Update on Worst Boston Sports Column Voting

After 500 votes, the Ron Borges draft column from 2001 is the leader in the clubhouse for worst Boston sports column in recent memory.

Borges’ mocking the Patriots drafting of Richard Seymour and Matt Light over such NFL luminaries such as Koren Robinson and Robert Ferguson currently has 29% of the vote.

Three other columns are in a hotly contested race for second place:

Bob Halloran’s attack on the coach of an autistic child.

Dan Shaughnessy’s “I created the Curse, I say when it is over” column from October 2004. 

Gerry Callahan’s “Manny hates kids with cancer” column from last summer.

Each entry has about 10% of the vote at the moment.

As for the AX MEN giveaway from the original post, I am awaiting receipt of the prize from the marketing company, as soon as I receive it, I will notify the winner and post it here.

Advertisements

Bruins Ruin Glen Wesley Night in Raleigh

It was Glen Wesley night in Raleigh, as the Hurricanes honored the former Carolina (and Bruins) defenseman for his many years of on-ice service to the organization. The Bruins then went out beat the ‘Canes, 5-1 behind three goals late in the third period, including one from Patrice Bergeron, who is finally showing some signs of life out on the ice.

Kevin Paul Dupont has the details. Steve Conroy has the Bruins bouncing back to pick up their 40th win of the season. Joe Haggerty has the Bruins picking up the late momentum for the win.

Mick Colageo has a look at Wesley’s time in Boston, as well as what the Bruins ending up getting for him when he left.

Dupont’s notebook looks at the ceremony for Wesley, of which the Bruins were a big part. Conroy’s notebook has more on Bergeron finally breaking through.

Red Sox

Maureen Mullen has Jon Lester ready to step up his game even more this season. Joe McDonald has more on Lester looking to expand his role this year.  Steve Buckley says that Mike Lowell should know that baseball is a business, and shouldn’t be disappointed in the Red Sox for going after Mark Teixeira. Amalie Benjamin has David Ortiz hoping that the Red Sox have enough pop in their lineup this season. Rob Bradford examines how Dustin Pedroia stayed motivated this offseason.

Sean McAdam says that it is likely that Julio Lugo is going to be your starting shortstop to open the season. Alex Speier has more on the shortstop competition. McDonald has the Sox holding Rocco Baldelli out of the shuttle run yesterday. Buckley also has Lowell aiming to be ready for the start of season in April. McAdam has Takashi Saito seeking permission from Manny Ramirez before taking #24 from the Red Sox. McDonald has a quick bit on Mark Kotsay and his back surgery.

John Molori examines how the Boston media treated Manny Ramirez during his time with the Red Sox.

McAdam’s notebook has a report on Mark Kotsay’s back surgery. Benjamin’s notebook has more on Kotsay. Speier’s notebook has a look at the conditioning drills yesterday.

A-Rod/Steroids

Nick Cafardo and Dan Shaughnessy look at A-Rod’s confession from yesterday. Dan Lamothe picks apart A-Rod’s statement. Ron Borges examines the difference in how steroid use is viewed in baseball and in football.

I’m curious though, what Borges means by this statement:

Football is different from baseball and these days no one is happier about that than guys like Larry Izzo, Rodney Harrison and Tom Brady.

(Emphasis mine) We know what the Izzo and Harrison references are for, but is he implying that he has knowledge that Tom Brady has taken steroids or HGH (perhaps during his recovery)? If so, that’s a pretty casual way to drop something that would be a mega-bombshell. Or does he mean that the NFL allows him to use substances in his recovery that MLB would not? If he means something else, why not say so? Or is Brady merely guilty by association?

(Update – see comment section below for likely explanation.)

Celtics

The Celtics lost a pair of reserve guards yesterday as Sam Cassell was traded to the Sacramento Kings (briefly causing panic on Patriots message boards when they saw the headline “Cassell traded for conditional second pick.”) and Tony Allen was lost until the playoffs because he needs surgery on his thumb.

Steve Bulpett looks why the Celtics made the Cassell move. Frank Dell’Apa and Marc J. Spears also look at the trade and the injury and what it means for the Celtics roster. Jeff Goodman says that the Celtics will likely not make a trade prior to tomorrow’s trade deadline. Scott Souza also looks at the events from yesterday.

Jeremy Gottlieb on the BSMW Full Court Press has an All Star Break report card for the Celtics. Jeff Howe has three keys to the second half for the Celtics. Patrick Gilroy has the Celtics prepping for the stretch run.

Bulpett’s notebook has more on the Celtics roster depth after the loss of Allen.

Patriots

Karen Guregian wonders if the Patriots might go with a linebacker again in the first round of the draft this year. Mike Reiss and Guregian have the Patriots cutting a pair of reserves yesterday, perhaps to save some cap space.

Borges Blasts Globe, Defends Walsh.

In an effort to bring you a “fair and balanced” perspective to the Matt Walsh story in yesterday’s Globe, I present to you a link to Ron Borges’ rebuttal piece posted on ronborges.com.

I bring you this link if only because it’s fun to:

1) See Ronnie bash the Globe.

and

2) See Ronnie defend Matt Walsh – the roommate would never have discovered that Walsh left knives in his bed if he wasn’t using the bed in the first place…by that logic, Walsh could’ve set the bed on fire and it would be roommate’s fault for being in it.

Good times.

I do agree with Ron on one point: Roger Goodell has just done a horrible job managing this situation from start to finish and is one of the main reasons the story just won’t go away. The NFL looks more and more ridiculous everytime the Commissioner opens his mouth as of late.

———–
Old friend Albert Breer tipped me off to this story down in Dallas, which could be setting an interesting precedent in sports media and blogging.

Apparently the Mavericks and Mark Cuban have banned writers from the locker room whose “primary purpose is to blog.” This includes writers from the local newspapers.

So far, this new edict has only impacted one writer, Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News, who just happened to have been critical of coach Avery Johnson recently.

Cuban, on his blog, Blog Maverick explains that the new policy is simply due to the lack of space in the Mavericks’ locker room, and in the effort of granting equal access to all bloggers.

Right.

Ron Borges “Retires” From Globe

Wow. So I’m out at an anniversary party last night that some of my friends threw for my wife and I, completely shut out from the broadcast outlets, and I miss the news that Ron Borges has suddenly decided to “retire” from the Boston Globe.

Since when is Borges the retiring type?

This whole thing smells and certainly makes the Boston Globe look even worse.

Boston Magazine Illustration by Tim Tomkinson.

The early Friday night release of the news is an old trick…get the news out there quietly and let it simmer down over the weekend, the absence of any quotes from the publisher or editor of the paper (beyond sports editor Joe Sullivan), plus the suddenness of the decision, with Borges having written just one article (A Raiders-eye view of Randy Moss) since his return from his plagiarism-induced two month suspension.

When on with Michael Felger on 890 ESPN Boston, Borges made reference to an upcoming hearing with the newspaper guild, and several snide references about the truth being told at that time. Was Borges either so disgusted with how the Globe handled things that he walked out, or was he becoming aware that the exoneration that he was anticipating was not going to play out as he had planned?

In any event, this is a loss in the short term for the Boston Globe. Despite his ridiculous anti-Patriots/Belichick bias, Borges was still a well-connected and capable NFL writer. (When he wasn’t lifting passages from Seattle beat writers, that is.) The Globe has some shuffling to do. However, in the long run, they could be better off for it.

I’m confident however, that Boston and Patriots fans have not seen and heard the last of Borges. This move actually gives him more freedom to appear on outlets around town. Glenn Ordway has long said that he would love to have Borges on the Big Show during football season, and unless Borges decides to stick with Felger out of loyalty to a guy who gave him a weekly radio slot for the last year or so, a move to WEEI seems logical.

He will also find an outlet for his writing. While it is possible that he might decide to just stick with boxing and even get into the business side of that sport, he will likely find many websites and print outlets out there that are willing to overlook his transgressions and give him a forum to write on football.

Related Links

All Along the Watchtower – Cold Hard Football Facts.

Borges Leaves After Plagiarism Scandal – Jessica Heslam, Boston Herald

Dan Kennedy offers up his thoughts on the Ron Borges “retirement.”

David Scott continues the BSMW coverage on Borges with another piece on the “retirement” today.

Scott also parses the Globe press release from Friday night that announced Ron Borges’ “retirement” from the paper.

Controversial Sports Writer Retires From Globe – The Boston Channel.

John Gonzalez November 2006 Boston Magazine feature on Borges.

Wikipedia entry on Borges.

Ron Borges Retires From Boston Globe (AOL Sports)

Both A Disappointment And An Inspiration (Bob George)

Media Reaction on Borges

Media reaction to the Ron Borges suspension for plagiarism (the full impact of that phrase still hasn’t really hit me yet) has been varied.

Some like Butch Stearns on FOX25 last night, feel that Borges did not plagiarize the article from Tacoma. Stearns claimed that he read both columns and while admitting that there was some of the same information, he didn’t think it was plagiarism. I’m with Jessica Heslam on this one. Give me a break, Butch.

Dennis & Callahan this morning were pretty good in addressing the subject. Gerry Callahan noted that plagiarism is taken much more seriously within the industry than it is in the public realm. He said that the people who work with Borges will never view him the same.

Glenn Ordway yesterday afternoon, before the suspension was announced, talked about how he enjoys Borges’ contrarian stance on things. He says Borges has a clear agenda against Bill Belichick and the Patriots. He said that every Monday we know what Borges is going to write and what his stance is going to be.

My question to that is, how is that considered good journalism?

Others, like Dale Arnold say that they always would look forward to seeing how Borges could turn a positive into a negative. He found it amusing and entertaining.

While it might be somewhat intriguing to see how Borges could possibly twist things regardless of the situation…again, how is that considered good journalism.

Keep in mind that Borges is a reporter…not a columnist.

A few old and new Borges links:

Borges Suspension Followups

As posted here last night, the Globe suspended sportswriter Ron Borges for two months without pay last night after looking into allegations that he had plagiarized part of the Globe Sunday Football Notes column this past weekend.

Michael Paulson has the story in the Globe, and Jessica Heslam reports in the Herald.

Dan Kennedy weighs in on the situation on his blog, and wonders if Borges might end up quitting over this. He also says it is time to reword and clarify the disclaimer that appears in the Notes columns.

David Scott says Borges got off easy with this one.

Dan Lamothe says Borges makes journalists look bad (again) with this incident and should’ve received more than a slap on the wrist.

On Pro Football Talk, (scroll down to 8:48pm last night) it is suggested that Borges could lose his spot on the NFL Hall of Fame selection committee.

————————————–
Red Sox

Jon Lester took to the mound to take part in a game for the first time this spring yesterday, and did quite well for himself, only needing eight pitches to get through an inning of a “B” squad game against the Twins. Nick Cafardo has the story in the Globe. Steve Buckley looks at things starting to return to normal for Lester after a winter of cancer treatments. Sean McAdam has Lester taking a first step in the right direction yesterday. Jon Couture says that through the results were good, they hardly matter in the big picture. Jeff Goldberg has more on Lester settling back into baseball life.

Bob Ryan has a look at Dodger manager Grady Little, who is happy in Los Angeles after having gotten a second chance at managing. Michael Silverman has J.D. Drew lamenting the way things went down in his departure from the Dodgers.

Buckley has Josh Beckett working on using his breaking ball more, while avoiding the blisters that have plagued him in the past. Joe Haggerty has Jonathan Papelbon ready for his new/old role as a starter. Bill Reynolds remembers one of the boys of summer who recently passed, former Dodger Clem Labine. David Sandora talks to Johnny Damon about life in New York.

Cafardo’s notebook has the Sox feeling that they’ve figured out the cause of Josh Beckett’s blister problem, and has Nomar Garciaparra greeting old friends. Silverman’s notebook have the Red Sox and Dice-K trying to settle into a routine, and more from Nomar. Couture’s notebook has more on the Sox getting to the source of Beckett’s blister woes.

Patriots

Mike Reiss notes that while some may feel that the Patriots actions the last few days are out of character, in reality it is all business as usual for the franchise.

Michael Felger reports on the Patriots bringing in receiver Wes Welker via trade, and having another receiver, Donte Stallworth come in for a visit. Albert Breer says that the pursuit of Welker, along with the courting of Stallworth shows that the Patriots won’t be caught unprepared should Troy Brown call it a career. Shalise Manza Young also looks at the trade for Welker, which cost the Patriots two draft picks, a second and seventh round selection. Alan Greenberg also reports on the Patriots “relentless” pursuit of Welker.

Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots deciding to treat themselves in the first days of free agency. Reiss’ notebook has more on the trade for Welker and has a few other Patriots notes.

Gerry Callahan says that the Patriots would be crazy NOT to consider adding a talent like Randy Moss to the roster. He says Belichick is interested in Moss, basing that on John Tomase’s report in the Herald yesterday. But a quote in an ESPN story yesterday warned about accepting such reports as face value:

Said the source: “I’d be very cautious about how I treat second- or third-hand information about what’s going on in the mind of Belichick when it comes to this stuff. Unless you’re hearing it directly [from Belichick], you’re taking a big leap. It happens every year with the Patriots, about free agency and draft plans, a lot of agendas and speculation that rarely end up happening.”

Celtics

Peter May says that the recent four game winning streak has put the lottery talk out of the minds of the Celtics. Steve Bulpett also says that the Celtics have forgotten about the draft pick and just gone about playing ball.

Bruins

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins putting things together and making a push for the playoffs at just the right time. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins do believe that they have a shot at getting into the playoffs and making a little noise.

Borges Suspended For Two Months

Michael Paulson on Boston.com reports that the Boston Globe has suspended sportswriter Ron Borges for two months without pay for plagiarism.

The Globe’s editor, Martin Baron, said Borges had included in his ‘‘Football notes’’ column last Sunday material written by a reporter for the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash.

“‘The Globe does not tolerate plagiarism,”’ Baron said in a statement. “Extensive passages written by the Tacoma reporter were used verbatim in the column by Borges, and that is prohibited.”

According to the article, Borges is also barred from broadcast appearances over the next two months.

————————————-

While Cold Hard Football Facts has been leading the charge on this, and really gone a long way in getting this story out there, it appears the issue was first noted in this ESPN.com messageboard post by a Seattle fan and trickled out from there to various other boards and websites.