The Boston.com Mystery

Yesterday with the help of an emailer, I highlighted an article on Boston.com by Bob Ryan that contained 15 incorrectly spelled words. What seemed at first to simply be a sloppy effort by a proofreader has instead developed into a mystery that seems to have no easy solution.

Here’s what we know:

  • Bob Ryan has been turning good clean work into the copy desk for 36 years now. He’s a favorite of theirs because they don’t have to do too much work on his articles.
  • Most of the spelling errors were of the omitted letter, missed keystroke variety, not simply poor spelling.
  • Ryan swears that the errors that appeared in the online version were NOT in his original copy that he filed with the Globe.
  • Where the errors in the article that appeared on Boston.com came from is a mystery.
  • The article that appeared in the hard copy of the newspaper did not have the errors that were in the online version.
  • 24 hours after posting the erroneous article, Boston.com replaced the column with a later completely different version written later by Ryan, which does not contain errors, but they put the new column at the very same URL as the old one had been.
  • The Globe sports copy desk is acknowledged as being top-notch. They did their job in the newspaper edition, and are thus not at fault here.

So what the heck happened? How did that article, with all the typos, make it up to the website and stay there all day? Was it deliberate? Carelessness? A technical issue?

A few other links from today…Check out the Patriots blogs from Mike Reiss, John Tomase and the Projo for updates on today’s sessions at Patriots minicamp. Tomase’s blog entry from yesterday also has a couple amusing lines from yesterday’s Patriots golf outing.

Mike Fine analyzes the Red Sox pitching staff. Maureen Mullen in the Brockton Enterprise has a look at Red Sox third base coach DeMarlo Hale.

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Patriots To Go Camping

The Patriots start their offseason mini-camp today, and it appears that wide receiver Deion Branch will not be among the participants. He wants a new contract and has decided the follow the path of teammate Richard Seymour, who skipped mini-camp last year and missed a couple days of training camp before getting something worked out with the club. Is it a big deal that Branch won’t be there? Tom E Curran says that it isn’t, as Branch will still be in the lineup on opening day, and will play for the Patriots this season – he has no choice. Jerome Solomon talks to Tom Brady and Seymour about Branch’s situation, who hope that things get worked out for Branch. John Tomase looks at Rodney Harrison, who is showing signs that he might be getting closer to being able to play again…great news for the Patriots. Solomon also has an update on Harrison, who is upbeat and positive, but realistic on any timetable for his return. Dan Pires has some more on Branch, while also looking at the recovery of Harrison.

Tomase has a few thoughts and well wishes from Tom Brady to Ben Roethlisberger. Stephen Harris looks at Pats legend John Hannah being honored by the New England Sports Museum

Globe (Boston.com) Proofreaders on Strike?

I didn’t get a chance to read Bob Ryan’s article online this morning very thoroughly. As I was running a little late, I took a cursory glance and then linked it. I learned a lesson from that.

Here’s an email I got this afternoon, from someone who requested their name be withheld:

Just wanted to point out that I found no less than twelve (12) spelling errors in Bob Ryan's article on the Mavs/Heat game #2 that you linked to in today's (June 12) post. I originally counted five but as I re-read the article more carefully to send this email, I caught 7 more.

1. Second paragraph (counting his first sentence after the dateline as the first paragraph), second sentence "ecore" s/b "encore"
2. Third paragraph, last word "competetive" s/b "competitive"
3. Fourth paragraph, second sentence "unabe" s/b "unable"
4. Ninth paragraph, second sentence "posession" s/b "possession"
5. Same paragraph, fourth sentence "Dwayne" s/b "Dwyane" (you could argue they get a pass for this one as his name is unusually spelled but this is supposed to be the pre-eminent sports page in New England so they should know the correct spelling of a player of this calibers name, no matter how odd)
6. Same paragraph, next sentence "ws" s/b "was"
7. Same paragraph, same sentence "anayway" s/b "anyway"
8. Eleventh paragraph, third sentence "ws" s/b "was" (again)
9. Twelfth paragraph, last sentence "railing" s/b "trailing"
10. Thirteenth paragraph, second sentence "sifted" s/b "shifted"
11. Same paragraph, next sentence "te" s/b "the"
12. Last paragraph, fourth sentence "Nowitski" s/b "Nowitzki". They even spelled it twice correctly in the same paragraph.

Two points here. First, what the hell is going on over there? Don't they have spell check? Whoever edited this mess has a lot of explaining to do. I can't imagine Ryan is happy with this. Second, how did you miss this? Skim reading the article I found five and for all I know there may be more. I just can't bring myself to re-read it again.

After looking the article over again, I found three more spelling errors.

13. Ninth paragraph, sixth sentence “techincal” s/b “technical”.
14. Eleventh paragraph, fourth sentence “falled” s/b “fallen”.
15. Fourteenth paragraph, first sentence “Moutning” s/b “Mourning”.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I don’t spell everything correctly. In fact, I’m almost positive that I’ve spelled “Dwyane” Wade incorrectly. But I don’t have a professional proofreader and copy desk at my disposal.

Second, this shouldn’t be a slam so much on Ryan, as I know that writers are under deadlines and have to write their stories quickly and not worry so much about the spelling and grammar…that is left to the proofreaders and copy desk. That article was likely filed very late last night. But heck, even running the thing through Microsoft Word’s spell check would’ve caught most of those.

As the emailer says, how does this happen? If I had time, I might check the whole Globe sports section for today.

Note: It’s possible that Boston.com picked up the unedited version of Ryan’s article. I don’t think it appeared like this in print. That means the copy desk and proofreaders DID do their jobs.

Additional Note: I know that a lot of the stuff that comes into the copy desk is really rough. I also know that from dealing with many members of the media via email that Ryan is one of the better media people at actually writing and spelling. So this is a question of how Boston.com could let this unedited version get up to their site – and sit there all day.

Sox Split

The Red Sox had their hands full with the Rangers this weekend, splitting a four game series including a split of a doubleheader yesterday. That split was only possible thanks to a three-run walkoff homer from David Ortiz in the first game, which allowed the Red Sox to steal a 5-4 win. In the second game, David Pauley had a rough first two innings, giving up five runs, the bullpen also struggled, and the Rangers romped to a 13-6 win over the Sox.

It’s interesting looking over the newspaper coverage of yesterday’s doubleheader. The Globe, which wishes to be the paper of record when it comes to all things Red Sox, had two writers filing a total of four stories for the day, while the Herald had five writers submitting a total of 10 articles on the day.

Jeff Horrigan looks at Big Papi saving the day from being a complete downer for the Red Sox. Sean McAdam has more on the latest chapter in the walk-off career of Ortiz, who despite scuffling recently, was able to save the day once more for Boston. Nick Cafardo has the game stories from Fenway in the Globe. David Heuschkel also has coverage of the twin bill at Fenway, including Papi’s heroics and David Pauley’s struggles. David Borges and Phil O’Neill also have complete coverage from Fenway Park.

Josh Beckett was a little better yesterday than he was in his last start against the Yankees, but that’s not really saying a whole lot, is it? Amalie Benjamin has a look at the performance of Beckett in game one yesterday. Steven Krasner has Beckett working on mixing up his pitches a little more than he had been doing. Steve Buckley has Beckett acknowledging that his performance as of late has not been acceptable. Mark Murphy has more on Ortiz’s fifth regular season walkoff home run with the Red Sox.

Benjamin looks at another issue that has plagued the Sox recently, an inconsistent bullpen. They can be very good one game and awful the next. Yesterday’s doubleheader showcased that inconsistency perfectly. Keith Foulke had a pretty rough weekend, and has had to deal with a moronic mouthbreathing heckler behind the Red Sox dugout as of late. John Tomase reports on how Foulke is working on turning things around. Alex Speier examines the struggles of the Red Sox starters – a problem since the team decided this year that preventing runs was the way to win games.

John Tomase looks at David Pauley getting sent to AAA after the game. It’s easy to forget he’s never pitched at that level previously. Buckley has one of those articles that only he would write…it’s about Saturday’s starter, Jon Lester, who made his first trip to Fenway Park in 1994 and it happened to be the day of Alex Rodriguez’s major league debut. Now, 12 years later, Lester makes his MLB debut in the same park…

Rich Thompson has an update on Mike Timlin, who expects to the activated in time for tomorrow’s series with the Twins. Jeff Horrigan reports that Matt Clement, who was pushed back this weekend due to some arm soreness and fatigue, hopes to pitch this week against the Twins. Murphy also looks at Manny Delcarmen picking up his first major league victory thanks to Ortiz’s home run.

Horrigan’s notebook has Josh Beckett doing some tinkering with his mechanics in order to find the answer to his struggles. Cafardo’s notebook has Matt Clement set to go on Wednesday. Krasner’s notebook has Clement’s “dead arm” showing some signs of improvement. O’Neill’s notebook mentions back spasms as the problem that Clement is having. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on the struggles of Beckett, and no mention of his own mishandling of a foul ball in the press box – an event noted in Cafardo’s notebook above. Borges’ notebook has Beckett showing improvement, but still being very hittable for the Rangers.

While the Globe fell short in Red Sox coverage yesterday, they are the only local paper covering the NBA Finals…

Bob Ryan reports on the Miami Heat laying down for the Dallas Mavericks in game two of the NBA Finals last night. Ryan’s notebook looks at efforts by the league to guide the game away from the isolations and ugly set offenses to a more flowing game reminiscent of the past.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Ryan Smyth, who helped the Oilers take game three of the Stanley Cup Finals over the weekend. Mick Colageo looks at the lack of power in the finals. Dupont’s notebook has former Bruin Glen Wesley trying to rally his teammates.

Patriots stories from the weekend: Michael Felger has Eugene Wilson vowing to bounce back strong this year, and notes that he is already encouraged by what he’s seen from new defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Albert Breer talked to Ty Warren, who explained his role on the defense and in the locker room and also had praise for Pees. Jerome Solomon’s NFL notes had a mini camp preview. Try and count how many times Solomon references the media in this column, and how various members of the Patriots make it difficult for them. Unbelievable. Eric McHugh also had a mini-camp preview, and then talked with Michael Bishop from the Arena Bowl about his year with Tom Brady on the Patriots roster.

NESN has PawSox/Richmond Braves at 7:00. ESPN has White Sox/Rangers at 7:00. NBC has Hurricanes/Oilers at 8:00.

World Cup Kicks Off Weekend

Good news for HD sports fans in New England – Comcast will be bringing ESPN2 HD online today in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine on channel 850. This is just in time for the World Cup action, but will also be a bonus for viewers of college football and basketball aired on the channel later on in the year.

The World Cup is one of the highlights of this weekend’s TV sports viewing. There is also a Red Sox doubleheader on Saturday (weather permitting) in which highly touted prospect Jon Lester was scheduled to make his big league debut…though if Friday night’s game is rained out, all bets are off on front. That first game is scheduled to be a national game for Fox. Saturday also has the Belmont Stakes at 5:00 PM and game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals at 8:00 PM.

Sunday has more World Cup in the morning, the Red Sox in the afternoon. The 20th Arena Bowl kicks off at 3:00 PM on NBC and game two of the NBA Finals is on ABC at 9:00 PM.

For Red Sox coverage this weekend, you can check in on the Red Sox Daily Links page to find coverage and stories from around the internet on the hometown nine.

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A few items from the week:

Thursday on the Big Show, there was a skit that identified Larry Johnson as a superhero named “the recycler”. That gag was that Johnson simply listens to the opinions of others during the week and then repeats them on the weekends. There was also a mention made to check out his cartoons for any “trace evidence of their unoriginality.” If you want to see some examples of how his cartoons appear to have been traced, then check out this rough page of cartoons vs photos that I put together. Some of them are rather startling. You can hear the skit on Pete Gustin’s Website.

The extremely popular Red Sox board Sons of Sam Horn was down and out for a full day earlier this week. In a post on the site, one of the administrators stated that there were actually two serious issues going on with the site, with “one of them malicious in nature.”

“Stump the Schwab” Open Auditions in Boston

Season Four auditions for ESPN’s popular sports trivia game show “Stump the Schwab” are coming to Boston this Tuesday, June 13th at Champions at The Marriott, located at 110 Huntington Avenue. You’re invited to come anytime between 3:00pm and 9:00pm.

You’ll need to download and fill out an application, which you can find online, and bring it to the casting call. Or you can fill out the application at the casting. Can’t make it to the casting call? Email them and they can set up an appointment in New York City. You must be at least 18 years old.

Note to NESN: Enough of Jack Welch.

If you missed it earlier this week, Bill Simmons went to Los Angeles to attend the Pedro Martinez vs. Derek Lowe, Nomar Garciaparra and Grady Little Mets/Dodgers matchup on 6/6/6. If the Globe can send Nick Cafardo to cover a minor league start by Roger Clemens, couldn’t they have sent Bob Ryan or someone to cover this game?

Local Sports Media columns:

Jim Baker has a look at coverage of the World Cup, which starts today, and notes the upcoming dog days of TV sports, which seems to be every summer. Andrew Neff catches up with former Red Sox player and TV analyst Bob Montgomery, who is now doing some minor league games for NESN. Boston Radio Watch has a report on WEEI hiring a manager for their new Western Massachusetts affiliate. Susan Bickelhaupt looks at baseball guy Dave O’Brien taking a shot at calling World Cup soccer games on ESPN.

Sports Media Columns From Around the Nation:

Richard Sandomir, New York Times – Soccer Fan Makes Big Save for ESPN.

Neil Best, New York Newsday – Soccer fans won’t have to wait.

Andrew Marchand, New York Post – There’s No Ryan in Baseball!

Bob Raissman, New York Daily News – Sterling’s call drops ball.

Michael Hiestand, USA Today – NHL Game 3 could bottom out TV ratings.

Jim Williams, Washington Examiner – Mayor: MLB needs to up ante, get Nats on TV.

Barry Jackson, Miami Herald – Ex-Marlins announcer to call World Cup

Dave Darling, Orlando Sentinel – World Cup is must-see TV.

Chris Zelkovich, Toronto Star – Shared broadcast rights way of the future.

David Barron, Houston Chronicle – Durham-Ramsay team to sign off after Finals.

Barry Horn, Dallas Morning News – Quick Take: ABC plays it down the middle.

Larry Stewart, Los Angeles Times – Roggin Gives Up Radio Talk Show.

Also from Stewart: Hershiser’s Evolution Proves Interesting.

Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News – Disney’s Small World (Cup)

Jay Posner, San Diego Union Tribune – World Cup interest more than nil-nil.

Sox Salvage Finale

The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their latest series with the Yankees, winning 9-3 last night in New York behind Curt Schilling.

Nick Cafardo has the game story in the Globe, noting the contributions of Alex Gonzalez at the plate. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox saving some face by taking the final game in the series. Dom Amore reports on Curt Schilling doing the job he was hired to do. Be the ace, stop losing streaks, beat the Yankees. Steven Krasner looks at Jason Varitek coming through for the Sox despite a rough start at the plate for the catcher. David Borges also looks at that angle in his game story. Bill Ballou has more on Schilling rescuing the Red Sox from the sweep.

Gordon Edes has a look at Jason Varitek, who provided a big blow with his three run homer in the seventh inning. There are some nice quotes on the Sox catcher in this article, including some at the end from J.T. Snow. David Heuschkel also looks at Varitek, who is turning things around at the plate despite a couple of nagging injuries. Michael Silverman also has a short bit on Varitek. Steve Buckley has a nice article on Alex Gonzalez, who was the unsung hero for the Red Sox last night. Jeff Jacobs writes that this one appeared to be a rout right from the beginning…sort of.

Tony Massarotti examines Curt Schilling as he comes through as the ace with a performance that the club needed badly. Chris Snow has a look at Schilling making adjustments to his pitching style, he’s not a guy who relies on the strikeout so much anymore. Buckley notes that Josh Beckett is only six months older than Jonathan Papelbon, but is considered a veteran instead of a young player. Horrigan looks at the Red Sox deciding to give Matt Clement an extra couple days of rest and pitch him on Sunday. Massarotti reports on David Pauley being shifted to the bullpen for the time being.

Edes’ has Brian Cashman speaking on the Yankees injury problems. Michael Silverman looks at the Yankees getting the news that Gary Sheffield will be out at least until September after wrist surgery. Amore’s notebook has more on the surgery, and has Joe Torre chastising the media.

Get perspective on the game from the other side on the New York Sports Pages.

Cafardo’s notebook looks at the Red Sox deciding to go ahead and give highly touted prospect Jon Lester a start in tomorrow’s doubleheader with the Rangers after all. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Lester’s scheduled big league debut tomorrow. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Lester, as does Krasner’s notebook. After more on Lester, Borges’ notebook looks at the reshuffled rotation and another Papelbon joining the Red Sox organization. Ballou’s notebook also features Lester.

Chris Snow has a minor league notebook, where he examines the work of Phil Seibel down in AA Portland.

Amalie Benjamin examines HGH as a growing problem throughout sports.

John Tomase has Tebucky Jones hoping that Ty Law follows his example and comes back to the Patriots. Michael Parente examines how Jonathan Sullivan might fit in with the Patriots.

The World Cup kicks off today, check out the special sections in both the Herald and Globe for more coverage.

Bob Ryan reports on the Mavericks taking game one of the NBA finals last night. Mike Fine says that Antoine Walker is the key for the Heat. Ryan’s notebook has Pat Riley discussing Dwayne Wade.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at former Bruin Glen Wesley getting closer to that elusive Stanley Cup Championship. Will there be a parade in Boston for Wesley should the Hurricanes win?

David Scott takes another look at just what the Dirt Dog’s role is over there at Boston.com and the Globe in his latest edition of Scott’s Shots. Mike Loftus has a look at Jerry Trupiano’s son Brian, who is toiling with the Brockton Rox.

10 People Whose Work I Enjoy in the Boston Sports Media

Occasionally I get accused of only directing attention to the negative. In reality, even though this is a media watch/critic website, I do try not to get too caught up in just calling people out and harping on mistakes and agendas. Today, to mix things up, I decided to come up with a top ten list of people in the Boston sports media whose work I particularly enjoy. In doing so, I came to the realization that ten wasn’t really long enough, and I also have to stress that the list below is not in any particular order.

1) Tom E Curran
He’s got a terrific sense of humor, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and yet is still a very good reporter. Curran worked his way up from the bottom, originally writing for a newspaper on the Cape, while delivering the same papers in his car. He doesn’t get caught up in petty agendas and seems to get along with just about everyone. He even makes the Big Show worth listening to.

2) Greg Dickerson
Dickerson gets a bad rap from some, but I think it’s undeserved for the most part. He’s a guy who clearly enjoys sports and doing what he’s doing. He’s worked from doing radio in Worcester and on the weekends on WEEI, to working his way up over at FSN to become co-anchor of the nightly Sports Tonight program. Dickerson also has a sense of humor, and the ability to poke fun at himself. He generally doesn’t take controversial stands just to call attention to himself, although it seems he does draw the short straw during show prep from time to time.

3) Jackie MacMullan
A very good columnist, I wish we had more in the Globe from Jackie. Both in her column and on television, she’ll tell it like it is without resorting to unnecessary dramatics and hysterics. I appreciate that.

4) Bob Ryan
My admiration for Ryan is well documented on these pages, and while he has gotten carried away on occasion while on the air, (The Joumana Kidd episode stands out) his passion is not faked. His columns are always worth the read, and he should be recognized as the face of the Boston sports media.

5) Dale Arnold/Michael Holley
Some will say Holley is too milquetoast, while others will claim Arnold is little more than a Bruins toady. What both of them really are, however are rarities – nice guys in sports talk radio. In a genre filled with faux tough guys who have to yell and scream and be angry all the time, these two are a sharp contrast.

6) Mike Fine
A beat reporter for two teams (Red Sox, Celtics), Fine also contributes columns and other coverage for the Patriot Ledger. You don’t see him on TV or hear him on the radio all that much, and he probably prefers it that way. But as a guy who covered the Celtics during the Bird years, Fine has a wealth of sports knowledge and experience and it shows in his work. I’m always on the lookout for new stories from him.

7) Mike Gorman
A class act, Gorman has called Celtics games on TV for a quarter-century now. He is the ultimate professional and to me, the ideal team broadcaster. You know he wants the Celtics to win and do well, but still can remain objective and keep partner Tommy Heinsohn grounded. It’s almost a comfort to turn on a Celtics preseason game in October and see Gorman ready for another season courtside.

8) Bob Neumeier
I confess, I wasn’t always a Neumy fan. But the “voice of Bob Neumeier” on the whiner line changed all that for me. Now, every time I see Neumeier on television and hear him speak, that caller is all I can hear. It makes me smile without fail. He was also pretty good as a host on NESN and analyst on CBS4 Patriots pre and post game shows.

9) Michael Felger
Another choice that some might question. I like Felger because he’s on the ball when it comes to the Patriots, isn’t afraid to ask the tough question, and is willing to question the “established” media way of doing things. He probably won me over back in 2001-2002 when he would take on Ron Borges and Nick Cafardo on a weekly basis over the whole Brady/Bledsoe controversy. Sure, he’s got his annoyances, but to me, the positives outweigh the negative by a healthy margin, and I enjoy his reporting and radio show for the most part.

10) Shira Springer
Springer took a lot heat in some corners in her early days on the Celtics beat, but I think she’s grown into a fine reporter for the Globe. She works hard, is consistent and also doesn’t get caught up in agendas swirling around the media. She makes low-key radio and TV appearances and is informative in those sessions.