Does Jared Remy’s Guilty Plea Help His Dad?

In a somewhat surprising move, Jared Remy yesterday pleaded guilty to the murder of his girlfriend and mother of his daughter, Jennifer Martel.

The plea avoids a very public and gruesome trial, which is good for the victim’s family. Is it also good for Remy’s father? By entering the plea and going to jail, the case will fade in the public eye faster than if a trial was going on this fall.

This was something in the works, as NESN had sent out a notice on Monday morning that Jerry Remy would not be in the booth  that night or last night. They were “planned days off.” According to that email, Remy will be back in the booth tonight at Fenway Park.

Update: NESN has since said that Remy will be out tonight and tomorrow night, replaced by Steve Lyons.

Jerry Remy is still getting heat from Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan – ‘RemDawg’ benefits from a blatant double standard – but it seems in general the cry is fading out against the broadcaster, who has as many or more defenders in the media as he does those who are uncomfortable with his continued presence on the air.

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In other news involving the legal system and sports media, former Channel 7 and 56 sports anchor Bob Gamere is a free man, released after serving 4 1/2 years in prison for child porn.

Ex-sportscaster Bob Gamere out of prison after child porn conviction

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Yesterday marked the debut of the new WEEI midday show.

middays-with-mfb

I gave it some time yesterday. I’m not making any judgments after a day, the show went pretty well, Benz to me anyway sounds a lot like Mutnansky. A little deeper voice maybe. We’ll see how the show develops over the coming weeks and whether or not the station made an upgrade here.

I heard Mike Mutnansky a little last night on with Mikey Adams before the Red Sox pregame, and some after. He needs some time as well to adjust into the new role.

Media Links and Week Wrap

Yesterday was the last edition of the Mut and Lou show on WEEI. Mike Mutnansky will soon transition over to the role previously held by John Ryder, working Red Sox broadcasts and last nights. All in all, it’s not a horrible move for Mutnansky, who stays employed and gets a role that still gives him some of the spotlight.

Kirk Minihane wrote a column yesterday paying tribute to Mutnansky – Taking time to appreciate the Mut Man – and it was a sweet of Kirk to come to the defense of the exiled midday host. (Though how many radios tuned to 98.5 at 10:00am to hear Andy Gresh respond to Kirk’s insults about him?)

Just like Minihane tends to go over the top when writing about someone like Joe Haggerty, he goes a bit over the top in writing nice things about Mutnansky. It’s what Minihane does. I agree with much of what he writes about Mutnansky as a person. He’s a good guy, he works hard. I feel like he unsuccessfully tried too hard to be something he’s not. Some people can get away with that, he couldn’t.

If Kirk really wanted to be brutally honest and over the top he might question how the son of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute President and Chief Executive Officer got the midday job on the station that just happens to hold the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon every year. I’m sure there’s no connection there whatsoever.

In the Globe today, Chad Finn looks at How NESN has changed in 30 years with a look back at the first telecast (which literally no one saw) and several milestones along the way.

There are also links to a Jack Craig column after the debut of NESN and foot-stomping columns by Bob Ryan (Why can’t I watch the Red Sox on Ch. 38?) and Leigh MontvillePay-cable television will begin for the Red Sox with this game and I will kick the Florida ground at the very idea.

Over on the T&G Bill Doyle writes Holy Cross football to have bigger presence on Charter TV-3.

Dan Kennedy looks at the sale of the T&G – John Henry sells Worcester Telegram to Florida chain which is noteworthy since the Red Sox and Globe owner had previously said he would only sell that paper to local owners or he would continue to operate it himself.

What Is The Fascination (if it is true) With Stephen Drew?

The Red Sox re-signed shortstop Stephen Drew yesterday, a move that has been called for by the media pretty much non-stop since the beginning of the season.

A guy that many of these same media folks were snickering at when he was originally signed, they called for his benching when he struggled with his batting average for much of last season, and these same people now view him as the savior of the Red Sox season?

He’s a nice, steady player, and maybe that’s all that’s needed for this team, but somehow I doubt it. The Red Sox lost their fifth game in a row last night, and appear to have lost the magic that carried them to a World Series title last season. Does Drew solve all that?

He solidifies the infield, taking over at shortstop while Xander Bogaerts gets pushed over the third base. He’ll get on base, provide some power and runs, but the Red Sox have a lot of other issues to still sort out.

It will be interesting to see how Super Agent Scott Boras is treated in all of this. He cost his player 4 million dollars by having him not accept the qualifying offer from the Red Sox last offseason. The Boston Globe Sunday Baseball Notes, which should just be renamed The News That Scott Boras Wants Put Out There should be an interesting read this week.

Get all the Red Sox news and views at RedSoxLinks.com.

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The NBA Draft Lottery didn’t go the way the Celtics and their fans wanted last night, but at least they got the pick they had the greatest odds of getting, and the Lakers weren’t the team that moved into the top three.

Now attention will shift to Kevin Love for the next few weeks until the draft, as the Timberwolves forward appears to be the player that media and fans have targeted as the star that the Celtics should aggressively pursue.

Part of me thinks that Minnesota won’t be quite so eager to deal with the Celtics this time around, but if they’re interested in the best package, it might just be Boston that has it.

At a minimum we know that we can safely cross Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid off the Celtics draft list. Instead, guys like Dante Exum, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh and Marcus Smart look to be the possibilities if the Celtics stay put at pick number six.

Get all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

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Interesting to hear Jon Meterparel on the WEEI morning show today with Callahan and Minihane. It was his first appearance on the station since departing in October 2012. He’s had a stint at Boston Herald radio, he’s been on the Big Show Unfiltered, tried his own podcast on jonmeterparel.com/. He’s done Pawtucket Red Sox games and continued his work on Boston College football and basketball radio broadcasts.

Who’s The FA? UDFA! (2014 Version)

New England always seems to find at least one hidden gem in the undrafted free-agent ranks. UDFAs who made the squad in 2013 include wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (32 rec, 466 yds, four TDs), defensive tackle Joe Vellano (54 tackles, two sacks), offensive guard Josh Kline (seven games played, one start), and punter Ryan Allen (16 starts). You can link to last year’s column here.

The Patriots went into the draft with plenty of roster room for rookies, opening the door to more UDFAs than we’ve seen in Foxboro in a long time. Here are the ones we know of (NEPatriotsdraft.com deserves credit for their annual diligence on this topic), and – back by popular demand (not true) – High School Fun Facts!

Below we list the UDFAs who have been linked to New England over the past week. Asterisks note the first nine rookie free agents officially signed by the club.*

[Read more...]

Bruins Bow Out In Depressing Game 7 Loss

The Bruins ended their postseason run earlier than anyone wanted or expected as their hated nemesis the Montreal Canadiens took the final two games of the series, including last night’s game 7 on the Bruins home ice at TD Garden.

The 3-1 loss for the Bruins is hard to take, especially given how dominant they were during the regular season and in their first round series against the Red Wings.

There was plenty of trolling by the local media going on last night, with some taking victory laps and others just glad this annoying hockey stuff can be done and over with so the focus can be on real sports like baseball.

Dan Shaughnessy is happy, he got to write his Bruins are guaranteed to win game 7 column yesterday and followed up with his ghosts and curses and choke column today. Mike Felger after game three lectured the Bruins fans about how they underestimated Montreal and how it was going to be a really tough series, but yesterday also said if the Bruins didn’t win it would be a choke. Good times.

Get all the coverage at Bruinslinks.com.

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Interesting article in Boston Business Journal about Glenn Ordway’s project the Big Show Unfiltered and his future plans for it – Glenn ‘The Big O’ Ordway plots a comeback amid sports-media tumult in Boston.

Ordway and Jason Wolfe confirm in the article that they are in negotiations with several terrestrial broadcasters and that a deal for the show on traditional radio is likely happening in the months ahead. They also will increase programming, but not just on sports.

The show might have a winner with the #TwitterPolice segment. Pete Sheppard goes after inane Tweets by the sports media. There’s plenty of material out there.

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The Inside Track had this bit on the recent changes at WEEI:

That Mike Mutnansky, who was booted from WEEI’s midday show last week, was reassigned yesterday to host the station’s Red Sox pre- and postgame shows, replacing John Ryder later this month. As part of his new duties, Mut will take over the 10 p.m.-midnight shift and will appear on the “Planet Mikey” show that airs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Ryder is moving over to the Total Traffic & Weather Network and will provide updates for stations all over New England. Last week, the station announced the shakeup in the midday show, teaming Mutnansky’s partner, Lou Merloni, with former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and Tim Benz, a host and sports director for 970 ESPN Pittsburgh. WEEI has been losing the midday battle badly to rival 98.5 The Sports Hub, which finished second with adult male listeners in recent ratings, while ’EEI was 10th.

With Mutnansky, that’s pretty much what I expected to happen. For Ryder, hopefully this is just a placeholder job for something bigger and better. The reaction from both fellow media and from WEEI listeners to Ryder’s termination has been completely supportive of Ryder and expressing dismay at the loss of his intelligent, reasoned voice on the airwaves.

Patriots Draft Review Panel, 2014

When we hear the NFL Draft get compared to Christmas, it’s not just about receiving shiny new toys to play with: it also involves a post-hype letdown with much discussion of choices. We’re here to review New England’s hits and disappointments during America’s ever-expanding “holiday” weekend.

Just like in 2013, Bruce Allen and Chris Warner of BSMW invite ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss (from his Patriots blog), Chad Finn from The Boston Globe and Boston.com (from Touching All The Bases) and WEEI.com’s Chris Price (from It Is What It Is).

For a review of last year’s panel, click this link. (You can have a pretty good laugh at our collective dismissal of the LeGarrette Blount trade.)

In case you went away for the weekend (to see Mom, for example), here’s a look at the Patriots’ moves:

THE TRADE

New England traded their third-round pick (93rd overall) to Jacksonville for a fourth-rounder (105) and sixth-rounder (179).

THE PICKS

Round One (29): Dominique Easley, Florida DL

Round Two (62): Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois QB

Round Four (105): Bryan Stork, Florida State OL

Round Four (130): James White, Wisconsin RB

Round Four (140): Cameron Fleming, Stanford OL

Round Six (179): John Halapio, Florida State OL

Round Six (198): Zach Moore, Concordia DE

Round Six (206): Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech DB

Round Seven (244): Jeremy Gallon, Michigan WR

EXCELLENT

Mike Reiss: Triple-dipping along the offensive line. Time will tell if the picks are the right ones, but this is an area the Patriots hadn’t drafted in 2012 and 2013 and it’s important from a team-building and salary-cap standpoint to feed that pipeline. Going three years without a pick on the offensive line would have been risky. Furthermore, up-the-middle pressure is one of the main things that can slow down the Patriots’ offense, and if the Patriots hit on their picks, they should be better equipped to handle it.

Chris Price: The offensive linemen appear to be the most NFL-ready group. Bryan Stork could conceivably be a contributor in 2014 – he has the sort of positional versatility where he could serve as a backup to Ryan Wendell, or could step in in case of emergency. He also has enough of a background where he could play either guard spot. Cameron Fleming is a bonafide rocket scientist who could already be one of the smartest dudes in the locker room, and while it’s unlikely he’ll unseat either Nate Solder at left tackle or Sebastian Vollmer on the right side, he gives New England a backup swing tackle and impact playing time for a handful of people, including Marcus Cannon (who initially tried to recruit him to TCU when the two were collegians). And while Jon Halapio probably won’t be able to unseat Logan Mankins at left guard, he could create a nice positional battle at right guard involving Dan Connolly. (Halapio started 36 games at right guard the last three years for Florida.) The offensive line is a position that certainly bears watching for a few reasons, not the least of which is that there’s now a couple of possible position battles brewing at a spot where the Patriots were thought to be able to have some pretty good stability. At the end of the 2013 season, it certainly looked like New England would simply run the same five offensive linemen out there in 2014 without missing a beat. Now, it looks like there could be some movement up front for the Patriots.

Chris Warner: New England’s Round Four stood out to me in how it addressed need while getting value. Stork won the Rimington Trophy for best college center in the country. White averaged over six yards per carry and showed the ability to add a pass-catching element the Pats missed for half the season while Shane Vereen was out. Fleming’s a smarty-pants who also happens to be 6-5, 323. Getting three potentially steady contributors on Day Three looks like B.B. and Co.’s strongest move of the draft.

Chad Finn: My favorite pick of this Patriots draft was the first one – I love the Dominique Easley selection. I get the concern about the two ACL injuries, but it’s hardly a kiss of death. He came back from one better than before, and had he not suffered a second one last season, there’s zero chance he would have been available at No. 29. He may not be ready at the beginning of the season, but I’ll bet he’s an impact player by the end of it. Bonus effect: It caused Mel Kiper Jr. begin twitching and sniffling in that “I-had-him-in-Round-3-but-Belichick-knows-better-than-I-do-dammit-all-I-should-have-just-become-a-nurse-like-mom-wanted” manner. Double-bonus effect: Pete Carroll apparently coveted Easley. I like it when Pete Carroll loses things he covets, like his favorite comfortable pair of khakis, and I’m not apologizing for it.

Bruce Allen: The beginning and the end. I’m big on Easley, and while the twin ACL surgeries are concerning, I’m confident that the team did its due diligence with the medicals and these days its seems like ACL injuries are becoming what Tommy John surgeries are to baseball – commonplace, and sometimes even beneficial overall for the structure of the joint. Who knows? That’s definitely with my Patriots-blue glasses on. The fact that the Seahawks were visibly disappointed when the Patriots picked him is encouraging. I also really like the UDFA class. Stephen Houston could make people forget LeGarrette Blount. Justin Jones is a physical freak – 6-8, 277 pounds as a tight end. He might have Scott Chandler-style potential. Worst case he’s the new Zach Sudfeld.

GOOD

Chris Price: The pickup of the two offensive skill position players represents some good Day 3 value. White is a third-down type of back who figures to sit behind the group of incumbents, but in a perfect world, would follow the Vereen path – sit for a year and fundamentally take a redshirt season. Then, if the Patriots aren’t able to retain one of the backs currently on the roster (Vereen, Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden are all going into the last year of their contracts), White could be poised to make the leap in 2015. (Of course, if the occasionally brittle Vereen isn’t able to stay healthy, chances are good that White could get that shot this year.) Gallon was a yardage machine as a receiver and return man at Michigan, and is a very good seventh-round pickup who could have his chance to make an impact on special teams, at least initially.

Chris Warner: You could argue for putting the Easley pick under any of these categories. A game-changing D-lineman at 29? Excellent! A training room denizen with knee ligaments made out of frozen Charleston Chews? Poor! I’m calling the Pats’ first pick a good one because he fills a need, yet should have time to grow into an expanding role. If Easley can deliver on his potential as a disruptive force on passing downs in 2014 (and I’ll bet he does), then well done. I also enjoyed the Gallon pick – would have liked him even if he’d been taken earlier, but in the seventh he seems like a hidden gem. He spoke of his potential ability to fit in at Foxboro as a smaller pass-catcher, and he displayed the athleticism to make an impact. At the very least, good idea to have another talented slot receiver in camp to rest the veterans.

Bruce Allen Guys, I’m onboard with the QB pick. If this is the guy they wanted all along and they chose him here before Houston (who reportedly was hot on him) could get him at the top of the third, then I’m OK with it. I really don’t get the people out there screaming on radio and TV that THIS TEAM HAS SO MANY HOLES and this was a wasted pick. Was this team 4-12 last year? Are there really that many holes? The crowd that repeatedly tells us how rapidly Brady’s window is closing is opposed to planning for life after Brady? Stocking up the offensive line with big fatties is always a plus too. Grabbing perhaps the best center in the draft was a nice pick.

Chad Finn: I understand why fans aren’t particularly interested right now in considering a future in which someone other than Tom Brady is the Patriots’ quarterback. He’s still close to the top of his game, still among the select few elite passers in the league. And in pursuit of that elusive fourth Lombardi Trophy, the natural instinct is to covet a player who may help immediately. But Bill Belichick has to consider the position now, especially since it has become apparent that Ryan Mallett isn’t the long-term successor. It seems that there is a lot to like about second-rounder Jimmy Garoppolo, and while none of us wants to see him play until he’s on the verge of that second contract, if the Patriots believe he is suited to be The One Who Follows Brady after the appropriate adjustment to the NFL, I’m fine with them taking him now. Also really liked the selection of James White from Wisconsin in Round Four. A versatile running back without many miles on the odometer? Could be a steal.

Mike Reiss: I liked the Zach Moore pick at the end of the sixth round (198th overall). Before the draft, I listed him as a fifth-round possibility for the team. So when they get him in the sixth, it would be hypocritical to say anything other than it being a solid pick. We might not see much of Moore until 2015, but a player with those physical traits and upside should be intriguing to watch from a developmental standpoint.

FAIR

Bruce Allen I did think they’d grab a Tight End somewhere along the line in the draft, and I believe they intended to, but the draft just didn’t fall that way. Should they have been a bit more aggressive in moving up to take one of them? Perhaps. Everything comes down to value down there, and they must’ve just not deemed the available players worth the move up to grab. Do they end up signing Dustin Keller, who came in before the draft? I’d like to have seen another defensive tackle somewhere in there. Hopefully we actually get to see Armstead this year on the field. I’m somewhat intrigued by this Zach Moore kid. Seems like a worthwhile project, but how much room for projects does this roster have?

Mike Reiss: I’d put Dominique Easley in this category, and it’s more of a personal preference to go with a safer, less risky pick in the first round. I also feel like that’s when the Patriots have been at their best, going for more of the sure thing. Easley is a big-time talent and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a star if he stays healthy, but the combination of ACL tears on both knees at Florida with him being an undersized defensive lineman would make me uneasy if I was making the pick. I think it’s the riskiest pick of Bill Belichick’s 15-year tenure, very bold, and serves as another reminder that just when you think you might be able to pin Belichick down (“he usually leans toward the safe pick”), he does something you don’t expect.

Chad Finn: It’s not so much about what they did do, but what they didn’t. I would have liked to see them draft a tight end who could play right away. I wonder if Jace Amaro might have been their second-round target rather than Garoppolo had he not been selected earlier in the round by the Jets. (I also have severe Eric Ebron envy, though there was no chance they were getting him without trading way up.) It was also a little disappointing that they dealt away their third-round pick, but Belichick explained that they had similar grades and values on about 20 players in that range. I like the collection of offensive lineman they drafted in the middle rounds – especially Jon Halapio from Florida in the sixth round. I just wish Dante Scarnecchia was still here to coach them up.

Chris Price: In the past, the Patriots went for the safe, no-brainer pick with their first-round selection (Devin McCourty, Nate Solder, Jerod Mayo and Chandler Jones to name a few), and then tried to hit home runs with their second, third and later picks, some of whom carried an injury history with them when they reached the NFL (Rob Gronkowski). Sometimes those guys were hits, and sometimes, they were misses. This year, the selection of Easley kind of turns that formula on its ear. In Easley, they went for a guy who could conceivably have the greatest boom-bust potential of any first-round pick they’ve ever acquired. Penetrating, disruptive and quick, Easley – like Gronkowski – could be the sort of risk that pays off if the knees are OK. If not? New England could regret making such a sizable investment in a player who has struggled with injury to this point in his career.

Chris Warner: While we can all understand the “why” of the Garoppolo pick, it’s difficult to comprehend the “when.” Hard to gauge the timing of finding a Hall-of-Famer’s replacement – and Garoppolo could become a fine QB – but I felt like the Patriots should have gotten more of a right-now player here. And, yes, I get that the tight ends may have come off the board sooner than New England had ranked them, but if a certain other player with a spellcheck-crippling name (Iowa tight end C. J. Fiedorowicz) has a solid year in Houston, Jimmy G. will become another lamentable Round Two choice. In contrast to Round Four, Round Six ends up in this category. Halapio seemed like an extraneous selection after two previous O-linemen. Right now I’m pegging Moore as another Justin Rogers (from 2007): an athletic sixth-rounder who will flash this summer but ultimately not make the team. Thought Thomas looked a little too short and a little too jack-of-all-trades-like, though it’s understandable that New England appreciated his flexibility on defense. Ragging on sixth-rounders seems harsh, but it ties into my most severe criticism below: why were the Pats making those picks in the first place?

POOR/INCOMPLETE

Chad Finn: As I said, I’m fine with the Garoppolo pick in Round Two if they truly believe he is going to be a capable backup sooner and an eventual high-quality starter when Brady retires in 2033 or so. But I’ll admit to wondering whether they should have taken a safety either in that round or sometime on the second day. I know they haven’t made the most inspiring decisions with defensive backs on Day 2 (the 2012 Tavon Wilson pick still makes no sense to me). But the wish here is that they could have found someone immediately promising enough to convince Belichick to keep Logan Ryan at cornerback, where he flashed genuine ability as a rookie at a difficult position. Otherwise, it wasn’t a flashy draft, but if Easley is as good as his advocates think he can be, it could prove a fulfilling one as soon as this season.

Chris Warner: Day Two. New England had two picks on Friday and took a QB who, if all goes according to plan, won’t play a down in 2014. They then traded out of the third, netting two picks they used on Stork and Halapio. Ten O-linemen got selected in the third round – did the Patriots like none of them better than Stork? Did New England see no talent worthy of using their Day Three picks to trade up? Will we watch them make another playoff run yet come up short for lack of one or two playmakers? Does this roster really have room for all nine draft picks? Lots of questions here: just prepping my fellow panelists for what should be a doozy of a mailbag week.

Chris Price: Regardless of what you think of Jimmy Garoppolo as a potential successor to Brady, the decision to use a second-round pick on a quarterback – and then trade out of the third round when there were real needs still to be addressed – is a questionable move at best. Even though there aren’t many positional battles brewing, and the entire rookie class is going to have an uphill climb when it comes to playing time in 2014, a safety, coverage linebacker and some depth at tight end all would have been legitimate third-round possibilities.

Bruce Allen I wish they made that 3rd round pick. Do I have a rational reason for it? No. They only moved down 12 slots and picked up another 6th rounder, but I’d have liked to have made that pick at 93. We should be used to the Patriots not following form when it comes to the draft, but it seemed going in that the needs would be defensive tackle, which they picked in the 1st round, tight end, linebacker and safety. They didn’t draft that TE and they picked a small safety in the 6th round. Who am I to say what they did well and poorly?

Mike Reiss: Local reaction to the Jimmy Garoppolo pick. I understand the line of thinking that the Patriots should be surrounding Tom Brady with as much talent as possible, not necessarily considering a possible succession plan. If someone like C. J. Fiedorowicz (selected three picks later at No. 65) becomes a star, it will indeed look bad. But at the same time, I think many are underestimating the importance of the quarterback position in general and how if you don’t have that spot layered accordingly, you put the entire team at risk because of the value of the position and how it touches every part of a team. It’s not so much a succession plan for Brady (that’s a smaller part of it) as it is having someone ready should he sustain an in-season injury like Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers did in 2013 and you need a bridge to get you through a few games, or perhaps more. Would we ever accept it if the Patriots didn’t layer the running back spot accordingly? Or cornerback? So if Vereen was injured, Bill Belichick might just say, “We’re not going with any running backs today.” Never. I also think perception is a big part of this. We hear “second-round quarterback” and it makes it sound especially rich but if we look beyond the perception and consider that Garoppolo as a late second-rounder was picked just 12 slots ahead of third-rounder Ryan Mallett in 2011, it’s really no different to me. For what it’s worth, I’ve talked to two scouts who absolutely loved the Garoppolo pick – both for the player himself and the value it represented.

(Non-Boston Post) Rams, NFL Network Draft Setup A Bit Fishy

I apologize for the non-Boston sports media related post here, but I found this whole thing below interesting and I haven’t seen anyone else weigh in on it.

Over the three days of the NFL draft, the NFL Network had top reporter Mike Silver “embedded” with the St. Louis Rams during the process, allowing him complete access to what was happening in their ‘war room.’

That it was the Rams that were chosen for this didn’t seem like an accident. GM Les Snead seems to enjoy the spotlight, and is married to former NFL Network reporter Kara Henderson. Jeff Fisher is adored by the national press, a fact seems somewhat curious given that while he has had a few very good teams, including one that went to a Super Bowl, he’s also had some very bad teams. His lifetime winning percentage as a head coach is .532 – pretty good, but not great.

He knows how to work and media and get them on his side. He likes to put on a show for them, and he’s got this whole “legend of The ‘Stache” thing going on.

An incident in the Silver article seems to show how this charisma he has can influence the coverage he gets as opposed to other coaches. (You probably know the one I’m thinking of.)

When the Rams selected cornerback Lamarcus Joyner in the second round, Silver tells of the circumstances around the pick.

It was the arrival of Joyner — and the way the Rams finessed it — that brought the most pleasure to Fisher and those close to him. Intent on drafting the former Florida State star with the 44th overall pick, Fisher and others in the Rams’ war room became convinced that the Titans were preparing to snag Joyner two picks earlier. Rams general manager Les Snead began working the phones, agreeing to a trade with the Bills, who held the selection before Tennessee’s, that saw St. Louis give up a fifth-round selection to move up three spots.

When the deal was consummated, and the Rams turned in the card for Joyner, Fisher burst into a huge grin, and there were hoots and hollers of excitement. A few minutes later, when the Titans traded out of the 42nd selection — a move viewed in the Rams’ war room as confirmation that Tennessee had targeted Joyner, only to come up empty — there was another surge of congratulatory cheers.

“I don’t know how we did it,” Fisher said afterward, concealing a twinkle in his eye. “I just had a feeling.”

“Twinkle in his eye….just had a feeling.” Was it just a feeling?

A “mole?” So the suggestion is that Fisher has someone in the Titans inner circle – the franchise he coached for 17 years, who is still loyal to him, and gave up this information to the detriment of his own team?

Can you imagine if a former Belichick employee was giving out secrets of his team back to his former boss like this? Where would the outrage meter land? But here, it’s written in an admiring fashion. Silver, has been one in the past to hold no punches when it comes to this stuff, but for “The ‘Stache” its awesome.

Then there was the Michael Sam pick.

Troubled receiver Kenny Britt had found himself in yet another situation over the weekend. The Rams were in the process of dealing with it. Then Silver writes:

On Day 3 of the draft, this ranked as a legitimate headline, and headache. Little did he know — hell, little did anyone at Rams Park know — that Fisher was about to render him (Britt) a mere footnote to history.

So Fisher has decided to draft Sam.

At 5:48 p.m., the Rams officially selected Sam, and the war room scene turned surreal. The ‘Stache soaked it all in, thoroughly enjoying the experience. He got excited when informed by Artis Twyman, the team’s senior director of communications, that the Rams were the franchise which 68 years earlier signed the first African-American player of the NFL’s modern era, UCLA product Kenny Washington.

There’s no doubt that this was a historic, significant moment. The Rams made the pick. They made history. Fisher made history.

OK. Is it at all coincidental that the franchise who drafted Michael Sam just happened to have an NFL Network reporter embedded with them for the entire draft, and who got to see first-hand the entire process play out?

To me, it seems that one of two things happened. Either the plan all along was to draft Michael Sam at the end of the draft if he was still available and have that moment recorded, or Fisher, seized the moment, knowing that there was a reporter there to record it all, made the pick to further the legend of “The ‘Stache.”

Silver concludes his piece:

It’s not what anyone at Rams Park other than the head coach had in mind until about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, but now it’s happening, and the momentum behind it is unmistakable.

Perhaps, in retrospect, we should have seen this coming — for it’s very simple, and it can be summed up in three words: Trust The ‘Stache.

Maybe someone did see this coming, and that’s why Mike Silver was there in the first place.

John Ryder Latest To Exit WEEI

John Ryder, who provided a nice dose of sanity and reason to the insane-ness that is the Mikey Adams Project tweeted the above this afternoon.

I would imagine that this could be tangentially related to the weekend news of the midday show ( the details of which Mike Mutnansky confirmed on the air) in that I can see WEEI moving Mutnansky into the roles that Ryder filled, specifically on Red Sox pregame duties. Whether he works with Adams at all remains to be seen.

Ryder was one of the solid personalities at the station, not prone to the hotsportztakes and adept at wielding off the drunken callers.

Mutton Lou No Longer, Fauria, Benz To Join Merloni Middays

Chad Finn had the story this weekend that WEEI is finally shaking up the midday program, reassigning Mike Mutnansky and bringing in Christian Fauria to join Lou Merloni, and adding 970 ESPN Pittsburgh host Tim Benz to the program as well.

According to Finn:

Benz will join the program — titled “Middays with MFB” — sometime later in the month after the Penguins complete their Stanley Cup playoff series with the Rangers.

Tim Benz

Tim Benz

I had heard the Fauria rumors and refused to believe them, thinking that 1) Fauria wouldn’t want a full-time role like this, and 2) that new management would be smart enough to see that the former Patriots tight end doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table other than his NFL experience.

As for Benz, he has ties here, as Finn notes:

He was born in Boston, and his father is Dr. Edward Benz Jr., the current president and CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

We all know how well things went the last time the station brought in an out-of-town talent who had local ties here. Benz’s challenge will be to avoid being Mike Salk V2,

Benz was involved in a bit of controversy last year when he left his spot as morning host of The X Morning show.

Tim Benz leaves 105.9 The X Morning Show over gun control debate

Tim Benz Leaves X Morning Show – This link shows a Facebook post allegedly by Benz where he suggests that a drone strike targeted at the listener’s home would be “doing all of us a favor”

A change on the program was well overdue, and while it remains to be seen how well the new parts will work together, you can see some of the logic in how it was put together. In Merloni and Fauria you’ve got baseball and football covered with guys who have played locally and know how things operate and the unique environment that is Boston. In Benz you’ve got a guy who has covered the Steelers and Penguins and can be the host of the show, hopefully playing the strengths of Merloni and Fauria.

As for Mutnansky, it appears that he’s been Dale Arnold-ed. He’ll likely get some fill-in spots and weekend duty. I’m glad they didn’t fire him altogether, but it remains to be seen where his radio career goes from here.

Embarrassment All Around In Haggerty/ Minihane Incident

I’m not sure I should be writing about this.

If we’ve learned anything about sports media members, it is that they’ll do anything for attention – good, bad or embarrassing.

Part of me still suspects that at least some of this Joe Haggerty weirdo column and the Kirk Minihane hit piece today was done for attention and that I’m feeding into that by writing about it.

On Haggerty – I find his reaction and excuse-making worse than his actual column.

First it happened because he was tired from working SO hard. Being at the ice early in the morning, and going all day and night and being on TV and then filing the column. Of course, all the other writers covering the team worked the same hours, and they weren’t inserting references to 13-year-old girls into their articles.

Then he threw his editors under bus, saying he just sent it along and figured he’d wake up to a heavily-edited piece. That’s professional pride at work right there. I know it sucks, but the editors have nothing better to do at 2AM, let them clean up my mess.

Then he went on 98.5 and played grab-ass with the Toucher and Rich show, downplaying the seriousness of it, like this sort of thing could happen to anyone.

He deserved to be called out on it, and he was, Deadspin picked up on it, Chad Finn wrote a post about it.

Haggerty’s words from the 98.5 interview, sort of say all you need to know about him:

“I made Deadspin. That’s always a great thing for a journalist. Excellent.”

Well, getting attention was his goal, he achieved it. It’s not like he’s purposely gone out and tried to manufacture a story and bring attention to himself by making it on Deadspin.

Then, this morning, Kirk Minihane weighed in – Hockey writer’s latest misstep hard to fathom.

Minihane acknowledges bad feelings between himself and Haggerty. He hits hard. He makes some very valid points while going so far as to call for a suspension for Haggerty. He also gets personal and it is clear that this whole column has been written because of the bad feelings he has for Haggerty. It is a personal hit piece.

I’m surprised that Rob Bradford and company at WEEI.com actually allowed this column to be published. Unless of course its all about the publicity and looking for clicks. Then it is understandable.

Then followed endless talk on both stations about this “story.” Dennis and Callahan behind their guy Kirk and Toucher and Rich supporting Haggerty. At one point Toucher discussing Minihane, said something along the lines of “Writing for a radio station is like jogging for an accounting firm” whatever that means.

Haggerty writes for a TV station. How is that any different?

There have been a lot of jibes thrown back and forth about trying “actual journalism” and questioning the “journalistic compass” and being “on the edge of trouble journalistically recently” as well as “journalistic indiscretions” and being “everything that’s wrong with journalism.”

In the end though, this is just taking sides and throwing rocks. Haggerty vs Minihane,  WEEI vs TheSportsHub, radio vs TV.

We’ve got the NFL draft starting tonight, the Bruins and Canadiens play game four tonight with the Bruins on the edge of a must-win situation, and the Red Sox finally reached .500 on the season.

And we have to talk about Joe Haggerty and Kirk Minihane?  Why am I writing about this?

THAT is everything that is wrong with the so-called sports media today.