So long to Rudy Martzke

Today is the final day for USA Today Sports TV Media Critic Rudy Martzke. He started his column for the newspaper in 1982 and he ends his long newspaper career today. I’ve been calling for his retirement for quite some time and sometimes, your requests are granted. I feel he yields too much power and his silly wrestling quotes between network executives are very silly. USA Today gives him a huge send off in today’s edition.

Let’s start with his own recollections. Rudy says he hired Bob Costas to become the announcer for the ABA’ St. Louis Spirits back in 1974 when Martzke was the team’s director of operations. I think for this reason alone, Martzke overgushes on Costas even when the announcer has weak moments. Read this column and try not to spit out your coffee.

USA Today lists some of Rudy’s career highlights. I don’t quite understand the significance of this story, but read if you must.

And Rudy lists his all-time “Rudy” Awards, the pompous year-end or season-end awards he “hands” out in his column. Of course, Bob Costas in listed there.

I’m glad Rudy is gone and no more “Rudy” Awards to bore us to death.

In Boston and New York, the main topic of discussion is the fan incident involving Gary Sheffield of the Yankees at Fenway Park. The fan was a knucklehead for reaching over the fence. Sheffield showed restraint by not charging into the stands after Chris House, the season ticket holder who now becomes one of the more infamous examples of fan behavior. Dave Scott, blogger for Boston Sports Media, has his take on the media coverage which will reach the overkill stage pretty soon.

ESPN, ESPNews, ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza” all had coverage of the incident throughout the early morning hours. House who now has TV stations camped in front of his house and messages left by Boston Sports Radio station, WEEI, now knows what it is like to be the focus of 24 hour media and the internet. It’s not about to leave him until he speaks to one or two media outlets. It will be a wild ride for him and I don’t mean that in a positive way. WEEI in Boston and WSKO in Providence spent their entire morning shows on the subject. Dennis & Callahan on WEEI debated intent with Boston Herald columnist Gerry Callahan taking the side that House meant to hit Sheffield and was surprised that he got caught. Co-host John Dennis said it was an accident. Their debate became heated but also boring.

Boston Globe media reporter Bill Griffith had a story before the incident and he writes about the Boston Marathon coverage which goes overboard on Monday, Patriots Day, a Massachusetts state holiday.

The Marathon is also the focus of Jim Baker’s media column in the Nashua Telegraph.

In New York, the dispute between Time Warner and Cablevision has the DISH Network, the satellite TV subscription service offering a discount for Mets fans who can’t watch MSG Network and FSN. New York Newsday’s Business section has a story on the offer.

Earlier this week, I focused on the YES Network’s refusal to show the Boston Red Sox’ ring ceremony on Monday. Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News chimes in today with his two cents. This column comes a bit late, but Raissman does not have a Tuesday column so he writes about the incident today.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is grumpy again today. He also has a take on the YES debacle.

Andrew Marchand of the Post has a couple of stories of note. His first this week is a news and notes column. Among the highlights, TNT’s Kenny Smith, one of the excellent duo with Charles Barkley on the channel’s NBA coverage, is a candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching job. Smith has made it clear that he would leave TNT for a chance to coach. This might be that opportunity.

Marchand also has five questions for TNT’s John Thompson.

Over to Chicago where Teddy Greenstein has become a very good media reporter for the Tribune. Today, he writes about the media’s contentious relationship with Cubs manager Dusty Baker. Greenstein contacted a San Fransisco newspaper reporter to see if Baker was the same out there. Good reporting and a good story by Greenstein.

Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has some criticism for CBS for not broadcasting the morning rounds of the Masters last weekend plus he has some local news media notes.

The Los Angeles Times’ Larry Stewart writes about how FSN’s Lindsey Soto had to deal with the death of Al Lucas during last weekend’s Arena League game in LA.

Scott Andera of the Orlando Sentinental previews next week’s NFL Draft coverage which will be wall to wall on the NFL Network and be covered extensively on the ESPN family of networks.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle has the story on the new FSN Houston channel which will now focus on the Astros and the Rockets. While their games will air on the usual FSN Southwest channel, new pregame shows will be aired on the FSN Houston channel and they will also air on a special DirecTV side channel.

Plenty of links to chew on today.