Saturday, June 11, 2005
ESPN, Fox News for Yankees Fans
Last night, we headed to the Nationals game to watch their game with the Mariners. In between the excitment of yelling "juuuice" at Beltre when he came up to bat, we kept looking over at the scoreboard from around the league, and you can imagine our reaction at seeing the early returns from St. Louis, especially when it was 7-0 in the third. The game draws to a close (it was quite good, with a 3-3 tie headed into the eigth when the Nats broke it wide open in the bottom of that inning with a little help from a bullpen that would have made the early-May version of our pen look like champs), we rush out of the stadium, head for the Metro (which allows for a more liberal consumption of libations when one doesn't have to drive), crowd into the train with tens of thousands of other sweaty baseball fans, jump off the train at our stop, rush home, grab the computer, turn on the TV, and eagerly await for the Cards/Yanks highlights. ESPN is curiously tight-lipped about it, not spilling even the pitcher's game stats on the bottom line. Then, I see, on ESPN News, "Ahead: Reaction from Yankee's Jeter." Suddenly it all starts to make sense. The story comes on, and the announcers lead it off with somekind of "what's the matter with the Yankees" line. And there it is. The ridiculous East Coast bias, Yankees bias, in that the entire story is focused on the Yankee melt-down. Melt-down, against the Cardinals! Why? To me, of course, the story is that the Cards drilled the $200 million payroll Yanks. Marquis pitched a good game, the Cards played some magic defense, and Pujols is as dominant as ever, along with the rest of the Redbirds bats hitting right on target. Even the sleeping giant, Larry Walker, has a run, a hit, an RBI, and two walks. However, the focus of the story was decidedly Yanks, save for one highlight of Pujols' homerun. Absurd, totally and completely absurd. Not even one mention about the quality of team the Cards are, their level of play, the place of honor right next to the Yankees in baseball legendry. In my own biased perspective, the Cards are the best team in both leagues right now, and a more rational, unbiased person would certainly put them among the top teams. They've been far more consistent than any other team, including the White Sox. But, hey, I'm just a piddly little blogger. So as not to give you a Fox News like perspective, let's consider the argument the other way, from the media stand point. The Yankees are far and away the most recognizable team in baseball, maybe in all of professional sports, maybe in all the world, and New York is the nation's number one media market. They represent a $200 million dollar payroll (their luxury tax was more than most payrolls), and to buy their team like that and loose represents a major failure, which makes a story in and of itself (and, really, who's not rooting for them to fail). There's also the recent skid, their previous series against the Brew Crew and a sweep by the Royals, this game was the first after Torre made a well-publicized effort to shake them out of their skid. Considering all of that, there is definitely a story there. I think it's a seperate story, maybe something that number one Red Sox fan Peter Gammons can report. I just don't think it can be reported with nothing given to the Cardinals and their high levels of play this season. Eh, voice crying in the wilderness, I guess. Let's hope for a sweep. Will be live blogging the game today, filled with mullet commentary.