Monday, October 29, 2012

ESPN - "The Worlwide leader in playing the hits"

Every morning I take a moment to check and see what the headlines for the day in sports. 
As the years have gone on, I have realized that ESPN may be more interested in getting 
hits on their website, than actually showing the true journalistic integrity that ESPN was founded on.
It is well documented that ESPN loves them some Tim Tebow, Dwight Howard whining, anything with Skip Bayless yelling at Stephen A Smith, Diva Wide Receivers, Alex Rodriguez controversies and of course Tim Tebow.
On Tuesday October 23rd, I realized just how visually skewed and misguided the ESPN website could be to true fans of real sports and real journalism. 
The San Francisco Giants had completed something truly remarkable on Monday October 22nd, by earning a trip to the World Series after being down by 2 or more games to none in both the NLDS and NLCS and dramatically winning in the 5th and 7th deciding games of both series.  In the NLDS the Giants were down 2 games to 1 to the Reds, getting no hit in game 3 and still came back to win the next three games in Cincinnati and win the series. In the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants were down 3 games to 1 before they brought it to a decisive game 7, where the Giants never lost again for the rest of 2012 season. 
Sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series is remarkable and should be honored for many reasons. Pablo Sandoval's 3 home runs in Game 1 of the World Series put him in the company of Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols and will go down as one of the greatest single game performances in baseball history. Not one, but two of those dingers came against Detroit's Man of Steel, Justin Verlander, and for the first time of the 2012 season, someone finally got to him. 
But ESPN Radio blow- hards like Colin Cowherd and ESPN's Website don't care for these stories very much. Often the fact that the World Series is traditionally a low TV draw will drive Sports News companies to not cover it as much, forgetting about the fans and relying on focus groups that tell them to: when in doubt, 
"Play the hits."

Which leads me to the question: "If ESPN doesn't blow it out of proportion, did it actually happen?"
The following screen shots depict how ESPN has done a terrible job of covering the World Series and basically ignoring playoff and championship match-ups that aren't, "sexy".

Photo 1: October 23rd, 9:00 am Pacific Standard Time
Miniscule coverage of Game 1 of the World Series.
How is it that the World Series is not front and center under the title, "Headlines"?
Instead of baseball, we see some irrelivent college football team, while the SportsCenter Feeds on the right show the "Giants up end Cardinals, Reach Series" the 10th most popular entry.
Sounds like a real boring game. Thanks ESPN.

Photo 2: October 25th, 9:00 am PST
In resounding fashion, Giants went up 2 to 0 in the series and this was the next morning's Headlines. 
Not one mention of the World Series at all.
I know what you're saying, there's a header at the top that says Tigers v Giants.
I know you're saying that there's a thumbnail photo link on the bottom of the screen.
Why won't ESPN just post a graphic or one of their numerous photographs of baseball players involved in the World Series?
Their Sportscenter Feed has nothing about the Giants at all. 
ESPN is simply trying to cram as much crap onto their screen to get hits and that's sad.
Topics that don't even matter like:
 "NFL Poll" Tim Tebow is Most Overrated Player"
"Dwight Howard reveals his like to go to Brooklyn Nets instead"
"Packer's Jennings to have surgery on groin"
"New York Indicts 25 in $50 Million Gambling Ring"
and my personal favorite,
"Hurdler Lolo Jones makes U.S. Bobsled Team"

Gotta love the Roberty Griffin III photo. 
Why isn't the World Series up in the photo area at this time of the day?
Are you serious ESPN?

Let's face it, San Francisco versus Detroit just wasn't sexy enough for ESPN. 
If it's Yankees, or the Red Sox, or the Angels of Anaheim of Los Angeles of Disney or whatever the hell they're called, they are all over it. During the 2012 MLB Postseason, there was arguably more coverage of Alex Rodriguez signing baseballs during games, than what the San Francisco Giants were accomplishing. While they gave more of a hoot about the Yankee's inability to hit Home Runs, ESPN missed the real story of a team who just knew how to hit when it counted most. 
Of course I am happy that the Tigers were swept, they embarrased my Yankees in epic fashion less than a week ago and I am still bitter, but I'm happy for a different reason completely. 
The Giants dominated their last 5 games of the season in a steamnroller style 
that left the entire Motor City stunned this Monday morning at work. 
Not since the New York Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 and the Cincinnatti Reds of 1975 and 1976, has a team won two World Series in 3 years or less. 
San Francisco, we tip our caps to you.

On side note:
Game 4 of the World Series ended on a called strike looking on the 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabreara. 
Let me repeat...Strike Out looking on the first Triple Crown winner since forever. #Insane ( I hate Twitter, but I just love putting it before really beefy words) haha (#beefy) Try it it's fun (#fun).
The last time a World Series ended on a called strike looking was in Game 7 of the 1925 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Senators.
A memorable play occurred during the eighth inning of Game 3. The Senators' Sam Rice ran after an Earl Smith line drive hit into right center field. Rice made a diving "catch" into the temporary stands, but did not emerge with the ball for approximately fifteen seconds. The Pirates contested the play, saying a fan probably stuffed the ball into Rice's glove. The call stood and Rice parried questions about the incident for the rest of his life—never explicitly saying whether he had or had not really made the catch. His typical answer (including to Commissioner Landis, who said it was a good answer) was always "The umpire said I caught it." Rice left a sealed letter at the Hall of Fame to be opened after his death. In it, he had written: 
"At no time did I lose possession of the ball."

See you in Winter Transactions and 2013 Spring Training.
Special Thanks to: the "24 and 1 theory on Alex Rodriguez" by Joe Girardi in paperback and your local bookstore this Spring (Not really a book, but you see where I'm going), that Marco Scutaro "Magic", Kung Fu Panda's 3 home runs, Getting to Justin Verlander first, Jim Leyland's future with the Tigers - Question Mark, Fatty #1 Prince Fielder and Fatty #2 Miguel Cabrera for feeling the wrath of the sweep, Detroit must be sick to their stomachs that the Red Wings might not play this year, the Pistons haven't been good since Lebron put them out of their misery, the Lions will not be making the playoffs this year, and just imagine what Detroit will look like in 4 years if Mitt Romneyis elected next week, Kendrick Lamar battles with Duke and the first meeting of the "Sunday Morning Movie Matinee Crew": Cloud Atlas.

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