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Morning sports update: Bill Belichick, Bruce Cassidy, Alex Cora and Brad Stevens on how they handle the media

"I think when it gets personal I think that is crossing the line."

Bill Belichick and Brad Stevens in 2017. John Tlumacki/Globe staff

The Red Sox lost to the Phillies on Wednesday night, 5-2. Boston slid back to seven games behind in the chase for the final American League wild card spot.

And the Patriots take the field tonight at Gillette Stadium (7:30 p.m.) against the Panthers for the team’s third preseason game.

Some of region’s sports leaders spoke about how they handle the media: In a rare gathering, Bruce Cassidy, Alex Cora and Brad Stevens were together in the WEEI studio on Wednesday to help raise money for the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon.

Bill Belichick, busy with Patriots preseason, joined in on the phone. Together, the group made a few jokes and also discussed a few serious topics, including their respective approaches to media coverage of sports.


“I don’t read too much into it, to be honest with you guys,” Cassidy began. “You guys got a job to do. You got a passionate fan base for every sport. People want to have an opinion. I think it’s great to have some banter.”

Stevens echoed Cassidy’s thoughts.

“You certainly hear things that you just kind of say, ‘That’s talk. That’s not real,'” said the Celtics’ coach. “But again, what Bruce said I totally agree with. Everybody has a job to do and part of the reason why we’re all compensated really well and we get to do this job with this kind of scrutiny is because of people’s interest. That people want to talk about it all the time is a good thing.”

Cora spoke from experience, having worked in media for a time after he retired from playing baseball.

“I learned over the four years I worked on TV and doing ‘Baseball Tonight’ covering the game, I learned a lot about how it works,” Cora explained. “I always tell you guys, I know how it works here. You guys ask the questions, but whenever there’s a headline, somebody else is behind the door and they are going to throw it out there and it’s going to be bigger than what it really is. I’ve seen it throughout the season last year when we were doing good, and this year when we struggle. Somebody else is going to make that news bigger than what it is. I keep everything in perspective.”


The problem that the group identified is if criticism ever gets personal.

“I don’t listen every day, so I guess if it got personal with certain players that’s when I’d say, ‘Hey, OK, let’s keep it to their performance on the ice,'” Cassidy said.

Stevens’s critique revolved around untrue accusations.

“I think the only thing that I would say is the only time it would ever bother me at all would be is if a player was unfairly maligned for things that aren’t real.

Belichick, like Cassidy, noted that personal attacks are the thing he considers out-of-bounds.

“I think when it gets personal I think that is crossing the line,” said the Patriots coach. “You can think whatever you want about my coaching — good, bad, I have heard all of it. That is your opinion and I have no problem with that. I think when it gets personal with players and other people within the organization, I don’t think that is where it belongs, but I don’t have any control over that.”

Alex Cora, Brad Stevens, Bruce Cassidy, and Bill Belichick join Ordway, Merloni and Fauria live from the WEEI NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon sponsored by Arbella Insurance Foundation. The Arbella Insurance Foundation will give $5 for every “like” or “share”, up to $5,000, on these videos. #ArbellaAllAccess Boston Red Sox Boston Bruins Boston Celtics @New England Patriots

Posted by WEEI Sports Radio Network on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trivia: Red Sox pitchers have surrendered five or more home runs in a single start on eight occasions. Who is the only Red Sox starter to give up six home runs in a single appearance? (Despite the feat, he still recorded a win in an 11-9 Boston victory over Detroit).


(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He has the most innings pitched in Red Sox history.

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Daily highlight: Carlos Vela of LAFC scored one of the goals of the season on Wednesday night against San Jose:

Trivia answer: Tim Wakefield