When the separation of Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com was made, it seemed the aim of Boston.com was to become something of a buzzfeed clone. A whole lot of clickbait, not a lot of substance.

Over the last year, many changes have been made. Bloggers have been let go. More recently the layout of the site has been undergoing changes – right now if you want to read Chad Finn’s latest columns, you don’t go to the Chad Finn page. Last night another shoe dropped when Bill Speros, better known as “Obnoxious Boston Fan” on Boston.com made the following Tweets:

Interesting. Seems like they’re looking to get out of the clickbait business. Which is a positive.

However, the title “Obnoxious Boston Fan” was something of a misnomer. That wasn’t how Speros wrote most of the time. He was thoughtful, capable of great storytelling and reporting. Seems odd that they would cite what they did as the reason for letting him go.

It will be interesting to see what is next for Boston.com. The current content seems to revolve around Finn and Eric Wilbur, with Adam Kaufman and others chipping in.

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Boston Red Sox have history with first-rounder Andrew Benintendi; GM Ben Cherington: ‘It was obvious who we were taking – Jen McCaffrey with a look at the Arkansas outfielder that the Red Sox took with the 7th overall pick last night in the MLB draft.

Junichi Tazawa has come a long way, on and off field – Enjoyed this Peter Abraham look at the Red Sox reliever.

Don’t look now, Red Sox might have discovered their next All-Star shortstop – Rob Bradford pegs Xander Bogaerts as a potential All Star – this season. Scott Lauber also looks at the development of the 22-year-old.

Celtics aren’t as smitten with Kevin Love – Steve Bulpett is bumming me out a little bit. Not because I’m high on Kevin Love, but because of his comment that the Celtics may actually be further from contention than they were a year ago.

Patriots’ signing of CB Derek Cox sparks memories of solid Bill Belichick trade – Mike Reiss revisits a 2009 trade that allowed Jacksonville to draft Cox, but also netted the Patriots two cornerstone players.

What does Carl Soderberg’s upcoming departure from Bruins mean for Loui Eriksson? – DJ Bean examines what breaking up a duo that was almost always on the ice together last season means for the Bruins.

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Michael Felger hates the NBA so much, he can simultaneously trash the Warriors, Steph Curry and LeBron James all at the same time.  THAT’s talent.

Is Shaughnessy actually being ironic?

No, I refuse to believe he’s self-aware enough to be ironic.

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24 thoughts on “Is The BuzzFeed Era At Boston.com Over?

  1. Not exactly Boston Sports Media per se but the National Football Post, a website started several years ago, has seen a lot of talent drain away in the past few years. Now they appear to be outsourcing a lot more. They have Sports Quotient, a site that attempts to quantify everything in sports, filling webspace for them, see this article about Tom Brady’s suspension:

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/tom-bradys-recurrent-special-treatment-from-the-nfl/

    I’ll let you go through and count the misconceptions in the article (I also think one of the commenters did a nice job of it) but I digress. NFP was a must read for me about five years ago. Their Sunday notes column was read right after Reiss and Matt Bowen and his ilk gained a lot of fame there. Their background stories about the combine, draft, game days, the world of agents, etc drew me in as I wanted to learn more and more about the NFL.

    However, not unlike Sean McDonough’s foray into sports talk radio and his attempt to raise the bar, this one seems to be falling well short and is instead trying to gain as many clicks as possible.

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  2. Bruce, don’t you know that bringing up the two cornerstone players BB eventually got out of that 2009 draft deal with Jacksonville runs completely counter to the long-standing narrative about the 2009 draft? Namely: HE TRADED OUT OF THE FIRST ROUND AND PASSED ON CLAY MATTHEWS!! That, and only that, is the acceptable narrative about BB’s 2009 draft (forget those Vollmer and Edelman picks, too). Now, as your penance, go sit in the corner and quietly recite 50 “Hail Felger’s.”

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    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a subnarrative that the scouts thought Matthews was too stupid to learn the Pats’ system?

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      1. Could be. What I do know is that a great many scouts had Matthews listed as a “tweener” and not a whole lot of mock drafts had him going in the first round. I’d love to have seen Clay Matthews on the Pats over the last six years, but the bottom line is that he was available late in the first round because the majority of NFL scouting departments had their doubts about him. Kudos to the Packers for being the one organization with the vision to see him as the difference maker he turned out to be. And, let’s face it, while Matthews’ game has expanded over the last couple of years, he was a “one-trick pony” (get after the QB) over the first half of his career, and BB doesn’t usually draft one-trick’ers (we can argue all day long whether or not that philosophy is valid). That’s the problem with these people who say, “They could have drafted Player X but instead blew the pick and took Player Y.” They don’t acknowledge that there were 30 other teams besides the Pats (and BB) who also passed on that player once, twice, thrice, or who knows how many times before the “smart” team finally took him. Exhibit A: The part-time starting QB at Michigan who went 199th overall in the 2000 draft and was the sixth QB taken that year. “Smart” teams like the Ravens (Chris Redman), who have won multiple Super Bowls over the last 15 years, passed on that Michigan QB and selected a different QB in that draft before the Pats finally took Brady. The draft is a crapshoot, not a sure thing. The only sure thing is fan/media hindsight.

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      2. That was the public story. The private story as I understand it was that feared he had a little too much “uh hmmm” running through his system and they were afraid of the pick. They thought he was artificially as big as he was. They were most likely right in that evaluation. They were wrong in thinking the league was going to start coming down on that sort of thing. From their perspective he was not not what he looked like and they were concerned they did not have a place for him to play.

        I am not sure they were wrong. The Pats ask their LB’s to stay home way more than GB asks Matthews to stay home. Couple that with their concern that he could continue to play and maintain his size and they passed.

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  3. You can tell BDC is moving towards harder hitting long-forms from their devotion of two days’ worth of high-profile front-page links to the saga of the 5-year-old Entourage poster that’s in a locked case in a Cambridge restaurant. I’m not sure I’d feel like a truly engaged citizen of these United States if I didn’t have access to at least three opinions as to how much it might cost to remove that poster. God bless you, BDC. God bless you.

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  4. Michael Felger hates the NBA so much, he can simultaneously trash the Warriors, Steph Curry and LeBron James all at the same time. THAT’s talent.
    I’ve had the displeasure of reading that f*n prick Shaughnessy from Day 1 in 1981. I stopped buying the Boston Globe in 1995 solely because of that f*n prick Shaughnessy, and the taking over primary blogging duties at DSW in September of 2009, so I thought all these years of exposure to unrelenting negativity and hostility would have left me prepared / inoculated for that full solar flare blast from Felger & Massarotti when I tuned in on Monday to get their take on that Game 2 of the NBA finals.
    Nope – not even close! I might as well have been a test dummy on one of those islands in the Pacific when they tested the first hydrogen bomb – I was instantly vaporized by Felger’s blast of unrelenting negativity and hostility, and Mazz chiming in was just getting thrown by the blast’s shock wave. I turned it off in about four or five minutes.
    I have managed to recover from that beating, and since I’m on the road at the time they kick off in about twelve hours from now, I’ll see if my brain can withstand another dose of Michael Felger Grade A radiation. Should be fun!
    Just had to get that off my chest – I picked the wrong week to give up booze…

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  5. I don’t listen to Felger and Mazz and I don’t read the likes of Shaughnessy, Borges, Wilbur or Buckley. It’s the Internet Age people — there’s great content everywhere, for free, why suffer such fools?

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    1. There is this. It’s easy for me because I moved to California in early 1998, but why do people subject themselves to this? It actually feels like the people complaining are part of the game being played by the media, which is fine, but not if it really upsets you.

      I started reading Bruce in 2003, because I was genuinely amazed (and frustrated, angry, etc.) that Belichick, despite having turned the PATRIOTS into a dominant force, was being regularly excoriated by the media. I still read the Globe religiously; I corresponded with Borges, Ryan, MacMullen, Shaughnessy, and sometimes Bruce; I was REALLY interested in understanding the phenomena that was the Belichick hating machine (in particular, I loved the old quote generator Bruce used to have on the site, where it would randomly post an absolutely ridiculous statement a Boston sports media “luminary” had written about Bill). This was true because I felt like I had learned about sports at the feet of some of these people, I respected them, I read them every day from thousands of miles away, I even semi-idolized some of them (Gammons for instance), etc. It MATTERED to me. Then Spygate happened, and it almost literally consumed my life, then 18-1 happened and I had to readjust my priorities.

      You know what ultimately happened? I grew up and realized that these are just people doing a job, and that job involved power, pettiness, piss and vinegar, and — frankly, being pathetic. That, and the media world was changing and all these people’s foibles were either more exposed, or more obvious to me because I was wiser, or I just had more information. The truth is they HATE Bill Belichick the man, and will stoop to any level to take pot shots at him. They hate him because he doesn’t play their game, which is fine, but the changing media landscape and it’s loosening of their power grip on sports information/opinion has stripped them of their journalistic values and exposed their worst natures. As such, I see them for what they are and am over the loss of what the Boston Globe and it’s sports writers once meant to me.

      All this is not to say that I can’t work myself into a lather over the slightest slight, or that I don’t hate read ESPN (I NEVER read the Globe anymore, those people simply don’t matter to me, on occasion, or that I didn’t really, really, REALLY need that 4th title. (As in, and I know this is kind of pathetic, it saved me from my dying thought from being “The fucking New York Giants? …”). The thing is now, ESPECIALLY NOW, I can put it in perspective. As I said, I’m over the loss of something that maybe never existed. This is my last great foray into sports fandom; Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. I was the perfect age to enjoy Larry Bird’s career (10 when they won in 1981) but I was too young to understand what Larry Bird meant (I thought I was born into a life of Celtic dominance), so I’ve savored every moment of this run, and these pathetic, out of touch people, some of whom aren’t even approaching acceptable at their jobs, can’t ruin it. Hell, even Roger Goodell can’t ruin it.

      Lastly, I don’t get the bitching about the radio shows. Maybe it’s a generation gap thing, but where’s the loss? When was sports radio ever anything but knuckle dragging-ly stupid? Michael Felger? Who is he to have power over your lives? I’ll end this overly long, self indulgent, post with an anecdote. When I first moved to California I briefly listened to Jim Rome’s show. One Monday, he starts by listing his baseball “takes,” which are basically a rehashing of Peter Gammons’ Sunday notes column, then later in the show — in response to a caller — he says something like ‘Peter Gammons, I *guess* his information is *OK* but SHE looks like the dude on the twenty dollar bill’ and I said “I effing hate this dude, why do I listen to him?” so I stopped.

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      1. Lastly, I don’t get the bitching about the radio shows.

        I’ll just address my personal view: There’s ‘bitching’ in the ‘message board commenter’ and trying to put some more intelligent thought into it. We’ve got a good community here, so you can have a descent thread about something when bitching. Go on over to a Globe or Herald article and read the comments section if you want the opposite (sounds like you have).

        These are people just doing a job. Their job (Felger, et. al.) is to get a ratings share. Felger happens to be really good at it. It doesn’t mean we can’t vent or rant. I use this place as my forum, just as they have theirs. We’re kinda powerless, right? Really, the only “empowered” people, in terms of radio, are the 4-5k in the area with PPMs. Also, it does seem that both stations do read this and SoSH. If one comment is going to ‘get our way’ nope. It’s all about that share.

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        1. You know what? “Bitch” was the wrong word. I hear what you’re saying, and that’s what i meant by ‘playing the game’ in my first question; they say dumb stuff, we (and, believe me, I sometimes do this with ESPN radio of all things) complain back.

          What i should have said is: Do people really care (as in, get upset) , or is it just like volleying back and forth as part of the new era sports fan process? Sincere question, because radio shows are — to me — inherently stupid and it sounds like that bar has been lowered faster than with “reporting.”

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          1. Yeah, I hate to use the word ‘bitch’, as well, since it implies some haphazard rant. I got the spirit of what you were saying, though.

            Many people do. If you search Twitter when anyone on TV or radio says something dumb, it’s just full of it. If anyone took the time to parse everything, I’m not sure when you’d sleep. Search “First Take” at about 10:03 AM (Eastern) and it’s a great example.

            The nice thing with Twitter is unfollow. Radio, you can switch channels. TV can be turned off but you still got to pay. I got sick enough in January to just cancel it (cost, lack of shows, Internet options for most things).

            I think some do. I’ve worked with people who watched the cable news channel that least agreed with their world view just to be pissed off and have something to blog/rant about (that’s annoying). Problem is that they make the most noise, right? You usually never hear from the people who do what I said in the paragraph above.

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          2. I am at home today, alone, and would love some intelligent Boston sports talk. I live in another state but have access to the requisite sports channels on my television. Yet, at present, I’m sitting in my living room, doing some light homework on my computer, and in complete silence. I’ll get up in a minute and refresh the Pandora I have on in another room so there will be music, but I’ll not stoop so low as to turn on the television and listen to what is being packaged as sports talk. These ill-informed talk show hosts have nothing I want or need.

            A person’s thoughts are a precious thing: they don’t belong in there, not even to visit.

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          3. I think this thread is quite thought provoking. I think your question about “why do people really CARE ((as in, get upset) , or is it just like volleying back and forth as part of the new era sports fan process?” is short sighted. People have been arguing over sports since Homer wrote book 23 of the Iliiad 3000 years ago. The “what if” is the central reason why people watch sports and then obsess over them.

            The issue with sports radio, sports reporting, sports media etc is always, and I mean always, about substance over style. Ratings, page views, circulation, calls…its all the same metric. Is the topic being discussed entertaining or informative enough to drive “what if” conversation.

            What we bitch about on this site is the quality of that “what if” conversation being generated by those with the access and platform to lead these discussions. As Boston sports fans we consider ourselves smarter than the unwashed masses (NY/Philly fans) and expect a higher level of dialog. I do not think it is any more complicated than that.

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  6. The last sentence in Shank’s lastest column:

    “The Orioles can talk all day about how getting Miller was worth it
    because they had a chance to win a World Series. But if they knew what
    Rodriguez was going to look like in his first three games in the majors,
    they would not make the deal now.”

    THEY WOULD NOT MAKE THE DEAL NOW… What the F does that even mean? They wouldn’t hop in their 1988 Delorean and re-do history? What a dumb f’ing statement, even by Shank standards

    It’s a perfect summation of the life of a (useless) columnist.

    If the Orioles had won the World Series and Andrew Miller played the role of Koji in 2013, Shank would be writing columns about how Cherington should get a ring and a playoff share from The Duke.

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