Bob Ryan’s farewell (sort of) column in the Globe yesterday was typical Ryan – passionate, with a nod to history, underscored by humility about his own role in things.

The Globe has lost perhaps the final piece to its glory days, and a bridge to even earlier eras. We’ll continue to read Ryan on many Sundays throughout the year, but the paper will not be the same. Ryan officially closes things out with his account of the United States’ win in the Gold Medal Men’s Olympic basketball game.

You’re up, Chris Gasper. Got 44 years in you?


Comcast SportsNet New England celebrates their 5000th episode of “Sports Tonight” with a one-hour prime time special beginning tonight at 6:30PM.

5000 episodes is an impressive number, and kudos to CSNNE for reaching it. However, I can honestly say I don’t watch it all that much, as it is essentially a recap of whatever subjects were debated on sports radio that day. I’ve heard all the storylines, and the debates once already, I don’t need it again.

CSNNE provides a lot of good programming (SportsNet Central, Celtics broadcasts and pre and post game, various original specials) but they also provide an outlet for ridiculousness like the ongoing Joe Haggerty-Kirk Minihane slapfight.

In case you’re not up to speed on it, old friend Ryan Hadfield provides a recap on his Out of Bounds blog on

Hadfield might find it entertaining, I find it forced, staged and juvenile.


That gushing Boston Globe feature on Bobby Valentine yesterday by Stan Grossfeld was embarrassing. I usually enjoy the somewhat offbeat features that Grossfeld puts together, but I thought we were done with these types of stories after spring training. Given the season that the club is having, it’s even more out of place.


Same newspaper, same day:

Count me as one who missed the memo that the Red Sox are allowing beer in the clubhouse on the road after games. It’s a complete contradiction to what we were told by Bobby Valentine in February. The word then was “no beer in the clubhouse.’’ Now we’re all supposed to shrug and say it’s no big deal that the beer is still there on the road? The Sox made absolutely no distinction between home and road clubhouse rules when they made their big announcement in Florida. The notion that it was common knowledge is incorrect and sneaky.

Biggest non-story of the year: John Lackey having two beers after a Red Sox loss on the road. If you knew the team rule, it wouldn’t be a story. No alcohol in the Fenway clubhouse and no alcohol on return charters to Boston. Been that way since spring training.

The first was Dan Shaughnessy, the second Nick Cafardo.

I’m guessing that since Cafardo is around the team everyday, he actually knew what the rule was.

By the way, John Lackey is severely tone-deaf and lacking in self-awareness and good judgement, but no more so than many of the media weighing in on this whole absurd topic.

Jen Royle says that episodes like this are why we shouldn’t be surprised when players say it is tough to play here.


32 thoughts on “Bob Ryan’s Farewell, CSNNE’s 5000th and More…

  1. Haggerty/Minihane is fraud on fraud crime. They’re both dopes and the best part is neither of them know it. I think its hysterical that this all goes down yesterday….when was the last time Bob Ryan was in a self-aggrandizing media spat? Both those clowns should take a lesson from him.

    The likes of Minihane and Haggerty are what Bob Ryan was talking about when he said part of the reason he was retiring was the business isn’t made for him anymore. How poetic.

    It’s also hilarious that Haggs wrote about the Bruins that Kirk shouldn’t comment because he’s not there everyday. Then he blows up the Red Sox beat because he didn’t know a rule from not being there everyday. Delicious irony.

  2. Reading Bob’s final article brings me back to being a paper boy in Medford. Before folding my last paper I would turn to Bob’s article because it was must read. Much like Bruce is every day (when he posts). Instead of bashing Haggs/Minihane I choose to focus on the positive that is Bob Ryan. Like the rest of us Bob is human and that came out in his writing. It came from the heart. Even watching him on TV you see the passion he has for sports and life in general. I honestly feel like I am losing a co-worker or a family member who is moving away. It just won’t be the same without him.

  3. There were “issues” with the B’s Tyler Seguin last year. He was disciplined and sat down. Never read a hard hitting piece from Bruin beatwriter Joe Haggerty exposing what was going on with Seg.
    Where was the ” in the moment” reporting on the rift between Tim Thomas and his teammates?? Lots has been insinuated since Thomas left but we didn’t hear about this during the YEARS Thomas was here – until the White House spat.
    Why Not?
    Haggs wants us to buy his schleppy schtick that he’s the Felger of Boston beatwriters yet Haggy seems oddly quiet during the season on “issues” involving his primary beat, the Boston Bruins.
    BTW it’s clear from the wording of Haggerty’s original story he did not know beers were allowed in the clubhouse on the road. Haggs has been trying to spin it ever since. Minihane ate him for lunch and justifiably so. Haggs has become a bomb throwing pompous blowhard and it’s only a matter of time before it blows up all over him.

    1. Linda, look at Haggerty’s avatar on Twitter. That will answer all if your questions about why he doesn’t report anything negative on Seguin. He is a Grade A fraud and hypocrite.

    2. If I remember correctly, Haggerty actually was the one that divulged that the Bruins wanted Seguin placed with a billet family (a house where young players, usually in minor or junior leagues, are placed so they have some semblance of a family life.) There were some readers and other hockey folks who did not like that he brought that to light.

      1. That was Joe McDonald, I believe. Haggerty was reporting more pressing matters, like Seguin being the grand prize of a speed dating contest at a Lowell Spinners game.

        1. No, John. Haggs was the first to report that. I remember it very clearly because people gave him crap for it. Joe McDonald is irrelevant on the Bruins. Said it was a “non-story” despite it being a clear sign there were concerns from the Bruins. You should get your facts straight there, Chief.

          1. Look it up, nitwit. Whether you think McDonald is irrelevant or not he was the one who reported that Seguin was in fact going to live with a family and mentioned the players before him who did the same. It had nothing to do with concerns of Seguin’s character and everything to do with his age. It wasn’t an inflammatory article or an assassination of character. You should get your facts straight there, meathead.

          2. No. You should look it up and do your homework. Hags wrote it first and then there were a number of writers (including ESPNBoston) that hopped on after the fact. Who said anything about character assassination or being inflammatory? Paranoid much? Wow. Yes. There were “concerns from the Bruins” about his young age and some of his activity in the summer following the Cup. Admitting that isn’t killing anybody’s character. You’d have to be living under a rock or be a certified pink hat to not realize both of those were clear facts rather than evil innuendo. But please don’t let those facts get in the way of your misinformed rant…meathead.

          3. I did look it up. That’s why I’m right and you’re wrong. But if you think you are right because you are brilliant to sling around such non cliche dingers like pink hat and living under a rock then pardon me. I don’t want to bully somebody with a sub 50 IQ score.

    1. well, he didn’t refer to him by name but when Ryan said that he ,”wrote from the heart and not to draw attention to himself” I think that was he “mention” of Shank

      1. Actually, I think Ryan and Shaughnessy are/were gay lovers. The CHB mentioned Ryan as the best guy to spend a car ride with.

  4. To stay positive, away from the gossip, CHB was on with Zo from 10-2 relaying some nice stories about Ryan and callers also chimed in. I thought it was a nice tribute since Gresh was out sick.

    On the Howard to LA trade:

    Also, as most here have watched, I thought NBC did a great job on the basketball side during the Olympics. They showed most? if not all matches live and picked great talent. Doc worked great in the studio while Doug Collins as analyst showed why he’s one of the most respected coaches. Since Coach K has claimed these are his last olympics, Doc+Pop+Collins seem to be the front runners to take over the helm in 2016. This got me wondering if having him on TV, outside SportsCenter clips and Boston media, would actually help the team?

    Someone from CBS answered on the college level:

    Over %70 of coaches polled said having Coach K on TV helps him in recruiting. Would this help on the pro-level? I have no clue. I’ve got to assume it would not hurt, providing all went well, and we took gold again.

    1. The stories were nice and it again illustrated how completely out of his element Zolak is as a host.
      He touched on Ryan’s piece in regards to new media and agreed with it.
      Withou realizing he’s part of the problem.

  5. Bob Ryan provided all sports fans with consistently good work
    across a spectrum of sports topics for 44 years, an amazing run.
    His knowledge — and, yes, passion — was always
    evident in his writing. And the metronomical
    professional consistency he exhibited over many decades was a highly
    welcomed oasis for us that many of his (sadly) ever-increasing “edgy, look at
    me, I’m-a-contrarian-just-throwin’-it-out-there-pot-stirrer” DB (doesn’t stand for defensive back) colleagues can and
    should learn from.
    Alas, they won’t. Well done, sir. Thank you.

  6. Bruce…I am having a hard time with your “absurd story” proclamation regarding beer in the clubhouse. It seems to me that an organization that plays fast and true with the truth, see Home sell out streak or Terry Francona not being fired…is at it again with this idea that there were two sets of rules regarding drinking…one for the road and one for home. In reality, the drinking is not and has never been the issue in this story. The issue has always been the players dedication to fitness, preparation and winning coupled with management’s (on field, front office and ownership) expectations for the players fitness, preparation and winning. The story and why it is so important is that the media that follows this team has lost any and all sense of objectivity and distance. They have become a PR organ, no different that what Dr. Charles office puts out. The fans who are the ones who buy the tickets, merchandise, concessions, parking, bricks and anything else with a Sox logo are being manipulated, lied to and exploited. If the Red Sox were honest and said “we are not dedicated to winning a championship this year, come to the ball park, participate in the fun, but don’t expect anything great” then fans would have been duly warned…if they still want to sit in Fenway, drink $9 beers and sing Sweet Caroline…more power to them…Caveat Emptor.

    But they don’t…instead the team sells a myth and rather than doing its job the media propagates the myth because it is far easier than losing access. Heaven forbid a beat writer do his job and expose this stuff. He might be banned from the clubhouse. What would his paper or media organ do then…roll over and acquiesce…or maybe grow a spine and tell the Sox that they are independent. My point is what you call an “absurd story” I think is the first real reporting/dialog the Boston press has done/had in ages.

    1. Does “real reporting” include knowing that under the CBA Lackey has the right to be on the road rehabbing with the team.
      Does “real reporting” include knowing that the Red Sox “ban” on beer in the clubhouse on the road had been lifted in April.
      A real reporter would not have as his twitter avatar a picture of himself and the hockey player he has a school girl crush on.
      (Lackey’s a pain in the arse, there’s no denying that)
      This is merely an attempt by a little known guy who follows the hockey team around to gin up mouse clicks and generate new twitter followers.
      According to the reporter in question himself, this little slap-fight generated him 42 new twitter followers this week.
      Take a bow.

      1. You’re right. What kind of reporter who use a picture of himself and a hockey player on his twitter feed. C.Thomas Howell from “Red Dawn” is much more professional.

      2. Real reporting includes reporting that beer had been allowed in the clubhouse on the road. We were told in Spring Training that beer had been banned in the clubhouse, period. Now, it comes out that beer was only banned at home and on the plane. To me that’s a story.

        1. Except the beat reporter Cafardo says that the Red Sox haven’t changed their tune and that it’s the armchair QBs who are wrong.

          I don’t see what the big idea is anyway. Where I’m at, we have to make our own beer.

      3. Haggs credibility is an issue but not germane to my point. If the policy changed then the beat guys should have reported it. To not have done so makes them seem complicit. The Red Sox are well within their rights to have lackey travel with the team…but it is not a “right” of the player…it is at the teams discretion…another point that should be vetted by the beat writers. The greater point which you seemed to have missed is that the drinking is not the issue…it is the HANDLING of the drinking by the team, the reporters and the players that is.

    2. I almost get the impression, these days, that you have a dichotomy within the media–you’re either in or you are out. Haggs was an outsider, let in, and was “shocked” at what he saw. As Felger said today on F+M, it’s the “tisk tisk” you get from the others on him reporting what he saw. Insiders have it their way and don’t want the outsiders “doing their job for them” nor “reporting on what should not be reported on”. This is the impression I get.

      I have no clue if other markets/teams are like this. Maybe the situation is unique to this market?

      As pointed out by many, up until you win, you won’t have this latitude to not have this put up with. As the lack of winning continues, fans, or at least consumers of the media, are looking for answers. Since they can’t exactly walk into a clubhouse/lockerroom, they seek someone in the media who will provide it.

      1. When Steve Wilstein broke the story about Mark Mcgwire’s andro, more loyal members of the insiders club went ballistic and attacked him.

        However, by 2004, other writers were apologizing to him!

        Amid steroid scandal, it’s time to apologize to AP’s Steve Wilstein
        The Orlando Sentinel
        Mon, Dec. 27, 2004

      2. Well Haggerty has no credibility to whine about this since we all know he doesn’t report anything he sees in the Bruins locker room.

    3. “The issue has always been the players dedication to fitness, preparation and winning coupled with management’s (on field, front office and ownership) expectations for the players fitness, preparation and winning.”

      Absolutely right, but it’s easier for most people to crack jokes about chicken and beer than it is to think critically about the hometown team.

  7. Sports Tonight’s 5000th show is a great achievement…although they didn’t break news, it was a great 30 minute capsule of the day’s sports radio topics for people who can’t listen during the day…and it was funny to see the likes of Michael Holley and Borges go berserk on the show

  8. I enjoyed Bob Ryan’s work immensely, and he will be missed. I will, however, throw out one cynical “homer” thought on his departure: at least this September I won’t have to read another “the Patriots need to win another Super Bowl because of Spygate” article from Bob. He seemed to write one of those every year before football season began. I know that Bob was very, very big his entire career on ascribing the word “tainted” to certain championships that teams had won–he’s been calling the ’76 Raiders’ Super Bowl title tainted for 35 years because of the Sugar Bear Hamilton call, for instance, so it doesn’t just apply to the Pats. But his “Spygate taints everything” mantra not only was getting old, it was never said within the context of just how much of that sort of thing was going on in the NFL prior to Goodell’s crackdown circa 2006 (Even Bill Cowher, one of the alleged “victims” of Spygate during his tenure as Pittsburgh’s coach, has since admitted that he had a guy in the stands filming signals during his time with the Steelers.) Ryan was great, but I’m not going to miss the annual “Spygate” pre-season article.

  9. Jeff Passan, of Yahoo Sports, drops another bomb on the whole Valentine situation:


    Boston Red Sox players blasted manager Bobby Valentine
    to owners John Henry and Larry Lucchino during a heated meeting called
    after a text message was sent by a group of frustrated players to the
    team and ownership in late July, three sources familiar with the meeting
    told Yahoo! Sports.

    The owners called the meeting for Boston’s off-day in New York on July
    27 after first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, texting on behalf of himself and
    some teammates, aired their dissatisfaction with Valentine for
    embarrassing starting pitcher Jon Lester by leaving him in to allow 11
    runs during a July 22 start. It was the latest incident in a season’s
    worth of bad relations bubbling between Red Sox players and Valentine.

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