In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes the similarities between the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation and the one that surrounded ESPN's Ray Lewis in '00 are "too remarkable" to miss, yet ESPN "seems to have chosen to miss them in self-service to its recent, unconscionable, this-is-how-we-roll hire of Lewis." Mushnick: "A been-there, done-that interview with Ray Lewis would be in order -- except we’re too stupid to know ESPN doesn’t want to remind us we know Lewis is now on ESPN’s staff" (N.Y. POST, 6/28). In Boston, Chad Finn writes, "Still cannot believe ESPN cut away from Aaron Hernandez’s live arraignment Wednesday to get legal analyst Roger Cossack’s opinion." Nothing the network "could have aired at the moment would have been more compelling than watching the stone-faced Hernandez listen as the prosecution revealed in extraordinary detail what it believes to be the timeline of the crime" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/28).
JUST WHAT THE YANKS' DOCTOR ORDERED: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes Yankees GM Brian Cashman's pointed suggestion to Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez earlier this week has "taken a sleep-inducing New York baseball season, during which ticket sales and TV ratings have tanked, and put the buzz back." For four days and counting, Cashman and Rodriguez have "put the media focus back on baseball and returned the game to those more into intrigue than pitch counts." If it "weren’t for Aaron Hernandez’s murder arrest, the story would have reached 24/7 status" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/28).
TOUR DE FORCE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports NBC's Steve Schlanger is "set to be a host and reporter" for Tour de France coverage this year. Schlanger said, "I will be ... doing features and interviewing the winners and the overall leader every day as the race unfolds. I’ll be on at various times throughout the pregame show, race coverage and then the postgame report." He has "covered cycling before, but this will be his first run with the sport’s marquee event" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/28).
WRITER WIRES: 1500 ESPN Radio Twin Cities Senior Editor Tom Pelissero has confirmed that he is "leaving the station to take a job with USA Today" (TWINCITIES.com, 6/25). NBC Sports on Thursday announced that former SI.com writer Nick Zaccardi has joined NBCOlympics.com as the lead writer for OlympicTalk in advance of the '14 Sochi Games. He wrote pieces for SI.com on last summer's London Games, and has also previously had stints with MLB.com and PGATour.com (NBC Sports).