Friday Links

I’ll do as many links as I can this morning. I do have to leave work today so I’ll give you as many as my time permits.

First, USA Today, Fox and ESPN are talking with Major League Baseball about expanding their coverage when Barry Bonds gets closer to the all-time home run record. You may recall both networks went all out for the single season record in 1998 when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were close so expect similar coverage here. No matter what you think about Bonds, whether you feel he did steroids or you feel he was railroaded, this is a major story.

Also from the Nation’s Newspaper, Steve Wieberg has a story on Kevin Weiberg (note the spellings) leaving his post as Big 12 Commissioner and heading to the Big Ten Network.

Michael Hiestand says the TV networks need to get creative to boost NBA TV ratings.

Dave Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch has his usual Friday column. He’s really good and I enjoy his stuff. Today, he’s mildly surprised at some intelligent talk coming out of WEEI in Boston, plus he discusses the blogging policy of the major sports leagues in the wake of the NCAA stopping real-time blogging of a reporter out of Louisville.

Susan Bickelhaupt of the Boston Globe says the just completed NBA Finals lacked competition and did not showcase the best of the league. She also has a blurb on WBZ-TV renewing its “5th Quarter” postgame Patriots show for three more years.

I always laugh when I read Phil Mushnick in the New York Post. He always rails against something, but lately, I find myself agreeing with him. Today, he goes against ESPN for not showing any live golf in the first ten minutes of its US Open coverage yesterday and takes Chris Berman to task for being a woefully poor play-by-play announcer.

Bob Raissman looks into the hiring of Harold Reynolds by Raissman correctly asserts that MLB must have done its homework in bringing HR into the fold especially in the wake of his firing by ESPN last year for alleged sexual harassment.

In Newsday, Neil Best’s Friday column focuses on a new law in New York banning ticket scalping. He wonders if this lead to increasing ticket prices or if ticket re-sellers like StubHub will get more busines.

Laura Nachman of the Philly Burbs papers profiles Michael Bradley of WPEN who is in the second month of his morning show.

Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines that sideline reporters don’t serve much purpose on a telecast. I’ll agree with that somewhat, but there are times when they’re needed. One definitely, not two in some cases, especially on Monday Night Football when ESPN uses both Suzy Kolber and Michelle Tafoya.

In the Baltimore Sun, Ray Frager discusses Johnny Miller and the US Open and looks deeper into the ratings of WHFS for Orioles radio broadcasts.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel urges his readers to watch the US Open.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune likes to keep track of Mike North of sports radio WSCR and he writes about North’s contentious interview with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper.

Judd Zulgad in this morning’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a story about Twins owner Carl Pohlad purchasing an FM station leading to speculation that the team might be changing stations when its current deal with KSTP runs out.

Bob Wolfey in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes about the city’s AHL team moving stations.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle tells us what programs are beating the NBA Finals. It’s not pretty, let me tell you.

John Maffei of the North County Times says the University of San Diego has hired Padres announcer Andy Masur as its basketball play-by-play man for this season. And Maffei previews the US Open TV coverage.

Larry Stewart has his usual two stories in the Los Angeles Times. First one is on the poor ratings of the NBA Finals. Second is on the US Open.

Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News feels like me on the subject of Chris Berman and golf. Get him off my TV!!

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