Weekend Watch – NHIS in the Spotlight

New Hampshire International Speedway is the center of the NASCAR world this weekend with the LENOX Industrial Tools 300 scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm (TNT). The race will also see the debut of the #99 Red Sox car of Roush Fenway Racing. (There’s plenty more on the weekend at NHIS below.)

Both NBA & NHL free agency periods kick off this weekend…sort of. The NBA allows teams to negotiate with free agents, but cannot actually sign them until July 10th because of the Free Agency Moratorium when “the NBA and NBPA conducts an audit that assists in the determination of the new Salary Cap figure for the following season.” The NHL does not have that moratorium, and can announce deals immediately. Last year the Bruins made a huge splash on July 1st with the signing of Zdeno Chara.

Keep up with any news on the two winter teams at Celticslinks.com and Bruinslinks.com.

The Red Sox return to Fenway Park this weekend after two trips to the West coast in the month of June and badly in need of some home cooking. The Texas Rangers provide the opposition this weekend as they invade Fenway for a four game series. Keep up with the action at RedSoxLinks.com.

——————————————–

The Hartford Courant redesigned their web page this week, and at the same time made some rather unfortunate changes and cuts.

They will no longer be doing their own coverage of the New York Yankees, but instead will be running the stories that appear in New York Newsday. Since both papers are owned by the Tribune company, it was decided to save the money and not run separate coverage of the team. Reader Representative Karen Hunter explains in her blog:

Another reader called this morning to find out if The Courant had cut staff again and why AP stories were being used to report on the Yankees and Red Sox. I offered him the explanation Sports Editor Jeff Otterbein has provided: "Newsday is now covering the Yankees games stories. We have decided, since we also are a Tribune newspaper, to not duplicate efforts, thus freeing Dom [Amore] up to do many other types of stories in New York and Connecticut.”

That did not sit well with the gentleman. We discussed why it mattered whether a Newsday story or a Courant reporter covered the game as long as there was a story in the newspaper. He explained, "That is the one thing I really liked about your paper. The New Haven Register dropped its beat writers years ago and I didn't like that. That's why I started with The Courant. It's more personal. The beat writer is going to know a lot more inside information that I care about. I think it makes a difference. If you're going to do this with the NFL too, well, this is going to make me think very hard about canceling my subscription. I know it's a money thing, but sometimes you have to spend money for quality."

BSMW reader (And Red Sox fan) Tim chimes in:

But this is horrible news. The Courant has decided to run NY Newsday Yankee stories instead of having their own beat writer…removing Dom Amore, who I believe is 2nd in seniority when it comes to Yankee beat writers. I’ve long enjoyed his work; because even though he is an actual Yankee fan, he’s probably the best and most fair beat writer they have.

Later in the blog, Representative Hunter stated that “a Courant reporter would still be covering some of the Red Sox games.” (Emphasis mine)

Followup: I’m told that the Courant plans to cover all remaining Red Sox games this season, except for a 6 game West Coast road trip in August.

Here is a follow up in the Sunday Courant on dropping the Yankees coverage.

——————————————–
Bill Simmons has his annual NBA draft diary column.

Chris Mannix lists the Celtics as the top winners of draft night.

Charley Rosen says the Ray Allen trade is a steal for the Celtics.

Jack McCallum loves the deal for the Celtics.

King Kaufman, not so much.

Bill Barnwell tries to figure out what Patriots fans might be able to expect in terms of production from Wes Welker this season.

Pete Prisco examines the Hall of Fame chances of 45 current NFL stars. Brady, Bruschi, Harrison, Moss and Seymour (along with Adam Vinatieri) are all discussed.

Jesse Noyes looks at the Patriots “international marketing game plan, which stresses going long in China.”

Vic Carucci lists the Patriots among his most improved teams this offseason.

Is Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs interested in buying the Buffalo Bills?

Chad Finn checks in with Nine Innings for FoxSports.

Tom Curran notes that Roger Clemens’ return to the Yankees has not gone as planned.

Tony Massarotti picks the NL All Star team.

———————————————————————-
Sports Media Columns From Around the Country

New England
Susan Bickelhaupt has a number of media notes this week, including a look at the new ABC, ESPN and TNT television contract with the NBA. Bill Doyle in his “Tuning In” column this week, has a look at NESN’s Jayme Parker, who has been “flashing” listeners at WEEI. Tom King talks to Exeter, NH’s Jason Kosow, who pitches for the Nashua Pride, and played the role of Catfish Hunter in ESPN’s upcoming mini-series The Bronx is Burning.

New York
Phil Mushnick wonders if the Chris Benoit tragedy will finally wake up the media to the fact that Vince McMahon has been operating a death mill the past 25 years. Richard Sandomir notes that Brooklyn still has the Dodger blues, which will be stoked with HBO’s upcoming two-part documentary, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush, which will be broadcast July 11. Bob Raissman wonders what will happen to the YES ratings numbers if the Yankees continue to stumble along. Neil Best might be on vacation this week, but he just keeps filling his blog with entries.

More East Coast
Leonard Shapiro has Sam Huff coming back for a 35th season of analyzing Redskins games. Michael Hiestand has David Stern talking about television of the future in discussing the NBA’s new broadcast deal with ABC, ESPN and TNT. Laura Nachman has Jimmy Kimmel promising not to hold back at the ESPY’s, and she also has some awards you won’t see on the broadcast. Bob Smizik has FSN Pittsburgh saying that they won’t show a proposed fan walkout of Saturday’s Pirates game. Jim Williams has Cal Ripken Jr expressing some confidence for the Orioles future in a TBS conference call. Williams also has more on the new NBA TV deal in his Watch This! blog. Chris Zelkovich has 18 year CFL vet Danny McManus heading to the broadcast booth.

South
Dave Darling talks to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about his Orlando roots as part of a look at WFAN’s 20th anniversary. David Barron has a look at Calvin Murphy returning to the Houston airwaves. Barry Jackson has 790 The Ticket moving Sid Rosenberg to mornings to replace Joe Rose, who is expected to join WQAM. He also has former Miami coach Larry Coker heading to ESPNU as an analyst. Barry Horn has Fran Fraschilla talking about the draft.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has a look at how important sourcing is on a hot topic story like the Kevin Garnett trade rumors, where several outlets might be reporting many different things. Teddy Greenstein has an update on the drama surrounding WMVP-AM’s franchise show, “Mac, Jurko & Harry.” Dan Caesar has Tim McKernan, who just left KFNS and his morning show “The Morning Grind,” weighing an offer from SportsNet New York. Bob Wolfley has ESPN’s Andy Katz getting it right with his call of Yi Jianlian being drafted by Milwaukee.

West Coast
Tom Hoffarth has a good look at WFAN marking their 20th anniversary of becoming the first radio station to go to an all-sports format. He also expands on the story even more in his blog, talking to WFAN’s Steve Somers for his thoughts on the anniversary. Jim Carlisle has Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken saying that they have no problem with putting Barry Bonds on the NL All Star team. Carlisle’s notebook looks at some changes at Wimbledon. John Maffei looks at a few announcing gigs being filled in the San Diego market.

————————————————————————————–
From TNT on this weekend’s coverage in New Hampshire:

This Sunday (July 1), TNT will provide exclusive coverage of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Racing from the New Hampshire Intl. Speedway with prerace coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET, leading up to the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET. The network’s pre-race coverage includes analyst Kyle Petty visiting the Victory Junction Gang Camp, which is located in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, and was created in memory of his son Adam. The racing-themed camp serves children with life threatening illnesses and health issues to give them a magical experience full of adventures while maintaining a medically-safe environment. Petty will discuss the camp and its impact on the many children and families that have attended it in the three years since it was founded by he and his wife Pattie.

Also on Sunday, TNT’s Pride of NASCAR series continues with a feature on ‘Gentleman Ned Jarrett,’ a two-time NASCAR Champion with 239 career wins. TNT’s Bill Weber spent a day walking the links with Jarrett as he reminisced about his illustrious career over a round of golf. Topics discussed included Jarrett’s “early” retirement from racing at age 34 in 1966, his second career as a pioneering NASCAR broadcaster, his family (including 1999 Cup Champion son, Dale Jarrett) and his youth in rural North Carolina. Jarrett also recounted his most memorable moment in racing – calling the 1993 Daytona 500 which was won by his son. Additional Pride of NASCAR pieces featuring legends David Pearson, Benny Parsons and Junior Johnson are available to view on TNT Inside Angle on NASCAR.COM and include additional excerpts from the interviews that have not been televised.

Multi-platinum selling rock band Hinder will set the stage on Sunday as they perform a live concert at the race track in Loudon, and TNT will be on hand to air a portion of the concert prior to race. Hinder will play songs from their Extreme Behavior album, including the hits Lips of an Angel and Better than Me as well as their remake of the rock classic Born to Be Wild, which serves as the 2007 NASCAR on TNT Summer Series anthem.

Pre-race coverage will also include a segment featuring NASCAR wives, girlfriends and moms who will dish the dirt on the NASCAR men in their lives, including wives Shana Mayfield (husband is driver Jeremy Mayfield), Kim Wallace (husband is driver Kenny Wallace), Michelle Gilliland (husband is driver David Gilliland), the girlfriend of Kyle Busch, Erica Dewey, and Ryan Newman’s mother. The network will also air footage from Ralph Sheheen’s night with the drivers from Roush Racing as they headed to Fenway Park for a Boston Red Sox game. In the last year, Roush Racing and the Fenway Sports Group formed Roush Fenway Racing.

TNT’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Racing from New Hampshire begins at 1 p.m. ET with NASCAR on TNT Live! and Allstate Countdown to Green featuring TNT announcers Marc Fein (host), Bill Weber (host and play-by-play announcer), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst) and Larry McReynolds (analyst/reporter). The pit reporting crew of Marty Snider, Matt Yocum, Ralph Sheheen and Lindsay Czarniak will check in throughout pre-race coverage and during the race which revs up at 2:30 p.m. ET.

From ESPN on this weekend’s coverage in New Hampshire:

ESPN on ABC’s NASCAR Countdown will have a live preview at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday of the NASCAR Busch Series Camping World 200 presented by RV.com at New Hampshire International Speedway. Brent Musburger will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN Pit Studio, while two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Chevy Cutaway Car. Dale Jarrett, one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Busch Series and the 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion, will work in the ESPN booth as analyst for the telecast, joined by two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dr. Jerry Punch will handle play-by-play.

NASCAR Countdown will include segments from pit reporters Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro as the NASCAR Busch Series makes its only appearance of 2007 at the 1.058-mile New England oval.

NASCAR Countdown will originate from the ESPN Pit Studio at New Hampshire International Speedway as it sets the stage for ESPN2’s coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series race Saturday. Highlights include:

Juan Pablo Montoya: Has he arrived?
NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya won his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Race at Sonoma on June 24 – his second road course win of the season after taking the checkered flag in the NASCAR Busch Series race in March in Mexico City. ESPN pit reporter Mike Massaro will report on Montoya’s accomplishments this year and his return to the NASCAR Busch Series after a three-week break. Massaro will ask the questions, “What do these wins mean?” and “Has he ‘officially arrived’ or does he still need an ‘oval win’ to show he will be a NASCAR force?”

Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin’s win at Milwaukee
Last week’s NASCAR Busch Series come-from-behind win for the No. 20 car officially was designated as Aric Almirola’s first NASCAR Busch Series win in the record books, but NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin was behind the wheel at the finish. ESPN’s Allen Bestwick will report on Hamlin’s “unofficial win” in Milwaukee when he arrived late by helicopter to replace Almirola. Hamlin managed to come from a lap down to bring the No. 20 car to victory lane. The feature will include thoughts from Almirola on being pulled from the car even after leading a majority of the race to that point.

NASCAR driver Jon Wood Returns to Racing at Daytona
ESPN pit reporter Dave Burns will have the first sit-down interview with NASCAR Busch Series driver Jon Wood, son of legendary owner Ed Wood, who is set to return to the No. 47 car next Friday at Daytona. Wood has been absent from the NASCAR Busch Series for more than a month, after dealing with a misdiagnosis for ADD.

Companion Weekend: NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Races at New Hampshire
After three straight weeks of stand-alone NASCAR Busch Series racing, the series rejoins the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup at New Hampshire International Speedway. NASCAR Countdown reporters and analysts will report on the chances for a win for NASCAR Busch Series regulars Stephen Leicht, Steven Wallace, Jason Leffler, Marcos Ambrose and others while many of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers will pull double duty at the track, including NEXTEL Cup driver Tony Stewart, who had a win at New Hampshire in 2005.

Weekend Watch – NHL Draft

The Red Sox are in San Diego for an interleague series with the Padres this weekend. The series features three pretty good pitching matchups, led off by Daisuke Matsuzaka facing off against Greg Maddux on Friday night. Saturday night is Tim Wakefield against Chris Young, and then Sunday afternoon features a beauty with Josh Beckett, (10-1, 3.14) taking on the Padres Jake Peavy (9-1, 1.98)

The NHL draft starts tonight using a model that the NFL is thinking about going to with the first round in prime time starting at 7:00 on Versus, while rounds 2-7 will be tomorrow starting at 10:00am.

——————–
Gotta love the Big Show’s reaction to the post here Wednesday afternoon about Gerry Callahan’s condition. Rather than address or dismiss concerns about the health of the morning show co-host, Glenn Ordway attacked what was a side observation of the post and proudly exclaimed that they have indeed been making fun of Callahan, pointing out that they’ve made the sex change operation jokes almost every day! Good for them. There’s nothing like the “We’ve been making sex change operation jokes every day about him” comeback to shut up the critics…

———————————————–
A reminder that my “headline dashboards” for each of the four major Boston pro teams are now finished, and you can use them at any time to check out the latest headlines from the local papers, national sites and fan blogs on the local teams.

RedSoxLinks.com (In San Diego this weekend)

BruinsLinks.com (Draft weekend)

CelticsLinks.com (Draft and Trade Rumors)

PatriotsLinks.com

Please update your bookmarks, as these are new URL’s and will be the permanent homes to these dashboards as I continue to add onto them.

————————————————
Former Globe sports staffer Dave Doyle, who couldn’t get off the high school beat at the Globe under Joe Sullivan and had left to carve out a nice role for himself over at FoxSports.com, is on the move again as he has accepted a position as Mixed Martial Arts/Boxing producer for Yahoo! Sports. In that role, he’ll be traveling around the country to the major UFC shows and boxing matches. Seems like he hasn’t done too badly for himself since deciding he wasn’t going anywhere at the Globe.

————————————————
Chris Jenkins looks at Red Sox fans invading stadiums all over the country, including this weekend in San Diego.

John Donovan of SI.com looks at the patience that the Red Sox have shown in Dustin Pedroia paying off in a big way.

Tony Massarotti looks at the risks involved in big-name free agent pitchers.

Tom Curran has Steve DeOssie leveling some harsh criticism at NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw. (Was this interview done in the WEEI hallways?)

Curran also lists the most complete safeties in the NFL. Rodney Harrison does make the list.

Sports Media Watch explains everything you ever wanted to know about the NBA television contract.

Clark Booth says that there is one standard for the NFL; another for all the other games under the sun.

Michael McCann of Sports Law Blog has an AP reporter publishing a scouting report that was found on dugout floor of the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to a recent game with the New York Yankees, which revealed how the Diamondbacks intended to pitch to the Yankees.

Josh Bacott & Pat Imig are back with another edition of the Media Circus.

Sports Law Blog also examines whether Kevin Garnett saying no to the Celtics is selfish or understandable.

Bill Simmons matches up Kevin Durant and Greg Oden.

Mike McMahon has a look at new Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Mike Loftus says that Bruins might find some Pat Burns in their new coach.

Win Bates has Providence coach Scott Gordon content for now to wait his turn for an NHL job.

——————————————————————————
Sports Media Columns

New England/New York
Susan Bickelhaupt looks at Versus expanding its offerings and viewership. Phil Mushnick says that ESPN’s coverage of Sammy Sosa’s 600th home run was stunning for what it ignored regarding the Rangers slugger. Bob Raissman says that we can’t really blame the Mets for their over-the-top campaigning to have Paul LoDuca elected to the National League All Star team, the finger should be pointed at MLB. Richard Sandomir notes that this year’s Tour de France will be under the dark cloud of the doping scandal. He also has a look at the upcoming ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning, which will debut on July 9. Neil Best has Tom Seaver getting into the wine business. Adam Reilly in The Phoenix examines why Dan Shaughnessy is the most hated man in Boston.

More East Coast
Michael McCarthy reports on ESPN tabbing Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic to lead the second game of their Monday Night Football opening night doubleheader. Laura Nachman has Philadelphia’s legendary Palestra as the subject of a documentary. Jim Williams has WUSA-TV 9 Sports Director Brett Haber garnering an Emmy over retired legend George Michael of NBC 4. He also notes that TV color analysts are becoming far more honest about the teams and the leagues that they cover. Chris Zelkovich has former Blue Jays outfielder Jesse Barfield launching a new career with CBC. Michael Hiestand has Kyle Petty serving as TNT NASCAR analyst while driving in this weekend’s Sunday’s Save Mart 350.

South
Dave Darling notes that MLB has a nightmare on its hands with Barry Bonds approaching home run 756. David Barron looks at Houston’s three sports radio stations vying for listeners. Barry Horn says that while San Antonio and the rest of Texas should be proud of the NBA champs, the rest of America doesn’t get the Spurs.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein grades Chicago’s four baseball broadcast teams. Bob Wolfley looks at the Bucks options in next week’s NBA draft. Dan Caesar looks at KFNS’ rowdy and often bawdy morning drive-time show, “The Morning Grind,” on the verge of grinding to a halt. Judd Zulgad notes that the Gophers football team will be debuting on the new Bit Ten Network. Tom Dienhart says that the Big Ten Network will change football on TV.

West Coast
John Maffei looks at this weekend’s Padres/Red Sox series getting overlooked by FOX and ESPN. John Scheibe talks to ESPN’s Erin Andrews about the College World Series. Jay Posner has NBC already getting ready for next year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Tom Hoffarth has Shaquille O’Neal talking about his new ABC reality show. Jim Carlisle does some sports media ranting and raving. He also notes that Wimbledon goes online this year in his notebook. Joe Davidson has “Dare Dave” finding a home at ESPN.

Weekend Watch – Barry Bonds Hits Boston

Former Boston Globe sports reporter Larry Whiteside, a pioneer in many respects, passed away Friday morning at the age of 69.

Nick Cafardo offers a few thoughts, as well as a copy of the nomination letter he sent to the national committee for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award (Baseball Hall of Fame) earlier this year. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig commented on the passing today as well.

The letter from Cafardo gives you some idea of just how great a man Whiteside was, and yet what he did and accomplished in his career is largely unknown to the average Boston fan.

——————-
Breaking
The Bruins have “relieved” head coach Dave Lewis Dave Lewis and associate coach Marc Habscheid of their duties. Douglas Flynn and Kevin Paul Dupont report on the news.

Hmmm, the Bruins choose 6:00pm on a Friday night to announce it. I guess I just don’t get that practice in general. It’s almost insulting to the fans and public. Much like the Borges “retirement” being announced on a Friday evening.

Messageboards are buzzing that Pat Quinn could be a possible replacement.

———————————————————-
Barry Bonds is coming to town this weekend, and the Fenway faithful should be sufficiently stoked up enough to give the San Francisco Giants slugger a loud welcome. Certain members of the Boston media have been salivating over this weekend for months, encouraging the fans to boo Bonds and chant at him for the entire weekend.

Many of these same media types talk about the importance of being objective, and not a home town yahoo. Is encouraging the fans to taunt Bonds any more or less objective than rooting for the home team?

Granted, most of the ones encouraging this behavior are columnists and talk show hosts, not the day-to-day beat writers. But the ones who are advocating the harsh treatment of Bonds have completely lost the right to be critical of the fans for how they behave. If an ugly incident happens this weekend, are those same media types going to knock the fans for “going too far?” Bonds may be a lousy human being and a cheater, but the media’s encouragement to the fans has been distasteful.

A positive this weekend should be warm reception for 2004 ALCS hero Dave Roberts.

——————————————————————
Keep up with the news this weekend with the help of RedSoxLinks.com and PatriotsLinks.com.

Check out the view from the Bay Area on the Bay Area Sports Pages.

——————————————————————-
Bob Ryan provides another entertaining blog entry with The amazing Mr. Scully.

Chad Finn has Nine Innings on FoxSports.com

He’s also got his local edition of Touching All The Bases, where he’ll be live-blogging the first matchup between the Red Sox and Giants in 95 years.

Evan Brunell on Fire Brand of the American League says that letting Orlando Cabrera go was Theo Epstein’s biggest mistake.

Pete Prisco lists out his top 50 NFL players.

Peter Schrager isn’t ready to anoint the Patriots NFL champs for the upcoming season.

Matt Mosley on ESPN’s Hashmarks is an incredibly prolific blogger.

Here’s Bill Simmons’ latest podcast with David Stern.

SI.com has an excerpt from Dan Shaughnessy‘s new book Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball.

Dr Z. has the latest edition of his NFL Mailbag.

You mean it might not be entirely Bill Belichick’s fault that Ted Johnson is having health issues? A tough column from Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune.

They’re pretty excited about their rings out in Indy.

——————————————————————-
Sports Media Columns

New England
David Scott has a look at an unexpected infusion of intelligence on the WEEI airwaves. Susan Bickelhaupt notes that the NBA Finals lacked competition…and viewers for ABC. Clark Booth explores why the NBA and NHL ratings have been so horrible this spring.

New York
Bob Raissman says that “major significance should be attached to MLB.com hiring Harold Reynolds.” Phil Mushnick wasn’t pleased with ESPN’s opening round coverage of the U.S. Open. Neil Best looks at ticket resellers such as StubHub getting a boost with the passing of a recent New York bill. Richard Sandomir has a look at the dismal ratings for ABC in the NBA Finals.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has some ideas on how to juice up the ratings for the NBA playoffs. Chris Zelkovich has a look at the straight shooting Johnny Miller. Laura Nachman looks at Philly Sports Radio 950 bringing in a local guy to do their morning show. Jim Williams has a look at a huge weekend of racing action.

South
Dave Darling encourages you to watch the U.S. Open, even if you need to employ a drinking game to get into it. David Barron notes that the NBA Finals were an afterthought for much of the viewing public.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has Carl Pohlad-family owned Northern Lights Broadcasting purchasing an FM radio station, but issuing denials that the Twins (who are owned by Pohlad) will end up there in the future. Teddy Greenstein has WSCR-AM 670 host Mike North having a rather heated exchange with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper on the air Thursday morning. Bob Wolfley has the Milwaukee Admirals finding a new radio home.

West Coast
John Maffei looks at Johnny Miller returning to the site of his own U.S. Open triumph. Joe Davidson says that many viewers seem to prefer Nick Faldo over Miller. larry.stewart has a look at the all-out coverage that the Open is getting. Tom Hoffarth tears into Chris Berman and ESPN’s coverage of the first round of the event. Jim Carlisle notes that pars will be hard to come by for the field this weekend. He also has a notebook on the NBA finals reaching a new low. Jay Posner reports on a pair of Padres announcers keeping busy on the side with some college sports work.

————————————————————-
Weekend Viewing Highlights

Friday, June 15

7:00pm, NESN – Giants @ Red Sox

Saturday, June 16

1:00pm, NBC – U.S. Open, 3rd Round
2:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
3:30pm, FOX – Giants @ Red Sox
7:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
8:30pm, ESPN2 – Busch Series: Meijer 300

Sunday, June 17

1:00pm, NBC – U.S. Open, 4th Round
2:00pm, NESN – Giants @ Red Sox
2:00pm, TNT – Nextel Cup: Citizens Bank 400
2:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
7:00pm, ESPN2 – College World Series
8:00pm, ESPN – Mets @ Yankees

Weekly Media Columns – 5/18/07

It’s been a busy week here, and the late afternoon/evening postings have suffered. This one will as well.

Here’s just a few links and the weekly media columns:

Albert Breer has Al Groh talking about linebacking in the Belichick system.

Football Outsiders has an issue with Gil Brandt apparently using their research on NFL.com without giving them credit.

Bill Simmons has a few thoughts on the state of the NBA playoffs and a few links.

Paul Perillo has another offseason edition of Ask PFW.

Clark Booth offers up a number of thoughts and observations on the sports scene.

Curt Schilling analyzes his most recent start against Detroit on his blog.

Jordan Ellenberg on Slate examines whether Roger Clemens is going to be worth what the Yankees are paying him.

Sports Media Columns from Around the Country

New England
David Scott says that Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy really didn’t challenge MLB commissioner Bud Selig in his appearance in the NESN booth last night. Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at ESPN’s announcement earlier in the week about new programming for the network. Bill Doyle has Worcester Sharks announcer Jamie Smock hoping for a shot at an NHL job. Shawn Courchesne looks at a new TV deal for UConn.

New York
Phil Mushnick says the NBA got it right with their suspensions in the Spurs/Suns series. Richard Sandomir notes that Mets/Yankees is the king of the interleague matchups. Neil Best has a look at Lee Mazzilli’s foray into television this season with SNY. Bob Raissman says that this weekend’s Mets/Yankees is of great importance to the Yankees, who can’t afford to fall further behind the Red Sox.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand notes that sports history has an odd way of finding Craig Sager, from Hank Aaron’s record setting home run, to Larry Bird’s 1979 NCAA tournament run with Indiana State, to a number of other interesting moments. Chris Zelkovich has CBC Sports rising from the grave with a new deal with the Blue Jays. Laura Nachman looks a number of announcers lining up for MLB jobs. Leonard Shapiro looks at Gold Channel’s search for the perfect pairing with Nick Faldo. Jim Williams looks at the Preakness coverage this weekend, and also has a look at the Nationals/Orioles interleague matchup.

South
Barry Jackson has a look at the amazing Jack Ramsay, who is 82 years old, battling lung and brain cancer, caring for his wife who has Alzheimer’s disease, swims in the Gulf of Mexico each in addition to his daily routine of 60 push-ups and 135 sit-ups and still analyzed 35 games this year for ESPN Radio. Looking ahead to next weekend, Dave Darling looks at the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, listing the top ten moments in the rivalry. David Barron has Jeff Van Gundy ready to call it as he sees it in his role as ESPN analyst for the playoffs.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein has Cubs announcer Ron Santo red-faced after his comments about the pink bats used last Sunday to raise awareness of breast cancer on Mother’s Day. Judd Zulgad has the Vikings dividing up their team TV programming among three different stations. Bob Wolfley says that the debate between Dan Patrick and David Stern this week on ESPN radio made for a great listen.

West Coast
Tom Hoffarth has NBC getting ready to cover the Preakness without making too many references and mentions of last year. Larry Stewart also has a look at NBC’s plans for coverage of the race. Jay Posner has Padres announcer Matt Vasgersian calling it “ignorant” and a “disservice” to viewers to suggest that announcers shouldn’t mention a no-hitter in progress after a recent 5 1/3 inning no hit stint by Greg Maddox. John Maffei has baseball setting itself up for some cold weather games this fall. Jim Carlisle looks at ESPN’s coverage of sports the network has a stake in. Rhiannon Potkey looks at softball star Jessica Mendoza working the NCAA softball telecasts for ESPN. Joe Davidson has the NFL thinking about speeding up the draft a bit.

Weekend Watch – Schilling/Bonds/Steroids Burnout

It was just another week in Boston, with wall-to-wall controversy, backbiting and steroids talk filling the airwaves.

It leads into a “normal” May sports weekend, with NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB regular season and Golf (TPC Sawgrass) all available for viewing the next two days.

Locally, the Red Sox entertain the Orioles at Fenway, and the Patriots hold their rookie mini-camp this weekend.

———————
David Ortiz’s honeymoon with the Boston sports media might’ve ended this week as the Red Sox slugger refused to talk to print media this week after he felt his comments earlier in the week on whether he might’ve unwittingly had taken performance enhancing substances as a young player in the Dominican Republic. We’ll see how long this lasts and how it is treated by those effected by the boycott.

Meanwhile, Ortiz might consider just freezing out all media, there was speculation about him on WEEI as well. After railing on about how irresponsible it was for Curt Schilling to call a name under suspicion for steroids without direct proof, a WEEI host then started to wonder aloud if Ortiz was working on lessening the blow if he was later found to be connected to steroids. Ortiz’s power numbers now compared to his time in Minnesota was present as possible evidence. Of course, last week, Ortiz’s former teammate with the Twins (and Red Sox) Todd Walker was on the same show and talk about how the coaches in Minnesota really tried to change Ortiz’s natural style, which led to his struggles there.

————————————————–
Former Patriot Ted Johnson will be interviewed as part of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” on Monday night at 10:00. One of the topics for the show is post-concussion syndrome that is of increasing concern due to the number of former NFL players suffering from debilitating memory loss, confusion, dementia and even suicidal depression.

Though he cleaned himself up for the HBO interview, Johnson, the former Patriots linebacker, had spent the previous 11 days in a darkened apartment.

Johnson says on the show: “I don’t shave. Don’t shower. Don’t brush my teeth. You don’t care.”
————————————————–
In between dodging inquires about his suspension on 890 ESPN this week, Ron Borges actually was pretty positive about the moves made by the Patriots this offseason. When asked about Randy Moss, he compared it to the move to get Corey Dillon three years ago, and he was very supportive of the Dillon move when it occurred. He also gave the other side of the Brandon Meriweather incident in the Florida International game last season, (as chronicled by Chris Gasper in the Globe today) noting that an FIU receiver had repeatedly been trying to hit Meriweather in the head throughout the game.

————————————————–
A few radio notes:

With each week that goes by, Gerry Callahan’s absence becomes more and more curious. There’s no doubt Gerry sounded horrible in the weeks (months) leading up to this “break”, but WEEI’s actions in handling this have only raised questions about the future of the Dennis & Callahan show. By switching around their lineup with Dale Arnold doing this week with Dennis and Michael Holley doing next week (Who is next in line, Pete Sheppard?) the station appears to be trying to scramble and try combinations on the chance that Callahan doesn’t come back from this, either because his voice is permanently damaged, or he decides to move on when his contract is up in a few months. Could Entercom be thinking of moving him over to WRKO to try and spark ratings on that morning show?

What makes it even more curious is the fact that no one as the station is talking about it. You’d think a topic like this would be one ripe for plenty of jokes, and while there have been a few here and there, it’s been very tame, like no one wants to talk about it. When an edict is issued at WEEI not to talk about something, it is usually followed to the letter.

Callahan last appeared on April 24th. Next week will be his third away from the station.

We heard a little sniping between media heavyweights this week

Glenn Ordway took a shot at Peter Gammons on Wednesday by saying that he had his “head in the sand” over the whole steroids issue.

In his weekly appearance on 890 ESPN radio on Thursday Gammons then referred to WEEI as “angry white radio” when discussing Curt Schilling’s comments on Barry Bonds.

Gammons, of course, used to appear on WEEI weekly, and now is exclusively on 890 ESPN.

————————————————-
In the Phoenix this week, Mike Miliard had a look at the Boston Braves and how big a part of Boston they once were. The title of the article asks if the wrong team left town in 1953. Like several readers, I was curious about this section of the story:

Several years ago, Johnson, who’s written books about both Boston baseball teams, remembers getting a call from a local sports-media figure who shall remain nameless: “Gee, could you tell me, when did the Braves become the Red Sox?” Johnson was dumbfounded. “It took me 10 minutes to explain that there were two teams.”

I demand to know who this was. Butch Stearns? Steve Burton? Bill Burt? Michael Felger?

———————————————————-
After the Celtics gave Doc Rivers a contract extension, Bill Simmons needed to do a mailbag as therapy.

The Smittblog is pretty sure that Simmons’ column from Thursday got shortened a bit after the fact.

Chad Finn has his national nine innings column for FOX Sports.

ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber addresses perceived conflicts of interest in ESPN coverage.

Dr Z says that no matter how many great years Randy Moss has with the Patriots, he’s going to do all he can to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

Pete Prisco has post-draft NFL power rankings, with the Patriots coming in second behind the Colts.

Football Outsiders is re-running a column on Randy Moss from 2004.

John Smallwood in Philadelphia says Curt Schilling shouldn’t apologize, he only said what the rest of us are thinking about Bonds.

Lars Anderson of Sports Illustrated looks at Dale Earnhardt Jr’s decision to leave Dale Earnhardt Inc, including an exclusive chat with Earnhardt.

Paul Lukas has a look at uniform cameos – players who spent much of their career with one team, but also appeared in the uniform of another, which are usually forgotten. Dr J as an Atlanta Hawk? I must’ve spent a half hour on this article, clicking on all the links to the photos.

—————————————————————
Sports Media Columns from Around the Country

New England
David Scott looks at the Ron Borges Redemption Tour getting into full swing this week, with the reinstated writer acting “equal parts smug and fidgety” during a few appearances this week. Scott examines the Globe’s silence on the matter of Borges’ work for Oscar De La Hoya during his suspension, and the Boston Newspaper Guild’s support and defense of Borges at an upcoming arbitration meeting. Susan Bickelhaupt talks to Entercom’s Jason Wolfe about the switch of Red Sox games from WEEI to WRKO. Wolfe, as you might expect, says everything is going very smooth and easy. Bill Doyle has WTAG radio host Mike Messina (“the moose”) making a name for himself.

New York
Bob Raissman notes that Roger Clemens is already dealing with the media on his own terms. Richard Sandomir has NFL Network losing a court ruling that allows Comcast to put the network on their sports tier on the systems they recently acquired from Time Warner. Neil Best has NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issuing updated media guidelines which indicate that head coaches must make their assistants available to the media on a regular basis. Best also launch his sports media blog WatchDog this week, and is off to a terrific start with it. Pat Reichart has five questions with YES Network analyst Al Leiter.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand says that hole 17 at TPC Sawgrass will be in the spotlight at this weekend’s NBC coverage of The Players. Michael McCarthy says that Johnny Miller might be rough on the players, but he is very good for the viewers, which is how it should be. Chris Zelkovich looks at the Maple Leafs changing the TV landscape in terms of local TV rights. Laura Nachman has FOX’s Ken Rosenthal having a homecoming of sorts this weekend in Philadelphia. Bob Smizik says Penguins radio voice Mike Lange could be interested in the Coyotes TV job which recently opened up. Jim Williams has another case of when good broadcasters go bad in Baltimore. He also notes that the Washington Capitals website will be streaming the World Hockey Championships. Leonard Shapiro examines the strategies and competition between Washington D.C.’s two sports radio stations, WTEM and Triple X ESPN Radio.

South
Barry Horn says Derek Harper called it like it was during the Mavericks elimination at the hands of the Warriors. Barry Jackson has 790 The Ticket beating out WQAM in the latest ratings book. Dave Darling has SPEED channel examining the Dale Earnhardt/Jeff Gordon rivalry.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein looks a FOX’s experiment of putting microphones on umpires during their Saturday baseball broadcasts. Jeffrey Flanagan has former Kansas City broadcaster Doug Franz calling KC the “greatest sports town in America.” Dan Caesar has KTRS host Mike Claiborne back on the air after a serious illness. Judd Zulgad has both FOX and ESPN focusing on the Twins/Tigers series this weekend. Bob Wolfley has criticism of Johnny Miller, saying that the NBC golf analyst has been getting a bit too cozy with the sponsors.

West Coast
Larry Stewart has the TPC limiting the number of commercial breaks during the NBC broadcast in an effort to raise the stature of the event. John Maffei has more on NBC going all-out in their coverage of the TPC. Jim Carlisle has the focus on the 17th hole at “the fifth major.” Carlisle’s notebook has a look at a high ratings weekend for a number of sporting events. Jay Posner has a look at the NFL’s revised media policy. Tom Hoffarth looks at FOX letting the umpires have their say on the telecasts. Joe Davidson has Sacramento native Jeff Ogan working his way up to becoming vice president of Turner Sports and a big part of the TNT NBA coverage.

Weekend Watch – Kentucky Derby 2007

A pair of sports that were huge back in the day, but have almost completely faded from the consciousness of the casual sports fan take the center stage this weekend, as the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday afternoon and the biggest boxing match in years, Saturday night’s Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr fight in Las Vegas.

The Derby will be run at 5:00pm Saturday on NBC, while the fight takes place at 9:00 that night on HBO Pay Per View.

The Red Sox are in Minnesota for a weekend series with the Twins.

————————
Dale Arnold mentioned this morning on his WEEI show that next week he will be co-hosting the early morning show with John Dennis. This is a curious move on a number of levels, and one that if it were made by a manager or coach on one of Boston’s sports teams would be debated and speculated about endlessly on the airwaves.

During the crossover to The Big Show, it seemed like it was being hinted that Michael Holley would also do some mornings with Dennis at some point.

What’s the rationale for having Arnold moved to the mornings for the week? When you consider that WEEI also tried out Dennis with Glenn Ordway for the Sunday morning draft program last week, you see some tinkering, some experimenting with combinations going on over there. Is this in preparation for the possibility that Callahan doesn’t come back – either because his voice doesn’t recover or he decides to sign on elsewhere at the end of the summer?

Also in WEEI news, afternoon flash guy/backup host Pete Sheppard signed a new multi-year deal to remain at the station.

“I am very excited to continue in my role with WEEI,” Sheppard said. “The station is the best sports station in the country, I really enjoy the people I work with and I’m looking forward to the future.”

———————————————————-
This was brought up on the BSMW messageboard the other night, and while I hadn’t taken notice of this point, in retrospect it seems accurate: Is Jerry Remy not pitching as many of his ventures on the NESN game broadcasts this year? It seems that way. Was he talked to about this? The last few years the telecasts had been filled with Remy talking about all of his side ventures throughout the telecasts.

If he’s cut back on that, it’s a good move. He’s much better at analyzing the games.

————————————————————
Here’s a portion of an interesting email that hit my box this week, noting more of the hypocrisy of the media eager to bash Bill Belichick and the Patriots for bringing in Randy Moss:

Here's another angle that's been little discussed....by now the perception of Brady relative to the trade is anywhere between he is excited to he talked a great deal to moss to he engineered the deal. I think everyone would agree that Brady was in favor. So if the leader of the team, the understood character guy of all character guys, the player who would be most affected by a player's dependability or lack thereof.....is somewhere between approved of it and went to great lengths to make it happen....if that's what he thinks...where is the criticism of the misguided, desperate, lost his way/soul, arrogant captain? You know where it is - redirected by media scared silly to take him on.

Now the emailer is by no means insinuating that Brady should be criticized here, just noting that nothing like that has even been mentioned in all the handwringing over the Patriots losing the “moral high ground” and their “sanctimonious standards.”

—————————————————————
A followup on the note I posted about Michael Parente being taken off the Patriots beat by the Woonsocket Call:

The Woonsocket Call was formerly owned by Journal Register Co. and was bought out a few months back by Surburban Rhode Island Newspapers.

Parente was JRC’s Patriots beat writer and now and his stories were used in the Call and the Pawtucket Times, as well as other JRC papers. Since the JRC doesn’t own any papers in RI, his job isn’t needed anymore. JRC will use a writer from New Haven to cover the beat.

The decision isn’t being made directly by the call – it’s by the new publisher. In fact, the Call doesn’t even have a sports editor anymore – Pawtucket’s Terry Nau is running the show, sort of.
Is Pats coverage needed in the Call? Not really, because the paper can use AP stories, features, etc. to fill its coverage. The smaller papers in RI use high school sports as its focus, with Pawtucket obviously using the PawSox as its pro beat.

While it sucks for Parente, there’s nothing he nor the editors at the paper can do. SRIN cannot afford to send him to and from games when that paper is struggling to fill its section with local copy because it’s short-staffed.

—————————————————————
A special draft edition of Patriots All Access airs this Saturday May 5 at 7:00pm on WCVB channel 5. Among the highlights…

  • One-on-one conversations with Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick on how the Randy Moss deal went down.
  • Inside the Patriots draft room. Listen and see the offers come in, as the Pats ultimately dealt the 28th overall pick.
  • NFL Network’s Mike Mayock analyzes the Patriots 2007 draft.
  • A different side of Tom Brady, as he sits down and discusses his recent visit to Africa.

————————————————————
Gordon Edes has a Red Sox mailbag on Boston.com.

Chad Finn leads off his FoxSports Nine Innings column with a look at the new Josh Beckett.

Howard Wasserman of Sports Law Blog has a look at the issue of Credentialing Sports Bloggers.

Back in September, 2005 the Patriots played the Oakland Raiders in the first week of the season. In a Bill Belichick Press Conference from that week, he talked extensively about Randy Moss and whether the receiver could play for him. He also talks about Moss taking plays off.

As recommended by Adam Reilly of the Phoenix, this Mike Mosedale feature on Randy Moss from 2002 is a good companion to John Tomase’s piece in the Friday Herald.

Erik Scalavino of Patriots.com has a look at the rookie free agents signed by the team.

Len Pasquarelli says that Tom Brady’s restructuring of his contract gives him leverage later on the deal.

Shocker: Clark Booth doesn’t like the Patriots move of picking up Randy Moss. He asks: ‘What is Clan Kraft possibly thinking?’

Bill Simmons says Dirk Nowitzki’s career is on the clock after the first round exit at the hands of the Warriors.

————————————————————-
Sports Media Columns from Around the Nation

New England
David Scott looks at the scheduled return of Ron Borges from his two month plagiarism suspension this weekend. He also looks at the early results of the Dave O’Brien/Glenn Geffner for Jerry Trupiano switch in the Red Sox radio booth. Susan Bickelhaupt looks at NBC’s storylines for their Kentucky Derby coverage tomorrow. Bill Doyle has a look at Bob Fouracre being inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame for his 37 years of television and radio coverage of the school’s basketball and football teams.

New York
Phil Mushnick casts a critical eye towards the study that accuses NBA referees of racism. Neil Best looks at whether the pay-per-view numbers for Saturday night’s Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout will live up to the hype. Bob Raissman looks at the future of Larry Merchant with HBO. Richard Sandomir has De La Hoya reaching out to Mayweather Sr. Pat Reichart has a look at how ESPN radio’s Mike & Mike had the second highest AM ratings for their time slot. He also has Five Questions for HBO boxing announcer Jim Lampley.

East Coast
Michael Hiestand says that the NBA playoffs have been entertaining, but could still use some Red Sox/Yankees allure. Chris Zelkovich has praise for the netcam in the NHL playoffs. Laura Nachman has local writer Joe Santolquito earning some national recognition. Jim Williams has NBC doing up the Derby on a grand scale. Robert Weintraub has high praise for the HBO boxing documentary De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7.

South
Dave Darling looks at “the most anticipated boxing match of the century” coming up Saturday night, and notes the huge paydays on tap for each fighter. Barry Jackson has sports radio host (and Dolphins broadcaster) Joe Rose weighing his options. He also has former Dolphins receiver O.J. McDuffie being considered for a role at WQAM.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has the NFL considering expanding the NFL draft to include Friday evening. The idea is to have the first round selections made in prime time, with the rest of the draft taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Bob Wolfley has ESPN2 offering new and improved morning programming starting Monday morning. Teddy Greenstein has WSCR’s ratings dominance coming to an end.

West Coast
Larry Stewart talks to NBC’s Bob Neumeier about the Kentucky Derby. He also wonders if De La Hoya-Mayweather can match the hype that is being generated. Tom Hoffarth talks to Harold Lederman about Saturday’s fight. Jay Posner has experts offering their opinions on the Derby field. John Maffei has Sand Diego State and the University of San Diego playing musical chairs on broadcast outlets. Jim Carlisle says that Barbaro’s presence is still felt at the Derby. Carlisle’s notebook has more on the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight. Joe Davidson has Warriors voice Tim Roye thoroughly enjoying the playoff run.

——————————————————————–
Weekend Sports Highlights

Friday, May 4th
7:00pm, Versus – Rangers @ Sabres
7:30pm, TBS – Dodgers @ Braves
8:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Twins
8:00pm, TNT – Nets @ Raptors

Saturday, May 5th
2:00pm, NBC – Sharks @ Red Wings
3:30pm, FOX – Mariners @ Yankees
5:00pm, NBC – Kentucky Derby
7:00pm, TBS – Dodgers @ Braves
7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Twins
7:00pm, TNT – Bulls @ Pistons
7:00pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup: Jim Stewart 400
8:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Devils
9:00pm, HBO PPV – De La Hoya-Mayweather
9:30pm, TNT – Jazz @ Rockets

Sunday, May 6th
2:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Twins
2:00pm, NBC – Sabres @ Rangers
3:30pm, ABC – Spurs @ Suns
8:00pm, ESPN – Phillies @ Giants

Note: I’ll be out of town this weekend, celebrating my wedding anniversary. I’ve got a Boston Sports Review recap lined up for Monday morning, regular posting will resume on Tuesday.

NFL Draft 2007 Weekend

This is another highlight of the yearly sports weekend calendar with so much going on.

The NFL moves back into the spotlight this weekend with their annual college draft. This two day event features wall-to-wall TV coverage from two networks, plus more radio and internet coverage than any fan could possibly keep up with.

Locally, WEEI is going big with their coverage this weekend, several personalities who rarely, if ever appear on the airwaves outside of their Monday-Friday routine. Glenn Ordway and John Dennis will both be on this weekend…together in fact. Dale Arnold and Michael Holley are doing a show together, and Pete Sheppard will be on with Greg Dickerson.

In addition to the draft, we’ve got another edition of Red Sox/Yankees, this time down in the Bronx. Locally, NESN has the Friday and Sunday games, while the Saturday game is on FOX.

Keep up with the coverage from the New York papers on the series on the New York Sports Pages.

TNT and ESPN have NBA playoff action this weekend, while NBC and Versus bring you the NHL playoffs.

———————————————————————–
On our Patriots Game Day Page, we’ve put together alot of material this week to help get you ready for this weekend, here’s the list and links of the features from this week:

BSMW Draft Week Coverage
Sunday, April 22nd – Second Day Offensive Prospects
Monday, April 23rd – Second Day Defensive Prospects
Tuesday, April 24th – Ultimate Draft Profiles Database
Wednesday, April 25th – Final Rumor Inventory
Thursday, April 26th – Final Mock Board
Friday April 27th – Roundtable
Saturday April 28th & Sunday April 29th – Draft Blog

——————————————————————-
A classy move by Stacey James and the Patriots Media Relations department. The following notice was sent around to the media this morning:

From: "James, Stacey"
Date: April 27, 2007 12:52:11 PM EDT
Subject: Dedication to the Memory of Alan Greenberg - Day One of NFL Draft

I am passing along a suggestion made by members of our press corps and encouraged by this department. This weekend will be the first time that members of the Patriots press corps have had an opportunity to gather since the sudden and untimely passing of former beat writer Alan Greenberg. In Alan's honor, it was suggested that the media attending Saturday's draft wear a polo shirt. Pastel colors would be most appropriate. Faded shirts, all the better. Shirts with holes and shorts are entirely optional.

For those of you who do not possess such items in your wardrobe, we will also be honoring Alan by serving Papa Gino's pizza for lunch starting at noon. Please be prepared to eat twice as much as usual. :-)

On a serious note ... While we encourage all of the above in Alan's memory, for those wanting to truly honor the memory of Alan Greenberg, we encourage you to contribute to the trust fund that has been established in for Alan's three children Alex, 13; Allison, 10; and Abigail, 7. Donations can be made in the name of Greenberg Children's Trust, at Citizens Bank; 450 Boston Post Road; Sudbury, Mass., 01776.

——————————————————————-
Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated has quite a few thoughts on the Celtics this week, including the following:

VP Danny Ainge knows how to draft young players, and he’s done an exceptional job at it. But the record shows that he doesn’t apply the same investigatory work to scouting the more than 400 players in the NBA. The Celtics are vulnerable on trades for existing NBA players because they don’t do their homework. While they are exceptional at seeking out the minute details of 19-year-old college sophomores, the Celtics — unlike most of their rivals — don’t have a pro personnel scout traveling the league and collecting behind-the-scenes information on veterans who may be traded to Boston. Rival teams are fully aware that Boston is vulnerable on trades for NBA talent, but the Celtics have yet to address this weakness in their front office.

——————————————————————-
Patriots.com has their Patriots 2007 Draft Board that will be updated throughout the weekend.

The Patriots Football Weekly staff offer their pre-draft predictions. They all seem to love David Harris.

Rochelle Lefebvre has an interview with Steve DeOssie and Fred Smerlas about their new steakhouse.

Bill Simmons remembers David Halberstam.

Sean McAdam on ESPN.com looks at the Red Sox other Japanese pitcher, Hideki Okajima, who has quietly become their best setup man.

David Steele of the Baltimore Sun tells Curt Schilling to put a sock in it

Richard Deitsch has his sports media power rankings for April.

Jessica Camerato tries to show us a different side of Sebastian Telfair.

Mike Freeman and Gregg Doyel debate on the topic of Telfair and the hype that has surrounded him since high school.

David Borges has a look at Boston College defensive back Ryan Glasper, who may or may not get drafted this weekend after getting a raw deal from coach Tom O’Brien.

David Cohen in a guest column on Football Outsiders attempts to rate Mel Kiper Jr’s predictions over the years.

Tom Curran predicts the NFL prospects who will play right away.

John Clayton has his First and Ten, draft edition.

——————————————————————-
Sports Media Columns From Around the Country

New England

Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at the dueling draft coverage of ESPN and the NFL Network this weekend. Bill Doyle has Mel Kiper’s thoughts on the Patriots methods of evaluation and drafting. Andrew Neff looks at Bangor’s own Gary Thorne finding himself in a mess with his comments about Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in the 2004 playoffs. David Scott has a look at Schilling firing back at Thorne and the media on his blog. He also looks at the 12th annual EPpy awards, which are without a Boston representative.

New York
Phil Mushnick relates the story of David Halberstam’s fifth cousin, David Halberstam, who has also been published and was often confused for his more famous relative. Pat Reichart notes that last Sunday’s Red Sox/Yankees game was a record setter for ESPN. He also has five questions for Patrick Ewing, serving as an analyst for NBA-TV. Jack Curry and Richard Sandomir team up for a look at the Gary Thorne situation, and Bob Raissman notes that Thorne’s delivery has “always been fearless, spontaneous and, sometimes, reckless.” Neil Best notes that 35% of the population does not have the ability to watch the NHL playoffs on Versus, even if they wanted to.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has a look at what happens when a family member is in the broadcast booth covering another family member. He also notes that NBC has had to kill their live mike during several NHL broadcasts. Chris Zelkovich has The Score having a pretty good week for itself, picking up two Toronto Raptors playoff games. Laura Nachman has Scott Graham adjusting to life outside the Phillies broadcasts for the first time in 16 years. Jim Williams is scratching his head as to how the NFL Draft has become must-see viewing. He also has a look at former Georgetown player Jerome Williams finding work as a color analyst for NBA-TV. The Virginia Tech shootings hit a little too close to home for Leonard Shapiro, whose son is a student at the school.

South
Barry Jackson notes that Dolphins fans have five outlets on which to track this weekend’s draft. He also notes more sniping between WQAM and 790. Dave Darling says that after 24 years of ESPN draft coverage, everyone seems to want Mel Kiper’s opinion. David Barron looks at KILT talk show host John Granato filing a lawsuit against the station and somehow still remaining on the air. Barry Horn says NHL TV ratings are a good news-bad news business.

Midwest
Bob Wolfley says that there is a reason that the networks are always promoting Red Sox/Yankees games – people watch them. Judd Zulgad has the Timberwolves keeping their broadcasts on country music FM station BOB. Teddy Greenstein has Mel Kiper suggesting that the Bears might trade down from 31 in this weekend’s NFL draft. Dan Caesar has the Blues making a deal with FSN Midwest to show playoffs games since KSDK has the Cardinals games and wouldn’t make other arrangements. Jeffrey Flanagan has Dick Vermeil saying that Dante Hall is a great pickup for the Rams, and saying he’d like to do some more TV work next season.

West Coast
Tom Hoffarth looks at Keyshawn Johnson’s part in this weekend’s NFL draft coverage on ESPN. He also compares the NFL draft TV coverage between ESPN and NFL Network. Larry Stewart notes that there is plenty of Barbaro coverage coming up as we approach the Kentucky Derby next month. He also notes that Larry Merchant could be leaving HBO after 29 years. Joe Davidson looks at LA Times sportswriter Mike Penner, who will soon be Christine Daniels. Jim Carlisle notes that the NFL Draft coverage is almost as popular as the on-field games. He also has a note about a recently discovered play-by-play by Vin Scully of Sandy Koufax’s first no-hitter in 1962. John Maffei has plenty more on the NFL draft coverage.

——————————————————-
Weekend Highlights

Friday April 27
7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees
7:00pm, ESPN2 – Raptors @ Nets
7:00pm, Versus – Rangers @ Sabres
8:00pm, ESPN – Bulls @ Heat
9:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Rockies
10:00pm, Versus – Canucks @ Ducks
10:30pm, ESPN – Mavericks @ Warriors

Saturday, April 28
11:00am, NFLN – NFL Draft Coverage
12:00pm, ESPN – NFL Draft Coverage
3:00pm, ABC – NASCAR Busch Series: Aaron’s 312
3:00pm, TNT – Pistons @ Magic
3:00pm, NBC – Sharks @ Red Wings
3:55pm, FOX – Red Sox @ Yankees
5:30pm, TNT – Cavaliers @ Wizards
8:00pm, ESPN – Spurs @ Nuggets
8:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Rockies
8:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Devils
8:00pm, ESPN2 – NFL Draft Coverage
10:30pm, ESPN – Rockets @ Jazz

Sunday, April 29
11:00am, ESPN – NFL Draft Coverage
12:00pm, NFLN – NFL Draft Coverage
1:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees
1:00pm, ABC – Bulls @ Heat
1:30pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup: Aaron’s 499
2:00pm, NBC – Sabres @ Rangers
3:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Rockies
3:00pm, TV38 – Revolution @ FC Dallas
3:30pm, ABC – Suns @ Lakers
7:30pm, TNT – Raptors @ Nets
8:00pm, ESPN – Cubs @ Cardinals
8:00pm, Versus – Ducks @ Canucks
10:00pm, TNT – Mavericks @ Warriors

Red Sox/Yankees Round 1, 2007

Baseball season doesn’t really start until the first Red Sox/Yankees series, does it?

Here’s the current matchups for the series – tonight at 7:00pm on NESN Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.50) pitches against Curt Schilling (2-1, 2.84), Saturday at 3:55pm on FOX, Jeff Karstens (no record) goes against Josh Beckett (3-0, 1.50), and Sunday at 8:00pm on ESPN, Chase Wright (1-0, 5.40) faces Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-2, 2.70).

Outside of the Red Sox/Yankees, the weekend features a little bit of everything, with the exception of NFL stuff, (next weekend will make up for that) as there is plenty of NBA and NHL playoffs on tap. Golf and NASCAR are also on the schedule. Here in New England, the weather is finally supposed to be decent, so a lot of the daytime stuff is likely to be missed, but the evenings provide enough to keep fans occupied.

In addition to the local papers, you can get the NY perspective on the New York Sports Pages.

Here’s some information on the ESPN/ABC NBA playoffs broadcasts:

Mike Breen will call the ABC Saturday broadcast with analyst Jon Barry and reporter Michele Tafoya. ESPN commentator teams for Saturday’s games: Dave Pasch, Tom Tolbert and Doris Burke for Nets/Raptors; Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Lisa Salters for Magic/Pistons; and Mark Jones, Bill Walton and Jim Gray for Jazz/Rockets.

ABC’s Sunday NBA Playoff telecast – the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant at the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash at 3 p.m. – will be called by Breen, analyst Mark Jackson and reporter Tafoya. ABC’s GMC NBA Countdown pre-game show, with host Dan Patrick and analysts Barry and Michael Wilbon, will be on the road back-to-back days this weekend – Saturday (in Chicago to preview the Heat/Bulls game) and Sunday (in Phoenix to preview the Lakers/Suns contest) at 2:30 p.m. All NBA Playoff games and studio shows on ESPN networks will be available in high definition.

For TNT their coverage starts on Sunday with a split tripleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. as the Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Washington Wizards in the first game of the series. Courtside announcing will be Matt Devlin (play-by-play), game analyst (TBD) and Marty Snider (reporter). At 6:00 p.m. ET the studio crew of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson convene to give an hour-long preview of the NBA Playoffs during the NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com.

Then, the Denver Nuggets face off against the San Antonio Spurs at 7 p.m. ET, as Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Dei Lynam (reporter) call the action. Concluding the night’s playoff coverage, the Golden State Warriors travel to Dallas for their first playoff game in 12 years against the defending NBA Western Conference Champions, Dallas Mavericks. Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) and Pam Oliver (reporter) will announce the game live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.

——————————————————————
Saturday night April 21 at 7:00pm on WCVB-TV there will be a pre-draft edition of Patriots All Access. Among the highlights:

  • An inside look at the information gathering process of draft eligible prospects with Patriots director of college scouting Thomas Dimitroff. He takes us through the year long-plus process, including how they write scouting reports, and a look at the clubs data base system.
  • A one-on-one conversation with head coach Bill Belichick.
  • Former # 1 pick Vince Wilfork will tell us about a draft day party Patriots fans can attend to benefit a great cause.
  • Interviews with two of the newest Patriots, Adalius Thomas and Wes Welker.
  • Draft day memories with current members of the team.

———————————————————————
We’ve got a big week planned over at the BSMW Patriots Game Day page in preparation for next weekend’s NFL draft. Here is a schedule of what’s planned for the next week:

Sat 4/21 – Last individual profile – player TBD
Sun 4/22 – 2nd day offensive player possibilities
Mon 4/22 – 2nd day defensive players possibilities
Tue 4/23 – Player Profile Inventory and Links
Wed 4/24 – Final Rumor Inventory
Thur 4/25 – Final Mock Board
Fri 4/26 – Roundtable
Sat 4/27 & Sun 4/28 – Draft Blog

———————————————————————-
You’ve probably heard about the new David Ortiz book, as told to Tony Massarotti. (No conflict of interest there!) The book – Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits is now available and described as a “unique memoir by a charismatic man who appeals to young and old, on the baseball field or off.”

The Michael Holley/Tedy Bruschi book Never Give Up can also be pre-ordered now through the BSMW Amazon store.

———————————————————————–
Gordon Edes has this week’s edition of the Ask Edes Mailbag.

Chad Finn has his national nine innings column for Fox Sports.

Bill Simmons has the evidence that the 1985 NBA lottery was fixed in favor of the Knicks.

Former Boston Globe writer Mike Freeman says that Red Sox fans are the worst. Of course, he could be on to something here. (Deadspin)

Sean McAdam says on ESPN.com that the Red Sox rotation has come a long way since the five game sweep at the hands of the Yankees last summer.

Clark Booth says that many of the original heroes were overshadowed in the tributes to Jackie Robinson.

The Media Circus weighs in on Keith Olbermann and Tiki Barber among others this week.

Ian Thomsen and Marc Stein have everything you need to know about the NBA playoffs.

Steve Bulpett has a final report card for the 2006-07 Celtics.

I really don’t think there will ever be a Sebastian Telfair night at the Garden.

——————————————————————
Sports Media Columns From Around The Country

New England

David Scott has a few interesting items this morning, from the Globe sports department looking to shift a few people around, to Ron Borges attempting to work the back channels to get “his side” of things out there (he’s innocent, of course) and another rumored landing sport for Dennis & Callahan. Bill Doyle looks at NESN’s constant shuffling of analysts. Susan Bickelhaupt also looks at this topic, with two more baseball personalities being added to the mix this week in Ken Macha and Naoko Funayama.

New York

Phil Mushnick says that ESPN is taking all the fun out of criticizing them. It’s just become too easy. He cites a recent graphic on the network noting that Mariano Rivera had given up four “walk-off” home runs in his career, and that all four “have come on the road.” As Mushnick points out, “How’s that for a coincidence!” Neil Best says that Mike and the Mad Dog’s cameo in the mornings on WFAN was “an interesting diversion, and provides potentially relevant fodder as WFAN ponders its pivotal next move.” Pat Reichart has five questions for Yankees analyst Bobby Murcer. Richard Sandomir has NBC loading up on Barbaro material for their Kentucky Derby coverage in the coming weeks. Bob Raissman has early season baseball ratings outdoing NHL playoff ratings in New York.

More East Coast

Michael Hiestand has TNT going all-out for their NBA playoff coverage, including a MySpace networking page. Chris Zelkovich has Rogers Sportsnet’s Sportsnet Connected benefiting in the ratings from a few simple changes to the look. Michael McCarthy has ESPN looking to provide some better debate in the mornings on Cold Pizza. Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post looks at the Orioles playing hardball with WNST’s Nestor “Nasty” Aparicio, who has been critical of owner Peter Angelos and Orioles management. Laura Nachman has a look at the new broadcast pairings for the Phillies and the reasons behind them. Bob Smizik looks at KDKA not renewing the contract of longtime sports anchor John Steigerwald. Jim Williams has a few thoughts about Hokie Nation.

South

Barry Jackson notes that Heat radio voice Mike Inglis is all emotion and honesty in his calls of the club’s games, praising effusively when appropriate and pulling no punches when criticism is warranted. Dave Darling has Orlando gearing up for NBA playoff coverage after nearly four years without postseason action for the Magic. David Barron notes that former Rockets now covering the NBA for ESPN and TNT “are not inclined to cut their former team much slack as the NBA playoffs begin.” Barry Horn has a look at former NBA star Brad Daugherty making a name for himself with his work as a NASCAR analyst on ESPN2.

Midwest

Ed Sherman has the newly created Big Ten Network looking for fans to put some pressure on cable operators to carry the network. Bob Wolfley has a look at TNT ramping up their coverage for the NBA playoffs. Judd Zulgad has former Vikings linebacker and assistant coach Pete Bercich returning to the team as a game analyst on KFAN. Dan Caesar has a look at KSDK putting the onus on NBC to resolve the schedule logjam created by the local station’s broadcasts of Cardinals games.

West Coast

Larry Stewart has the national analysts not giving the Lakers much love. Jay Posner notes that the Lakers are in ABC’s featured game this weekend simply because of their mystique. Mike Bresnahan looks at a new book on the Suns from Jack McCallum that takes some shots at the Lakers. Tom Hoffarth says that the Lakers still generate plenty of TV buzz. Jim Carlisle says that fun is the name of the game at TNT during the playoffs. Joe Davidson says that Charles Barkley is the chief jester for the TNT crew. John Maffei has some criticism for ESPN’s Jackie Robinson Day coverage of the Padres/Dodgers game and a few other items.

—————————————————-
Weekend Sports Highlights

Friday April 20th
7:00pm, NESN – Yankees @ Red Sox
7:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Mets
7:00pm, Versus – Islanders @ Sabres
9:30pm, Versus – Sharks @ Predators

Saturday April 21st
12:30pm, ESPN – Nets @ Raptors
3:00pm, ABC – Heat @ Bulls
3:00pm, NBC – Flames @ Red Wings
3:00pm, CBS – Zurich Classic of New Orleans
3:30pm, FOX – Yankees @ Red Sox
7:00pm, ESPN – Magic @ Pistons
8:00pm, Versus – Canucks @ Stars
8:25pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup – Subway Fresh 500
9:30pm, ESPN – Jazz @ Rockets

Sunday April 22nd
12:30pm, TNT – Wizards @ Cavs
1:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Mets
3:00pm, ABC – Lakers @ Suns
3:00pm, CBS – Zurich Classic of New Orleans
7:00pm, TNT – Nuggets @ Spurs
7:00pm, Versus – Sabres @ Islanders (if necessary)
8:00pm, ESPN – Yankees @ Red Sox
9:30pm, TNT – Warriors @ Mavericks
10:00pm, Versus – Predators @ Sharks (if necessary)

Weekend Watch – Five Years of BSMW

It’s hard to believe, but last Sunday marked the 5th Anniversary of Boston Sports Media Watch.

Yes, the site has been here for 5 full years. Looking back at the very first post, (which I never thought anyone would ever read) I see that I knocked Dan Shaughnessy and said that that WEEI was unlistenable. Man, I guess some things just never change.

It’s been a great five years in Boston sports. Since the site launched in April, 2002, We’ve had the Patriots winning Super Bowl 38 and Super Bowl 39 and the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series. Those memories will always remain.

Along with the championships, here were a few other news items from the last five years that were really huge in terms of the Boston sports media and this site:

The passing of Red Auerbach was off course huge news as well, but I was out of town when it happened, and unable to post extensively on the coverage.

Last May, I posted about the things I had learned in the first four years of BSMW, they all still hold true.

Observing the Boston sports media is a monumental task. There’s so much going on all the time, and it’s impossible for me to see, hear and read everything. But I try. I’m going to keep on doing it as long as I possibly can, as well. I get plenty of help and support from all of you, the readers. I appreciate it so much, and ask you to keep it coming!

—————————————————-
Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into the Don Imus story. I think everyone else in the entire world has already weighed in on that one, and Imus wasn’t even relevant anymore to begin with in my eyes. When I went to SI.com today and saw that the lead-in for Dr Z’s mailbag was “My thoughts on the Don Imus situation…” I knew this thing had oversaturated everything.

WEEI has been talking about it non-stop for days. WEEI is at their very worst when they attempt to discuss “real world” issues or issues that involve the media. I tune in every little while to see if they’re still on the subject, and when I hear that they are, I switch it right off.

That’s enough of that.

The Mike Felger show on ESPN Boston today was a nice diversion. Especially when they played the clip of Terry Francona announcing the changes to the pitching rotation that now has Matsuzaka pitching Tuesday, and someone close to the microphone saying “Jeesh.” Maybe you had to hear it for yourself…

—————————————————
If you’re interested in learning more about me than you possibly wanted to know, Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal conducted an interview with me earlier this week for his web site.

With the help of YouTube, Dan Lamothe looks at the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Stupid of Drew Bledsoe’s career.

Bill Simmons unleashes a nearly-3500 word effort on the shame of the Celtics. He’s not drinking the Danny/Doc Kool Aid, and like many is amazed at the free ride those two get in Boston simply because they’re so good with the media.

Zagat has listed a dozen restaurants you can dine at that are close to the finish line of the Marathon.

Albert Breer examines the list of college players that the Patriots are known to have had visit Gillette Stadium and why the team might be interested in each of them.

Tom Curran breaks down the outside linebackers available in the draft.

Bill Barnwell on Football Outsiders has a look at the offseason movement in the AFC East.

OK, two Imus links. Here’s the Jason Whitlock AOL column everyone is talking about on the topic. He also had one in the KC Star earlier this week.

————————————————-
Here is WBZ-TV’s coverage schedule for Monday’s Boston Marathon:

5:00AM – Highlights in WBZ-TV’s morning newscast
8:00AM – Live pre race coverage begins
9:00AM – Mobility impaired race
9:25AM – Wheelchair race
9:35AM – Elite women’s race
10:00AM – Elite men’s race and wave 1 of all other runners
10:30AM – Wave 2
WBZ-TV’s continuous marathon coverage runs until 3:00PM. In addition, www.wbztv.com will have footage from live cameras along the route from 10:00AM to 3:00PM

—————————————————–
National Sports Media Columns

New England
David Scott notes that the painful “Voice of the fan” segment on NESN with Jack Welch will be brought back again this season. He also has mote on the Herald’s hiring of Rob Bradford. Susan Bickelhaupt has WBZ-TV as the only local station providing wall-to-wall marathon coverage this year. Bill Doyle looks at the major markets of Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles being missing from the NHL playoffs, and what that means for NBC and Versus, who are carrying the games. Andrew Neff has a look at Maine native Gary Thorne enjoying his new role as Baltimore Orioles’ television play-by-play announcer. Jim Baker has Tommy Heinsohn looking ahead to better times for the Boston Celtics and a few other notes. ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber urges the network to cut back on the shouting that seems to mark so many of it’s programs.

New York
Phil Mushnick weighs in on all the principals in the Don Imus situation, noting that we should just name every second week of April National Hypocrites Week. Bob Raissman says that the suits are just as guilty as Imus in how all of this went down. Neil Best looks at what’s next for WFAN as they try to replace Imus, who really helped get the station off the ground 20 years ago. He recommends that the station hire Jason Whitlock to replace Imus. Richard Sandomir has a look at sponsors lining up for the May 5 fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pat Reichart has Colin Cowherd apologizing for requesting that his listeners take down the site TheBigLead. He also has Five Questions with ESPN baseball analyst Dusty Baker.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy of USA Today debate on the changes to the ESPN Monday Night Football booth, and both weigh in on how they would improve the broadcasts. Leonard Shapiro offers up some post-Masters musings on the CBS telecasts. Laura Nachman looks at the Imus firing and reports on a new morning host on Sports Radio 950-AM. Bob Smizik has KDKA sports anchor John Steigerwald landing his own show on WTZN-FM. Chris Zelkovich has CBC streaming more and more sporting events on their website, the latest being the NHL playoffs. Jim Williams has CBC legend Don Cherry bringing his unique style to the NBC NHL playoff coverage. He also has Dusty Baker talking about Jackie Robinson.

South
Barry Jackson says that NBC 6′s deal with the Dolphins shortchanges viewers when the tough questions aren’t asked of team officials during exclusive programming. Dave Darling looks at the offbeat offerings on the weekend on Orlando sports radio. He also weighs in on the hot topics of the week, including Imus and Colin Cowherd. David Barron checks in with recovering Rockets broadcaster Jim Foley, who has been on the job 32 years, but still trails his partner, Gene Peterson, who has been calling Rockets games for 35 years.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has Nielsen Media Research issuing a mea culpa to FSN North for ratings numbers for the Wild, Timberwolves and Gophers men’s hockey games, a week after saying the numbers were correct and there would be no adjustment. Eric Morath has FSN Detroit pulling a juggling act with the Tigers now in action and the Red Wings and Pistons both expecting deep playoff runs. Bob Wolfley has a look back at some of the memories of Jackie Robinson in Wisconsin, mostly during times when the Dodgers would play the Milwaukee Braves. Teddy Greenstein looks at Brady Quinn getting out to an early lead in the rookie marketing and merchandising race. Dan Caesar looks at viewers complaints about Channel 5′s shoddy coverage Sunday of the Cardinals’ World Series championship celebration.

West Coast
Larry Stewart notes that the Anaheim Ducks aren’t getting any love from NBC in the network’s playoff coverage. Jay Posner has ESPN’s Joe Morgan talking about the first time he met Jackie Robinson, and what he meant to him. Tom Hoffarth has more from Morgan on Robinson. John Maffei has a look at ESPN’s extensive coverage on the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color line in baseball. Jim Carlisle says that the Don Imus story reminds us that we are far from the golden era of broadcasting. The web page for the paper that Carlisle writes for has undergone a very nice (and much needed) re-design. Carlisle also has a bit on the ESPN coverage of the Robinson anniversary. Stewart’s notebook has HBO starting their four-episode reality series Sunday to help promote the May 5 Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight. Joe Davidson notes a few recent incidents which remind us that if you use slurs in your speech, you’re likely to lose your job.

Weekend Sports Highlights

Friday April 13th
7:00pm, NESN – Angels @ Red Sox
7:30pm, FSN – Bucks @ Celtics
7:30pm, TBS – Marlins @ Braves
8:00pm, ESPN – Pacers @ Heat
9:00pm, Versus – Stars @ Canucks
10:30pm, ESPN – Lakers @ Suns
10:30pm, Versus – Wild @ Ducks

Saturday April 14th
1:00pm, NESN – Boston College @ Maryland
3:00pm, NBC – Penguins @ Senators
3:00pm, CBS – Verizon Heritage
3:55pm, FOX – Angels @ Red Sox
7:00pm, TBS – Marlins @ Braves
7:30pm, Versus – Islanders @ Sabres
7:30pm, TV-38 – Toronto FC @ Revolution

Sunday April 15th
1:00pm, NESN – Angels @ Red Sox
1:00pm, NBC – Flames @ Red Wings
1:00pm, ABC – Bulls @ Wizards
2:00pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup – Samsung 500
3:00pm, CBS – Verizon Heritage
3:30pm, ABC – Spurs @ Mavs
6:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Penguins
6:00pm, FSN – Celtics @ Magic
8:00pm, ESPN – Padres @ Dodgers
9:30pm, Versus – Canucks @ Stars

Weekend Watch – The 2007 Masters

It is Masters weekend 2007, but there is a whole lot more going on over the next few days in addition to golf.

Saturday night is an unusual evening for sports viewing for Boston fans. You’ve got the Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox, and Revolution all in action, and Boston College is playing in the NCAA Hockey Championship game. That’s five games that will all be going on at the same time.

Having the Red Sox open up on the road is good for not only the weather reasons, but it also allows for a week long “test run” of game stories and coverage. Look for the stories in the papers this coming week to tripe in quantity with the Red Sox coming home, and Daisuke Matsuzaka making his first start at Fenway Park. It’s going to be a busy week.

In a column from 2003, Alex Heard of Slate tells you how to watch The Masters on television.

HDSportsGuide.com passes along the following Masters TV notes:

Friday’s coverage of The Masters is available on multiple channels so get your HD-DVR remote handy, we have outlined all of the coverage below.

  1. It starts at 4pm ET on both Thursday and Friday.
  2. The non-HD coverage will be on USA.
  3. The high definition coverage will be on both UniversalHD and the CBS Television HD Network(Analog CBS will be showing normal programming at this time).
  4. Both CBS HD and Analog will have same day highlights at 11:35pm ET on both Thursday and Friday.

Adam Reilly has a look at how David Portnoy created Barstool Sports from scratch, and how the paper has grown to a circulation of 40,000.

Bill Simmons kept a running diary of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first start with the Red Sox Thursday afternoon.

Much has been written about the death of Darryl Stingley the last couple of days. Probably one of the best articles ever written about Stingley was the one done by Ron Borges, back in August, 2003 – 25 years after the hit. The article is available for free through that link.

Mark Farinella also writes about the life and death of Darryl Stingley.

Dr Z also weighs in on the hit on Stingley.

Jim Rice didn’t do himself and favors with these comments at a PawSox luncheon.

Le Anne Schreiber introduces herself as the new ESPN ombudsman.

Jessica Camerato attempts to answer the question: Who is Kevinn Pinkney?

Deadspin.com has a blog entry on ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd urging his audience to unleash a DNS attack on TheBigLead.com, which he thought had written something that upset him. The attack then happened, which has resulted in the site being down since yesterday. Deadspin notes that Cowherd is infamous for taking items off of blogs and passing them off on the air as if he came up with then on his own. Something we have experience with here at BSMW.

—————————————————————
National Sports Media Columns

New England

David Scott is back with an all new edition of Scott’s Shots. Susan Bickelhaupt looks at ESPN and Channel 38 ramping up MLS soccer coverage. Bill Doyle has Golf Channel remaining on Charter Communications after an earlier threat to pull out. Andrew Neff reports on Clear Channel selling its Maine radio stations, and also some Maine fans missing out on remaining Celtics radio broadcasts due to technical issues.

New York

Neil Best has a packed edition of Sports Watch, with a look at FOX bringing back the Game of the Week, Turner introducing Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken as analysts for their new baseball lineup and a look at Masters coverage. Phil Mushnick says that now that ESPN has taken care of Joe Theismann, they need to do something about Joe Morgan. Pat Reichart has a look at Sports Guy Bill Simmons’ new deal with ESPN that keeps him there through 2010, though he may not write that entire period of time. Bob Raissman looks at Lee Mazzilli bringing a New York accent to SNY’s Mets pre- and postgame shows. Richard Sandomir has a look at the new book 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel, which has drawn much attention and criticism. Reichart also has Five Question with FOX baseball analyst Tim McCarver.

More East Coast

Michael Hiestand looks at Jim Lampley and Scott Hamilton getting a chance to do comedy in Blades of Glory. Chris Zelkovich look at the tough sell the Toronto FC has in getting ratings for the MLS matches. Laura Nachman has Mount Airy native Dave Sims joining the Seattle Mariners broadcast team. Bob Smizik says that Clear Channel didn’t distinguish itself in their Pirates opener this week. Jim Williams has ESPN gearing up for its biggest MLS season with David Beckham now in the league. He also has a talk with Nationals President Stan Kasten and a look at Cal Ripken, Jr joining the Turner Sports broadcast team.

South

Barry Jackson has University of Miami football coach Randy Shannon being dubbed “Randy Saban” by a local sportscaster for the restrictions he is placing on media access to his team and program. Dave Darling has a look back at what he calls “probably the most historic moment in the history of the game” – Tiger Woods’ victory in the 1997 Masters. David Barron has Extra Innings arriving back on cable in time for the weekend.

Midwest

Teddy Greenstein has broadcasters increasingly getting bumped from courtside spots in favor of high priced seating for fans. Judd Zulgad has the Twins opener getting higher ratings than the NCAA championship game. Bob Wolfley says CBS enjoys riding Tiger Woods to success. Dan Caesar reports on fewer Cardinals games being shown on free TV this season. George M. Thomas has MLB trying to make everyone happy with Extra Innings.

West Coast

Jim Carlisle has CBS taking a trip down memory lane with Sunday’s broadcast of Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta: The 1960 Masters. John Maffei has more on CBS adding color to the original footage of the event. Jay Posner has Nick Faldo preferring to talk about the Masters rather than play in it. Joe Davidson notes that finding A’s games on the radio is pretty much hit or miss in Sacramento. John Scheibe has more on Faldo choosing the talk over the walk.

————————————————————–
This Weekend’s TV Highlights

Friday, April 6
7:30pm, FSN – Heat @ Celtics (HD)
7:35pm, TBS – Mets @ Braves
8:00pm, ESPN – Cavs @ Wizards (HD)
10:30pm, ESPN – Mavs @ Nuggets (HD)

Saturday, April 7
3:30pm, CBS – The Masters (HD)
3:30pm, FOX – Mets @ Braves (HD)
3:30pm, ABC – DC United @ Rapids (HD)
4:00pm, 3:30pm, ESPN2 – NASCAR Busch Series Pepsi 300 (HD)
7:00pm, FSN – Celtics @ Pacers
7:00pm, ESPN – NCAA Hockey Title game – BC/Michigan St.
7:00pm, CN8 – Senators @ Bruins
8:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Rangers (HD)
8:30pm, TV38 – Revolution @ Fire

Sunday, April 8th

1:00pm, TBS – Mets @ Braves
1:00pm, ABC – Cavs @ Pistons (HD)
1:00pm, NBC – Sabres @ Flyers (HD)
2:30pm, CBS – The Masters (HD)
3:30pm, ABC – Suns @ Lakers (HD)
8:00pm, ESPN – Red Sox @ Rangers (HD)