Red Sox Ratings On NESN Down 35.8% From 2009

In an article from Sports Business Journal, John Ourand reports that the Red Sox TV ratings on NESN are down almost 36% from last season.

Red Sox lose RSN ratings lead

The Red Sox are still 5th overall in MLB in terms of local ratings, averaging a 6.52 per game on NESN.

Ourand has the following to say about the Red Sox decline, and notes that it crosses over to the radio side as well:

In Boston, the declining TV numbers are not the only evidence that suggests Red Sox Nation is more apathetic about this year’s team than in years past. Despite the fact that the team just had its 600th straight sellout at Fenway Park, the lack of the traditional enthusiasm around the local nine this year extends to the team’s radio broadcasts, too. For the first half of the season, Red Sox games on WEEI-AM were down 16.5 percent, to 107,500 listeners. The coveted male 25- to 54-year-old demographic was down 28 percent, posting a 10.2 average. It should be noted that the Celtics’ run in this year’s NBA playoffs required the relocation of 20 Red Sox broadcasts this spring from flagship WEEI-AM to WRKO-AM.

St. Louis has taken over the top spot, averaging a 9.70 on Fox Sports Midwest. The Red Sox have been at the top of this list every season since 2004.


Brady In Camp, Making Progress on New Contract

The following was reported last night, around the same time it was reported that Brady was in fact, already in camp, having reported with the rookies.

Tom Brady and Patriots making progress on a contract extension that could get done this summer. Jul 26 02:45:04 via web

What? All I’ve read in the Globe and heard on 98.5 FM is that Brady and the Patriots hate each other, and that if Brady were smart he’d skip the entire season.

Schefter’s article linked above has a few other nuggets that fly in the face of what we’ve been reading and hearing here from people who get paid to cover the Patriots. (Emphasis mine)

The Colts would like to re-sign quarterback Peyton Manning, the Saints Drew Brees and the Redskins Donovan McNabb. At this time, the Patriots and Brady appear to be the furthest along in their conversations, according to league sources.

Furthest along? So will the media descend on Colts camp now or Saints camp to talk about the “disconnect” between QB and club?

Now, as for that disconnect, and reports of unhappines from Brady:

There also was speculation that the relationship between Brady and the Patriots is strained. Yet, Brady was spotted this offseason having dinner with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others have been adamant that the relationship between the two sides is as positive as ever.

Adam Schefter is as close to a sure thing in the football media as there is. Apparently Patriots fans have to turn to him to get information on their team, as certain members of the media actually assigned to cover the team have been too busy speculating, “advancing the story” of the non-holdout and disconnect, and appearing on every media outlet they can to scream about the unhappiness of Brady.

I tuned into the beginning of CSNNE’s “Sports Sunday” and heard Michael Felger saying about the Brady situation. “Some think it is being overblown, but it’s NOT.” He went on to say how Brady has had a month to dispute the disconnect quote, and he hasn’t, so clearly it is true.

The Globe and certain radio personalities have positively embarassed themselves in this entire affair.

But don’t despair guys, you still have Logan Mankins and his actual acrimony with the Patriots.

Now, lets look at a few links from this morning:

The Red Sox continue their fall out of the playoff race, losing 4-2to the Mariners in Seattle. Hideki Okajima was saddled with the loss after not being to get outs on two bunts in the inning. In case you hadn’t heard, Okajima refused to talk to reporters after the game.

Why Hideki Okajima not talking means something – Rather than just whine about it, Rob Bradford explains why Okajima not talking following last night’s loss is important.

Sox must find relief for weak spot in ’pen – Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox need help in their weakest link.

Red Sox heading for trade deadline nightmare – Bradford looks at why the Red Sox aren’t likely to find much help this week.

Not bad outing for Dice-K, but pen gives it up again – Daniel Barbarisi’s Red Sox Journal sews up a few loose ends.

Questions need answering – Mark Farinella looks at the top issues heading into camp.

Patriots looking for answers – Ian Rapoport also has a list of questions.

Plenty of competition among linebackers – Glen Farley looks at the linebackers.

Sweating it out – From yesterday, Albert Breer looked at why a new deal for Brady will be so much harder than one for Peyton Manning.

Well-Krafted plan – Also from yesterday, Rapoport’s conversation with the Patriots owner.

Rajon Rondo now has national appeal – Mark Murphy’s NBA notes focus on Rondo’s spot on the national team.

Okajima Doesn’t Talk, Infuriates Media

So this is what happens when you don’t talk to the almighty Red Sox media:

True professionalism on the part of Okajima: Refusing to answer questions after today’s game. Got to be accountable. #redsoxSun Jul 25 23:45:48 via UberTwitter

Okajima so far refusing to take questions. Unprofessional to say the least. #RedSox.Sun Jul 25 23:30:42 via Twitter for iPhone

As has been his cowardly habit for most of his 3 years in Boston when he doesn’t pitch well, Hideki Okajima refuses to answer questions.Sun Jul 25 23:26:44 via OpenBeak

From the Dept. of No Accountability: #RedSox stories tonight, tomorrow will not feature Okajima’s perspective. He’s not talking.Sun Jul 25 23:28:28 via txt

Beltre talking about Oki there, and no we didn’t talk to him because as usual, Oki declined to speak to reporters after multiple requests.Mon Jul 26 00:02:52 via web

Adrian Beltre isn’t sure what Hideki Okajima was thinking on Kotchman bunt. Unfortunately, Okajima not willing to explain himself. #RedSoxMon Jul 26 00:00:38 via txt

Okajima probably probably should’ve spoken after the game, but as McAdam caustically observes above, he hasn’t talked after a bad outing in three years. What makes them think he was going to talk yesterday?

Also, on the topic of professionalism, Okajima may have been unprofessional yesterday, but what do you call the above? These guys all sound like a bunch of whiny little girls.

The followups on these tweets are equally entertaining, as apparently I’m not the only one who thought this. The reporters defend their outcries with “his teammates want to know what happened too.” Well, they can talk to him on the plane if they want to.

They really couldn’t write their stories without Okajima saying “I just didn’t have it today?”

Globe Staff Going Whole Hog On Brady Holdout

C’mon guys.

The Boston Globe. Allegedly THE paper of record for New England sports, is embarrassing themselves with this Tom Brady holdout garbage.

Albert Breer’s lede on the Extra Points blog:

With all the noise of a Tom Brady holdout (which I hear pretty strongly isn’t happening … and was never happening), it’s worth asking this question: How could it really come to this?

Um, what? Yeah, How could it really come to this which was never happening? Does that lede even make a modicum of sense?

Breer then goes on to quote colleague Chris Gasper, who has a few gems of his own:

He shouldn’t have to threaten not to show up to camp to get a new contract.

What threats would those be? The ones solely created by the media to “move the needle?”

The Patriots are playing a dangerous game here with their most valuable asset.

As far as I can tell, they’re not playing any game here.

The CBA has become a rather convenient bit of CYA for the Patriots not to cut Brady a big, fat check.

Right. That’s really all it is. How stupid does he think they are?

Tony Massarotti took his whack at the situation earlier this week…practically begging Brady to hold out. Not only hold out, but not play the entire season.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning sits in the exact same situation. The only difference being he’s getting a higher base salary than Brady. But isn’t he also risking $50 million dollars by showing up for Colts camp?

Congratulations, Boston Globe, for abandoning any real reporting in favor of trying your hardest to simply stir the pot.

WEEI’s Desperate Attempts To Spin The Ratings

Even though WEEI maintains a ratings lead in the local sports radio wars, they’re not comfortable. They’re feeling the need to manipulate, exaggerate, whatever it takes to appear even more imposing.

As Chad Finn points out this morning:

While certain WEEI hosts refuse to acknowledge that the station no longer has a sports-talk monopoly, there are occasionally subtle clues that the old familiar hubris is now accompanied by humility. There’s now an emphasis on including Boston listeners to 103.7, WEEI’s FM outlet in Providence, in the local ratings…

Evidence of this can be seen in what happened to Jessica Heslam’s report on the ratings in yesterday’s Herald. When I originally linked the article, this is what it said about the ratings:

During the spring ratings period, WEEI was No.1 among men in the coveted 25- to 54-year-old demographic with a weeklong overall 8.3 share. The Sports Hub, WBZ-FM, wasn’t far behind, scoring a 5.0 share and fifth place. The spring ratings run from April 1 to June 23.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” said program director Jason Wolfe. “The spring was chock full of great content, highlighted by the playoff runs of the Celtics [team stats] and Bruins [team stats]. They belted out great shows, and the listeners responded.”

In morning-drive, WEEI duo John Dennis and Gerry Callahan were first with an 8.9 share while the Sports Hub’s Fred “Toucher” Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb were fifth with a 6.2.

WEEI midday pair Dale Arnold and Michael Holley came in second with a 6.5 share while the Sports Hub’s Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak were sixth with a 4.4.

The race was close in afternoon-drive. Glenn Ordway’s “Big Show” on WEEI was second with a 7.9 share while rival Sports Hub duo Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti were third with a 6.4.

From 7 p.m. to midnight, Mike Adams and WEEI were first with a 13.3 share, while the Sports Hub’s Damon Amendolara was 14th with a 2.6.

Then sometime yesterday, without any note of the changes, the above text changed to the following:

During the spring ratings period, WEEI was No.2 among men in the coveted 25- to 54-year-old demographic with a weeklong overall 6.8 share. The Sports Hub, WBZ-FM, wasn’t far behind, scoring a 5.0 share and fifth place. The spring ratings run from April 1 to June 23.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” said program director Jason Wolfe. “The spring was chock full of great content, highlighted by the playoff runs of the Celtics [team stats] and Bruins [team stats]. They belted out great shows, and the listeners responded.”

In morning-drive, WEEI duo John Dennis and Gerry Callahan were tied for second with WZLX-FM (100.7) and WBUR-FM (90.9) with a 7.1 share while the Sports Hub’s Fred “Toucher” Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb were sixth with a 6.2.

WEEI midday pair Dale Arnold and Michael Holley came in third with a 5.1 share while the Sports Hub’s Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak were sixth with a 4.4.

The race was close in afternoon-drive. Glenn Ordway’s “Big Show” on WEEI was second with a 6.7 share while rival Sports Hub duo Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti were third with a 6.4.

From 7 p.m. to midnight, Mike Adams and WEEI were first with a 11.3 share, while the Sports Hub’s Damon Amendolara was 4th with a 5.6.

WEEI clearly fed Heslam the first set of numbers, which are a combination of the Boston and Providence numbers. I’m not sure of the reason for the descrepancy in the WBZ-FM numbers for Damon Amendolara, but the article was apparently changed after WBZ-FM spoke up about it. I heard Toucher & Rich say something about D&C lying about the ratings numbers, and apparently it was brought up later in the day as well.

One huge thing to note about the (apparently) gaudy numbers of Mike Adams – they reflect Red Sox and Celtics games aired in his time slot. The ratings slot is 7:00-12:00 PM- regardless of what programming airs in that slot. I felt much better after confirming that, as I was afraid for the future of mankind if people were actually tuning in to hear Planey Mikey in those numbers.

Also interesting in that Finn article is that Tony Massarotti’s Baseball Reporters show from 6:00 to 7:00pm is beating the official WEEI Red Sox pregame show, prompting WEEI to change up their pregame show, as outlined in Finn’s article. (and how much of a sleaze does Jason Wolfe come off as in the Finn piece?)

Clearly, WEEI is feeling the heat from their first legitimate ratings challenge, and is pulling out all the stops, (and more) in order to try and come out ahead. They’re desperate.


John Lackey carried a no-hitter in the eighth inning before former Sox catcher Josh Bard broke it up. Leading 6-1, the Red Sox actually allowed the Mariners to tie things up in the ninth before scoring two runs in the 13th to pull out an 8-6 win.

Get all the coverage at

Red Sox blow five-run lead in ninth, then rebound to beat Mariners – Daniel Barbarisi recaps the action from last night.

Kalish making major impact – Peter Abraham’s minor league notebook says that Pawtucket outfielder Ryan Kalish may soon be major league ready.

Lowell feeling good in rehab start with PawSox, looks forward to return – Brian MacPherson has Mike Lowell getting closer to a return.

Beckett’s return is eagerly anticipated – Amalie Benjamin’s notebook looks at Josh Beckett’s return to the mound tonight.

Setting the record straight on Brady – Leave it to Mike Reiss to make sense of all the Tom Brady speculation and rumors.

New England Patriots 2010 Season Preview – The Fifth Down, The New York Times’ football blog, previews the Patriots.

Positional Previews – Offensive Line – Patriots Daily looks at the O-Line. So does Tom E. Curran and Glen Farley.

Remembering your father’s Patriots – Jim Donaldson checks in with some old guys who used to cover the Patriots – Kevin Mannix, Mark Blaudschun, Carlo Imelio, Tim Murphy, Terry Price,  and Leigh Montville.

Increased Leadership Across Entire Patriots Roster Essential for 2010 Success – Jeff Howe examines the way the Patriots have address the leadership issue.

Robinson ready to bring energy next season – A. Sherrod Blakely has the guard looking forward to an entire season with the Celtics. The Celtics also re-signed Marquis Daniels last night.

Avery Bradley can’t wait to play – Dan Duggan has the Celtics first round pick eager to get back on the court.

And finally:

What To Do When The News Is Slow? Just Make It Up – I’m going to be doing a new weekly media post over at SBNation’s Boston site. The first one looks at a few topics this week on sports radio.

Week Log: Seven And Fading

Beantown Sports Observer gripes that after an early summer flood of interesting topics, there is zilch gong on now unless you count baseball. Fortunately, Week Log does count baseball so let’s get started there, where the count is presently at seven games back – eight in the lost column, five in the Wild Card.

Red Sox

With MLB-leading run production, yet middle-of-the-pack starters and the third worst bullpen in the A.L., SawxBlog calls 2010 the Year of the Strange. But as the deficit in the standings grows, Peter’s Red Sox Forever is just calling it a season.

Red Sox Monster stops short of calling Daisuke Matsuzaka’s gem on Monday his best start ever, but agrees it was just what the Sox needed to open a 10-game West Coast swing. The Soxaholix sees a favorable pattern developing when Dice-K walks two or fewah battahs.

When the Sox reward Surviving Grady‘s time and emotional investment with a spirit-deflating loss as they did on Tuesday night, everyone pays. Nor is there any joy at The Joy Of Sox after Terry Francona left Jonathan Papelbon in the pen during the extra innings loss. Tim Wakefield blew a four-run lead earlier that night, as The Bottom Line likens his knuckler to a box of chocolates. With Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett back, The Mighty Quinn Media Machine speculates it could have been Wake’s last start ever. I’m Just Sayin’ wonders if the returning Buchholz and Beckett are enough to make the Sox contenders again this year. Full Count has Buchholz off his game yesterday, struggling in each of his four-plus innings. Tony Lee has the oft-forgotten Jed Lowrie’s return the brightest spot in yesterday’s rubber game loss in Oakland.

Boston Dirt Dogs has Theo & The Trio’s administration denying they’re doing things on the cheap, while Touching All The Bases recalls the baseball vagabonds brought in during the Dan Duquette administration. And the baseball team might be fading, but Keep Your Sox On has the Remy/Orsillo broadcast tandem GQ‘s pick as best in the American League.


All this speculation concerning a potential Tom Brady holdout makes Michael Hurley wonder if the NFL offseason has run its course. Extra Points has Brady’s name conspicuously absent from SI’s Fortunate 50 list that places Vince Wilfork at No. 38.

See how far down the list the Pats sit on the training camp edition of It Is What It Is‘s Power Rankings. NE Patriots Draft annoints the Packers and Patriots as bride and groom in their 3rd annual Ridiculous NFL Preview. Pats Pulpit explains why Randy Moss fared well in their preseason look at Most Valuable Patriot candidates.

Tom E. Curran sees the secondary as a serious tender spot in the Pats’ hopes of returning to the NFL’s elite. Patriots Daily looks at the shake-up among the big fatties on the defensive line.

On ESPN Boston’s New England Patriots blog, Mike Reiss explains how the Pats roster is 6th-oldest in the NFL despite including 24 draft picks from the last two years. The Rap Sheet has first-round pick CB Devin McCourty’s agent confident you can throw his client into the youth movement come the start of training camp. And Boston Sports Then And Now looks back on The Decision I, when Bill Belichick dissed the NYJ in LeBronian fashion.

Odds & Sods

Our weekly perusal of the Boston sports blogging community starts with Mass Hysteria, which is concerned about nicknames for a C’s team that could sport five guys over the age of 33. The Crowe’s Nest serves up another reason to root against the Miami Heat next season.

Jessica Isner has all the shootout action from last night’s Football at Fenway club soccer match. Better Red Than Dead can’t imagine how this event can be viewed as anything but a success, while Toeing The Rubber wonders what genius decided to screw with the Fenway Park field by scheduling non-baseball events in mid-season. Fenway Pastoral thinks this excessive whoring out of Fenway Park speaks to a new organizational arrogance on Yawkey Way.

ESPN Boston’s New England Revolution blog has Steve Ralston missing out on a swansong game with the Revs before retiring on Tuesday. Masshole Sports says Tim McCarver’s stand against George Steinbrenner is better late than never.

You can have your HBO, but nothing shall come between Boston Sports Blog and their HD sports programming. And finally, a shout out to SoxSpace News for getting some quality face time on NESN.

The blog ranks are a little light with summer vacations, and that’s where I’ll be for the next two weeks. Week Log won’t be back again until August 12, when we welcome all the new faces that Theo acquires between now and the trading deadline next week. See you then.

Red Sox Drop Series In Oakland, Head To Seattle, Fading Fast

Clay Buchholz came off the DL yesterday, but was rusty in his first start back in the rotation, as the A’s beat the Red Sox again, 6-4 out in Oakland. Adrian Beltre hit another home run and drove in three of the four Red Sox runs, but it wasn’t enough.

Now the Red Sox head to Seattle, where Michael Silverman says that Safeco Field could really shut down their offense.

The Red Sox have the pieces, but not the time – Rob Bradford says that it has to frustrating to Theo Epstein that his plan was on its way to working before all the injuries decimated the team.

Red Sox need deadline spark – Joe McDonald says that Epstein needs to make a move.

Sox are officially in free fall – Sean McAdam says that thing aren’t looking good right now.

Losses mount, but Sox confident they’ll turn it around – Daniel Barbarisi has the Sox feeling like they can still put it together, but will it be too late?

Not an All-Star performance – Amalie Benjaman’s notebook looks at Buchholz’s struggles, and the return of Jed Lowrie.

Remy agrees to contract extension with NESN – Chad Finn has more on Remy’s new deal with NESN.

WEEI on top in radio ratings – Jessica Heslam looks at WEEI again coming out on top in the sports radio wars, but I think the real story is that WBZ-FM didn’t exist a year ago, and now they aren’t too far behind in the ratings. The numbers can also be spun whichever way a particular station wishes. WEEI can claim they’re tops in a certain demo, while WBZ-FM in another.

Positional Previews – Defensive Line – Patriots Daily with a detailed look at the D-Line.

Hold the line, Vince – Tom E Curran does the same.

Brandon Meriweather Must Improve Tackling to Become Star Safety for Patriots – Jeff Howe looks at the fourth year safety, who went to his first  Pro Bowl last season.

…and the not so good…

Friendly match not good fit for Fenway – Ron Borges says that that lack of soccer pink hats led to empty seats last night. Frank Dell’Apa (a pretty good piece) remembers a 1968 match held at Fenway.

Houk, 90, had a major impact – Nick Cafardo remembers the former Red Sox manager. Couple of pretty glaring factual errors, however.

Houk won two World Series and three pennants in two stints with the Yankees. His first run ended after the ’63 season when he became the club’s general manager and was succeeded as manager by Yogi Berra. He eventually fired Berra and Berra’s successor,Bill Virdon, and named himself manager in 1966.

It was Johnny Keane, not Virdon that Houk fired and replaced in 1966. Its actually a pretty famous sequence because Berra went 99-63 in 1964, losing the World Series in 7 games to the Cardinals. Houk then fired him anyway, and replaced him with Keane, who went 77-85 in 1965 and then started 4-16 in 1966 before Houk fired him and made himself the manager.

Virdon was manager in 1974, and to start 1975. He went 53-51 that year before he was fired and replaced with Billy Martin.

The very next sentence reads:

He led the Tigers and lost 102 games in 1975, and managed the Red Sox from 1981-85.

Houk only managed the Red Sox until 1984 before he was replaced by John McNamara.

Little things yes, but important nonetheless. (Thanks, Steve.)