A couple of media columns to lead things off this Friday:

Bob Neumeier has a rooting interest in Triple Crown – Chad Finn has the CSNNE anchor and NBC horse racing expert back in the saddle and ready for the Belmont Stakes.

Mark Jackson analyzing, not coaching these NBA Finals – Bill Doyle has the ESPN/ABC analyst in the position of calling a championship round for a team that fired him a year ago.

Some links of interest

Belichik’s Armenian Flag Pin at Obama Meeting Takes Center Stage at St. James Men’s Club Talk

Remember that pin of the Armenian Flag that was spotted on Bill Belichick when the Patriots visited the White House? Here’s the story of how it came about. Berj Najarian, whose grandfather was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, had the pin on originally, and Belichick ended up wearing it. Najarian also spoke frankly to President Obama about recognition of the genocide. Great story.

Roger Goodell loves to spout about integrity at every turn. What you read in that story is true integrity.

Julien gets another shot at Art Ross’ record, Coach’s Challenge – Mick Colageo has a post on the reported return of Claude Julien as Bruins head coach. He does a nice job with some myth-debunking involving Julien and his style, things you may have heard on, oh, sports talk radio.

Nothing has changed; Red Sox still terrible – Steve Buckley goes after the Red Sox, which I have zero problem with.

I do have a problem with the ongoing media meme of how “tough” the Boston Baseball Experience is.

I asked Sandoval if he feels comfortable here.

“Yeah, I feel comfortable,” he said. “Why do you ask me that?”

Because you don’t look comfortable, he was told.

“I look comfortable,” he said. “I’m comfortable. So you feel the way I am feeling? No . . . You know how I feel, right? No, that is not the right question.”

Considering how poorly Sandoval has played this season, it’s absolutely the right question to ask if he is comfortable. How many big-ticket players have been acquired by the Red Sox in recent years and had difficulty with the Boston Baseball Experience? Remember Edgar Renteria? Remember Carl Crawford? Remember Adrian Gonzalez complaining about all those nationally televised Sunday night games?

It’s funny the names that are associated with this “syndrome,” beyond that, is the myth about Adrian Gonzalez. Was it a mistake to trade for him and give him that huge deal? Maybe. But for a guy who is labeled a bust by many and cited as an example of someone who couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in Boston, he batted .338, with 213 hits (led league, and 4th most in team history) 117 RBI, .957 OPS and a WAR of 6.9. Despite hitting “only” 27 homeruns, it was the best season of his career. Oh yeah, he also won the Gold Glove at first base.

As for the “complaint” about the Sunday night games? Another exaggerated myth.

Gordon Edes:

He was responding to a direct question, the questioner asking him about the impact of the schedule — this was before the final two games of the season — and Gonzalez again gave a candid answer. Yes, he said, with the Red Sox so often playing on national TV, that posed an additional challenge for him.
“We play too many night games on getaway days and get into places at 4 in the morning,” he said to the interviewer. “This has been my toughest season physically because of that.”

Is that an excuse or a statement of fact? Terry Francona has complained about the schedule. Dustin Pedroia, who plays as if he never sleeps, has complained about the schedule. Players have taken their concerns to management about the schedule. Gonzalez said the schedule had taken its toll on him physically. To suggest he was saying that was why the Sox went 7-20 in September is ridiculous.

Gonzalez was prickly with the media, some of whom still hold a grudge. His inclusion in the great purging trade of 2012 was because the Dodgers wanted him, and were willing take the monstrous contracts of Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to get him. It wasn’t because the Red Sox wanted to dump him because he was a bust.

****

It was interesting hearing former Patriots receiver Wes Welker making the Boston sports radio rounds this week essentially rattling a tin cup and asking for a job with the Patriots.

It seems appropriate to remember the furor from the media when Welker left two as New England’s all-time leading receiver two years ago and how things have worked out since.

I’m reminded of this Peter King fingerwag: Pats failure to keep Welker must be crushing blow to Brady

Bad, bad decision by New England.

Looks pretty good right now.

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34 thoughts on “Free-Form Friday

    1. Man, what a ridiculously agenda driven “article,” even in the realm of the Belichick Haterade guzzlers.

      “If I’m Brady, assuming that he didn’t know this was a possibility, which I bet he did, I am furious.” Huh? If he didn’t know, but I bet he DID know, I would be furious … if I were him in the first place? Maybe it’s just bad syntax, but stupid either way.

      And Reche Caldwell? You mean the guy Brady would have won another SB throwing too (after all the reporters wanted us to jump off a bridge over the loss of the immortal, and I like him, Deion Branch) if Troy Brown had run the right route? Thanks for weighing in, champ.

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      1. If Troy Brown had run the right route AND if the refs hadn’t completely, utterly turned the game in Indy’s favor with three huge, bogus calls/non-calls that went against New England. Just thought I’d finish that sentence for you. That loss still bugs me more than any other during this 15-year Pats run, including the 18-1 Super Bowl loss. It came against the Colts and that DB Polian, and St. Peyton, and St. Dungy, and it’s the only thing standing between Peyton Manning and a career oh-fer on Super Bowls; and he needed a ton of outside help to get that one. Oh, and Wilbur’s a jackass. Always has been. I believe Jackassery 101 is a pre-requisite course before you can apply for work at the Globe.

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  1. Other than the Super Bowl they won, the Patriots haven’t won anything since they got rid of Welker!!!!!! BOTTOM LINE, NOT WINNING!!!!!

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      1. And, lets just shift our view to the future a little:

        “No Superbowls since Brady retired. We all know BB was nothing but some jamoke who made PB&J. He’s nothing w/o Brady.,”

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        1. There’s a guy who posts on the boston.com Patriots forum who basically says just that. BB “got lucky with a sixth round pick who turned out to be the GOAT.” The guy routinely rips BB’s GM skills and says that, with Brady, he should have won at least 7 or 8 SB’s by now, and would have but for his incompetence as a GM. Of course, this completely ignores the historical fact that every other QB who’s ever been considered the GOAT in history never won more than 4 championships; most won fewer (Unitas, Elway, Staubach….two each; Favre, just one; Marino, none; Manning, just one — with a zebra-striped asterisk IMO). Bart Starr won five, but three were in the pre-SB era and he rarely makes it onto the short list of greatest ever QBs (though he probably should). Maybe that forum poster forms his own opinions, but my guess is that he’s heavily influenced by the constant drone of the media in this town, aside from a few outliers like Reiss and Curran, who actually care about “reporting” and not agenda pushing.

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          1. Sounds like the same ridiculousness that they spew over at BDC on all platforms…”news,” radio, etc. all anti-BB/Pats. Probably Adam12 from the radio.

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          2. On the old Patriots USENET board people used to bitch not only about his GMing but his coaching as well. One poster famously called the defense Chickenshit cover my shoe. People who want to see negative find it. I used to argue it to the death (for those old enough to remember Bob Jensen and the famous border wars from USENET). Life is too short.

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          3. imo only someone who can’t appreciate greatness is going to bitch about 6 sb appearances and 4 wins. What more do you want?

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          4. I used to try to reason with that guy, but he was one of those “all or nothing” types, meaning that if you don’t win the Super Bowl, your entire season was a failure and a waste of time. What was most annoying about him was that he would totally ignore the positive facts about BB’s track record as GM, and just constantly harp on his negative examples, while pushing his “BB sucks as a GM” narrative. After a while you just have to throw up your hands in frustration and tell yourself that some people just aren’t happy unless they are complaining about something.

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    1. I thought letting Welker go was definitely the right move at the time and it’s been proven to be. I agree with everyone that the media got their ass handed to them on that one.
      In a related topic, however… late last week I think it was CSNNE who ran a poll asking: Should Welker one day be in the Patriots HOF? Ummmm… hello?…. He’s their leading receiver of ALL-TIME! A thousand times YES. What a stupid question. 95% of Pats fan still love Welker. Guy left everything out there. The idiots still butt-hurt over the SB drop notwithstanding, he will be remembered forever in Foxboro.
      They shouldn’t bring him back and his career is essentially over, but let’s not let winning SB last year without him diminish an all-time great Patriot, ok?

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      1. not a HOF…. lost them a SB never really did much. They win it the day after he leaves. I am tired of giving out participation trophies . At one player a year the Pats have plenty of ring owning worthy candidates without needing to dip into the likes of Welker. I say give his HOF spot to JoJo LaFell at least he contributed to a championship!

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        1. We all have opinions and I respect yours… BUT… I can’t even begin to think about things that way.
          Never really did much? A participation trophy? Pretty sure he had as many catches in his 6 yrs. with the Pats as any single player in the league during that time. I think he should have caught it too, but there were many other things that happened that could have made his ‘drop’ a moot point.
          Regardless, the guy was a huge part of two SB teams (the other of which, using your logic, was lost by Rodney Harrison for not knocking ball away from Tyree. Thank God Rodney won 2 SB’s previously!!) and always answered the bell.
          Suggesting LaFell is more deserving is embarrassing. Using that logic… Hey Antwan Harris, what’s your jacket size?!?!
          🙂

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          1. Tom
            My real problem with Welker is this… he replaces Troy Brown who won 3 SBs in the slot, He is the replaced by Edelman who puts up the same numbers as Brown and Welker and wins an SB. so how is Welker unique? his coach did not particularly love or respect him. heck he tried replacing him a year earlier. I think Welker was a nice little player. I do not think he belongs in any HOF.

            Antwan Harris does belong… he was instrumental in a championship. as does Josh Boyce.

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          2. Okay, I will concede Boyce…I am giving Welkers HOF spot to Dobson! Was the most productive rookie receiver in the Tom Brady era. Has a ring. That deserves HOF consideration.

            If you had not noticed I kind of find HOF’s silly. What is the criteria? Who decides? What is worthy. Why do the Pats only let in 1 player a year…if Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork retire in the same year does that mean Tom will have to wait a year before he gets in while Vince is inducted because he did not deflate a football? Its just silly.

            In poking fun at the rule I came up with this list of players who have a ring who need to get in before Welker should be considered:
            David Patten
            Kevin Faulk
            Patrick Pass
            Bryan Cox
            Adam Vinitari
            Roman Phifer
            Lawyer Milloy
            Mike Vrabel
            Ted Johnson
            Richard Seymour
            Larry Izzo
            Jermaine Wiggins
            Joe Andruzzi
            Damien Woody
            Antowain Smith
            Deion Branch
            David Givens
            Ken Walter
            Rodney Harrison
            Ted Washington
            Asante Samuel
            Rosevelt Colvin
            Lonie Paxton
            Dan Koppen
            Dan Graham
            Corey Dillon
            Eugene Wilson
            Vince Wilfork
            Ty Warren
            Tom Brady
            Devon McCourty
            Rob Gronkowski
            Julien Edelman
            Donta Hightower
            Jerod Mayo
            Malcome Butler
            Stephen Gostkowski

            By that time Welker will be either dead or have dementia. In all seriousness, we do disagree which is what makes horse races. I just disagreed with your idea that 95% of fans see Welker as a HOFer. I don’t and I think there are others out there like me. Had he won a ring here…then yes. Unfortunately for him…just being a great regular season player (we will call that doing a Peyton) does not cut it around here any more.

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  2. I heard the post game with Sandoval and he was on the right track questioning Buckley’s stupid question. But he stopped short. He needed to ask, “What do you mean by ‘I look uncomfortable’? What does that look like? Please describe for me how I look when I look uncomfortable.”

    Baseball beat hacks like Buckley and Mazz have been getting pushed out by writers who actually study the game and its myriad statistical nuances —Speier, and to a much lesser extent, Chad Finn, locally — and try to stay relevant by moralizing from the mountaintop (“____should have/should not have, done ____”) and by the relatively new obsession, establishing and or diminishing Legacy. Buckley, the would be Arbiter.

    Why anybody would be interested in his opinion about any sport is beyond me. That he gets paid to offer such opinions is truly remarkable, and, I suppose, a feather in his cap. Fool ’em as long as you can, I guess.

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  3. “Mike, we’ve go the evidence that Belichick has completely lost it. He SUCKS. First, Hernandez killing people. Then, Brady deflating balls. Now, Spikes involved in a hit-and run. It just confirms all the previous garbage we’ve spewed about how little BB has control over that team. Kraft needs to fire his ass, and do it immediately. But, we know they won’t, since Kraft only cares about the bottom-line and the last thing he wants to do is pay two coaches at once.”

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  4. Here is today’s lesson in irony.

    So you mean like you do with the Patriots, Dan?

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  5. Looks like the Globe let @realOBF go:

    I get the Globe guys mixed up but wasn’t he doing that already?

    And, that sounds like “get on the agenda or get out”, which is the theme with all modern mainstream outlets.

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    1. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of his work but I hope he lands on his feet. Boston.com is a weird, weird website.

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    2. He was ok, but not good enough to overcome the ridiculous persona he created so i would think to read him regularly. Still, he was worlds better than most of the columnists on that site. Boston.com Rankings:
      1. Chad Finn
      2. OBF
      (large space here)
      Tied for last: Eric Wilbur, Tony Massarotti, Adam Kaufman

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      1. Finn’s columns are almost always good, he’s pretty much the best they’ve got over there. Wilbur, on the other hand, is lousy. Every time I read one of his columns I feel dumber for having done so. He’s boston.com’s version of Shaughnessy, minus the outdated references.

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