Sox Inch Closer To Best Record

The Red Sox moved closer to grabbing home field advantage in the AL playoffs last night with a 15-5 win in Colorado. Will Middlebrooks hit two home runs, including a grand slam, to pace the offensive attack. With the win, the Red Sox have a two game lead over Oakland for the best record with three games to play.

All that remains of the regular season is a series in Baltimore this weekend, starting tomorrow night.

With Jacoby Ellsbury’s return, Red Sox lineup appears unmatched in playoffs – The centerfielder returned to the lineup last night, and Alex Speier explains how his presence changes everything for Boston.

Ortiz reaction to 7th 100-RBI season? Vindication – Sean McAdam has the Sox slugger pleased that he could validate the contract extension that was given him before the season, and silence critics of the deal at the same time. The other day, Gordon Edes wrote that we need to enjoy Ortiz while we still have him.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia in driver’s seat – Michael Silverman has the Sox catcher and free agent to be hoping to stick around, but also looking to explore the market in the offseason.

Balancing act for Red Sox in the season’s final week – Peter Abraham’s notebook has the Sox looking to juggle their priorities this weekend, mixing work with rest.

If Falcons can get healthy on offense, Patriots may have to pick their poison Sunday night – Nick Underhill looks at the challenge the Atlanta offense will likely present to the New England defense.

Amendola “not likely” for Sunday; better chance next week in Cincy -Karen Guregian has solid sources when it comes to injury/medical items with the club, and this one says we’ll probably have to wait another week to see the receiver.

Get all the Patriots news today at PatriotsLinks.com.

Green ready to make most of starring role with C’s – A. Sherrod Blakely has the forward looking to step up and out of the shadows of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.  Jay King also has a good piece on Green.

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Michael Felger will be part of a new football show on the NBC Sports Regional Networks. “3 and Out” — a new football analysis and debate program will debut on Tuesday, October 1 and air each remaining week of the 2013 NFL season across its lineup of Comcast SportsNet RSNs. The 30-minute program will employ next generation fiber optics to connect a panel of accomplished and spirited football analysts, each located within a separate NFL market, to break down the three most impactful storylines affecting that week’s action.

While each week’s three selected storylines will dictate which panelists will make up the 3 and Out panel, the program will feature regular appearances from CSN Houston’s Kelli Johnson, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Brian Mitchell, CSN New England’s Mike Felger and CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto.

Here’s the bio they gave for Felger:

Mike Felger –- As a self-described impartial observer of the New England sports scene, Mike Felger revels in his ability to play devil’s advocate and singe local sports fans for their unabashed homerism. Felger has been offering his keen observations and entertaining analysis on Comcast SportsNet New England’s UNO’s Sports Tonight and Sports Sunday. He can be watched daily on Comcast SportsNet’s simulcast of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz.

The show will air Tuesday nights at 11:00pm on CSNNE.

  • Trip McNeely

    “Mike Felger revels in his ability to play devil’s advocate and singe local sports fans for their unabashed homerism.” – That about says it all right there. No need to listen to fake opinions from this out-of-towner.

  • Moon

    Just curious, how is Felger, a CBS employee, allowed to do shows on Comcast/NBC? Are they not competitors?

    • latetodinner

      He is employed by CSSNE on the TV side which is NBC. The man has 2 bosses and 2 employment contracts.

    • bsmfan

      CSNNE produces the simulcast. I think there are a few other RSNs doing the same where they produce the simulcast for a radio show that is owned by a competitor. I’d have to think that there might be some execs that “care” because NBC does have 1510 in town but can you really consider it a competitor? (And, isn’t Yahoo taking over much of what’s left?) However, I’d have to think that they make some money off of it and the “multi-platform branding” that ESPN succeeds in is a big incentive for Comcast to have him on, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen numbers from the simulcast. Also, CBS has “CBS Sports Network”, which is largely neglected, and no regional networks.

      Would love some insight here because I think it’s an interesting thing for people in this town and other regions who have multiple contracts from competitors. As we saw with Boomer, the competition between all of the networks will eventually cause most to enforce “exclusivity”.

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    Wow, that was the most honest (cynical?) press release bio I have ever read. It would be like saying a politician “never takes a position on a controversial issue and always panders for votes.”

  • J.R.

    I’ve edited the first two sentences of Felger’s bio to now include the more accurate info as noted within the brackets below:

    As a self-described [DB and blatant s**t-stirrer] of the New England sports scene, Mike Felger revels in his [sophomoric] ability to [take deliberate contrarian views for no other reason than to say "look at me"] and singe local sports fans for, [you know, actually LIKING and ROOTING for their favorite teams.]

    Felger has been offering his [inane] observations and [shockingly lightweight] analysis on Comcast SportsNet New England’s UNO’s Sports Tonight and Sports Sunday. [How this a** clown remains employed is a mystery to pretty much most observers.]

  • joey

    as someone who used to work with kelli Johnson and brian Mitchell and have seen enough of felger this show will be terrible!!!!

  • DryHeave

    We all know the deal, the only way to “sink” Felger is for people to stop watching and or stop listening. I know, I know, that’s a fantasy. Just like after a players strike, people start talking about fans going on “strike”..never gonna happen..

    Bottom line is, Felger is in demand…why?….cause a lot of people tune in to hear him. I don’t understand it, but they do. I’m afraid it says a lot about the Boston Sports fan. My favorite “tweeter” @BestofBSMW likes to say we are the “Dumbest fans in America”, at first I took it as satire but there’s a lot of truth in that statement…look how many “fans” eat up the slop that Felger&Mazz, Dennis&Callahan et al. dish out each day

    • bsmfan

      What you said above and my own criticism aside, I give props to Felger for mastering “how to make it” (for the past few years and with no sign of it ending in sight) in this town. You have to give him that.

      NBC, as shown with the cancellation of Beadles show (aside if you think or don’t think she can host a show on her own) has cleared the way for MORE NFL content. As shown by ESPN, people eat up NFL content like crazy. Comcast (NBC) is doing nothing but responding to what is known to work here.

      If the show does? That’s another story. I assume he’ll just reiterate, much like Sports Tonight is, whatever his daily take on F+M are. I have to think that the other hosts will do the same, resonating whatever is in their recent articles/journalism for the day.

      • agramante

        What else can they do? There’s only so much time to come up with opinions, whether readers/listeners/viewers agree with them or not. The main difference would be that you’ll have folks (like Felger) talking more about events and people outside of their markets.

        • bsmfan

          That’s why I don’t see any other solution. Felger at least takes the time to reiterate his “polished” opinions that go into some sort of record, even though, as we all know, pundits really have “no skin in the game”. However, I give credit here because I’d estimate 75%+ of analysts do a more “fly-by-wire” approach where they just think of something in the minutes leading up to either a live or taped segment and then say it live on air.

  • smack_libs_around

    stripped of all the hyperbole about radio sports media hacks, the only thing they are required to do well is read ‘Hair Club for Men’ ad copy.

  • DryHeave

    I agree, Felger (and Mazz) is laughing all the way to the bank. That’s why my criticism here is aimed at the people who religiously tune in to his shows. …it’s a free country,to each is own. However let’s take a hard look at these people.

    1) The, “I like to be annoyed/provoked” crowd. These people actually hate Felger but can’t help themselves. They enjoy being worked into a lather. Felger preys on these people. This crowd makes up most of his feedstock. Deep down these people know they are being used as tools. They just can’t, “kick the habit” They want to, but just can’t.

    2) The, “ANGRY FAN/ 2nd Guess” crowd. This is where the next largest segment of Felger’s feedstock comes from. These people just can’t appreciate the full body of work. The Pats have had much success but THEY HAVEN’T WON A SUPER BOWL IN ALMOST 10 FREEKING YEARS!!!…this is a somewhat irrational group. Anything less than a championship, they need to be stroked by Felger.

    3) The, “Dumbass” crowd. These are the types who call and ask earnestly, “Mike/Mazz, what do you think of the Chargers defense?” as if Felger/Mazz have any clue. They really believe Felger/Mazz are sports “experts” These people are beyond therapy.

    4) The, “Fanboys”.. hard as it is to believe. Felger/Mazz have their own “Fanboys”, to them Felger can do no wrong. ..it’s a mystery. Perhaps they were abused children?…more studies need to be done on this group.

  • Andy Dursin

    That’s the thing about Felger — sure, he provokes, but when was the last time you ever heard him make a salient point or astute analysis about a game that just transpired? He’s all about “stoking the fire” to get calls, but his actual IN-GAME discussion is bereft of anything insightful. He’s like the carnival barker, and that’s what his MO is, but in terms of providing insight or an intelligent analysis of a game, he’s totally useless.

    And again, it’s something — years ago — he used to be good at. Now he’s making more money doing far less work and using fewer brain cells in the process…which for him is a good thing. Easy money, and people are buying it (sadly)

  • smack_libs_around

    With dan Shaughnessy consistently locked behind The Globe’s 99-cent paywall, does this irritate him? Imagine all that ‘work’ writing a column that only a few people will ever see.

  • bsmfan

    Curran the latest to blast the Globe’s coverage:

    From:

    http://www.csnne.com/blog/patriots-talk/currans-sunday-notes-smoke-rises-gronk-camp

    (excerpt)

    I kinda knew it would unfold this way last May. That’s when the Globe was busy burying the Sox’ early machinations to purchase streets that they’d rented for $186,000 a year. It was a deal the Sox used to make $45 million in profit. So now, the Sox have spent $7.3 million to officially purchase something that profited them more than $50 million in the past decade.
    And that $7.3 investment will net them how much over succeeding decades?

    One would think that, given the fact Henry is in the process of buying the Globe, he and the people with editorial control would stress the importance of appearing even-handed. One would be naïve to presume that.

    Globe seems to be getting worse on this.

    One has to wonder that with how much they go after WEEI, will Henry want that for the station carrying his Sox?

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