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?
Pardon 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.
Mr. Lung. Jeffery, if I may. It seems sad to me that I have to use all these electrons to explain to you the elementary literary technique of hyperbole but unfortunately, it appears this lesson in remedial form is necessary. Hyperbole, as I’m sure you once knew, is the technique by which one makes a point by exaggerating to a ridiculous degree. This is by no means a technical definition but it should be one which triggers those neurons you once used to use so well.
Now, why is this important? Quite simply because it is a method used quite often in all matters of discourse, especially in the arenas of sports and politics. When GW Bush says that electing Democrats to office means the terrorists have won, he doesn’t really mean that the terrorists will win because Nancy Pelosi is now the Speaker of the House. He’s using hyperbole to make a point. Similarly, when I say that Mark McGwire is flexed up steroid freak who single handedly ruined the game of baseball, I don’t really mean that Big Mac destroyed major league baseball. I’m just making a point.
To extrapolate further on this point, when I compare the entire NL to gay p0rn, I’m not really saying they’re making gay p0rn over there (except in the case of Kazuhito Tadano. Although, to be fair, he is actually in the Indians organization). And I actually agree with you that having the pitcher bat makes for a much more strategic game than does the DH. But baseball, like all sports, is based on making money. And fans, especially new ones and for better or for worse, are much more willing to pay money to see home runs than they are to see drawn out pitchers duels. Do you like the new Busch Stadium? Do you think it would have been built if the Cards would have had Greg Maddux instead of McGwire? Yeah, I think not.
So, here’s what I’ll say. I appreciate now that your initial filibuster question was a rhetorical question. And you can now appreciate the hyperbole that ensued. This way we both embrace our use of literary technique and move on to more important issues. Like, when are the Tigers going to win a freakin’ game? Seriously, this is just embarrassing. But, more on that later.