Hot Summer Nights

The Patriots are in Charlotte taking on the Carolina Panthers tonight and the Red Sox are in Chicago, headlining this weekend’s local sports events.

The Red Sox play a doubleheader with the White Sox Friday on NESN, (though the weather isn’t looking good) while Saturday’s 3:30pm game is on FOX, with Matt Vasgersian & Joe Girardi calling the game. Sunday’s game is back on NESN. Keep up with all the Red Sox coverage on RedSoxLinks.com.

The Patriots are on CBS Friday night, where Greg Gumbel teams with Dan Dierdorf in calling the action from the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. This game will be shown in HDTV at 1080i lines of picture resolution along with 5.1 digital audio.

On Patriots Daily, we’ll have a wrapup of the game, and the coverage from the weekend, including the extensive Sunday Links posting.

——————————————
It was another eventful week in the Boston sports media, with the Boston Globe bringing on board former Denver Post NBA writer Marc Spears to headline what would seem to be a new emphasis on Celtics coverage at the Globe.

Local guy and former Boston Herald columnist Howard Bryant had his first column for ESPN.com this week, writing about the how the NFL Players Association has failed both Michael Vick and itself.

A pair of curious comments stood out this week in reading over sports coverage. Both statements appeared to be overreaction on the part of the writers. The first one was regarding the Patriots kicker when the Providence Journal Patriots notebook stated that “many Patriots fans started to lose confidence in Stephen Gostkowski” after the second year kicked missed some kicks in practice last week, and then missed a 33 yard kick and sent a kickoff out of bounds in the second preseason game.

Were “many” Patriots fans really losing confidence in a guy who made some huge kicks towards the end of last season (including the game winner in the San Diego playoff game and outkicking Adam Vinatieri in the AFC championship game- both road games, by the way)? It seems a little far-fetched that fans would be jumping off the Gostkowski bandwagon so quickly.

The other comment was from Worcester Telegram & Gazette baseball writer Bill Ballou, who led off Thursday Red Sox game story thusly:

This certainly isn't what the Red Sox expected when they shelled out $100 million, give or take a nickel, to obtain the services of Daisuke Matsuzaka.

They didn't expect him to be 13-10, just three games over .500 on a team that is 25 games over. And they didn't expect him to be 1-3 against the Devil Rays, the worst team in the AL East, especially when the rest of the Boston pitching staff is 8-1 against Tampa Bay.

Seth Mnookin tackled this ridiculous statement already in a post on his blog, which shows that if anything, Matsuzaka has actually exceeded expectations thus far in his first season in Boston.

——————————————
Many of those not in the Boston market this weekend will see the Mets and Dodgers on FOX, in a broadcast that will feature a special coming together of two prominent voices in the history of the New York Mets when Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner rejoins long-time broadcast partner Tim McCarver. In the third inning of Saturday’s game, Kiner will enter the Shea Stadium television booth named in his honor and broadcast with McCarver for the first time since 1998. Kiner, who has been a part of the Mets broadcast team since their inception in 1962, spent 16 seasons (1983-1998) working alongside McCarver, a span that covered the Mets incredible World Series run in 1986 and division title in 1988. During Ralph’s visit to the booth, McCarver will resume his old duties and call an inning of play-by-play alongside Kiner, just like the old days. “We spent sixteen great years together,” said McCarver. “I’m looking very forward to seeing my good friend.”

——————————————–
Starting next Wednesday, at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN will feature 25 consecutive hours of college football-themed programming leading up to the #2 LSU at Mississippi State telecast Thursday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. also on ESPN.

The schedule will include six special editions of College Football Live, while ESPN’s regularly scheduled programming – such as SportsCenter, NFL Live, PTI, Rome is Burning, Around the Horn and Outside the Lines – will provide extensive college football content. Davis will host every college football show and segments in non-college football programs during the 25 hours of coverage.

They’re promoting it as a 25 hour pregame show leading up to the first televised college football game of the season.
___________________________
Jessica Camerato lists out five reasons that Reggie Miller should’ve come to Boston.

Pink Hat Hell reviews the fourth episode of Sox Appeal.

Kevin Hench says that we shouldn’t expect J.D. Drew to all of a sudden turn on the power switch.

Tom Pedulla in USA Today has the Patriots hoping for big returns from Wes Welker.

Steve Henson has an interesting look at Jim Bouton’s first Vintage Base Ball Federation World Series which took place last weekend in Westfield, Ma.

Tony Massarotti looks at the 16 MLB teams that are still in playoff contention.

——————————————–
Nationals Sports Media Columns

New England
Susan Bickelhaupt has Doug Flutie insisting that he’ll be able to remain objective when analyzing a Boston College game for ESPN. She also enjoyed Dan Patrick’s co-host stint on WEEI Thursday. Bill Doyle talks to Evan Brunell, founder of the sports blog network Most Valuable Network. David Scott checks in with new Boston Globe Celtics writer Marc Spears, who seems thrilled to be here in Boston with everything that is going on in the world of Boston sports. Andrew Neff has Time Warner cable apologizing to viewers for going to a commercial just as the Angels were in the process of executing a walk-off win against the Yankees on Monday night.

New York
Phil Mushnick says that Tiki Barber may not have been correct in his comments about Eli Manning and Giants Sunday night, but he wasn’t far off, and his is now being paid to give him opinion, for better or for worse. Richard Sandomir has Bill Cowher settling into his new role as analyst on CBS’ The NFL Today. He also has Nike featuring 18 women in an ad that will debut tomorrow. Bob Raissman says that the Michael Vick story is going to linger throughout the NFL season.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has Keith Olbermann getting back into sports with his debut on NBC’s NFL coverage this Sunday. Laura Nachman has former NBA assistant coach and “Post Game Live” analyst Bob Salmi being hired as an analyst for Sixers games on Comcast SportsNet. Leonard Shapiro remembers the late Phil Rizzuto. Chris Zelkovich says that like it or not, mixed martial arts fighting is here to stay. Jim Williams notes that with the Redskins and Ravens playing their annual preseason game, viewers get to see dueling game broadcasts. He also notes that Michael Vick has become more than a sports story.

South
Barry Jackson has the sports radio wars in Miami heating up. He also says that Sid Rosenberg needs to stop telling guests how fabulous they are. Dave Darling notes that Roger Federer’s dominance flies under the public radar. David Barron has Jim Rome saying that the Michael Vick story tops all the hot button issues, from O.J. Simpson to Ray Lewis to Kobe Bryant and beyond. Barry Horn has Daryl Johnston noting letting his NFL job for FOX silence him from supporting retired NFL players’ gripes with the league and its players association over disability payouts.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein has Comcast and the Big Ten Network battling over the channel’s placement on the cable system, and with the season getting close, no deal is on the horizon. Judd Zulgad also reports on the Comcast/Big Ten Network battle. Dan Caesar has Tim McKernan staying on the St. Louis airwaves rather than taking an offer from SportsNet New York. Bob Wolfley says that Tiki Barber’s candor was just what NBC hired him for. Jeffrey Flanagan has FOX planning changes to the Royals broadcasts for next season.

West Coast
Jay Posner notes that despite having the Padres leading in the NL Wildcard chase, this has still been a summer of discontent for San Diego fans. Tom Hoffarth says that the media has been on target in the Michael Vick case. He also has a collection of wiseacre media comments in his blog. Larry Stewart looks at the upcoming coverage of the U.S. Open Tennis championships. John Maffei has ESPN pushing hype to new levels with their upcoming “25 Hours of College Football” event. Jim Carlisle looks at a number of changes coming in NFL telecasts this season.

Weekend Watch – PGA Championship Edition

It’s a busy summer weekend of sports as a golf major, baseball and preseason football is all on the schedule, along with David Beckham coming to Foxboro.

*The Patriots preseason kicks off tonight down in Tampa at 7:30 on Channel 5 (WCVB). Patriots Daily will have a Game Day Rear View feature following the action, and is the place to check in over the weekend for Sunday football links.

*The PGA Championship takes place this weekend, as golf wraps up the final major of the season. TNT coverage from 11:00am to 2:00pm Saturday and Sunday, while CBS follows with 2:00pm to 7:00pm coverage each of those days.

*The Red Sox are in Baltimore to face the Orioles this weekend, hoping to keep their AL East lead comfortable over the New York Yankees. Keep up with the action on RedSoxLinks.com.

*British Soccer superstar David Beckham is in New England this weekend as the first place (9-4-6) New England Revolution take on the Los Angeles Galaxy this Sunday, August 12 at 7:00PM. The game can only be seen on TV38. This is also the only match-up this season between the two teams.

————————————————————-
David Scott checks in with another Dennis and Callahan negotiations update. He says Dennis’ vacation this week was planned, but that Entercom could possibly not put him back on the air until the contract situation with he and Gerry Callahan is straightened out.

Bill Simmons takes a break from the book writing to bang out a mailbag.

Chad Finn has nine innings worth of Red Sox thoughts.

Clark Booth loves The Bronx is Burning.

Eric Wilbur is glad football is back, but doesn’t care for the league’s restrictive media policies.

Bill Wallace remembers Bucky Kilroy.

Tom Curran reports from Steelers training camp.

Tim Sullivan in the San Diego Union Tribune has an interesting feature on Richard Birch, whose father Paul had his career ruined by the Jack Molinas point shaving scandal in the 1950’s.

Dr. Z. has an NFL mailbag.

Mike Freeman doesn’t appear to be a fan of Bob Costas.

Eric Edholm is enjoying Hard Knocks on HBO.

————————————————————–
New England
David Scott looks at WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan mystery, and also 890 ESPN being on the market. Susan Bickelhaupt talks to Red Sox announcer Dave O’Brien, who made the calls of Barry Bonds’ record tying and breaking home runs in the last week for ESPN. Jeff Howe talks to CBS football analyst Randy Cross about the Patriots, and also the passing of his former coach, Bill Walsh.

New York
Neil Best examines the various calls of the announcers who were there for Barry Bonds’ 756th home run. Richard Sandomir compares the ratings and viewership for the game in which Hank Aaron broke the home run record in 1974, to the game in which Bonds broke the record this week. Aaron’s game drew 15 times as many viewers and Sandomir says there is more to it than simply the difference in TV eras. Phil Mushnick says that it is fine to feel repulsed over Bonds breaking the record, no matter what the networks tell you. Justin Terranova has 5 questions with Nick Faldo. Bob Raissman says that Carl Banks displayed a brain and a conscience in declining to attach ARod’s name to the steroid discussion on WFAN this week.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand says ESPN is planning plenty of storylines for Monday Night Football each week, and suggests several of his own…such as showing Joe Theismann in the stands. Howard Kurtz notes that following the Barry Bonds home run chase has been a “joyless process for many of the journalists” assigned to the story. Chris Zelkovich has the new executive producer for Hockey Night in Canada promising to keep the show on top. Laura Nachman has NBC10’s Jade McCarthy leading all Philadelphia sportscasters with four Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations.

South
Dave Darling credits his DVR with allowing him to view the Bonds record breaking blast on his own schedule. He also looks at FSN Florida trying to get Bright House Network to put the channel on their expanded-basic cable lineup. Barry Jackson has Ron Jaworski getting ready to take on his Monday Night Football duties, and also talks to Dave O’Brien about his call of the Barry Bonds record breaking home run. David Barron has Ken Double working his last game for the Houston Aeros.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein observes that the recent Hawk Harrelson/Steve Stone pairing on White Sox broadcasts was a hit, and wonders if things might be in the works to make it a permanent change. Bob Wolfley says that the ratings numbers for the Bonds home run are not impressive. Dan Caesar says that the chase has been good for ESPN’s ratings. Judd Zulgad looks over the latest Twins ratings numbers as well as other figures from the ratings book. Jeffrey Flanagan has Brian McRae likely moving with the Royals broadcasts to Entercom next season, even if he is an investor in their competitor.

West Coast
Larry Stewart tells about the time that Nick Faldo dropped Jim Nantz’s name to get into the NCAA Final Four…before they really knew each other. Tom Hoffarth notes that after two years of basically stalking Barry Bonds for ESPN, Pedro Gomez almost missed the record breaking home run. Jay Posner has John Madden talking about the Chargers atop a collection of media notes. Jim Williams says that the Bonds chase was a ratings monster for FSN Bay Area. John Maffei has San Diego State football “unofficially” putting together their broadcast team.

Blogs
Awful Announcing has a season preview of the FOX NFL Broadcast crew. The Starting Five has baseball writers trying to abort Barry Bonds from their systems now that the chase is over. Sports Media Journal checks out the scene inside the press box at a Pawtucket Red Sox game. Sports Media Watch has more on the Bonds coverage. TheBigLead has Bob Costas and Bill Rhoden going a few rounds over Bonds. Fire Joe Morgan tears into a Ian O’Connor column about Bonds. the Journal of Sports Media examines jockocracy ethics. Sports Law Blog has a look at how teams and leagues are limiting media access to boost online profits.

Red Sox Head West, NFL Enshrines Six

The Red Sox hit the West coast yet again this weekend as they have three games with Seattle starting tonight,(10:00pm, NESN) followed by three in Anaheim against the Angels.

Jon Lester gets the start tonight in front of his home crowd. Keep up with the coverage this weekend on RedSoxLinks.com.

There is plenty of other baseball action going on as well, as three big milestones are still waiting to be reached. Barry Bonds continues his home run chase in San Diego (where the Padres announcer hopes not to have his call “repeated for generations” (See media columns, West Coast section, below). Alex Rodriguez is still seeking career home run number 500, while (Billerica’s own) Tom Glavine will again be seeking his 300th win. Glavine’s start can be seen on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball starting at 8:00.

ESPN2 has added the Giants/Padres games to their schedule Friday and Saturday night, both at 10:00pm. Red Sox radio announcer Dave O’Brien will be calling both games.

NFL Hall of Fame induction is this weekend as the six members of the Class of 2007 – Gene Hickerson, Michael Irvin, Bruce Matthews, Charlie Sanders, Thurman Thomas and Roger Wehrli are enshrined in the Hall. ESPN will present live coverage induction ceremonies Saturday, August 4 at 6 p.m. ET from Canton, Ohio. Trey Wingo will host the three-hour telecast – in primetime for the first time – with analysts Tom Jackson and rookie Emmitt Smith.

The weekend also gets us our first glimpse of live NFL action, as the Hall of Fame game between the Saints and Steelers is Sunday night at 8:00 on NFL Network.

—————————————————
Susan Bickelhaupt‘s media column in the Globe today included a quick update on the status of WEEI morning host Gerry Callahan, who has now been out over three months with an undisclosed throat ailment that required surgery. Callahan says he hopes to be back “in a couple weeks” – but since the original premise was that Callahan was just taking “a couple weeks” off to rest his voice, does this mean we can expect to hear him in November sometime? We all wish Callahan well with his recovery, but the secrecy around the whole thing has been Belichickian. I hope Gerry makes it back, but never again complains about the Patriots coach not giving out injury updates.

—————————————————-
Rob Bradford promises to get back to regular updates on The Bradford Files, and also is going to try to add audio links into the page to add another dimension to the site, so that you can listen to his comments and thoughts on team as well.

Suuuurrre, Rob, I think you’re just trying to get out of a little typing…

—————————————————-
We’ve got a week of Patriots Daily under our belts. Today we’re looking at Stanley Morgan being elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame and looking at some numbers from our first week. Check back both days this weekend, as we’ll have links and commentary.

Bob Ryan wishes that we would Please sober up when it comes to the Celtics.

Kevin Henkin pens An Open Letter to the Wet Blankets (like Ryan) on the BSMW Full Court Press.

John Klima says that Eric Gagne should be examined in the same light as Barry Bonds as regards steroids.

Gelf Magazine talks to Grant Farred, who wrote a paper in 2000 praising ESPN for raising the sports IQ. He doesn’t feel the same way now.

Paul McNamara looks at StubHub becoming “the official scalper of Major League Baseball.”

—————————————————-
New England
Susan Bickelhaupt has FSN New England excited at the prospect of being able to feature Kevin Garnett for the entire season. She’s also got some advice for Jerry Remy on the NESN telecasts and has an update on Gerry Callahan’s recovery and return to WEEI “in a couple weeks.” Mark Murphy looks at the Celtics suddenly becoming a must-see attraction for the national networks. Bill Doyle checks in with FOX25’s Butch Stearns, who can’t hide from Boston fans while on WEEI. David Scott has a look at the Theo Epstein Line of The Week regarding NPR vs WEEI, the Pats stealing revenue stream ideas from the Redskins and news of the pending FSNNE re-branding.

New York
Richard Sandomir says that while the YES Network is indeed for sale, the 37% ownership stake of the Steinbrenner family is not, and will remain under the control of the Yankees. Bob Raissman says to forget about James Dolan and Cablevision getting involved in the sale, but looks at the possibilities for Comcast. Phil Mushnick wonders if ESPN is finally figuring out just how bad Joe Morgan is as America’s lead baseball analyst. Neil Best checks in with the new ESPN Monday Night Football crew, and observes whether the chemistry between Tony Kornheiser and Ron Jaworski will be better than it was between Kornheiser and Joe Theismann.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has a look at the NBA national broadcast schedule, which will make TV stars of Kevin Garnett, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Leonard Shapiro has an extensive talk with Joe Theismann, who still cannot understand why he was fired from the Monday Night Football analyst role. Jim Williams looks at Washington D.C.’s Legg Mason event becoming a key stop on the tennis tour for ESPN2. Chris Zelkovich has quasi-sports talk radio station AM 640 taking a run at the bigger FAN 590. Richard Deitsch talks to Dan Patrick about his decision to leave ESPN.

South
Barry Jackson looks at the NFL Network getting moved to a sports and entertainment tier by Comcast, which will charge an extra $5 per month. He also looks at some troubling media musings on the Michael Vick dog-fighting case. David Barron has longtime pre and post game host finally taking his act to the field as the Texans’ new sideline reporter for KILT. Barry Horn has more on the maturation of the NFL Network.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has a look at how the Twins announcers had to tread a very difficult line on Wednesday night between calling the game and keeping up with the tragedy of the Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge collapse. Teddy Greenstein has Joe Buck bullish on the Cubs chances and hopes to be calling Cubs postseason games in the fall. Dan Caesar catches up with a number of sports radio moves in the St. Louis market. Jeffrey Flanagan has channel 41’s Jack Harry hoping that his 2005 prediction that Priest Holmes would never again play for the Chiefs is proven wrong, but he still stands by it.

West Coast
Larry Stewart chats with Sal Masekela, host f ESPN’s Summer and Winter X Games. Stewart’s notebook has the Lakers front and center in the national NBA TV broadcasts for next season. Tom Hoffarth looks at the Summer of Beckham dragging on, and also talks with Paul Page, an X Games announcer who doesn’t quite fit the demographic of the audience, but is still well liked. Jim Williams has FSN Bay area joining the Comcast family. John Maffei has Padres announcer Ted Leitner hoping that Barry Bonds doesn’t break the home run record with him behind the mic. He says: “I don’t even want to be a part of it. I don’t want my call repeated for generations.” Jim Carlisle looks at ESPN trying to bounce around and keep up with the milestones, between the Bonds chase, Tom Glavine seeking win number 300, and David Beckham playing in the U.S. Carlisle’s notebook has a peek at the NBA schedule.