2011 Approval Ratings – Nick Cafardo

Nick Cafardo is the national baseball writer for The Boston Globe.

Cafardo begin his career in Brockton in 1975 before moving to the Quincy Patriot Ledger in 1981. In 1989 he joined The Boston Globe sports staff.

Cafardo has covered both the Red Sox and Patriots during his tenure at the Globe, but his heart is clearly with baseball. During his time on the Patriots beat he was clearly frustrated with the working environment and it reflected in his coverage of the team. Having moved back to baseball, he is noticeably more confortable and in his element.

He is a frequent presence on the various NESN programs, and in the past was in demand on WWZN radio, ESPN Radio and WBZ-TV’s Sports Final.

He is the author of several books, including The Impossible Team: The Worst to First Patriot’s Super Bowl Season, 100 Things Red Sox Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die and Boston Red Sox: Yesterday and Today

Nick’s son, Ben Cafardo works at ESPN in the communications department.




Sox Win Slugfest With Orioles

The Patriots Red Sox scored two touchdowns and made a two-point conversion to edge the Baltimore Ravens Orioles 15-10 last night in Baltimore.

Red Sox 15, Orioles 10: Boston’s bats leave no doubt – Tim Britton notes that it was logical that the Red Sox would follow up their lowest scoring game of the year by playing in their highest scoring game of the year. More game stories from Peter Abraham | Scott Lauber | Tony Lee | Sean McAdam

Tip your hat to Dustin Pedroia – Lenny Megliola says that the Red Sox second baseman is very special, “the little sonuvagun.”  More on Pedroia from Nick Cafardo. McAdam has Pedroia coming up big on Sunday night.

Reddick the right choice – Gerry Callahan says that it is time for Josh Reddick to play right field fulltime, and for J.D. Drew to go home.

Perfectly happy to manage incredible 16-inning game – Bob Ryan stayed up right to the end of Sunday night’s 16-inning marathon, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Hits must keep coming – Ron Borges astutely observes that with the starting rotation banged up, the offense has to keep scoring runs. He also has Kyle Weiland hoping not to get tossed out of his second major league game.

Crawford’s return a boost to Sox – Britton has a look at the return of Carl Crawford to the lineup.

Red Sox in comfortable position as trade deadline looms – Alex Speier looks at some areas of the roster that the Red Sox may tinker with in the coming weeks.

Dan Wheeler a hidden contributor – Gordon Edes says that the efforts of the Red Sox middleman last night should not be overlooked.

Jonathan Papelbon is bracing himself for a whole new world – Rob Bradford has the Sox closer very excited to test free agency at the end of the season.

Beckett’s start went long way – Abraham’s notebook has Josh Beckett setting the pace in the marathon game Sunday night. The Herald notebook from Lauber has David Ortiz starting his three-game suspension last night. The Red Sox Journal has more on Ortiz. The CSNNE.com notes have Tim Wakefield disappointed in his start last night.

Milan Lucic Enjoyed Offensive Breakthrough Last Season, But Must Maintain Physical Presence in Upcoming Campaign – Douglas Flynn has a look at the Bruins power forward.

One writer’s review of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup DVD – DJ Bean reviews the Bruins Stanley Cup DVD.

Brad Marchand knows deal will get done – Dan Duggan has the Bruins rookie confident that he’ll be back with the Bruins next season.

Leigh Bodden not seeing red – Karen Guregian has the Patriots cornerback ready for full contact as soon as training camp begins.

Light at the end of the tunnel – Jonathan Comey looks at the New England future of Matt Light once the lockout is lifted.

Jackson, Mankins push for compensation – Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports has Logan Mankins threatening to hold up the entire NFL by demanding to be either a free agent or given a $10 million payout.

Celtics-CSNNE deal includes an equity stake – Chad Finn with a short report on the possible deal between the Celtics and Comcast.

A couple other notes:

WEEI announced today that it will maintain and extend its agreement with Westwood One to carry Sunday and Monday night football which includes the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A bit of a change with the deal though is this – if the Patriots make it to the AFC Championship and Super Bowl, WEEI will be allowed to air the national feed of those games. The NFL broadcast blackout restriction has been lifted in home markets for the conference championship games and the Super Bowl for the first time. This means that the AFC Championship and Super Bowl could potentially be aired both on 98.5 FM (with Gil and Gino) and WEEI (with Boomer Esiason and Kevin Harlan.)

Jason Wolfe says that it will be “a real thrill for Patriot fans to be able to hear Boomer Esiason on the call of the Super Bowl, should the team get there. He’s the best analyst in the business.

The NBA will announce the 2011-12 season schedule today, which is an absolute joke. I have yet to talk to one person who believes that the NBA will play at all this season, let alone the full schedule. It’s a little insulting to have a schedule release show and analysis for games that won’t be played, such as Celtics-Knicks on Christmas Day.

Report: Celtics To Acquire Up To 20% Stake in CSNNE

John Ourand and John Lombardo of Sports Business Journal are reporting that the Boston Celtics have been in negotiations with Comcast SportsNet New England to extend their broadcast partnership, with the Celtics also acquiring as much as a 20% stake in CSNNE.

As story points out, this continues a trend in which professional sports franchises are teaming up on the business side with regional sports networks (RSNs).

It is possible that the deal may not be formally finalized until after the NBA lockout is over.

As Ben Rohrbach on WEEI.com points out, this also means that like the Red Sox, the Celtics will be covered by a media entity in which there is an ownership stake involved.

2011 Approval Ratings – Michael Holley

Today’s subject is WEEI’s Michael Holley.

An Ohio native, Holley worked for the Akron Beacon Journal before joining the Boston Globe in 1997. He was the Celtics beat writer before being moved into the columnist role. At the time, he was also a frequent guest on WEEI, especially on The Big Show, prior to the WEEI/Globe schism.

In September, 2001, Holley left the Globe to join the Chicago Tribune as a columnist. He quickly realized that he had made a mistake, and has spoken of the impact that 9/11 had on him at that time. By January, 2002, he was back at the Globe, and remained there until 2005.

In 2004, Holley was working on television on Fox Sports Net’s I, Max alongside Max Kellerman. He has also done ESPN’s Around the Horn. Locally, he has been a regular on CSNNE, and has been the host of Celtics Now.

In 2005, he was named to replace Bob Neumeier alongside Dale Arnold on the WEEI midday show. In February of this year, it was announced that Holley would be moving to The Big Show as permanent co-host alongside Glenn Ordway.

Holley has published three books – Patriot Reign, Never Give Up and Red Sox Rule.

His fourth book, War Room: Bill Belichick and the Patriot Legacy is due to be released on October 4th, 2011.


Sox Win Marathon In Tampa

The Red Sox and Tampa Rays played until almost 2:00 in the morning as they battled for 16 innings, with Boston coming out on top, 1-0 thanks to a Dustin Pedroia single that plated Josh Reddick with the game’s only run. It was a pretty bizarre night in many ways for the two clubs, and the national television audience on ESPN.

Red Sox go deep to beat Rays – Scott Lauber’s game story leads off with Josh Beckett submitting another ace performance. More game stories from Peter Abraham | Tim Britton | Sean McAdam | Rob Bradford looks at five things we learned from this one.

Starting to get that feeling about Sox – Joe McDonald notes that in this game, the Red Sox displayed the mental toughness that is necessary for a championship club.

Peace of mind is helping Pedroia put together one of his best streaks – Tim Britton notes that ever since he missed a game in New York to get his knee checked out, Dustin Pedroia has been on fire.

They’d like him up to speed – With Carl Crawford set to come off the DL today, Nick Cafardo says that it is time that the high-priced outfielder shows that he is worthy of his contract.

Date is set for Lester’s return – Peter Abraham’s notebook reports that the lefty will rejoin the rotation on July 26th. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has the same report. The Red Sox Journal looks at Crawford’s return today. The CSNNE.com notes have a look at the strong outing from Beckett and the contributions of Josh Reddick.

David Krejci Proves His Worth With Stellar Postseason, Will Be Counted On to Lead Bruins Offense Again – Douglas Flynn looks at the strong playoff performance of the first-line center.

Ras-I Dowling aims for quick impact – Mike Reiss has the Patriots second-round pick looking to contribute quickly.

Newman’s own – Michael Vega has Ryan Newman taking the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 in Loudon NH yesterday. More on Newman’s win from Rich Thompson.

Sox Ready To Get Back To Work

The Red Sox begin the post-All Star break portion of their schedule tonight in Tampa as they begin a weekend series with the Rays.

David Ortiz received a four-game suspension from the league as a result of his role in a bench-clearing ruckus with the Baltimore Orioles. Ortiz plans to appeal the suspension and play this weekend in Tampa.

With the Sox yet to play, things are still fairly slow on the sports pages. Today, we’ll look at a few sports media columns, some baseball stuff, and a thought or two.

First, it seems I need to clarify a couple of paragraphs from the other day. I wrote:

Speaking of Jeter’s absence, I found it funny that in the past, Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez had skipped All Star games, and the furor from the media was fierce. In 2006 when Manny skipped, Buster Olney said that his name should never again appear on an All Star ballot.

Derek Jeter is “mentally exhausted” from his quest for 3000 hits, and that’s why he stayed home from last night’s game. No problem at all from anyone. He’s Derek Jeter. I’m not a Derek Jeter basher, and this is not a shot at him, it’s a shot at the double-standards employed by so many in the media toward their favorite sons.

I’ve received quite a bit of feedback regarding the mention of Buster Olney. In retrospect, I made it appear that I was singling him out for letting Jeter off the hook while being harsh towards Manny Ramirez for doing the same thing. I was only attempting to use what Olney said about Manny as an example of the things that were being said on a national level at that time, not insinuating that Olney was letting Jeter skate. Olney in fact, has been pretty critical of Jeter not making an appearance at the All Star game (though he hasn’t called for his name never to appear on an All Star ballot again).

I probably just should’ve used the quote, perhaps without attributing it to Olney, or been more verbose and specific in my views on this. Either way, my intention was not to imply that Olney was being hypocritical in the two cases. (To clarify even more, since I apparently am incapable of making myself coherent on this topic, my scorn was more aimed at the likes of Tim McCarver and the other Jeter fanboys in the media. I do know that he’s gotten some amount of critism, but no one to my knowledge has called for Jeter to never be allowed to be on the All Star ballot ever again.)

Now, let’s get down to what’s happening today:

How Can WEEI Bounce Back After Ratings Slip? – My SBNation Boston Media column looks at what has gone wrong for WEEI, and what things they can do to get back on top of the ratings war.

The Cup spilleth over – Chad Finn’s media column has Jason Wolfe predictably downplaying the significance of the 98.5 win.

Jessica Heslam posts a nasty memo signed by Entercom boss Julie Kahn and several WEEI-AM (850) personalities, including John Dennis and Michael Holley, from last summer, in which WEEI accuses WBZ-FM of  a “patently false misinformation campaign in an effort to discredit our ratings supremacy in the Boston market.

Sports Media Musings: Taking Stock in Finn’s Column, Grading Gary Tanguay, Dismissing Andy Gresh – Ryan Hadfield (who is going to get some time here on BSMW in the near future) weighs in with an epic amount of thoughts and notes on the Boston sports media scene.

ESPN has changed British Open coverage for the better  – Bill Doyle’s media column looks at ESPN’s coverage of The Open Championship.

Fife delivering after changes – Monique Walker’s Minor League notebook has updates on several Red Sox prospects.

Minor-league talent gives Sox options and roster problems – Brian MacPherson says that the depth of the Red Sox system will make it hard to protect all their prospects in the Rule V draft this winter.

Under studies – Nicole Auerbach has a pair of Australian brothers learning the game while playing for the Lowell Spinners.

Kevin Youkilis again a hidden gem among stars – Michael Silverman has Kevin Youkilis managing to be overlooked while still producing.

Five keys for the Red Sox’ second half – Sean McAdam has a few things that need to work out for the Red Sox in the second half of the season. Kirk Minihane also cranks out five storylines for the second half of the season.

Spring Numbers Show Huge Wins For 98.5 Over WEEI

According to a post over at radio-info.com, which has been accurate with these posts in the past, these are numbers from the Spring 2011 ratings book:

MEN 25-54

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 11.6 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 6.0 (3rd)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 9.4 (2nd)

MUTT & MERLONI – 4.1 (10th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 9.5 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 5.4 (6th)

MEN 18-49

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 14.8 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 5.1 (4th)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 11.9 (1st)

MUTT & MERLONI – 2.8 (11th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 10.5 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 4.4 (7th)

MEN 18-34

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 22.3 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 2.8 (11th)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 14.1 (1st)

MUTT & MERLONI – 1.2 (17th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 12.1 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 1.7 (16th)

With the Bruins on their Stanley Cup run, I think we knew 98.5 was going to score a big win this time around, but these numbers are still stunning.

It doesn’t appear that we’ll be hearing anything like this on the 850 AM airwaves this week. We might hear how we’re not reading the numbers correctly, and how WEEI is #1 in the demographic they’re shooting for, or something along the lines of “Everyone knows the spring and summer ratings don’t matter, that’s why we all go on extended vacations.”