Toxic, or Non-Toxic?

Since Buster Olney’s column on Monday describing the Red Sox clubhouse as “Toxic,” there have been many other voices weighing on the state of the team’s chemistry. It’s a topic tailor-made for sports talk radio and television.

As you might expect, there are divergent opinions on the topic.

Debunking more myths when it comes to these ‘toxic’ Red Sox – On Tuesday, Rob Bradford launched an impassioned missive that said that Toxic is too strong a word, that people just don’t like teams that aren’t winning, and even if there are problems, it hasn’t nothing to do with the performance on the field thus far.

Bradford is making a name for himself as something of a Red Sox, and in particular, Josh Beckett apologist. He makes some valid points, and as usual, things are not always as bad as they seem, but it would be nice if he applied this logical, thought-out, reasonable approach to all topics. This is the same guy you recall, who spent the fall just screaming “TYLER PALKO!” for hours on end.

Jerry Remy: I don’t find it toxic at all – This morning on Dennis and Callahan, the NESN analyst painted the Red Sox as the good ship lollipop, noting how tight the players are, though he did say some of Valentine’s methods could cause some tension, such and not letting players know in advance if they have a day off or not. He also thinks Carl Crawford is going to come back and be the Tampa version of Carl Crawford. All is well!

Red Sox a house divided? – Sean McAdam paints a more serious portrait, stating that “emerging details of the 2012 Red Sox reveal the organization to be somewhat dysfunctional at nearly every level, more closely resembling a soap opera than a successful team.” He though, also notes that the players are tight, and that tension is aimed at Bobby Valentine and ownership. He also notes that some players have taken to bringing complaints directly to GM Ben Cherington, which immediately brings to mind the late 1990’s Patriots under Pete Carroll and Bobby Grier.

So where’s the truth? Or does it even matter?


Offensive explosion leads Red Sox to fourth straight win

The Red Sox bats exploded for a season-high 15 runs in Wednesday night’s 15-5 win over the Marlins at Fenway Park. David Ortiz led the attack with a grand slam, his 18th home run of the season. Mike Aviles, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks also homered in the win.

Felix Doubront pitched well enough to earn the win going six innings and allowing four runs on eight hits. He picked up his eighth win of the year, which ties Clay Buchholz for the most on the Red Sox staff. The team closes out its three-game series with the Marlins tonight, before welcoming the Braves to town this weekend.

Down in Pawtucket Daniel Bard was called upon to earn his first save of the season, but two wild pitches led to two runs, a blown save and eventually the PawSox falling in 11 innings. Bard hasn’t exactly impressed in Pawtucket, so it remains to be seen when he will return to Boston.

The annual NHL awards well given out Wednesday night. Patrice Bergeron was awarded the Selke Trophy, given to the leagues best defensive forward. Bergeron could have won this award in each of the past few seasons, so it is well deserved.

Here are a few links on this hot and humid morning:

Where would the Red Sox be without David Ortiz?– Rob Bradford has just how valuable David Ortiz has been to the Red Sox the past two seasons.

Grand master Papi keeps producing– Joe McDonald also looks at Ortiz and the impressive numbers he has posted of late.

Red Sox a house divided?– Sean McAdam looks at the state of the Red Sox clubhouse.

Doubront in it for the long haul– Brian MacPherson has how Felix Doubront is motivated and getting results on the field.

Red Sox first-round pick Deven Marrero: ‘This is real now–I get to start my dream’– Alex Speier has the Red Sox top pick signing his contract on Wednesday and will now start to live his dream as a member of the Red Sox organization.

Please Support The 1st Annual Justin T. Harris Memorial Golf Tournament

The Friends of Justin Harris have organized a benefit to celebrate his life and in the process, raise money for his children’s future education. BSMW invites you to participate and benefit the future of two great kids.

Justin T. Harris was born September 30, 1974 and grew up in Holbrook, MA. Justin’s outgoing personality and terrific sense of humor enabled him to make friends and establish strong relationships throughout his life. Justin loved and
valued family and was loved back by so many.

While Justin enjoyed many things: golf, sports, movies, video games, and hanging out with his best friends (Mike, Will, Dave and Brian) and family, his number one priority and focus was that of his beautiful, loving children- Jack and Melina. They were always on his mind and he always looked forward to spending time with them. He adored those kids.

On March 5, 2012, Justin was suddenly taken from us, leaving behind not only his friends and family, but leaving Jack and Melina without their father.

Please join Justin’s friends and family in celebrating his life, sharing funny stories about a man who will always be loved, who is greatly missed, and who will never be forgotten.

Proceeds from this event will go into a trust to be used to support Jack and Melina’s educational needs as they get older.

What: 1st Annual Justin T. Harris Memorial Golf Tournament

When: Sunday July 15, 2012
12:00pm Registration
1:00 pm Shotgun Start
Cookout/Celebration of Justin’s life

Where: Pine Oaks Golf Course
68 Prospect Street
South Easton, MA 02375

Format: Scramble

Participation Options:

  • Single golfer $125
  • Foursome $ 500
  • Dinner only $50
  • You can also make a straight donation.

Hole Sponsorship:  $75 per hole
If you are interested in advertising as a corporate sponsor, please contact Mike Healy for details.
(508) 326-6053

For more information, either contact Mike above, or download the event brochure to sign up:

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Red Sox return home to face Marlins

In the first time in quite some time there were no Boston teams in action, or a NBA or NHL playoff game, which made for a pretty quiet Monday in sports. The airwaves were mostly all Red Sox, getting reaction from Buster Olney’s series of blog posts from over the weekend on the “toxic” in the Red Sox clubhouse. The team returns home to Fenway Park tonight for nine games in nine days against the Marlins, Braves and Blue Jays.

The Red Sox weren’t the only discussion point on Monday, there was a little US Open talk mixed in. Felger & Mazz did a golf segment where Felger ranted about what the game is today and how there are too many winners, no elite players and no true rivalries. He noted in the last 15 majors there have been 15 different winners. All this came after Felger didn’t even know who won the Open and couldn’t even get Webb Simpson’s name right even though he and Mazz interviewed him after his Deutsche Bank Championship win last September. Pretty hard to take a guys’ golf thoughts serious when he had no idea who won the US Open the day before.

Speaking of Felger, he and Rob Bradford had an intense debate on the state of the Red Sox on Sports Tonight last night.

Saved situation in Sox’ bullpen– Peter Abraham looks at a much improved Red Sox bullpen.

Lowdown on Lester– Scott Lauber has an up and down, frustrating start to the season for Jon Lester.

Buchholz more vital than ever in Sox rotation– Tim Britton says there has never been a time where Clay Buchholz has been more important to the team than he is right now.

Grumbling, stumbling– John Tomase looks at the Red Sox’ season thus far with a few observations looking at the teams’ “sour” clubhouse.

Valentine proven to be expert talent evaluator– Sean McAdam says Bobby Valentine is still one of the best talent evaluators in the game.

Red Sox: ‘Toxic’ or treatable– Gordon Edes takes a bit of a sarcastic route to say it is too early to call the Red Sox clubhouse “toxic.”

Julien Edelman impresses Blue Jays coaching staff in weekend workout in Toronto– Christopher Price has Patriots wide receiver Julien Edelman helping out a friend over the weekend in Toronto with work outs before their game on Saturday. During batting practice Edelman reportedly belted five home runs.

Roger Clemens belongs in Hall of Fame– Chad Finn says despite being a “lying, cheating scoundrel, as delusional as he is duplicitous and half as smart as he thinks he is, divided by three,” Clemens still belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Injected butt innocent*– Gerry Callahan is not a fan of the ruling in the Clemens trial, which came to an end yesterday.

Sponsored Post – Score deals on Red Sox vs Marlins tickets from BSMW & TiqIQ!

After taking two of three from the Marlins last week in Miami, the Red Sox look for another series win as the Marlins travel north for three at Fenway starting on Tuesday.

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Red Sox Take Series In Wrigley, Trouble Brewing?

The Red Sox took a 7-4 win in Chicago last night, as Franklin Morales, standing in for Josh Beckett, struck out nine Cubs in an impressive start. While Boston has won their last two series, in Miami and Chicago, and gotten back to .500 on the season, Buster Olney says that the Red Sox are a team deep in dissension right now. No real specifics are given, but Olney calls the clubhouse “toxic” and says that if the Red Sox don’t make the postseason, all of the exasperation and frustration is going to spill out spectacularly.

Not Surprising: Curt Schilling On Leave From ESPN – Ken Fang has a quick post on the former pitcher taking some time off from his analyst position at ESPN to focus on his legal issues.

The making of Franklin Morales: His path to the Red Sox and effectiveness – Alex Speier looks at the lefty finally showing the spectacular stuff that has always teased observers of his career. More on Morales from Peter Abraham and Gordon Edes.

Time for a Sox youth movement – John Tomase is ready to scrap everything and play the kids.

After whirlwind day, Kalish comes through for Sox – Sean McAdam has the young outfielder giving the Red Sox a boost after his callup. More on Kalish from Nick Cafardo and Brian MacPherson.

Josh Beckett smart to ignore media – Kirk Minihane notes that Beckett has absolutely nothing to gain by talking to the media.

What we learned this spring: 2012 Patriots starting to come into focus – Christopher Price looks at what we can glean from the Patriots’ spring workouts.

Belichick doesn’t alter gameplan for anybody – I’m not even sure where to begin on this one.

LaDainian Tomlinson will announce his retirement today. LT is a guy who certainly made an impression among New England fans, whether it was describing himself as “classy” or berating the Patriots for dancing his teammates dance on HIS field,  sulking on the sideline in his parka and helmet while his QB played on a torn ACL, saying that if the Patriots aren’t cheating they aren’t trying, or leading the Jets in a “we physical, they finesse” before the Jets lost the Patriots 45-3.

Others have different Patriots/LT memories:

That was  a loss, of course, so it’s fitting.

Cranking Out Some Friday Megalinks

Ok, linkage at my BSMW site has been really scarce over the last month and a half and I apologize for that. My schedules have been quite busy and it’s been tough to sit down for the time it takes to gather the links. I hope that changes over the next month or so.

Here are the Weekend Viewing Picks for you.


Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with the people at the Poynter Institute who are the ESPN Ombudsman.

Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle has the Miami Dolphins not so enthusiastic about being on Hard Knocks this season.

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with ESPN’s Sean McDonough who will undergo brain surgery later this year.

Ira Boudwell of Bloomberg Businessweek says ESPN is getting out of the high school sports business saying it’s not broad enough.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says this week’s blowout between David Stern and Jim Rome proves that the NBA Commissioner needs to go.

John Ourand of Sports Business Daily says Fox Sports San Diego is launching an ad campaign against Time Warner Cable which has still not picked up the regional sports network.

Good Morning America’s and former ESPN SportsCenter host Robin Roberts says she will beat the rare blood disorder that will require a bone marrow transplant.

Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter notes that the NBA Finals are pacing ABC to good ratings this week.

At Broadcasting & Cable, Tim Baysinger writes that this week’s Dream Team documentary gave NBA TV its best viewership ever.

Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says GolTV scored with this week’s soccer international friendly match between Brazil and Argentina.

Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life reports that NBC will debut two new sitcoms right smack dab in the middle of the Olympics.

Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report looks at the geriatric broadcasting team calling the NBA Finals for ESPN Radio.

Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that even after the winning the Stanley Cup this week, the Los Angeles Kings still aren’t getting respect from the local media.

Former Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio returns to his former stomping grounds to do a massive takedown of Jay “The Rat” Mariotti.

Also from Deadspin, John Koblin writes that there doesn’t seem to be a clamoring for Erin Andrews beyond ESPN.

Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group says NBA TV and NBA Entertainment are appealing to the hardcore basketball fan for their Finals coverage.

Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead says Sports Illustrated could be laying off part of its staff.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has tweets from people who hated Chris Berman on the U.S. Open yesterday.

Sports Media Watch notes that this year’s Stanley Cup Final did not resonate with viewers.

SMW also has some various ratings news and notes.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Brooklyn Nets gear is selling very well.

MediaRantz tells us that Sean Salisbury will be getting a new internet radio gig.

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Time for more linkage here.

East and Mid-Atlantic

At SB Nation, BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen writes about golfer David Duval taking a turn in the broadcast tower at the U.S. Open.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette discusses Johnny Miller holding court for NBC at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco this week.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with ESPN college baseball analyst Kyle Petersen who will be introducing many Long Islanders to the College World Series today.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after the Yankees for pricing out fans from the “Beautiful People” seats at Yankee Stadium.

Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY notes that SNY will unveil the all-time Mets team at a gala event on Sunday.

Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says the US Women’s National Soccer Team will be on TV and the web this weekend.

Ken says local Time Warner Cable subscribers will have access to the new Pac-12 Networks this summer.

Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NBC Sports Group has announced the 2012 Summer at Saratoga schedule.

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union talks with Jim Rome who marks his 16th year in New York’s Capital Region.

Pete says one of harness racing’s famous races changes networks this year.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call profiles a local cable TV sports reporter who is filling a double role this summer.

Keith has more on her in his blog.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes of writes that a decision on the Washington Nationals TV rights has been delayed.


Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald has some NBA Finals Game 2 postgame reaction as well as Jon Barry saying he’s not a Miami Heat Hater.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox Sports Houston was well-prepared and staffed for Wednesday’s perfect game thrown against the Astros by Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.

Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman writes that ESPN on ABC was all over the non-foul call against the Thunder’s Kevin Durant during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The Oklahoman rounds up what sports reporters are saying on Twitter about the NBA Finals.


John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer says an all-star high school football game will be shown locally this weekend.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ESPN is dropping its high school sports operation.

Bob criticizes Jim Rome for his questioning of NBA Communist China Sympathizer David Stern.

Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says Cubs announcers Len Kasper and Bob Brenly were silent when comedian Jeff Garlin brought up trading Alfonso Soriano.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin notes the rare occurrence of the U.S. Open and the NBA Finals going head-to-head on TV this Father’s Day.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that viewers of Fox Sports Midwest may need a scorecard to tell who’s in the Cardinals TV booth over the next few days.

Dan notes that next week will mark a decade since the passing of Jack Buck and Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile.


Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman says this fall’s Boise State-Southern Mississippi game will get the Fox treatment.

Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says Utahans are nervous about getting the Pac-12 Networkcomparing it to their experience with the ill-fated the mtn.

John Maffei of the North County Times writes that Fox Sports San Diego has set its sights squarely on Time Warner Cable.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says ESPN’s NBA Countdown show seems to work fine without a host.

Jim talks with NBC’s Johnny Miller about the U.S. Open.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times says Game 2 of the NBA Finals drew a good overnight number for ABC.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with former Kings voices about the Stanley Cup victory.

Tom has some more in his blog.


The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin blames both Jim Rome and David Stern for their ugly exchange this week.

The Toronto Sports Media Blog says the NBA and NHL Commissioners are taking it on their chins this week.

And that’s going to do it.