Schilling Joins WEEI.com

From Entercom this morning:

WEEI.com has announced that 6-time All-Star and World Series hero Curt Schilling has joined the WEEI Radio Network to contribute content to both WEEI.com and the WEEI Radio Network. WEEI.com is the new home of Schilling’s popular blog, 38pitches.com.

Schilling will be a regular contributor to WEEI.com, writing on a regular basis each week as the exclusive new home of 38pitches.com. Schilling has already written stories for WEEI.com on his 2003 pre-trade Thanksgiving with Red Sox management and on teammate Dustin Pedroia’s MVP season.

“Looking beyond baseball I knew I would continue to blog,” Schilling said. “If this was indeed my last season, I wanted a forum that would allow me to talk about things beyond baseball, while at the same time being connected to people with a passion for the game. WEEI.com and Rob Bradford’s team afforded me that opportunity. I know Rob will stay on top of me to keep content coming as well as facilitate other avenues to communicate with fans through live game blogs and many other things. I look forward to working with the team to do just that and continue to raise awareness for both ALS and the SHADE Foundation going forward.”

In addition to his regular writing for WEEI.com, Schilling will also participate in live game-day blogging for six Red Sox games during the 2009 season. He will contribute his thoughts and observations in the live blog with other members of WEEI.com’s editorial staff. This past October, Schilling joined WEEI.com for a live blog of Game 7 of the Red Sox ALCS series with the Tampa Bay Rays.

“We are extremely excited and proud to have Curt on board,” WEEI.com web site editor Rob Bradford said. “Because of his passion, expertise, and experience, Curt has already established himself as one of the most powerful voices in the country, one which we will now be honored to host on WEEI.com and the WEEI Radio Network. It is extremely gratifying to see that Curt has recognized the potential of what is quickly becoming one of the nation’s most talked about sports media entities. It is an honor that he is joining our team.”

Along with his blogging, Schilling will increase the on air component of his relationship with the WEEI Radio Network. Schilling will continue to appear as a regular guest on WEEI Radio all year long, covering baseball and a wide range of topics. His on air role will increase with a combination of in studio and phone appearances. Schilling has had a regular call in with WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Morning Show since 2005.

“We’ve been privileged to develop such a special relationship with Curt over the last three years since we started his once a week call ins during the baseball season,” Vice President of Programming and Operations for WEEI and WRKO Jason Wolfe said. “His insight, passion and no holds barred approach to radio is unprecedented in our industry for a current athlete, and makes him a “can’t miss” every time he’s on the air. I’m looking forward to working with him in this newly created role which is sure to be a home run for WEEI.com and the WEEI Sports Radio Network.”

Schilling Weighs in on Pedroia, Watney Extended

A couple of late morning notes today:

I’ve sworn off his blog, but apparently Curt Schilling is finding new outlets to express himself. He’s a Guest Columnist on WEEI.com this morning, weighing on on Pedroia being named the MVP and also about Evan Grant leaving Pedroia off of his ballot.

The very busy Jessica Heslam reports that NESN has signed Heidi Watney to a contract extension.

Also, the Red Sox have traded center fielder Coco Crisp to the Royals.

Three Year Extension For Ainge – WEEI.com

From the WEEI.com website:

WEEI.com and FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that Danny Ainge, who received a promotion to President of Basketball Operations Tuesday, has been given a contract extension which will lengthen his deal until the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. It adds three years to a contract which would have expired after this season. — Rob Bradford (Oct. 28, 9:28 a.m.)

Good scoop for Rob Bradford’s crew.

Kudos To Globe For Brady Coverage

I singled out WEEI and the Boston Herald  this morning for their sensationalistic and doomsday coverage of Tom Brady’s knee situation.

I should’ve also mentioned that I’m pleased with the even-handed way the Boston Globe has covered the matter. Yesterday, when WEEI was “reporting” every 20 minutes that the Patriots were upset with Brady for choosing a West coast doctor, the Globe never published that rumor on Boston.com. I applaud them for that.

Their coverage of the infection in Brady’s knee has been similarly even-keeled. The piece by Shira Springer this morning pointed out that “When doctors wash out a septic joint, a similar action often must be done two or three times to help clear out the infection.”

This is a change from most reports that just hysterically report that Brady needed multiple procedures to clear out the infection. Springer’s report points out that flushing the wound multiple times is a common practice when there is an infection. (Though I’m a little unclear about the comment about his return being delayed a couple months in the “best case” scenario.) The Reiss’ Pieces blog has only devoted one post to Brady’s knee condition in the last couple of days, and it was a post this morning pointing readers to comments by Dr James Andrew in the Los Angeles Times this morning which indicates that Brady is winning the infection battle.

Contrast that with this headline banner on WEEI.com:

I got an email from WEEI.com this morning pointing out that the screaming headline was an actual quote from the Doctor in the report.

“What will probably have to happen is that they will have to go in, remove everything–including the screws, everything—because everything has to be sterile and clean for (the repair) to take,” Kremchek said.

What does that mean in terms of timetable?

“Next year, I have to think, is seriously in doubt,” Kremchek said.

Now it becomes clearer why so many people are concerned.

Worst case?

“His career could be in jeopardy,” Kremchek said.

OK, so Dr Kremcheck did say Brady’s career could be in jeopardy.

In the Worst Case scenario.

If you read the Doctor’s comments in the report, his opinion is quite different from what others have said about the situation. More pessimistic, for sure.

WEEI.com chose to run with this approach to the story. The “worst case” angle, and play it up accordingly. That’s their perogative, and they likely will get a few more people to click over to the story by doing it that way.

Ron Borges in the Herald also chose to run with the worst case scenario, comparing Brady’s situation with a boxer who had surgery from the same Doctor that Brady did, and who never returned to the ring.

I’ll take the cautious, even-keeled reports in the Globe yesterday and today over the panic-mongering style shown in this incident by WEEI.com and the Herald any day.

Felger Opens Up About Pats Locker Room

Michael Felger’s WEEI.com mailbag this week has some interesting items.

Felger is bit more self-reflective this week, talking about some of the strained relationships he has in the Patriots locker room. He talks about the Report Card being a sure way to lose friends among the players, and cites a few examples. It’s an interesting “inside” look at the interaction between the media and players:

Being the author of the Herald report card is a sure-fire way to become, in the eyes of the players, the biggest douche in the media pack. Kevin Mannix got it for years, and it took me no time at all to assume the mantle. Some would say it came naturally to me. I get the sense my former colleague at the paper, John Tomase, wanted no part of it after I left this year, as he only did an abbreviated version the first three weeks. I assume new Herald hire Ron Borges will take it over now, which should be great. But it will also be interesting to see how he handles it. Ron has always billed himself as a “players guy,” and he has some close relationships in the locker room. I’m curious to see what he writes when one of those guys has an off day. I like to think I never hesitated criticizing a player, even if he was one of the rare ones who I had a decent relationship with. I’ve given Tom Brady more than his share of F’s. I’ve been hard on Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Ty Warren, all of whom have been very helpful to me over the years. I was so harsh on the offensive line at one point that Joe Andruzzi, who is truly one of the best people to ever play in the league and who I had a very good relationship with, called me out in front of his linemates one day and then refused to speak to me. In my opinion, the report card is useless if you aren’t being critical when warranted. So there’s no way to do it right and still be popular down there.

He also talks about Richard Seymour:

Of course, it’s too late for me with many players anyway. In the interest of full disclosure, I’d say the damage has been done with someone like Seymour, who I get the sense would like to smash my face in every time he sees me. In fact, he almost did just that a couple of years ago when I approached him as he sat facing his locker. When he didn’t respond to a couple of my questions, I asked if there was a problem. Mistake. It was at that point he got up from his chair, edged closer to me and slowly stretched to the length of his 6-foot-5, 310-pound frame. Picture a Transformer. Looking straight down at me, he asked, “Do you want there to be?” It was the easiest question I’ve ever been asked in my life. “Nope,” I said, walking away. That incident eventually passed, and Seymour and I did some interviews after that. But I think it was the next year (2006) that I wrote Ty Warren deserved to go to the Pro Bowl over him (something I stand by, even after Warren last season complained to me about the B+ I gave him in the playoffs….a B+!), and when I tried to ask Seymour a question at a press conference that day, he gave me the Drew Rosenhaus, “next question” treatment. I haven’t asked him a question since, although I still have to put a mike in his face from time to time as part of the media horde. I do it gingerly. If Tanguay is there, he gets the mike. As I wrote last week, Seymour is one of the most respected, professional and well-liked players among the media in that locker room. Leave it to me to be the guy he has a problem with.

He also cites Ellis Hobbs, Corey Dillon, Drew Bledsoe and Willie McGinest as guys that have had issues with him in the past.

Felger’s mailbag is quickly becoming one of the best features of the new WEEI.com.

Also on WEEI.com, new hire Paul Flannery (formerly also of Boston Magazine) has a piece on Rajon Rondo as he enters his third season with the Celtics. Adrian Wojnarowski has Doc Rivers finding new challenges for his team this season. Frank Dell’Apa has Doc Rivers getting an addition to his family. Charles P. Pierce has a good piece on Leon Powe in the Globe’s OT.

Alex Speier says that the Red Sox execution was the difference maker in the game one victory. Rob Bradford looks at Jon Lester’s dominant performance last night. Tony Massarotti looks at Jacoby Ellsbury huge night in game one.

Check out some notes from the TBS telecasts yesterday from SportsMediaNews.com. King Kaufman enjoyed the TBS coverage, dubbing it the “Anti-FOX.”

Cold, Hard Football Facts says that the Patriots are a team in a statistical free fall. They add that a series of awful drafts haven’t helped their cause.

Media Movement Scorecard

Here’s a snapshot look at the movement of some Boston sports media members during the last few months: (Not in strict order)

Gordon Edes – Boston Globe > Yahoo! Sports

Jackie MacMullan – Boston Globe > Buyout > ESPN

Peter May – Boston Globe > Buyout > Yahoo! Sports

Tom Casale – Patriots Football Weekly > DegenerateGambler.com

Michael Parente – Woonsocket Call > Patriots Football Weekly

Michael Felger – Boston Herald/ESPN 890 >WEEI.com (and Comcast SportsNet)

Rob Bradford – Boston Herald > WEEI.com

Alex Speier – NH Union Leader > WEEI.com

Tony Massarotti – Boston Herald > Boston.com/Boston Globe

Jeff Horrigan – Boston Herald > Private Sector

Ron Borges - Soup Kitchen > WEEI.com > Boston Herald

Sean McAdam – Providence Journal > Boston Herald

Bob Lobel – WBZ-TV > Retirement > WODS103.3FM/Oldies 103.3

Hazel Mae – NESN > MLBTV

Adam Kilgore – Washington Post > Boston Globe

Lew Goldstein and Mike Vallee (“Lew & Mike”) 1510theZone > ESPN 890

Laura Behnke – NECN/CSN > KNTV-NBC11 (San Francisco)

Joe Haggerty – Boston Metro > WEEI.com

Who did I miss?