In March 2013, Mike Salk replaced fired Boston radio legend Glenn Ordway on WEEI's afternoon drive program.
A year later, Salk is moving on.
The Sudbury native announced at the end of Wednesday's "Salk and Holley" program he is resigning from the station.
He said on his Twitter account (changed to @TheMikeSalk yesterday afternoon) that he would have more details on his future Thursday.
An industry source said he believed Salk was returning to Seattle, where he co-hosted the “Brock and Salk Show” along with former NFL quarterback Brock Huard for three years on ESPN 710 before leaving for WEEI. Salk is expected to have a more prominent role than he had when he left.
Michael Holley, Salk's co-host for the past year, will be paired with a former co-host of his own Thursday. Dale Arnold, who worked with Holley on WEEI's midday show before they were broken up in a reshuffling in February 2011, will fill in Friday, just as he has for a couple of days this week while Salk was on vacation.
A spokesman at WEEI's parent company Entercom Communications said the station will use a rotating cast of hosts alongside Holley in the immediate future while searching for Salk's permanent replacement.
Salk's short-lived run at WEEI was in part due to challenging circumstances and in part his own fault.
He was hired and emboldened by then-Entercom Boston vice president/market manager Jeff Brown. But when Brown departed unexpectedly in September, replaced by Phil Zachary, Salk lost his chief advocate at the station.
The difficult task of replacing Ordway, who maintained a loyal following, became even more challenging after Brown left.
But it quickly became evident that he he was not the right fit. Salk was somewhat familiar to Boston sports radio listeners, having previously been on the air at WWZN 1510 and the now-defunct ESPN 890 in the Boston market.
But even though he grew up here, his homogenized style, honed during his time at ESPN radio, made him seem like an outsider.
The Patriots didn't win the Super Bowl. They didn't win Day 1 of free agency, either.
If you're thinking what I'm thinking, there's only one thing left to do: Operation Overthrow.
No, that's a Steve Grogan reference. It's the plan. Right -- the plan.
Meet me in the parking lot of the Red Wing Diner on Route 1. You bring the tar, I'll supply the feathers.
It's happening, and it's overdue. We're storming the Gillette castle. It's time to depose this Belichick clown once and for all, before the Patriots, you know, actually have a losing season or something.
Sure, in an era in which the rules are stacked against consistency, let alone a dynasty, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls, could own at least two more Lombardi Trophies with a little luck and better health, have made the AFC title game three straight seasons, including during a 2013 season in which their transcendent tight end blew out his knee, their other, exceptionally versatile tight end decided it better to be a non-fictional Tony Montana than play with the modern-day Joe Montana, and multiplayer nucleus of the run defense ended up on injured reserve.
A dozen regular-season and a trip to the final four is all well and good, but let me ask you this: How many Free-Agency Winner banners hang in Gillette Stadium? That's right, none. None. Well, unless you were really excited about Danny Amendola last year. But that doesn't count. It was only worth a plaque.
And just look at these no-names and never-weres they're lining up for visits: Shelley Smith? He's less famous than the ESPN reporter. Brandon LaFell? Pretty sure that last name is French for "can't stay upright." Someone named Shaughnessy? OK, Belichick's flat trolling us now.
So who's with me? Tar. Feathers. A hoodie in tatters. Revenge.
All right, so maybe that's a little over the top. We can hold the feathers, I guess. But in a day in which I heard one sports radio caller (Hey, I Have To Listenï¿½) say flat-out that Belichick is the worst general manager in football, even the stupidest theories and plans of attack seem somewhat feasible.
I understand why Patriots fans are frustrated today. Aqib Talib, an amusing and talented player whose arrival in 2013 changed the defense almost instantly, got an offer he couldn't refuse from the team that ended the Patriots season. Because he is not completely insane, he did not refuse it.
Forget that six years and $57 million -- with $26 million guaranteed -- is an absurd overpay for a player who had so much baggage he cost the Patriots just a fourth-round pick in the November 2012 deal with the Bucks. Talib will be missed. He was a damn good cornerback, fun to watch, gets too much grief for his postseason injuries (football players get hurt playing football at random times -- go figure), and he's joining a rival. Bummer.
But hey, at least it means the Broncos probably won't be signing Darrelle Revis too, unless they've figured out another way to cheat the salary cap. Wait -- does John Elway even know there's a salary cap? It's not like the Broncos abided by one when he was playing.
Envying teams that make a big move in free agency is understandable. And it's aggravating as hell when one of your team's best players joins the team that stood in the way of a sixth trip to the Super Bowl in the Tom Brady era. The notion that the Patriots should be loading up to get Brady that fourth ring is comes from the right place, even if it's undisciplined in the long term. If there's any solace to be taken in watching the Broncos do just that for Manning, it's the knowledge that sometime in January, he'll make sure they're best-laid plans implode spectacularly.
Maybe that comes before the Broncos and Patriots inevitably collide, maybe it comes after. But drawing conclusions on where the Patriots are, where they are headed, and whether they're roster-building strategy is sound is absolutely ignorant at this point in the process, roughly six months before they play their next game.
Losing Talib is disappointing, but there's no way he's worth that price. I suspect Alterraun Verner is raising an eyebrow in his agent's direction today, and I still think he would have been a great fit here.
As useful consolation prizes, I wouldn't mind the best available Cromartie -- Antonio (tall, troubled at times, and freakishly talented), Dominique Rodgers-, even Warren here. There are good corners available, some of whom we would have preferred to Talib less than two years ago.
As for the Darrelle Revis sweepstakes, well, the mewling we've-got-to-get-him-or-else spoiled minority aren't particularly interested in context or perspective today. As cool as it would be to see him join the Patriots, it would rate as one of the great upsets in sports history if he takes an offer that isn't the most lucrative.
In the frustration of having not won a Super Bowl in the past nine years with Brady and Belichick at the helm of the operation, two things are lost.
1) It's damn hard to win a Super Bowl. Don't you remember that? You need more than talent and quality coaching -- you need breaks, and they ones they got in 2001, '03, and '04 haven't come their way in the biggest moments recently. Guess what? That's sports.
2) We have it so good with this team. In those nine years, they made two Super Bowls, five AFC title games, and won eight division titles. They've won more than any team of this era, and this era is not over even if they -- gasp -- didn't dazzle on Day 1 of free agency. I'm pretty sure they'll add some football players. Good ones, too. Maybe we'll even have heard of a few.
The Patriots' approach isn't splashy. On days like yesterday, it's not much fun. But man, it's almost always rewarding on those fall Sundays that matter. Try to enjoy it, will ya?
Judging by the assorted yelps and howls I heard on sports radio on my way in (hey, I get paid to listen), that photo represents the collective daydream of a vocal segment of Patriots fans as free agency dawns today.
Get Darrelle Revis.
Get Steve Smith.
Get out the checkbook!
Get a fourth Super Bowl for Tom Brady before the window closes!
I get it at a fundamental level. Realistic conjecture is a fun aspect to following sports; imagining an excellent player or another joining forces with the team you root for is a big part of being a fan, particularly when you are a kid. I'm still waiting for the Red Sox to trade Carney Lansford for George Brett.
The tampering/free-agency silly season -- something the NFL has turned into a genuine event, like baseball's hot stove -- is supposed to be fun, and for the most part it is. Haven't we all been pining to see Larry Fitzgerald catch Brady's passes since, I don't know, he was a sophomore at Pittsburgh? Heck, I think I've been drawing up ways -- some even based in actual logic -- for the Red Sox to acquire Giancarlo Stanton since he was answering to Mike.
Sometimes those imagined transactions become reality (Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox ... I know), some just hover unfulfilled through the years (the Mariners seem oddly intent on keeping Felix Hernandez), some are orchestrated dishonestly to get the phones ringing ("If Hoodie doesn't get two Calvin Johnson clones, this offseason is already a failure, caller!"), and some morph from fantasy to potential reality in the time it takes to read 140 characters.
Two teams to watch on CB Darrelle Revis once Tampa releases him: Philadelphia and New England (Jets fans shudder).— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
So there it is -- the possibility that Revis, such a worthy rival during his time with the Jets, could join the Patriots once the Bucs shed him and his $13 million base salary if they don't deal him first. (There's no way the Patriots trade for him.)
I'm skeptical Revis, who will be 29 when the season begins, ends up in Philly, which is still recovering from the Nnamdi Asomugha disaster and may be out of the high-end cornerback market for a while.
I'm more skeptical Revis ends up with the Patriots for one reason: There is a ridiculous amount of money out there in free agency. The Raiders, for instance, have roughly $65 million to play with. The Browns also are well under the cap. The Patriots are in the middle of the pack.
As my colleague Ben Volin calculated a few days ago, the Patriots could pursue Revis without requiring illogical adjustments to certain players' salaries. It's doable, which takes it out of that daydream realm.
But there will be no bargain to be had here -- I cannot think of any contemporary of Revis's who has been more chronically focused his contract. He's Rod Tidwell with bad hands. He's about the money.
I suspect he'll end up somewhere where his bank account swells with a fat new up-front bonus, with the chance to go to a Super Bowl a distant second among his considerations. Hopefully he doesn't find both away from the Patriots and end up with the Broncos as Champ Bailey's successor for the next decade.
No matter whether they do or do not end up with Revis or retain Aqib Talib by 4:02 p.m. today, I hope we can resist the temptation to suggest they weren't aggressive enough in free agency.
It annoys me no end -- because it's wrong -- that the Patriots' won't spend money in free agency. They'll spend if the player fits a certain criteria, like Rosevelt Colvin in 2003 -- he's young, already accomplished and still ascending, smart, fits what they are trying to do, and may be even a little unsung.
I wouldn't know the guy to the left here, Titans free-agent cornerback Alterraun Verner, if he horse-collared me in the line at Dunkin's this morning. But based on what those who know him says about him, he certainly seems to fit the profile of what Bill Belichick covets in a player.
If the Patriots end up with Verner, but not Revis or Talib, I suspect that would be treated as a lost opportunity by many, and that's foolish. Signing Talib for $4 million to $6 million less per season than Revis also would be a good thing -- it allows them to secure another quality player or two. Maybe it's the difference in whether Julian Edelman returns or not.
Just to entirely ruin the daydream in the hours before the frenzy begins, this much needs to be made clear: signing Steve Smith would be ridiculous. He's 35, slowing down, has punched out two teammates that we know of, and really has little value beyond name recognition. He'd make a swell Jet.
Maybe the Patriots will surprise us and do something of note today. But history seems to suggest they won't, and that's fine too. Big spending assures a day of headlines and nothing more. The Patriots don't have to sign the big names to make that fourth championship possible. They just need to sign the right ones, whether that's today or in the less dramatic tomorrows to follow. Find the Vrabels, not the Beisels, you know?
Well, this sure looks like the real deal, Holyfield:
CF Grady Sizemore
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
C Mike Napoli
LF Daniel Nava
RF Shane Victorino
SS Xander Bogaerts
C A.J. Pierzynski
3B Will Middlebrooks
SP Jon Lester
That may not be exactly what the Red Sox lineup card will look like when they open the season March 31 in Baltimore against Jim Palmer, Mike Boddicker, Ubaldo Jimenez, or whomever Buck Showalter sends to the mound to start the season.
I imagine Victorino and/or Nava (my choice as the leadoff hitter against righties based on his .322/.411/.484 slash line from the left side last season) will be near the top of the order, and Bogaerts will quickly ascend to the heart of the order (he'll be the everyday No. 5 hitter by June).
But that lineup above is pretty close to the entire varsity. Which is particularly interesting for two reasons:
1. This isn't the lineup for March 31 at Camden Yards, but March 10 for a matchup with the Rays at JetBlue Park. There are three weeks to go, and the Red Sox are officially gearing up for regular season. Baseball season is near! [Insert Jeterian fist-pump.]
2. Jackie Bradley Jr. isn't in this lineup. Grady Sizemore is -- and at the top of it, even.
Hello, sports radio topic of the day.
Upon glancing at the scorecard and seeing Sizemore's name first, with a lineup of familiar names who are about to receive World Series rings below him, it's obvious to wonder whether he's the the front-runner for the starting center field job.
I don't think that's what's happening, though. I think they're just trying to find out what they have by giving him a workload of at-bats they're sure he can handle without crumbling.
It's easy for us to get caught up in the potential of what Sizemore could be, simply because of what he was -- one of the most talented all-around players in baseball. From 2006-08, Sizemore finished in the top 12 in MVP balloting each year, collected two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award, hit between 24 and 33 homers each year, stole between 22 and 38 bases each year, never had an on-base percentage below .374, and missed just five games total.
He was just 25 years old in '08. It was reasonable to believe that his best was ahead of him, an enticing thought given what he'd already accomplished. He was on his way to being one of baseball's marquee names, presuming he wasn't already.
Instead, his body betrayed him. From 2009-11, he totaled just 28 homers and 17 steals in 210 games. His highest batting-average in that stretch was .248. On September 22, 2011, he went 1 for 4 with an RBI as the Indians routed the White Sox, 11-1.
He has not played a major league game since.
Because of what he was, it's easy to watch him now and become giddy about what the Red Sox might have. He's just 31, and as he shakes off the rust, he looks like at least a passable version of his old self.
Seeing him atop that lineup today -- and singling in his first at-bat -- only enhances the daydream that he may be a bargain, a steal, a feel-good story and a reclamation project for the ages. Hell, stories like Sizemore's are one of the reasons spring training can be fulfilling and fun.
But it's a good thing the Red Sox have the prudence many fans and media folks do not. While John Farrell, who was the farm director in Cleveland during Sizemore's ascent, knows the player better than anyone, I simply cannot believe they will rush him.
Sizemore has had surgeries on parts where most people don't have parts. To be honest, I dread the possibility of hearing some day over the next few weeks that he suddenly has soreness in his knee and the Sox give him a few days off and suddenly he isn't heard from again until June.
The Red Sox are smart enough to maintain that concern, too, even as he progresses and the possibilities become more intriguing. These do-the-right-thing Red Sox are not going to overdo it in early March pushing one of the few potential wild-cards on their roster.
Part of this, I believe, is because they believe in Jackie Bradley Jr., figuring his defense and character will be assets while he figures out major league pitching.
They will be patient with his development. They will be patient with Sizemore as well.
Be sure to stop by our always raucous Friday chat -- note the 1 p.m. start time -- during which we'll discuss the Patriots' needs in free agency, the Bruins' dull trade deadline whether Jake Peavy has ever heard of Irving Fryar, and the usual media matters. Check in below to join the fun.
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.