Weekend Watch – Red Sox Sign Off for 2006

Baseball season comes to a close in New England this weekend, and for the first time since 2002, the Red Sox won’t be participating in the playoffs. The Orioles are in town to finish off the year at Fenway Park, and this could be good-bye for several familiar faces and voices.

Jerry Trupiano’s contract is up after the season (Feb 1st, actually) and there have been no discussions between the sides on a new contract. Trot Nixon’s Red Sox career also could be finished Sunday afternoon as the long time outfielder is set to hit free agency this fall. The Red Sox are expected to try and trade Manny Ramirez once again, and as much as I enjoy watching Manny, a part of me hopes he gets out of town. I don’t know if I can take another season of incessant Manny talk on the airwaves. Time to break in a new whipping boy. Will Red Sox fans get to see more of Alex Gonzalez’s glove wizardry with the Red Sox, or was it a one-year act? Will Mike Timlin return to notch his 1000th career big league appearance as a member of the Red Sox, or will it be elsewhere. What is the future of Keith Foulke? This is just scratching the surface of many questions facing the Red Sox in what figures to be an eventful offseason for the franchise.

Keep up with the weekend action on the Red Sox Daily Links page.

The Patriots face another tough test this weekend. They’re on the road in Cincinnati against the high powered Bengals. On the Patriots Game Day page, I’ve got this down as a loss, but this morning a reader suggested that this could be like the Rams game in November 2004. You remember that one. The Patriots had been beaten badly by the Steelers the week before and came into the game wounded and shorthanded, seemingly in a bit of disarray. The secondary was missing several key players, and yet the Patriots won that game 40-22 against the high scoring Rams. The offense is going to have to show improvement this week to be able to put up the points needed to beat the Bengals, but the comparison to this game is intriguing.

The game can be seen locally on CBS4 at 4:15 Sunday Afternoon. You can listen to the game on the WBCN Patriots Rock Radio Network. The Patriots game follows the Jets/Colts game which can also be seen on CBS4 at 1:00. Patriots 5th Quarter will be shown on TV38 immediately following the Patriots game. FOX25 will show Dallas/Tennessee at 1:00. 7NBC has Seahawks/Bears at 8:15 on Sunday night.

Here’s the maps for the rest of the country. CBS Game 1 and CBS Game 2 and the FOX Single Game. It’s always interesting to look at the maps and try to figure out why a game is being shown in a particular market.

For your Patriots articles and coverage this weekend, look no further than the Patriots Daily Links page. For out of town coverage, check the following:

Cincinnati Post

Cincinnati Enquirer

Bengals.com

Bengals Zone

When channel 56 was absorbed by WHDH, the Patriots Football Weekly show was left without a home. It appeared that we’d go without seeing the crew on television this season, but NECN stepped to the plate and will air the program on Tuesdays at 11:00 PM. Chris Collins will be the host.

To plan your college football viewing options for tomorrow, check out the full college football schedule.

Sports Media Guide is a simple website with ties to the The Sports Institute at Boston University, and features a number of interviews with various writers and media professionals. One of their most recent interview subjects was Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, who talked about what he does and how his site got started. (Ron Borges was prominently involved.)

Here’s your weekly sports media column roundup:

New England

David Scott follows up with Red Sox announcer Jerry Trupiano’s agent, Brad Blank who says that they still have not heard anything from the Red Sox. He also has a Jerome Solomon update and many other items. Susan Bickelhaupt has more from Trupiano, who is a bit peeved that he’s reading about his future in the gossip column. John Molori’s Media Blitz had a look at things over at 7NBC. Jeff Jacobs had a column this morning looking at the state of journalism and how the profession is coming under attack. Bill Doyle looks at Worcester native Stephen Iandoli who has come home and is doing part-time freelance work for NECN.

New York

Phil Mushnick goes over ESPN’s Monday Night coverage in New Orleans, wondering if the network was sincere in their coverage of the city’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina, of if it was just another attention grab by ESPN/ABC/Disney. Richard Sandomir examines how ABC has replaced Monday Night Football with Saturday Night Football. Earlier in the week, Sandomir had also delivered a report on ESPN’s New Orleans coverage on Monday Night. Neil Best chats with new Islanders voice Billy Jaffe, and looks at NFL ratings not breaking any records in New York thus far. Bob Raissman looks at FOX announcers calling out Giants GM Ernie Accorsi during the game in Seattle last Sunday. Andrew Marchand reports that TBS is talking to Cal Ripken Jr about joining its expanded baseball coverage next season. Jane McManus looks at Joe Micheletti, who has the tough job of replacing John Davidson in the Rangers broadcast booth after Davidson, who had been teamed with Sam Rosen for 20 years, left this summer to become President of the St Louis Blues.

Mid-Atlantic

Michael McCarthy says that media and fans went completely overboard on T.O. coverage this week. Aaron Bracy thinks that this event is one where the media was much more interested than the general public. Chris Zelkovich looks at CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean refereeing the second period of a preseason game as part of a feature. MacLean has been very critical of the league’s officiating in the past. Laura Nachman has Mike Tirico looking forward to coming to Philadelphia to call the Eagles/Packers game. Michael Hiestand says that the Yankees will once again dominate the postseason TV schedule. Jim Williams looks at the Orioles taking a risk with their own regional sports network – the Mid Atlantic Sports Network. A couple of interesting articles from Slate this week, David Roth has The Secret Lives of Baseball Card Writers. Bryan Curtis takes a critical look at Mitch Albom.

South

Jim Sarni reports that there may not be any national coverage of Baseball on Sunday, despite there still being playoff spots up in the air. ESPN has their final regular season game tonight, and say they don’t have rights to air any games on Sunday. He also has Phil Simms talking about Jeremy Shockey and his dealings with the media. Barry Jackson says Monday Night Football needs work, Tony Kornheiser in particular. He also reports that the December 10th game between the Dolphins and Patriots, currently scheduled for 1:00 PM has been placed by the league “as its NBC Sunday night ”place-holder” game. The NFL has the right to replace that game on NBC’s schedule — moving it to CBS for a 1 or 4:15 p. m. kickoff — 12 days in advance.” Dave Darling looks at the NHL season getting ready to start, and talks to Lightning announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick. Barry Horn has a quirk blurb about the T.O. media frenzy. David Barron has Tim McCarver talking about the Astros amazing comeback in the National League Central race.

Midwest

Bob Wolfley has more on Tirico, who is proud about what ESPN did on Monday night in telling the story of New Orleans. Ed Sherman has a look at Al Michaels and the other former ABC staffers feeling welcome in their new home over at NBC. He also has a quick mention of the book Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas as a recommended read. Jeffrey Flanagan reports on former Chief Jayice Pearson being tapped to call this Sunday’s Chiefs/49ers game alongside Chris Myers on FOX this weekend.

West Coast

Larry Stewart has one of the best examinations of the Terrell Owens coverage today as he says that objectivity was lost for many during the coverage of the story, and ESPN had people not accustomed to being news reporters working the story, which caused some to step over the journalistic line. Michael Lev says that the coverage showed the fluidity of the electronic media, and that on-the-fly reporting isn’t always responsible. Stewart also looks at Kings announcer Bob Miller getting a star on the Hollwood Walk of Fame. Tom Hoffarth has a more detailed look at the honor for Miller. Joe Davidson has a look at the new BETJ reality series starring Doug and Jackie Christie. Jay Posner looks at Padres announcers with expiring contracts, who say they’re not worried about the future. John Maffei tries to figure out when the Padres will play should they win the division. He speculates on what the schedules of ESPN and FOX will look like this week. Jim Carlisle recaps Baseball Tonight‘s analysis about the Dodgers’ Wild Card hopes this weekend. Carlisle also has some notes on high school football numbers on ESPN and other ratings numbers.

Trash Talk is in the Air

It’s Friday, which means Roundtable day over at the Patriots Game Day page. Dare I say things are a little testy around there these days. All it took was one loss, apparently.

John Tomase says that Corey Dillon will have some fire within him as he returns to Cincinnati for the first time in the regular season as a member of the opposition. Mike Reiss has a look at Otis Smith, who has continued his Patriots career as a member of the coaching staff. Joe McDonald has Rodney Harrison rising to answer the playful trash talk of Chad Johnson. Tony Massarotti has a rather weak column this morning on Bill Belichick and the fact that he might not have given himself enough to win with this season. I say weak not because the article is mildly critical of the Patriots coach, but because it doesn’t contain any strong arguments for the case he’s trying to present. He seems to waffle his way through it at times. Chris Kennedy has Tom Brady translating his body language for the media.

Michael Parente notes that the Bengal’s ball hawking defense will also provide a test for the Patriots. Hector Longo has Stephen Gostkowski remaining confident despite his early struggles. David Brown has more on the talk between Johnson and the Patriots. Eric McHugh has Tom Brady urging the media to move on from analyzing his body language. Christopher Price has a look at the knee injuries of Rodney Harrison and Carson Palmer. Massarotti looks at Rodney Harrison and Carson Palmer each returning from devastating knee injuries to start the season on their team’s active roster.

Alan Greenberg compares Chad Johnson to a young Muhammad Ali in his ability to good naturedly trash talk his opponents and then whip them on the playing field. Albert Breer notes that if the Patriots attempt to blitz Carson Palmer and the Bengals repeatedly on Sunday, they could end up getting burned. Peter May examines the off-field troubles of many of the Cincinnati Bengals. Jennifer Toland examines Palmer’s return from the knee injury suffered in the playoff game last winter.

Bob Ryan weighs in on the whole Terrell Owens story, and offers that no matter what we might think, we really don’t know the guy.

Reiss’ notebook has Belichick and Harrison returning some playful trash talk in the direction of Chad Johnson. Tomase’s notebook has more on the barbs being hurled between to two sides. McDonald’s notebook focuses on Belichick’s answers for Johnson. Toland’s notebook features more of the Chad Johnson show. Parente’s notebook has still more on this topic. McHugh’s notebook has a look at Dillon’s return to Cincinnati.

Jim Lazar opens his weekend Bet Box by predicting a Bengals win over the Patriots. Jim McCabe offers his picks for the weekend in the Globe. I.M. Bettor lets you know what’s bouncing around in his head for this weekend as well. Double D also has his pro picks.

Michael Salfino offers some Buy Hold and Sell advice for fantasy football. The Globe offers you who’s hot and who’s not in terms of Fantasy. You can also check their Fantasy Hub on Boston.com for more advice. Josh Bousquet also offers up some advice for those involved in fantasy leagues.

Nick Cafardo has a mini-feature on Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, who is frequently compared to David Ortiz, with good reason.

Michael Silverman has Alex Gonzalez hoping to be rewarded with a Gold Glove for his play at shortstop this season. Amalie Benjamin has Trot Nixon reflecting on his time here in Boston, which might come to an end this weekend. Jeff Goldberg has more from Nixon. Alex Speier also has a look at Nixon, the original “dirt dog”.

Steve Buckley has Carlos Pena remaining positive despite not seeing the field all that much this month. Steven Krasner has Mark Loretta acknowledging that this season hasn’t quite worked out as he had planned. Rob Bradford says that Josh Beckett is done learning on the job for the Red Sox. Kevin Henkin says that David Ortiz will be OK without Manny Ramirez. Silverman’s notebook has a sneak peek at some highlights of the 2007 schedule.

Scott Van Voorhis reports that the Red Sox may sell naming rights to the season next year.

David Scott follows up with Jerry Trupiano’s agent, Brad Blank who says that they still have not heard anything from the Red Sox. He also has a Jerome Solomon update and many other items. Susan Bickelhaupt has more from Trupiano, who is a bit peeved that he’s reading about his future in the gossip column.

Jeff Jacobs weighs in on the state of journalism. Lenny Megliola offers up a thoughts column.

Stephen Harris has Bruins defenseman Jason York talking about his time in Switzerland last season. Bud Barth says that Peter Kalus won’t have to be sent back to his Junior team in Canada if he doesn’t make the Bruins final roster. Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins sweating it out at practice after a poor performance against the Rangers. Harris’ notebook has Wayne Primeau continuing to play through the pain in his surgically repaired hip.

Check back later for a weekend preview…

BSMW-Roundup

With time an issue this morning, here’s a few columns from the BSMW archives that I thought would be worth reviewing if you missed them the first time around.

Things that have ruined sports coverage in Boston for me – This is an entry from last October where I listed out the top 14 things in the media that have really ruined by enjoyment of sports.

Bill Belichick and the New England Media – A column from April 2005 looking at the relationship that the Patriots coach has with the media around here, and why things are the way they are.

The Tangled Web of the New York Times Co and the Boston Red Sox – A look at how the NYT Co values their investment in the Red Sox as evidenced by their financial statements and what their influence on the team is.

The Story Behind BSMW – Self explanatory.

What I’ve learned since starting BSMW – Sports media people are thin skinned? Sports radio is faked?

If BSMW was Full Time – What would I do with the site if it was my full-time job? I took a day to brainstorm some ideas on this topic.