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Media notes: Anders, Byers, Ebert ...

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  April 4, 2013 05:48 PM

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Today's media column, leading with a look at CBS's coverage of the NCAA Tournament so far (particularly the network's pitch-perfect handling of the Kevin Ware injury) is here.

Chat at 2:30 p.m. And while we know a 2:30 p.m. start would be an upset of 16-seed-over-1-seed proportions, I'm aiming for an on-time arrival today. Right -- see you at 2:37.

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ruthfinn.jpg.jpgA couple of media footnotes and opinions to follow. But first, a long-overdue recommendation for you baseball-loving moms and dads who eagerly anticipate the day when your young kids will fall for the game the way you did ...

Read 'em Matt Tavares's baseball books. I promise they will expedite the process.

Tavares, a legit Red Sox fan (and, full disclosure, the dad of a classmate of my son's), has authored and illustrated three books about baseball legends -- There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived, Henry Aaron's Dream, and his latest, Becoming Babe Ruth, which recently got an affirming write-up in the Times.

They're warm and funny and accurate, geared toward children 5 to 8 and clearly labors of love for the author. My two kids have enjoyed many of his other books that aren't about baseball icons. But the Ruth one has proven their favorite, probably because I had no rebuttal when I read my kids the line "He eats enormous amounts of food/He does whatever he wants,'' and they said in unison, "Sounds like you, Daddy."

Hey, I'll take a Babe Ruth comparison any day.

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NESN spokesman Gary Roy confirmed Thursday that the network has no intention of using a combined broadcast booth during regular-season game. That's good news. NESN shared a production truck and rotated or shared broadcast teams with other regional sports networks during five spring training broadcasts. The approach wasn’t well received by many involved in the broadcast. There had been industry buzz that NESN was considering attempting it during the regular season, perhaps in Minnesota or Seattle.

Sean McDonough's switch from calling Monday Night Baseball each week on ESPN to a Wednesday Night Baseball schedule in which he'll work somewhere between 8-12 games this season would seem to free him up to call Patriots games on 98.5 The Sports Hub if that is the path CBS Radio and McDonough choose to go. But he told me Thursday that while the Patriots radio gig isn't entirely out of the question, his primary reason for the switch is to reduce his schedule so he's not working 52 weeks a year between his college basketball and football duties as well as baseball.

Dave O'Brien is now ESPN's Monday Night Baseball voice, which means he'll be absent from Red Sox radio broadcasts on WEEI 93.7 this season on that night rather than Wednesdays, as had been the situation in the past. Jon Rish will continue to be a more than capable pinch-hitter for O'Brien alongside Joe Castiglione.

byerslyndonfinn45.jpgAppreciate WEEI's seemingly redoubled efforts to talk about the Bruins these days. Mike Salk has quickly proven legit on the topic in the afternoon (something that was emphasized by the station when he was hired). Not sure about the Lyndon Byers invasion in the midday, though. He's funny and obviously informed -- heck, he played against Jaromir Jagr when the latter was a rookie -- but his habit of talking over midday hosts Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni gives me a flashback to "The Big Show: Worst of Smerlas" days.

Mentioned a week or two ago that the ideal for 98.5 The Sports Hub in its search to find a replacement for Gil Santos is to come up with the football version of Dave Goucher. Should have thought to suggest they should just go with the original -- Goucher did audition for the gig, and I suspect he'd be as adept calling Patriots games as he is at broadcasting the Bruins.

Greatly enjoyed Jon Wertheim's recent piece in Sports Illustrated on Benny Anders , the mysterious, more-charismatic-than-Clyde dunking machine for the University of Houston's early '80s "Phi Slamma Jamma'' force of nature whose whereabouts have long been unknown. That his search ended without a face-to-face resolution is fine -- Wertheim writes beautifully at the end of the piece about whether he should pursue Anders further -- though it did remind me of other excellent pieces that may have been ever-so-slightly diminished by the writer's decision to avoid confrontation in the end.

Here's nice compilation of Roger Ebert's reviews of baseball films from Wezen-Ball's Larry Granillo. This was written in 2009. If you just know Ebert, who died of cancer Thursday at age 70, for thumbs-up, thumbs-down and his banter with Gene Siskel on the syndicated "At The Movies" during the '80s, you missed out on some truly wonderful writing.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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