Friday, July 08, 2005

And now, for something completely new, I'm going to bitch about overexposure of the Yanks and Sox

I was reminded this morning why I've gradually divorced SportsCenter from my life, along with Baked Cool Ranch Doritos and sanity. The lead story was about the Yankees' reaction to the London subway bombings. It was very reassuring to find out what Derek Jeter had to say about them, since I was wondering incessantly yesterday about what the implications of the attack are for the War on al Qaeda (I've always found the phrase "War on Terror" to be useless; how does one fight an ephemeral concept?) and English domestic politics and then I said to myself "it would sure help if I knew what Derek Jeter thought."

SportsCenter's flimsy pretense for involving the Yankees was that al Qaeda attacked subways in London and there is a subway that runs by Yankee Stadium. That's a strong connection. Terrorists attacked a subway a continent away, so Yankee Stadium must be the next target. Did I miss the SportsCenter after the Bali nightclub bombing in which Jeremy Schaap sat down with Derek Jeter and asked him about how he felt about that bombing on the other side of the globe so Jeter could explain how it gives him pause before going into whatever overpriced club he frequents in Manhattan?

SportsCenter then veered strangely into actual baseball highlights, showing the Yankees-Indians and Mets-Nationals packages, then came back from break to slobber all over the Red Sox, which is surely something new for them. One feature on Johnny Damon's comments on Curt Schilling pitching from the bullpen, followed by another in-depth report on Curt's one inning with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Hell, they even worked in highlights of the Sox' actual game in Baltimore. Who's making the programming decisions for them, Bill Simmons?

And speaking of Herr SportsGuy, I and the rest of the sports blogosphere owe him a debt of gratitude for essentially creating and perfecting this format, but he is insufferable when discussing baseball or football because his teams are on top of those hills and he reflects everything through their prism. Today's effort is no exception. When I saw that he was giving out Midseason Baseball Awards, I vainly hoped that he might say something nice about the Braves for the first time ever, with the team 12 games over .500 despite missing 60% of the starting rotation and fielding a line-up half of which was in the minors last year. Nope, these are strictly AL-only awards. What kind of sports fan only pays attention to half a league? Heck, even provincial SEC fans watch enough of other conferences to proclaim them vastly inferior to Southern Speed.

Then, he proclaims the following 13 players to be the biggest stars in baseball who ought to be in every All-Star Game: "Tejada, Guerrero, Manny, Jeter, A-Rod, Big Papi, Rivera, Clemens, Pedro, Ichiro, Schilling, Big Unit and Pujols". Notice something about this list? Over half of those players play for the Yanks or Red Sox. Two more - Clemens and Pedro - used to play for the Sox. Two more - Tejada and Vlad - are the best players on key AL rivals of the Yanks and Sox. Then, we throw the most popular player from Japan and the token NL star in and we have the list. Nothing provincial about that. I guess Barry Bonds isn't a star because he's never played the Red Sox or Yankees in the playoffs before.

This is what I get for investing too much emotional energy in an unabashed homer. Caveat emptor.


Jacob said...

Is it saying something that I read that artical and was thinking "michaels gonna trash it in his blog" then reading that list of stars and feeling your anger from here, but I agree he should cover the whole league like he covers the whole NBA.

Michael said...

Dan already e-mailed me to say that he was thinking the exact same things I wrote when he was watching SportsCenter last night. Good to know that we're all on the same wavelength.

It's too bad you didn't get to read Sports Guy when he was Boston Sports Guy and had his own web site, rather than working for He was better when he didn't have to be anything more than a local rooter.