In his WEEI mid-day radio this morning, Dale Arnold spoke publicly for the first time about NESN’s announcement over the weekend that he would not be brought back and that Jack Edwards would be taking over the Bruins play-by-play role on a full-time basis.

Arnold’s version of events went this way:

He said he’s always worked on a year-by-year basis. This year, he went in and suggested that he’d like a little bit longer of a commitment. He was seeking a multi-year deal. He stressed that he wasn’t seeking a raise, just a longer deal.

NESN told him that they weren’t ready at that point to offer him such a deal. After a little while, they came back and said that they were prepared to offer Arnold a multi-year deal…as the studio host before and after the games…not as the play-by-play person. He was told that NESN wanted to go to one announcer for all the games…as they did when they let Sean McDonough go a few years back and had Don Orsillo do all Red Sox games.

Arnold saw the studio host role as a demotion. He didn’t want to be a the studio host, he wanted to do play-by-play. He compared it to NESN asking Orsillo to shift into the Tom Caron role, or Gil Santos being asked to take the Gary Tanguay role on WBCN.

Arnold said that he told NESN that if he could no longer serve as play-by-play announcer then there was no place for him on the NESN telecasts. He said he learned of their final decision in the newspaper articles in the Globe this weekend by Fluto Shinzawa and in the staff report in the Herald.

Arnold emphasized that his role at WEEI had nothing to do with the parting of the ways, and that he in fact felt that it would be a plus for NESN to have one of their play-by-play announcers serving as a talkshow host on the highest rated sportsradio station in America.

David Scott has Arnold giving his side of things on the Bruins HFboards messageboard.

Dan Patrick To Leave ESPN

Dan Patrick will be leaving ESPN, it was announced today by Patrick and Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. Patrick’s final radio broadcast will be on Friday, Aug. 17. The mutual agreement will allow Patrick to pursue new interests outside of ESPN, and will bring to an end his involvement with ESPN’s radio, television and magazine outlets.

The week of Patrick’s final show, ESPN Radio will look back at memorable moments from the show, in addition to featuring special guest appearances and interviews.

Patrick said: “I’ve spent a third of my life at ESPN. All my children were born while I was employed here. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and I have extremely mixed emotions about leaving. With that said, I told ESPN that I believe it’s time for me to try something different, something that will also be challenging and rewarding. While I’m not sure what that will be, I am grateful to ESPN for its willingness to allow me to pursue new endeavors.”

Williamson added, “Dan has accomplished so much over the past two decades at ESPN and fans and newsmakers have turned to him for his steady and trusted approach. We wish him the very best.”

Tonight marks the debut of ESPN’s mini-series The Bronx is Burning, which will air following the home run derby (should be around 10:00pm).

The series opens on June 18, 1977 in Fenway Park, when Reggie Jackson is removed from a game against the Red Sox by manager Billy Martin for not hustling in the field. From there, the series looks at events from the summer of 1977, including the Son of Sam killings, but focusing mostly on the trio of Martin, Jackson and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Archival footage from the season is mixed in among the filmed action, and the 70’s sets and news footage attempt to reflect accurately the atmosphere of that summer.

I enjoyed the three episodes that I’ve seen thus far, and look forward to the rest of the series.

The eight-episode miniseries continues on Tuesdays at 8:00pm starting on July 17th.

The Herald sure makes you work for that Tony Massarotti report card today didn’t it? When I posted the link this morning it was a text article, now, it is a multimedia presentation, that you need to click through 33 pages to finish.

BUT…not to be outdone, the Globe’s “Fan’s Edition” of the midseason report card requires 63 clicks to get through.

As Albert Breer points out, we are a week away from the deadline for the Patriots and Asante Samuel to come to an agreement to sign a long term deal.

Rob Bradford has his first installment of “What we’ve learned” about the Red Sox over the first half of the season.

ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber says that more ESPN broadcasting teams should follow the example set by the ABC announcing team of Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy during the NBA finals.

Jon Heyman names Josh Beckett has his midseason Cy Young winner for the AL.

Frank Deford says that NBC made a huge mistake in getting rid of Bud Collins.

Jacob Luft looks at a pair of secret weapons the Red Sox might have for the second half in Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz.

Chad Finn has his national edition of Nine Innings for FoxSports, and leads off with a look at Derek Jeter’s captaincy with the Yankees.


4:00pm, FSN – Summer League: Celtics vs. Spurs
8:00pm, ESPN – Home Run Derby
8:30pm, ESPN2 – AFL Playoffs: Los Angeles Avengers @ Chicago Rush