Rajon Rondo returns to the TD Garden tonight for his first game against the Celtics, following his trade last month to the Dallas Mavericks.

Celtics set to welcome Rajon Rondo back to Boston – Mark Murphy has former teammates emotional to see Rondo again.

Rondo’s return makes for emotional night for Celtics – A. Sherrod Blakely has more from the current Celtics.

C’s in for a bittersweet reunion – Jackie MacMullan has the good and bad on Rondo, including his lack of defense while with the Celtics.

Rajon Rondo’s return: One last gasp for the ignorant – The best Rondo column today might be from John Tomase.

Yes, John Tomase. I was all ready to go scorched-earth this morning after his WEEI debut column yesterday entitled I’m Not Here To Be A Fan.

To me, the title just hits all the wrong notes as a reader. Regardless of what the column inside says, when you declare yourself to not be a fan, the implication is that being a fan is a lower form of life. When you even jokingly make reference to footie pajamas, and then cite among your role models as a writer Ron Borges and Kirk Minihane, it doesn’t bode well. (and no, John, we don’t “love to hate” them. We just hate them.) When you humblebrag about some of your takedowns in the past (like on Manny Ramirez) and fail to mention at all the one thing you are most known for in your career, it seems just…dishonest. How can you “introduce” yourself to your audience without addressing that?

Even if this bit is encouraging:

And so I will never, ever write something I don’t believe, or play the contrarian just because. Most attempts at “hot takes” end up tepid, brackish and tasting vaguely of urine. That’s not my scene.

It doesn’t ring true. Tomase is asking for a chance, but doesn’t tell us why we should believe anything he says.

It’s difficult, if not impossible to look past what was done in the past. If you or I did something that forced our employer to issue a public apology, would we still be employed there? Would we likely be able to even get a job in the same industry?

Media is funny. They demand accountability yet, people like Tomase, Borges, Mike Barnicle, etc etc, are all able to move on, get new and better jobs, and pretend that what they did never happened.

Many of you will not be able to move on. I’ve gotten many comments, tweets, emails, from those who say they will never read anything Tomase writes again. I understand that point of view. I largely agree with it.

I’m willing to monitor Tomase for a bit though, and see how things go with this new role. Even that is not easy for me to do with any sort of bias creeping in. It’s a new year though, so maybe, just maybe I can give it a shot.

***************

A few other top links:

ESPN finally gets a shot at NFL playoff broadcast – Chad Finn writes about ESPN making their NFL postseason debut with tomorrow afternoon’s broadcast of the Panthers and Cardinals at 4:35pm.

For the Bruins, it’s now win or go home – Joe Haggerty looks at the current state of the Bruins.

Bruins hoping for happier New Year – Joe McDonald has more on the Bruins trying to turn things around in the new year.

Right balance of player ages give Red Sox better chance in 2015 – Also making his debut in a new role is Alex Speier, who provides exactly the next-level type of analysis we’ve come to expect.

Dont’a Hightower lives up to number, Pats’ LB lineage – I enjoyed this piece from Jeff Howe yesterday on the third year Patriots linebacker.

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39 thoughts on “Rondo Returns, 2015 A Fresh Start For John Tomase?

  1. He will never be forgiven unless he comes clean about his assination piece of the Patriots organization before the biggest game ever in the history of the league.
    If he would just fess up and say I made a mistake because in my eargerness as a young writer to make a name for myself with a huge story I did not do the proper work to verify the accuracy of this damaging story from a source with an axe to grind. Maybe then maybe we could start to move forward. But when media types like Felger indicate that unofficially Tomase still claims in private that he’s right well then there is no hope for you.
    F*** you and F*** WEEI for trying out troll the Sports Hub by now employeeing 2 of the smarmiest lowlifes in Boston. Tomse and Minihane. Enjoy the freefall WEEI.

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  2. I am going to respectfully disagree with you on Barnwell. He recently took a page out of the Boston Sports Radio playbook by writing the majority of the article about why the contract change makes it easy for the Patriots to cut TB and then in the last paragraph completely turns around and says it will never happen.

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    1. If you don’t enjoy the sport. Get a job in the living section of the paper and write about flowers in the spring or stuffing at thanks giving time

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  3. Well Bruce you are a better person than I am. I can’t imagine reading anything Tomase has to say never mind monitoring a few of his articles. Its not that he has not apologized for what he tried to do/did to the Pats. Its that to this day he and those that closed ranks around him (I am talking about the Herald and now WEEI) think they are above us lowly fans. As if some small amount of access makes them somehow superior. If they then laugh at inside jokes together, it is fine because they are not like us fans. Tomase is not a fan…he said so in your excerpt. What he is a serious writer, who to the best of my knowledge has not allowed comment sections not he things that he writes to ever make mention of the Pats debacle, nor does he address the criticisms. Like Borges, Shaughnessy, Jackie Mac and his other “idols”, Tomase is too thinned skinned to address criticisms directly, way too insecure to ever admit he was wrong, and too pompous to realize he is hated by Patriots nation.

    So I wish WEEI well. Until he is gone I won’t be reading WEEI.com and if I hear him on the radio or if I hear the hosts talk about something he produces…I am out. There are too many other options out there to have to put up with the likes of Tomase and his insincerity.

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    1. “As if some small amount of access makes them somehow superior.” This applies to the ENTIRE world of journalism, especially in this country where the J-Schools indoctrinate their spawn to think of themselves as “public servants” and selfless heroes protecting the great unwashed masses from all sorts of evil that’s lurking out there, just waiting to strike. (They, of course, get to define what the “evils” are.) In the case of the Pats, the media are trying to protect us from….I don’t know; perhaps from rooting for a team and organization that is led by two men certain media members personally dislike?

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  4. I am actually going to go through the trouble of writing hardcopy letters to WEEI’s advertisers and telling them I will not buy any of their products as long as they advertise on WEEI while Tomase is employed.

    I’m not going to delude myself into thinking it’ll matter (unless a whole bunch of other people do it), but it’ll make me feel better knowing I did my part (as little as it is) to metaphorically knife that POS Tomase.

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  5. Bruce, just what is it that you are looking for from the media? Game recap? They don’t sell copy or ad space. Do you want puff pieces on players and coaches saying how warm and fuzzy they are (I’m sure Bill and Claude can be soft and fuzzy). Why are you and many of your followers so insistant on hearing the positive rah rah espn type stuff? The Boston teams contrary to popular belief are not perfect. Josh has lot of game planning flaws. Peter has painted himself into a Garden corner. Sox ownership plays fans for idiots. And the Celtics, well they have all those picks yay. There is a lot good, but there are some questions and flaws, and it is ok to discuss, maybe not the day after a big win, Felger and Mazz And Ron. I feel that the skin around here is way too thin.

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    1. Mick:

      I can’t speak for Bruce however I am looking for thoughtful analysis, relevant topics, and most of all no anti team agenda. It is the last part that seems to throw people. For years one of our complaints has been the uneven coverage the Patriots receive from the Globe, certain people at the Herald and other media members as compared to what the Sox get. I am not going to give you a laundry list of examples as they are well documented. What I will say is that when an organization like Entercom brings in someone like Tomase, it sends up red flags for me as either management is tone deaf or worse…they are more interested in creating controversy than they are in providing quality.

      I don’t think the BSMW community has thin skin…I think it is quite the opposite. We are astute observers of the hypocrisy of the media. In my case I am certainly critical of the 4 major sports organizations in town. At the same time, When they are doing things well I don’t go looking for flaws to expose. I don’t think that is true of a certain media members. I think taking the easy way out by being the contrarian is just plain lazy. Rather than trying to find interesting topics, new perspectives or investigate stories more deeply, tossing uninformed bombs seems to be the tactic du jour.

      One last thought…when Mike Reiss questions something Bill Belichick does it is taken as the critique it is meant to be. When Ron Borges levels a compliment at Bill Belichick, he makes sure there is a backhanded insult also included. It is why he is hated and not respected whereas Reiss is. Reiss is not a cheerleader as he has been called by Felger…he works hard, does the research and as such his opinion gains more credibility.

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      1. Late

        Thank you for being a good writer and stating the the good the bad and ugly of the media….. couldn’t help my self…. the pats watching a Clint movie….. . I feel the same way. Why hire a douche… oops weei. You just lost some clicks from me on your site eei . it’s dead to me now you have gone the way of the Boston globe sports section……I don’t need some ho….. saying look at me…. . I’ll just write anything…..

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      2. Yes, give me Mike Reis, Sean McAdam, Pete Abraham, Tom Curran, Chris Price, Jess Camarato, most of the Bruins beat guys along with former players like Matt Chatham, Matt Bowen, Scal, etc who know their respective sports and can speak/write intelligently without being an arse or focusing on backhanded comments and hot takes over the actual story.

        It is why I tune in to hear Pat Kirwan every afternoon on Sirius. He doesn’t play the fool nor suffer them. He can be truly objective without being a contrarian and that is why BB will speak with him at least a half dozen times a year.

        There are now so many outlets (social media, fan sites, podcasts etc) that traditional media feels threatened and is going the bombastic route in an effort to stay relevant. Check Tanguay’s Twitter tonight about Rondo. However the power now lies with the user. Find the messenger you like and listen to him/her. You’ll be happier ignoring the other noise.

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        1. Speaking of quality and a better way to run a show…Chuck Wilson was on WPRO am (John Depietro’s show)today talking about sportsmanship in youth sports. I have argued for years Chuck Wilson was the best radio host in sports talk. His approach…be well researched on all topics, don’t scream, no hot sports takes, be respectful of callers, and in the end tell the audience something you did not know.

          To the best of my knowledge Chuck Wilson has been out of Sportstalk since 2013. He currently is running a production company focused on Sportsmanship and other concepts needed in youth sports. I do not understand why WEEI is not counter programming Gresh and Zo with Chuck Wilson and Rob Bradford. I can understand them not wanting to put CW on in drive. What I do not understand is why he is not working at WEEI.

          What the hiring of Tomase tells me is something very similar to them not hiring Chuck Wilson….quality is not as important as schlock.

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      3. Latetodinner – you made some good points but what I feel the followers of this Boston Sports Media has lost sight of is that the columnist and talk show hosts are paid to write opinion or give opinions of the sports teams. Many times it is an opposing view (not popular). This is what generates interest and revenues for these outlets because people read it and are outraged. If everything was kumbaya then nobody talks or listens to that specific outlet, and they don’t make any money.

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        1. Mick:

          Your position is a cop out Program Directors use. “I have to generate listeners…let me take the path of least resistance…I will have my hosts/writers/opiners say Bob Kraft is cheap and watch the reaction.”

          There is an alternative. Dale Arnold has made a career out of not taking that approach. He is paid to give his opinion. He does so without screaming hot takez, without yelling at callers and without insulting his audience. I just made a post begging WEEI to hire Chuck Wilson…another host who for decades has put quality over schlock.

          It is possible to have opinions that don’t constantly and predictably promote a negative agenda/vendetta. In the end consumers of Sports media aren’t stupid. We know that John Tomase is an unapologetic tool who tried to ruin the Patriots by making up a very harmful story. We know that Dan Shaughnessy has had it out for the Krafts since he was snubbed a media breakfast in 1986 (and that he unapologetically took Willie Mac’s side in the Kraft/Parcells feud. Its 30 years later, he still has it in for the Pats and I still know exactly why.

          Lastly, let me say this again. Commentators who have contrary or dissenting opinions are welcome and even encouraged. It is the negative agendas that are what turn us off. It is the lack of creativity that annoys us. It is the complaining about how hard it is to do their job because Bill Belichick or Danny Ainge does not give them Bobby V like access that ticks us off. But the single biggest offense is the arrogance these people display when they condescend to “fans”. Mike Reiss, tom Curran, Sean McAdam et al understand that they are selling information services to sports fans consumers. As such they are appreciative and thankful for their jobs. People like Tomase, Borges, Shaughnessy and Shalise Manza Young take their audience for granted.

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          1. I like Dale. How are his ratings vs. Felger and Mazz? It is an entertainment biz and everyone gets their panties in a bunch lie it means something in life that’s my only point.

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          2. I get your point. We all understand that this is entertainment. The issue is how we are entertained. The big wigs look at ratings. We the consumers just look at what we find interesting or entertaining. I prefer not to be insulted by the hosts but that is just me.

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  6. I want to be the first to say…thank god the Patriots did not have to play that juggernaut Pittsburg in second round of the playoffs. That would have been a disaster as the game would have been over in a quarter. Ben Rothlisberger is god awful. I do not know why people thought Pitt was a contender this year. They are god awful.

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    1. I never understood all of that Steelers talk either. They beat up on a weak schedule and their defense, as we saw last night, is hardly the “Blitzburgh” unit of years gone by. However, now we will be subjected to 7 days of endless “the Ravens don’t fear the Pats; they know how to win in Foxboro; that defensive front can manhandle the NE offensive line” talk. It’s worth mentioning that Baltimore’s “fearsome” defense struggled every time it faced a top QB this year. The last time before the Wild Card round that they faced a top QB, in fact, was a month ago against San Diego at home, and Rivers shredded them. They got the best of Big Ben last night, but without Bell in there, the Pittsburgh offense was severely handicapped. Still, they have presented matchup problems for the Pats’ offense in the past, and so I wouldn’t expect Brady and Co. to put up big numbers. The defense may have to win this game for them. This year, fortunately, unlike in recent playoff contests with Baltimore, the defense appears capable of doing that.

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      1. Pats played pretty much this same Baltimore team a little over a year ago in Baltimore: Patriots 41 Ravens 7. Just saying.

        Pats are the better team. The Ravens and Steelers are 2nd tier. NE should dominate.

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      2. Plus maybe a little talk flacko is in his prime and Brady is in his decline blah blah radio. I’m going almost into radio silence mode this week a little d&c and a tad of g&z. and reading choice will be Mike R. And mass live…… . Thank God school vacation is over too

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    2. Now the goalposts have been (predictably) moved…

      FEAR THE RAVENS! They beat YOU here in twice, once in the wild card and then in the AFC Championship Game on YOUR home field where YOU supposedly never lose. They are not afraid of YOU! YOU should be afraid of THEM.

      (Of course, this is from the same people who said that there are no teams who should come into Gillette and scare you. If they don’t win it would be a travesty, etc.)

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      1. Ravens were 10-6. Four of those wins coming against the NFC South. That is extremely noteworthy, yet I doubt you’ll hear it from many in the local sports media. That win last night didn’t impress me cause I didn’t think Pittsburgh was a good team going into the game. To me it was a match-up of two second-tier teams. Even the likes of Reiss and Curran are pumping the Ravens up. But I’m sorry, I just don’t see it.

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    1. Sad. I read an article the other day where Scott denied an Internet rumor that he was in hospice, and he said he was “still fighting.” Alas, when you’re “still fighting” that awful disease after 7 years, you’re pretty much in the 15th round and way behind on all three score cards. Terrible shame. Too young. He was entertaining and seemed like a really nice guy, too.

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      1. If you ever read the Miller book or even dug deep, there’s stories on just about everyone there. Never saw a shred about SS, nor heard anything when I asked friends who did tours with the company. Everyone had good stuff to say about him.

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  7. How many names you going to use on here, “Leo” or is it “disqus_oNldmIlWm3” or “paul” or “Gerry” or “CoronaLT” or lefty”?

    You call us obsessed and negative, Nick Peto @coachp508?

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    1. But, Bruce, I don’t even understand what is angle is in all this! Any idea? Does he think Felger will spot these posts and give him a job?! I mean, he goes so far as to up vote his own comments as guest, so he might be unstably delusional.

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      1. “What’d you do last summer during your internship?”

        “Well, it was mostly surfing BSMW and SoSH media forum and posting anti-anti-Boston Sports Media posts, updating the PDs and hosts on what was said, about who, and where.. But, I got paid $10/hr!”

        “Damn, bro, where do I signup?”

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  8. Ugh. I know he’s a troll, but: What makes that score misleading? That the Ravens finally scored with 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter to make it 20-7? And the Patriots scored 21 points in the last 2:05? Baltimore was NEVER in that game, so, to me, the final score represents EXACTLY how it played out.

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    1. What bugs me when people bring up the 2012 championship game is that they make it sound as though Baltimore just came in to Foxboro and dominated. That wasn’t the case at all. The Pats lost Talib in the first quarter (Baltimore’s offense was doing NOTHING up to that point); they played without Gronk; they bungled a red zone trip at the end of the second quarter with poor clock management and had to settle for a FG; and, last but certainly not least, they were up 13-7 in the third quarter and driving for more points when Welker dropped a sure-fire first down pass from Brady at the Baltimore 25-yard line with 10 minutes left in the quarter. If he catches that pass, you have to believe that NE goes up at least 16-7 with about 20+ minutes left in the game. Certainly not an insurmountable lead, but it’s a different game, for sure. After Welker’s drop, the wheels completely came off the Pats’ wagon — that drop was a game-changer (and it was a far worse drop than the one in the Super Bowl the year before, because it hit him right in the hands, right in front of his face).

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  9. I’m not a fan of the walking jelly donut Tomase, that’s why I follow him around the internet. I really put work into following things i hate, like he does for the local sports teams. Perhaps one day he can be as hateful a non-fan of local sports teams as his role model Shank the CHB.

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