Aug 10 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Response was pretty positive to last week’s Monday offering, so we’ll keep it going as long as you keep the dialogue running. (Shots’ Loyalists will recall the days when we dutifully dissected the Sunday night show on Mondays with regularity. At some point, we realized that no one’s really watching those shows and ceased the practice, for the most part.)
• Ex-Boston Globe baseball scribe, Gordon Edes makes his Yahoo! Sports debut on Monday, after spending a Chicago weekend cross-town from his old beat-mates (he was covering Cubs-Cards for the Y! guys).
Shots had asked Edes via email for a clarification of where his buyout denial appeal stood and for general thoughts on his departure from the Globe.
Here was his Sunday morning email response:
“My appeal is still pending. Whether (the) ERISA committee takes up my case this month, I don’t know. I leave many great friends and professionals at the Globe. I’ll leave it at that.”
As a Track Gal might say, “Meow!”
• ESPN 890 AM operatives are set to announce the completion of what can only be termed a lackluster replacement for the lost local programming which resulted from Mike Felger’s separation from the Tang Gang. Shots has confirmed the station will put un-proven, un-knowns “Lew & Mike” in the afternoon drive slot opposite The Big Show on WEEI 850 AM for a 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift. (Felger’s show was 3-6 p.m; last week, the station finalized plans to have (ex-Shots radio partner) Mike Salk and Bob Halloran do a local show from Noon to 2 p.m.)
The two shows (along with a 7-8 p.m. team-focused show) will essentially double 890′s local, weekday, programming hours. That’s the good news. The bad news is 890 was rebuffed by a sizable list of more desirable hosts (for both timeslots) and after investing three years in Felger, the station has shown repeatedly it doesn’t have the marketing dollars to properly promote its products. Add to that the ever-present weak signal issues, and 890 is once again found reinventing itself without a full complement of resources. Once again, they will hope that being an alternative to WEEI 850 AM will be enough to sustain the gerbils on the treadmill at the Schrafft’s Building.
. . . Sliding from one also-ran outlet to another is actually a fairly big deal for the tandem of Lew and Mike (tried finding info on these guys – even just their full names – but they are fairly foreign to Google.) Shots is told the show will NOT be a time-buy (as the pair’s prior Celtics show arrangement with the station was). [UPDATE: Their full names are Lew Goldstein and Mike Vallee, according to an 890 mole.]
• What a refreshing approach taken by NBC in actually being up front and honest with viewers when its announcers are providing commentary from off-site. In sharp contrast to the way ESPN, the Worldwide Misleader, attempts to deceive viewers into thinking their announcers are ALWAYS on site, NBC’s (and the Nets‘) Chris Carrino repeatedly told viewers that he and Steve “Snapper” Jones were in a New York studio calling the action. (We caught some of the Greece-Spain affair early Sunday morning).
As recently as last month, ESPN gave several impressions that its team of Rick Kamla and Fran Fraschilla were actually in China when in fact, they were in Bristol. ESPN has long concealed its true location of announcers for International events (as we’ve consistently pointed out) and there’s absolutely no reason for it.
A little transparency goes a long way.
. . . When announcers are live at the site, it’s clear as they do their stand-ups from the venue (see: Mike Breen and Doug Collins for Team USA vs. China on Sunday morning).
. . . My total Opening Ceremonies viewing time probably stretched to 30 minutes and the three highlights for me were:
1. Discovering there are two Congos.
2. Catching Shots’ fave (and post-grad UMie) Sean Ford from USA Basketball, walking in stride with Team USA.
3. The little earthquake dude with Yao had me at “Ni Hao.”
. . . Hate to be the bad guy here, but Eyee Hsu was simply not ready for the halftime live shot from the USA-China game (introducing her package on Yao). We’re all for using international talent, but let’s at least make sure they’re above Double-A, okay, Mr. Ebersol?
. . . Tough call on whether Matt Lauer should have been called in for the President Bush interview that wound up being conducted by Bob Costas (below). It did seem odd not to mention the tragic stabbing, but Costas did get into some nitty gritty politics to make even a Russert proud. (Another Mike Vaccaro must-read with this one.)
And, for the second time in that same week, Shaughnessy buried the lead from his Los Angeles dateline (where he was a week-long guest on Jim Rome’s ESPN show). And while Danny Boy was onto something with the Commissioner’s office poking around on the Manny Deal, even his own teammates seemed to call Shaughnessy out for embellishment with this nugget from Amalie Benjamin’s Saturday notes column (contributed to by Nick Cafardo):
“While ‘investigation’ might be too strong a word for Major League Baseball’s check into the circumstances surrounding the trade. . .unlikely anything will come of the inquiry. . . ”
I know Joe Sullivan is focused on the all-important Olympics (not to mention a new hire) but jeesh, does Schill’s Best Buddy really have carte blanche to do whatever he wants? And what’s with throwing all this spaghetti against the wall mid-column.
. . . Equally disturbing was Shaughnessy’s use of a recycled quote from the LA Times as his lead quote in the column. He couldn’t even take the effort to get live quotes on his own? Too busy playing the antagonist with Romie?
. . . Last beef with Shaughnasty: He weakly includes a mention of Rome in his column, but never makes mention of his own frequent appearances with Rome. A note at the end of the column should have been utilized.
• Neil Best did a live chat and no one alerted me? Please don’t let this happen again, people.
• A good little nugget in Sunday’s Football Notes column from Mike Reiss regarding the sham that is pre-season football. One additional thought on the subject leads us to the much ballyhooed arrival of the NFL’s comprehensive on-line ticket selling outift. (The Patriots have already had the system in place.)
Of course, pre-season game tickets are not allowed to be posted on the ticket exchange service and those are the hardest to get rid off for season ticket holders who are trying to regain some of their substantial (highest in league) investments in the club. (Yes, Shots has tickets available for the remaining pre-season game and we’re not enthusiastic about our chance to get rid of them after that abomination of a game last Thursday. You know where to reach us if you need four at a cut rate.)
• Barry Bonds’ “historic” ball nets nabber a sneaker store. Discuss amongst yourselves.
• With the Sox sinking, let’s not forget our old friends in new places (non-Manny version).
• So Clark Rockefeller asked his lawyer to get him a book on the rules of baseball? Is he going to impersonate Terry Francona next?
• Don’t forget: Monday marks the debut of the all-day “SportsCenter” on the Mothership, something that we foolishly believed ESPNews had pretty well covered. Our old crush on Hannah Storm will surely re-emerge and we’ll surely get sucked in for a few days.
At least Steve can go back to life without a countdown clock.
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.