Ron Borges “Retires” From Globe

Wow. So I’m out at an anniversary party last night that some of my friends threw for my wife and I, completely shut out from the broadcast outlets, and I miss the news that Ron Borges has suddenly decided to “retire” from the Boston Globe.

Since when is Borges the retiring type?

This whole thing smells and certainly makes the Boston Globe look even worse.

Boston Magazine Illustration by Tim Tomkinson.

The early Friday night release of the news is an old trick…get the news out there quietly and let it simmer down over the weekend, the absence of any quotes from the publisher or editor of the paper (beyond sports editor Joe Sullivan), plus the suddenness of the decision, with Borges having written just one article (A Raiders-eye view of Randy Moss) since his return from his plagiarism-induced two month suspension.

When on with Michael Felger on 890 ESPN Boston, Borges made reference to an upcoming hearing with the newspaper guild, and several snide references about the truth being told at that time. Was Borges either so disgusted with how the Globe handled things that he walked out, or was he becoming aware that the exoneration that he was anticipating was not going to play out as he had planned?

In any event, this is a loss in the short term for the Boston Globe. Despite his ridiculous anti-Patriots/Belichick bias, Borges was still a well-connected and capable NFL writer. (When he wasn’t lifting passages from Seattle beat writers, that is.) The Globe has some shuffling to do. However, in the long run, they could be better off for it.

I’m confident however, that Boston and Patriots fans have not seen and heard the last of Borges. This move actually gives him more freedom to appear on outlets around town. Glenn Ordway has long said that he would love to have Borges on the Big Show during football season, and unless Borges decides to stick with Felger out of loyalty to a guy who gave him a weekly radio slot for the last year or so, a move to WEEI seems logical.

He will also find an outlet for his writing. While it is possible that he might decide to just stick with boxing and even get into the business side of that sport, he will likely find many websites and print outlets out there that are willing to overlook his transgressions and give him a forum to write on football.

Related Links

All Along the Watchtower – Cold Hard Football Facts.

Borges Leaves After Plagiarism Scandal – Jessica Heslam, Boston Herald

Dan Kennedy offers up his thoughts on the Ron Borges “retirement.”

David Scott continues the BSMW coverage on Borges with another piece on the “retirement” today.

Scott also parses the Globe press release from Friday night that announced Ron Borges’ “retirement” from the paper.

Controversial Sports Writer Retires From Globe – The Boston Channel.

John Gonzalez November 2006 Boston Magazine feature on Borges.

Wikipedia entry on Borges.

Ron Borges Retires From Boston Globe (AOL Sports)

Both A Disappointment And An Inspiration (Bob George)

Media Reaction on Borges

Media reaction to the Ron Borges suspension for plagiarism (the full impact of that phrase still hasn’t really hit me yet) has been varied.

Some like Butch Stearns on FOX25 last night, feel that Borges did not plagiarize the article from Tacoma. Stearns claimed that he read both columns and while admitting that there was some of the same information, he didn’t think it was plagiarism. I’m with Jessica Heslam on this one. Give me a break, Butch.

Dennis & Callahan this morning were pretty good in addressing the subject. Gerry Callahan noted that plagiarism is taken much more seriously within the industry than it is in the public realm. He said that the people who work with Borges will never view him the same.

Glenn Ordway yesterday afternoon, before the suspension was announced, talked about how he enjoys Borges’ contrarian stance on things. He says Borges has a clear agenda against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. He said that every Monday we know what Borges is going to write and what his stance is going to be.

My question to that is, how is that considered good journalism?

Others, like Dale Arnold say that they always would look forward to seeing how Borges could turn a positive into a negative. He found it amusing and entertaining.

While it might be somewhat intriguing to see how Borges could possibly twist things regardless of the situation…again, how is that considered good journalism.

Keep in mind that Borges is a reporter…not a columnist.

A few old and new Borges links:

Borges Suspension Followups

As posted here last night, the Globe suspended sportswriter Ron Borges for two months without pay last night after looking into allegations that he had plagiarized part of the Globe Sunday Football Notes column this past weekend.

Michael Paulson has the story in the Globe, and Jessica Heslam reports in the Herald.

Dan Kennedy weighs in on the situation on his blog, and wonders if Borges might end up quitting over this. He also says it is time to reword and clarify the disclaimer that appears in the Notes columns.

David Scott says Borges got off easy with this one.

Dan Lamothe says Borges makes journalists look bad (again) with this incident and should’ve received more than a slap on the wrist.

On Pro Football Talk, (scroll down to 8:48pm last night) it is suggested that Borges could lose his spot on the NFL Hall of Fame selection committee.

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Red Sox

Jon Lester took to the mound to take part in a game for the first time this spring yesterday, and did quite well for himself, only needing eight pitches to get through an inning of a “B” squad game against the Twins. Nick Cafardo has the story in the Globe. Steve Buckley looks at things starting to return to normal for Lester after a winter of cancer treatments. Sean McAdam has Lester taking a first step in the right direction yesterday. Jon Couture says that through the results were good, they hardly matter in the big picture. Jeff Goldberg has more on Lester settling back into baseball life.

Bob Ryan has a look at Dodger manager Grady Little, who is happy in Los Angeles after having gotten a second chance at managing. Michael Silverman has J.D. Drew lamenting the way things went down in his departure from the Dodgers.

Buckley has Josh Beckett working on using his breaking ball more, while avoiding the blisters that have plagued him in the past. Joe Haggerty has Jonathan Papelbon ready for his new/old role as a starter. Bill Reynolds remembers one of the boys of summer who recently passed, former Dodger Clem Labine. David Sandora talks to Johnny Damon about life in New York.

Cafardo’s notebook has the Sox feeling that they’ve figured out the cause of Josh Beckett’s blister problem, and has Nomar Garciaparra greeting old friends. Silverman’s notebook have the Red Sox and Dice-K trying to settle into a routine, and more from Nomar. Couture’s notebook has more on the Sox getting to the source of Beckett’s blister woes.

Patriots

Mike Reiss notes that while some may feel that the Patriots actions the last few days are out of character, in reality it is all business as usual for the franchise.

Michael Felger reports on the Patriots bringing in receiver Wes Welker via trade, and having another receiver, Donte Stallworth come in for a visit. Albert Breer says that the pursuit of Welker, along with the courting of Stallworth shows that the Patriots won’t be caught unprepared should Troy Brown call it a career. Shalise Manza Young also looks at the trade for Welker, which cost the Patriots two draft picks, a second and seventh round selection. Alan Greenberg also reports on the Patriots “relentless” pursuit of Welker.

Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots deciding to treat themselves in the first days of free agency. Reiss’ notebook has more on the trade for Welker and has a few other Patriots notes.

Gerry Callahan says that the Patriots would be crazy NOT to consider adding a talent like Randy Moss to the roster. He says Belichick is interested in Moss, basing that on John Tomase’s report in the Herald yesterday. But a quote in an ESPN story yesterday warned about accepting such reports as face value:

Said the source: “I’d be very cautious about how I treat second- or third-hand information about what’s going on in the mind of Belichick when it comes to this stuff. Unless you’re hearing it directly [from Belichick], you’re taking a big leap. It happens every year with the Patriots, about free agency and draft plans, a lot of agendas and speculation that rarely end up happening.”

Celtics

Peter May says that the recent four game winning streak has put the lottery talk out of the minds of the Celtics. Steve Bulpett also says that the Celtics have forgotten about the draft pick and just gone about playing ball.

Bruins

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins putting things together and making a push for the playoffs at just the right time. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins do believe that they have a shot at getting into the playoffs and making a little noise.

Borges Suspended For Two Months

Michael Paulson on Boston.com reports that the Boston Globe has suspended sportswriter Ron Borges for two months without pay for plagiarism.

The Globe’s editor, Martin Baron, said Borges had included in his ‘‘Football notes’’ column last Sunday material written by a reporter for the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash.

“‘The Globe does not tolerate plagiarism,”’ Baron said in a statement. “Extensive passages written by the Tacoma reporter were used verbatim in the column by Borges, and that is prohibited.”

According to the article, Borges is also barred from broadcast appearances over the next two months.

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While Cold Hard Football Facts has been leading the charge on this, and really gone a long way in getting this story out there, it appears the issue was first noted in this ESPN.com messageboard post by a Seattle fan and trickled out from there to various other boards and websites.

Borges Feeling The Heat

OK, maybe this Borges thing has some legs, after all.

The Editor and Publisher has picked up the story, and Globe Sports editor Joe Sullivan says that they are looking into the allegations that Borges copied another writer’s work.

Should we demand that the Globe give us more information than the statement that Sullivan issued? Doesn’t he owe it to the fans to explain? It is rather amusing to see he and the Globe on the other side of things here.

Adam Reilly on the Phoenix Media Log also has a look at Ron Borges lifting paragraphs from a Tacoma News Tribune story by Mike Sando, and says that he has a call into Globe editor Marty Baron and Borges himself for comment on the issue. Jessica Heslam in the Herald Messenger Blog also has a request into the Globe.

I still think that the Globe will try to brush this off, that Borges really won’t face any major punitive actions here, but the more publicity that this gets, the more likely that the Globe will have to take some action, beyond the usual “clarification” that would’ve most likely run had this just been noticed by a few people.

I wonder if the sports copy desk (no pun intended) gets thrown under the bus for this incident…

The other thing about this, is that this happens quite often in the Sunday Notes columns. It is not unusual for some Globe writers to grab material from other sources and dump it into the column, and then hide under the disclaimer at the end of the column. It is something that has bothered me for some time.

Deadspin has picked up on this story as well.

David Scott says that it is time for Borges to be suspended, if not fired by the Globe.

The Cold Hard Football Facts blog is publishing emails as they come in on the matter. My own inbox is filling up with emails on the topic as well.

I’ll try to keep you posted as things continue to develop on this issue.

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Bella English held a chat on Boston.com regarding her interview with Bill Belichick in yesterday’s Globe.

Speaking of Bella, she repeated in the story yesterday another item that seems to have become taken as gospel in some quarters when she stated that Belichick was seen “Brushing past a victorious Peyton Manning after losing the AFC championship to the Indianapolis Colts.”

This photo would indicate that Belichick did more than simply “brush past” Manning.

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Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback leads with a look at the Adalius Thomas contract.

Don Banks also has some snap judgments from the first weekend of free agency.

ESPN Ombudsman George Solomon has his monthly column on the network, focusing this time on the network’s blanket coverage of John Amaechi’s recent revelation that he is gay.

Richard Sandomir doesn’t know who DirecTV can improve the Extra Innings package as they have promised to do.

David Barron has more on the DirecTV-MLB marriage.

Neil Best looks at Jason Whitlock’s take on NBA All Star weekend in Las Vegas.

Check out and sign up for (free!) the Ning BSMW Social Network.

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Tonight

7:00pm, ESPN – Colonial Athletic Final – George Mason/VCU
7:00pm, Versus – Islanders @ Rangers
9:00pm, ESPN – West Coast Conf. Final – Gonzaga/Santa Clara
9:00pm, ESPN2 – Metro Atlantic Final – Siena/Niagara

Borges Slants Slash Signing

I woke up this Sunday morning actually looking forward to reading the papers and learning more about the Patriots free agent shopping spree. I eagerly anticipated reading about how the signing of Adalius Thomas was a can’t miss move that would reinvigorate the Patriots defense.

I should’ve known better.

Who else but Ron Borges would attempt to throw a wet blanket on the signing of a player many seem to think is a perfect fit for the Patriots?

Before I even looked at the Globe, I had glanced in my email and found it filled with messages about Borges’ latest two-faced stance. For a Sunday morning, when things are usually pretty quiet in the my inbox, this immediately signaled to me that this must be bad.

I’ve leave it to one of the emailers, a neighbor of mine up here in NH, (well, a couple towns over) to tell you about the Borges flip-flop:

Dear Bruce:

Love your BSMW website.

In his endless quest to discredit Bill Belichick and the Pats, the Boston Globe’s Ron Borges has once again submitted a hatchet job that manipulates the facts and contradicts his own writings from a few days earlier:

It must have been quite a challenge for Borges to somehow, some way paint a negative picture of the Pats signing of Adalius Thomas Saturday, especially since only one day earlier in an article posted on MSNBC.com, Borges himself placed Thomas first on his list of free agents “most likely to deliver value for their services”

In his Sunday Globe article, Borges rolls out the weak argument doubting Thomas because of his age, his price tag, and the history of defensive players after the leave Baltimore. There are a number of Borgisms in the article, but my favorite occurs when he proceeds to manipulate Ozzie Newsome’s quotes regarding Thomas, player value and free agency:

“This was not an 11th-hour decision,” Newsome said. “We’ve been facing that since the beginning of training camp [in 2006], knowing that we could have to make that decision. I think it was a fair decision. I think it was fair to the organization and fair for A.D.

“I had a chance to sit down and talk with him the Monday before I came to the combine and explained our position, gave him an opportunity to talk to me. I think it was the fair thing to do.

“The way we approach it, we come to the threshold of what we think the player’s value is in Baltimore. When it goes beyond that, then we don’t mind them going out the door. If we lose them, we feel like we can go out and find some more.”

Sounds good Ron, but you forgot to mention that the last paragraph was actually spoken by Ozzie in direct response to a reporter’s question about Tony Pashos and Jarret Johnson!

Just another example of how Borges’ personal vendetta against Belichick makes him a joke. I’d love to see you expose him some more on your website, if you so desire.

Thanks for a great website!

Glenn R, Deerfield, NH

Just so we’re clear, here’s exactly what Borges said two days ago in the MSNBC column:

Best values
1. Adalius Thomas, LB: He wants a $18 million signing bonus and will probably get it, likely from the 49ers. Wherever he goes, the 270-pound Thomas appears headed toward making an impact.

And today in the Globe, it is:

Long before the free agency period began, strong side linebacker Adalius Thomas was designated the year’s premier catch by many pundits and personnel men. Perhaps he will prove to be just that, but if history is any predictor, he should be approached with caution.

And later on:

What is worrisome, though, is whether the source of that production was more Thomas or the people around him.

Back in a Boston.com chat on February 2nd, Borges also stated that he really liked Thomas as a free agent target.

Does Ron really think people aren’t going to notice when he pulls stuff like this?

Another thing…one of Borges’ themes in the Thomas column today seems to be that if the Ravens let Thomas go, then that should be a caution sign to the rest of the league because Ravens’ players don’t seem to go on to be stars elsewhere.

OK, but, how how many times has he mentioned that same history regarding teams giving big money to ex-PATRIOTS?

Never. It’s always that the Patriots are cheap and unwilling to pay.

Plus, he likes the attention.

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Also in the Globe, Bella English has an interview with Bill Belichick.

The result is actually slightly disappointing. English says the interview lasted two hours, but the results aren’t more than most die hard Patriots fans would already know. After all, Belichick has been here for 7 years, 3 Super Bowls and 2 books.

There is one redeeming quote in the interview, which lends more support to my story last week that Belichick isn’t really involved in that NJ divorce case:

“The whole Bill Belichick issue is not really relevant,” says Mario Delmonico, the judge’s law clerk. “It’s just about trying to destroy a reputation. What it’s really doing is wasting money” in attorneys’ fees.

And wasting a lot of ink.

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For more on the Thomas signing, and the rest of the Patriots busy free agent weekend, Mike Reiss has a wrapup, Dan Pires notes that Thomas isn’t a free agent splash, he’s a tidal wave. Shalise Manza Young has more on the former Ravens linebacker. John Tomase has a look at Thomas making up his mind quickly and Wes Welker.

Karen Guregian has Tedy Bruschi shrugging off retirement talk and getting excited about next season.

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Sunday Notes Columns

Globe Football Notes by Ron Borges. (Seahawk is a better catch)
Herald Football Notes by Michael Felger. (Buck-ing their trend)
MetroWest Football Notes by Albert Breer. (Versatile Thomas a good fit)

Globe Baseball Notes by Nick Cafardo. (Routinely brilliant pitcher)
Herald Baseball Notes by Tony Massarotti. (Cubs eye playoff buy)
Standard-Times Baseball Notes by Jon Couture. (Old face fields a new question)
MetroWest Baseball Notes by Art Davidson. (Coleman gets fresh start with Lakeland)

Globe Basketball Notes by Peter May. (Sailing along in Atlantic)
Herald Basketball Notes by Mark Murphy. (Isiah: Giant steps for Big Al, et al)
MetroWest Basketball Notes by Scott Souza. (Johnson’s death brings C’s closer)

Globe Hockey Notes by Kevin Paul Dupont. (Crude facts of salary cap life)
Herald Hockey Notes by Steve Conroy. (Home performance gives some cause for optimism)
MetroWest Hockey Notes by Douglas Flynn. (Crash course in chemistry)

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TV Today

Noon, CBS – Kentucky @ Florida (HD)
12:30pm, FSN – Timberwolves @ Celtics (HD)
12:30pm, ABC – Desperados @ Dragons (AFL)
12:30m, NBC – Flyers @ Penguins (HD)
1:00pm, TV38 – Clemson @ Virginia Tech
2:00pm, CBS – Missouri Valley Championship (HD)
2:00pm, ESPN2 – NASCAR Busch Series: Mexico 200 (HD)
3:00pm, NESN – Boston College @ Georgia Tech
3:30pm, ABC – Lakers @ Suns (HD)
4:00pm, CBS – North Carolina @ Duke (HD)
7:00pm, NESN – Bruins @ Devils (HD)
8:00pm, ESPN – Jazz @ Hornets (HD)

Borges Plays Both Ways (Update)

I just received the following email:

[email protected]

to [email protected]

date Jan 19, 2007 1:17 PM

subject your incorrect blog entry

Dear Bruce,
It has come to my attention that you have erroneously claimed todfay that Ipicked the Patriots to defeat the Colts on MSNBC’s website. I have received several e-mails asking about this and informed them, as I am you, that no such pick was ever made. My pick in both the Globe and in several other public forums was, and remains, the Colts in what I believe will be a close
game.
I was asked to write a column on the Patriots’ take on this game and to answer the question of whether or not they were good enough to return to the Super Bowl this year, which they are. So are (or in some cases were) several other teams now on the sidelines as well as the four still playing.
I did as requested and certainly anyone like yourself could make a strong case for New England winning Sunday and advancing to Super Bowl XLI. However, I just re-read the article on MSNBC to see where I might have “picked the Patriots,” as you have written. No where did I do any such thing. That was not a prediction column, as any media analyst like yourself would surely know. Iit was a column in which I was asked to answer how, and if, they could advance and how the two sides felt about it.
While I would agree that the headline was misleading and has since been changed after I spoke with editors out there, for you, a self-proclaimed media watchdog, not to know the writer has nothing to do with the headline on a story calls into question in the simplest way your fitness to criticize the media. Worse, to have read that article and then to claim a prediction was made was beyond misleading. It was false and, as you often do, misread what was written and mislead your constituencyHow does “may make them good enough” become a prediction of their winning the game? how does, “that does not mean it’s a given they can do it again” become a prediction they will win the game? How does “unless they (the Colts) lost to them” become a prediction that they will lose the game? how does, “there are 53 guys in New England (which as I’m sure you know is their roster) who believe” become Ron Borges’ believes?
I assume, as the fair-minded man you purport yourself to be, you will immediately write a retraction of your earlier remarks so that your readers are not mislead by you.
Ron Borges

The MSNBC piece headline for the article below has been changed to reflect the fact that the article is not a prediction, but instead analysis, with no actual prediction being made within the article.

However, the slant of the article is clearly in the favor of the Patriots. The average reader would come away from this piece with the conclusion that the author is picking the Patriots. The original headline reflected that, and while the writer doesn’t compose the headlines, they’re based on the feel of the article. In this case, Borges certainly fooled the headline writer and many others into thinking he was picking the Patriots Sunday. Read the MSNBC article again and see what you think.

However, I’ll retract the statement that Ron Borges picked both sides this week. I was wrong. That’s the bottom line. My bad.

I’m also glad to see that Borges is very concerned about misleading readers.

Actually, my intern was wrong. Yeah.

Listen to The Big Show’s take on the Ron Borges MSNBC article.

Borges: Belichick to Houston

David Scott has a further look at the Smerlas/Ordway Tailgate article in the Globe last weekend, some Tom O’Brien observations and a number of other items.

We’ve got another Friday edition of the Game Day Roundtable posted, with topics ranging from Eugene Wilson, to Tom Brady’s fourth quarter performance and the ever popular mediot of the week.

Exchange on FSN’s Four Downs with Felger last night.

Michael Felger: (Talking about the many coaches that are rumored to have their jobs in danger) Do we have to worry about Bill Belichick on any of these lists?

Ron Borges: Yeah. I think, I mean, he has been connected several times with people I know to Houston, that they may do something there. They’re getting tired of losing, they brought in a new coach, they’re losing again, and you know, there’s tons of money there…

Felger: Bill Belichick in Houston – are you serious?

Borges: Well, with a dynamic personality like that he’d fit right in with a cowboy hat and everything.

Then Felger recapped what he knows about Belichick’s contract status, that three years ago the Patriots said he had been extended two years and that according to those calculations, this was the last year of his contract. Sounds to me like Borges is “throwing it out there” and trying to stir things up once again. The shot at Belichick’s personality when Felger questioned if he was serious seems to confirm that.

Add to that Robert Kraft’s comments in Borges’ own paper, the Boston Globe on January 18th, 2006:

Kraft said yesterday, however, that any representation of next season as the final year of Belichick's contract would be untrue.

"It's our intention that Bill will be the coach for some time," Kraft said. "Bill Belichick and his staff have done a great job. In many ways, the coaching job this year was his most outstanding.

"He's not about ego and the sidebar privileges that come with being the head coach. He represents the face of our team and family with values that we feel are important. Trust in this business is very important. When the tough times come in this business, the arrows start flying, and you have to stick together. We have the utmost trust in Bill Belichick."

Bledsoe Turned to Borges for Advice…

A transcript of a segment of the Mike Felger show on ESPN Boston yesterday afternoon, regarding the time 5 years ago when Bill Belichick made the decision to stick with Tom Brady even after Bledsoe was ready to play again. Borges claims he felt Belichick made the right decision, but didn’t like how it was handled:


Borges: What I was up in arms about was the fact that he LIED to the guy about what the situation was gonna be in terms of what he had to do to win his job back.

Felger: OK, let me ask you about that. Why do we care so much that a football coach lies? What’s the diff? He’s a football coach!

Borges: Well, because I think if you want your players, to…I just don’t think it’s a smart way to deal with the players. If you want to lie to me, fine, they make a living doing that. They want to lie to you, they lie to you everyday.

Felger: How did Belichick lie? What did he say to Drew?

Borges: What Bledsoe said to him at the original meeting, when he was cleared to practice, and I know this firsthand, for a lot of reasons,

Felger: Why…you were sitting there on the couch?

Borges: I PREPARED THE GUY TO GO MEET HIM! Quite frankly!

Felger: Hold on…so you talked…Bledsoe called you up and said “Ron, I’m about to go talk to Belichick, help me out”

Borges: He said, you know, how’s this, what’s the, how do you think this is likely to go down? And I told him, which turned out to be exactly what it was. I said, when he says to you, uh, you’re going to have to show in practice, which is, of course what he said, you need to ask him how long you have…

Felger: Meaning what? What do you mean how long you have?

Borges: In other words, Are you going to look for a week, and then make a decision, do I have two weeks? Do I have 10 weeks? How long do I have? And according to the way that…it was related back to me what happened in that meeting, it was a question he didn’t anticipate. And you know how…you’ve seen Belichick when he doesn’t…uh…know what’s coming…

Felger: Well, he’s not really quick with the…retorts.

Borges: Right, and his response was ‘as long as you need’, Well, you know, once you say that, I think, I have as long as I need.

Felger: If I’m a professional athlete, certainly in the NFL, which has as cutthroat no-guarantee contracts, obviously we know the deal in the NFL, I don’t…I don’t buy what anyone says to me. There’s no such thing as lying.

Borges: That’s why you’re not a player in the NFL.

Then that morphed into a conversation about how players do what their coaches tell them, even when they know it isn’t going to work.

We knew that Bledsoe was a favorite of many of the media members. It was rumored that he was the source of many of the “inside” stories that would come out of the Patriots organization. Now we have Borges admitting…no, BRAGGING that the Patriots quarterback called him up to ask him advice about how to handle a confrontation with his head coach.

Maybe Drew recalled Borges’ confrontation with Pete Carroll a couple years earlier and thought, “Hmmm, now that’s a guy I’m going to turn to when I need some advice for how to best navigate a delicate situation with my coach.”

It’s a story that doesn’t reflect well on either Bledsoe or Borges. So much for the objectivity of the press, huh?

Then a little later, Belichick’s place in the history of the game came up:

Caller: …he wins one more ring, he’s the best coach in the history of the NFL. No one could argue that.

Felger: Ron, could you argue that?

Borges: Oh, I’m sure I could find a way.

Felger: You don’t think he’s one of the great coaches of all time?

Borges: I didn’t say that! There you go…you got no ears on your head, either!

Felger: Question mark. I didn’t accuse, I asked…I said do you think…do you not think he’s one of the greatest coaches of all time?

Borges: He’s one of the great coaches of all time.

Felger: That’s a big admission, right there Ron.

Borges: It’s NOT. I always say he’s a good coach. Doesn’t mean he’s not a lousy person.

Kevin Winter: You’ve said it before about inducting him if it ever happens…

Borges: Yeah, I’m the guy who’s got to make the speech. And it will be a helluva speech.

Well, that’s nice of Ron. He does manage to sneak the “lousy person” line in there even when admitting that the guy is one of the best coaches in the history of the NFL. I’m sure all the other coaches in the Hall are great people. Ron’s speech should really be a “helluva” speech…I wonder how many snide comments about the type of person Borges believes Belichick to be will be mixed in with all his career accomplishments.

Return of the Broadsheet Bully

Ron Borges had a rough few days here covering the Deion Branch contract situation and trying his best at every turn to attempt to make the Patriots look bad. Here’s a look at a few statements made by the Boston Globe columnist, and some rebuttal thoughts on each:

From Friday’s Patriots dropped the ball column:

If their trade demands are absurd (read that a first-round pick or more when Donte’ Stallworth was worth only a fourth and a backup player, and Ashley Lelie cost basically a third-round pick and a short-yardage runner), what then happens to Branch?

Borges and the like can say that the Patriots can only get a mid-round draft pick or spare part because that’s what players like Lelie, Stallworth, etc were expected to fetch and that the Patriots are being unreasonable if they demand more. So is Borges saying that Branch is only on the level of a Stallworth/Lelie type?

However, Borges and others ALSO think Branch should get the 43 million dollar Reggie Wayne contract, and that isn’t unreasonable because he’s worth it, to them. So why isn’t he worth more in a trade? Isn’t the Reggie Wayne leve of receiver worth more in a trade than a Donte Stallworth or Ashley Lelie? Is Branch closer to Stallworth/Lelie or Joey GallowayKeyshawn Johnson? (Each were traded for two first round picks)

Follow along this further, if the Patriots see this through to the bitter end, and allow Branch to come back after week 10, and then franchise him next spring, other teams can still sign him…but will need to give the Patriots two first round picks. If that is the case, why should the team settle for a second rounder now? And why is demanding a first round pick now “absurd” as Borges says?

Borges went through the usual Patriots are “cheap” routine, and went through a list of “what if these teams allowed their receivers to leave” scenarios. This was a nice Straw Man tactic used by Borges.

While we’re talking cheap…let’s talk cheapness for a moment…were the Steelers cheap with Antwaan Randle El?…..Colts cheap with Edgerin James?……Jets with John Abraham?…..Bills with Nate Clements (who they franchised)….Denver with Trevor Pryce?….Saints with LeCharles Bentley?….Seattle with Steve Hutchinson?

In addition, one of the scenarios Borges outlined above was Pittsburgh allowing Randle El and Hines Ward to leave. Well, the Steelers did allow Randle El to leave, (as the Patriots did with Givens) however, Ward is still there, and Branch should still be here had he honored the last year of his contract.

The holes in Borges’ faulty reasoning are endless…another quote from the same article:

but no team has yet won a Super Bowl by running the ball and throwing to their tight ends.

As emailer Malachi S. points out:

In the last 10 years alone, both the ’97 Broncos and the ’00 Ravens did exactly that. Both teams were led in receptions by their tight end (Shannon Sharpe) and both ran the ball exceptionally well.

From Saturday’s Branch offers refused column:

According to the Jets, their offer of a second-round choice was flatly rejected, with no counter demand made by the Patriots.

The insinuation is that the Patriots have acted in bad faith by not counter offering. According to most published reports, Chayut and Branch have never countered the Patriots first contract offer of months ago. Who is negotiating in bad faith here?

The point has been made elsewhere, but bears repeating here: If these offers from the Jets and Seahawks were so genuine and sincere…then why did they come in at the last moment? Especially on the Jets side, it seems to be nothing more than trying to cause trouble for a division rival.

in the second section of Borges’ Sunday Football Notes:

It became fashionable for some Patriots toadies in and out of the media to attack not Deion Branch but his agent, Jason Chayut, since Branch’s summer-long holdout began, but Chayut proved his point Friday.

A disappointing development has seen Borges turning into little more than a toadie for agents such as Jason Chayut and Brad Blank. You’ll recall that Borges had up close and personal access to David Givens’ foray into free agency, thanks to their mutually shared agent, Blank. This relationship was of course never mentioned in the Globe stories.

With Chayut, Borges again seems to be trying to send a message…essentially separating himself from other media types and giving his support to Chayut. Borges’ anti-management stand (except when it comes to the Raiders) has been well documented. With more organizations becoming tight-lipped about their dealings, agents have become reporter’s best friends. Of course, their statements are always going to be ridiculously slanted in favor of their clients, making them not the most objective sources for stories.

As reader Dana B emailed in:

His over-the-top defense of agent Chayut tells us more about Borges than it does about the dispute. We know that he is rabidly anti-management. One might conclude that his support of the agent is an extension of that bias. I think the larger agenda here is to demonstrate his support for agents generally, who just might be his best source of insider info to help fill his columns. Why otherwise launch an ad hominem broadside at his colleagues and readers than to send a friendly signal. And then he panders to the poor players claiming that “… no one in the Patriots locker room feels Branch deserves to be treated this way.

You also gotta question a guy who has defended Don King to the point of blows with another writer having the audacity to call anyone else a “toadie.”

Just as significant is that no one in the Patriots locker room feels Branch deserves to be treated this way.

No one, huh Ron? Did you talk to every single person in there? I think you forgot to add “They hate their coach.” This “locker room unrest” theme was just way too predictable, not to mention impossible to prove or disprove.

To top everything off, after all this work, Borges can’t be pleased that Mike Reiss ran a column yesterday (Experts don’t back Branch) which said that Branch faces a tough battle in winning his grievances.

Borges did some great work over the summer covering the NFL’s search for a new commissioner to replace Paul Tagliabue. His reporting of the candidates and selection process was top notch and a credit to the Globe. It even had me rethinking an earlier position on Borges. However, this recent coverage again shows that Borges should not be allowed anywhere near a Patriots story, as he is simply incapable of writing objectively about the team. Keep on the national NFL beat…just keep him away from Foxboro.