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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bedard politely declined comment when approached about the rumor.

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

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

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

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A couple media links from today:

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

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

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

NY Times – Ortiz and Ramirez Failed Drug Tests in 2003

Michael S. Schmidt in the New York Times reports that “according to lawyers with knowledge of the results” both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were among the 103 MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs back in 2003.

That was the first year baseball tested players, and the results were supposed to remain anonymous.  However, names have started to leak out, and now in addition to Ortiz and Ramirez, the names of Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Jason Grimsley and David Segui have been tied to the list.

My question is when do the names of the lawyers who are leaking confidential information come out?

Will WEEI Add FM Simulcast In Boston?

Will the new WBZ-FM The SportsHub force Entercom to get themselves a WEEI presence on the FM airwaves in Boston?

To this point, there has really been no reason for Entercom/WEEI to make the move to FM in Boston, (They’ve already gone to FM in Providence) the AM signal is strong, and there hasn’t been competition on the FM airwaves to compel them to make this move.

With WBZ-FM starting up at 98.5FM next month, is now the time for WEEI to get simulcast on FM radio in the Boston area? Might they even try to beat the new station to the FM dial?

If they decided to make this move, they have a few options available.

Entercom has three FM frequencies currently in Boston, plus the 103.7 WEEI-FM in Rhode Island.

They have “Active” rock station WAAF, which is broadcast on 97.7 and 107.3 and there is WMKK “MikeFM” variety hits which is on 93.7

Here are the signal coverage maps for the three frequencies:

Coverage area for WAAF 107.3 FM

Coverage area for WKAF 97.7 FM

Coverage area for WMKK 93.7 FM

And here is WEEI – Daytime and Nighttime.

(Read their Frequently Asked Questions about these coverage maps)

Since WAAF is already broadcasting on two frequencies, if they wanted to, Entercom could simulcast WEEI on FM without taking another station off the air. They could just take either 107.3 or 97.7 and make that a WEEI simulcast.

Putting them on 97.7 would place them near to 98.5 as well as to the other FM talker on the dial, WTKK 96.9. Or do they move WMKK to one of the current WAAF frequencies and put WEEI on 93.7?

Would they take the WEEI-FM call letters away from Providence (maybe make it WWEI-FM or something) and give them to the new Boston FM station?

There’s an interesting thread on this topic at the radio-info.com website: Entercom waited too long…

Rodney Harrison Likely Heading to NBC

Karen Guregian had mentioned this morning that the Patriots would be setting up a conference call for Rodney Harrison tomorrow, where the hard-hitting safety would announce his plans for the future.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol will make NFL talent announcements on a media conference call tomorrow at Noon ET. It has been announced that the commentators will also be on the call.

The two events would seem to dovetail nicely, with Harrison announcing his retirement as a player, and moving into a commentary role on television.

There’s also a small chance Harrison could end up on the NFL Network (where his former teammate Ty Law has been spotted in recent days), but NBC seems more likely, where Harrison could replace Jerome Bettis, who is reportedly out at the network.

Harrison worked for NBC on their Super Bowl coverage this season, and showed a lot of promise. Neil Best is ready to bet his kids college fund that Harrison and Tony Dungy will be introduced by Ebersol tomorrow.  

Mike Reiss  also touched on the topic in his blog today.

Manny Ramirez To Be Suspended For Postive Drug Test

According to the Los Angeles Times Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games following a positive test for performance enhancing drugs.

I shouldn’t be, but I’m speechless.

Mike Adams, Gerry Callahan, John Dennis. et al, have at it….

Will Carroll  has been keeping up with all of this all day through Twitter. It’s all pretty weird:

Yahoo! Sports – Source: Ramirez’s substance a sexual enhancer

ESPN – Sources: Ramirez used fertility drug

New York Times Co Looking To Sell Globe, 17.5% Share of Red Sox?

From an article by Russell Adams in the Wall Street Journal late yesterday:

The Times Co., which faces a cash shortage accelerated by steep industrywide revenue declines, has been rumored for months to be open to selling non-core assets. Besides its flagship newspaper, the Times Co. owns the Boston Globe, About.com and a 17.5% stake in New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Red Sox, their fabled ballpark Fenway Park and most of the cable network that airs their games.

The Times Co. pushed discussions beyond the exploration phase early last month at a quarterly meeting of NESV’s limited partners at which the Times Co. indicated to the partnership its intention to sell. Since then Times Co. has been pursuing potential buyers, according to people familiar with the discussions. A Times spokeswoman declined to comment.

It is unclear what the Times Co. thinks it can get for its stake. Barclays Capital estimates the Times Co.’s investment is worth about $166 million; analysts and sports bankers recently told Reuters the Times Co. could raise at least $200 million if it sold its stake.

The Times Co. acquired its stake in NESV when it joined John Henry in the hedge fund billionaire’s $700 million purchase of the Red Sox in 2002. It is the second largest shareholder behind Mr. Henry. The stake was supposed to shore up the Globe’s advertising position in New England by packaging the Globe with New England Sports Network, one of the most powerful television outlets in the region. But it wasn’t enough to stop the decline in advertisers and readers.

It’s possible that the Globe could be packaged with the sports assets in a sale; Jack Connors, a former ad executive in Boston, and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch took a serious look at the Globe two years ago, when people close to them said they were valuing it at $550-600 million at the time. The Times rebuffed the inquiries. The Globe was recently valued by Barclay’s at $20 million.

Lynch Gets Scoop on Teixeira Talks

WCVB-TV’s Mike Lynch reported tonight that Red Sox officials were down in Texas tonight meeting face-to-face (an indication of progress in the talks) with agent Scott Boras about free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Other outlets jumped quickly to confirm the story, but Lynch was the first in with the news.

WEEI.com: Report: Red Sox officials meeting Boras to talk Teixeira

Boston.com: Reports: Sox in Texas meeting on Teixeira

BostonHerald.com: Ch. 5: Red Sox meeting with Boras now in Texas about Teixeira

Update: 11:15 pm Now apparently the Sox are out of it, after John Henry sent an email to media members saying that after listening to the other offers that Teixeira got, the Red Sox are “not going to be a factor” in the race to sign the free agent.

Wow. I don’t understand why Henry would email the media on this.  Does he love the drama?

This is Manny’s fault. I’m sure of it.

King: McDaniels Gone in ’09

Peter King on NBC’s Football Night in America:

I’ll make this vow right now – the one thing we know about the NFL in 2009 is that Josh McDaniels will be one of the 32 head coaches in the NFL.

Is this really that much of a forgone conclusion? Others closer to the team have said this year that McDaniels will likely not pursue a head coaching position this offseason, realizing that he still has a ways to go and things to learn before he’s ready for that position.

McDaniels may get offers from around the league, but it says here he’ll be back with the Patriots next season.

Patriots Items on NFL Pregame Shows

A couple of notes from the NFL Pregame shows today involving the Patriots.

From the NFL Network NFL Gameday Morning:

Adam Schefter had the following report:

Based on the hard-line stance the league is taking on cheap shot and Vince Wilfork’s prior record of controversial hits, the New England defensive tackle is staring straight at the possibility of being suspended for next Sunday night’s game at Indianapolis for a hit he delivered Monday night vs. Denver. During the first quarter of Monday night’s win over the Broncos, Wilfork threw a blatant elbow at Jay Cutler after Patriots S Rodney Harrison knocked down the Denver quarterback. As Cutler attempted to get up, Wilfork drilled the quarterback in the head with an elbow that caught the attention of the Broncos and the NFL. Ironically, the only penalty called on the play came against Broncos OT Ryan Harris – who defended Cutler, knocked down Harrison and drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. ESPN cameras failed to capture Wilfork’s hit. But the coaches’ tape caught it and the league noticed it. Disciplinary action against Wilfork could come as early as this week for a player who has another controversial hit on his resume. Last September, the NFL fined Wilfork $12,500 for landing his right elbow on Bills QB J.P. Losman’s left knee. The elbow drew a penalty and knocked Losman out of the lineup, paving the way for Bills QB Trent Edwards to take over and the league to be monitoring Wilfork. This time Wilfork could be facing a fine and or a suspension.

On CBS’ The NFL Today, Charlie Casserly had the following to say on reports this week that Tom Brady’s knee surgeries weren’t going well:

I talked to someone who is very familiar with the specifics of the surgery. They told me first of all, he had his ACL repaired using his own patellar tendon. An open repair on the MCL, just like Carson Palmer had. Five days after the surgery, there was swelling around the MCL incision. A few days later the whole knee swelled up. They then went in and flushed out both incisions. The second flushing out was just precautionary. Right now everything looks like it’s a go for next season for him to be able to play. Now if the graft doesn’t take and they have to redo the surgery, that would happen in January. We had a player with the Texans, exactly the same time frame. October surgery, graft doesn’t take. January surgery, he played that year. All is not lost if Brady has to have another surgery. I believe he will play next year.

Jay Mariotti Coming To Boston? (Updated)

Please, no.

Chicago columnist Jay Mariotti abruptly resigned his position with the Chicago Sun-Times this week, to “pursue other opportunities.” At the same time, he proclaimed newspapers a dying industry and stated that sportswriting has become “entirely a Web site business.” (Which he might be correct about.)

This morning, Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal ended his column on Mariotti with the following chilling passage:

One rumor on which Mariotti would not comment had him bound for Boston and an array of multimedia opportunities. How he would find flaws in a city with defending champs in basketball and baseball is anyone’s guess.

“An array of multimedia opportunities” – where would he get those? WEEI.com? (BSMW colleague David Scott has already gotten a denial from an Entercom source) Boston.com? They just hired Tony Massarotti to be “the voice of Boston sports on Boston.com.” The Boston Herald to replace Massarotti? That’s a newspaper…a dying industry. A revamped ESPN Boston? Doubtful.

An emailer to BSMW yesterday also stated that Mariotti was dropping hints about Boston his radio show yesterday. I did not hear the clips, so I cannot verify them, but it seems worth mentioning, especially given the content of the Rosenthal column today.

I really hope this does not happen. Marriotti symbolizes pretty much everything that is wrong with the sports media business right now. He’s all about faux controversy, storylines and manufactured outrage. We’ve got enough of that right now in this town.

Update (1:45pm): Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald  has Mariotti saying that he hasn’t talked to anyone about coming to Boston, but that he “would fit right in” here.