Midweek Thoughts, Media on Media Crime Edition

Since there’s nothing of interest going on sports-wise around Boston, the continued efforts by some of the on-air media “personalities” to stir things up and make themselves the story makes sense. Right?

The sad fact is, good old media on media crime gets people’s attention. It gets them talking about the outlets, about the personalities, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Except for the consumer, perhaps.

The last week has seen plenty of media fights, some more compelling than others.

If you missed it, (how could you?) here’s what’s been happening:

Kirk Minihane vs CSNNE (and Fred Toucher, Tony Massarotti and Dan Shaughnessy.)

Minihane said that Fred Toucher and Tony Massarotti went to the powers to be at Comcast SportsNet and asked them to keep Minihane off the air.

He also stated that Dan Shaughnessy has actively been trying to screw him over and cause him to lose work. Mostly because Minihane calls him Shank. Bart Hubbuch also factors into this, after he took the clip of Minihane saying that Roger Goodell should be “murdered” and put it on Twitter, leaving out the part where Minihane said he was joking.

Minihane, John Dennis and Gerry Callahan did an expletive-filled podcast on the topic where Kirk let loose on his enemies and what he feels they’ve done to him.

Dennis touches on his long-standing hate-feud with Gene Lavanchy as well.

Mike Adams vs Mike Mutnansky

This one is harder to judge. Whereas it’s clear that Minihane is legitimately pissed off, the episode with the evening duo on WEEI is somewhat less clear. Perhaps that’s due to Adams past – the stunt where he “locked himself in the studio” to get the evening job – comes to mind.

Last Friday night, as the show opened, Mutnansky griped about Adams going to management complaining about Mut’s performance. He jumped on Adams for not talking to him face-to-face before going the bosses. Adams acted hesitant to engage, but when he did, he unloaded, saying that Mut had been moping around ever since he was demoted from the mid-day show, and resents having to be on the evening show, which has Adam’s name on it. He said he didn’t have the heart to go to Mut because he just has his head hung all the time. Mut attacked back saying he has a family to support and that Adams should’ve been a man and talked to him about it before going to management.

After the initial storm, and when Adams had put him back in his place, Mut said he expected to be fired and “will probably be selling insurance in New Hampshire by next week” He also told a caller twenty minutes after the segment that he handled it poorly.

Adams was pretty brutal on him and obviously angry for about the first hour. He called Mut unprofessional several times, adding that it was the most unprofessional thing he’s heard in twenty years of broadcasting. Told Mut to go home numerous times and take the night off. When Mut refused, Adams threatened to go home himself.

Then it was over.

Adams calling out someone else for being unprofessional is pretty ironic. While he’s been steady since getting the evening job on WEEI, it was pretty much his last shot after blowing numerous gigs in the late 90’s-early 2000’s. (Anyone remember Mike Adams in the morning on 1510 the Zone?)

It’s hard to tell – I have to imagine Mut is probably unhappy with his current predicament, but this episode seemed a bit contrived.

Mike Reiss vs Mailbaggers

This one isn’t on the level of the two above, but Reiss announced that you won’t be seeing the mailbag each Tuesday anymore.

As he mentions, the landscape has certainly changed in the 10 years that Reiss has been doing reader mailbags. Twitter among other things, allows for interactive exchanges between the media and fans. But I wonder if there is more here. Is this Reiss stepping back a bit from the ESPN machine? Is he tired of the sports-radio fueled questions he has to answer every week? Is it because it is the same people every week? (How many times can you answer the same type of questions from “Jake in Vancouver?”)

ESPN vs Patriots

Oh yes, ESPN is still at it. In an article entitled Why the Carolina Panthers can win Super Bowl 50  by David Newton, he starts out this way:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The last time the Carolina Panthers started a season with five straight wins, they made it to the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

They lost 32-29 in February 2004, although some that were with the Panthers’ organization then still believe the Patriots gained an advantage by illegally taping Carolina practices prior to the title game in Houston.

It’s funny. ESPN goes after Mike Reiss and gives his piece a “tighter edit” when he is simply pointing out erroneous information on another ESPN article, but this sort of thing is allowed to stand.

What’s puzzling is that the above statement has absolutely noting to do with the premise of the article.

Also, if you haven’t heard:

Tom Brady vs the Media

Brady has acknowledged that he’s scaling back his media appearances. He’s declined both times the Patriots were on NBC this season to appear after the game – a fact that NBC has made certain to point out to anyone who will listen – and his midweek sessions and postgame sessions have been noticeably shorter.

On Dennis and Callahan Tuesday morning, Brady explained why he’s lightening his media load.

Boston Herald vs their Readers

So how did this work? They have a meeting to plan the relaunch of their website – Hey guys, let’s make it look exactly like Boston.com!

Though I’ll say this, it’s can’t really be worse, performance wise, than their last site, which inevitably froze up any computer I accessed it on.

Boston Herald Sports. 

Patriots Manage Disappointing Road Win Against AFC Finalist

It wasn’t quite the destruction many were expecting, but the Colts did still manage to embarrass themselves last night.

The Patriots defeated the Colts 34-27 in Indianapolis thanks in part to a disastrous fake punt attempt by the Colts, who were in desperation mode all night, having previously attempted a first-half on-sides kick.

The Patriots were able to pull away in the second half – a last minute Colts touchdown made the score closer than the game really was at that point.

While some might view the final result as a disappointment – I even saw some Patriots fans on Twitter saying that the game felt like a loss – let’s not forget that this was a road win in an extremely hostile environment, against the team that most experts prior to the season were picking to represent the AFC in the next Super Bowl. Perspective, people.

(Though, to be fair, Tom Brady didn’t seem very happy afterwards, either –NO SATISFACTION: TOM BRADY APPEARS TO TAKE NO JOY IN WIN OVER COLTS)

It seemed that the Patriots took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, opting for a very conservative finish – something I attribute to injuries already sustained and not wanting to risk more. 

*********

I’m going to cut this short today, because it is the first day at my new job. After 12 years in the IT Department at Manchester Airport in NH, today I’m starting with Automattic.com, and working primarily on WordPress.com. BSMW has been built on WordPress since 2008, and getting to work with WordPress every day should make the site better as I improve my own skills with the product. (The new message board is also built with WordPress.)

I’ll also be working from home, with great online co-workers, and getting many more great perks. Yes, they’re hiring –Work With Us.

Colts Week. So Let’s Talk About Anything But…

It’s the most highly anticipated regular season game in recent memory. The game in which the New England Patriots are expected to exact revenge upon the snitching Indianapolis Colts. Since the schedule was released, everything has been building towards this game.

But if you listen to much of Boston sports radio, you’d think the Patriots were on a bye this week. Maybe it’s because the events surrounding the game have been talked out, or because of the dangerous belief that the Patriots will simply roll the Colts once again, but the dominating subject of talk radio this week thus far has been Boston Magazine’s expose piece on Tom Brady’s personal trainer and guru.

Much of the talk is trying to be couched in terms of “we’re not questioning his training methods, obviously they’re working, but Brady’s partnership with a scam artist needs to be discussed.

That’s baloney. The purpose of the discussions is to be able to hint that Brady must be doing something illegal or against the NFL drug policies in order to achieve the results he’s getting. Also, to suggest that if Brady is involved with a shady character, he must’ve also done something shady to those footballs!

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning can go to Europe for stem-cell treatment that isn’t sanctioned in the United States, and no one bats an eye. They instead laud him for doing what it takes to get back out on the field.

I didn’t mind Kirk Minihane grilling Brady about it on Monday – the QB was very willing to talk about it at length, and it gave him a forum to do so. It’s the snide talk about Alex Guerrero being a snake-oil salesman or con-man since then -especially when the sports radio airwaves during commercial breaks are filled with miracle weight-loss programs, “natural” male enhancement, hair replacement and energy boosting products.

Self-awareness has never been a strong point of sports radio, but this example is particularly egregious and hypocritical.

(Check out Tom Curran’s personal experiences with the trainer: Who is Alex Guerrero? Here’s what I know . . .)

On another note, what the heck is up with Boston Magazine? The article marked the third major hit piece feature on the Patriots in the last year and half In April of 2014 they had the article The Krafts Are the Worst Owners in the League then they just had ‘I’m Robert Kraft. Do You Know Who I Am?’ and finally the above piece Tom Brady’s Personal Guru Is a Glorified Snake-Oil Salesman.

Try this. Go to the Boston Magazine website and search “Patriots.” Check the results.

But, as we’ve learned over the last 15 years, attacking and criticizing and being snarky about the Patriots is good business for media outlets. Boston Magazine is just following the crowd.

Elsewhere:

I’m not going to beat on Gregg Doyel this week. The Indianapolis Star columnist can attempt to stir things up, call the Patriots cheaters who fixed the AFC Championship game because they were scared of the Colts, and everything else he wants to do. In a way, I admire it. I certainly don’t want blind homerism from my sports columnists, but it would be nice if one of our major sports columnists here in Boston took the approach of defending “our” city and teams rather than just attempting to antagonize their readers. Besides, the guy’s got some issues.

So the clock operator in San Diego ran approximately 20 extra seconds off the clock in the final minutes of the game. Can you imagine if that happened at Gillette Stadium near the end of a close game? I thought Mike Florio had a good comment on the situation:

With the Patriots and their footballs at the AFC title game, the league presumed guilt and worked backward. In this case, it would be dangerous to presume inadvertence and move forward. It’s entirely possible that someone tried to influence the outcome of the game through what by all appearances was a mistake.

If the NFL is going to scorch the earth (and bastardize science) to prove that the Patriots broke the rules, the NFL should at least apply some basic curiosity to a situation that never should have happened, that possibly happened on purpose, and that now cries out for an overhaul to the way the NFL ensures that each game consists of exactly 3,600 seconds — no more, no fewer.

The situations are really not all that different. Had the Steelers lost, would Mike Tomlin have made as big of a deal of that as he did about the headset issue in the opener?

Deadspin, SB Nation, Barstool Sports Twitter accounts shutdown after NFL requests removal of GIFs – an informational look at the suspension of the three popular accounts.

The Revenge of Tom Brady – Read this. Rich Levine nails it.

Patriots Back in Action in Big D on Sunday

The Patriots get back at it on Sunday heading to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in a 4:25pm national game on CBS. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will get their first Patriots call of the season.

The Cowboys have sent plenty of bulletin board material for the Patriots to use, from Tony Romo (who’s out) making fun of the Patriots at an awards show this summer, to Jerry Jones repeatedly backing Roger Goodell and saying what an awesome job the commissioner did with the Brady case, and then Greg Hardy (and Jones) talking about Brady’s wife this week. Then there’s this weird no-filming practice thing.

But as Tedy Bruschi said on WEEI on Monday, no motivation is needed when playing the Dallas Cowboys.

Then, it is on to Colts week. Which should be a blast. Or not.

Just a few notes/links to fill things out:

The Bruins were smacked around in their season opener, 6-2 by the Winnipeg Jets

Jack Edwards is concerned about Boston Bruins’ defense and doesn’t know if this team will make the playoffs.

Celtics’ trip to Madrid brings back some “old” memories – I enjoyed this Steve Bulpett column remembering the last time the Celtics went to Madrid, for the 1988 McDonalds Open.

Lou Merloni is deserving of Red Sox radio job – Chad Finn throws his vote toward the former Red Sox infielder as the replacement for Dave O’Brien in the booth next to Joe Castiglione.

Roethlisberger Wasn’t Holding a Phone on the Sidelines – Matt Chatham puts the “scandal” from last week to bed.

Have a great long weekend! I know this space has been erratic in updates for the last few months, but there has been a reason for it! More news on that soon…

Clearing Out The Google Drive

Some random thoughts/observations/scorching hot takes.

*As far as satisfying wins goes, the win in Buffalo on Sunday was up there. It really was the full Rex Ryan experience. He spent all week talking big, getting his players to talk big, getting the Buffalo fans frothed up and with high expectations, and then the game came. Rex made curious calls – even if it was within the rules to challenge that play in the first half, why would he? That was the moment I knew the Patriots would win the game. The Bills were overhyped and took dumb penalty after dumb penalty, and got blown out before a 4th quarter garbage-time rally made the score somewhat respectable. Then Rex continued his arrogance in the post game, still defiant, still refusing to acknowledge Dion Lewis, and taking his usual shots.

*The hype for the game was reflected in CBS’s broadcast numbers of the game, which earned 34.2 HH rating and a 72 share in the Boston market. That 72 share is the second highest for a regular season game, after the 2007 finale, (a 75) which you’ll recall was broadcast on multiple networks.

*The production by CBS was awful. They listed Ryan Wendell as a starter, he was inactive, they missed plays, Butler’s interception wasn’t even on the screen, they cut away from action too quickly, they came back late from commercial breaks, one time not even bothering to explain that another Bills penalty had changed the spot from where the Patriots were snapping the ball, and a number of other snafus. We get the same broadcast team this Sunday for the Jacksonville game.

*If you missed it, the Ravens ran a formation Sunday in Oakland which looked almost identical to the one they complained about the Patriots using in January. You remember that play, where John Harbaugh angrily talked about “deception” and how no one has done that before, and how the competition committee would get together and change that up – which they did. Sunday, the Ravens scored a TD on a play very similar. The difference being that it was an offensive lineman (already ineligible) who lined up off the line, and jump back at the snap, and a tight end (already eligible) who lined up in the spot of the offensive lineman and took off down the seam for the pass.

If Harbaugh’s big issue was that the Patriots play was deceptive – why was he using an equally deceptive play? It was actually more deceptive because on the Patriots play, they had to declare someone ineligible and the ref announced it, thus giving a tip to the defense. In the Ravens play, no such announcement was needed. It just speaks to the hypocrisy of Harbaugh, the Ravens and the NFL.

*We’re in the final days of the Don Orsillo era, and he continues to be the ultimate pro. He is going to land a better job somewhere else. Be assured of that.

*The Red Sox have been surprisingly fun to watch over the last month or so, and Xander Bogaerts is probably going to finish second in the league in hitting. If there is a positive to take from this season, he is it, and is showing that he is the future of this team.

*I’m ridiculously excited for the Celtics to being training camp. I know they’re not a title contender, but they will be fun to watch, and you know they get the most out of what they have. They will take a step forward this year, and in the Eastern Conference, I don’t think 45-50 wins is unreasonable. The offseason additions, while not the “fireworks” that have been talked about for several years now, were solid. Defensively, I think this team has a chance to be really effective, well, except when David Lee is on the floor, but he’s going to contribute on the other end and on the boards. Jordan Mickey is already my new binky.

*The John Tomase perpetration of fraud continues, as yesterday morning on WEEI, guest Tony Boselli stated that the Patriots were punished during spygate for recording a Rams practice.

Don’t bother mentioning this on Twitter to John though, as you will be blocked.

*The general thin-skinnedness of sports media is always a source of wonder to me. From Bob Kravtiz, to Bart Hubbuch to Don Van Natta Jr to Michael Silver, to almost anyone, if you dare to criticise them in any way shape or form, or question their work or integrity or sources you are blocked. These people make serious, inflammatory, many times outright false statements, but when called on it, they will not respond, but rather shut out the person calling them out. Nice, insulated gigs.

In a way, I respect a guy like Albert Breer, who says plenty of stuff that many people find annoying and respond back to him, but he doesn’t block anyone.

*Dan Shaughnessy today sarcastically ran down the list of those teams/players/entities that had been against the Patriots during Deflategate and how they’re suffering now. The Ravens, Colts, Texans, Giants and Eagles are all 0-2, the Cowboys lost Dez Bryant and Tony Romo (who had made fun of the Patriots earlier in the summer) and then Shaughnessy worries about the media.

I worry for the Worldwide Leader and other media outlets/members who covered the coverup with a cynical eye. What’s going to happen to poor Bob Kravitz, Chris Mortensen, Don Van Natta, and my man, Gary Tanguay? Bill Polian? Lester Munson? Mark Brunell? Felgie? Mazz? Ben Volin? . . . (gulp) me?

We can hope Dan. Meanwhile, things will start with this:

Layoffs Are Coming to ESPN

Multiple sources inside and outside of ESPN tell The Big Lead that the network will be laying off “200 to 300” employees in the coming months.

Shaughnessy is a pathetic, predictable, vengeful, bitter old hack. Let’s hope he continues to be right about his “worries” in this case though.

Don Van Natta Working On Second Patriots Hit Piece Full Of Anonymous Sources

From Ed Sherman on Poynter Online:

Not done yet: ESPN’s Van Natta says follow-ups likely after takeout on Patriots

Van Natta, who co-wrote the story with Seth Wickersham, says they have received more than a dozen calls from various league sources since the story was released.

“When you do a story like this, you shake the tree and very ripe fruit falls into your lap,” Van Natta said. “There are some interesting leads that Seth and I are going to address. I don’t think we’re done with this just yet.

Translation: Other NFL people who saw that they could anonymously gripe about the Patriots and get it published in an “investigative report” want to get in on the action.

“Every piece of information has to be bullet-proof,” Van Natta said. “On these kinds of stories, when you rely on a mix of on-the-record, documents and a vast majority of anonymous sources, you’ve got to get it right. I am not aware of one single fact in our story that wasn’t correct.”

Well, it’s easy to not get any facts incorrect when you don’t state any.

The latest story refueled some persistent speculation that ESPN is assisting the NFL, its biggest TV partner, in this dispute with New England. The chatter ignores the fact that Goodell and the NFL come off as poorly as the Patriots in the piece. It also is ridiculous to think that Van Natta, a Pulitzer Prize winner, could be told what to report, much less carry an agenda.

If the NFL comes off as poorly as the Patriots, why is all the attention been on the Patriots?

After the Chris Mortensen “11 of 12” tweet/story and everything that has followed that, how ridiculous is it really ridiculous to question anything that comes from any ESPN outlet?

As for specifically questioning Van Natta, well, after his NY Times magazine piece following a six-month investigation into a Rupert Murdoch publication, The Public Editor of the New York Times, in response to criticism about the article from Murdoch’s publication, generally supported what Van Natta and his colleagues wrote, but added these two caveats:

The story, in my view, did rely heavily on unnamed sources. Roughly two-thirds of the attributions relating to The News of the World were to anonymous individuals or groups. And in the thread of the story dealing with the Scotland Yard investigation, more than 80 percent of the attributions were anonymous.

He defends the usage, saying that they provided “strong evidence.” He then adds:

So, on substance, I believe The Times’s account stood on solid ground. It went beyond a rehash with new sources and a comprehensive treatment. The larger question of whether the story was colored by the rivalry with Mr. Murdoch is more a matter of appearances. Here, the ground gets squishy.

I think you could say that the Patriots piece was nothing more than “a rehash with new sources and a comprehensive treatment.”

Mr Brisbane, The Public Editor, concludes:

“This passage seems gratuitous,” Mr. Giles said, “casting Murdoch in an unfavorable light without adding fresh information that advanced readers’ understanding of the story.”

Mr. Giles’s example illustrates a larger point I subscribe to: that The Times, or any news organization covering a rival so prominently, needs to do it as straightforwardly as possible. Incorporating politics, and dressing the piece in a mock tabloid art treatment, leave room for some to perceive a hidden agenda, and perhaps even quiet glee.

Wait, what? Some could perceive that Van Natta had a hidden agenda? No, I thought it would be ridiculous to suggest that!

Why Are You Patriots Fanboys All Worked Up???

Why so sensitive, Patriots fanboys? You Patriots fanboys, always thinking the NFL is out to get you, LOL! The paranoia that Patriots fans have is unreal! Everything is a conspiracy!

Hahaha!

Timeline: 

Thursday, September 3rd, Judge Richard Berman rules against the NFL in the Tom Brady case, a decision called nothing less than a scathing rebuke of Roger Goodell and the NFL.

Tuesday, September 8th, within an hour, the following happened:

In Ian Fleming’s 1959 novel, Goldfinger, the title character makes the following statement:

Goldfinger said, ‘Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action.”‘

Mr Fleming was a wise man.

We’re supposed to believe those three events are unrelated? We’re supposed to believe that both ESPN and SI.com both decided, out of the blue, to release articles of similar slant within an hour of each other on the same day – two days before the Patriots open the season against the Steelers?

OK.

A few thoughts from me.

90 sources. All anonymous? How does that equal a shred of credibility?

With all of these allegations, ESPN couldn’t be bothered to check in with their own reporter who has covered the team on a daily basis since 1997?

Hey Mike, do you have any thoughts on these scandalous allegations we’re about to run with about the team you cover?

They had no problem attributing to Mike Reiss that Tom Brady “apologized” for deflategate.

https://twitter.com/barstoolsports/status/641331702816743424/photo/1

I posted this yesterday – I can’t take credit for it though, it was BSMW member Dan Snapp who tracked this down – but one of the authors of the ESPN piece directly contradicted something he said in December.

That’s quite a different shift. So did Goodell preside over a closed-door meeting where all owners decided to destroy the tapes, or did Goodell conspire with Kraft and Belichick to destroy the tapes?

Van Natta wouldn’t come on WEEI to talk:

But he’s been making the rounds of ESPN Radio shows.

Another point from BSMW member Greg Doyle (Not to be confused with Gregg Doyel):

I was intrigued by this line of the ESPN thing

In 2005, for instance, they signed a defensive player from a team they were going to play in the upcoming season. Before that game, the player was led to a room where Adams was waiting. They closed the door, and Adams played a compilation tape that matched the signals to the plays from the player’s former team, and asked how many were accurate. “He had about 50 percent of them right,” the player says now.

I looked over all their transactions prior to that season in the media guide from that year. The only two potential signings that could have any relevance are Monty Beisel and Chad Scott. They also signed Chad Brown but they weren’t going to play Seattle in 2005 and he had been with them in 2004. Beisel was with Kansas City in 2004. The Pats played them in 2005. The DC was Gunther Cunningham. Scott had been with Pittsburgh. Their DC was of course Dick LeBeau who supposedly the Pats knew well. I went to that game out in KC in 2005. The Pats got stomped and did little on offense, so if it was Beisel he was about as helpful doing this as he was on defense.

ProFootballTalk has debunked two more of the allegations from Tuesday.

Martz’s 2008 statement hasn’t changed

SI.com story on Pats has compelling, but inaccurate, anecdote.

Looking at some of the other information, specifically the notes from the late Arlen Specter, at one point he connects John Tomase to MW (Matt Walsh) in September of 2007.

specter-tomase

 

It would seem that Matt Walsh was likely Tomase’s source, the note above mentions the team picture, that MW had taken tapes of walk through. This was from Tomase’s story:

According to a source close to the team during the 2001 season, here’s what happened. On Feb. 2, 2002, one day before the Patriots’ Super Bowl game against heavily favored St. Louis in New Orleans, the Patriots visited the Superdome for their final walkthrough.

After completing the walkthrough, they had their team picture taken and the Rams then took the field. According to the source, a member of the team’s video staff stayed behind after attending the team’s walkthrough and filmed St. Louis’ walkthrough.

At no point was he asked to identify himself or produce a press pass, the source said. The cameraman rode the media shuttle back to the hotel with news photographers when the Rams walkthrough was completed, the source said.

It was suspected that Walsh was Tomase’s source, this adds to that.

Finally, let’s not forget: THE SPORTS DRINKS WERE TOO WARM!!!

ANTI-PATRIOTS PARANOIA REACHES NEW HEIGHTS – Jerry Thornton has more on the silliness.

But you Patriots fanboys are the ones with the agenda!

Highlights From The 2015 New England Sports Survey By Channel Media & Market Research, Inc

Channel Media & Market Research, Inc has released their now-annual survey regarding Boston sports. More than 14,200 people participated in the survey.

In addition to questions about each of the local professional sports franchises, there is also a media section.

Guess which is the first entry in that section?

orsillo

 

A few others from the media section:
obrien

So at least NESN is replacing the most popular TV announcer with the most popular radio announcer. The next slide is where I begin to lose faith in my fellow man.

mazz

From the top two names in that list, you can probably guess the next slide.

radio

Now we’re onto the writing portion.

reiss

I’m heartened to see no Shaughnessy on the list. And good for Chad Finn.

Elsewhere:

Favorite Local TV Sports Personality

Both Tom Caron and Mike Felger received 20%.

Favorite Local TV Sports Reporter

Steve Burton won this with 22%

Favorite Local TV Sports Show

Sports Tonight (CSNNE) won with 23%

The Felger and Mazz Simulcast was second with 16%

Favorite Local TV Pre/Post Game Show

Patriots 5th Quarter at 27%

Red Sox Extra Innings 24%

 

Monday Media Notes

There are a few items of interest from the Boston sports media world from the last couple of days.

First, Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner spoke to Steve Buckley about why they made the decision to replace Don Orsillo with Dave O’Brien.

Tom Werner explains why NESN is parting with Don Orsillo – Steve Buckley

In a nutshell, they like O’Brien better and he was available, so they made the move. Werner told Buckley that they want to “re-energize” the telecasts, and said that O’Brien is “well known for bringing out the nuances of baseball strategy, sharing insights about players…”

I thought the NESN telecasts were supposed to be about entertainment? At least that has always been the perception, that baseball was at times secondary to the broadcast. It seemed accepted that Orsillo was doing what he was asked to do. Now, they’re saying he didn’t talk enough about the nuances of baseball strategy?

Weird.

Richard Deitsch of SI.com writes about the move as well (with links to other articles) in The Noise Report.

I certainly don’t like how the move was handled, but the hand-wringing by other media over Orsillo has been a bit much. I like Don Orsillo, everyone says he’s a great guy, one of the best, but like most things, this type of thing happens every day in corporate America. If the Red Sox want to change broadcasters, it’s their prerogative, life goes on.

It’s funny, when Orsillo was named the full-time broadcaster, there was similar hand-wringing over how Sean McDonough was getting screwed over.

It’s the circle of life in media jobs, and indeed, in real life. Don Orsillo will get another, probably better, job.

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

Over the weekend, the Boston Globe decided to look at all the apologies that ESPN has been issuing as of late. Great. It’s a worthy topic, given that the network seems to have abandoned its ombudsman position.

For ESPN, apologies become commonplace – Callum Borchers

Notice anything missing? Only any reference to the apology issued the week before to the Patriots.

That’s kind of mind-blowing.

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

Ron Borges, of all people was probably the first to report that Glenn Ordway was going to be taking over the WEEI mid-day show (I’d post his tweet here, but since he’s probably already blocked 3/4 of my readers, most of you wouldn’t be able to see it.).

The station made it official, adding Ordway to the 10-2 show alongside Christian Fauria and Lou Merloni. He returns on September 8th.

Glenn Ordway to join WEEI’s midday show – Chad Finn, who also has a similar, but slightly different piece for Boston.com.

I believe the show will eventually reclaim the ratings win in the mid-day time slot. I just can’t get into Marc Bertrand with Scott Zolak, they just don’t click for me. While it is likely disappointing to some that the station is returning to an old voice, Ordway could be the perfect fit to work with two former players in Merloni and Fauria. I think he’ll bring out the best in them.

As for Gary Tanguay, he shouldn’t feel too bad about getting passed over. It’s just another job he doesn’t have to worry about being fired from.

The Monday Morning Quarterback Needs To Be Benched

When we think of media outlets doing the NFL’s dirty work, we’ve come to think of ESPN. Rightfully so. The leak to Chris Mortensen and Gerry Austin as well as their consistent false statements on the Patriots really cement that fact. ESPN has seen Disney stock drop, and with more and more people cutting the cord, their subscribers fees to cable companies, already the highest in the industry, are not going to continue. They need to cozy up to the NFL to keep their hope alive of being able to retain their partner status with the NFL.

So besides access, what is the excuse for Peter King and his little web startup, Monday Morning QB?

King was called out by Ben Volin (That guy again?) this weekend for the fact that he also parroted the “11 of 12 footballs…” leak.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen gets a lot of heat for overstating the deflation problem in his Jan. 21 story, but he wasn’t the only one getting bad information from the NFL office. Sports Illustrated’s Peter Kingwrote on Jan. 23 that he was “told reliably that . . . either 11 or 12 of New England’s footballs . . . (I hear it could have been all 12) had at least two pounds less pressure in them. All 12 Indianapolis footballs were at the prescribed level. All 24 footballs were checked by pressure gauge after the game. All 24 checked at the correct pressure.”

King responded in his column today:

I think you’re owed an explanation from me, in the wake of Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writing Sunday that it wasn’t just Chris Mortensen who got a bum steer from someone in the NFL about the deflated footballs in the AFC title game. Volin said it was me, too. I reported after Mortensen’s story that 11 of the 12 footballs were at least two pounds under the minimum limit of 12.5 pounds per square inch when tested by the league at halftime. I reported that I’d heard “reliably” that the story of the footballs being at least two pounds under the minimum limit was correct. As I said on Twitter on Sunday, I believe the person who told me this believed the story was accurate when, obviously, it clearly was not. So, were we used by someone to get a storyline out in public? Maybe … but the reason I’m skeptical about this is because with the knowledge that there would be a full investigation and clearly the air pressure in the footballs would be publicized at some point, the league would look stupid for putting out false information that would eventually come back to embarrass the league. Clearly, this story, along with the Ray Rice story from last fall, has made me question sources and sourcing in general, and in a story as inflammatory as this one, you can’t just take the story of a person whose word you trust as gospel. It’s my error. I need to be better than that. Readers, and the Patriots, deserve better than that.

Remember what he said at the time with the Ray Rice case? Remember that famously inappropriate line in that statement? No one from the league has ever knocked down my report to me,

But the rest of that statement. Does it sound at all familiar?

Who said these lines:

No one forced me to write that story, and it’s important to note I do not believe I was ever lied to. I believe my sources intended to provide accurate information, and it was incumbent on me to vet it more fully.

The Patriots deserved more time to investigate and respond.

I’m confident it will make me a better reporter.

I truly believe it’s a privilege to serve as a link between the fans and their team.

On Feb. 2, I let you all down. Today I hope to begin the long road back.

Oh, that’s none other than John Tomase when being forced to apologize to the Patriots.

Has any franchise every had more media outlets forced to apologize for things they’ve written or said about it?

King is lazy. He has twice now in the past year has been lied to by his sources because they know he won’t verify what they tell him.

It’s time for this Monday Morning Quarterback to hit the bench.

Oh, there’s one more thing. This Cris Carter bit. This is what King wrote about it today:

• You are kidding me, Cris Carter—and you are kidding me, NFL. My first reaction to the story of Carter telling NFL rookies at the 2014 Rookie Symposium that they have to find a “fall guy” in a player’s “crew” who will take the blame when the player commits a crime: My jaw dropped. My second reaction mirrored 12-year veteran Osi Umenyiora.

Precisely. Carter apologized, and though the NFL tried to distance itself from Carter’s idiotic remarks, how could the league have placed the offending video of his talk on NFL.com until yanking it Sunday? This is so offensive it boggles the mind that some person with the NFL would say, Let’s show the world this great advice about obstructing justice from a Hall of Fame hero to impressionable rookies. Also: How could NFL VP Troy Vincent, who is in charge of the symposium, have allowed Carter to spew such venom? Carter, by the way, was in his yellow Pro Football Hall of Fame blazer. In all ways, this is the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum that I’ve seen in years.

Apparently this weekend was the first time that King heard about this, and that when he heard it, his jaw dropped. He describes this as so offensive it boggles the mind and the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum.

He never heard about this.

You, know it’s funny. King protege, the notorious Robert Klemko, whom he apparently loves like a son, attended that Rookie symposium, and wrote about it, including a very detailed bit about the session hosted by Carter and Warren Sapp.

Except he didn’t mention the part where Carter talked about having a “fall guy.”

So let’s get this right, A Hall of Fame player says something that makes a reporter’s “jaw drop.” It is described as so offensive it boggles the mind and the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum – but Klemko didn’t feel it worthy of being mentioned?

Sounds legit.

UPDATE – Klemko: Why I didn’t report Cris Carter’s “fall guy” comments in 2014

So, Klemko cooperates with the NFL and leaves that out of his story, but he doesn’t tell his boss? I’m not sure which is worse, the above scenario or this one.