Week Wrap – Just Another Week of Sports Media Trolling

Where do we begin?

It was a non-stop week of media trolling, which isn’t all that different from most weeks, but this week seemed to be on a different level.

We started out with the Brady isn’t an elite QB anymore – which somehow completely dominated almost all sports outlets at the beginning of the week. Given that it is the first week of June, many welcomed an NFL debate. Mostly from this viewpoint, it was another example of the blind allegiance to the stats of Pro Football Focus, which was the subject of the Wednesday column here.

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The Kevin Love/Carmelo Anthony to the Celtics talk also generated a lot of discussion – it’s always great to hear TV and radio shows tease We’ll give you latest on Carmelo Anthony to the Celtics coming up… when you know there CANNOT be anything “new” on the situation, given as how free agency hasn’t started, trades can’t be made and the draft is still three weeks away. But still, they try to tease you into tuning in for the “latest.”

But you also know there’s something to it when Jackie MacMullan feels she has to rush in an throw cold water on everything: Kevin Love-to-Boston is no sure thing. Really? I thought the deal was already done? Didn’t they have the press conference already?

Jackie throwing the water on this ensured that she would get herself plenty of on-air gigs this week to talk about her column, in which she notes that when the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett, the talks were between Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale who were BFFs. Now the talks will be between Danny Ainge and Flip Saunders who are not BFFs, so talks might not be “as fluid or cooperative as they were when McHale and Ainge were striking a deal.

Whoa. You can’t get that type of deep analysis just anywhere.

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Then we had Patriots receiver Danny Amendola making the career-killing move of possibly hanging up on superstar radio host Adam Jones. At the very least he conveniently got disconnected and didn’t call back.

After Amendola did this to poor Jones, the media outlets of 98.5, CSNNE and Boston.com (or was it “The Lodge”) immediately circled the wagons around Jones, rallying to his defense as if the guy had just come through some harrowing experience. On air CSNNE folks slapped him on the back and congratulated him for “busting his cherry.”

On Toucher and Rich, Fred Toucher described Jones’ show as a “straight ahead sports talk program.” Clearly, Toucher has never heard Adam Jones’ program, which is nothing but #hotsportztakes and “worries” and “concerns” and worst-case scenarios.

You also have to love Fred Toucher weighing in on the Amendola “hangup” after he himself hung up on Rick Pitino not too long ago, and has bragged about it ever since.

Then on Boston.com, the “other” Adam, Kaufman weighed in with nearly 1200 words on the topic: Uncomfortable Questions No Excuse for Patriots’ Danny Amendola to Hang Up During Radio Interview.

Here are some gems from this hit piece:

Athletes, particularly those at the professional level and regardless of the sport, have a responsibility to the media.

Only the media thinks this.

Jones is an established radio talent in this market…

I’ll take your word for it.

Simple, logical, easy to answer queries from Jones for a veteran receiver with a high salary (he’s entering the second of a five-year, $28.5 million deal), high expectations, and an even higher likelihood of failing to make it through a full season unscathed.

So easy to answer he asked three times, and no, there’s no chance there was sarcasm behind any of it, just as in this sentence.

Those are just the facts and it’s his responsibility to live with that and, if necessary, be reminded of it.

Amendola needs to be reminded of it? I’m sure he forgot the time he almost died on the field. He has a responsibility to live with that, you know?

Truthfully, it’s unfortunate for Amendola because many people – and I am on that list – were expecting him to struggle to stay healthy before he ever put on a uniform.

But Kaufman has no agenda here.

Even so, if an athlete, any athlete, is permitted to cash his paychecks without performance, he can at least discuss the components of what prevented him from doing his job in years past.

If he’s going to get injured so much, clearly he should not be permitted to cash his paychecks.

But, in the future, he should realize answering challenging or unpleasant questions is simply part of the job, even if he’d rather focus his time and energy on how he’ll avoid being a disappointment and future cap casualty by the winter.

Zing! I’m so clever!

Does Kaufman reveal that he too works at 98.5? Could this also be a part of his motivation for writing this? I’m sure it isn’t. Really.

Then you get Tweets like this:

What? So an undrafted free agent who was cut by the Cowboys (publicly on Hard Knocks) and Eagles and bounced on and off their practice squads and then finally made the Rams, had some production, only to suffer a freak injury in which his clavicle pushed in and nearly crushed his his trachea and aorta and killed him, who then came back from that, and signed with New England and tore his groin in the first half of the first game of the season, and came back in that same game doesn’t know what adversity is? Not until Adam Jones asks him a few dumb questions?

Berry tried to then say this is the first time Amendola hasn’t been considered “great.”. Um, read the above paragraph.

Yes, these are the people paid to make their living talking about and covering sports.

Deadspin covered this Amendola story as well – Danny Amendola Draws Ire Of Insufferable Boston Media

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Dan Shaughnessy doesn’t want to be left out of the action. So he launched another tirade at David Ortiz, again suggesting that Ortiz must be using steroids right now because his performance is so good at his age.

He also criticizes Ortiz for his profanity in the ceremony following the Boston Marathon bombings last year.

Adam Gaffin had the best take on this. Bitter old clown complains about David Ortiz’s post-Marathon comments

I realize Shaughnessy is the columnist equivalent of a vampire, who will quickly die without the fresh blood he gets by riling people up, and I guess he succeeded again, or I wouldn’t have gotten this far with this post, but, really, attacking Ortiz for helping to bring the city together after an event that, unlike anything Ortiz has ever done, truly was evil? Have you no sense of decency, sir?

No, he doesn’t.

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This caught my eye  as well yesterday:

They are conditioned to this belief by the constant mouthings of as depraved a group of radio talk-show hosts as ever fouled the air. They do this with the massive second-guess whenever the Red Sox lose, which is always more than 60 times a year.

The minds of Boston fans are shaped by these instant baseball experts who, with an eye to their own ratings, have latched onto the Red Sox as the hottest topic in town.

Hey, that’s a pretty dead-on take.

Wait, that was Shirley Povich of the Washington Post writing in 1979 about the treatment of Don Zimmer in Boston?

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Just another week in Boston, eh?

Rangers-Kings matchup a boon to NBC – Chad Finn looks at the ratings numbers that Stanley Cup Final should generate given the cities involved.

Dan Trant recalled in NBA TV special on 1984 Draft – Bill Doyle looks at the special, and the mention of the former Celtics draft pick who was killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers.

Does Jared Remy’s Guilty Plea Help His Dad?

In a somewhat surprising move, Jared Remy yesterday pleaded guilty to the murder of his girlfriend and mother of his daughter, Jennifer Martel.

The plea avoids a very public and gruesome trial, which is good for the victim’s family. Is it also good for Remy’s father? By entering the plea and going to jail, the case will fade in the public eye faster than if a trial was going on this fall.

This was something in the works, as NESN had sent out a notice on Monday morning that Jerry Remy would not be in the booth  that night or last night. They were “planned days off.” According to that email, Remy will be back in the booth tonight at Fenway Park.

Update: NESN has since said that Remy will be out tonight and tomorrow night, replaced by Steve Lyons.

Jerry Remy is still getting heat from Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan – ‘RemDawg’ benefits from a blatant double standard – but it seems in general the cry is fading out against the broadcaster, who has as many or more defenders in the media as he does those who are uncomfortable with his continued presence on the air.

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In other news involving the legal system and sports media, former Channel 7 and 56 sports anchor Bob Gamere is a free man, released after serving 4 1/2 years in prison for child porn.

Ex-sportscaster Bob Gamere out of prison after child porn conviction

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Yesterday marked the debut of the new WEEI midday show.

middays-with-mfb

I gave it some time yesterday. I’m not making any judgments after a day, the show went pretty well, Benz to me anyway sounds a lot like Mutnansky. A little deeper voice maybe. We’ll see how the show develops over the coming weeks and whether or not the station made an upgrade here.

I heard Mike Mutnansky a little last night on with Mikey Adams before the Red Sox pregame, and some after. He needs some time as well to adjust into the new role.

Media Links and Week Wrap

Yesterday was the last edition of the Mut and Lou show on WEEI. Mike Mutnansky will soon transition over to the role previously held by John Ryder, working Red Sox broadcasts and last nights. All in all, it’s not a horrible move for Mutnansky, who stays employed and gets a role that still gives him some of the spotlight.

Kirk Minihane wrote a column yesterday paying tribute to Mutnansky – Taking time to appreciate the Mut Man – and it was a sweet of Kirk to come to the defense of the exiled midday host. (Though how many radios tuned to 98.5 at 10:00am to hear Andy Gresh respond to Kirk’s insults about him?)

Just like Minihane tends to go over the top when writing about someone like Joe Haggerty, he goes a bit over the top in writing nice things about Mutnansky. It’s what Minihane does. I agree with much of what he writes about Mutnansky as a person. He’s a good guy, he works hard. I feel like he unsuccessfully tried too hard to be something he’s not. Some people can get away with that, he couldn’t.

If Kirk really wanted to be brutally honest and over the top he might question how the son of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute President and Chief Executive Officer got the midday job on the station that just happens to hold the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon every year. I’m sure there’s no connection there whatsoever.

In the Globe today, Chad Finn looks at How NESN has changed in 30 years with a look back at the first telecast (which literally no one saw) and several milestones along the way.

There are also links to a Jack Craig column after the debut of NESN and foot-stomping columns by Bob Ryan (Why can’t I watch the Red Sox on Ch. 38?) and Leigh MontvillePay-cable television will begin for the Red Sox with this game and I will kick the Florida ground at the very idea.

Over on the T&G Bill Doyle writes Holy Cross football to have bigger presence on Charter TV-3.

Dan Kennedy looks at the sale of the T&G – John Henry sells Worcester Telegram to Florida chain which is noteworthy since the Red Sox and Globe owner had previously said he would only sell that paper to local owners or he would continue to operate it himself.

What Is The Fascination (if it is true) With Stephen Drew?

The Red Sox re-signed shortstop Stephen Drew yesterday, a move that has been called for by the media pretty much non-stop since the beginning of the season.

A guy that many of these same media folks were snickering at when he was originally signed, they called for his benching when he struggled with his batting average for much of last season, and these same people now view him as the savior of the Red Sox season?

He’s a nice, steady player, and maybe that’s all that’s needed for this team, but somehow I doubt it. The Red Sox lost their fifth game in a row last night, and appear to have lost the magic that carried them to a World Series title last season. Does Drew solve all that?

He solidifies the infield, taking over at shortstop while Xander Bogaerts gets pushed over the third base. He’ll get on base, provide some power and runs, but the Red Sox have a lot of other issues to still sort out.

It will be interesting to see how Super Agent Scott Boras is treated in all of this. He cost his player 4 million dollars by having him not accept the qualifying offer from the Red Sox last offseason. The Boston Globe Sunday Baseball Notes, which should just be renamed The News That Scott Boras Wants Put Out There should be an interesting read this week.

Get all the Red Sox news and views at RedSoxLinks.com.

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The NBA Draft Lottery didn’t go the way the Celtics and their fans wanted last night, but at least they got the pick they had the greatest odds of getting, and the Lakers weren’t the team that moved into the top three.

Now attention will shift to Kevin Love for the next few weeks until the draft, as the Timberwolves forward appears to be the player that media and fans have targeted as the star that the Celtics should aggressively pursue.

Part of me thinks that Minnesota won’t be quite so eager to deal with the Celtics this time around, but if they’re interested in the best package, it might just be Boston that has it.

At a minimum we know that we can safely cross Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid off the Celtics draft list. Instead, guys like Dante Exum, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh and Marcus Smart look to be the possibilities if the Celtics stay put at pick number six.

Get all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

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Interesting to hear Jon Meterparel on the WEEI morning show today with Callahan and Minihane. It was his first appearance on the station since departing in October 2012. He’s had a stint at Boston Herald radio, he’s been on the Big Show Unfiltered, tried his own podcast on jonmeterparel.com/. He’s done Pawtucket Red Sox games and continued his work on Boston College football and basketball radio broadcasts.

Bruins Bow Out In Depressing Game 7 Loss

The Bruins ended their postseason run earlier than anyone wanted or expected as their hated nemesis the Montreal Canadiens took the final two games of the series, including last night’s game 7 on the Bruins home ice at TD Garden.

The 3-1 loss for the Bruins is hard to take, especially given how dominant they were during the regular season and in their first round series against the Red Wings.

There was plenty of trolling by the local media going on last night, with some taking victory laps and others just glad this annoying hockey stuff can be done and over with so the focus can be on real sports like baseball.

Dan Shaughnessy is happy, he got to write his Bruins are guaranteed to win game 7 column yesterday and followed up with his ghosts and curses and choke column today. Mike Felger after game three lectured the Bruins fans about how they underestimated Montreal and how it was going to be a really tough series, but yesterday also said if the Bruins didn’t win it would be a choke. Good times.

Get all the coverage at Bruinslinks.com.

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Interesting article in Boston Business Journal about Glenn Ordway’s project the Big Show Unfiltered and his future plans for it – Glenn ‘The Big O’ Ordway plots a comeback amid sports-media tumult in Boston.

Ordway and Jason Wolfe confirm in the article that they are in negotiations with several terrestrial broadcasters and that a deal for the show on traditional radio is likely happening in the months ahead. They also will increase programming, but not just on sports.

The show might have a winner with the #TwitterPolice segment. Pete Sheppard goes after inane Tweets by the sports media. There’s plenty of material out there.

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The Inside Track had this bit on the recent changes at WEEI:

That Mike Mutnansky, who was booted from WEEI’s midday show last week, was reassigned yesterday to host the station’s Red Sox pre- and postgame shows, replacing John Ryder later this month. As part of his new duties, Mut will take over the 10 p.m.-midnight shift and will appear on the “Planet Mikey” show that airs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Ryder is moving over to the Total Traffic & Weather Network and will provide updates for stations all over New England. Last week, the station announced the shakeup in the midday show, teaming Mutnansky’s partner, Lou Merloni, with former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and Tim Benz, a host and sports director for 970 ESPN Pittsburgh. WEEI has been losing the midday battle badly to rival 98.5 The Sports Hub, which finished second with adult male listeners in recent ratings, while ’EEI was 10th.

With Mutnansky, that’s pretty much what I expected to happen. For Ryder, hopefully this is just a placeholder job for something bigger and better. The reaction from both fellow media and from WEEI listeners to Ryder’s termination has been completely supportive of Ryder and expressing dismay at the loss of his intelligent, reasoned voice on the airwaves.

(Non-Boston Post) Rams, NFL Network Draft Setup A Bit Fishy

I apologize for the non-Boston sports media related post here, but I found this whole thing below interesting and I haven’t seen anyone else weigh in on it.

Over the three days of the NFL draft, the NFL Network had top reporter Mike Silver “embedded” with the St. Louis Rams during the process, allowing him complete access to what was happening in their ‘war room.’

That it was the Rams that were chosen for this didn’t seem like an accident. GM Les Snead seems to enjoy the spotlight, and is married to former NFL Network reporter Kara Henderson. Jeff Fisher is adored by the national press, a fact seems somewhat curious given that while he has had a few very good teams, including one that went to a Super Bowl, he’s also had some very bad teams. His lifetime winning percentage as a head coach is .532 – pretty good, but not great.

He knows how to work and media and get them on his side. He likes to put on a show for them, and he’s got this whole “legend of The ‘Stache” thing going on.

An incident in the Silver article seems to show how this charisma he has can influence the coverage he gets as opposed to other coaches. (You probably know the one I’m thinking of.)

When the Rams selected cornerback Lamarcus Joyner in the second round, Silver tells of the circumstances around the pick.

It was the arrival of Joyner — and the way the Rams finessed it — that brought the most pleasure to Fisher and those close to him. Intent on drafting the former Florida State star with the 44th overall pick, Fisher and others in the Rams’ war room became convinced that the Titans were preparing to snag Joyner two picks earlier. Rams general manager Les Snead began working the phones, agreeing to a trade with the Bills, who held the selection before Tennessee’s, that saw St. Louis give up a fifth-round selection to move up three spots.

When the deal was consummated, and the Rams turned in the card for Joyner, Fisher burst into a huge grin, and there were hoots and hollers of excitement. A few minutes later, when the Titans traded out of the 42nd selection — a move viewed in the Rams’ war room as confirmation that Tennessee had targeted Joyner, only to come up empty — there was another surge of congratulatory cheers.

“I don’t know how we did it,” Fisher said afterward, concealing a twinkle in his eye. “I just had a feeling.”

“Twinkle in his eye….just had a feeling.” Was it just a feeling?

A “mole?” So the suggestion is that Fisher has someone in the Titans inner circle – the franchise he coached for 17 years, who is still loyal to him, and gave up this information to the detriment of his own team?

Can you imagine if a former Belichick employee was giving out secrets of his team back to his former boss like this? Where would the outrage meter land? But here, it’s written in an admiring fashion. Silver, has been one in the past to hold no punches when it comes to this stuff, but for “The ‘Stache” its awesome.

Then there was the Michael Sam pick.

Troubled receiver Kenny Britt had found himself in yet another situation over the weekend. The Rams were in the process of dealing with it. Then Silver writes:

On Day 3 of the draft, this ranked as a legitimate headline, and headache. Little did he know — hell, little did anyone at Rams Park know — that Fisher was about to render him (Britt) a mere footnote to history.

So Fisher has decided to draft Sam.

At 5:48 p.m., the Rams officially selected Sam, and the war room scene turned surreal. The ‘Stache soaked it all in, thoroughly enjoying the experience. He got excited when informed by Artis Twyman, the team’s senior director of communications, that the Rams were the franchise which 68 years earlier signed the first African-American player of the NFL’s modern era, UCLA product Kenny Washington.

There’s no doubt that this was a historic, significant moment. The Rams made the pick. They made history. Fisher made history.

OK. Is it at all coincidental that the franchise who drafted Michael Sam just happened to have an NFL Network reporter embedded with them for the entire draft, and who got to see first-hand the entire process play out?

To me, it seems that one of two things happened. Either the plan all along was to draft Michael Sam at the end of the draft if he was still available and have that moment recorded, or Fisher, seized the moment, knowing that there was a reporter there to record it all, made the pick to further the legend of “The ‘Stache.”

Silver concludes his piece:

It’s not what anyone at Rams Park other than the head coach had in mind until about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, but now it’s happening, and the momentum behind it is unmistakable.

Perhaps, in retrospect, we should have seen this coming — for it’s very simple, and it can be summed up in three words: Trust The ‘Stache.

Maybe someone did see this coming, and that’s why Mike Silver was there in the first place.

Embarrassment All Around In Haggerty/ Minihane Incident

I’m not sure I should be writing about this.

If we’ve learned anything about sports media members, it is that they’ll do anything for attention – good, bad or embarrassing.

Part of me still suspects that at least some of this Joe Haggerty weirdo column and the Kirk Minihane hit piece today was done for attention and that I’m feeding into that by writing about it.

On Haggerty – I find his reaction and excuse-making worse than his actual column.

First it happened because he was tired from working SO hard. Being at the ice early in the morning, and going all day and night and being on TV and then filing the column. Of course, all the other writers covering the team worked the same hours, and they weren’t inserting references to 13-year-old girls into their articles.

Then he threw his editors under bus, saying he just sent it along and figured he’d wake up to a heavily-edited piece. That’s professional pride at work right there. I know it sucks, but the editors have nothing better to do at 2AM, let them clean up my mess.

Then he went on 98.5 and played grab-ass with the Toucher and Rich show, downplaying the seriousness of it, like this sort of thing could happen to anyone.

He deserved to be called out on it, and he was, Deadspin picked up on it, Chad Finn wrote a post about it.

Haggerty’s words from the 98.5 interview, sort of say all you need to know about him:

“I made Deadspin. That’s always a great thing for a journalist. Excellent.”

Well, getting attention was his goal, he achieved it. It’s not like he’s purposely gone out and tried to manufacture a story and bring attention to himself by making it on Deadspin.

Then, this morning, Kirk Minihane weighed in – Hockey writer’s latest misstep hard to fathom.

Minihane acknowledges bad feelings between himself and Haggerty. He hits hard. He makes some very valid points while going so far as to call for a suspension for Haggerty. He also gets personal and it is clear that this whole column has been written because of the bad feelings he has for Haggerty. It is a personal hit piece.

I’m surprised that Rob Bradford and company at WEEI.com actually allowed this column to be published. Unless of course its all about the publicity and looking for clicks. Then it is understandable.

Then followed endless talk on both stations about this “story.” Dennis and Callahan behind their guy Kirk and Toucher and Rich supporting Haggerty. At one point Toucher discussing Minihane, said something along the lines of “Writing for a radio station is like jogging for an accounting firm” whatever that means.

Haggerty writes for a TV station. How is that any different?

There have been a lot of jibes thrown back and forth about trying “actual journalism” and questioning the “journalistic compass” and being “on the edge of trouble journalistically recently” as well as “journalistic indiscretions” and being “everything that’s wrong with journalism.”

In the end though, this is just taking sides and throwing rocks. Haggerty vs Minihane,  WEEI vs TheSportsHub, radio vs TV.

We’ve got the NFL draft starting tonight, the Bruins and Canadiens play game four tonight with the Bruins on the edge of a must-win situation, and the Red Sox finally reached .500 on the season.

And we have to talk about Joe Haggerty and Kirk Minihane?  Why am I writing about this?

THAT is everything that is wrong with the so-called sports media today.

The 2014 Boston Sports Media Mock Draft (Non-NFL Edition)

In the spirit of the mock draft being everywhere (including here) I’ve put together not one, but two mock drafts for your perusal today.

The first draft is more of a “power-rankings” sort of thing. These are the top-30 most influential and powerful media personalities, not counting editors, producers, publishers, etc. These are the folks who create the storylines and talking points that drive the Boston sports media.

The strengths and weaknesses in this list are compiled based on what is going to be attractive to today’s sports media market, which favors sensation and controversy over fact gathering and reporting.

Current Influence/Power Draft

1) Mike Felger, WBZ-FM, CSNNE

Strengths: Intelligent, can spot trends and get on the other side of them. Can argue his side cognitively, and concisely. Above average knowledge of hockey and football. Average baseball, knows more basketball than he puts on.

Weaknesses: Will take a point too far. Not above taking ridiculous positions and  then never backing down. (Cap is Crap!) Dwells in the negative, no matter how successful teams are. Weak partner.

2) Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Strengths: Ability to infuriate and insult readers and fans. Above average knowledge of the history of baseball and basketball, and some of Boston sports in general. Always knows how to twist the knife and anger people. Ingratiates himself with people like John Henry Williams just for access.

Weaknesses: Tends to laziness, agenda-riddled, no self-awareness, little to no knowledge of football and hockey.

3) Gerry Callahan, WEEI, Boston Herald

Strengths: Still an excellent columnist. Knows football, baseball and basketball very well. Been on a national stage with SI, knows how things work. Forceful personality.

Weaknesses: Easily blinded by personal beliefs and loyalties. When challenged, resorts to high-school bully act of mocking challenger and doing sarcastic voices.

4) Fred Toucher, WBZ-FM

Strengths: Not Dennis and Callahan. Beating them in the ratings. Occasionally entertaining rants. Can run the show well.

Weaknesses: Below average knowledge of sports.

5) Tom E Curran, CSNNE

Strengths:  Best all around talent in the draft. Can entertain as well as inform. Does well in print, radio and on television, excellent football knowledge and insight. Adequate in other sports. Not a toady, despite suggestions by others. (ask Dr Gill).

Weaknesses: Perceived as football-only.

6) Dale Arnold, WEEI, NESN

Strengths: Experience in market, knowledge of hockey and football. OK with other sports. Hosting on radio and television, chemistry with Michael Holley.

Weaknesses: Personality doesn’t appeal to all, tends to pile on excessively to human interest-type stories.

7) Scott Zolak, WBZ

Strengths: High energy, appealing personality, knowledge of football. Uses experience as ex-NFL QB to provide insight on subject.

Weaknesses: Just OK on other sports, can get carried away on a topic.

8) Kirk Minihane, WEEI

Strengths: Willing to challenge the sports media conventional wisdom and other media members with a pack mentality. Good ability to analyze and debate. Good knowledge of sports.

Weaknesses: Some concern he is being assimilated in to the Dennis and Callahan mindset. Will also attack too harshly at times making recipient of criticism appear more sympathetic.

9) Gary Tangway, CSNNE

Strengths: Innate ability to stir the pot when there is no pot. Plenty of hot takes. Good voice.

Weaknesses: Takes some of the weirdest and nonsensical stands ever seen or heard. Not much in the way of sports knowledge.

10) Lou Merloni, WEEI, CSNNE

Strengths: Excellent baseball analyst. Can provide insight from a former player’s perspective both on and off the field. Decent knowledge of other Boston teams.

Weaknesses: Damnity damn damn. Damn damn damnity damn damn.

11) Chad Finn, Boston.com/Boston Globe

Strengths: Underrated prospect. Rare gift of actually enjoying sports. Can write about all four sports, though baseball is his best. Uses humor, can be critical of but doesn’t needlessly bash local squads. As media columnist, he wields a certain amount in influence.

Weaknesses: Because he enjoy sports, Joe Sullivan will continue to bury him on Boston.com and never give him more than the sports media column in the paper Globe.

12) Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston

Strengths: The gold standard of beat reporters. Get the information, gets it to you quickly, doesn’t muddy the information with personal “takes.” Respected by those he covers, Nicest guy in the business.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t always stand up for himself as much as he probably should.

13) Rob Bradford, WEEI

Strengths: Good relationships on beat. Gets scoops and information. Put together a good group at WEEI.com.

Weaknesses: A voice made for print.

14) Andy Gresh, WBZ-FM, CSNNE

Strengths: Good host, brings energy and passion. Good knowledge of most sports, particularly football.

Weaknesses: Bombastic. Can go overboard with insults or rants.

15) Michael Holley, WEEI

Strengths: Likeable. Good on basketball, football and baseball. Not going to crawl into the morass of negativity so common on sports radio. Not a leading man, but a valuable piece.

Weaknesses: Feel like he should be more assertive, and draw on his “embedded” work with the Patriots more.

16) Rich Shertenlieb, WBZ-FM

Strengths: Other half of duo that knocked Dennis and Callahan from atop the ratings. Most of his bits are pretty good. He’s likable. Doesn’t pretend to know more about sports than he does.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t know a lot about sports. Some bits are repetitive and immature.

17) Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston

Strengths: Great, compelling writer. Few better on the NBA. Can hold her own on other sports.

Weaknesses: Curious dislike of Patriots, while embracing everything Kobe Bryant.

18) Joe Haggerty, CSNNE

Strengths: Gave the hockey beat a much-needed jolt when he joined it. Though he’s more of a baseball guy at heart, he’s fully embraced the role as hockey guy and in many ways is the most visible on the beat. Big self-promoter.

Weaknesses: Known to occasionally make no sense whatsoever.

19) Alex Speier, WEEI

Strengths: Hands down best baseball scribe in town. Knows it all, majors, minors, highly intelligent, can debate anyone and win.

Weaknesses: Keeps a low profile. Not a self-promoter.

20) Kevin Paul Dupont, Boston Globe

Strengths: Successfully made transition from respected NHL authority to professional Twitter troll.

Weaknesses: Obscure references don’t play well with the Twitter crowd.

21) John Dennis, WEEI

Strengths: Biggest bully in the market. Universally loathed, except for a curious group of sycophantic listeners who think he’s awesome and actually wanted to pay money to go to his “bachelor party.”  Wields influence through bully tactics.

Weaknesses: Too many scheduled pedicures reduces his available bullying time.

22) Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald

Strengths: The Dean of the NBA beat here in Boston. Still the best. Great history, a must-follow on Twitter, and the go-to guy for Celtics news.

Weaknesses: Never been a self-promoter. Does his job, lives his life.

23) Adam Jones, WBZ-FM

Strengths: Completely mastered the art of taking the Felger storylines from the afternoon and making a whole new show out of them. Dishes out #hotsportztakes like nobody’s business.

Weaknesses: Only heard at night. Less exposure for his epic takes.

24) Christopher Gasper, Boston Globe

Strengths: Following in the footsteps of the hallowed Bob Ryan, Gasper has managed to carve out his own niche in Boston.

Weaknesses: That niche happens to be “the guy who followed Bob Ryan” in much the same vein as Ray Handley following Bill Parcells.

25) Field Yates, ESPN Boston

Strengths: A rising star, Yates experience with two NFL clubs (including the Patriots) and ability to analyze from that perspective has Yates already appearing on national ESPN programming on a regular basis. Enjoy him while he’s here.

Weaknesses: Outside of a few WEEI appearances there isn’t much in the way of local airtime for him at the moment.

26) Baxter Holmes, Boston Globe

Strengths: Another fast-riser. Best writer I can remember on the Celtics beat for the Globe since the days of MacMullan and Ryan. Hard worker, seems to want to do things the right way. Wrote some great features this year which should’ve been discussed more.

Weaknesses: Another who isn’t much of a self-promoter.

27) Sean McAdam, CSNNE

Strengths: Long time beat writer, knows the game and the team, also very good on hockey. More measured analysis instead of the negative controversy-driven approach. Once called Felger “Mr Baseball.”

Weaknesses: Seems less prominent now than he once was.

28) Mike Giardi, CSNNE

Strengths: Tenacious reporter. Works the stories, good on-camera presence not afraid to ask the tough questions.

Weaknesses: Too skinny.

29) Leah Hextall, NESN

Strengths: Hockey bloodline, appealing personality, can also venture into other sports.

Weaknesses: We haven’t seen her here outside of NESN so hard to gauge full abilities.

30) Rich Levine, CSNNE

Strengths: Shown that an online-only columnist doesn’t have to just be a click-baiting troll to be successful.

Weaknesses: Isn’t enough of a click-baiting troll to be successful enough to rank higher on this list.

How I would rank the same people in terms of what I want from a media person.

1) Tom E Curran

2) Mike Reiss

3) Chad Finn

4) Baxter Holmes

5) Field Yates

6) Mike Felger

7) Alex Speier

8) Scott Zolak

9) Steve Bulpett

10) Kirk Minihane

11) Sean McAdam

12) Michael Holley

13) Gerry Callahan

14) Dale Arnold

15) Mike Giardi

16) Leah Hextall

17) Rich Levine

18) Fred Toucher

19) Rob Bradford

20) Andy Gresh

21) Lou Merloni

22) Rich Shertenlieb

23) Kevin Paul Dupont

24) Joe Haggerty

25) Jackie MacMullan

26) Christopher Gasper

27) Adam Jones

28) John Dennis

29) Gary Tanguay

30) Dan Shaughnessy

Bruins Go Down In Double OT Game One Loss

The Bruins dropped game one of their second round series with the Montreal Canadiens at the Garden last night, falling 4-3 in double overtime. The Bruins had their chances to win this one, but couldn’t get the big goal when it counted.

As predictable as the sun coming up, Mr Bruins Dan Shaughnessy writes about ghosts and fear and worry this morning, while in his own paper, Fluto Shinzawa writes that if the Bruins just keep playing as they did last night, they’ll be fine. That opinion seems to be the consensus of most of the other writers who actually follow hockey, such as DJ Bean, Joe McDonald, Steve Conroy.

Get all the coverage from last night at BruinsLinks.com If you’re looking for Bruins playoff tickets visit our ticket page.

Bruins’ radio voice Goucher thinks this is how playoff hockey should be – Bill Doyle spoke to Dave Goucher prior to last night’s game one.

TV coverage of Donald Sterling saga was top-notch – Chad Finn applauds the coverage by TNT, NBA TV and ESPN this week on the racist comments by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

EPIX – A network available online and on many portable and streaming devices will be premiering a special on David Ortiz entitled “David Ortiz: In the Moment” on July 17th.

The documentary follows the nine-time MLB All-Star, three-time World Series champion and Red Sox legend during the past two seasons, including Boston’s championship run last fall and the drama on and off the field that the nation witnessed throughout a very emotional run to the title for both the city and the club.

For more on how to get EPIX and see the documentary, click the link above.

Bruins Window Slamming Shut

They’re wasting Tom Brady’s Zdeno Chara’s prime!

He has maybe 3 or 4 years left at the very most and they don’t have a replacement on the roster yet! What are they going to do when Brady Chara retires????  He doesn’t have enough help! Belichick Chiarelli has been wasting draft picks and instead going for system players! Sure, Robert Kraft Jeremy Jacobs spends to the cap every year, but he still cheaps out when it comes to putting his team over the top.

The window is slamming shut! If they don’t win another Super Bowl Stanley Cup then the entire Belichick/Brady Chiarelli/Chara era will have been a major disappointment!

The Patriots Bruins didn’t do enough in free agency at the trade deadline and it will come back to haunt them.

The Patriots Bruins pretend like they don’t get calls don’t flop and yet they are the worst offenders in the league! The Denver Broncos Montreal Canadiens play a style that that is going to give YOU fits and you homers always think that Tom Brady Tuukka Rask is better than Peyton Manning Carey Price when really most objective people think otherwise.

We can play this game all day. Sports radio and columns have really just become Mad Libs. Let’s trot out a storyline and just fill in the blanks. BOOM. Column or segment, DONE.

Can’t we just enjoy what promises to be an intense, emotional and exhausting series without all the ancillary angst and storylines?

It starts tonight. Get all the coverage (much of it very good) at BruinsLinks.com.

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It was interesting monitoring Twitter yesterday afternoon as reporters scrambled to report first that the Red Sox game last night had been postponed due to rain – many reported it before the club officially announced it – and then about the double-header scheduled for today. The Rays were complaining about it, and saying that it wasn’t official, even after the Red Sox had announced the schedule for today.

What we didn’t know, or at least wasn’t clearly explained, was that the Red Sox and Cubs have special rules when it comes to rescheduling games.

Zobrist: After rainout, Sox pushed doubleheader on Rays

But, the teams will return to Fenway today for a day/night doubleheader because none of that mattered. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Red Sox have the final say in this matter and they wanted to play two Thursday.

“We were told that in the Basic Agreement there is a grey area for teams like Boston and Chicago (Cubs) to basically exercise their own right to do what they want to do. So that’s what they did. Major League Baseball told us it was (the Red Sox) decision and they chose to do a doubleheader (today),” Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist said.

Interestingly, I can’t find this in any of the local newspapers/sites. It might be there somewhere, but my first look through didn’t show it anywhere, it was mostly about how the Red Sox tried as a courtesy to work something out, but ultimately it was decided to play today. (Which is also in doubt.)

The other part of this is that last night was supposed to be Dustin Pedroia bobblehead night, and while the team says they don’t have space tp store the bobbleheads in Fenway, the real reason is likely the uproar that would come from those who thought they were getting one last night and it turned out to be pushed off weeks or months away. Bobbleheads are serious business.