After a quiet and frustrating (to fans) start to the offseason, the Red Sox found themselves right back in the spotlight this week with a pair of offensive moves that put them right back into contention with their American League East rivals, the New York Yankees and Tampa Rays.
Last Friday, media reports starting coming out that talks between the Red Sox and San Diego Padres involving first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had picked up, and then news filtered out on Saturday that the two sides had agreed on compensation for a trade, and that the Red Sox had been given a window in which to negotiate a contract extension with Gonzalez.
I mentioned this earlier in the week, but it's worth repeating. This was the rare story which would've benefited from the old 24-hour news cycle. When the deadline for negotiating arrived, Twitter was filled with various reports, many of which later proved inaccurate. Some declared the trade dead altogether, others said that the trade could be made without the extension in place, other said that the negotiating window had been extended.
All Red Sox fans knew was that the trade seemed to be in serious jeopardy. And they panicked.
By the time evening came, word came down that the trade had been made, and Red Sox Nation rejoiced.
In the old days, fans would've just read the entire story in the newspaper the next day, without being subjected to the ups and downs that were experienced this week.
The Red Sox weren't finished, surprising everyone on Wednesday night/Thursday morning by agreeing to a seven year contract with free agent Carl Crawford. Comcast SportsNet New England went on the air live at 1:00 a.m. to report the news. NESN, on the other hand, the team-owned television outlet, was still as of early the next morning showing repeats of the previous night's NESN Daily, in which it was reported that it seemed all but certain that Crawford would be heading to the Angels.
It was a great turnaround, media-wise, for the Red Sox, who had been a distant fourth in discussions about the four major pro teams in Boston since the season ended. People are sure to be talking about the Red Sox, and once again eagerly awaiting the start of the season.
It will be interesting to see what the NESN ratings look like next year.
Monday night's Patriots-Jets game may have disappointed national viewers from a competitive standpoint, but New England's 45-3 stomping of the rival New York Jets delighted Boston viewers to the tune of a season high 42.2 rating between ESPN and WCVB-TV.
With 98.5 The Sportshub continuing to pile up ratings, WEEI is scrambling to keep up. They are a little hamstrung by huge contracts given to Gerry Callahan, John Dennis and Glenn Ordway, all of whom saw their shows beaten by the FM upstarts across the street in the last ratings book.
One thing WEEI can try is bringing on new co-host in the afternoon, instead of the same old tired, unknowledgeable Ordway-buddy hacks that they've been trotting out there for years. Last week, they made a great move by bringing former Patriots receiver David Givens onto The Big Show, where he brought refreshing insight to the program. While guys like Steve DeOssie and Fred Smerlas certainly have knowledge of the game, and can be informative at times, they played in the NFL 20 years ago. Like Troy Brown, who has also been a nice addition to the station, Givens played in the last decade, under the current Patriots administration and can talk with knowledge about what happens there. It's a nice change.
Former Patriot Jarvis Green left this offseason to join the Denver Broncos, only to be cut at the start of the season. Green hasn't hooked on with any other teams as of yet, though he did get a look from former Patriots assistant Eric Mangini in Cleveland. Green is well-known for his charitable efforts, and he announced his latest efforts this week, as he teams up with TOUCH 106.1 FM and the entertainment and gossip website TheYBF.com with a promotion designed to support to single working mothers in disadvantaged, low-income areas whose lives have been affected by tragedy.
Link of the week:
Richard Deitsch's media column on SI.com looks at ESPN's ridiculous coverage of the Arizona QB laughing on the sideline, and also lists out a bunch of failed predictions from various media personalities about this NFL season.