Opinion: WEEI Needs Pete Sheppard

Clearly WEEI is in a state of change, especially in the afternoon time slot. Glenn Ordway is gone, and Mike Salk is set to join co-host Michael Holley in a few weeks. Up the dial on 98.5, Felger & Mazz are killing it in the ratings and it is apparent WEEI is trying to change things up to stay competitive.

Bringing in Salk for Ordway just doesn’t seem like enough — why not bring in a solid third man/flash guy?, why not bring back long-time Big Show flash guy Pete Sheppard?

Sheppard was let go from the station back in January of 2010, which has been widely reported as being due to financial reasons. The 45-year-old has been back on the WEEI airwaves for about a year now, working mostly weekend shifts and lately filling in on The Big Show.

It would seem the station and Sheppard have gotten over what took place three years ago and moved forward. There is no flash guy to work with Holley and Salk – as Mike Adams is not the answer. As WEEI looks to get back some of its listeners, why not bring back Sheppard, a guy who has a loyal following and is entertaining?

Felger & Mazz have a solid flash guy in Marc Bertrand, who isn’t just a flash guy, and actually engages in the show, sometimes challenging what Felger and Massarotti have to say, as well as adding humor to the program.

Sheppard is what WEEI needs. Yes, he is an admitted homer, but a lot of times this creates great radio. He isn’t afraid of confrontation and often gets into heated arguments with callers. He’s had a great deal of experience in the field and is knowledgeable the hometown teams.

Everyone knows how important chemistry is in sports radio. The trio of Felger, Massarotti and Bertrand have it, and it seems from the few shows Sheppard and Holley have done together they have it too. Salk is brand new in town, so he has no experience with anyone, but why not give the three a shot? What does WEEI have to lose?

In today’s day and age good sports radio provides not only good sports talk and information, but a bit of humor and entertainment as well. This is where Felger & Mazz took it to another level over The Big Show. Sheppard could be part of the solution to close the gap.

With WEEI in a state of transition, why not give Sheppard a second chance? This is their chance to rebrand their show and adding Sheppard would give them a humor and entertainment element, which they have lacked, to go along side with Salk and Holley’s straight sports takes.

The ball is in WEEI/Entercom’s court. They are looking to improve their show and compete with 98.5, and as shown in the past few weeks they are not afraid to make big changes, so why not take a chance and bring back Pete Sheppard?

Give Ryan Hannable a follow on Twitter @hannable84

Game 2 without Rondo, Celtics top Kings

The Celtics played their second game without Rajon Rondo and played quite well in their dominant 18-point, 99-81 win over the Sacramento Kings at the TD Garden Wednesday night. It was an extremely balanced attack, with six players reaching double-figures led by Paul Pierce with 16 points. One negative was rookie Jared Sullinger left the game in the first quarter and did not return due to back spasms.

Overall, it was a very impressive performance, granted it was against the Kings and they shot over 50 percent from the floor. It will be interesting to see how long this will be able to keep up as Pierce and Kevin Garnett can’t play big minutes night in and night out and then expect to be at full strength for the playoffs. They will need to get contributions from everyone, like they did on Wednesday night for them to make any run late in the year and potentially win a playoff series.

Up tempo style works for C’s– Baxter Holmes has getting up and down the court quick, and looking to run was one of the ways the team overcame Rondo.

Running without Rajon Rondo– Steve Bulpett also has how pushing the tempo was one of the main keys for the Celtics.

Bradley-Lee backcourt trumps Kings– Chris Forsberg says Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee stepped up big in the win.

You don’t want Demarcus Cousins on the Celtics– Ben Rohrbach has after seeing Cousins play Wednesday night, Celtics fans should not want the team to make a move for him.

Victory of Kings gives Celtics winning blueprint– A. Sherrod Blakely looks at how the team played Wednesday is how they will need to play most of the games the rest of the season as they try and win without Rondo.

A lot of discussion the past few days in the sports media world has been about the article in Boston Magazine for their February edition which came out earlier this week, which was critical of the state of the Boston sports media. The author, Alan Siegal, did a podcast with WEEI’s Kirk Minihane on Tuesday and it is a must listen as Minihane did a fantastic job of challenging Siegal on the points he brought up in the piece.

Bruins continue hot start, more Rondo reaction

The Boston Bruins continued their hot start to begin the shortened season with a 5-3 win in Carolina against the Hurricanes Monday night. David Krejci scored with less than two minutes remaining in regulation off of a beautiful feed from Dougie Hamilton to put the Bruins on top, and then Tyler Seguin added an empty netter to seal the win.

With the Bruins playing four games in six days, backup goaltender Anton Khudobin got his first start of the year and played quite well, finishing with 29 saves. The team is back in action tonight when they host the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.

Dougie Hamilton to become full-time NHL’er with Bruins– Fluto Shinzawa in his notebook has general manager Peter Chiareli’s announcement that the rookie defenseman will be staying in the NHL all year, which was no surprise to anyone.

Bruins weather storm– Stephen Harris has the Bruins staying tough, after giving up 2-0 and 3-1 leads, to defeat Carolina on the road.

Khudobin strong in winning effort– Joe Haggerty looks at the Bruins goaltender’s performance, who provided solid goaltending giving starter Tuukka Rask a night off.

More of the same as David Krejci’s line comes up big– DJ Bean has the line of Krejci-Seguin-Nathan Horton providing most of the offense Monday night.

The Rajon Rondo story continues to dominate the airwaves and internet, with people fairly split on what to think. Some people feel the team might actually be better without the star point guard, while others feel this is a good time for Danny Ainge to “blow” the team up and make a deal for the future. It seems Doc Rivers wants and feels like he can make a run with the players he has now, but ultimately Ainge, the GM, will have the final say. Most reports say not to expect a major trade.

Personally, the Celtics may actually be a more likable team now. Many people were turned off by Rondo’s attitude and prefer to see the “grit and balls”, “bar fight” mentality from Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Co. The team may even be a better regular season team without Rondo (the stats back it up), but it’s very hard to see the team being able to win a seven game playoff series against some of the dominant teams in the East. Even without Rondo, it will still be an interesting team to watch the rest of the season to see how Garnett and Pierce respond, and how the team fairs without their point guard.

Here are a few more stories, which weren’t noted yesterday:

Time for the Celtics to trade Paul Pierce– Kirk Minihane says it’s time to trade the Celtics long-time captain.

Rondo’s injury hits hard– Jackie MacMullan with a must-read first hand account of her experience on Sunday at the Garden.

Rondo debate rages on– Tony Massarotti gives his thoughts on the situation.

Rajon Rondo and the Celtics’ reality– Chad Finn says the rest of the season won’t be as fun without Rondo as it would have been with him.