Were you able to keep up with all the happenings in Boston sports radio over the last week?
Following the news that WEEI was shuffling around its lineup, axing the Dale & Holley show by moving Michael Holley alongside Glenn Ordway on the new "Big Show" (starts Monday, Feb. 28) and relegating Dale Arnold to an ambiguous "floater" role, there were several other happenings in the last week worthy of note.
On Friday, WEEI Program Director Jason Wolfe held an online chat on the station's website, insisting that all was fine at the station, that these changes had nothing to do with reacting to actual competition from 98.5 FM and that he actually took the competition from the new station very seriously right from the very start.
Then on Monday, former WEEI flash guy and personality Pete Sheppard held a chat at his Facebook page. He had announced that he would be doing this a few days in advance, and some speculated that Sheppard was about to finally unload on his former employer in wake of the moves. Instead, the focus of Sheppard's wrath was 98.5 Program Director Mike Thomas, who apparently not only would not return Sheppard's phone calls, but even forbade him from doing a voiceover for a potential advertiser who wished to do business with the station. Sheppard did admit to having had meetings and discussions with Jason Wolfe as of late, so it seems that the WEEI door might not be completely closed for him just yet. Stay tuned.
Wednesday marked the final edition of the Dale and Holley show, and the final hour of the program featured tributes to Dale from the likes of Red Sox manager Terry Francona, Boston Bruins great Raymond Bourque and former Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin. Arnold was audibly emotional during his final signoff, but will be back on the WEEI airwaves in the coming weeks, which includes doing play-by-play for both the Red Sox and Celtics in April.
Some other sports radio observations from the last week:
Michael Felger's timing in taking a few vacation days was unfortunate, as he urged the Bruins last week to make trades, saying that more than one move was needed. When the Bruins made a pair of deals last week, the next day Felger was not on the air to discuss them. The Bruins are a distant fourth on my personal Boston sports landscape, but I enjoy hearing Felger talk about them, and I tuned in specifically for the start of the show last Friday to hear his take and was disappointed to just get Tony Massarotti's shrill voice lecturing listeners.
Toucher and Rich chose this week as their vacation week, leaving Damon Amendolara to move over from the evenings for the week to fill in. The difference in style is stark, as Amendolara generally sticks to sports, and is knowledgeable across the board on them.
More vacation fill-ins -- on Thursday morning Mike Adams was on with Bob Halloran in place of Dennis and Callahan, with Adams sporting a dreadful shoulder-length wig for the NESN cameras. At least I hope it was a wig, and not reflective of the work of Dr. Robert Leonard, whom Adams does commercials for.
Why so many vacations this week? End of the sweeps period? School vacations? Corporate retreat for WEEI to retool? Coincidence? Who knows?
If you're looking for a sports talk radio alternative on the weekends, Money Matters Radio -- airing on WBNW 1120AM Concord-Boston, WPLM 1390AM Plymouth and WESO 970AM Central Mass. -- has put together "Sports Saturdays," from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The lineup includes The Sports Blast with Joey Murr 8-10 a.m.; The Pro Sports Show 10-11 a.m.; Noontime Sports with Matt Noonan 1-2 p.m.; Sports Final Round with Jay Connoly and Darren Svendsen; The High School Sports Report 2-3 p.m. and The Alex Reimer show 3-5 p.m. (18 years old). The shows are all also streamed online at the Money Matters Radio website.
Remember to check out the latest edition of The Association - Boston Celtics, which airs Friday night, Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. EST on ESPN. It might be your last chance to see Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, Semih Erden and Luke Harangody hanging around the Celtics. All five were traded from the Celtics before Thursday's NBA trading deadline.