On NECN’s Sports Late Night

On NECN’s Sports Late Night with Chris Collins, the highlights of the day were followed by the news of the five Red Sox All-stars. In contrast to FOX25, not much comment made about “snubs’, just that Damon could still make it by the fan vote.

Soccer was up next, 2002 World Cup. Steve Gans was in studio again to talk about the championship game this morning. Poetic justice in that with all the upsets, the two most storied teams met for the title. In depth video highlights followed, analyzed by Gans. Jay Heaps from the Revolution was also in. Didn’t say a whole lot other than the games were on very early. After a few minutes he did have more to add, and made a good presentation of himself.

More Soccer, report from the Brazil community in Framingham celebrating after the win this morning. A package of highlights from the entire World Cup tournament was then shown. Collins compared Ronaldo and Rivaldo to Pippen and Jordan. Heaps talked about the US now developing Soccer athletes, that the country is coming along. The first half-hour of the show was entirely Soccer. The second half was more baseball, with Bill Burt in studio.

WBZ’s “Sports Final” had Steve Burton as host, leading off talking about June as the month the Sox went to second place and got bullied in Interleague play. A series of interview clips from the players grateful that interleague play is over was followed by a Larry Johnson cartoon showing a deflated bat needed to pop a bottle of Viagra pills. The first roundtable was McAdam, Buckley and Ryan; Bob Ryan thinks perhaps it’s a mental issue with interleague play. Has nothing to do with a style of play. McAdam says there is no difference in style between the leagues. Burton told them all to stop sugarcoating things and admit that things are bad. Ryan says Manny and Damon need to get going. Ryan says Manny should not be going to the All Star game, end of story. Went on a mini-rant about Manny being clueless, not being a student of the game, and having no idea of what is going on in the world when told that Manny was surprised at being voted an All Star Starter. The Board concurred that Lowe should be the AL Starter. Burton asked the ridiculous question of if the media has let Manny off the hook.(!?) Acted it was ridiculous that it took six weeks to come back. (What did Dr Morgan say at the time of injury?) Ryan said this thing has been overblown. McAdam said the club should’ve pushed him to return in the Dodgers series. Buckley said something about this being one of the few times that the media has banded against a player who didn’t deserve the treatment. Weird, very weird.

Next segment was World cup soccer. Juergen Sommer was in studio again with Carlos LLamosa of the Revs. The sport is climbing the sports ladder and someday they’ll be up there with the other sports.

Back on NECN, Burt targeted Nomar as needing to step up more. They’ll go as far as #5 will take them. Manny needs to get back to driving in the runs again. Taking calls from viewers is always an adventure on this show. Burt says the Sox shouldn’t go after Chuck Finley. Bill Burt is a smart guy. I hear these other media guys saying that, and I’m disgusted. Why would they want this guy? Pedro hasn’t tried to overthrow this year, as he did in previous years (AS game ’99 and last year 3 consecutive starts against the Yankees)

Sports Final…the Ryan-McAdam-Buckley roundtable recommences to talk a little Bruins. McAdams says Shields is not a top shelf goalie, Guerin is likely gone. Bruins only will do 2-year deal because in 2 years the NHL is headed towards apocalypse. A major shutdown/Lockout salary cap in place, Bruins afraid of where their payroll will be. Ryan says the Celtics only looking to resign Rodney Rogers. They need to do this, Ryan says, he’s a very important piece of the puzzle.

Morphed into Sports Final OT… Ryan says it’s not an outrage that Damon isn’t an All Star. Calls him a “sweetheart guy” but there shouldn’t be a huge hue and cry. Buckley says Hillenbrand is the biggest surprise among All Stars. Terrific work ethic. But scary thing is 7 walks, none since middle of May. Buckley says he’s now the heir apparent to Cal Ripken Jr at 3rd base in the AS Game. Quotes from the players followed. Damon said it’s the furthest thing from his mind right now; he just wants to help the Red Sox win. Ryan talked about the good old days when the All Star game was one of the top 5 events in the sporting year. Used to have NL guys and AL guys, now they’re just all baseball guys.

WHDH’s Sports Extra may be reviewed later in the week when they archive it on their website. I did see a moment of Kevin Paul Dupont. I think he was saying that Shields is going to be a terrific goalie and that the B’s just may re-sign Guerin. I’ll have to re-check it later.