FORT MYERS FL - FEBRUARY 19: Principal Owner John Henry of the Boston Red Sox talks with the media during a Spring Training Workout Session at the Red Sox Player Development Complex on February 19 2011 in Fort Myers Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Another week, more chaos. Bruce Allen puts together tidbits from the week that was in the Boston sports media, including John Henry addressing the rumors of a possible sale of his Red Sox and the Patriots' Week 1 ratings.
Thoughts from just another crazy week in the Boston sports media.
On the subject of the Toucher and Rich "disenfranchised fan" question to Bobby Valentine, and the subsequent rant by Toucher and insistence that it was not just a "wacky bit" done by a morning radio show, it seems odd that they would milk so much exposure out of it, extending it out across three mornings and counting. Of course it was a "bit." That's what they do.
The other big radio story this week was John Henry's call-in to WEEI's Mut and Merloni show on Thursday. The Red Sox owner was not as fired up as he was during his appearance on Felger and Mazz last fall, but he was insistent that the team was not for sale, as had been reported by FOXBusiness.com earlier in the day. Henry's been making a habit of this reactionary type of interview, which from this corner, doesn't seem to be the best way to always be handling public relations.
Until this week, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe had been a rarity in Boston - a sports reporter who appeared on both WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
That changed this week when Bedard signed on to make regular, exclusive appearances on WEEI. The timing is interesting, given Bedard's appearance on the Felger and Mazz show last week when he reported what he knew about the Brian Waters situation (which contrasted greatly with Felger's opinion of the situation) and after Bedard hung up, Felger basically said he didn't believe him no matter what facts he had.
I'm told that the Bedard/WEEI deal was in the works prior to that, but if I was Bedard, that Felger trick might've been enough to push me over to the other side.
Congratulation to my friend (and deadly rival) Chad Finn on officially being promoted to Boston.com sports columnist. He essentially takes the place of Chris Gasper, who was promoted to Globe columnist upon the retirement of Bob Ryan. Finn will still do the media columns and all his other current duties.
The Patriots drew a 33.5 rating for WBZ-TV for their season opener against the Titans last Sunday. That was the third highest rating ever for a Patriots opener, and the only two higher (last year against Miami and Tom Brady's return in '09 against Buffalo) were both Monday Night Football broadcasts.
This Sunday's home opener against the Arizona Cardinals will be broadcast on FOX with Dick Stockton and John Lynch calling the game.
In an otherwise dismal season, it was nice for longtime Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione to be honored prior to Wednesday night's game for his 30 years of calling Red Sox games.
Kudos to Tom E Curran and Kirk Minihane for throwing a wet blanket over the silly pet theory that some were developing that Bill Belichick was attempting to "freeze out" and "squeeze" Wes Welker for his refusal to sign a long term contract on their terms. I heard it said several times that the Patriots were trying to punish Welker by not involving him more in the offense, and I'm glad some could shoot down that desperate storyline.
I'll be curious to see what's next for Heidi Watney who was released from her contract with Time Warner Cable Sports in Los Angeles this week. Watney had been hired by TWCS after leaving NESN last year, but didn't appear on the air. She was in the running to be the new co-host of ESPN’s “First Take," but that didn't work out either. While I've warmed up to Jenny Dell as the Red Sox season has gone on, I still miss Watney, and look forward to seeing where her career takes her now.
Former FOX25 Sports anchor Kristine Leahy made her debut as a sports anchor and reporter at CBS and KCAL in Los Angeles this week. Her hint about landing a gig in a major market certainly came true.