Approval Ratings – Mike Gorman

Mike GormanToday we’re going to rate Celtics TV announcer Mike Gorman.

Gorman has been calling Celtics games since 1981, and during that time has seen it all with regards to the NBA, from the great days of the Bird era, to the lows of the M.L. Carr and Rick Pitino eras. Through it all, Gorman has been there, steady as always, be it with SportsChannel, FSN New England or now Comcast SportsNet.

He and Tom Heinsohn make up TV’s longest lasting sports broadcasting duo.

For many years Gorman also did quite a bit of college basketball, and has been a regular guest on sports radio WEEI. He was won five Emmy awards and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

(Stepping outside of the neutral “narrative” voice here, Gorman is also one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet in your life.)



Sox Walk Off With Win

The Red Sox got back into the win column after Kevin Youkilis singled in David Ortiz from second in the bottom of the ninth off Roy Halladay to score the one and only run of the ballgame last night. Jon Lester pitched eight shutout innings, but didn’t get the win, as Jonathan Papelbon came in for the top of the ninth.

Jeff Horrigan has the Sox managing to put an end to their slide, even if the offense hasn’t returned yet. Amalie Benjamin looks at the decision to send Ortiz for the winning run, and at the performance of Lester. Jeff Goldberg looks at an old-fashioned pitching duel at Fenway last night. Paul Kenyon says that great defense in the top of the ninth and clutch hitting in the bottom of the ninth meant a win for the Red Sox. Bob Stern has the losing streak getting stopped in style with the walk-off win. Ron Chimelis has the Sox pitching trying to hold the fort until the heavy lumber awakens. Paul Jarvey notes that we saw the Jon Lester that the Red Sox have been waiting for last night. Joe Haggerty has more on the Sox shutout win at Fenway.

Bill Burt says that Jon Lester passed a huge test with his performance last night. Steve Buckley looks at the gem thrown by Lester last night exactly when the Sox needed it. Lenny Megliola looks at Lester and the Sox rescuing Boston fans from a streak of losing misery. Sean McAdam looks at Halladay, who is a throw-back pitcher, finishing what he starts on the mound. Last night was his fourth straight complete game for the Blue Jays. Jon Couture has the Sox happy that this rough stretch is over for now.

Gordon Edes writes about the ups and downs of the life of Bryan Corey, who was designated for assignment again yesterday to make room for the return of Mike Lowell. Steven Krasner examines the decision not to pinch-run for a hobbled David Ortiz in the ninth inning last night. Alex Speier says that the Sox have needed to be resilient already in this young season. Buckley looks at Jacoby Ellsbury sitting out last night with a aggravated groin. Sarah Green says that the AL East is officially bizarro land now.

It took a lot for Nick Cafardo to write his article criticizing Roger Clemens this morning, I’m sure. Cafardo says Clemens has badly mishandled things since the Mitchell Report was released and could’ve avoided a lot of the negative publicity that keeps coming.

The Globe notebook has Kevin Youkilis praising Roy Halladay. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the return of Lowell to the Red Sox lineup. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the return of Ortiz and Lowell to the Red Sox lineup. The ProJo notebook has Corey having to go into limbo again with the return of Lowell. Chimelis’ notebook also focuses on the return of Lowell. Jarvey’s notebook has the Sox dropping down to 12 pitchers with Corey’s release. Stern’s notebook has more praise for Halladay from Youkilis.


It would appear that the honeymoon is over for the Celtics. When Dan Shaughnessy and Gerry Callahan come after you on the morning of a playoff game, you can say that the team has officially arrived on the Boston sports landscape. Callahan in particular is harsh, talking about this being “the worst collapse in Boston sports history.” Tony Massarotti also wonders if the Celtics are just a collection of front-runners, rather than true champions.

On the BSMW Full Court Press, Kevin Henkin says that the Celtics are just Another Team in Search of Its Soul.

Marc J. Spears reports that there will be no suspensions for Monday’s night activities between the two clubs. Bill Doyle also reports on that topic. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to get back to what worked in the regular season. Scott Souza has the Celtics keeping cool, but almost sounding overconfident heading into tonight’s game. Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics need to show some poise the rest of the way and not get drawn into skirmishes with the Hawks.

Shira Springer feeds the obsession with the Paul Pierce gang sign.

Peter May assures us that Tony Allen is not the cure-all on guarding Joe Johnson moving forward. Mark Murphy says that the entire Celtics team needs to tighten up their defense, not just whomever is guarding Johnson or Josh Smith. Mike Szostak has the Celtics recognizing that their defense is the problem here. Mike Fine has the Celtics happy to be out of Atlanta.

Sarah Meinecke has the confident Hawks not at all surprised by their success. Jim Fenton has the Hawks handing the Celtics a major dose of adversity.

Spears’ notebook has Doc Rivers saying that his team needs more than just the home crowd to fuel them on tonight. Massarotti’s notebook has more on Garnett avoiding punishment from the league for his run-in with Zaza Pachulia. Szostak’s notebook also reports on the Celtics escaping any suspensions. Fenton’s notebook has more on the teams avoiding punishment.


Shaughnessy pays tribute to Bob Lobel, who signed off on his last Channel 4 sportscast last night.

David Scott has a few thoughts on HBO’s special edition of Costas Now, which focused on sports and the media. I hope to have something on this show when I get a chance to see more. Right now it’s on my DVR. In the short bit that I saw, I witnessed Mike Tirico say something along the lines of “The fans might just want to know about what’s happening in the game, but if we don’t explore every possible storyline and angle, we’re not being true to our journalistic callings and integrity…” That was enough for me to disgustedly turn away for the night.

Dave Heuschkel looks at entertainment value coming to Foxboro with Patriot Place.

Mark Farinella thinks that Bill Belichick might be doing some planning for the future, as well as building some insurance with the drafting of QB Kevin O’Connell.

Approval Ratings – Jackie MacMullan

Jackie MacMullanToday is your chance to vote on Jackie MacMullan of the (for now) Boston Globe.

This is another vote while you can, as MacMullan is among the latest round of buyouts at the Globe. It is also rumored that ESPN has been courting her aggressively – but what her role would be is unknown, as she was said to be agreeable to the Globe buyout because she wanted to spend more time with her family.

MacMullan is a UNH graduate, and played four years of basketball at the school. She joined the Globe in 1982, and remained there until 1995 as a general sports reporter with a focus on the Celtics and the NBA. She moved on to Sports Illustrated from  1996 to 2000 before rejoining the Globe as a sports columnist.

She is very visible on various NESN and ESPN programs. She is author of several books, such as Bird Watching : On Playing and Coaching the Game I Love with Larry Bird, Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection with Geno Auriemma and Magic & Bird: Basketball’s Awed Couple.



Celtics Swamped By Atlanta Once Again

Doc Rivers and the Celtics have some work to do.

Atlanta evened up the first round series at two games apiece with their 97-92 win over Boston last night. Joe Johnson was absolutely unstoppable in the fourth quarter last night, scoring 20 of his 35 points in the period to bring the Hawks back from a 10 point deficit to stun the Celtics. CSN analyst Donny Marshall made a salient point last night when he noted that sometimes the first round is the toughest. It made me think of those first round battles with the old Washington Bullets back in the 1980’s.

Marc J. Spears assesses the grim situation and notes that Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins might end up getting suspended for game five tomorrow night because of their roles in a second quarter skirmish. Mark Murphy has the unthinkable on the mind of the Celtics following the game. Bill Doyle has the Celtics with reason to be concerned after last night’s loss. Jessica Camerato says that the Hawks have gotten into the heads of the Celtics. Kevin McNamara looks at Joe Johnson stealing the show from the more celebrated Celtics last night.

On the BSMW Full Court Press, Shirley Coshatt looks at the Celtics stumbling once again in Atlanta.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to get back to playing their style of basketball. Peter May looks at how the Celtics may now have their confidence shaken, while the young Hawks are soaring. Bill Burt says that the Celtics have not faced such dire straits since the ping pong balls all went the wrong way last May. May checks in with commissioner David Stern, who weighs in on the Saturday night antics between the two clubs, as well as a number of other league items. Bulpett has more on Pierce and the hand gesture for which he was fined last night. Ben Larsen tries to figure out what people think Pierce’s hand gesture meant in gang language. McNamara has more on the supposedly gang-related sign.

Ray Glier looks at the monster game from Joe Johnson. Sarah Meinecke also looks at Johnson simply taking over in the fourth quarter. Larson would like to know why Tony Allen hasn’t gotten a shot at defending Johnson yet. Meinecke also reports on Rajon Rondo coming in fourth in the NBA’s Most Improved Player voting.

Spears’ notebook has Paul Pierce being fined $25,000 for a “menacing” hand gesture on Saturday night. Murphy’s notebook has the clubs acting up again last night, right in front of the commissioner this time. Doyle’s notebook has more on the fine for Pierce. McNamara’s notebook has the momentum of this series swinging Atlanta’s way right now.


A couple of pieces from Chris Warner on Patriots Daily, there’s one with thumbnails of the undrafted free agents signed by the Patriots yesterday, and another is a reaction to the draft after some had a hard time figuring out the Patriots plans.

Shalise Manza Young talks to the high school coach of first round pick Jerod Mayo, and has him raving about the linebacker’s character. Mike Reiss talks to a former coach of second round pick Terrence Wheatley, who similarly raves about the player. John Tomase looks at whether the rookie corners drafted by the Patriots can have an immediate impact. Glen Farley looks at late round selections Matt Slater and Bo Ruud, who may both benefit from NFL bloodlines.

Eric McHugh goes around the AFC to see which teams have improved themselves the most and thus could be a threat to the Patriots in ’08. Young has former BC safety Jamie Silva signing with the Colts. McHugh checks in with Quincy High coach Jim Connor, whose brother Dan was drafted by the Panthers in the third round.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes looks at Manny Ramirez’s quest for his 500th career home run. Rob Bradford looks at how off-season workouts have really benefited Ramirez. Garry Brown has the Sox keeping things together during this losing streak. Lenny Megliola insists that better days are ahead for these Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg has the Sox enjoying a rare day off yesterday.

Rob Bradford examines how Jonathan Papelbon is able to get so many batters to swing and miss at his pitches. Alex Speier provides a minor league report of the Red Sox system, including a look at pitcher Nick Hagadone, who is likely facing Tommy John surgery. Michael Silverman has Dustin Pedroia starting out his sophomore season in the big leagues just like his first season finished up. Joe McDonald has Carl Crawford saying that the Red Sox should give Jacoby Ellsbury the green light on the basepaths.

Silverman’s notebook says that thus far, the 2008 pitching staff is doing a poor imitation of the 2007 edition. The Globe notebook has Jon Lester hoping to get his act together for his start tonight, and also has a look at Brandon Moss, who should be headed back to Pawtucket to make room for the return of Mike Lowell.

HBO’s Costas Now Plans “Town Hall” Style Sports Media Show

HBO SportsTomorrow night, HBO will present a special 90-minute edition of Costas Now, which will focus on sports and the media. HBO Sports President Russ Greenberg says “On April 29 we’re going to take stock of the sports media landscape.” The format will be a Town Hall style discussion. At the end of the ninety minute broadcast, the media is expected to blame bloggers, and then fans in general, for any problems identified by the panels. The show will air at 10:00pm (ET) tomorrow night, and will consist of the following five segments:

Segment One: Sports Talk Radio. Video package interviews: Chicago radio host Mike North, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, WFAN radio hosts Mike & The Mad Dog. Live Panel: NY Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, best selling author and radio host Mitch Albom and WFAN radio host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.

Segment Two: The Internet and Impact of Bloggers. Video package interviews: editor Will Leitch, TV writer and media critic Michael Schur and Washington Post columnist and PTI host Michael Wilbon. Live panel: Pulitzer Prize winning author Buzz Bissinger, Will Leitch and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

Segment Three: Sports Television. Video package interviews: NBC Sports broadcaster Al Michaels, former ABC and NBC executive and producer Don Ohlmeyer, syndicated columnist Norman Chad. Live panel: Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck, ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico and Sports Illustrated’s Dan Patrick.

Segment Four: Athletes and the Media: A Complicated Marriage. Video package interviews: Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, Former NBA star and Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley, Chicago columnist Sam Smith and NBC Sports broadcaster Al Michaels. Live panel: NBC’s Tiki Barber, Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts and former tennis star and current tennis analyst John McEnroe.

Segment Five: A Discussion on Race. Video package interviews: Washington Post columnist and PTI host Michael Wilbon, former NFL star Kellen Winslow, Sr., editor-in-chief Rob King. Live Panel: former NFL star and current ESPN commentator Cris Carter and Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock.

Approval Ratings – John Dennis

WEEI’sJohn Dennis John Dennis is today’s feature.

Dennis has a long history in the Boston sports media market, having joined WHDH-TV in 1977 and remaining there until 1997, where he went from weekend sports anchor to sports director during his tenure.

Dennis left WHDH in 1997 and began hosting the Dennis and Callahan show on WEEI alongside Gerry Callahan. The show was originally a two hour program starting at 10:00am, but in 1999, the show moved to 6:00 to 10:00am and became a morning drive fixture on the Boston radio airwaves.

Dennis is very good at keeping the program moving, and guiding it in and out of the many commercial breaks. However, his voicemail run-in with Ryen Russillo, and participation in the infamous Metco incident are not among his high points at the station.

Thanks to the Farrelly brothers, Dennis and Callahan have made cameos in a number of movies as well.



Patriots Get Defensive

The NFL draft wrapped up last evening, and the Patriots walked away seemingly having addressed a couple of of their most pressing needs: youth at the linebacker and cornerback positions. New England grabbed three linebackers and two defensive backs in the draft, along with a project quarterback and a special teams ace. Perhaps not the most sexy of hauls, but it seems they knew what they wanted and went after it.

Now that the Patriots are Off The Clock, head on over to Patriots Daily for a wrap on what the Patriots did this weekend.

You’ll read plenty of “draft grades” from media types over the next few days, but if history has taught us anything regarding the draft, it is that you cannot accurately judge how well or poor a team did for at least a year, if not more. That won’t stop the proclamation of whether a team was a winner or loser this past weekend, but it should temper reaction to such articles.

Michael Felger (remember him?) asserts that the Patriots changed tact this weekend and drafted for need rather than the best available player. Mike Reiss says that the slogan “younger and faster,” especially on defense, is something that the Patriots clearly had on their minds with this draft. Mark Farinella has the Patriots filling some needs (LB, CB) aggressively, while leaving others (TE, DL) out. Douglas Flynn says that this draft represents a break from tradition for the Patriots. Ian M. Clark has the Patriots taking care of business this weekend, filling holes while still looking to the future. Shalise Manza Young notes that the Patriots defense is suddenly much younger in just one weekend. David Heuschkel looks at the Patriots changing things up this weekend. I’m officially scared now. Hector Longo gives the Patriots an A+ for this draft because Bill Belichick finally changed his stubborn ways which have led to failure after failure in the draft ever has resulted in his best draft since 2000. I wish I were joking. (Note:Hector is more positive than I originally gave him credit for here.)

Karen Guregian examines Michigan linebacker Shawn Crable, drafted in the third round by the Patriots yesterday and who was raised by his foster mom growing up, someone who was very proud to see what he has accomplished thus far and is happy to see him land in New England. Farinella notes that it was a long, hard road to NFL for Crable. Robert Lee says that Crable is proof that dreams can come true.

Christopher L. Gasper and John Tomase analyze New England’s selection of San Diego State quarterback Kevin O’Connell in the third round yesterday. Farinella adds that the selection might mean its time for Matt Cassel or Matt Gutierrez to be pondering alternatives, though Tom Brady’s job is probably safe. Jennifer Toland has more on the selection of O’Connell, which raised a few eyebrows. Glen Farley has O’Connell looking forward to learning from Tom Brady. Dan Pires says that drafting O’Connell was a shocker.

Tomase also has a look at fifth round pick Matthew Slater – a special teams ace from UCLA, and son of Hall of Famer Jackie Slater. Farinella says that the Patriots are a prime destination that many college players hope to go to, including Slater and Crable. Lee says that the Patriots chose to focus on team needs in the later rounds rather than going for the best available players. Ron Chimelis wants to know why the Patriots didn’t’ draft a kicker, since Bill Belichick obviously has no faith in Stephen Gostkowski. Christopher Price says that this weekend’s draft is not a change from the Patriots usual team building approach. Pires also says that Junior Seau wants to come back, and that the Patriots are interested.

Allen Lessels has UNH quarterback Ricky Santos heading to Kansas City as an undrafted free agent. Jim Donaldson has East Providence’s Matt Sherry getting drafted by the Bengals.

The extensive Globe notebook has more on Slater, Crable and other draft notes. Guregian’s notebook looks at the Patriots finally having some young linebackers to work with. Young’s notebook says that O’Connell could push Matt Cassel out the door. Flynn’s notebook has the Patriots last two picks coming from NFL rootstock. Rich Garven’s notebook looks at the unique special teams talents of Slater. Pires’ notebook has the Patriots continuing their defensive push in day two.


The Celtics suddenly find themselves in a series after a high spirited effort from the Hawks on Saturday night overwhelmed the Celtics and put Atlanta in a situation to even the best of seven series with a win tonight. (Butch, is that you?)

Marc J. Spears has the Celtics going through their longest film session of the season yesterday, going over Saturday night’s game in excruciating detail. Steve Bulpett has the Celtic realizing they need to regain their defensive mentality for tonight. Bill Doyle has the Celtics looking past comments from Joe Johnson, who says that they quit in the fourth quarter Saturday night. Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics need to regain their sharing mindset. Kevin McNamara has the Celtics taking a long look at themselves yesterday.

Bulpett also looks at Doc Rivers apparently changing up his substitution pattern on Saturday night, as Leon Powe is apparently out of the rotation for now. Over in the Metro, it’s noted that it is now Celtics time to get their turn in the media spotlight. Peter May has Al Horford and the Hawks finding their voice in game three, and using it at every opportunity. Mark Murphy says that the rookie big men on both sides of this series are already playoff tested.

Spears’ notebook has the Hawks continuing to brashly trash-talk the Celtics. Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics knowing exactly where they need to improve for tonight. McNamara’s notebook has the Hawks still patting themselves on the back for their performance on Saturday.

Red Sox

Don’t look now, but the Red Sox have lost five games in a row, and are coming off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Rays.

Gordon Edes has James Shields shutting out the Red Sox and ruining a terrific performance from Josh Beckett yesterday. Michael Silverman has Tampa rubbing it in to the Red Sox and Boston following the game. Joe McDonald has more on the suddenly punchless Sox dropping another in Tampa. Jeff Goldberg has the Sox looking like a tired team at the plate. Bill Ballou has the Sox as a dead team right now.

Amalie Benjamin notes that this has been a dizzying week in more ways than one for the Sox. Rob Bradford says that there are a number of things that the Sox need to start figuring out. Bradford looks at Manny Ramirez getting his first stolen base in three years yesterday.

Edes’ notebook has David Ortiz sitting out again yesterday, and likely looking forward to the end of April. Silverman’s notebook has the Sox getting their first off-day in 21 days today. McDonald’s notebook has Beckett fuming about the Sox having to play 20 days without an off day. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Manny’s steal. Ballou’s notebook has the Sox off-day coming at the right time.

David Scott looks at a tough Sunday for the Globe sports section.

7th Heaven or Repeat of ’07?

Draft Day links brought to you by guest blogger Bob Ekstrom. As always, he can be reached at

Good morning, and welcome to the midpoint in football’s offseason. It’s the one weekend in the year when college and NFL intersect, where young men descend upon Radio City Music Hall or gather in front of television sets as mom and dad stand behind them with a hand upon each shoulder and navigate the string of mini-dramas that are Commissioner Roger Goodell’s regular visits to the mike.

There’s a long way to go before the 3 PM start, but you’ve got several good places to frequent once things get rolling. Get your info straight from the horse’s mouth with the NFL’s own Draft Tracker. For breaking headlines, ESPN’s Draft Central has some of the best reporters, but most content requires an In$ider account. Pro Football Weekly’s content is more accessible and they’ll keep it fresh all day. If fresh isn’t important, NFL Draft History is the best site to relive your team’s successes and failures of yesteryear. For Patriots’ draft activity, there are no better sources than Mike Reiss, who’ll be blogging on Reiss’s Pieces, and Scott Benson, who’ll be manning the fort all weekend on Patriots Daily. Scott Wright’s Draft Countdown offers some good content and this easy-to-read value chart, which I plan to consult when Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli start trading down.


Clark Judge says the end of Jeremy Shockey’s days in the Meadowlands will create a ripple through the draft, but don’t look for it until late Saturday at the earliest. Paul Schwartz of the Post says Sean Payton will have to do better than the 40th overall pick if he wants Shockey in New Orleans as speculated. Dolphins in Depth says yesterday’s trade with the Cowboys may not be the one Miami fans expected, and with Parcells demanding a first-round pick for Jason Taylor, it may not come at all. Chad Johnson is still a Bengal, but confirmed his intention to sit out the season if that doesn’t change.

The Interference

New Englanders will have to wait it out as five teams have their ten minutes of limelight ahead of them. That, of course, does not count the Dolphins, which made Jake Long’s weekend shorter (30-second ad comes first) than the one Mike Ditka had in 1999 after letting all his picks go up in smoke for Ricky Williams. Conventional wisdom has the remainder of the “Sexy Six” going before New England’s time, the only mystery being the order in which they become unavailalbe.

Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch has the St. Louis front office narrowing their pick to either Chris Long or Glenn Dorsey, with Long now gaining the edge as the next apparent Ram. Steve Wyche of the Journal-Constitution reminisces about the anniversary of Mike Vick’s proclaimed innocence, coming one year before BC’s Matty Ryan says he’ll stack up well in Atlanta. Inside Bay Area suggests Al Davis may finally acquiesce to his draft deficiencies. Yes, the mastermind who made first-round selections of a punter, a kicker, and the oft-incarcerated Todd Marinovich, is willing to spare our nation another April embarrassment and trade down to his level of incompetence. The Star’s Adam Teicher is giddy about the Chiefs’ 13 picks, a wealth that may empower them to break up the Sexy Six and reach out to OTs Branden Albert and Ryan Clady.

As for the Jets, Rich Cimini says GM Mike Tannenbaum and Coach Eric Mangini await a seminal decision if Ryan is still on the board. Mark Cannizzaro thinks the Jets may not like the top-tier leftovers and look to trade down to the next class, a move that seems highly unlikely to us New Englanders who see Gang Green as perpetually green with envy and coveting their spot just ahead of the Patriots. Dave Hutchinson says Darren McFadden has the skills and character to be a Jet, but not so fast says McFadden’s mom, who is not convinced New York has the character for McFadden.

With the Seventh Selection

The Patriots will have eight overall picks, starting high at Number 7 but having a long wait into the night for another chance at 62. That’s something Belichick and Pioli are not fond of. Christopher L. Gasper thinks Belichick may be sufficiently underwhelmed with his choices and trade down to bridge that chasm. He better hurry though, as Glen Farley reminds us the new time limits may crimp Coach’s style. Karen Guregian is full of hopes and possibilities at Number 7, even the possibility of trading for Jason Taylor. Douglas Flynn is certain the Patriots will not be forced into any selections based on need. Shalise Manza Young blames the Belichick/Pioli team’s proclivity towards the unpredictable for keeping her in the dark as to whether they’ll move up, trade down, or hold. As Gasper points out, Pioli knows what he wants and that’s led to at least one starter in each of his drafts with the exception of 2007. Gasper also recounts the ill-fated 2007 draft, whose carnage left only two players remaining on today’s roster. Tom King says last year’s failure makes this a pivotal weekend in Foxborough.

Later Rounds

Ian Clark says ‘value’ is the word for the Patriots with their eight picks. Guregian is either completely thorough or has plenty of time on her hands before the 3 PM tipoff (pick the former), because she’s looking for a backup quarterback in one piece, and some kicking help in another, two areas of no imminent need.

Draft Odds & Sods

As UNH’s Ricky Santos is perhaps the most promising New England player not attending classes in Chestnut Hill, Allen Lessels sees him rightfully waiting by the phone on Sunday.

John Connolly entertains the notion of OT Mackenzy Bernadeau becoming the first Bentley College player ever drafted, and offers a rundown on some local free agent prospects after the weekend.

Eric McHugh visits with North Quincy Head Coach Jim Connor, whose brother Dan, a Penn State LB, figures to be selected sometime today.

Enjoy the festivities as it should be fun to see the new crop of Patriots form. We’ll see you back here on Monday morning. Until then, get all the latest Pats news on Patriots Daily.

A Media Link Friday

Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog here again with your Friday media megalinks.

Don’t forget to vote in the latest Approval Ratings poll which involves WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton.

And Bruce has a very good entry on an erroneous blog post made by “Who’s Better Making a Blog Error Than” Butchie Stearns.

Let’s get to the links.

Viewing Picks

The NFL Draft is the Viewing Pick of the weekend. Both ESPN and the NFL Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the Draft starting Saturday at 3 p.m. and continuing through Sunday. This year’s draft is starting later, but there will be less time in-between picks so the first round should go quicker than the unbelievably long six hours of last year. Both ESPN and the NFL Network will have a four hour pre-draft show at 11 a.m. Chris Berman, Mel Kiper, Jr., Swampscott’s Todd McShay and Steve Young will be among the hundreds of analysts who will be seen on the Alleged Worldwide Leader. Rich Eisen anchors the coverage for the NFL Network.

Both the NBA and NHL Playoffs are in full swing. The NHL has just begun the Conference Semifinals while the NBA is still in the midst of the first round. NBC will have Game 2 of the Detroit-Colorado series on Saturday with the New York Rangers visiting Pittsburgh on Sunday. Versus will carry Philadelphia at Montreal on Saturday night and Dallas at San Jose on Sunday.

The Celtics are back in action after another two day layoff. Comcast SportsNet will carry Game 3 of its series against Atlanta at 8 p.m. Saturday. ABC, ESPN and TNT will all have coverage of the NBA playoffs this weekend.

The Red Sox are in Tampa to take on the Rays (don’t call them the Devil Rays anymore). NESN has all of the games this weekend. Fox has its usual regionalized coverage of Major League Baseball on Saturday featuring the Yankees at Cleveland. WGN carries the White Sox hosting Baltimore, Saturday night and the Cubs at Washington on Sunday afternoon. TBS’ Sunday Afternoon Baseball will cover the Yankees-Cleveland and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball will be in Detroit to cover the Angels-Tigers at 8:05 p.m.

Motor racing fans will have plenty of stuff to watch this weekend. The Formula 1 circuit will be in Spain for the Spanish Grand Prix. The Speed Channel will pick up that race at 7:30 a.m., Sunday.

The Indy Racing League will be in Kansas City for the Roadrunner Turbo Indy 300 on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m Sunday.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention NASCAR. The Nationwide Series’ Aaron’s 312 airs on ABC Saturday at 3 p.m. The Sprint Cup Series’ Aaron’s 499 airs on Fox Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

The PGA Tour is in Irving, TX for the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Golf Channel has the 2nd round coverage at 3 p.m. today. CBS picks up coverage on Saturday at 3 p.m.

For those of you who care, the New England Revolution will be on TV-38 Saturday night against the Chicago Fire.

The entire sports TV listings can be seen at USA Today.

Now let’s get to your links.

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks about the NFL Draft having its own language.

Now I’ll start in the East, then go west, then fill in the country in the middle.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott of the Boston Sports Media Watch reports that the Boston Globe is playing hardball with Gordon Edes’ buyout application.

Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe has a column remembering legendary sports anchor Don Gillis who called play-by-play for just about every sports team in Boston during his career. Gillis died this week at the age of 85. Martin Pave of the Globe looks back at Gillis’ long career.

Also from the Globe, Nancy Marrapese-Burrell talks with Boston Celtics’ TV voice Mike Gorman about calling the playoffs.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says Harold Reynolds gets to reunite with his old college roommate, Mets’ GM Omar Minaya. H.R. was hired yesterday to work as a studio analyst during selected Mets games on SNY.

Newsday’s Neil Best also writes about Reynolds going to SNY and briefly goes into HR’s wrongful termination lawsuit against ESPN that was settled last week. In his blog, Neil talks more about Harold. Neil also expands on another item in his Friday column which was about the increased ratings for Versus for the NHL playoffs.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post reviews some of the things that irritated him on TV and Radio this week. Mushnick reports that Harold Reynolds will start his new gig at SNY tonight. The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with YES Network’s David Cone about the Yankees’ struggling starting pitcher Ian Kennedy. And Terranova has five questions for ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about the NFL Draft.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says the NFL Draft will be covered gavel-to-gavel this weekend.

Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner talks with ESPN’s Floyd Reese about what goes on in an NFL Draft War Room.


From the Deseret (UT) Morning News, Scott D. Pierce says if the Utah Jazz reach the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals, fans will have to be prepared not to watch the games on KJZZ-TV.

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Jay Posner says less will be more in the NFL Draft telecasts on ESPN and the NFL Network this year. Posner has two recommendations for sports viewing this weekend. And Jay has the ratings from San Diego last weekend.

Interesting that the North County Times’ John Maffei also goes into the “less is more” theme in his column about the NFL Draft on ESPN.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes about a new NBC Sports special which will show some of its archival material on Sunday. It’s probably worth TiVoing.

John Scheibe of the Los Angeles Times also does the “less is more” thing talking about the NFL Draft coverage in the Sound and Vision column.

From the Los Angeles Daily News, Tom Hoffarth also discusses the NFL Draft on ESPN. Hoffarth also has his media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog.


Over to the Akron Beacon Journal, George M. Thomas says the NFL Draft rules the viewing weekend.

Mark Curnutte of the Cincinnati Enquirer talks with ESPN’s Merril Hoge who will be involved in the NFL Draft coverage for the Alleged Worldwide Leader.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley says once the NFL Draft is over, look out for Snap Judgment Monday.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that the NFL Draft may be shorter, but there will still be plenty of time for analysis.

Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is happy to see less talk at the NFL Draft.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin writes that the NFL Draft has become a made-for-TV event.

Heading over to the Chicago Tribune, Teddy Greenstein talks to the reporters who were on hand for the infamous meltdown by Cubs manager Lee Elia some 25 years ago. And Teddy has his weekend viewing picks.

The Kansas City Star’s Jeffrey Flanagan talks with former Royals second baseman Frank White who will make his FSN debut tonight. And Jeffrey posts a rather large picture of Wendi Nix in his story as she’ll be covering the Chiefs for ESPN during the NFL Draft.


Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN plans faster coverage for the NFL Draft. Mel’s notebook includes the discussion of Bob Costas’ live show next Tuesday on HBO. And Mel tells us what to watch this weekend.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram hopes that mental illness will not scare NFL teams from drafting Texas Christian Defensive End Tommy Blake whose story has been the subject of an E:60 profile.

Fran Blinebury of the Houston Chronicle talks with Rockets broadcasters Jim Foley and Gene Peterson who will both retire at the end of the season.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel writes about the live Town Hall meeting Bob Costas will conduct on HBO next Tuesday.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the NFL Draft plans to pick up the pace this year.

But despite the NFL Draft dominating the weekend, Doug Nye of The State says the NBA playoffs provide more excitement.


Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment wants to expand its programming.


CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at some of his favorite college football trading cards.

The Big Lead has the video of WFAN’s Mike Francesca’s non-reaction to David Letterman’s comments about him when partner Chris Russo appeared on the Late Show earlier this week.

Awful Announcing says Tom Hammond and Chris Collinsworth are the voices of the new Madden ’09 video game which the blog says pretty much confirms them as the new NFL Network announcing team.

Maury Brown of the Biz of Basketball blog reports on the excellent ratings for TNT during the NBA playoffs.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back with the media links again next Friday.

Approval Ratings – Steve Burton

Steve BurtonLast Friday we rated outgoing WBZ-TV sports director Bob Lobel. Today we’re rating his successor, Steve Burton.

Burton has been at WBZ since 1994, serving as sports reporter and anchor on both WBZ and TV38. He has been a fixture on the Patriots pregame shows, as well as on Patriots Fifth Quarter, where he is usually stationed inside the press conference room at Gillette getting reaction to the game.

Prior to joining WBZ, Burton worked for NESN between 1988 and 1994, hosting pre and post game shows for the Red Sox broadcasts. He has been a regular on WEEI’s Big Show recently as well.

Burton was raised in Framingham, and attended Northwestern University, where he was on the football team. He is the son of former Patriots player Ron Burton, and his brother Phil Burton works as a sports reporter/anchor for CN8. His brother Ron Jr works in the community relations department for the Red Sox, and brother Paul Burton works for WBZ as a general assignment reporter.