Another Patriots Problem, Sox Win Again

Alfonzo Dennard doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. It may just cost him his job.

The Patriots cornerback was arrested last night around 2:00am in Lincoln NE, on suspicion of DUI. Even if he was not drunk, he showed incredible lack of judgement just by being out on the town at 2:00am in a city in which he was already convicted of assaulting a police officer.

Because Bob Kraft spoke the other day, and because of what he said, the team is almost obligated to cut Dennard right away, if not for DUI, then for being stupid.

The media is salivating over another Patriots incident, all enjoying the opportunity to get their licks in.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox keep at it, winning again in Seattle last night, this time sailing to an 11-4 win over the Mariners.

Red Sox have new fearsome twosome in middle of order – Rob Bradford notes that that Pedroia/Ortiz isn’t quite Ramirez/Ortiz, but it’s really good.

David Ortiz firmly
 in Sox’ high five – John Tomase says Big Papi belongs with Clemens, Pedro, Williams and Yaz as franchise icons.

Jacoby Ellsbury seems in no hurry to leave – Nick Cafardo has the Red Sox centerfielder saying he enjoys and appreciates playing in Boston.

Bruins sign Rask to eight-year contract – The Bruins officially signed goaltender Tuukka Rask to a huge contract yesterday, ensuring that Tuukka time will continue in Boston.

Danny Ainge happy, but salary cap a concern – Gary Washburn has the Celtics exec satisfied with his work thus far in the offseason, but still looking to get the cap situation under control.

Pressey already locked up spot in Celtics camp – A. Sherrod Blakely looks at the undrafted rookie, who has his camp invitation lined up with a strong showing in the summer league.

Meanwhile, Dan Shaughnessy outdid himself this morning with a snarky, bitter, sarcastic take on all four sports teams which likely took him less than 15 minutes altogether to write. KG a mercenary? Check. Lamenting the lack of disgrace being heaped on the Bruins for their “epic collapse” in game six? Check. Sucking up to potential future boss John Henry? Check. Shots at Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, the “holier than others” Patriots and their “legions of sycophants?” Check, check, check and check.

I’ve said it before, and will say it again. The best thing the Globe ever did was put Shaughnessy behind the paywall.

Is Boston.com Ever Going To Address The Eric Wilbur Embarrassment?

It worked, Eric.

By calling this site out, you’re getting the attention you so pathetically crave. OK, lets go over your column from Wednesday and see what we can take from it.

Still waiting. Silence from Patriot Place.

This is the REAL crime that has been committed here.

Oh, yes, the New England Patriots have acted and released Aaron Hernandez in the wake of his murder allegations, describing the process as “the right thing to do,” but no member has yet to speak about the matter publicly and shed some light on how an organization that preaches righteousness swung and missed like Mark Bellhorn when it came to determining their tight end’s character. A week ago, the transaction seemed logical. But with every hour producing a new tale of just how messed up Hernandez is, it’s only logical to wonder how much the Patriots knew, and how much they ignored.

So was releasing him immediately and cutting off any future payments NOT the right thing to do? I’m confused. The Mark Bellhorn reference is outstanding. And timely.

I mean, you don’t just deliver $40 million contracts out of faith.

No, sometimes you hire private investigators, follow the subject around, gauge his fitness for the market, and still hand out $142 million contracts.

Instead, we know what we’ll get. Bill Belichick will take the podium later this month at the dawn of training camp and dodge every question tossed his way with regards to “what’s best for the team,” the same way he deftly handled the New Hampshire political reporters and whatever other ratings-grabbing brigade was sent to Foxborough on the first day of Tim Tebow coverage. It’s what Bill does best, after all. And it’s tired.

Again. We’re on to the REAL crime. “Bill doesn’t tell us anything. Whah!

“It is what it is” ain’t what it was in this particular case. The more we learn about Hernandez’s past, the more the Patriots owe us all an explanation. How exactly was their judgment clouded so impeccably, even as former teammates like Matt Light opine in the aftermath about what a bad guy he was? With all due apologies to the salacious hound dogs at the Patriots’ temple over at Boston Sports Media Watch, the status quo that Belichick preaches won’t cut it.

I’m really confused about this whole “owe us” thing. First of all, who is “us?” Fans? Media? Civilization as a whole? Why is this owed? Do other privately held companies hold press conferences when one of their employees is charged with a crime? When the Globe has yet another plagiarism scandal, will they sit there and take questions from the Herald and channels 4,5 and 7?

Have other former teammates spoken out against Hernandez? They must have, because Wilbur says teammates – plural. Other than some nameless ex-teammates saying Hernandez was a loner – not exactly a scathing condemnation – but other than Light, and his quotes were mysteriously not followed up on by his interviewer, the only other public quotes have come from Deion Branch, and could not be more different than Light. So Hernandez apparently had at least some of his teammates snowed too.

Patriots temple? Is that also a shot at the Krafts? I’m not saying it is, and I’m not saying it isn’t. I do like the “salacious hound dogs” reference – another great word picture. Horny dogs. OK.

The fans and the rest of the NFL deserve more knowledge than that.

Why? Curiosity? I mean, if say, Dan Shaughnessy’s son was arrested for, say, assaulting a police officer, does Dan and the Globe hold a conference to tell us more? Don’t we deserve more knowledge?

It’s difficult to believe that the Patriots, a franchise that has prided itself on background checks, didn’t know that there was more to Hernandez than met the eye. Hell, the marijuana issues aside, Hernandez’s past reads like a Spenser novel. How soon until we get an Aaron Hernandez special edition of “Clue?”

Wait, wait, wait – “prided itself on background checks” – is that even remotely true? Or is Eric just making stuff up? What does that even mean? “Jonathan – we sure nailed another background check! Put that one on the wall!” Seems an odd thing to be prideful over.

A Spenser novel! Awesome. Special edition of Clue! Just stop it! I can’t handle this incredibly witty and relevant humor!

The Patriots want to lead you to believe that they had a model, reformed citizen on their hands in Hernandez, that any troubled past was merely a matter of puff, puff, pass the dutchie on the left-hand side and nothing more. His teammates sure seemed to know. How did his employers miss the boat so egregiously?

They’re leading us to believe that by cutting him immediately? Musical Youth reference? Awesome.

Again, that “teammates” – plural – wording. Does Eric know something he’s not sharing with us? We demand to know!

Fans will line up this weekend to exchange their “Pro Shop-purchased” Hernandez jerseys during the Patriots’ PR stint to put the past behind them. It’s OK to continue wearing it apparently if you bought your jersey at Sports Authority. If the Pats were serious about ridding the streets and stands of its tainted criminal’s name on people’s backs, no questions should be asked. They can handle that as they deftly proved with Hernandez.

I don’t have a ton to argue with here. If they’re going to take #81 jerseys back, take ‘em all back. Eric, we have common ground here. A start, right?

There has to be a disgruntled backlash in the locker room, and not just because the team released a guy for reasons other than having diabetes. Hernandez’s criminal past could have affected Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, or any other teammate the same way it did victim Odin Lloyd. What if Stevan Ridley was the one to find out that Hernandez may have murdered two people in cold blood last summer? Do you think he would skirt any sort of cover up from a guy who theoretically took three days to plot Lloyd’s murder and still butchered the process so badly that the likes of Clouseau would consider the case a waste of time?

Yes, there HAS to be. Eric says so. Ah, the little Florio-type slam on the Kyle Love release, nice to work that in there.

Now, is Wilbur saying that we should be mad at the Patriots because Hernandez could’ve killed Tom Brady? (You already did that, Eric.) It sounds like it. What the heck does that sentence about Ridley even mean? I’ve read it about 20 times and it still doesn’t make any sense. “skirt any sort of cover up”?

To say the Patriots made a huge error in tossing their good faith at Hernandez is an understatement, yet we’ve heard nothing from the owner, the coach, or the quarterback about how they went so astray. Unless you’ve already Hale-Bopped your allegiance, doesn’t that make you in the least bit frustrated?

No. Not at all. And being a Patriots fan doesn’t exactly equate with a suicide cult, another nice reference. I’m waiting for the Globe to say they erred in hiring Mike Barnicle, Patricia Smith or Ron Borges.

Sorry, the Patriots owe you that much.

Again this “owe” thing. And this time it’s YOU they owe. Not “us.”

This is no longer a matter of what did they know and when did they know it, but a situation that needs some semblance of closure from the franchise. They were the ones who took a fourth-round flyer when nobody else would, after all. They were the ones who awarded him with millions just days within a suspected double murder. They were the ones who kept him around, the reason he was in our community.

Wait, in the first paragraph you said it was logical to wonder what and when. Now its about closure. For me, closure came when they cut him. That was enough of a statement to me. They didn’t even know the charges. They didn’t stick by him like the Ravens did with Ray Lewis. The Ravens made Lewis the face of the franchise. The Patriots cut all ties then and there. Actions can say things better and more eloquently than words at times. What more needs to be said?

Three men are dead that we know of. Who knows what the evening will bring.

Thanks for the reminder, I kind of forgot about that after the whole column was about the culpability of the Patriots in the matter and what they OWE you, us, whoever.

One thing we’re pretty sure of, it won’t include a Patriots apology or admittance of fault. That’s not the Patriot Way, of course. Then again, as we’re rapidly discovering, the Patriots Way is a bogus load of tripe.

As is this column. Spare me the hand-wringing over over a media-created standard that has been supposedly violated.

And we continue to wait, as an exposed institution shows its true, cowardly colors.

The most accurate line of the entire column.

Unkind Reactions To Shaughnessy Column on Ortiz

While Dan Shaughnessy gets lionized among local media for his David Ortiz column from the other day, especially among sports radio hosts, a few people displaced from the local scene see the column for what it really was: garbage.

The worst baseball writing of the month -Rob Neyer says that the column takes muckraking to a whole different place.

You know what’s really a shame? I mean, aside from the fact that Shaughnessy gets paid a great deal of money to compose this drivel, year after year? He might have spared himself this particular embarrassment if he weren’t so bloody afraid of statistics that his grandpappy didn’t teach him.

And more.

Nowhere in the column does Shaughnessy offer even the tiniest shred of evidence, not one, that Ortiz’s bat speed is higher now than when he was 34. Nothing from an Internet database, no quote from some grizzled (and anonymous) scout. Just the argument that Ortiz’s bat speed must be higher because hey look! .426!

From Deadspin: Dan Shaughnessy Invents Some David Ortiz PED Rumors

Except, this isn’t a column accusing David Ortiz of PED usage. It’s a column about David Ortiz denying accusations of PED usage. Except there are no active accusations, so Shaughnessy has to create them, confront Ortiz with them, and then run his denials. The truly incredible part is that at some point, this logic ran through Shaughnessy’s brain and he decided it would be a good idea for a column.

He concludes:

The Red Sox have been in first place for most of a season in which they’re supposed to finish last. If there’s not enough there for a local sports columnist without having to resort to sorry-I’m-not-sorry defamation after a month, I feel for Dan Shaughnessy’s shriveled black writer’s soul. But Boston’s lost three in a row, seven of 10, and Ortiz is hitless in his last 13 at-bats. Shank can happily go back to blasting the team for being bad, which is a lot easier and more straightforward than this tortured bit of “I’m just asking questions.”

Question For Dan Shaughnessy Fans (Yes, They Do Exist)

Something I’m curious about. For those of you out there who enjoy Dan Shaughnessy, and I know you are out there, presumably you’re drawn to his style of ripping down athletes and teams and taking shots and carrying grudges.

How do you feel when he writes columns which go to a hyperbolic level in the other direction, such as the ones from the last two days? Yesterday’s Jackie Bradley Jr. lovefest, and today’s At this rate, will the Red Sox ever lose? which starts out like this:

They may never lose.

They may never trail.

Worst to first. Two games into the season, this is the theme of the 2013 Red Sox.

And is it possible for Jackie Bradley Jr. to be the Face of the Franchise after only two games in the big leagues?

I personally find these types of columns even more annoying than the ripfests, as these columns are incredibly patronizing and mocking a fan mentality that does not exist.

What do you think?

Greg Bedard Officially Leaving Globe for Sports Illustrated

As mentioned a bit back, Greg A. Bedard will be leaving his position as NFL writer for the Boston Globe to join Sports Illustrated. The move became official this morning.

His role at SI will be in at least some way tied to the new Peter King webpage, mentioned by Deadspin earlier this week, and dubbed “Kinglandia.” The site is said to be modeled on Grantland, but will be football-themed.

Bedard will continue with the Globe through next month’s NFL draft, but as I mentioned in a previous post, the paper has already begun looking at candidates to replace him. While he is leaving the Globe, Bedard is not moving, and will be based in Boston, so we’ll assume he’ll still have a big focus on the Patriots.

More on this as it develops…

Update: Greg has posted about it:

 

Ordway The Temp, And Is Greg Bedard Moving On From The Globe?

Glenn Ordway teased yesterday that he would be back on the air soon, and word came out that he got himself a temp-job as co-host CSNNE’s Sports Tonight for four nights next week  (Tue-Fri) alongside who else, but Mike Felger.

Chad Finn has a short post on the move, which is a logical one for CSNNE and should generate some interest from viewers looking to see the dynamic between the pair.

We can already guess some of the jokes that will be made about the situation, and how Felger’s success is largely responsible for Ordway losing his job at WEEI. The pupil has become the master, etc, etc.

*********

Sources tell BSMW that Sports Illustrated has had conversations with Boston Globe NFL writer Greg A Bedard about coming on staff with them as a Boston-based NFL writer.

While the move is not official, sources say that the Globe is making preparations as if they expect Bedard to depart following next month’s NFL draft.

The loss of Bedard would be a big one for the Globe, which has had something of a rotating door at the NFL writer position, with Mike Reiss, Albert Breer and Bedard at the post in the last few years. Bedard’s analytic style and attention to detail on film work and schemes have been a big plus for the coverage at the paper.

Bedard politely declined comment when approached about the rumor.

**********

This had to be one of the most bizarre weeks in the history of Dennis and Callahan (and now Minihane). The hosts seemed determined to push the envelope with topics of masturbation, lesbians, transgender and details of relationships between couples.

Is this what they’ve been told to discuss? Is this a return of “Guy Radio?”

Their Beantown Beatdown series, (with accompanying Photoshops) is detailed on the Producers Blog, and is equal parts disturbing, creepy and amusing.

**************

A couple media links from today:

Earlier this week, FOX announced that their new all-sports network FOX Sports 1 would debut in August.

With new network, Fox to challenge ESPN – Finn looks at the aims of the new network, which follows on the heels of the NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network as challengers to ESPN.

Sharks voice Eric Lindquist still has a rip-roaring time – Bill Doyle talks to the voice of the Worcester Sharks.

Shaughnessy – “I don’t know a ton about football.”

The brave columnist from the Boston Globe went onto Houston sports radio to talk about his Sunday column…and turtled completely, telling the hosts he’s not a football guy, he doesn’t know a ton about football and saying “you got me” when confronted with specific parts of his column.

Not really a surprise.

Shank Goes Into a Full-on Backpedal About His Texans Column – Barstool Sports Boston.

Dan Shaughnessy, Don’t Know Football? – Houston Media Watch

This whole thing is another of those incidents where I’m torn as to whether I even bother mentioning at all, because it only gives Shaughnessy and his ilk exactly what he is seeking – more attention.

It’s happening more and more. Columns are written, statements are made simply to generate buzz. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. By bringing them up and even attempting to denounce them, I’m simply feeding the monster and adding to the buzz.

Another example would be Felger yesterday. He’s moved on from Rajon Rondo is a “punk.” Now he is a “dick” and a “loser.” What do you even do with that? That’s not just criticism of him as player, it’s an indictment of him a human being. It’s personal, and it’s on the most popular sports radio show in the city right now.

People clearly enjoy this type of media coverage, whether it is Shaughnessy or Felger. I must be old and out of touch, because I don’t get the appeal. It’s not entertaining to me.

I actually like to watch the games, and have them broken down an analyzed. I guess that’s old school these days.

There are plenty of people doing good work in this town, but they are overshadowed by the blowhards.

Instead you have people who openly admit they don’t know much about the game, making incendiary comments and being propped up as the voice of a region and representing Boston sports.

It’s depressing, to be honest.

Shaughnessy’s Column Used As Bulletin Board Material by @ArianFoster

Arian Foster of the Texans has a new Twitter avatar.

From Shaughnessy’s column yesterday.

Shaughnessy’s Continued Digs at Robert Kraft…And Fondness For Tomato Cans

Dan Shaughnessy just can’t help himself.

From Sunday:

In typical lucky fashion, the tomato cans* are lining up for the Patriots, which is great news for Robert (“you can call me Amos Alonzo or you can call me Hef, but please don’t call me Bob”) Kraft and the CBS executives who worship the Patriots.

*see below

From today:

According to the Patriots Pro Shop website, you can still order a Myra H. Kraft lapel pin or patch for $5.

Is Shaughnessy accusing the Patriots/Krafts of making money off the MHK pins? The Patriots Pro Shop website states:

Show your support with the Myra H. Kraft Lapel Pin. All proceeds go to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

Or is Shaughnessy expressing disapproval for Kraft’s current relationship? (The “Hef” reference above would seem to indicate that.) Whichever it is, the point remains that the MHK pins and patches are only there to raise money for charity.

Shaughnessy’s digs are predictable…and despicable. That breakfast snub 15 years ago or so really burns him up so much to this day?

Back to the asterisk above, Shaughnessy seems to have a fondness for that phrase, and mostly when it comes to the Patriots schedule, Celtics too on occasion.

From just this year:

January 14, 2012

Their 2011 regular-season schedule featured more tomato cans than an Andy Warhol gallery, and they’re coming off a bye week in which several of their wounded warriors got healthy.

February 7th, 2012

Ultimately, they were fortunate sons enlarged by a tomato can schedule and masterful coaching.

May 9th, 2012

Like the 2011 Patriots, the Celtics are beneficiaries of some nice breaks at the start of the playoffs. The Patriots drew a horrible Denver team for the first round. The Celtics got the Atlanta Tomato Cans.

May 19th 2012

The tomato cans were falling down in front of the Celtics.

May 28th 2012

The Tomato Cans from Atlanta and Philadelphia have been beaten.

September 10th, 2012

Tennessee was 9-7 last year, but on Sunday looked like just another tomato can lined up in front of Bill Belichick’s steamroller army.

November 6th, 2012

The AFC is weak, and once again the tomato cans are falling down in front of the Patriots.

December 2nd, 2012

In typical lucky fashion, the tomato cans are lining up for the Patriots, which is great news for Robert (“you can call me Amos Alonzo or you can call me Hef, but please don’t call me Bob”) Kraft and the CBS executives who worship the Patriots.

December 3rd, 2012

The Dolphins are like fellow division tomato cans, the Bills and the Jets.

Might be time for a new catchphrase, Dan. I know you’re thinking it is a clever way to discredit whatever accomplishments the Patriots might achieve, but it is incredibly lame.

Especially when there is a specific formula for coming up with the schedule. The Patriots will have played the Ravens, Broncos, Seahawks, Colts, Texans and 49ers – all who could be playoff teams. The Ravens, Broncos and Texans are the top teams in the AFC, with the Patriots.

Ron Borges Caught In Another Lie, Mazz Making Stuff Up, and Peter King’s Laughable Rationalization

Just another day in the world of the Boston sports media.

In the morning, we had Pete Sheppard taking on Ron Borges on the Dennis and Callahan Morning Show. Borges, as usual sounded like a raving madman, screaming, yelling and cursing on the air- getting bleeped out, shouting down any accusations or points made against him. As far as defenses go, its a reliable one, if you’re on the offensive and changing the talking points every two seconds, it’s going to be hard to build that stable case against you in the short time you have on the air.

Of course, the case against Borges was made a long time ago, and it has only been added to since.

One accusation that Sheppard made was that Borges had had dinner at Drew Bledsoe’s house, and how this closeness was part of the reason Borges turned on Bill Belichick so venomously when Belichick named Brady the starter even when Bledsoe was ready to return in 2001.

Borges went ballistic on Sheppard, screaming, asking what evidence he had of this supposed dinner, and when pressed on it yelled “NO I DIDN’T” and demanded again to have Sheppard reveal evidence.

Here’s your evidence, Ron: From Drew Bledsoe himself:

So there you go. Yet another documented case of Ron Borges lying.

Gerry Callahan was his usual loathsome self during the show,  at one point dropping into his whiny, feminine voice to say that Sheppard would now be wearing a fireman’s helmet to the games and leading the cheers of P-A-T-S, PATS!

When the topic of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning throwing the ball on the Packers with five minutes to go came up, the goalposts were shifted again, instead of it being only the evil Patriots and Bill Belichick that do this, it became “we’re only concerned with Tom Brady and him getting hurt.

In the afternoon, Tony Massarotti spent the afternoon yelling that Jermaine Cunningham was clearly much bigger than he was in previous seasons and that the suspension was definitely not for Adderall.  He presented absolutely zero evidence of this, and really,  how could he? How much is he around the team? I’m not convinced that he even watches the games.

Meanwhile, if you want to know about Adderall, and why NFL players might want to take it, and why it is banned, Tom E Curran has it all.

A GIS search of Cunningham shows no obvious changes in his body since joining the Patriots. Some modest increase in strength, but no Barry Bonds-like transformation. Yet Massarotti was screaming that if you didn’t see, it, you’re an idiot, a moron and just plain stupid.

I continue to be baffled as to way anyone who actually enjoys sports and their teams would listen to this type of programming willingly. I’m clearly old-school, maybe not this old school, but definitely from before the time when sports radio only existed to dump on the local teams 24/7.

The running-up-the-score hypocrisy will not die. Peter King in his MMQB, Tuesday Edition answered an email from a New England NFL fan:

BELICHICK DOES IT ALL THE TIME. COUGHLIN, NOT SO MUCH. “How about a team that is up by four touchdowns (38-10) with five minutes left and keeping the starting quarterback in and is STILL throwing the ball? Man, that Belichick is one evil…. oh wait… that was Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning against Green Bay Sunday night. When it’s not Belichick, the moral outrage goes away, right?”
– Tom, Portsmouth, N.H.

It’s a little different. Belichick’s done this often over the years. You need more than one hand to count the times Tom Brady’s been in a total blowout in the middle of the fourth quarter. But Coughlin had a reason, I believe. His offense had been struggling for four weeks, and he has every right to use the game to do what he can to make sure his team is back on track for the stretch run. People wouldn’t be killing Belichick if it were a one-time occurrence. Obviously, it’s not.

My mind is still spinning at this.

It’s OK for Coughlin to use a real, live game to work on things to make his team better and make sure they’re in top form for the postseason. Bill Belichick does it, and it’s just out of spite and poor sportsmanship. Got it.

I mean, it’s not like Saint Tony Dungy ever did this sort of thing with Peyton Manning. Oh, wait.

I think this might be the more accurate explanation for why only Belichick gets flayed for this.

The other thing to wonder is how often are other teams even in this position? It’s all well and good to say that Coughlin, or any other coach doesn’t leave their QB in with a 35-point lead, or isn’t passing under five minutes with a 35-point lead. How many teams routinely have 35-point leads?

Still on the Patriots, with the Gil Santos era winding down, the subject of his replacement is gaining momentum.

John Rooke, The Obvious Choice To Take Over For Gil Santos – Derek Havens looks at why Rooke and his 20 years of working for the Patriots make him the best choice for the job. I’m on-board with this, certainly if it keeps Gary Tanguay or Jon Meterparel away from the gig.

Meanwhile, Red Sox reporters are waiting for something to happen.

Abraham of course, wrote a Lester column himself, but that was sort of his point. Right now, the Red Sox media is jumping on any scrap of information and writing about it.

I thought Abraham and Chad Finn had a nice 1-2 punch on the Jon Lester for Wil Myers rumor(?) Is it even a rumor? Speculation?

Lester for a prospect? Here’s why it’s crazy – Abraham

Jon Lester for Wil Myers? Why not? – Finn