Link-O-Rama: Heel injury ends Scutaro's breakout season

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* Marco Scutaro’s career-best season is likely over after an MRI exam revealed a tear in the plantar fasciitis of his right heel. The injury comes at an inopportune time for the 33-year-old impending free agent, but hitting .282/.379/.409 with 12 homers, 35 doubles, 90 walks, and 14 steals in 144 games as the Blue Jays’ starting shortstop still figures to at least quadruple his current $1.1 million salary in 2010.
* Curt Schilling has officially decided not to run for Ted Kennedy’s vacant senate seat. “Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that’s been given to me, it just did not make sense,” Schilling said. Meanwhile, polling in Massachusetts suggested that he had little chance to win anyway.
* Team USA opened the World Cup final round yesterday with a 6-3 victory over Venezuela, who previously handed the United States their only loss of the tournament. Pirates prospects Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln starred in the win.
* Flip Flop Fly Ball has a cool graphic showing how often the team with baseball’s best record goes on to win the World Series.
* Mariners fans are now free to go strip-clubbing around Safeco Field.

UPDATE: WEEI denies it will change Red Sox broadcasts to a talk show format

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UPDATE: WEEI is pushing back on this report, denying that it is true. Finn’s source for the story was the agency posting job listings which said that, yes, WEEI was looking to do the talk show format. WEEI is now saying that the agency was merely speculating and that it will still be a traditional broadcast.

Both WEEI and Finn say they will have full reports soon, so I guess we’ll see.

9:47 AM: WEEI carries Boston Red Sox games on the radio in the northeast. For the past three seasons, Tim Neverett and Joe Castiglione have been the broadcast team. Following what was reportedly a difficult relationship with the station, Neverett has allowed his contract with WEEI to end, however, meaning that the station needs to do something else with their broadcast.

It seems that they’re going to do something radical. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe:

There were industry rumors about possible changes all season long. One, which multiple sources have said was a genuine consideration, had WEEI dropping the concept of a conventional radio baseball broadcast to make the call of the game sound more like a talk show.

That was yesterday. Just now, Finn confirmed it:

I have no idea how that will work in practice but I can’t imagine this turning out well. At all.

Hiring talk show hots to call games — adding opinion and humor and stuff while still doing a more or less straightforward broadcast — would probably be fine. It might even be fun. But this is not saying that’s what is happening. It says it’s changing it to a talk show “format.” I have no idea how that would work. A few well-done exceptions aside, there is nothing more annoying than sports talk radio. It tends to be constant, empty chatter about controversies real or imagined and overheated either way. It usually puts the host in the center of everything, forcing listeners — often willingly — to adopt his point of view. It’s almost always boorish narcissism masquerading as “analysis.”

But even if it was the former idea — talk show hosts doing a conventional broadcast — it’d still be hard to pull off given how bad so many talk show hosts are. There are a couple of sports talk hosts I like personally and I think do a good job, most are pretty bad, including the ones WEEI has historically preferred.

Which is to stay that this is bound to be awful. And that’s if they even remember to pay attention to the game. Imagine them taking a few calls while the Red Sox mount a rally, get sidetracked arguing over whether some player is “overrated” or whatever and listeners get completely lost.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Red Sox fans who listen to the games on the radio.