2011 Approval Ratings – Michael Felger

As polarizing a figure as there is in the Boston sports media right now, you either love Felger or hate him. (This should make it easier for those clamoring for a apathy option in the poll.)

Felger is the afternoon co-host of the Felger and Massarotti show on 98.5 The SportsHub. He is also host of CSNNE’s Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight and Sports Sunday.

Felger broke into the local sports scene with the Boston Herald in 1989. During the 90’s the worked his way up to the Revolution and Bruins beats, before becoming the Patriots beat writer. Around that time, he started to become a presence on local radio and television shows, his battles with Nick Cafardo and Ron Boges on WBZ’s Sports Final during the early part of the decade are legendary.

As the decade went on, Felger phased out his writing, dropping to a smaller and smaller role at the Herald while increasing his on-air gigs. He became a night host on CSNNE, and hosted his radio own show on the old ESPN 890, and then hopped over to WEEI.com for a short time before becoming the biggest name hire at 98.5 when it launched in the summer of 2009.

Felger’s Mohegan Sun bio reads:

As a self described impartial observer of the Boston sports scene, Mike Felger revels in his ability to play devil’s advocate and singe local sports fans for their unabashed homerism. Felger has been bringing that attitude to Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight and Sports Sunday. He pens weekly Patriots summaries, Patriots’ Report Cards and a weekly mailbag.

Interestingly, when we did this series the last time, the first reader comment on Felger’s post read “Secretly works for Patriots PR dept.”

My, how things have changed.

Felger is originally from Milwaukee and a graduate of Boston University. He is married to FOX25 reporter/anchor Sara Underwood.


Bruins Can’t Close, Game 7 Tomorrow Night

The Bruins could not close out the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road last night, and thus will need a win tomorrow night at the Garden in game seven in order to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins dropped last night’s game 5-4, as both sides (even though they did score a goal on one) of the power play failed them. Get all the coverage at BruinsLinks.com.

After changing script, B’s must avoid unhappy ending – As the Bruins get ready for their 100th game of the season, DJ Bean says we need to know where they stand. Joe McDonald says that the Bruins have put themselves into a corner.

Here we go again – Joe Haggerty says that their experience in game 7 against Montreal can only help the Bruins. Douglas Flynn has the Bruins remaining confident, despite the setback in game six.

Power failure killing Bruins – Stephen Harris has the season-long Achilles heel of the Bruins doing them in again. Kevin Paul Dupont says that if the Bruins do manage to win the Stanley Cup, they should have an asterisk next their entry in the record books.  Steve Conroy says that conventional wisdom might be the downfall of this team.

Did Boucher’s comments sway refs? – James Murphy examines a hot post-game topic. Joe Haggerty also weighs in on the Tampa coach using his pregame press conference as a bully pulpit to critique NHL officials.

David Krejci gets trick, no treat – Matt Kalman has the hat trick from the Bruins center not enough for a win. Bill Burt says that Krejci’s performance should bring hope to Bruins fans. Derek J. LaRiviere has Krejci in no mood to celebrate his achievement following the game.

Lucic hopes to bring it home – Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook says that win or lose, Milan Lucic will be going home after tomorrow night. The Herald notebook from Conroy has Martin St. Louis coming up big again for the Lightning. The CSNNE.com notes from Haggery have more on Krejci’s performance.

The Red Sox scored seven runs in the first inning, and 14 overall for the game as they trounced the Cleveland Indians 14-2 yesterday afternoon. Get the complete coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Bats make statement – Michael Silverman has the Red Sox performance self-explanatory. Anthony Castrovince says that these surging Red Sox might just be getting started.

Going up? Pedroia looking to elevate his game – Alex Speier has the second baseman looking to get back on track at the plate.

Situation was advantageous – With Jon Lester staked to a seven-run lead before he even took the mound, Peter Abraham’s notebook says that the lefty was able to just relax and pitch. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has more on Pedroia.

Celtics wading into draft pool – Julian Benbow has a look at Danny Ainge’s draft prep.

Marquis Daniels rebounds from major scare – Mark Murphy has a health update on the former Celtic.

Nate Solder seeking assistance – Karen Guregian has the Patriots first round pick trying to prepare for the season as best he can.

2011 Approval Ratings – Joe Haggerty

If you missed it, see yesterday’s post for what this is all about.

Over the last couple of years, Joe Haggerty has blossomed into one of the most ubiquitous members of the Boston sports media. Web, Radio, Television, Twitter, Haggerty is everywhere.

Not bad for a guy not too long ago was doing his best to get noticed while working for the Woburn Daily Times Chronicle, Boston Metro, and even his own blog. Haggerty got a major break when he was hired by Rob Bradford for WEEI.com. He then moved onto CSNNE.com, where he has really thrived, becoming one of the real go-to-guys locally for Bruins and hockey talk.

The tagline on his Twitter profile reads I want people to see me walk down the street and say ‘there goes Joe Haggerty, the best sportswriter there ever was. That sentence is an accurate snapshot of the ambition with which Haggerty has taken his career.



Bruins Look To Close Out Lightning

The Bruins look to return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1990 as they face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six tonight, holding a three games to two series lead.

Bruins will show finishing touch – Joe McDonald is confident that the Bruins will be able to close out the series tonight. Fluto Shinzawa thinks that a fast start will be the key for the Bruins. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins cannot afford to think ahead just yet.

Bruins know clincher is always the toughest one – Ian Clark says that the Bruins know that they will have a fight on their hands tonight. Rich Garven says that the Bruins will need to play with more passion tonight. Mick Colageo examines the Bruins ability to handle pressure thus far in the postseason.

Sixty minutes from the Stanley Cup Finals – Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins have proved themselves time and time again. James Murphy has six keys to a win tonight for Boston.

What is Guy Boucher doing? – DJ Bean says that no one in the playoffs has been more captivating, mystifying, and puzzling all at once.

Bolts go back to Dwayne Roloson – The Herald notebook has Boucher going back to his veteran goalie for game six. The Globe Bruins notebook has the Bruins going with a three-center line at the end of game five. The Patriot Ledger notes from Mike Loftus has more on the Tampa decision to go with Roloson. The CSNNE notes from Joe Haggerty have Tim Thomas especially dominant late in games.

The Red Sox finally broke through against the Indians, with Josh Beckett pitching into the seventh inning and moving to 4-1 on the season and Jason Varitek hitting his first home run since last May to give the Red Sox a 4-2 victory in Cleveland. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Josh Beckett dealing like an ace again – Michael Silverman says that the Sox righty is back at the top of his game.

Backstops become backbones – Nick Cafardo notes that both of the Red Sox catchers have been productive as of late.

A Hill of a streak: Rich Hill’s unlikely path to Red Sox history – Alex Speier has the lefty tying the team record for the longest streak of scoreless outings by a pitcher at the start of his Sox career.

Is Adrian Gonzalez the best hitter in baseball? – Kirk Minihane tries to figure out if there is anyone better in the game than the Red Sox first baseman.

Varitek does it all to beat Tribe – Maureen Mullen’s CSNNE notes have the veteran catcher doing it all last night. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has more on Varitek’s contributions. The ProJo Red Sox Journal has more on Hill getting the job done in relief. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham has John Lackey feeling good about a bullpen session yesterday.

Bill Belichick Knows How to Play to a Crowd and 19 Other NFL Thoughts – Jeff Howe with a look at NFL news in the past week.

2011 Approval Ratings – Fluto Shinzawa

It’s been three years since the original round of BSMW Approval ratings were run. Things are much different now, people have come and gone, moved to new positions, and there are even new outlets that weren’t here previously.

The concept is very simple. Each day (or thereabouts) a short profile of a Boston sports media member is posted, and you simply choose “Approve” or “Disapprove.” There is no middle ground. Then tell us why in the comment section.

With the Bruins in the spotlight right now, it feels right to start things off with a member of the Bruins beat. Fluto Shinzawa is a 1999 graduate of Boston University, and started at the Boston Globe in 2002. He covered college hockey (with a focus on Hockey East) and NASCAR for the Globe before moving to the Bruins beat around mid-decade.

Prior to coming to the Globe, Shinzawa had worked for the Concord (NH) Monitor, where he also had a hockey focus, covering the UNH hockey team, as well as NASCAR and high school sports. At the time he joined the Globe, Shinzawa was employed as a senior editor for the RobbReport,  a luxury lifestyle publication.


Thomas Leads Bruins To Within One Win of Stanley Cup Finals

It wasn’t pretty, the Bruins were badly outshot and had stretches of time in which they just looked awful, but thanks to another terrific effort from Tim Thomas – including a turnback in the third period which was one of the most amazing stick saves you’ll ever see – the Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 to take a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. With a win tomorrow night or Friday, the Bruins will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Tim Thomas is the talk of the town this morning, and that is reflected in the radio side (a running joke on D&C this morning is about how Thomas can do anything) and all over the newspapers and newssites, as you’ll see below.

It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true – After a shaky game four, Thomas guaranteed a Bruins victory, and as Joe Haggerty notes, he backed it up last night. More on Thomas from: Kevin Paul Dupont | Stephen Harris | Jackie MacMullan | Mick Colageo | Jeff Jacobs | Bill Burt | Amanda Bruno | Eric McHugh | James Murphy | Matt Kalman

Bruins inch closer to finals by winning a losable game – DJ Bean has these Bruins somehow managing a win. More on the degree of difficulty from Bob Ryan and Douglas Flynn. On HockeyJournal.com, Jesse Connolly says that this one was undeniably ugly.

Zdeno Chara earning his captain’s ‘C’ – Joe McDonald has the big defenseman playing his best postseason hockey for the Bruins. Rich Thompson looks at the performance of Chara’s partner on defense, Dennis Seidenberg.

Phil Esposito full of memories from days with B’s, Bolts – Stephen Harris has the Bruins legend rooting firmly for the Lightning in this series, but with good reason.

B’s penalty-kill units shine at right time – Steve Conroy’s notebook in the Herald says that the Bruins penalty-kill units are helping them hold their own in the special teams battle. The Globe notebook from Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins finally putting Chara in front of the net during the power play. The CSNNE notes from Joe Haggerty have Chara coming up big all-around last night.

The Red Sox just can’t seem to beat the Indians this season, as Daniel Bard gave up an eighth inning lead as Boston fell in Cleveland 3-2. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Surging Indians keep Bard, Red Sox from going over top – Peter Abraham has the Red Sox missing out on another opportunity to move into first place.

Sox see what may have been – With Victor Martinez no longer here, Michael Silverman looks at what the Red Sox gave up to get him – Justin Masterson, who has been very good for the Indians this season, and last night.

Setup needs some cleanup – Nick Cafardo has the setup role floundering as of late for the Sox.

Pedroia’s injury considered minor – Abraham’s notebook has the second baseman giving everyone a scare when he fell on the basepaths last night and had to be removed from the game. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber and Michael Silverman has Tommy John surgery a possibility for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is seeking a second opinion in Japan.

Mankins considers staying with Patriots – Tom E Curran has the Patriots guard softening his stance somewhat when it comes to a new deal with New England. More from Mankins through Karen Guregian.

As NFL lockout drags on, rookies continue to lose precious time – Christopher Price on the challenges rookies will face to contribute right away to their new teams. Tom E. Curran has Mankins saying that the rookies will be way behind when the lockout ends.

No fair market in owners’ system – Norma Rae Borges with a hilariously scathing column against the NFL owners. I love how he mentions teams like the Dolphins, which have been cutting the pay of employees, and then mentioning the Patriots, as if they are also doing it. (They’re not.)

Actual tease for a video segment on the CSNNE.com website:

Losing cred…

Tom Brady’s skills on the field are rarely questioned. His machismo? That’s another story, especially after the release of a few new vacation photos.

Red Sox/Cubs – Below Average Prices?

There has been quite a bit of talk this week about the demand for tickets for this weekend’s Red Sox/Cubs series at Fenway Park. (Yes, the first time the Cubs have been to Fenway since 1918, if you hadn’t heard already.)

But from this analysis, the average ticket price for this series is actually below the average price this season.

Click on the image for purchasing options.