By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch


Following a sports Sad-urday that saw the Celtics, Red Sox and, arguably the Patriots all lose in varying degrees of seriousness, the sinking Boston Globe Sports section continued its own downward spiral on Sunday with an unlucky Page C13 that must’ve been edited by Ray Charles.

A column titled, “Familiar tune for team,” made it into the one-star Sunday edition without any byline at all. It was, we had to assume, ghost-written. Perusal of the Globe website indicates the Bruce Springsteen-related column (which would have been fine as just a brief note) was penned by outgoing columnist Peter May. That’s a fine g’bye to a loyal servant. See ya, Pete – say goodbye to your byline. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Pal.

Then, in the Marc J. Spears-written Celtics Notebook, the final subhed indicated there are “Game 5 ducets (sic) on sale.”

Unless the Celts are suddenly going with urban dictionary as the reference of choice or the Globe is embracing slang, the proper subhed should have read “ducats,” which is French for tickets. The on-line version of the notebook contained the correct spelling as of Sunday night. Tough to say whether the error was solely an editor’s or a combination of the editor and the writer, Spears.

The fading Sunday section also included another communist-location-based missive from enterprise reporter Shira Springer who followed up her China-has-air-pollution masterpiece with a Cambridge’s-MIT-has-sports-scientists takeout.

If all that questionable judgment wasn’t enough for you with your Sunday Globe, there was also a Barbara Matson puff piece on the upcoming Champions Cup tennis tournament that will be held at Agganis Arena this week. Conveniently absent from the story is the fact that the Globe and are presenting sponsors of the event, a fact confirmed by the half-page ad located four pages away from Matson’s story.

The 17 percent rule already gets under-emphasized quite enough, thank you. At least have the decency to alert us when there is a blatant conflict of editorial content.

. . . Also interesting to see the Globe using a regular New York Times contributor to augment its Celtics coverage in Ray Glier. Probably the first in a series of moves that will further showcase more of the Times’ writers in the Globe’s sports pages.

• The Gordon Edes Soap Opera on Morrissey Boulevard continued over the weekend as Shots is told by a Globie mole that Edes is going to appeal his denied buyout application. According to the source, Edes was one of just two Boston Globe employees who had their buyout declined – the other was a female, according to our source. It’s unclear whether that denied applicant will also appeal nor is it clear what the appeal process would entail. Making things even more complicated is the source’s contention that the New York Times is going to have to start a round of layoffs after that paper failed to meet its most recent buyout goal. If it’s company-wide buyouts, shouldn’t they be treated as an aggregate with no reasonable requests denied?

An email to Edes to seeking clarification on his Globe status and whether or not he will indeed be going to Yahoo!, was politely declined.

Edes continues to write for the paper and was with the Red Sox in Tampa this weekend.

• One of the great unknowns of the mainstream media’s plunge into snatching up Blogger World Heroes has been, “How will the questionable material that non-mainstream bloggers infuse into their work fly in corporate America?”

Well, we may have our very first substantial test case as Yahoo! Sports has some explaining to do for the tasteless post (Second item down, on ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson) submitted by MJD on Saturday.

(UPDATED EARLY MONDAY MORNING: 1:52 A.M. ET – The original post on Johnson, which was between the first item on the 10-minute change and the second on Mendenhall) has been removed as has the screen grab of Johnson in his attire for the day. Shots assures you the following pull-quote is exactly what was written and what remained on the Yahoo! site for a minimum of 24 hours. Comments appear to have been left in tact.)

While giving a “thumbs down” to Johnson’s wardrobe selection during Saturday’s broadcast of the NFL Draft, MJD – a former Deadspin contributor – wrote:

“. . . This is what happens when you hand Michael Irvin a giant blunt that had been soaked in embalming fluid for about a month, and then you say to him, “Mike, I want you to take an hour, smoke that, and then pick what I’m going to wear for the draft tomorrow. And if you could make the area from my neck to my chest look like a cracked-open watermelon, I’d really appreciate it. . . “

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that no one at Yahoo! edited that graf until they were notified of it and removed it and we’re further going to guess that if they had, it never would have seen the light of day – nor the offended comments of many readers that follow the post. It would have been seen as the dumb, stereotypical, hurtful and ignorant statement that it was.

This is exactly the type of careless, moronic meandering that bloggers like the former incarnation of MJD (Matthew J. Darnell) would get all over National Media Types for. Now that MJD is that very type of National Media personality, it would make sense for him to also feel the wrath of the offended and affected public. It would make further sense for Yahoo! to have a talking-to with the mouthy jock driveler. Or better yet, a full Timeout.

An email to MJD through his Yahoo! page was not immediately returned to Shots late Sunday night (ET). UPDATED: HERE IS MJD’S RESPONSE:

I thought Keyshawn’s look was interesting. He was wearing a pink tie with black dots, and surrounded by what looked to me like a green-checked shirt. If you split open a watermelon, it’s pink with black dots, surrounded by green. That’s my explanation.

I understand there’s a stereotype about black people eating watermelon and fried chicken, and I understand why people are concerned about someone exploiting a cheap stereotype. And I would never, ever willfully do that. If I inadvertently did it here, I apologize. And it’s been removed from the article.

In my defense, though, at no point did I make reference to anyone eating watermelon, or anyone liking watermelon. I just commented about the colors the man was wearing.

• We knew the Bob Lobel departure from Channel 4 would be tough for the station’s sports staff to absorb, but we had no idea it would be this tough. On Saturday’s 11 p.m. newscast, newsman Ken MacLeod did sports highlights. This, on a day that saw the NFL Draft, a Celtics’ NBA playoff game and the Red Sox in Tampa.

Funny thing was, we didn’t miss Steve Burton or Dan Roche at all and the experiment may have further proven one thing: we don’t need no stinkin’ sportscasters.

• One last question: Is it really a Patriots draft at all if there is no selection of the BATE (Best Available Tight End) and the BAG (Best Available Gator)?

David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.

Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.