Approval Ratings – Bob Ryan

Bob RyanToday we’re having a look at the Dean of the Boston sports media, Bob Ryan.

A graduate of Boston College, Ryan joined The Boston Globe in 1968 – on the same day as Peter Gammons, and on the day that Robert Kennedy was shot. Ryan and Gammons worked together that day (as noted in Gammons’ Hall of Fame speech.) and their story appeared on the front page of the paper.

He covered the Celtics during the 1970’s and into the 80’s before becoming a general columnist in 1989. He made a brief foray into TV in the early 80’s on WCVB.

He’s been hosting Globe 10.0 on NESN for almost a year now. He has been a regular on ESPN’s Sunday morning show The Sports Reporters and has done a number of other shows with the network such as Pardon the Interruption.

His honors include the 2006 Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism as well as the 1997 Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame.

His books include Drive: The Story of My Life with Larry Bird, Forty-Eight Minutes: A Night in the Life of the N.B.A. with Terry Pluto and When Boston Won the World Series: A Chronicle of Boston’s Remarkable Victory in the First Modern World Series of 1903.



Celtics Fold In Fourth Once Again On Road

The Celtics streak of road futility in the playoffs continued last night in Cleveland as they stay close for most of the game before letting the Cavs pull away in the final minutes of a 88-77 game four loss which puts the series even at two games apiece.

Mark Murphy has the Gorilla on the Celtics back getting bigger with each road loss. Bill Doyle seems to think this series could be over in six…and not in the Celtics favor. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics once again unable to solve their road problems. Kevin McNamara says that the Celtics put themselves in a good position to win last night, but couldn’t close things out.

Shirley Coshatt on the BSMW Full Court Press has the Celtics folding again on the road.

Steve Bulpett has the Celtics rating very low in the poise factor in these road losses. Dan Shaughnessy says the conclusions we can draw about the Celtics after 11 playoff games are all ugly. Bill Reynolds tells us why NBA teams can’t win on on the road in the postseason. Tony Massarotti throws in the towel and concedes the series to the Cavs because they have LeBron and the Celtics don’t. Tim Rogers says LeBron got plenty of support from his teammates in this one.

Michael Vega has the Celtics offense vanishing in the fourth quarter, leading to their demise. Massarotti does point out that the Celtics are not alone when it comes to postseason struggles on the road. Sam Amico has PJ Brown giving the Celtics their only life off the bench. Bulpett reports that pregame pyrotechnics may be on their way out, if David Stern has anything to say about the matter. Bob Halloran says Doc Rivers isn’t being given a fair shake by the fans.

Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics offense letting them down as much as the defense last night. Spears’ notebook has Stern’s comments on Paul Pierce’s fine for the “menacing gesture.” Vega’s notebook looks at Cavs assistant Michael Malone, who has some New England ties. McNamara’s notebook has more on Malone’s RI roots. Doyle’s notebook says that a Worcester Academy tie helped Rick Carlisle land the Dallas job.

Red Sox

The Red Sox also fall on the road last night, as Clay Buchholz had another difficult start, giving up seven earned runs in just 4.1 innings in a 7-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Manny Ramirez did hit career home run number 498 last night, moving him closer to the 500 mark.

Amalie Benjamin has Buchholz frustrating with himself over his struggles. Rob Bradford says that last night showed that location is more important than stuff when it comes to starting pitching. Steven Krasner has Buchholz discovering that life isn’t always so easy in the majors. Jeff Goldberg notes the large presence of Bartolo Colon on the horizon for Buchholz. Bill Ballou notes that Minnesota has always been a humbling place for the Red Sox.

Nick Cafardo looks at the Red Sox inability to separate themselves thus far from the rest of the pack in the American League. Steve Buckley has Craig Hansen drawing inspiration from an old Arnold Schwarzenegger quote to help him remain in the majors. Joe Haggerty has Manny Ramirez closing in on a career milestone.

Joe McDonald has Jed Lowrie getting back to work and picking up where he left off with the PawSox. Buckley says that fastball command was Buchholz’s biggest problem last night. Bradford has the Julian Tavarez era coming to an end in Boston after the club designated him for assignment.

Benjamin’s notebook has Hansen’s strong performance since his recall making Tavarez expendable. Bradford’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis being named AL Player of the Week. Krasner’s notebook has more on Tavarez being let go in favor of Hansen. Goldberg’s notebook also reports on the transaction. Ballou’s notebook has more on Hansen sticking around.


As I write this, Matt Walsh is meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss what he knows about the Patriots and their video practices. Mike Reiss says that the focus of the meeting will be on the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. John Tomase says this could mark the end of the league’s investigation. Shalise Manza Young says this could be the end of Walsh’s 15 minutes of fame. Jeff Jacobs says that all that matters in this meeting is the truth.

Check in for updates over the course of the day at

Mick Colageo offers a final Bruins report card.

Approval Ratings – Jon Meterparel

Meterparel is the morning flash guy for the Dennis and Callahan program on WEEI.

He is known for taking purposefully obtuse stances against the local teams for the sake of controversy. He went on a ridiculous run during last year’s Red Sox postseason, picking against the Red Sox for a number of inane reasons on a daily basis, only to come back the next day with a new one.

Boston College is exempt from his antics, as he serves as the play-by-play man for the football team of the school. Last season he infamously missed an important play during a game because he was in the bathroom. In the past he served as the voice of the New England Revolution, and the Triple A Charlotte Knights while working down in Charlotte.

He joined the Dennis and Callahan show in 2000.



Sox Fall In Minnesota

The Red Sox couldn’t pull off another Mother’s Day miracle this year, as they fell to the Minnesota Twins 9-8 before a national ESPN audience last night. Tim Wakefield suffered the loss after giving up six earned runs in 2.2 innings, including a pair of home runs. Get all the coverage from

The Celtics face their latest road test tonight in Cleveland, as they seek to avenge a 24 point loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday night. The team needs to put this talk about their road woes to a end, and there would be no better time than tonight for them to do this. Check all the headlines over on  On the BSMW full court press, Kevin Henkin has a look back at the Saturday night disaster. Bill Burt says it is time for the Celtics to show some backbone, Tim Weisberg agrees that it is time to put an end to the road woes, he also recaps some highlights of the Bill Russell/Kevin Garnett interview on ABC this weekend. Lenny Megliola says that the Celtics are flirting with disaster.

Note to the NBA: Could you please not assign Bennett Salvatore to any more Celtics games this postseason? Thank you for your consideration.

Voting for the next member of the Patriots Hall of Fame is well under way. While Ben Coates might well win based on the fact that his career is the freshest in our minds, over at Patriots Daily, Scott Benson puts forth a compelling case of why Jim Nance should get your vote. I encourage you to read this before casting your vote. Also check out for the latest news and headlines around the team.

Boston/New England Emmy Awards

Ken from Fang’s Bites here again. I figured I would give you a new post during the weekend. I listed this on my blog, but this applies more to BSMW.

The Boston/New England Emmy Awards were handed out Saturday night at the Marriot Copley Place Hotel in Boston.

I am going to list the winners in the sports category. For those who want to find the complete list of winners in Newscast, Spot News and other categories, you can go the Boston/New England Emmy website.

NESN won four Boston/New England Emmys, but Comcast SportsNet got the big prize of Best Live Sporting Event winning for its production of the Boston Celtics.

Here are the winners:

Sports Series – Sox Appeal – NESN (This I just don’t understand)
Sporting Event/Game-Live/Unedited – Boston Celtics Basketball – Comcast SportsNet
Sports One-Time Special – Champions Again: The Story of the 2007 Boston Red Sox – NESN/Major League Baseball Productions
Sports Feature/Segment – UConn’s Little Fan – WTNH, New Haven, CT
Editor Program – Red Sox Report Composite; 2007 Season in Review – NESN/Red Sox Productions
Graphic Arts Program – Boston Bruins Open 2007 – NESN
On Camera Talent Reporter-Sports – John Holt – WFSB, Hartford, CT (over Tina Cervasio???)
News Specialty Report Sports News – Street Stories: Backyard Wiffleball – WPRI, Providence, RI

Again, the entire list can be seen over at Boston

Enjoy your Mother’s Day.

A Friday Megalink Day

Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog here once again with your Friday Media Megalinks. Unlike last week which focused on the Kentucky Derby, there isn’t much of an underlying theme in the links. So, let’s get to them. As usual, it’s another busy weekend for viewing.

Weekend Viewing Picks

The Celtics-Cavs series shifts to Cleveland this weekend. Game 3 is going to be in primetime on Saturday and ABC will pick it up. Locally, WCVB, WMUR and ABC6 in Providence will carry the game starting at 8. And the other Eastern Conference semifinals will be held on Saturday as Game 4 of the Detroit-Orlando series will be seen on ESPN at 5 p.m. On Sunday, both Western Confernce semifinals will be seen. ABC has Game 4 of the Lakers-Jazz series at 3:30 p.m. while TNT takes Game 4 of the Hornets-Spurs series Sunday night at 8.

The Red Sox travel to Central Division leading Minnesota this weekend for a four game weekend wraparound series. NESN has coverage of Friday, Saturday and Monday. Tonight’s game is at 8, Saturday’s will be on the air at 7, Sunday is an ESPN game at 8 and Monday, also on ESPN goes on at 7.

Fox Sports has its usual slate of three regional baseball games Saturday afternoon at 3:55 and none of them will have the team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. The Yankees return to Fox as they travel to Detroit to challenge the Tigers, Milwaukee takes on St. Louis and the Cubs host Arizona. WGN will have the White Sox at Seattle Saturday at 10 p.m. and the D’backs-Cubs Sunday at 2:10 p.m. TBS will show Yankees-Detroit on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Over to the NHL, the Conference Finals will be in primetime. Versus and CBC have Game 2 of Dallas-Detroit on Saturday at 7, and both networks will carry Game 2 of Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Sunday at 7:30.

One of the bigger events for golf asides from the Majors is the Players Championship. Tiger Woods is not in the field and that could mean lower ratings for both the Golf Channel and NBC which are televising the tournament. The Golf Channel finishes its coverage on Friday, then NBC takes over Saturday and Sunday with coverage starting at 2 p.m. NBC Sports says it will have microphones placed around the famous 17th green at the TPC at Sawgrass to capture the splashes as the balls hit the water from the tee.

NASCAR has another Saturday night race. It’s at Darlington for the Dodge Challenger 500 at 7.

Qualifiying for the Indianapolis 500 takes place this weekend and ESPN2 and ABC will have coverage throughout the weekend.

Formula 1 travels to Istanbul, not Constantinople, for the Turkish Grand Prix and Speed will have the coverage, Sunday morning at 7:30.

And boxing fans can watch the fight for the WBC Super Lightweight title on Showtime at 10:45 p.m. Saturday.

The New England Revolution takes on CD Chivas on TV-38, Sunday at 3 p.m.

The entire slate of weekend sports coverage can be seen here.

To your links now.

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand gives blog critics a lecture.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott has an update on the Gordon Edes vs. Boston Globe buyout story.

Paul Flannery of Boston Magazine’s Boston Daily Blog reports that the Boston Globe’s Marc Spears will take over the NBA beat from Peter May who took a buyout this year.

The Boston Globe’s Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says NESN’s Heidi Watney jumped at the chance to work in Boston.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times previews the new book by YES analyst Bobby Murcer.

Neil Best’s Friday column focuses on Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s growing pains in dealing with the New York media. And Neil has Yankees beat reporters talking about Girardi’s relationship with the media in his blog. Neil has a little more about this subject.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says WFAN’s Mike Francesca is no Oprah Winfrey.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News feels Mets manager Willie Randolph is being met with plenty of resistance from his players who have weekly radio interviews.

Ray Frager from the Baltimore Sun says NBC Sports will try to capture every splash at the 17th hole during the Players Championship this weekend.


John Maffei from the North County Times says Padres fans are venting about the team’s bad start on the radio postgame show.

The Ventura County Star’s Jim Carlisle is excited about HBO/NFL Films returning to nearby Oxnard to shoot this year’s Hard Knocks program at Dallas Cowboys training camp.

In the Sound and Vision column in today’s Los Angeles Times, Larry Stewart says the widow of the late Voice of the Lakers Chick Hearn says he would have loved to see his former team in the NBA playoffs this season.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has put his media column and notes on his Farther Off the Wall blog. And here are some additional notes from Hoffarth.


Doug Nye from The State in Columbia, SC says TV viewers don’t know how good they have things these days.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that sports radio talker The Ticket beat rival WQAM in the winter Arbitron ratings.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel lists his favorite ten sports-themed Seinfeld episodes.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle writes that the Rockets are now on hunt for a new radio announcing team.

Ray Buck in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the four overtime Game 6 between the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks this past Sunday night into Monday morning made for a long day for the FSN Southwest crew.

Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman has a bunch of stories today. He first writes that sportscaster and former Oklahoma U. QB (and New England Patriot) Jack Mildren is undergoing treatment for stomach cancer. Mel says sports radio talk show host Jim Traber is combative despite undergoing colon surgery two months ago. In his notebook, Mel writes about the ESPN documentary on former Mets manager Bobby Valentine. And finally, Mel has his viewing picks.


William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says legendary Hockey Night in Canada voice Bob Cole plans to continue working even as he goes into his upper 70’s.

The Vancouver Sun has a blurb on Don Cherry’s appearance on NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s show on XM Satellite Radio yesterday.


Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes that Robin Ventura will pinch-hit for Steve Stone on the White Sox radio broadcasts this weekend. Teddy has his five weekend viewing picks.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ratings for the NBA Playoffs could not be any better this season.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says a local radio station will air a local road race this weekend.

Judd Zulgad from the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that a local TV sports anchor (from a CBS-owned station) has no plans to leave despite seeing cutbacks all around his newsroom.

From the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Paul Christian writes that the island green at the TPC Sawgrass is one of the most famous golf holes in the world.

The Kansas City Star’s Jeffrey Flanagan says FSN had good ratings for the Royals even with a rainout (scroll down).


Joe Favorito’s public relations and sports marketing blog says giving a reporter access is very important to brand imaging and bringing a story to a wider audience.

The 38Cliches blog feels Jon Rish did a good job filling in for Dave O’Brien on the Red Sox-Detroit game on Wednesday.

The Sports Media Watch says the Rangers-Penguins series ended too quickly for Versus and NBC.

Michael Senno of the Biz of Hockey reports that Don Cherry makes his ESPN debut tonight.

Awful Announcing has the full video of the Rangers-Mariners brawl last night including the section where FSN Southwest’s Tom Grieve blasts Richie Sexson for charging the mound.

If you’re a Lost fan like I am, the Big Lead has some good Easter Eggs from last night’s episode.

That’s it. Enjoy your weekend.

Dan Pompei on Boston Herald, Spygate.

You may have heard this article talked about on the Dale & Holley show this morning, but I think it’s worthy of mention and discussion here as well.

Dan Pompei in the Chicago Tribune tells readers it is time to forget Spygate and remember how good that Bill Belichick really is. He tells us that while the black hat does fit Belichick well, he adds:

On the day before the most recent Super Bowl, the Boston Herald ran a story stating a member of the team’s video department taped the Rams’ final walk-through on the day before the 2002 Super Bowl.

Matt Walsh, the former video assistant for the Patriots who was negotiating with the league about information he claimed to have regarding the tapings, did not deny the allegation. And the controversy was fueled by grandstanding U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).

With the way it’s starting to look, that black hat fits Specter, Walsh and the Herald better than it fits Belichick.

After issuing criticism of Walsh and Specter, he then has the following to say about the Boston Herald:

The Herald meanwhile, bit on a story that more responsible media outlets did not. The Herald was not the only outlet that had the information it printed Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, but they were the only outlet that deemed the story solid enough to print.

It’s now starting to filter out that other media outlets got the same information that John Tomase did, but they didn’t run with it.

They’re not absolved of blame, however, because as we know, they all certainly jumped on the story and ran with it once the Herald published it. They no longer had to worry about whether the information was shoddy or not, they could just state “The Boston Herald reports that…” and go merrily along their way of speculating that the tape of the Rams walkthrough might be out there and what it could mean if Walsh turned it in to the league.

Pompei closes by saying “Belichick’s reputation won’t be sullied by this affair as much as the reputations of some others.”

“Some others” includes not only Walsh, Specter and the Herald, but most of the sports media at large.

Approval Ratings – Laura Behnke

Laura BehnkeBehnke is another relative newcomer on the Boston sports media scene, having joined NECN as a sports reporter in 2005. She does on-the-scene sports reporting for the station, as well as filling in as sports anchor.

She has a  journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin, and grew up a Packers fan in Eagan, Minnesota (making her also a Twins fan).

She also hosts the weekly Celtics magazine show Celtics Now alongside Donny Marshall on Comcast SportsNet.

Here is an interview she did with David Laurila for



Celtics King of Their Court

The Celtics took a 2-0 series lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 89-73 win at the Garden last night.

Marc J. Spears has the Celtics putting the squeeze on LeBron James and the Cavs once again. Mark Murphy hopes that Celtics fans don’t get carried away by their team’s containment of LeBron in the first two games of the series. Kevin McNamara has the comforts of home once again leading the way to victory for Boston. Scott Souza has the Celtics overcoming a slow first quarter before charging back and coasting past the Cavs. Bill Doyle notes that by the end of the night Ben Wallace probably wasn’t the only Cav feeling dizzy. Mike Fine has the Celtics halfway to a series win. Jeff Howe has the Celtics bench helping them pull away from the Cavs.

Kevin Henkin on the BSMW Full Court Press has the Celtics gang defense once again smothering LeBron and the Cavs.

Dan Shaughnessy falls just short of calling LeBron James a playoff choker, comparing him to Ted Williams in the 1946 World Series and A-Rod in any postseason. Does Dan realize how foolish that is? Did he watch any of the playoffs last season? Of course he didn’t…OK, so the last line of Tony Massarotti‘s column today was pretty clever, I’ll give him that. “Can all the King’s horses and all the King’s men put LeBron together again?” Jim Donaldson has LeBron appearing lost out on the court as the Celtics defense stifled him once again. Jeff Jacobs also chimes in on LeBron and the frustrating two nights he and his teammates have had in Boston. Jennifer Toland looks at another rough shooting night for James.

Bob Ryan looks at the contributions of the first four men off the Celtics bench – a group that turned the game around last night for Boston. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to find a way to bottle their home brew intensity and take it on the road for games three and four. Lenny Megliola also looks at the challenge facing the Celtics now that they’ll be heading back out on the road for the next two games. Julian Benbow examines how the Celtics defense is frustrating LeBron. Robert Lee has more on the Celtics bench players stepping up big last night. Massarotti has Danny Ainge speaking on in defense of Doc Rivers and the playoff performance of his team, both at home and on the road.

Christopher L. Gasper has Ray Allen finally breaking out and exploding in the second half, scoring all 16 of his points in the third and fourth quarter. Jeff Horrigan has Allen and the basketball settling their differences and getting along nicely in the second half last night. Tim Weisberg also looks at Allen finding his way in the second half, and along with him, the rest of the Celtics as well. Bulpett has Kevin Garnett honored with a place on the All-NBA first team.

Michael Vega has the Cavs hoping to get back on track back in the comforts of home. Horrigan has former Celtics short-timer and current Cavs reserve Damon Jones speaking about the rise of the Celtics.

Spears’ notebook has more on Garnett being named to the first team All-NBA. Pierce is on the third team. Murphy’s notebook has Sam Cassell stepping up at point after Rajon Rondo struggled to begin the game. McNamara’s notebook has more on Ray Allen getting back on track in the second half last night. Doyle’s notebook has more on the first team honors for Garnett. Vega’s notebook has Cavs coach Mike Brown endorsing Rick Carlisle for the Dallas job.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes has Kevin Youkilis once again leading the Red Sox offense in a victory over the Tigers. Rob Bradford has Josh Beckett hitting his stride in last night’s win. Steven Krasner has a locked-in Youkilis leading the Sox once again. Jeff Goldberg and Bill Ballou have more on Youkilis and Beckett leading the way for the Sox.

Steve Buckley has Youkilis lighting up Comerica Park once again. Amalie Benjamin has Beckett firmly in control of this one. Buckley reports on Curt Schilling‘s catch session. Bradford looks at Dustin Pedroia’s skills at pinch hitting, which have saved the Red Sox a few times already. Admit it, you’re impressed that Manny knew that Lenny Harris is the all time pinch hit leader…

Benjamin’s Minor League Notebook has Daniel Bard finding himself in Hawaii. Joe McDonald has Sean Casey and Alex Cora taking care of their temporary PawSox teammates.

Edes’ notebook observes that the centerfield platoon has pretty much been an even split. Krasner’s notebook has Beckett picking career strikeout number 1000 last night. Bradford’s notebook has David Ortiz and Mike Lowell showing signs of rounding into form. Goldberg’s notebook has Pedroia not faked out by Detroit third baseman Carlos Guillen on a popup last night. Ballou’s notebook has the play reminding Francona of a play in the 2003 postseason between the Red Sox and A’s.


Nancy Marrapese-Burrell chats with new NESN field reporter Heidi Watney.

David Scott has Gordon Edes filing an appeal with the New York Times Company’s ERISA Management Committee.

Some former Patriots were in town yesterday, and there’s still plenty of spygate talk out there, including from Arlen Specter. Check out all the coverage on the all new – now with videos and photos as well.

Approval Ratings – John Tomase

John TomaseNo really, he was scheduled today in the approval ratings prior to the Matt Walsh statement from last night…

Tomase is the beat reporter covering the New England Patriots for the Boston Herald. He is a Tufts grad, and joined the Herald in 2005 after covering the Red Sox for the Lawrence Eagle Tribunefor a number of years. He is the main blogger for the Herald’s Point After Patriots blog, and makes appearances on Comcast SportsNet from time to time.

He is in the spotlight now, of course, for the article he wrote the day before this year’s Super Bowl, where a source in his article claimed that the Patriots had filmed the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. The article brought Tomase national attention…whether that was his aim or not…and with yesterday’s revelation that Walsh has no such tape of the walkthrough and was not the source of Tomase’s article, speculation will likely renew as to who was that source.

Tomase is no stranger to controversy, having written a scathing piece in June 2005 on Manny Ramirez while working for the Eagle-Tribune. The piece claimed the the Red Sox themselves were sick of the slugger and that Ramirez was “robbing the Red Sox and more than indirectly contributing to the cost of baseball’s highest tickets.” He made the rounds of the radio stations after that article, getting his name out there, and possibly leading to his promotion to the Herald.



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