Bruins Win Opener, Sox Set To Open ALDS

The Bruins opened the 2013-14 regular season last night with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Red Sox also look to vanquish an opponent from Tampa as they take on the Rays this afternoon in game one of the American League Divisional Series.

We’re entering what is likely the busiest time of year for Boston sports, with all four teams active right now. This means of course, that I’m scheduled to be be away for a couple of weeks. Therefore, updates in this space will be sporadic for the next couple weeks.

If you look up in the navigational bar above, you’ll see an entry for Daily Links. This drops down and brings you to constantly updated headlines from the local sports outlets on each of the four major sports teams in town. I will try to check in here, and there should be a couple guest columns coming in along the way. I’ll probably have some stuff on Twitter from time to time as well.

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Fred Toucher and his hangup on Rick Pitino yesterday has gotten plenty of attention, both positive and negative. WEEI was bashing him for it this morning, which created another back-and-forth studio gangster feud between the shows.

BSMW member Marty summed up the entire incident thusly:

Professional douchebag pulls amateur douchebag move on other professional douchebag
In related news: a different set of professional douchebags complain about the professional douchebag that did it.

I think that nails it.

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Chad Finn talks to the new Entercom Boston boss in this week’s media column:

New WEEI boss Phil Zachary returns to Boston roots

Interestingly, Zachary says he has a good relationship with Glenn Ordway, and makes an interesting statement when discussing the future of the station:

“I’m not one to go backwards, but you do have to look at the station and ask, ‘What did they do to be successful?’ I would think that some of that recipe is still valid today,’’

Hmmm.

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The Zach Sudfeld release yesterday was an opportunity for many to fingerwag: “Just shows you can’t put any stock in the preseason.” Or course, the people saying that are the same ones that were pumping his preseason performances. Speaking of which, Kenbrell Thompkins has come pretty much as hyped, so maybe, sometimes you can put stock in them?

It’s also interesting that so many treat the release as final, the end of his stay here. Experiment over. I suspect there’s a good chance he ends up on the practice squad, which is probably where he belonged in the first place.

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How disappointed must Dan Shaughnessy and the rest of the local sports media be that Terry Francona’s Indians aren’t coming to Fenway today? A full series of easy, write-themselves columns and shows down the drain.

Enjoy the sports, everyone.

  • agramante

    I agree with the folks who’ve already opined about Ordway returning to the afternoon. I think he’s a recognized and generally well-liked host who’d at least recover some of what EEI has lost through the Salk/Holley debacle. I don’t see any way Holley stays on now, unless they wanted to also recreate the Dale & Holley in the middays show. I’d be for that but it might be too much of a return to their previous formula for EEI management to stomach.

    And unfortunately, even though I’ve avoided the old hens for a decade now, I also agree that D&C are popular enough that, like Ordway would (and did), they could continue to run a respectable second in their time slot. Mutt would be a good nighttime host–certainly no blander than Adam Jones–and Mikey Adams could go back to local access TV in Springfield where he belongs. Hell, pair Holley with Bradford in the midday, if Dale is to stay on the weekends, or bring Dale back to the midday chair (if he’s willing). This kind of leaves Merloni out in the cold, and I think he’s done a good job, but he’s better as a co-host. Perhaps he’d be a good fit with Ordway (since Edwards is pretty much full-time NESN during hockey season).

    This would be a decent plan for the next 2-5 years or so, buying EEI time to really plan out its next set of moves, and perhaps groom talent from within (like the Sports Hub is plainly doing with Beetle).

    • StoJa

      D&C, Dale & Holley, The Big Show w/ Ordway & Lou, Mike & Mike in the evenings (Mut & Mikey). I’d listen to all those shows, as well as Gresh & Zo and Felger & Mazz. Hooray for podcasts!

      • HomerGreenz

        No, Mikey’s show is just fine the way it is without that nerd Mut invading it.

        • DryHeave

          not a Mut fan… but Mikey’s show is “fine”?….Adams is probably the worst of all the WEEI hosts (and that’s sayin’ something)…he actually fly’s a liitle under the radar here. Because half the time he gets bumped for Sox games, and not many people listen to sports radio at night anyway.

        • agramante

          The first show of Mike Adams’ I ever listened to was back in November 2006, when he locked himself in the studio during the EEI holiday party, in order to get a contract. It seemed kind of unusual so I kept listening. And it struck me then, and I’ve never lost this impression, that Mike Adams is a very angry and bitter man, and his humor is a very thin and unconvincing front. I’ve never been remotely amused by what he says, and as for talking sports? He knows more about the 1973 Red Sox than he does about the 2013 version. I was a DA fan before he went national (only been up for his show once or twice since then)–I thought the Mothership was quirky enough for a forty minutes’ listen now and then, and Amendolara is at the very lest current. Adam Jones seems to have no personality, but neither does Mutt, so I think they’re equivalent. Hell, I’d rather listen to Steve Somers’ Evening Schmooze on FAN a hundred times over. I think there’s something to the evening show being a little more comedy based, not as intensely sports, but Somers at lest has an appealing personality. Too often Adams comes off as a vicious hick.

  • J.R.

    Really. How hard can it possibly be to program a “good” morning and afternoon drive-time sports talk show in a sports-mad market like Boston? Note to program directors, both new and entrenched. We don’t need “bits.” Or contrived “storylines.” Or fake “outrage.” Or being a contrarian for contrarian’s sake. Or stunts. Or hosts who openly disdain their callers and think everything “sucks.” Or any of the other drivel that constitutes the current sorry state of the genre.

    Get a couple of knowledgeable hosts (they can be 25 years old or 55; it doesn’t matter) who enjoy following ALL the local teams, who have on equally knowledgeable guests — both local and national in scope and perspective — keep away or otherwise greatly reduce any and all “celebrity” callers, and let it rip.
    Not to sound like a “get off my lawn” guy, but I’m old enough to remember when Guy Mainella (Calling All Sports) and Tim Horgan, Bill Liston, and Don Gillis (Voice of Sports) were on the air and they were great listens.
    Please try it. I’m begging you.

  • latetodinner

    The Phil Zachary comments are very interesting and they might lead to a better quality replacement of Salk and Holley. I know a lot of people do not like Ordway…but as I have said several times in the right role Ordway is excellent. Its when you ask him to do more and fill the role of “expert” rather than mediator where he suffers. Let’s hope WEEI can put some decent quality on the air and end the mediocrity experiment they have been trying for 2 years now.

    • bsmfan

      Do you think Ordway’s value has been “increased” or maybe a better way to put it is that he was underappreciated since he’s left?

      I’m going on the tone here and elsewhere where people grew tired of his act but after he was gone, it seems like many would rather have him back than what is on now from 2-6.

      • Moon

        I think people grew tired of the Big-O, DeOssie, Smerlas, act in particular…the self promotions, bullying, etc., as well as the attempts to stir the pot and create controversy (which Felger is not taking to a new level). At least I did.

        You know the old saying, that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and I think we’ve been made painfully aware of that. F&M and S&H are awful. So much promise for F&M that never came through.

        Ordways sharp. I would bet if given another chance (whether at EEI or some other spot) he would do well. I think he has learned from his mistakes and would correct them.

      • latetodinner

        I think Ordway’s value or appreciation for what he does has not really changed. I think Moon touches on some of the problems his show developed below. Guests hosts like D’Ozzie, Smerlis, Larry Johnson, Butch Sterns, Steve Burton, and Steve Buckley forced Ordway to change the original intent of the show. When he had on those types of Guest Hosts he was forced into less of a moderator and more of a participant. That is not his strength. I think Glen is an excellent interviewer. For years he was able to do a great job getting Bill Belichick to talk casually. When he had knowledgeable interesting co-hosts the show was great…Bob Ryan, Sean McAdam, Tom Curran, Jackie Mac, Lou Merloni, Tony Mazzerotti all made for good to great radio. He does not need to win his time slot. If he is put back on the radio he needs to do a show that does not insult his audience. What I would liek to see is once or twice a week the rotating host be an out of market or national voice. For example if the Pats are playing the Jets bring in Steve Serby for a day along with Tom Curran. It would make for compelling and interesting radio.

        I think the voices that wanted Ordway gone really wanted D’Ozzie and Smerlis gone. I do not know how you could not like Ordway…he did not have an opinion on anything. I have no idea if WEEI will consider bringing him back. It is clear Salk and Holley are not building an audience. Something needs to be done because the afternoon drive show pays the bills.

  • Half Fast

    I doubt Ordway will return to EEI. Because of salary and severance, Ordway’s firing was run up the ladder at Entercom or possibly dictated down from corporate (I think that was Weezie Kramers first major move after her promotion to Operations President) and Zachary isn’t about to imply they made a mistake releasing Ordway. When Glenn was fired, there were hundreds of comments in the Globe, etc with the overwhelming majority from listeners who were ecstatic to see him canned. it wasn’t an unpopular move. I agree that guys like DeOssie and Smerlas were a huge turnoff but Glenn lost touch with his audience and that lack of intimacy was ultimately his demise. I wouldn’t be surprised to see EEI go outside the area again (Salk, Graham) and bring in a strong, known personality rather than play musical chairs. The big money they were paying Ordway before his performance cut can entice good talent. The morning drive slot is huge profit center and I think Toucher and Rich can be picked-off easily if they had strong competition. Most people I know listen to T&R not because they like them but they dislike D&C more. Young guys don’t relate to D&C. I believe they thought Minihane might attract a younger audience but he’s morphed into the D&C shtick; not the renegade they might’ve hoped for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zachary fill D&C’s drive slot with a strong outside guy. That’s my take anyway.

    • agramante

      I don’t doubt your take on Ordway–partly I was thinking nostalgically because Salk & Holley have been sooooo bad. I’d say this for Minihane–John Dennis seems to have his politics at EEI in pretty good order, and he’s able to resist just about any change dictated from management. He marginalized Minihane pretty early on, and reduced his role to just about nothing. For Kirk I’d imagine the choice is conform or leave. And as long as Dennis has an aging white audience to play to, he’ll keep winning the arm-wrestling matches on his show. And he’s why I haven’t listened to EEI in the morning for more than a decade (except for the rare times when he’s no there).

      On the other hand, EEI plainly ruined a good thing for no reason by canning Dale & Holley in the midday, thinking Holley would be a good pairing with Ordway in the afternoon. Instead they wound up with two losing slots, not just one. They could certainly import more talent, but the question is, do they have any confidence they’d do better than they did by hiring Salk? I’d think of bringing Glen back as kind of a bridging move. Hell, Danny brought Antoine back. Maybe Glen would say no, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. But their afternoon show has lost nearly all credibility. A known quantity would be a better choice for a while, I think. Dale and Holley in the afternoon was better than what they have now.

    • latetodinner

      I don’t see why he would not come back. he is currently out of work and he has come back before. I have heard that the bad feelings/ poor politique were with the now departed GM and not the station or Entercom corporate. Money tends to heal wounds. Glenn’s ego is such I think if given the chance to be the savior he would take it.

  • bsmfan

    As delighted as I was to see the Falcons lose last night, it means the Jets are 3-2. However, how can we not forget the ATLNE connection our media loves to make at the right time?

    Remember when the media in town worship Dimitroff and the Falcons? How we should have been more like them and given up entire drafts to grab someone like Julio Jones (still a stud but..) Holley’s “War Room” making the “teams that don’t trade up are fools” myth?

    Not that we don’t have our own issues here, but they’re 1-4.

    Their “record” last year was more of a myth, too.

    Dimitroff got lucky with a QB in 2008 (best available though the Ravens did take Flacco later in the 1st) who is a descent regular season QB.

    Doubt we’ll be reading about this but I’m sure we’ll read about the story/trade-up stuff again at some point.

    • the_other_side

      I listened to the Patriots.com post game with Betrand on Sunday…mostly because the other local options are awful. Anyway, there was caller after caller, e-mail after e-mail about how all BB does is trade down. Yesterday morning on D&C, for the 20 minutes I had it on,, that is all I heard. This team is bereft of talent because BB just trades down.

      In reality that isn’t true but we aren’t going to get into facts, let’s just go out and bash the team who is 4-1 and lost a one possession game without Gronk, Riddley, Vareen, et al.

      • bsmfan

        Well, they take “shots” at the coach (defacto GM).

        My issue, when they go beyond “I don’t like that X does Y” stuff, to where it’s a shtick (Felger/Borges), is that they have no solution.

        They’re not paid to have solutions. I get that. It’s a “no skin in the game” business.

        If this stuff wasn’t bad enough, it looks like the foot that Jones had a fracture in (2011 Combine) is now re-injured and he’s done for the year.

      • DryHeave

        Once again, the knee-jerk reaction fans (and media) never see the BIG picture. Kraft has always said the Patriots try to build a team to CONSISTENTLY CONTEND and that’s what they’ve done….yes I now the Pats haven’t won an SB in 10 “whole” years….

        The Giants and Steelers have won 2 SB’s each in that time frame but look where those teams are TODAY. Not to mention both those teams have had seasons where they missed the playoffs completely in this 10 year stretch….The 1 time the Pats missed the playoffs it was a FLUKE. I bet you never see another 11-5 team miss the playoffs in the current format…..go ahead and call me a “fan boy” but the Patriot’s way works.

        • bsmfan

          It’s been stated before but I really don’t think that certain fans–and, in time, the media–will acknowledge and appreciate what BB/Brady are to the team.

          When we’re going 4-12, Gillette looks like Raymond James, etc.

          We all want more playoff wins and Superbowls but I think the NFL is setup now with such high-parity, favoring offense, that it will start to look more like the NBA where star-power can win it all.

        • agramante

          This is where tone, and a commentator’s reputation, can really determine how folks receive what he or she says. I’m thinking of Felger, and I’m a fan of his, but it applies to other writers/talkers in the city (even Borges) discussing Belichick and, by extension, other coaches or GMs. No one deserves pure praise or blame (maybe in a few cases, *cough* Valentine *cough*, exclusively blame is warranted), but even an historically great coach like Belichick can, and should, be criticized. In my opinion, between Lombardi, Walsh and Belichick, you can list the three greatest NFL coaches in any order you like. It gets a little trickier now analyzing Bill’s role as a GM, but that’s the angle Felger usually takes (because he does like harping on the negatives to drive ratings). There are legitimate things to criticize, such as how New England’s had trouble drafting wideouts and secondary. (Meanwhile they’ve been balls on the offensive and defensive lines, something that isn’t mentioned as often.) But no one, not even Borges, denies that life’s going to be a lot different when Brady and Belichick are gone. You’re right, bsmfan, maybe the NFL is becoming more like the NBA, a star-driven league. Maybe after Belichick and Brady go, New England will be the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NFL for a few years. Or even longer.

  • bsmfan

    I have to think this will wind up in Bruce’s next post but if you didn’t hear the radio call on SportsHub, Zolak and Bob had a memorable call making rounds:

    http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2013/october/patriots-broadcaster-scott-zolak-shouts-about-show-ponies-and-unicorns-for-game-winner.html

    (Similar to the Bruins radio call of Bergeron! Bergeron!)

    • DryHeave

      would have rather heard Gill and Gino call it… all these “new wave” announcers have the same shtick (yelling,screaming, nonsensical) not impressed. Glad I don’t listen to games on radio.

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