Sep 10 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Numerous reliable Scott’s Shots’ sources are confirming that ex-Boston Globe writer, Ron Borges, is in discussions with the Boston Herald about filling one of three vacant spots on sports editor Hank Hryniewicz’s desk.
If true, a Borges hire would indicate the Herald is either very bold or very desperate, as the scars from the John Tomase Saga still linger at the city’s struggling second fiddle news gatherer. At the very least, the paper’s editor, Kevin R. Convey, would be stretching his promised “bond of trust” with readers to the limits if his sports department scoops up Borges, the crosstown rival’s ex-plagiairst.
When asked specifically about Borges via a Monday afternoon email from Shots, Hryniewicz would only say, “I’m still in the interviewing process for all three openings on the staff and I’m quite happy with the way the process is moving forward.”
Borges, it appears, would be in line for the general columnist slot left vacant by Tony Massarotti’s departure to the Globe. Borges would obviously have a heavy football bent to his columns, the way the now-branded “Mazz” leaned toward baseball and as the Brady injury showed for WEEI.com on Sunday, Borges does have a lot of bulldog left in that bully persona of his. (Traffic soared at the site Sunday night and into Monday, according to a WEEI.com operative.) For his new part-time employer, Entercom, Borges was ahead of the Brady-out-for-season story (with Yahoo!’s Michael Silver, it should be noted) as his deep and well-placed league connections were once again on display while the competing locals struggled to gain confirmation of the ACL injury.
• The other two slots – a baseball position and a football opening – have seen local names filter into One Herald Square for sit-downs, as well the inclusion of at least one tabloid baseball writer from New York, according to several sources.
Depending upon how Hank Herald chooses to use his tool chest, the combination of the three hires will go a long way in deciding whether the Herald Sports department is going to be a ‘player’ or an ‘also-ran’ in the rapidly evolving Boston sports media landscape. The paper lost Mike Felger, Rob Bradford, Jeff Horrigan and Mazz in what felt like one fell swoop over the summer. Those were some major contributors across the board for the Heraldos and the hires to replace them will be significant ones for Hryniewicz as he attempts to feed coal into the Little Engine That Could.
There has to be a heavy Internet presence as the paper moves forward and despite the Herald’s site being woefully outdated, the infrastructure is, in fact, in place if the “replacements” are allowed to capitalize on 24-hour drop bin that the is the World Wide Web.
• Borges, is in the midst of a remarkable renaissance after his “retirement” from the Globe, which followed a company-mandated suspension when it was revealed that Borges had taken Mike Sando’s work and passed it off as his own. But like Mike Barnicle and Ken Davis before (and many others surely to come), Borges has found a journalistic second life and is now drawing paychecks from respected media giants, Entercom and Comcast (locally on both CN8 and Comcast SportsNet). So, the Herald wasn’t necessarily first to the Borges re-birth party, but it would be taking the largest risk by putting him on full-time staff and opening up all sorts of scrutiny and, perhaps, unwanted attention that will come with hiring such a polarizing figure.
Still, there is a part of me that thinks Borges would be perfect for the Herald, in that he has always had that “tabloid edge” to his writing and his personality in general. The biggest question is: “Are we still too close to Tomasegate to trust the Herald’s judgment on Borges?”
The coming days and Hank Herald’s ultimate moves will decide all that.
• Speaking of that tabloid edge, Howie Carr once again says what most are too afraid to utter in this town. We do need to get over ourselves a bit.
• Yet another nice get by Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski who beat everyone on the new Doc deal. Can’t imagine why shoehorned Globe Celts’ beat man Frank Dell’Apa didn’t have that one!?!?
• A tease of tonight’s comical Jonathan Papelbon Video that will be shown on Comcast SportsNet:
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.