Friday, September 30, 2011

College Football Week 5 TV Schedule

Air Force at Navy, Noon, CBS
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M at Arlington, Texas, Noon, ESPN
Northwestern at Illinois, Noon, ESPN2
Penn State at Indiana, Noon, ESPNU
Robert Morris at Monmouth, Noon, MSG
Rutgers at Syracuse, Noon, SNY
Tulane at Army, Noon, CBSSN
William & Mary at Villanova, Noon, CSNE
Texas Tech at Kansas, Noon, FSN
Mississippi State at Georgia, Noon, FSN
Minnesota at Michigan, Noon, BTN
Kentucky at LSU, 12:21 a.m., SEC Network
Nevada at Boise State, 2:30 p.m., VersusAuburn at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Baylor at Kansas, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Michigan State at Ohio State, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Georgia Tech at North Carolina State, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Arizona at USC, 3:30 p.m., FSN
Richmond at James Madison, 3:30 p.m., CSNE
SMU at TCU, 3:30 p.m., CBSSN
Weber State at Eastern Washington, 3:30 p.m., ALT
Western Michigan at Connecticut, 3:30 p.m., SNYBethune-Cookman at Miami, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
San Jose State at Colorado State, 4 p.m., MTN
Clemson at Virginia Tech, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Texas at Iowa State, 7 p.m., FX
Duke at Florida International, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Alabama at Florida, 8 p.m., CBS
Nebraska at Wisconsin, 8 p.m., ABC
Notre Dame at Purdue, 8 p.m., ESPN
New Mexico State at New Mexico, 8 p.m., MTN
North Carolina at East Carolina, 8 p.m., CBSSN
Mississippi at Fresno State, 9:15 p.m., ESPN2
UCLA at Stanford, 10:30 p.m., FSN

Saturday's ALDS & NLDS Probables

ARI at MIL 2:07 PM 
ARI: I Kennedy (R) 21-4, 2.88 
MIL: Y Gallardo (R) 17-10, 3.52 

STL at PHI 5:07 PM 
STL: K Lohse (R) 14-8, 3.39 
PHI: R Halladay (R) 19-6, 2.35 

TAM at TEX 7:07 PM 
TAM: J Shields (R) 16-12, 2.82 
TEX: D Holland (L) 16-5, 3.95 

DET at NYY 8:37 PM 
DET: D Fister (R) 11-13, 2.83 
NYY: I Nova (R) 16-4, 3.70

Terry Francona: "It's time"

If you missed it, here's Terry Francona explaining why he's no longer the manager of the Boston Red Sox. As always, Francona stayed classy, not throwing any of the players under the bus, but he did say that he wasn't exactly sure or comfortable that ownership had his back. His exact words: "I'm not sure how much support there was from ownership, and I don't know that I felt real comfortable."

Thanks to for the video.

Friday Three-for-All: Bye Bye Tito Edition

In honor of the disastrous Friday for Red Sox Nation that saw manager Terry Francona leave after 8 seassons in Boston, we give you the good-bye edition of the FTA.  If only they could fire 25 players, Tito would still be here!


It's official - Francona's Gone!

The Boston Red Sox have made it official: Terry Francona will not be back as manager in 2012, ending his eight years on Boston.  Here are the official statements from the team:


“We met with Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington Friday morning to discuss the 2011 season, ways to improve the club in the future, and Tito’s status. During the meeting, Tito, Theo and Ben agreed that the Red Sox would benefit from an improved clubhouse culture and higher standards in several areas. Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on. After taking time to reflect on Tito’s sentiments, we agreed that it was best for the Red Sox not to exercise the option years on his contract.

We have enormous respect, admiration and appreciation for Tito and the job that he did for eight years, including two World Series Championship seasons and five playoff appearances. His poise during the 2004 post-season was a key factor in the greatest comeback in baseball history, and his place in Red Sox history will never be forgotten. We wish him only the best going forward.”


“Tito and I didn’t know each other when he was hired eight years ago, but over time we developed not only a great working relationship but also a personal friendship that will always be important to both of us. He proved to be an unflappable leader for our major league club, displaying consistency, calmness, hard work, thoughtfulness, a sense of humor, and faith in the players even at the most difficult of times. Without Tito’s commitment over eight years, we would not be the organization we are today. Nobody at the Red Sox blames Tito for what happened at the end of this season; we own that as an organization. This year was certainly a difficult and draining one for him and for us. Ultimately, he decided that there were certain things that needed to be done that he couldn’t do after eight years here, and that this team would benefit from hearing a new voice. While this may be true, his next team will benefit more than it knows from hearing Tito’s voice. I will miss seeing Tito every day in the manager’s office, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best in their next chapter.”


“We met this morning to look back on the 2011 season and to consider the future of the Boston Red Sox, including my involvement with the club. I passed along my frustrations at my inability to effectively reach the players. After many conversations and much consideration, I ultimately felt that, out of respect to this team, it was time for me to move on. I’ve always maintained that it is not only the right, but the obligation, of ownership to have the right person doing this job. I told them that out of my enormous respect for this organization and the people in it, they may need to find a different voice to lead the team.

In my eight seasons as manager of the Boston Red Sox, I have developed a tremendous appreciation for Red Sox Nation. This is a special place with some of the most knowledgeable and passionate fans in all of baseball. They packed Fenway Park for every game and because of them, I had a special sense of pride coming to work every day. I want to thank John, Tom, Larry and Theo for giving me the opportunity to manage this team through some of the most successful years in this franchise’s history. I wish the entire organization and all of Red Sox Nation nothing but the very best.”

MLB's Regular Season Final Day - You Watched!

From ESPN -

MLB on ESPN: Most-Viewed Wednesday Night Telecast Since 1998
ESPN MLB Regular-Season Viewership Up; Growth Across Multimedia Platforms

Last night’s ESPN MLB telecast (7 p.m.-midnight ET) – in which Baltimore defeated Boston 4-3 to eliminate the Red Sox from the postseason in dramatic fashion – is the network’s most-viewed Wednesday night telecast since 1998 (St. Louis/Houston, Sept. 23 – 2.7 rating; 2,036,000 household impressions; 2,675,000 viewers), according to Nielsen.  The telecast (not shown in the local markets of the teams competing) averaged:

§  1.6 household coverage rating
§  1,549,000 household impressions
§  2,117,000 viewers

Immediately after the game ended, ESPN provided live coverage (12:05-12:14 a.m.) of Tampa Bay’s extra-inning, walk-off victory against the New York Yankees – securing the Rays a postseason berth – which generated:

§  2.8 rating
§  2,775,000 household impressions
§  3,841,000 viewers

ESPN2’s Wednesday Night Baseball telecast – Philadelphia’s extra-inning 4-3 win over Atlanta, eliminating the Braves from the postseason – posted:

§  0.9 rating
§  904,000 household impressions
§  1,184,000 viewers

On the season, ESPN’s 69 regular-season MLB telecasts were up across the board compared to last year’s 66 telecasts:

§  Viewership up five percent (1,449,000 vs. 1,386,000)
§  Households up three percent (1,125,000 vs. 1,093,000)
§  Rating even (1.1)

Sunday Night Baseball’s audience also grew this season:

§  Viewership up five percent (2,294,000 vs. 2,177,000)
§  Households up four percent (1,720,000 vs. 1,656,000)
§  Rating even (1.7)

Digital & Mobile Usage – Wednesday, Sept. 28

September 28 was the highest trafficked day of the 2011 regular season for MLB content on ESPN digital platforms. Highlights:
§  MLB section had over 2.7 million unique visitors yesterday, up 56 percent vs. average day during the 2011 season
§  MLB section logged an average minute audience of 19,000 users, up 65 percent vs. typical day this season
§  MLB GameCast generated 500,000 unique visitors, up 205 percent vs. average day in 2011

ESPN Mobile Web
§  Yankees/Rays GameCast posted 360,000 unique visitors and 1.9 million total minutes spent
§  Phillies/Braves GameCast generated 332,000 unique visitors and 2.6 million total minutes spent
§  Red Sox/Orioles GameCast netted 325,000 unique visitors and 1.7 million total minutes spent

·         More than 150,000 unique viewers generated nearly 9.2 million minutes with an average time spent of one hour

Digital & Mobile Usage – 2011 MLB Season
§  MLB content on ESPN's mobile properties up 27 percent in total minutes and 20 percent in visits compared to 2010
§'s MLB section up 25 percent in total minutes and 17 percent in visits over last year

Friday's Patriots Injury Report

Here's the Patriots Friday injury report out in front of Sunday's game in Oakland against the Raiders: 

Player Pos. Injury Friday Participation Game Status
Aaron Hernandez
TE Knee DNP Out
Sebastian Vollmer OT Back DNP Out
Mike Wright DL Concussion DNP Out

Kyle Arrington CB Chest Limited Participation Questionable
Leigh Bodden CB Groin Limited Participation Questionable
Patrick Chung S Hand Limited Participation Questionable
Ras-I Dowling CB Hip DNP Questionable
Shaun Ellis DL Knee Limited Participation Questionable
Gary Guyton LB Hamstring Limited Participation Questionable
Albert Haynesworth DT Back DNP Questionable
Taylor Price WR Hamstring Limited Participation Questionable
Ryan Wendell OL Calf Limited Participation Questionable

Josh Barrett S Thumb Full Participation Probable
Dane Fletcher LB Thumb Full Participation Probable

Red Sox Statement on Francona

The Boston Red Sox have released the following statement regarding the team's meeting today with manager Terry Francona:

"John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington and I met with Terry Francona this morning at Fenway Park to exchange thoughts and information on the 2011 season and discuss areas for improvement going forward. We all plan on taking some time to process the thoughts expressed in the meeting. There are no immediate plans for an announcement."

Report: Francona out as Red Sox manager

The Boston Red Sox and manager Terry Francona will part ways after a Friday morning meeting according to reports out of Boston.

The Red Sox have a two-year option on Francona's contract that ran out after this just concluded 2011 regular season.  Boston had a nine-game lead in the American League Wild Card evaporate as the Tampa Bay Rays caught and passed them on the final day of the regular season.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday's ALDS Pitching Probables

TAM at TEX 5:07 PM - Game 1 ALDS
TAM: M Moore (L) 1-0, 2.89 
TEX: C Wilson (L) 16-7, 2.94 

 DET at NYY 8:37 PM - Game 1 ALDS
DET: J Verlander (R) 24-5, 2.40 
NYY: C Sabathia (L) 19-8, 3.00

College Football Tripleheader on CBS Saturday

From CBS Sports -



AUDIBLES with CBS Sports’ Lead College Football Analyst Gary Danielson

            CBS Sports’ national college football coverage continues with a tripleheader on Saturday, Oct. 1 featuring a primetime match-up between unbeatens as *No. 3-ranked Alabama takes on *No. 12-ranked Florida (8:00 PM, ET). The tripleheader begins with Air Force at Navy (12:00 NOON, ET), followed by Auburn battling *No. 10-ranked South Carolina (3:30 PM, ET).

Play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle along with analyst Randy Cross handle the call from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. for Air Force-Navy.  Lewis Johnson serves as reporter. Ken Mack produces and Chris Svendsen directs.  Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein call the action, along with Otis Livingston reporting for Auburn-South Carolina from Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.  Steve Scheer produces and Jim Cornell directs.

            The CBS Television Network's lead college football announce team of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson call the action live from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Tracy Wolfson serves as lead reporter. Craig Silver, the Network’s coordinating producer of college football, produces and Steve Milton directs.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY, the Network’s pre-game, halftime and post-game studio show, provides coverage throughout the day on CBS Sports with host Tim Brando, along with analyst Spencer Tillman. Vin DeVito produces and Linda Malino directs. Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

CBS Sports Network provides post-game coverage with SEC TONIGHT (7:00-8:00 PM, ET) immediately following Auburn-South Carolina.  Brent Stover hosts and is joined by analyst Brian Jones and reporter Bruce Feldman.    

Following Saturday’s game, will air the “5th Quarter with Gary Danielson,” an interactive show produced live from the SEC ON CBS CRUISER, an all-access mobile media vehicle fully outfitted with the latest technology. The “5th Quarter with Gary Danielson” provides fans an opportunity to chat with Danielson and discuss all the day’s SEC storylines and college football news.  Fans can also follow Danielson via Twitter: @DanielsonCBS.

            In addition, CBS Sports will stream Air Force-Navy, Auburn-South Carolina and Alabama-Florida, as well as the entire 2011 SEC ON CBS football schedule live on The games are available exclusively on, CBS Sports Mobile and can also be accessed through a link on the websites of all CBS affiliates.

*AP Poll as of 9/26/11

AUDIBLES with CBS Sports’ Lead College Football Analyst Gary Danielson

(On Alabama-Florida)
Alabama has won the last two years because they were able to run the ball and Florida could not.  Charlie Weis will not be intimidated by Nick Saban’s defensive schemes. But will he be able to produce yards between the tackles with two scat backs?  Field goals will be as valuable as touchdowns, but Florida must not allow a non-traditional score to Alabama’s defense or special teams.

(On Alabama)
With 18 starters returning, we knew Alabama was set up to be one of the top teams in college football this season. However, this 2011 team might be Nick Saban’s best at Alabama.

(On Alabama’s Defense)
Barring injuries on defense, Alabama’s only weakness may be complacency. Last year’s inexperience has morphed into this year’s strength.  Middle linebacker Dont’a Hightower is fulfilling his potential now that he is completely recovered from his 2009 knee injury. He has size, power, speed and the smarts to run Nick Saban’s defense at the same level as Rolando McClain did on his way to becoming a national champion and first round NFL Draft pick.

(On Florida’s Offense)
Aside from spread offenses, I've never seen an offense built around two small speed backs. Look for Florida to use their tight ends (Trey Burton and Jordan Reed) like the Patriots use Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, to attack the linebackers and safeties and stay away from the cornerbacks. 

College football on NBC Sports this Saturday

From NBC Sports Group -

“Nevada will rely heavily on their run game to help keep the potent Boise State offense off the field.” – Roland Williams on Nevada
NEW YORK (September 29, 2011) – The NBC Sports Group continues its college football coverage this weekend on VERSUS with a featured game between the No. 5 ranked Boise State Broncos (3-0) and the Nevada Wolf Pack (1-2) on Saturday, October 1, at 2:30 p.m. ET. Last year, Nevada spoiled Boise State's perfect season when the Broncos missed two field goals near the end of the game. This year the Broncos will look to continue their winning streak and Nevada hopes to rebound after a nail-biting 35-34 loss last week against Texas Tech.

COMMENTATORS –Paul Burmeister will helm VERSUS’ Mountain West Conference coverage and will be joined by Shaun King as analyst and former NFL defensive end Anthony Herron as sideline analyst. VERSUS will have an analyst reporting from the sidelines for all college football games to provide first-person analysis from the field and interact with the booth commentators.

VERSUS will surround its college football game coverage this weekend with a pre-game studio show, as well as halftime reports, from NBC’s Football Night in America studio (Studio 8G) at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The pre-game show begins this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and will be hosted by Liam McHugh with 1984 Heisman Trophy-winner Doug Flutie and Super Bowl champion and former NFL tight end Roland Williams serving as studio analysts.

WILLIAMS ON THE GAME: “Boise State senior and new starting cornerback Jerrell Gavins continues to rise to the challenge of being targeted by opposing teams. Also, senior quarterback Kellen Moore continues his push for a Heisman Trophy while being ranked 3rd in the nation in passing efficiency. Nevada’s dual-threat redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Fajardo may be a difference maker for the Wolf Pack after two heart-breaking losses.”

BURMEISTER ON BOISE STATE: “Of all the parts of this college football season that will define it and make it special and unique, quarterback Kellen Moore’s anticipation and accuracy, and the way he can dial them both up time and time again, are at or near the top of the list. I can’t wait to see it in person, and how Nevada will choose to defend it.”

ADDITIONAL ONLINE FEATURES:'s college football coverage will feature video highlights and features from all of VERSUS’ Mountain West, Pac-12 and Ivy League games. In addition, will feature online-only analysis from all of the VERSUS’ college football experts.

NBC Sports Group’s College Football Schedule (all times ET, subject to change):

Oct. 8 Notre Dame vs. Air Force 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 Notre Dame vs. USC 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 29 Notre Dame vs. Navy 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 Notre Dame vs. Maryland 7:30 p.m. (FedEx Field in Landover, MD)
Nov. 19 Notre Dame vs. Boston College 4:00 p.m.

Mountain West Conference
Oct. 1 Nevada at #5 Boise State 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 Air Force at #5 Boise State 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 5 Army at Air Force 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 #20 TCU at #5 Boise State 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 3 UNLV at #20 TCU 2:30 p.m.

Pac-12 Conference
Oct. 8 Colorado at #4 Stanford 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 TBD 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 5 TBD TBD
Nov. 12 TBD 10:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 TBD 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26 TBD 7:30 p.m.

Ivy League
Oct. 15 Penn at Columbia 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 Yale at Penn 12:00 p.m.
Nov. 12 Penn at Harvard 12:00 p.m.
Nov. 19 Harvard at Yale 12:00 p.m.

NFL on CBS Week 4

From CBS Sports -


The CBS Television Network continues its 52nd year broadcasting the NFL with coverage of THE NFL ON CBS on Sunday, Oct. 2 (1:00-7:00 PM, ET) beginning with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s one-hour studio show (12:00 NOON-1:00 PM, ET), live from THE NFL TODAY studio in New York City.

THE NFL ON CBS lead announce team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the action from the Denver Broncos-Green Bay Packers game live from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc.  Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director.

Sean McManus is Chairman, CBS Sports, and serves as Executive Producer of CBS Sports’ coverage of THE NFL ON CBS.  Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

* * * * *

(On Kyle Orton vs. Tim Tebow Debate in Denver): When you’re a hater, you’re a hater.  If you are against Kyle Orton there’s nothing he can do to get you on his side. It’s a very common thing in the NFL, especially when the guy you draft in the first round is popular and has a famous name. They want to see him play and they don’t care if the Broncos are 3-0 right now and went 6-0.  There still would be, ‘Well big deal. It should be better.’  When you’re a quarterback in the situation that Kyle Orton is in, it’s a tough one to win. You have to do two things. The team has to win, and you have to play – not just well – very well. I don’t know who has ever won this battle.  Drew Brees went to the Pro Bowl as a San Diego Charger.  He’s in New Orleans.   There are a couple factors that are always part of this: it’s media and fan-driven, of course, and the organization makes these No. 1 draft picks and don’t like being wrong.  Tim Tebow is a second year, first-round quarterback.  This week we are going to see arguably the most talented quarterback in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, who basically did not play for three years.

(On Denver Broncos-Green Bay Packers): If Denver can keep the game in the mid-20s against the Packers, they will have done a good job. So the big question is can you score in the mid-20s? With all their injuries, that is a concern for the Denver Broncos. It is at Lambeau Field and Green Bay is a fast team.  That is a tremendous challenge for Denver. For Green Bay, getting Jermichael Finley back is a big deal. He can do anything.  He is maybe the only one who can be a tight end, block like a tight end, help your run game, split out wide like a wide receiver and catch footballs. He is a special talent. He creates incredible dilemmas for the defense. And, Greg Jennings is a superstar. Then you have a mobile quarterback like Aaron Rodgers.  There are just not enough guys to cover everybody.

(On Green Bay Defense): They have four good run-stoppers, big guys who rotate that can really help stop the run. But the biggest thing the Packers have on the defensive side is speed. The linebackers can all run. Even their down lineman, B.J. Raji, who is a big guy, is very mobile and can run. What do you get with speed? You get forced defensive stops.  And the biggest thing speed creates is turnovers because you get hit when you’re not expecting it.  You can move the ball.  You can do some things against their defense. But they are a very good red-zone defense because they can cover a smaller area of the field because of how fast everybody is. Charles Woodson is a unique player who has a coach smart enough to create a role for him.   To say it’s worked out well is an understatement.  It looks like he has such freedom, mentally, and enjoys what he does so much.  It really shows in his play.

(On Houston proving itself in Week 4): This is such a huge game for the Texans this week.  They were an underdog in that game last week, and yet they had it to win.  They had the lead.  But New Orleans was expected to win that game.  So, last week wasn’t a catastrophe.  This week they are playing a good football team, and yet they do need to learn how to win.  They do need to learn how to finish games.  If they stumble at home this week against Pittsburgh, the critics are going to say, ‘You can’t be a good football team.’  If the Texans are to announce their arrival as a playoff contender, this is a game that they have to win.  It will be very interesting to see how the Texans respond after their loss last week.  If they beat Pittsburgh, they’re 3-1 and no one even remembers what happened in New Orleans.  If they lose, they fall to 2-2 and questions arise about how they struggle every time they play against a good team.

(On Pittsburgh): They have real problems on the offensive line.  Their back-ups are now filling in for back-ups.  It’s not the old Steelers team that could run the ball at will.  This Steelers team has struggled to run the football.  And, they’ve struggled to hold on to the football.  I’ve never seen a football team that has a winning record that was -9 in the turnover differential.  They have to get back to playing Steelers football.  That’s easier said than done with a banged-up offensive line.  The old Steelers could take the football and jam it down your throat.  This team has shown an inability to do that because of the line upfront.  There is no continuity at all.

(On Pittsburgh-Houston): This game is just a great match-up all-around.  Mike Wallace of the Steelers is lighting up the league with his big-play potential.  Andre Johnson is on the other side.  He couldn’t be having a better start to a season.  Both Wallace and Johnson each have 21 receptions.  The Steelers’ corner, Ike Taylor, usually locks up with the other team’s best receiver.  It will be interesting to watch him go against Johnson.  The Texans secondary is still a work in progress.  Wade Phillips doesn’t have that whole system in yet.  They’re still working on it.  After what Drew Brees did to them last week, one has to wonder if they’re going to be able to keep Mike Wallace from getting behind them.   

STEVE TASKER (@SteveTasker89)
(On Bills-Bengals): The Bills certainly have confidence that they can score. They have to do what they can to take away one of three things from the Bengals: Cedric Benson, A.J. Green, or Andy Dalton. Pick their poison and try to force Andrew Daulton to beat them, or they’ll be in for a long day trying to tackle Cedric Benson.  Those are the keys for Buffalo.  Offensively they need to get off to a faster start.  Defensively they just need to get some stops early on to get some momentum.

(On Bills’ being able to continue offensive production): As long as they stay healthy, there is no question they can.  If their offensive line starts to get nicked up, that may be a problem. If something happens to Ryan Fitzpatrick or Fred Jackson they’re going to be in deep trouble.  As long as they stay healthy, the guys they’ve got are going to be very good and very difficult to defend. So yes, I’d say they can continue to do it unless something unforeseen happens, like injuries.

(On Buffalo’s defense giving up so many points): They need better pass rushing. They’re getting injured in the secondary and that is a huge concern. Their pass rush hasn’t been everything they wanted it to be.  Until that changes, they’re going to need all hands on deck in their secondary.

(On 3-0 Detroit – the last time the Lions were 3-0 was in 1980 when Danielson was the quarterback): Detroit is called the “Motor City,” “Hockey Town” and the Tigers are hot now.  I grew up in Detroit. I’ve personally witnessed consecutive Saturdays and Sundays where crowds of 100,000; 80,000 and 80,000 attended Michigan, Michigan State and Lions games.  Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson are as good as there is in the league.  If this Lions team continues winning and makes a run for the Super Bowl, the country will confirm what I’ve always known – football is still king in Michigan!

Congratulations to our NFL ON CBS colleagues Phil Simms, Bill Cowher and Steve Tasker on their nominations for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012.

* * * * *

Following are THE NFL ON CBS assignments for Week 4, Week 5 and Week 6 (subject to change).


GAME                                    PLAY-BY-PLAY/ANALYST             
1:00 PM, ET starts:
·Buffalo @ Cincinnati                Andrew Catalon/Steve Tasker           
·Tennessee @ Cleveland           Marv Albert/Rich Gannon                 
·Pittsburgh @ Houston              Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf              

4:15 PM, ET starts:
·Denver @ Green Bay             Jim Nantz/Phil Simms                        
·New England @ Oakland        Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots        
·Miami @ San Diego                Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts                         


GAME                                    PLAY-BY-PLAY/ANALYST            
1:00 PM, ET starts:              
·Tennessee @ Pittsburgh           Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf               
·Oakland @ Houston               Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts                          
·Kansas City @ Indianapolis     Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots         
·Cincinnati @ Jacksonville         Bill Macatee/Steve Tasker                

4:15 PM, ET starts:
·N.Y. Jets @ New England      Jim Nantz/Phil Simms                        
·San Diego @ Denver               Marv Albert/Rich Gannon                

WEEK 6 – Oct. 16

GAME                                    PLAY-BY-PLAY/ANALYST            
1:00 PM, ET starts:              
·Buffalo @ N.Y. Giants            Jim Nantz/Phil Simms                        
·Indianapolis @ Cincinnati         Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots        
·Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh        Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts                         

4:00 PM, ET starts:
·Cleveland @ Oakland             Marv Albert/Rich Gannon               
·Houston @ Baltimore              Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf             

TBS sets MLB Playoffs - Orsillo gets Rangers/Rays

From TBS Sports -

TBS Announces Telecast Schedule and Broadcasters for its
Exclusive Coverage of the MLB Division Series

Saturday, October 1st to feature three games on TBS and one game on TNT

Following one of the most exciting finishes in Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season history, TBS begins its exclusive coverage of the League Division Series (LDS) on Friday, September 30, with doubleheader action featuring the best of the American League (AL).  At 4:30 p.m. (ET), TBS will air the TBS MLB on Deck presented by Chrysler pre-game show featuring Matt Winer (host), Dennis Eckersley (analyst), Cal Ripken (analyst) and David Wells (analyst).  The network will also conclude the day’s action with the post-game show Inside MLB presented by Captain Morgan.

5 p.m.
The Texas Rangers (AL West Division Champions) will host the Tampa Bay Rays (AL Wild Card Champions) in Game #1 at 5 p.m. (ET)Don Orsillo (play-by-play) and Buck Martinez (analyst) will call the action with Jaime Maggio reporting.

8:30 p.m.
The New York Yankees (AL East Division Champions) host the Detroit Tigers (AL Central Division Champions) in Game #1 at 8:30 p.m. (ET)Brian Anderson (play-by-play) will call the game alongside Ron Darling (analyst) and John Smoltz (analyst) with Tom Verducci reporting.

MLB Postseason action continues on Saturday, October 1 with four LDS match-ups: three on TBS and one on sister-network TNT.  TBS MLB on Deck presented by Chrysler will preview the games with Winer, Eckersley, Ripken and Wells at 1:30 p.m. (ET). Following the final game of the day, Inside MLB presented by Captain Morgan will wrap up the day’s results.

2 p.m.
The Milwaukee Brewers (NL Central Division Champions) will host the Arizona Diamondbacks (NL West Division Champions) in Game #1 at 1:30 p.m. (ET)Victor Rojas (play-by-play), Joe Simpson (analyst) and Sam Ryan (reporter) will call the action.

5 p.m.
The Philadelphia Phillies (NL East Division Champions) host the St. Louis Cardinals (NL Wild Card Champions) in Game #1 at 5 p.m. (ET)Dick Stockton (play-by-play) will call the game alongside Bob Brenly (analyst) with Craig Sager reporting.

7 p.m.
GAME WILL AIR ON TNT:  Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers, Game #2
Announcers: Don Orsillo (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) and Jaime Maggio (reporter)

8:30 p.m.
Detroit Tigers @ New York Yankees, Game #2
Announcers: Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst), John Smoltz (analyst) and Tom Verducci (reporter)

MLB Postseason action continues on Sunday, October 2 with a doubleheader.  TBS MLB on Deck presented by Chrysler will preview the games with Winer, Eckersley, Ripken and Wells at 4 p.m. (ET). Following the final game of the day, Inside MLB presented by Captain Morgan will wrap up the day’s results.
4:30 p.m.
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Milwaukee Brewers, Game #2
Announcers: Victor Rojas (play-by-play), Joe Simpson (analyst) and Sam Ryan (reporter)

8 p.m.
St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies, Game #2
Announcers: Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Bob Brenly (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

MLB Postseason action continues on Monday, October 3 with another doubleheader.  TBS MLB on Deck presented by Chrysler will preview the games with Winer, Eckersley, Ripken and Wells at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Following the final game of the day, Inside MLB presented by Captain Morgan will wrap up the day’s results.

5 p.m.
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays, Game #3
Announcers: Don Orsillo (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) and Jaime Maggio (reporter)

8:30 p.m.
New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers, Game #3
Announcers: Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst), John Smoltz (analyst) and Tom Verducci (reporter)

Red Sox Money for 2012

Now while the regular season collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox may be less than 24 hours old, there's no reason not to look forward to the 2012 season.

Here's a quick breakdown of the numbers:

Coming back (94.654 million):
Josh Beckett - 17 million
Clay Buchholz - 3.75 million
Carl Crawford - 20.357 million
Kevin Youkilis - 12.25 million
Adrian Gonzalez - 21.857 million
Jon Lester - 7.63 million
Dustin Pedroia - 8.25 million
Marco Scutaro - 1.5 million
Jose Iglesias - 2.06 million

Arbitration Eligible
Matt Albers
Mike Aviles
Daniel Bard
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jed Lowrie
Franklin Morales
Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Free agents (what they made in 2011)
Erik Bedard (1 million)
JD Drew (14 million)
Conor Jackson (3.2 million)
Trever Miller (2 million)
David Ortiz (12.5 million)
Jonathan Papelbon (12 million)
Jason Veritek (2 million)
Tim Wakefield (2 million)

Andrew Miller (club)
Dan Wheeler (club)

Dead Money ($32.28 million) - could be traded away or released/some salary eaten
John Lackey - 15.95 million
Bobby Jenks - 6 million
Diasuke Matsuzaka - 10.33 million

Off books from 2011
Mike Cameron (7.75 million)

Total committed on payroll for 2012: 126.934 million

It'll make for some interesting decisions moving forward for whomever is left as general manager and manager in Boston.

For Red Sox Nation

MLB Playoffs Schedule

AL Division Series
Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1DET @ NYYFriSep. 308:30 pmTBS
Gm 2DET @ NYYSatOct. 18:30pmTBS
Gm 3NYY @ DETMonOct. 38:30pmTBS
AL Division Series
Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1TAM @ TEXFriSep. 305:07 pmTBS
Gm 2TAM @ TEXSatOct. 17pmTNT
Gm 3TEX @ TAMMonOct. 35pmTBS
NL Division Series
Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1STL @ PHISatOct. 15pmTBS
Gm 2STL @ PHISunOct. 28pmTBS
NL Division Series
Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1ARI @ MILSatOct. 12pmTBS
Gm 2ARI @ MILSunOct. 2 4:30pmTBS
American League Championship Series
Series Date Network Air Time (ET)
ALCS Game OneSaturday, October 8FOXTBA
ALCS Game TwoSunday, October 9FOXTBA
ALCS Game ThreeTuesday, October 11FOXTBA
ALCS Game FourWednesday, October 12FOXTBA
ALCS Game Five*Thursday, October 13FOXTBA
ALCS Game Six*Saturday, October 15FOXTBA
ALCS Game Seven*Sunday, October 16FOXTBA
National League Championship Series
Series Date Network Air Time (ET)
NLCS Game OneSunday, October 9TBSTBA
NLCS Game TwoMonday, October 10TBSTBA
NLCS Game ThreeWednesday, October 12TBSTBA
NLCS Game FourThursday, October 13TBSTBA
NLCS Game Five*Friday, October 14TBSTBA
NLCS Game Six*Sunday, October 16TBSTBA
NLCS Game Seven*Monday, October 17TBSTBA
World Series
Series Date Match-Up Network Air Time (ET)
Game OneWednesday, October 19AL Champion at NL ChampionFOXTBA
Game TwoThursday, October 20AL Champion at NL ChampionFOXTBA
Game ThreeSaturday, October 22NL Champion at AL ChampionFOXTBA
Game FourSunday, October 23NL Champion at AL ChampionFOXTBA
Game Five*Monday, October 24NL Champion at AL ChampionFOXTBA
Game Six*Wednesday, October 26AL Champion at NL ChampionFOXTBA
Game Seven*Thursday, October 27AL Champion at NL ChampionFOXTBA