewing as a viable contender.

And finally, from last night:

gomes-dellClassic. Dell rolls with it, and Gomes doesn’t even twitch.