Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog here with the Friday media links. My apologies for being so late. I was away from the office during the morning and then swamped with work. It happens sometimes. But the links are here and you can peruse them throughout the weekend.
This weekend, the NBA Playoffs begin and the NHL Playoffs continue. Baseball concludes its third weekend of play. The PGA Tour chugs into Hilton Head, South Carolina without Tiger Woods while NASCAR goes to Mexico for the Nationwide Series.
ESPN and ABC kick off the NBA Playoffs with four games on Saturday. Then TNT and ABC will combine for four more games on Sunday. The Celtics series with Atlanta tips off on Sunday night. Comcast SportsNet and TNT will both have coverage at 8:30 p.m. Mike Gorman, Tommy Heinsohn and Bob Cousy will have the call from courtside at the Garden.
NBC Sports will carry two NHL games this weekend, Game 5 of the Philadelphia Flyers-Washington Capitals series on Saturday, then Game 6 of the Detroit-Nashville series on Sunday. Versus will also carry games throughout the weekend. For Bruins fans, NESN will put Game 6 of the B’s-Canadiens series from the Garden on Saturday in HD and if the game goes to a 7th game on Monday, that game will also be in HD. NESN will have the game starting at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Red Sox take on the Texas Rangers in a weekend wraparound series. Having already won on Friday, the Sox hope to continue their winning ways against the Rangers. NESN will have coverage of all games including the one on Patriots’ Day at the traditional time of 11 a.m. Fox Sports’ Saturday Baseball Game of the Week will have coverage of three games, Mets at Phillies, Cleveland at Minnesota and Dodgers at Braves starting at 3:55 p.m. TBS will goes back to its roots by showing Dodgers-Braves, Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball will have Mets at Phillies at 8:05 p.m.
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series takes the weekend off, but the Nationwide Series stops in Mexico City for the Corona Mexico 200 which will be seen on ESPN this Sunday at 2 p.m.
The PGA Tour’s Verizon Heritage Open will be on CBS on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. CBS also has coverage of the LPGA Ginn Open both days starting at 1 p.m.
HBO’s World Championship Boxing has a Light Heavyweight Bout with Bernard Hopkins taking on Joe Calzaghe live from Las Vegas, Saturday night at 9:45.
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour will be in Charleston, South Carolina for the Family Circle Cup which ESPN2 will carry this Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Boston Marathon will be run Monday. With economic realities setting in, only WBZ-TV will have live coverage of the race. WCVB has dropped out citing expenses. And it marks the final time we’ll see Bob Lobel live from the finish line. WBZ will start its coverage at 8 a.m. Monday and will stream its coverage on its website starting at 9 a.m. Versus will start its live coverage at 9:30 a.m. and WCSN.com will also have a live stream of the Marathon for free.
The complete listing of sporting events and times can be seen at USA Today’s Sports on TV page.
I’ll start with USA Today’s Michael Hiestand as usual. He writes about CBS College Sports getting involved in competitive eating.
Now I’ll start in the East and Mid-Atlantic Regions.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott of the Boston Sports Media Watch wonders when NESN will finally make its decision to replace Tina Cervasio. The season is almost three weeks old and so far, no sideline reporter in place for Red Sox games.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle has some quotes from TNT’s Charles Barkley in advance of the NBA Playoffs.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says a player like Sean Avery (?) is good for the National Hockey League.
Neil Best of Newsday writes that despite the New York Knicks not making the NBA playoffs, they’re still making an impact from the broadcast booth. Neil notes in his blog that two SNY shows predicted the Mets sweep of Washington this week. Also, Neil says the visit of Pope Benedict will push the Detroit-Nashville NHL playoff game from WNBC-TV to its secondary digital channel.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick rips into ESPN’s Joe Morgan. Again. Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for former Yankees, Rangers and Diamondback manager and current ESPN MLB analyst Buck Showalter. And Justin talks with TNT’s Charles Barkley about the NBA playoffs.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks into the possible move of the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City.
Paul Vigna of the Philadelphia Daily News writes the Phillies have become the first sports team to sign up for a service to measure people’s listening habits.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says three of TNT’s NBA analysts do not agree when it comes to handing out their end of season awards. Frager advises you to blog at your own risk, especially if you’re a Washington Post reporter.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says it will be busy this weekend as the Orioles, Nationals, Capitals and Wizards will all be in action and on TV and mostly in HD.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says NBA TV analysts are not happy to see trash talking against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Charles Barkley’s forthright style on TNT irks some NBA players.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune talks about the Big Ten Network getting into Spring Football on Saturday. The Tribune also has the audio of Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman ripping Cubs fans during the broadcast Friday. Dave Van Dyk of the Tribune gets Cubs manager Lou Piniella’s reaction which really wasn’t much of a reaction.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad wishes announcers would stop harping on the referee and focus on the game.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says get ready for an NBA postseason onslaught.
Doug Nye of The State informs his readers that college baseball outside of the SEC is not as popular as other college sports.
Barry Jackson writing in the Miami Herald has ABC/ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy wondering what’s wrong with the Heat.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says TV viewers should be prepared for a lot of documentaries and movies in the next few months. Subscribers to ESPN the Magazine get ready to be yelled at. Shannon J. Owens of the Sentinel reports Steven A. Smith will be joining the ranks at the magazine.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says the Rockets turned things around and made their radio broadcasters happy.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says ESPN NBA analysts Van Gundy and Mark Jackson are split on the Dallas Mavericks’ fate in the playoffs.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has the opinions of various NBA TV analysts on the move of the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City. Mel says the verdict is split on the Hornets-Mavericks series. And Mel has what to watch this weekend.
From the Deseret (UT) Morning News, Real Salt Lake, the MLS team, has signed an agreement with a local TV station to broadcast a package of regular season games. Scott D. Pierce says ESPN will look back at the 2002 Olympics Figure Skating judging scandal.
Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with CBS’ Dick Enberg who has written a play about his college basketball broadcast partner and friend, the late Al McGuire. Jay Posner writes that the NBA is praying for a Celtics-Lakers final. In his media notebook, Posner says there’s no apparent end in sight in the NFL Network-Time Warner Cable dispute. Jay also has the ratings for San Diego from last weekend.
John Maffei of the North County Times says ESPN is jumping feet first into the movie business.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes it’s a good thing Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak decided not to trade Kobe Bryant in the offseason and it has led to higher ratings for the NBA and could lead to bigger things in the playoffs.
Larry Stewart of the Los Angeles Times says that TNT’s Charles Barkley is warning the Lakers not to look past the Denver Nuggets.
Tom Hoffarth’s media column in the Los Angeles Daily News also talks about the NBA wanting a Celtics-Lakers final for the ratings and media interest. Hoffarth has more stuff in his media notebook in his Farther Off the Wall blog. Tom also has an entry in which ESPN wants you to write a eulogy in case it ever bit the dust. I wouldn’t mind if ESPN bit the dust. Maybe this is ESPN trying to tell us something.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says the Houston Astros’ Miguel Tejada tried to take the high road during an ambush interview with ESPN’s E:60 news magazine. Ryan says Sharks’ TV announcer Randy Hahn had a good call of the Joe Thornton’s (remember him?) winning goal in Game 4 of its series with the Calgary Flames.
The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich writes that Raptors analyst Jack Armstrong looks like he’ll be remaining on the team’s broadcasts even though the team is changing its TV home next season.
Sam Toman and Andrew Chin of the Toronto Globe and Mail write that three local hoops fans have gained an international following with their podcast.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel News says Yankees games are scoring for the YES Network.
John Consoli of Mediaweek writes that ratings for NBA regular season games on ESPN rose 14% from the year before.
Wayne Friedman of the Mediapost Publications wonders what impact NBC Sports veteran producer Michael Weisman will have on Comcast’s sports networks.
Brooks Boliek of the Hollywood Reporter says it’s round 2 for the NFL Network and Comcast.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders how much will the buried David Ortiz Red Sox jersey will fetch at auction.
Joe Favorito has the latest Public Relations Move of the Day in his sports marketing and PR blog.
The Big Lead talks about Will Purdue’s silly comments on blogs and Mike Greenberg defending them during the Mike & Mike in the Morning show on ESPN Radio.
Awful Announcing has the audio of TNT’s Charles Barkley criticizing ESPN’s E:60 ambush interview of Miguel Tejada on the Dan Patrick Show.
From the “Rut ro!” Department, Selena Roberts and David Epstein of Sports Illustrated have found the man whom Jose Canseco calls “Max” in his new book and he does not corroborate any of Canseco’s claims.
Once again, my apologies for the tardiness of the links. I should be here with the links at its normal time next week. Enjoy your holiday weekend.