Skip if you don’t like Sports

I hate ESPN.

I’m not alone in this feeling, but I felt the need to voice the opinion.

I understand we’re a football nation, and they’re going to cover the NFL games in a lot more detail than baseball (despite the fact that it’s Week 5 in the former and THE F*CKING PLAYOFFS in the latter).  I understand that Washington isn’t a historic baseball town like, well, any of the other teams in the playoffs.  I understand there’s a sick fascination with The Yankees in this country.

However, in their two minutes of coverage of the Nats’ game tonight (after, oh, ten minutes of coverage of the Yankees and Reds games), we didn’t see any of the set-up (Gio Gonzales looking…bad; the Espinosa bunt that put both runners in scoring position) and all the commentary was about how The Cardinals didn’t want to go into DC down 0-2.  I understand the point: no team wants to be down 0-2 in a three game series.  Fine.  But there was no discussion about the play of the Nats or the fact that the go-ahead hit was pulled off by a pinch-hitter who’s a 25 year-old rookie who played out of his mind both in platooning as an outfielder and as a pinch-hitter.  There was no discussion about the fact that this team was widely considered at least a year away from contending by EVERYBODY and yet they had the best record IN BASEBALL and made the first post-season since 1933.

What’s especially infuriating about all of this is that it’s systemic.  All season long, the Nats got very little coverage from The Network, even when they were leading the league in wins mid-season and when they were involved in a tight race down the stretch (I understand Chipper Jones’ final season and the Braves being our direct competitor getting a really heavy dose of coverage, but he’s out of the picture now, so let’s maybe give us a shot?).  The one story that got any serious coverage was the, “Should the Nationals sit down Strasburg?  They’re in contention!” story.  I think Boswell put it best:

There is no subject up for public discussion in this country __no matter how obvious__ that doesn’t not have a well-reasoned and completely wrong group of nincompoops who’ll take the opposite side.

 

One of my biggest weaknesses __it’s a long list__ is that I’m not a “natural columnist” who has lots of VERY strong opinions. And almost no doubts about those opinions __including the ones that are nuts. I’m a reasonable, see-both-sides, try-to-be-fair person by nature __God, how boring. But I’m dead flat certain that I’m right on this one. (Which doesn’t mean I’m not wrong.) Yeah, yeah, I’m sure I’ll return to the subject.

 

As for the Nats winning the ’12 World Series WITH Strasburg, I’ll refer to the immortal words of Cowboys running back Duane Thomas when asked on national TV how it felt to win the “ultimate game” (the Super Bowl). Thomas said (haven’t looked up the exact quote): “If it’s the ‘ultimate game,’ how come they play it again next year?”

I understand we’re prisoners of the moment.  It’s why there are people who legitimately argue that LeBron is the greatest basketball player of all-time (I’m not even convinced it’s Jordan, to be honest, but I’ll argue about that in the comments).  Baseball isn’t like that.  It’s a long-game.  It suits my Macro preference for exactly that reason.  Besides, all the medical evidence points to the fact that the Nats made the right call in benching him (players aged 24 or younger don’t react well to being thrown back out there without the innings limit immediately after Tommy John’s, young pitchers have a hard time transitioning from the 40-ish innings they pitched in college to a full, 162-game season where they’re going to pitch 30-ish games barring injury, and Jordan Zimmermann, who, despite having too many consecutive consonants in his last name, is a shining example of sitting a guy the year after the surgery – his record doesn’t reflect it, but his ERA was 2.94 and was better than that until late August/September – and…oh, yeah, he’s Stras’ FREAKING TEAMMATE).

So…well done, ESPN.  Great coverage of a big story.  I look forward to your excellent reporting on all future endeavors.  Also, great coverage of hockey over the last four or five years.  Jackasses.

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2 Responses to “Skip if you don’t like Sports”

  1. efenich1 Says:

    Ugh… try being a soccer fan.

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