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
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.
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 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.