Playoff Hockey Starts Tonight For Boston

The Bruins look to start their return to the Stanley Cup Finals with the opening game of their first round series against the Detroit Red Wings tonight at TD Garden.

This will be the first meeting in the playoffs between these two original six franchises since 1957. Prior to that, these teams were regular postseason opponents.

Red Wings, Bruins rekindle playoff rivalry that blazed in 1940s, ’50s – Gregg Krupa in The Detroit News looks at the history between these two iconic franchises.

Andy Brickley, Jack Edwards see Bruins winning – Chad Finn has the NESN broadcast duo feeling that the Bruins will take this series.

Edwards excited for another Bruins playoff series – Bill Doyle has more from Edwards.

You can get all of the local Bruins coverage at BruinsLinks.com.

We went over the NESN coverage yesterday afternoon, CSNNE will once again also have pre and post-game shows. As in the last few years, the shows will be led by Michael Felger and Tony Amonte, and Joe Haggerty, Mike Giardi and Kevin Walsh will have reports from the games.

Due to CSN’s relationship with NBC, the station will also have access to and interviews with the broadcast team of Jeremy Roenick, Keith Jones, Pierre McGuire, Mike “Doc” Emrick and Ed Olczyk.

Here is the schedule for CSN’s coverage:

  • Game 1 Boston vs. Detroit, Friday, April 18th – CSN Pre-Game Live @7PM & Post-Game Live following game
  • Game 2 Boston vs. Detroit, Sunday, April 20th – CSN Pre-Game Live @2:30PM & Post-Game Live following game
  • Game 3 Boston vs. Detroit, Tuesday, April 22nd – CSN Pre-Game Live @7PM & Post-Game Live following game
  • Game 4 Boston vs. Detroit, Thursday, April 24th –CSN Pre-Game Live @7:30PM & Post-Game Live following game
  • Additional Games 5, 6 and 7 If Necessary; CSN Pre & Post-Game Live schedule TBD

Bruins First Round Series Coverage on NESN and NBC

NESN will have regionally exclusive coverage of up to five first round playoff games between the Bruins and Detroit Red Wings.

In addition to first round game coverage, NESN will produce one-hour of pre and post-game shows before and after Boston Bruins playoff games throughout the playoffs.

Games two and five (if needed) of the first round will be broadcast on NBC. The rest of the games in the series will be on NESN.

NESN’s Bruins Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Schedule

Day Date Game Game Broadcast Network NESN Coverage Begins  Game Time
Friday 4/18 Game #1 NESN 6:00 PM 7:30 PM
Sunday 4/20 Game #2 NBC 2:00 PM 3:00 PM
Tuesday 4/22 Game #3 NESN 6:30 PM 7:30 PM
Thursday 4/24 Game #4 NESN 7:00 PM 8:00 PM
Saturday 4/26 Game #5* NBC **2:00 PM 3:00 PM
Monday 4/28 Game #6* NESN TBD TBD
Wednesday 4/30 Game #7* NESN TBD TBD

* = If necessary

** = Game 5 pre and post-game coverage on NESNplus

NESN also announced that that Bruins regular season averaged a 5.0 rating over the 71 games that NESN broadcast. They’re calling this a ratings record for a full season, noting that last year’s shortened season averaged a 6.3 rating in the 41 games NESN carried (out of 48 total).

The Red Sox will be bumped over to NESNplus when the games conflict.

Red Sox Games on NESNplus in April

Day Date Red Sox Opponent Game Time
Friday 4/18 vs. Baltimore Orioles 7:00 PM
Tuesday 4/22 vs. New York Yankees 7:00 PM
Thursday 4/24 vs. New York Yankees 7:00 PM
Wednesday * 4/30 vs. Tampa Bay Rays 7:00 PM

 

Celtics Close Out Season of Change

The Celtics wrapped up the regular season last night with a loss to the playoff-bound Washington Wizards at TD Garden.

As with much of the season the Celtics had moments of competitiveness, but faded and eventually fell at the end.

They did what most people wanted them to do this season – lose – but perhaps didn’t even do enough of that. It was an odd season in many aspects. You had many fans and talk show hosts and columnists outright rooting (are they supposed to do that???) for the team to lose. Then had others in the media who were critical of the team for its effort and execution at times.

If you’re looking big picture, things look pretty good for this franchise. The stockpile of first round picks is well documented, they have a good shot at a top player this June should they choose to use their pick, have assets to trade if an opportunity presents itself (unlike many others, I’m not big on the Kevin Love bandwagon) and have some decent talent on the present roster to build around. They’ve also got a young coach who is already drawing praise from around the league, and who will no doubt use his first NBA season as a learning experience. They have a $10.3 million trade exception which can be used in a sign-and-trade or straight trade, but needs to be used before July 12.

In Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk they have two young players who at a minimum can be serviceable big men in the NBA. In his second season and coming off back surgery Sullinger averaged 13.3 ppg and 8.1 rpg. Olynyk had his ups and downs throughout the season, but in the last three games of the season he scored 25, 28 and 24 points.

They’ve got Rondo – whether they choose to keep him or use him as a trade asset. They have a decision to make on Avery Bradley, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, and who suffered through another injury-plagued season, but averaged 14.9 ppg in 60 games. Jeff Green remains maddeningly inconsistent, but he played all 82 games and led the team in scoring at 16.9 ppg. We’ve seen that he’s probably best suited to being a 3rd or 4th option on a club where he doesn’t have to be The Man, but can be a complementary piece. He could be used in a trade. Many of the other contracts on the team are designed to be flexible enough to use in a trade (non-guaranteed, year to year, etc).

It’s setting up to be a very interesting offseason, and while ownership promises “fireworks”, Danny Ainge just sees it as an offseason where there is a lot of work to be done.

I’m just glad that the games have been played, and we don’t have to hear about tanking and all the cute phrases that go along with it from the local sports radio and television wags.

While the season on the floor was tough, we got some great writing and coverage of the team this season. Baxter Holmes has done a terrific job with both features and the game-to-game coverage. He and Gary Washburn make a great duo for the Globe. At the Herald, Steve Bulpett and Mark Murphy did their usual outstanding job, with Bulpett remaining one of my favorite media personalities in town, and I consider him still somewhat underrated despite 30 years on the job. Jay King at MassLive.com is part of a tremendous young team at that website. Others on the beat – Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE, and Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com all added insight and information to the season.

I think the Celtics beat overall is the best and most professionally covered of any of the four major sports in town. Very little bombast or “look at me” types here. The Celtics blogging community is passionate and strong as well, with sites like CelticsBlog and RedsArmy leading the way.

The broadcast teams – Mike Gorman remains the gold standard in town. He makes whomever is with him sound great. For some reason Tommy Heinsohn has detractors and critics who cringe at his enthusiasm and support of the franchise that he has been a part of for almost 60 years. I’ll defend him to the death. The guest analysts – P.J. Carlesimo, Jackie MacMullan, even Danny Ainge and Chris Herren each brought something to the telecasts. On the radio side, Sean Grande also had many partners thoughout the season as Cedric Maxwell at times also moved over to the television side. If there was a weak spot, this might be it. Bringing in the likes of Rich Keefe and Adam Jones to sit beside Grande was curious – though it was likely a cost-saving move to bring on someone already on the station payroll.

Overall it was a rough season on the court, but we can look forward to better times ahead, and for an eventful offseason.

Your Patriots Mock Draft (Free-Agent Edition)

Hammering away at this mock draft, making changes where we feel necessary, wondering how many picks the Pats will trade away this spring.

For a review of how we got here, first came our Way-Wicked-Early Edition in February followed by an amended post-combine edition in March. Since then, the Patriots have maneuvered their way through free agency, losing cornerback Aqib Talib (Denver), running back LeGarrette Blount (Pittsburgh) and linebacker Brandon Spikes (Twitter) while adding wide receiver Brandon LeFell and – in case you hadn’t heard – cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. New England has a compensatory fourth-rounder. They traded their fifth-rounder and got an extra sixth-rounder as part of the Isaac Sopoaga trade.

Instead of deleting past potential picks, we decided to show our work. It’s been a long time coming, but stay focused, people: the draft begins May 8. [Read more...]

Shaughnessy – The Last 100 Columns

I’m not sure why I subjected myself to this, but I took some time to peruse the last 100 columns that Dan Shaughnessy has written.

This 100 columns dates back to October 14, 2013. So in almost exactly 6 months, he’s written 100 columns.

58 are on the Red Sox. Given that they won the World Series at the start of this timeframe and have held spring training and the start of the season since, it’s natural they would get the most mentions, especially when you consider special editions for the World Series Champions and Season Previews. Still, that’s a lot. Of the 58, 37 were positive or mostly positive. 11 were neutral. 10 were negative or negative/neutral.

20 are on the Patriots. Of those, I deemed 12 to be completely negative. 4 were neutral, 2 were positive. 1 was stupid. (The 12/10/13 parody of how the Patriots could be Super Bowl champs.) and 1 was negative/positive – the Darrelle Revis signing column where he lauded the move, but still took all his usual shots.

5 were “thoughts” columns. I was actually surprised there weren’t more of these.

4 were on Harvard during the NCAA tournament, and his transparent attempt to make Tommy Amaker the next Boston College coach.

2 were on the Celtics

2 on the Super Bowl

2 on general NFL topics

1 on the Texans (victory lap)

1 on the Orioles

1 on UMass

1 on MLB HoF voting

1 on himself (Write not Root)

1 on the Seahawks (Marshawn Lynch and not talking to the media, really)

1 on High School athletics

0 were on the Bruins. (Bruins fans probably prefer it that way.)

The full list:

More #Hotsportztakes Headed To Boston.com – Mazz Returns!

As The Boston Globe splits from Boston.com, the latter continues its transformation into a collection of #hotsportztakes with the return of Tony Massarotti to its bandwidth.

Now that none of the Globe content appears on Boston.com, and none of the Globe writers blog on Boston.com any longer, it really has become something of a wasteland for the web version of sports talk radio.

One of the few exceptions being of course, Finn’s own blog, which carries a very different tone from the majority of the site.

Here are the local media columns for today:

High praise, ratings for NCAA Tournaments – Chad Finn hits across many topics this morning, including the mens and women’s hoop tournaments, Danny Ainge’s turn as color analyst on CSNNE, and NFL draft programming.

Will a rookie come out of Woods at Masters? – Bill Doyle has thoughts from CBS analysts and executives on the Masters programming and storylines.

There will be much in the way of local programming heading up to the Boston Marathon. CSNNE, for example will feature a week of heartfelt vignettes that will air in Chevrolet SportsNet Central and online at CSNNE.com/runningstrong from Sunday, April 13th through Sunday, April 20th. The week will culminate with a 30-minute TV special titled Running Strong scheduled to air on Sunday, April 20th at 5PM.

Here are the segments which will be combined into the 30-minute special:

A TEAM REACTS (Sunday, April 13th)

A recap of how the day unfolded for the Boston Bruins who were scheduled to play a game later that night. Hockey reporters/analysts Mike Giardi, Michael Felger and Kevin Paul Dupont review the chronology as to how the team found out, their reaction, and all that happened right through their next home game which commenced with Ray Rancourt’s powerful pre-game National Anthem.

GROUND ZERO (Monday, April 14th)

Athletic store Marathon Sports was the site of the actual bombing and the store has since become a pseudo shrine to remember the events of the day and honor the victims and heroes. Shane O’Hara, Manager of the Boston store location, talks to Comcast SportsNet with a personal recount of the day, how the business has done its best to be “Boston Strong,” and his participation in the Red Sox parade ceremony later in the Spring.

RUNNING STRONG: REMEMBERING THE DAY (Tuesday, April 15th)

Airing on the 1-year anniversary of the 2013 Marathon, this segment will recap how the day and week unfolded with a focus on how the tragic events impacted the Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, and Bruins.

INSPIRED TO ACT (Wednesday, April 16th)

Comcast SportsNet talks with two doctors from Brigham and Women’s – Dr. Kelli O’Laughlin and Physicians’ Assistant McKenzie Bollen – who both witnessed and experienced trauma that day.  The two also talk about how they were inspired to train for and run in this year’s Marathon.

A NEW LIFE (Thursday, April 17th)

Heather Abbott lost a leg in the bombing and her life was changed forever. Comcast SportsNet visits her home in Newport, RI where she has recovered and remains strong.

AN INNOCENT SURVIVOR (Friday, April 18th)

Stoneham resident Mark Fucarile was another victim who lost a leg in the bombing. Mark talks about his recovery, how this affected his 6-year old son, and how he was set to be married soon after the marathon and will finally wed his fiancé later this month. David Portnoy, Founder of the “Barstool Sports” website which caters to the ‘everyman’ like Mark, talks about his efforts to help Mark with fundraising.

THE WITNESS (Saturday, April 19th)

Boston Globe Sports Editor Steve Silva captured the most powerful video of the explosions and ran towards the danger. Comcast SportsNet interviews Steve about how he remembers the day and talks about how he was inspired to train for and run this year’s marathon.

THE LAST RUN (Sunday, April 20th)

Boston Marathon Legends Dick Hoyt and his son Rick who has Cerebral Palsy have run the Boston Marathon together for decades and have become an iconic part of the annual event. 2013 was going to be their final time running the Marathon, but in light of the events, they will now run one final time in 2014.

The Devolution of Sports Talk Radio – Is It Permanent?

Before we get into this, let’s make one thing clear – sports talk radio was never the territory of Mensa candidates. Over the years though, it has somehow devolved into just grabbing onto the lowest hanging fruit.

There is in fact, very little sports talk on this genre. There is practically no analysis, no insight, just reactionary hot takes, which are only intended to stir people up.

Most of what you get on sports talk radio these days falls into one of these categories:

Contracts

Does player X deserve a new contract? Is the team disrespecting player Y by not giving him a huge extension right now? Why do the Patriots have to squeeze every single player down there? Why are the Red Sox giving out money hand over fist to players? Why are the Patriots disrespecting Vince in the final year of his contract??? Why is David Ortiz being so greedy and wanting an extension beyond this year???? The Patriots screwed up big time with Wes Welker! Why are the Bruins so tight with money spending so much money on their own players?? The Krafts are so cheap! Jon Lester – you’re going to pay HIM like an ace?

You get the idea. It’s an easy topic to put out there as there will be people on both sides of the argument. It’s also incredibly tedious.

Past Personnel Failures (Real or Perceived)

Let’s revisit the Patriots 2006-2009 drafts again! Peter Chiarelli traded away the 3rd and 6th leading scorers in the NHL!!! Danny Ainge cost the Celtics the 2011 championship when he traded Kendrick Perkins! Was Carl Crawford the biggest free agent bust of all time??? Belichick the GM is failing Belichick the coach! Ainge drafted Fab Melo – we’re supposed to feel good about him not screwing up these other first round picks??  The Bruins didn’t do anything at the trade deadline!

Fear-Mongering
No matter what success is happening right now, there is always the “Yeah but…” card to play. Mike, I’m worried that they’ve woken up the Yankees! Mike, I’m worried that Tampa is going to pass them in September – they always play well in September and the Red Sox always play LOUSY in September! Mike, I know we’re in the World Series, but I’m worried about next year – who is going to play centerfield?  THEY CAN’T REPEAT, MIKE!

Dumb, Stupid Arguments That Aren’t About Sports At All

Are you going to boo or cheer player X when they come back to town? It’s better to lose in the first round than get to the Super Bowl and lose. Whose legacy has more to lose/gain this week Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? John Lackey had a Bud Light in the clubhouse after the game! Tyler Seguin parties too much to be an NHL star! If Rajon Rondo is your leader, you’re in trouble. Is player X tough enough to play in Boston? They just need to get some damn players in here and win some damn games! Etc etc etc.

Mundane Stuff About Themselves/Promoting Their Own Deeds

Hey…did you know John Dennis is getting married? YOU could go to his bachelor party! (If Toucher and Rich don’t send a mole to this thing, I don’t know what they’re doing in life.)

Endless Celebrity Callers

These are the worst. The same callers every day, with the same script, same talking points. Most have a grating voice and annoying mannerisms. They bring nothing to the table but misery, yet the hosts eagerly punch up their call when they’re on the line.

*********

This formula apparently works, as sports talk radio continues to dominate the market. I find it intolerable. It’s just not enjoyable to listen to, from where I sit. We know why it is this way – it’s easy. To provide cogent analysis of games/transactions/drafts takes work. To give a #hotsportztake just requires your mouth. Also, there is only so much analysis you can really do before it becomes repetitive, so to fill time, you’ve got to get people stirred up, say something outlandish – and stick to it. It’s entertainment, I get it. But shouldn’t it be entertaining?

Mike Felger can pull it off. He’s intelligent and creative enough that he can play the game while remaining – most of the time – entertaining. His partner can’t do it. Just about everyone else in the market cannot do it. Everyone wants to be like Felger, but they can’t pull it off.

I’m encouraged that Dale and Holley seem determined to go another route. It could be an interesting contrast in the afternoons. Having Glenn Ordway and his cronies back and available to listen to also makes things interesting.

I’m hoping that perhaps we’ve hit bottom in terms of the devolution of the genre, and perhaps there can be some changes for the better coming down the line.

Sports Media Musings: On “Big Show: Unfiltered”, Baby Boomer’s C-Section Comment, & More

The Patriots bringing in Johnny Football for a pro day, then re-signing Patrick Chung was The Hoodie at his best. This has been the most interesting offseason since, um, the last offseason (the Brady paycut [Which somehow was criticized? God, I love the sports media!], Welkahpoloooozzzzah, Everything Gronk, and finally Aaron Hernandez, double murders, and Angel Dust … Unreal.).

Wait, Angel Dust was part of last year’s offseason discussion??? OK, OK: 2013 > 2014

Before some media takes, let me serve up a quick self-promotion alert: I wrote about the Bruins and Peak Talk for the Metro today. Read it.

OK – onto a few media notes. Feel free to say hello on the Twittersphere, @Hadfield__

*****

Early thoughts on the “Big Show Unfiltered”: It’s OK. And OK may be enough for Glenn Ordway & Co. – much to my surprise, I willingly listened to commercials, which truly distinguishes the program from, say, a podcast. I felt like I was listening to a radio. Only on the Internet.

INTERNET RADIO.

Anyway, about the commercials, which, before going any further, need to be discussed …  Because Connecticut School of Broadcasting is still a thing!! I’ll be completely honest, for the longest time I thought it was a joke, a scheme, or even the basis of the movie “Accepted.”

(Side Tangent: “Accepted” is a B- Comedy featuring Justin Long (Drew Barrymore’s old BF, also the guy in the Apple commercials), Blake Lively (before she was BLAKEEEEE Lively), and Lewis Black.

And, yes, even two-time Academy Award nominee, Jonah Hill.

Good stuff. Hollywood is the greatest. But, yeah – I 1000000% believed GO CSB was a fictional place where dreams go to die.)

OK, back to “Big Show: Unfiltered.” This iteration is basically a DIY, rough cut version of the original “Big Show.” Can they grab enough momentum to simulcast beyond Sirius? I’m not sure. I mean, clearly, there’s an audience for Pete Sheppard, Ordway and the guy that does the great Terry Francona impression, I’m just not it.

(I know, I know – this is despite Sheppard’s abrasive Tony Massarotti impressions; if nothing else Pete’s going for it … whatever “it” is.)

*****

“Sometimes it takes some time to remember where you were headed in the first place and the people you intended to go there with.”

For me, early questions about “Dale & Holley” Part Deux mostly revolved around whether bringing back what was never really broken as an admission of past failures …  or just WEEI’s acceptance that they are, for the time being, the alternative – as opposed to the FLAGSHIP STATION! …?

One thing’s for sure: It’s not the sexy move, or a game-changer. This play for WEEI is a means to survival through reliability. And, all things considered, with the revival of “Dale & Holley,”  the Boston sports fans are winning here.

(Yes, that’s right – I’m going positive, which almost feels borderline crazy to do in terms of media analysis.)

Look, upon conception, our hope for “The Sports Hub” did not necessarily circle around a precipitous demise for the men of Entercom (although, in some circles, seeing hubris wilt and decay was a nice byproduct). All told, reasonable sports fans just wanted WEEI to be better, and, typically, competition breeds excellence or, at the very least, improvement in quality.

Well, it took longer than expected, but, finally, mercifully this has happened.

Think about it: The morning at WEEI is better. I still can’t believe “Dennis & Callahan” made it through the storm unscathed, although who knows, maybe, at times, the two hosts were “hiding under their desks.” Either way, their improvement is palpable; heck, you could argue it’s undeniable. Kirk Minihane has proven himself a worthy foil to John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, and it’s kind of compelling radio.

(An aside: This will sound like I’m an ageist, but I could do without the obsession over Johnny Manziel’s girlfriend. Really, guys. You’re old, and it’s weird. But seriously, try harder.)

The afternoon, meanwhile, over on ‘EEI is a relic in the best possible way, and a sound option for audiences to check out instead of their counterpart, “Felger & Mazz,” which has evidently decided to become a different show than when it began its run. Dale Arnold, almost immediately, has rediscovered his rapport with Michael Holley.  Something Holley never could harness with Ordway, or what we can now the Misguided Mike Salk era.

(Another aside: Consistently adding a third man to the “Dale & Holley” rotation is a nice twist, too. But how about less Christian Fauria and more Matt Chatham, please. Thanks.)

Up on the dial, “Toucher & Rich” didn’t land the Torey Krug-80s hair metal voice over segment, at least not as much as the comparable “Rad Marchand” skit from a few years ago, but the fact they’re still churning out stuff like “Motley Krug” is a good sign. It’s what they do best.

And the duo poking fun at Johnny Gomes’ “Just PUSH PLAY, the story is already written” comments was perfect. To their credit, they absolutely nailed the Ultimate Warrior-Haxsaw Johnny Gomes comparison. The dialect is eerily similar.

*****

Speaking of “Toucher & Rich”, I thought Fred Toucher’s take on Richard Sherman’s column about DeSean Jackson’s release from the Eagles on Peter King’s Monday Morning QB site was not only thoughtful, but poignant.

In the piece, Sherman argued about, well, a few things: 1) That saying DJax is affliated with gang is irresponsible; 2) You don’t turn your back on people you grew up with; 3) Jackson’s teammate — Riley Cooper, earning an extension, a year after his racist remarks at a country concert went viral; 4) The Jim Irsay free pass.

Toucher’s main contention is that you do turn your back on friends at some point, basically, because if you hang out with shit for long enough, you’ll start to smell like it, too. It’s a fair counter; measured and realistic.

I didn’t agree, however, with Toucher’s co-host, John Wallach, when he said Sherman, who is no stranger to media relations, will have to learn to pick his battles. If we’re enabling the nonsense floated out there from time to time in sports media, then I have zero qualms dealing with Sherman going off the rails. Dude’s a top cornerback with a unique perspective to offer on the matter. I don’t have to agree, but I’ll certainly be interested.

*****

“Everyone is just waiting for their next Wikipedia Edit.”

“I’m much more offended by Gerry Callahan’s gay-bashing.”

Those were my initial thoughts about when reading reaction to Boomer Esiason’s comments regarding Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave (which fell on opening day):

From CNN:

During a conversation on his radio show with co-host Craig Carton, Esiason, a father of two, said he would never have done what Murphy did.

“Quite frankly, I would have said C-section before the season starts,” said Esiason. “I need to be at Opening Day. I’m sorry. This is what makes our money. This is how we’re going to live our life. This is going to give my child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.”

I don’t have children, I’m turning 28 years-old next week, which means I’m really only 23 years-old (Someone, I don’t know who, just decided it was totally acceptable for 20somethings to act like kids even as they broach their 30s. I won’t fight this. Thank you, mystery man.) But I have three sisters; I get the complications around reproduction, and can attest that Boomer is stating stupid words behind a stupid premise.

But you know what? PEOPLE ARE STOOOPID.

Rich people are stoopid. Everyone’s stoopid. Fuck, that ignorance – you know, being stoopid – is just as much a part of ‘Merica as saying ‘Merica!

We live in a world where athletes, not just college athletes, pro athletes, with a kajillion dollars, get Catfished! Yes, by Catfished, I mean keyboard romance gone awry, someone conned by an idiot imposter on an online dating site.

(Moreover, that “Catfish” is actually a television show – yes, a television show – is mind boggling. Knowing Nev Schulman has been out there, fighting to the good fight, trying to illuminate what is, in fact, real love, and what’s not, for over three seasons all because the South have yet to figure out how to do 12 seconds of Internet research through Google Images search, could be the most American thing ever.)

So, we’re all stupid, from time to time anyway. Then, let’s ask ourselves, why are talking heads, most of who are former athletes, the subject of this type of scrutiny? Even Callahan, a fantastic writer, whose views on the radio have become increasingly acerbic and forced, has a right to be stupid. Again, ‘Merica!

To that end, who cares what Boomer Esiason thinks about this topic? Like, really, this is what we’re going to get upset about.  If you’re an ardent listener to his show, that’s one thing; but it’s almost as if the Internet pushes OUTRAGE Button, and all chaos breaks loose.

And Boomer, predictably, issued a subsequent apology, because apologies are part of the news cycle in 2014.

I’m all for calling an idiot out for saying idiotic shit on the radio, but where do you guys stand?

*****

Memo to Danny Picard: Keep Going

Dig Radio Boston flounders; Danny Picard’s show, “I’m Just Sayin’”, keeps on keepin’ on. If nothing else, Picard hustles. In the past, his show has been simulcast on CSNNE.com, 1510 Boston, among other outlets. But now he’s back to hosting solely on his website and iTunes.

Earlier this week, Picard had an interesting rant about the move away from Dig, other subjects in the media (like the Jerry Remy-NESN story) earning too much attention, and even went on a tangent about his distaste for sharing a co-host during his weekend appearances on WEEI.

As a fellow writer, with much less success and longevity compared to Picard, I can sympathize with his frustration with breaking into sports media. There are very few Xander Bogaerts’ in the media. Youth is quelled by barriers. Hustle and passion are part of success – and, sometimes, the journey to prominence is better than the destination itself – but, at some point, you have to break through.

I still think Picard will. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. This is a town where Mike Adams has had a daily radio show for the better part of a decade.

*****

As always, thanks for reading. @Hadfield__.

NESN Hires Steve Lyons as Red Sox Studio Analyst

NESN sent out this release earlier this morning:

April 3, 2014 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that former Red Sox player Steve Lyons (@SteveLyons12) will join the network as a Red Sox studio analyst. Lyons joins MLB Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice along with Red Sox legend Tim Wakefield as studio analysts on NESN’s Red Sox pre and post-game shows, plus NESN Sports Today and other original programming.

Lyons’ first appearance on NESN will be on Friday, April 4th during NESN’s two-and-a-half hour Red Sox home opener pre-game coverage beginning at 11:30 am. He’ll join studio host Tom Caron, Dennis Eckersley, Jim Rice and Tim Wakefield before the Red Sox take on the Brewers at Fenway Park.

“We are thrilled to have Steve join our team of veteran studio analysts,” said Joseph Maar, NESN’s vice president of programming & production, executive producer. “He brings incredible passion, experience, candor and depth of knowledge about Major League Baseball along with a familiarity with Boston as both a player and a broadcaster.”

Lyons played nine seasons in the major leagues with four different teams including four stints in Boston. He is also a three-time national Emmy award-winning broadcaster. Drafted in the first round by the Red Sox in 1981 out of Oregon State, Lyons made his MLB debut in April of 1985 and was voted that season’s 10th Player Award winner by Red Sox fans. He is one of only three players to play all 9 positions in one game at the major league level. He finished his career where he started it, playing for the Red Sox at Fenway Park in October of 1993.

Lyons began his broadcasting career in 1996 with FOX Sports and has worked for both the FOX national and regional networks as a game analyst, studio analyst and studio host. A versatile broadcaster, Lyons has also hosted his own interview show, a sports show for kids, and for two seasons was the host of the This Week in Baseball. During his 11 years on FOX’s national broadcast he worked the pre and post-game shows for the Divisional Series, Championship Series and World Series. He just finished a 9 year affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a pre and post-game host and game announcer.

Combine Snubs’ Pro Daze, Part II

We know the act of inviting college football players to the combine falls short of an exact science, but Heavens to Brady, those guys seem to have missed a lot of worthy athletes. Below we’ve listed those who deserve some attention after combine-worthy performances at their pro days. (We posted Part I last month.) Don’t be too surprised to see one or two of them at your favorite team’s training camp this summer.

A special mention here of Gil Brandt’s pro day blog, the most comprehensive breakdown of workouts we could find.

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