Random Monday In August

August isn’t a whole lot of fun in the sports landscape, especially when the Red Sox are already out of contention. Hockey and Basketball are still weeks away. The seemingly endless grind of training camp and preseason football drones on.

It’s also the time when most sports radio hosts take some time off before the NFL season gets fully underway. Thus we’ve had an overload of Steve Buckley, Greg Dickerson, Jerry Thornton, Adam Jones (filling on on the AM) Jon Meterparel and the other B-list fill in hosts.

Some of whom are quite OK in small doses, but when you’re sitting there thinking “I can’t wait for John Dennis to come back,” you know there’s an issue.

Rich Shertenlieb has been out for another reason – he’s been by his wife’s side as she continues her battle against cancer. Certainly no one can take issue with that.

When the morning topics are the Little League World Series and talking about a 12 year-old girl and making statements like she’s really a 15-year-boy or that she’ll be a drug addict in a couple years, you know things are bit slow.

But if you thought I was overreacting to Felger and Mazz and Minihane accusing Pedro Martinez of steroid use, or just couldn’t handle their sarcasm and snark, at least I’m not alone in the view.

Sunday Mail: Speculating on Whether Pedro’s Performances Were Enhanced is a New Low – Chad Finn’s Sunday Column is, if anything, tougher on them than I was.

I’m still trying to figure out the angle on Dan Shaughnessy’s column yesterday. We should go easier on celebrities because their lives are hard? And there’s a picture of Roger Clemens with the column? What is the message? And why would Shaughnessy advocate going easy on anyone? Has he ever? Besides John Henry Williams, that is?

From the “Ben Volin is Awesome” department:

Volin had the fingerwag going at Mike Mayock for his comments about Ryan Mallett, basically saying that Mayock is not around Mallett everyday and is thus unqualified to make such a statement.

Then Volin wrote this in his Sunday notes yesterday:

Manziel showed enough in his first game (63 yards passing, 27 rushing) that he looks like he can handle himself at the NFL level.

So Volin can watch half of the first preseason game and declare that a QB is ready to play in the NFL. That’s not a “snap judgment?” Who is more qualified to make a snap judgment on a player anyway? A guy who played in the league and evaluates talent for the draft and works games on a weekly basis, or a reporter who pretty much covers one club, and once lead the charge to give Richie Incognito a “good guy” award?

Breaking News – Over the weekend, I actually heard some pretty good sports talk radio. First Chris Villani and then Danny Picard on WEEI were both reasoned, informative and intelligent in running their afternoon shows on Saturday. I’ve heard both before, many times, but it really struck me how different their shows, at least that day were compared to what I’ve been hearing elsewhere for a while now.

I’m convinced though, that Picard’s accent is a put-on.

If you get a chance, check out the Improper Bostonian and their Patriots coverage. They’ve got a cool Q&A/Feature on Devin McCourty, a team season preview and a Patriots’ 2004 Coaching Staff flow chart looking at the travels of that group since that last Super Bowl title.

  • Andy Dursin

    It’s good to finally see Felger getting trashed by sources in and out of this market. No matter how high his ratings are, he’s never going to be viewed as anything other than a carnival barker. Maybe that — and his check — are all he cares about, but he’s certainly smart enough to be more than that…he just chooses not to raise his game. He should be embarrassed.

    I agree with you Bruce as well — Villani and Picard are pretty decent, and I think Picard’s accent is self-conscious if nothing else. Still, at least they would’ve been a better show at 10am than MFB. And I think I’ve heard enough Jerry Thornton for the rest of my life. The guy is funny…in small doses…but his sudden rise to broadcasting prominence in this market is baffling. As is Fauria’s.

    • jwol16

      Completely agree on Thornton. There were times that he couldn’t even sustain his schtick during the five minutes that F+M used to give him each Friday. I’m curious to see if he gets his e-mail-reading job back on the CSNNE Patriots post-game after jumping from Felger’s radio show to the competition. It’s entirely possible he’ll be right back in there since Sports Hub and EEI personalities commingle regularly on that channel.

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    I listened to Villiani on the ESPN affiliate in Burlington, VT. He was very good – informed, reasonable and competent at running a show.
    Would be interested in the name of the host/racist who predicted Mo’Ne Davis will drug addicted in a few years. Are you sure D&C are on vacation, because that sounds right up their alley?

  • bsmfan

    Is Cafardo’s piece on Sunday not one of the most obvious plants in history to save whatever is left of Werner’s reputation? We all knew why he was even in the running. Looks like they had some interns scrap together all the ideas that have floated around on forums and with some of the writers who wrote “What Manfred must address immediately” pieces, and rebranded it “Werner’s ideas”.

    In related news, the LLWS outrated SNB:

    @AustinKarp ESPN2 drew 1.5 overnight for Texas-Pennsylvania LLWS game. ESPN drew 1.0 for As-Braves

  • the_other_side

    Lasted barely 2 minutes listening to F&YARM today. Turned on on 2:22, off at 2:24. Let’s keep creating controversies around the tight end position, whether Brady likes Garappolo, and who was right/wrong on the Brady pick 6 Friday night.

    In that short time, they…
    Wondered does Brady like Jimmy G?
    Asked if Brady would have rather had a TE in the second round than a qb?
    Insinuated that Brady does not want to be pushed by Jimmy G.
    Debated who was wrong on the pick 6
    Pondered why we always assume that Brady is right and the wr is wrong.

    That’s a whole lot of trolling the fanbase in a short time.

    • Babyatskiy

      hahaha F & YARM

  • T Murphy

    “and once lead the charge to give Richie Incognito a “good guy” award”. Love it Bruce. Volin is a troll and a wanker.

  • smack_libs_around

    Quite the effeminate purple shirt Ben Violin’s got going there.

    • daver

      Wow. So many legit reasons to critique him, and you go with the “looks faggy to me” route. Stay classy.

  • bsmfan

    I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot of Cleveland Browns talk today, even on the airwaves here:

    http://i.imgur.com/h8FksJx.jpg

  • the_other_side

    Good ol Ben Volin is doing a series where he visits each of the three afc east teams and finds reasons patriots fans should be afraid of the team. He started with his strength, the dolphins.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/08/18/three-reasons-dolphins-should-scare-patriots-fans/e9UEDk1pVmH793HNUKM18N/story.html

    Clearly the Patriots are doomed. Of course he fails to mention that the phins have a number of players suspended for the first game and that weather shouldn’t be a concern in the second meeting but hey, when you write for el globo, you can’t let facts get in the way when writing about why the pats could lose.

    I do give Ben credit for at least visiting the teams and seeing them in action unlike so many of the naysayers who will just throw stuff out there.

  • latetodinner

    Bruce, I am not sure what you are hearing but to me Picard and Villani are void of originality. They are parroting the themes that have been prevalent all week on WEEI. Picard brags about the fact that he does not work well with others, giving you a single view point show where I think he is slow in and out of callers and as such the show drags. Villani sounds non descript to me…like any number of other weekend fill-ins on either station not names Mustard or Johnson. I don’t have a lot of expectations for the weekend fill in guys. Especially not in the summer. I also recognize that these slots are where young guys get to make tape, hone their approach and develop on air personas. However, I think at best these two are incredibly raw and at worse they are boring.

  • Babyatskiy

    “I’m still trying to figure out the angle on Dan Shaughnessy’s column yesterday. We should go easier on celebrities because their lives are hard?”

    Three weeks ago it was, “Boston fans and media have gone soft” and now it’s this?

    Bruce, EVEN YOU should paying this professional any attention whatsoever.

    “I’m convinced though, that Picard’s accent is a put-on.”

    Hilarious, but I think it’s real.

    I’ve been talking about Picard and Villani in these comments section for a few months. Villani though, in larger doses, has quickly worn on me. He’s got a lot repetitive whining that reminds of Muttnansky.

  • Babyatskiy

    As an aside, I have stopped listening to Mikey and Villani all-together.

    I realize now that I could only stand Mikey because of the GREAT JON RYDER.

    BRING BACK RYDER!!!!!!

    • jwol16

      I was just thinking the other day about how glaring Ryder’s absence remains. I wonder if Mikey has much longer on EEI.

    • Dave

      Seriously. EEI canning John Ryder was terrible. He was a fan favorite and class act. I would LOVE to see him with his own show one of these on either station.

  • Babyatskiy

    From Chad Finn’s column:

    “And the biggest surprise from the July Nielsen audio monthly was not that D&C topped T&R for the first time since 2011, but that MFB tied Gresh and Zo with a 4.3 share.”

    Free Fauria!!!!!

  • BSF34

    Dennis should be rated F- as an individual.

  • the_other_side

    MassLive.com has a new Patriots beat writer. Kevin Duffy, who has worked the UConn beat the last five years or so, is joining the Pats beat.

    @KevinRDuffy

    After five awesome years at Hearst Connecticut, I’m joining http://MassLive.com as the company’s New England Patriots beat writer.

    https://twitter.com/KevinRDuffy/status/502077366282514432

  • Babyatskiy

    “I really like Fauria. It’s a bias, because guys who are mostly optimistic, don’t crap on callers, and know football (Football is by FAR my fav sport) get extra points with me. ”

    You nailed it right there…

    Free Fauria!!! Benz and Lou must go!!!

  • jwol16

    I would love to see Mazz replaced by Gasper, Merloni (even with how far he’s slipped), Holley (ditto), or even Bertrand. I’d love to see Rich Keefe given a higher profile job, but pairing him with Felger would just stifle him.

  • Brian Shea

    Good F&M show today; no Mazz, and a lot of bashing on how wrong Mazz was on David Ortiz. Demanding the Sox not extend Ortiz, and he has an amazing season. Doubting the Sox all last season, they win the World Series. It goes on and on.