Derek Jeter Memorial Being Broadcast Live on FOX Tonight

The annual MLB All Star Game, originally scheduled for tonight on FOX has been cancelled and replaced with a three-hour tribute to Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter who, in case you hadn’t heard yet, is retiring at the end of the season.

FOX is even bringing Tim McCarver out of retirement to gaze upon Jeter’s calm eyes one last time.

Sadly, I think the Jeter tributes are just getting started.

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Former NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell and rehabbing Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks got engaged yesterday.

Dell and Middlebrooks are not the first reporter and athlete to have a relationship, but theirs has come under unusual scrutiny, I’ve even commented on it in the past. This news should spark a new round of fingerwags from the usual suspects, though since Dell is no longer with NESN, it shouldn’t be an issue now.

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Another former NESN star, Kathryn Tappen continues her rise in the media world. She will continue her work with NHL Network, but is also now joining NBC Sports, where she will have a variety of roles, including work on NHL Live, Football Night in America, Notre Dame Football, Super Bowl XLIX and future Olympic coverage.

Tappen is married to former NHL player Jay Leach, who had a brief stint with the Bruins. From their own wedding announcement in the New York Times:

The couple met in February 2005, during the National Hockey League lockout. Mr. Leach, who was with the Bruins then, went to Providence, R.I., to play for the Bruins’ minor league team. Ms. Tappen was covering sports for WJAR, the NBC affiliate in Providence.

I only point that that out to contrast it with the reaction given to Dell’s relationship with Middlebrooks, which is admittedly more high-profile, but I don’t recall people questioning Tappen’s professionalism when she was on NESN.

There are other reporter/athlete relationships, Samantha Steele and Christian Ponder are married, Erin Andrews dates LA Kings defenseman Jarret Stoll. It is actually surprising it doesn’t happen more.

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If we’re talking about sideline reporters, it is worthy of mention that FOX “elevated” Pam Oliver from her position as lead NFL sideline reporter into “Senior Correspondent.” She will remain a sideline reporter, but with the announcing team of Kevin Burkhardt and analyst John Lynch rather than the top team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

Replacing Oliver on the top team will be the aforementioned Erin Andrews.

If it seems like a step back, it is, and a it’s a bad move by FOX. Oliver is one of the best in the business, and if you saw Andrews do the Patriots/Buccaneers game last season, you know this is a step back in quality for FOX.

I like Andews better than most seem to, but Pam Oliver is a pro. Along with Michele Tafoya, Doris Burke and Suzy Kolber, Oliver is among in the top group of people in the position of sideline reporter. Burke and Kolber do a whole lot more than just work on the sidelines, and Burke is actually miscast in the role of foil to Gregg Popovich – she’s better as a game analyst.

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With not much more going on in the local scene other than Dan Shaughnessy trolling Red Sox fans over Jon Lester, it seemed a good time to look at the above topics.

  • bsmfan

    Worst week of the sports year. But, this is the bottom and it means that CFB is 40 days away, with the NFL a week after. Still, it makes
    for absurdity in headlines due to the slow news days:

    http://i.imgur.com/Rcnb2Ek.jpg

    Can’t imagine MLB was happy about the production of the HR Derby. From the 15 minutes I saw, many shots looked like some operators were drunk. And, MLB can’t be happy that the highlight of the night seemed to be the Berman/Kruk clip making rounds:

    http://deadspin.com/if-youre-going-to-make-chris-berman-stand-up-for-cancer-1605078093

    The PAs and interns in the graphics department seemed to also be well invested in the lowering of the production quality, too:

    http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/screengrab-snafus-your-home-run-derby-roundup.html

    • Babyatskiy

      Your new avatar is awesome.

      • bsmfan

        Thanks. The Skip Bayless one, which I loved, was great but getting old. Once I saw the “Derpy” CHB shot Bruce nabbed, it had to be replaced.

      • bullock

        Wait wait .. is your avatar Doctor Mindbender?

        • Babyatskiy

          yes!

    • latetodinner

      WTF is CFB? :-P

      • bsmfan

        College Football :)

  • daver

    YARM’s column today should be framed, gilded, and put upon a pedestal as a shining beacon of everything wrong with the Boston sports media, visible to ships up to 40 miles offshore.

    Also, I wish he’d just move to New York, seeing as he so desperately wants the Sox to be run like the 1982 Yankees. BRING ME ALL THE EXPENSIVE FREE AGENTS, CHERINGTON, LEST I THRASH YOU ONE MORE WITH THE SWITCH!!!!!!

    • Babyatskiy

      Yarm: “They have no real power-hitting prospect to speak of – the Red Sox need to find themselves some willing trade partners or they run the risk of further alienating their fan base.”

      I disagree with the first part.

      Travis Shaw, 1B currently at Pawtucket, should not be written off by any means.

      Here is what he did with Portland to start the year.

      47 games, 208 plate app., 8 2B, 11 HR, 29 BB against only 23 K and a .305 / .406 / .548 slash line.

      Is that not a prospect with power?

      Shaw struggled initially after the move to Pawtucket, over the last 25 games: .276 / .336 / .541.

      Now YARM’s second point is correct – they will have to find a trading partner. But this shouldn’t be too hard.

      Maybe YARM is unaware, but there are 29 other teams with different needs at different positions, than the Red Sox.

      • Babyatskiy

        “After walking just seven times with 41 strikeouts in his first 33 games with the PawSox following his promotion to Triple-A, Shaw has reached base in all 17 games in July while walking nearly as many times (10) as he’s struck out (11). Shaw is now hitting .302/.392/.540 with four homers among his seven extra-base hits this month. Notably, three of his four homers this month have been to the opposite field, an indicator of Shaw’s intriguing ability to stay back on the ball and drive it to the opposite field, traits that have convinced the Sox that he has a made-for-Fenway swing that could allow him to pepper the Green Monster.

        Between Portland and Pawtucket, Shaw now has a .288/.365/.503 line with 19 homers — making him one of 24 players in all of minor league baseball to reach that home run total so far this year.”

        http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2014/07/21/red-sox-minor-league-roundup-travis-shaw-taking-off-in-pawtucket-cody-kukuk-figuring-things-out-teddy-stankiewiczs-landmark-outing/

    • bsmfan

      Is it me or do you get the impression that there are multiple members of the media who want to see Lester leave, just so they can stick it to management? I’m getting that impression now.

      • Babyatskiy

        It’s not you, they make it plainly obvious. I could name names, but what’s the point. There are trolls upon trolls upon trolls.

        I give Andy Gresh credit, he’s at least one of the members of the media that is strongly in the opposite camp.

        bsmfan, this is a microcosm of the race to the bottom – there is a race to see who can be the bigger contrarian – who can hide their fandom (if they’re from around here) the most. every move and every possible future move has to be criticized and dissected, even before it’s happened!

        • bsmfan

          Here’s another ‘thing’ I noticed with this. Once the contract stuff leaked out, we got back into this ‘national breaks the real news’ first. Call it Felger’s thing, but this is just the latest example. A few weeks ago, it was Rosenthal talking about how management was not pleased with the team’s effort in NY. Today, it’s Heyman and Gammons bringing up some things about Lester and the contract:

          @pgammo In March, Lester would have done Homer Bailey 6 yrs./$105M “plus a dollar,” now will re-engage for a whole lot more that that.

          JonHeymanCBS Lester tells @CBSSports: “thrown off” by in-season talk. sox said ready to go to $100M, but FA looms http://cbsprt.co/1r05V5X

          Are locals not getting info because they’re not asking? Bad sources? They don’t want to jeopardize their NESN appearance potential?

        • Babyatskiy

          Now that’s a good one.

          So 4 and 70 (17.5) is an insult but 6 and 105 (17.5) gets it done?

        • bsmfan

          I guess it’s the years?

          The “Bailey” offer Gammons mentioned is obviously under his value, even before the numbers this year, but maybe it would have fit in the “hometown discount” window?

          I would also question the source, since Gammons is a well-known PR firm for management’s talking points, so who knows.

        • Babyatskiy

          Lester probably ends up with 5-6 years at an amount equal to Hamels or between what Hamels and Cliff Lee got.

          I think Lester is a little bit older than Bailey, Hamels and Lee were when they signed their contracts. I would not give him seven seasons – that’s a breaking point.

          I think 5-6 seasons would be great – a low risk for the team. Maybe the 6th year ends up being a mistake, but not in terms of the full value of the contract.

        • latetodinner

          I think someone is going to offer Lester 6 and $160M AAV of $26.6M Or 7 for $185M. For that reason he is gone. The problem the Sox have is they (Larry?) again misread a coming market in an attempt to play hardball with a player I don’t think they really care too much about losing. Lester is 6 weeks away from free agency. At this point he goes to the open market as the top pitcher (and he is a lefty) on the market. How much would NY pay for him now that Tanaka is looking at Tommy John surgery? How much is Lester worth to Seattle, LA D, or Baltimore. Considerably more than he is perceived to be worth in Boston.

        • Trip McNeely

          I don’t know why the Rangers wouldn’t pony up the dough and pair him with Darvish for a great 1-2 punch. Texas always has money to throw around plus Jon is a Texas boy. Homecoming of sorts.

        • Babyatskiy

          I can’t fault them if they don’t give him 6 or 7. Seven seasons would be especially crazy at Lester’s age.

        • Babyatskiy

          I thought Rob Bradford was the guy that got Lester to say he didn’t want to be a distraction the first time? The locals know full well that Lester has now repeatedly said he doesn’t want to be a distraction. That means he doesn’t want the media asking him and his teammates about it every day. You’ll never hear one of them actually acknowledge this to the general public.

          I was actually blown away by the Jackie Bradley Jr. interview and felt bad for him.

          The media trolls in this town will stop at nothing, including interfering with the players, to get their BS story.

        • OpinionNotFact

          What happened with Bradley?

        • Babyatskiy

          I don’t know who it was, but one the beat reporters or columnists cornered Jackie to ask him about his thoughts on the Lester contract negotiations.

          Lester apologized, through the media, (I look at this Lester telling them to back off in a very polite way) to Bradley for the fact that the jackals asked JBJ about Jon’s contract.

          I’m surprised that Bruce wasn’t all over this.

          http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24621156/lester-thrown-off-by-in-season-contract-talks-as-free-agency-looms

      • daver

        It’s win-win for them.

        Lester walks: RED SOX OWNERSHIP NEVER STEP UP TO THE PLATE FOR SUCCESSFUL PLAYERS (cf. Fisk, Boggs, Ellsbury, Pedro, etc.)

        Lester stays and does not go 35-0 with a 0.000002 ERA: RED SOX IGNORE DISCIPLINE THAT LED TO 3 WORLD SERIES WIN; BLOATED ROSTER UNDERACHIEVES AGAIN

        • Babyatskiy

          hahahahaha .0000002 ERA

        • bsmfan

          Wait, what? I thought that the Patriots didn’t start playing real games until September? Are the media mixing their sports up?

  • bsmfan

    In football, they usually call a great player’s highlights “teaching tape”. I think last night should be showed to J-school students on anti-teaching tape, as a 3 hour-long experiment on many things not to do.

    @jerrythorton1 I can’t wait for them to show the highlights of Jeter inventing the iPhone, finding the God particle, then taking out Bin Laden

    DONT YOU LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA?!

    Why, yes, Erin… we do.

    But, I think Jeff Passan won the night:

    @JeffPassan There’s nothing at all wrong with Adam Wainwright grooving Derek Jeter a pitch. There’s something wrong with the All-Star Game counting.

    • daver

      Thank goodness there weren’t any 15-time All-Star HOFers who died within the last month. It might have cost us precious seconds of Derek Jeter on the telecast.

  • OpinionNotFact

    I don’t care who a football sideline reporter is. In the least.

  • Trip McNeely

    I knew Clay was from Texas, but for some reason I thought Lester was too. My bad. Thanks.

    • Babyatskiy

      haha that’s because under the tutelage of Beckett and Lackey, Lester became an honorary Texan.