Sports Media Has Destroyed Your Perspective

TJ Oshie is now a “hero”.  Granted, scoring the winning goal against Russia in a shootout at the Winter Olympics is pretty impressive.  Heck, just being on Team USA is darn impressive by itself.  However, the hyperbole and terribly awkward loss of perspective attributable to sports fans and journalists alike jumped the shark off the reservation in a big hurry.

Within 30 minutes of the game ending, I saw a “TJ Oshie beats Russia” headline.  Right. Because Oshie played the entire regulation game to a standstill by himself. 

This must be the same as The Miracle on Ice.  Right.  Because you are a moron, and you’re an expert just because you have “Miracle” on blu-ray. Lake Placid in 1980 was the temporary center of the Cold War.  The US team was comprised of amateur/college kids, and team Soviet Union was a professional powerhouse that had taken 6 of the previous 7 gold medals in hockey.  Sure, that’s much the same as all professionals playing against friends and teammates. 

Don’t let the narrative fool you or cloud your thinking.  The Cold War is over, US faced “Russia”, and the degree of national pride at stake was barely enough to move the needle at this point. 

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10 Ways to Improve MLB on TBS Playoff Coverage

Trimming the list to a mere 10 items required some effort, but the ones that made the cut truly deserve some consideration.

  1. Avoid confusion by eliminating player names altogether.  Tigers fans were excited about the possibility of “Jason Verlander” following in Justin’s footsteps, and some were salivating over the idea that “Skip Punto” might be the scrappiest player ever.  Even the legend of “Dave Kozma” grows with each passing mistake.
  2. Send Craig Sager and Ernie Johnson back to cover basketball.  Replace Johnson with a muppet and Sager with someone who spent $20 thrift shopping.  Done and done.
  3. Ban camera operators from caffeine and amphetamine use at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled first pitch.  Nobody needs to get seasick or end up with vertigo just from watching the first 2 innings of a game.
  4. Just let Cal Ripken talk, and take away the microphones from everyone else. Whether or not Ripken talks about the actual game is immaterial.  He’s knowledgeable, interesting, compelling, and he’s a natural at explaining what he sees.
  5. Stop trying to shove your Bleacher Report stuff at people.  If I wanted to watch a 15-slide presentation accompanied by unoriginal content, I’d sit through one at work.  I’d rather read TMZ to get the WAGs updates.
  6. Quit interviewing managers in the dugout.  The cliches they are too many.
  7. Let the natural narrative breathe a bit.  Shoving various prefabricated talking points into your broadcast distracts from the actual drama of what is occurring on the field.
  8. When covering a Dodgers home game, just pay whatever it takes to have Vin Scully’s audio over the TBS video feed.  Your advertising partners will thank you.
  9. Instead of lauding the Pirates for selling out PNC with new attendance records each game, try to figure out where the fans were earlier in the year.  That’s a real story.
  10. Turn over coverage to MLB Network or anybody that could do a better job than you have done – maybe Nat Geo or OWN.


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Pirates Win, Advance to ALDS #headpalmfacedesk

This is a real tweet from an account for people who actually have a show on NBC Sports Radio.





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Cardinals Rotation – Hallows not Horcruxes

Mike Matheny sits in the enviable position of looking forward to managing his team in the playoffs for the 2nd time in his 2 years of managing.  Matheny also sits in the unenviable position of setting his playoff rotation which may be a “darned if you do, darned if you don’t” scenario.  Options abound, and the second guessing may start before he even makes a decision.

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The Worst of Social Media and Sports VII

Ah, remember that time that “Toby Romo” threw a touchdown pass for the Cowboys against the Rams?  No?  Maybe you should pay closer attention to the official Twitter account for the Rams.

Toby Romo

Toby Romo

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2013 Production by Position

As Mike Matheny juggles the lineup to account for injuries, needed rest, and match-up scenarios, fans often see seemingly inexplicable double-switches and out-of-position players.  Necessity being the mother invention has a lot to do with these things.  Thus the concept of lineup optimization can be brushed aside at times in favor of fielding 8 relatively healthy position players.

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MVP: Why Not WPA?

Each season, the Most Valuable Player award for each league goes to the player whose accomplishments best meet the varied expectations for what constitutes an MVP as defined by each BBWAA member who gets to vote.  Got that?  A nebulous award with no real definition or criteria deserves an equally nebulous explanation of said award, definition, and criteria.  In its diminishing, finite wisdom the Baseball Writers Association of America failed to provide a clear-cut definition or even guidance regarding what an MVP actually is.

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