(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.

Bruins Set To Flop Around Against Canadiens Tomorrow Night

I guess we shouldn’t be all that shocked, but now Boston sports radio and online columnists are taking their talking points from Montreal blogs?

Dive Files: The Bruins are the NHL’s uncontested emperors of embellishment

I’ve heard Felger and Mazz, Mike Mutnansky, Adam Jones and, over on Boston.com, Eric Wilbur tell us that the Bruins can’t talk about Montreal flopping because they do it just as much.

I guess that’s your storyline for this series, for them at least.

The series begins tomorrow night with game one at TD Garden at 7:30. The game will be seen only on the NBC Sports Network.

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Nice post from the Shaughnessy Watch blog on the latest from the Globe columnist.

Color Him Wrong

Comparing Adam Silver to Kenesaw Mountain Landis might not have been the best comparison.

Dennis and Callahan are in all their glory on the Donald Sterling story. There’s nothing those guys enjoy more than a good discussion on race. (Well, except perhaps talking about prison rape, but I digress.) Whenever Gerry Callahan can mention Al Sharpton’s name every five minutes, it’s a good day for him.

Briefly – Like just about everyone else, I was incredibly impressed with Adam Silver yesterday. Maybe my expectations were low coming in, but his authority came across in a strong way.  That press conference was a great moment for the future of the NBA.

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According to the network, Jerry Remy missed last night’s game due to “similar symptoms” to a stomach flu that a “few members of NESN’s Red Sox traveling crew have recently suffered from.”

While that could be completely legitimate, the red flags aways go up when Remy misses a game, and especially when the wording is a bit ambiguous like this was.

Steve Lyons filled in for Remy last night, and he was pretty much as we remember in the booth. He did seem to have some good chemistry with Don Orsillo, who has shown the ability to work with just about anyone. Lyons talks alot in the booth, which could’ve been an adjustment for Orsillo, but they worked pretty well together. They had some light moments, of which there actually haven’t been that many of thus far this season due to obvious reasons.

They said that Remy would be back in the booth for tonight, so we’ll keep an eye on that.

Bruins Take Wings To Brink, Jared Not Doing Jerry Any Favors

The Bruins pushed the Detroit Red Wings to the brink of elimination after a hard-fought 3-2 OT win at Joe Louis Arena last night. Boston now leads the series 3-1 and has a chance to close things out tomorrow at home.

That 3:00pm game will NOT be broadcast on NESN (the channel will still have pre and post game coverage, as will CSNNE) but will instead be on NBC.

Get all the Bruins coverage today and this weekend at BruinsLinks.com.

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The Jared Remy situation is not going away quietly. The son of Red Sox NESN color analyst Jerry Remy isn’t doing his father any favors with his reported letters to Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan and reporter Laurel J. Sweet.

Jared Remy’s jailhouse screed: Leave my dad out of this

The younger Remy was also in the news recently for his reported attack on another inmate earlier this month.

Meanwhile Jerry Remy continues on the air on NESN. I’ve made my case on this already, and it seems like what I feared is happening – this isn’t going away, and the more incidents that Jared has while in prison, and the more information that comes out  – does that have an impact on how people are viewing Jerry Remy on the Red Sox broadcasts?

I think Jerry Remy has actually been very good this season – he seems to have picked things up a notch in terms of his analysis, and while he’s still goofing with Don Orsillo at times, much of the ancillary stuff that was getting annoying in the past has been eliminated or toned down.

It still feels like this is going to come to a head at some point and not end well for Jerry Remy. Does NESN ever say “enough?”

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Patriots cleared of mishandling injury reports

There was quite a bit made out of statements from former Patriots Brandon Spikes and Aqib Talib on the matter of the team and their reporting of injuries. Ben Volin reports that there has been found to be nothing to those allegations.

The allegations were played up quite a bit in the national media:

I’m sure all these will be cleared up now…

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It’s cute that Christopher Gasper thinks we should give the Red Sox the benefit of the doubt because they’ve had lots of injuries and have not been able to get their full lineup out on the field.

I haven’t listened to a ton of sports radio as of late, but in the afternoons I’m finding that the renewed Dale and Holley show is much more appealing than Felger and Mazz, who every time I’ve turned in have been ripping the Bruins in Patriots-like fashion. Can’t be all puppies and unicorns.

I’ve checked in on The Big Show Unfiltered from time to time, and it’s nice to have that there as an option as well. After a lot of buzz at launch time, it will be interesting to see how things develop there and if they can keep is going and growing.

I wonder how many more hockey columns Mr Bruin, Dan Shaughnessy will have for us in the coming weeks. Bruins fans would just as well have Shaughnessy continue to ignore their team.

If Roger Goodell hadn’t messed with the schedule, we’d be having the NFL draft this week. Now it is still two weeks away. Now there’s talk of extended the draft to FOUR days in the future. Goodell seems determined to kill the golden goose by trying to mess up as many thing good things as he can. They’re just going to keep pushing and pushing, Thursday night games…when do Tuesday night games start? More playoff teams? Why not have all teams make the playoffs? 18 game schedule? Let’s for an even 20. Team in London? Let’s go to Moscow while we’re at it.

Bruins Again Unimpressive in Dominating Win

Just a quick post today, as I’m in the middle of a hectic real-life week…

For the second straight game, the Boston Bruins took it to the Detroit Red Wings, and emerged with a convincing 3-0 shutout win. The Bruins now hold a 2-1 series lead.

It seems though, that the Bruins have reached Patriots-level analysis standards. For some people *coughFelgerMazzcough* every win is picked over for faults and deemed to be “meh” -unimpressive. Power play goal? You SHOULD get those. Caron goal? Lucky. The third goal was empty net. They were lucky to win!

Now, I realize these clowns are the minority, but they’re also the most influential people in the market, at least Felger is. It’s annoying. It’s repetitive (as are my complaints, I’m sure), unimaginative and it makes them look dumb. The latter issue they apparently have no problems with. Mazz is still worried about the 2013 Red Sox.

After last week’s Shaughnessy column breakdown where it was pointed out that the lead columnist for Boston sports had not written a column about the Bruins in over 100 columns, further research showed that his last Bruins column had been after the Blackhawks beat the Bruins for the Stanley Cup. He hadn’t written about the team since then despite the Bruins having been the best team in the NHL this regular season. Naturally, when the Bruins lost game one to the Red Wings, guess who had a column on the Bruins the next day?  Lame.

Get the coverage from last night’s Bruins win at BruinsLinks.com.

The Red Sox were pounded by the Yankees last night at Fenway Park, as Jacoby Ellsbury took it to his former team. The fan reaction to Ellsbury was mixed, with plenty of boos pregame and for his first at-bat, but then after a video tribute by the Red Sox, there were some cheers of appreciation for what he did here.

Check all the Red Sox news at RedSoxLinks.com.

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

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.