The Filibuster

During the past week we watched the opening of two new multi-million
dollar stadiums in New York City and during this time MLB and the major
sports channels more or less ignored everything else going on around
the league. Was the opening of the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
really such important news or was Heath Bell accurate in saying that
ESPN and other providers are completely focused on a few teams to the
detriment of the rest of the league?

— Allen

Heath Bell.jpgPardon me for being a-holishly frank, dear readers, but I think it is pretty damn sad that it took Heath Bell (of all reinvented people) to bring the media’s obvious love affair with New York and Boston into the public domain.  Nothing against, Heath, who has now become my own personal savior for his ESPN remarks, but we here at RSBS as well as myriad Joe Six-Packs in sports bars galore all across Anytowns, US America, have been harping on this oh-so-blatant injustice for years now. 


Heath Bell said:

“I truly believe ESPN only cares about promoting the Red Sox and
Yankees and Mets – and nobody else.  That’s why I like the MLB Network, because they promote everybody. I’m
really turned off by ESPN and ‘Baseball Tonight.’  When Jake Peavy threw
8 1/3 innings on Saturday, they showed one pitch in the third inning
and that was it. It’s all about the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.”

True story, Heath.  True story.

Just for the record, regarding the two new ballparks in New York (one of which cost $1.5 billion) let me just say that I don’t remember there being such a fuss over the new Busch Stadium or PNC Park or even Nationals Park for that matter.

Yet all week long I have been bombarded with information I could care less about:

  • The first homerun in new Yankee Stadium.

  • The first multi-RBI game at CITI Field.

  • The first blab-hole jerkazoid kicked out of new Yankee Stadium for using foul language and fists to explain his innermost self-loathing while watching the Indians score 14 runs in one inning.

I don’t care. 

And I ain’t alone.

The good news is, Heath Bell’s voice was heard and ESPN reacted quickly by having him on Baseball Tonight.  Shortly after that, the once monopolizing baseball program introduced it’s 30 Team Ticker, which offers tidbits of information on all 30 teams at the bottom of the screen while the analysts blab on about how much they love the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.

But just like the leaderless GOP of 2008 desperately trying to reinvent its image after devastating the public by dropping the ball in New Orleans and Iraq while allowing the economy to collapse over and over again… it was just too little, too late.

Folks, we have a choice.  Join Al and I; heed Heath Bell’s call.

Switch to the MLB Network.  Enjoy equal coverage.  Play the RSBS Harold Reynolds drinking game.

Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.




  1. Erin Kathleen

    Ugh, I wish I could get the MLB Network, but Dish Network sucks. I would sell a kidney to hear decent analysts and some actual Twins coverage for a change. I don’t watch ESPN much anyway, since they never cover hockey teams that aren’t the Penguins or the Capitals. And they certainly don’t care about baseball teams that aren’t located in New York or Boston, and could care even less about players not named A-Rod or Manny Ramirez. Jason Kubel had to hit for the cycle and have back-to-back four hit games for ESPN to finally pay any attention to the Twins. Last year, we had to hear all about the final season in Yankee stadium, but not one word about the final season in the Metrodome. I doubt there will be much fuss over the opening of Target Field.
    *whew* Thanks for letting me get all that off of my chest!


  2. AJRoxMyWhiteSox

    MLB Network = love. Ever since that debuted, ESPN has taken a back seat, except for Top Plays on SportsCenter because those amuse me. The only thing ESPN is good for now is Sunday Night Baseball on mute (because I can’t stand Joe Morgan) and Monday Night Football. I’ll find somewhere else to get the rest of my sports news so I don’t have to listen to that biased stuff that’s always reported on ESPN.

  3. redstatebluestate

    Julia — You’re right and the Yanks have YES. So why force feed us middle americans all the east coast stuff?
    Erin — I actually fear for the Twins’ future in Target Field. That whole team is designed for the dome. Maybe they want to go under the radar on the transition… MLB Network is all about Kubel. Believe that.
    Jen — I don’t know anyone who CAN stand Joe Morgan. Good call.

  4. .

    Being a Mets fan, I’m going to take your comment you posted on one of my entries as an offense, and declare it as one of the main causes that has caused you to write this entry. I understand there’s more hatred to the fact that ESPN has more TV time for teams like the Mets, Skankees, and BoSox, but aren’t those the main surrounding teams closest to ESPN’s studios? If I’m correct, ESPN is located in Connecticut, and most** CT baseball fans are Mets fans (from what I’ve heard). Yes, ESPN is the Entertainment and Sport Programming Network, and they are supposed to be providing sports fans with knowledge from around the league, rather than singling out three teams, but, ABC’s 80% ownership could possibly have something to do with this, being located in NY. The Yankees are mentioned constantly because of the money they spend to lose. I honestly don’t think any one rather than the Steinbrenner family would pay so much money to lose a game. I really DON’T GET IT! Yankee fans, enlighten me! The Red Sox are constantly shown on ESPN, because the amount of stars they have on their team. Really, Heath Bell sounds cool and all, and yes he was a Met that didn’t want to be a Met, but, the only two media-liked stars on the Padres are Hoffman (injured) and Peavy. The Mets are favored on ESPN for obvious reasons, one, being THE GREATEST BASEBALL TEAM IN THE WORLD!!!! Honestly, whoever the media favors, the media distributes. Top 10 Plays are segments of SportsCenter made to interact with EVERY fan of the the game, including a fan of any sport. Besides the 30 second highlight they give you to catch up with what your team accomplished that afternoon/night during the program, Top 10 Plays (If players on your team are good enough) are meant to summarize what happened that day around sports with the athletes and teams greatest plays. MLB Network focuses on one sport, and that’s baseball. ESPN is a network that currently has to give updates for two playoff series, baseball, the upcoming football season, etc. I think it’s a lot easier to focus on one sport, rather than giving updates constantly around the multiple different league’s in sports. I can imagine it gets exhausting. Jeff, don’t hate on ESPN because you’re a Cardinals fan. And I’m EXTREMELY disappointed in you for your mention of 2006. If you were walking past me right now, I’d trip you. Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right. 🙂

    – Donnie

  5. redstatebluestate

    Donnie — If you’re team didn’t choke every year in the post-season, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so bad. You can say what you want, but you’ll never take away Yadi’s dinger off Heilman in Game 6. Sorry, bro. Ain’t gonna happen. As for ESPN, it ain’t just them. It’s the media in general, but I’ve stopped caring because I have found my alternative. I am at peace.

  6. redstatebluestate

    Er… correction, it was Game 7. Duh. My bad. It was the one that sent us to the series to…. WIN IT ALL.

  7. .

    JEFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF! You’re hurting my eyes WAY too much man. But like you said, seriously, Tuesday – Thursday should be fun. Choking this season isn’t an option sir. The Mets needed what they bought this off-season and I think we’ll be in the clear, at least for teams in the NL East, minus the Fish. And yeah, Game 7, thanks.

    – Donnie

  8. Lissi

    I no onger have MLB Network. Direct TV at school doesn’t have it and ATT UVerse at home doesn’t either. 😦 From what I saw before we switched it looked pretty awesome. Heath is right about the love affair with New York and Boston. It’s annoying. Busch Stadium is much better than NYS (The House that Grady Built) mainly because it is still a very nice stadium that normal people can afford to visit and actually see the field, but no one seemed to care that it opened. Not that I want DeWitt Swamp all over national news.

  9. roundrock15

    First things first: “the only two media-liked stars on the Padres are Hoffman (Brewered)” — fixed that for you.

    Now, then. I haven’t actually watched BBTN or much ESPN at all, really, in years. It’s sports for people who don’t understand sports very well. I’d much rather catch up by looking at sports and box scores and do my own analysis, as well as going to sites like THT, BBTF, and FanGraphs. It’s a lot more meaningful than listening to someone like Eric Young recite Triple Crown statistics.

  10. raysrenegade

    I am going to try that famous drinking game next weekend when the Rays are in Oakland, but use it with our own Rays announcing team at a neaighborhood drinking establishment that also has killer wings.
    I have always felt an East coast bias from them, but not because I could see it first hand this past season.
    I mean the other night B J Upton makes a basket catch that Willy Mays said “Oh My!”, and it was third behind a three-pointer with no one guarding the guy ( Chris Bosh).
    I used to have respect for Bristol, Conn. Now I just wonder who is pulling the puppet strings most nights.

    Rays Renegade

  11. redstatebluestate

    Aaron — The first step of curing our addictions is admitting we have addictions. Amen.
    Melissa — I didn’t even know it opened (hahaha).
    Jane — You are always the voice of reason. Thanks!
    Roundrock — Good call. Donnie’s a young one. Maybe he missed that bit of off-season news. In any case, forgiven. I like Baseball Prospectus. By the time I get to the newspaper, I already know all the important info.
    RR — Make sure you have a designated driver 😉 Those guys have puppet strings? No wonder Stu Scott has that off eye. Someone fix his strings!!!

  12. .

    ROUND ROCK – Thank you for correcting me. It’s still the beginning of the season, give me a break brotha! 🙂 haha. In all honesty though, I pay more attention to the Mets than any team because I am a Mets fan. I do browse around the league, look up stats from different players/teams, and go to baseball games that the Mets aren’t playing at, but I tend to avoid that. I can talk baseball, but my real talk would come when we speak about the Mets. I guess the last sentenced sums it up basically lol.

    JEFF – All I have to say to you is…enjoy the game(s) this upcoming week. Sam Adams? Let’s Go Mets!

    – Donnie

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