Some Thoughts on My Mind.
Hello, BBTN fans! I've been waiting to post here for the first few days, much like the way a good batter might "sit on" the first few deliveries from an unfamiliar pitcher. But now that I know things are going well, I feel like Albert Pujols looking at a hanging curve from some rook fresh from the Northwoods League. (That's baseball talk. Expect lots of that around here. And if you don't understand it, that's okay; I grew up more as a basketball fan, and then as a golf reporter, so I had my own "crash course" in the lingo of the fungo.)
This will be my weekly way to uncork some of the "wild pitches" floating around the ol' Ravech dome. Here goes nothing!
Actually, I've been looking forward for a long time to answer some of my critics on the Internet, all those anonymous "bloggers" out there who just have carte blanche to say whatever they want from the comfort of the peanut gallery. Yeah, that's right, I "surf" the Internet every once in a while, and I know there are a lot of you out there taking potshots at BBTN and the crew. Let me, as my colleague Stuart Scott is wont to say, drop some knowledge on ya about that.
Just casually "Googling" around, here are some examples of what I'm talking about. Here, someone's complaining that I inject myself too much into the show, and that I should just sit there stiffly, looking uncomfortable while the "real ballplayers" opine. Yeah, right. Like I'm some kind of stupid little robot with no mind! If I wasn't smart, how would I have graduated from Ithaca College in 1987? Or how would I have secured a job with ESPN after being rejected the first time I tried? Does that sound like stupid or robotic to you? Come on, "bloggers," pull your heads out of the sand.
Oh, here's someone else, someone with the obvious pseudonym of "Aaron Gleeman." (As if!) He's all up on my steez -- can't share a cubicle grid with Stu Scott for four years without picking up something -- for me saying that the Twins would be in trouble with Justin Morneau out, because they're not a deep team. Well, okay, fine, it turns out that they did okay. That's the chance I take, sitting at the big desk, playing in the Show, as it were, of baseball punditry.
But I resent this "Gleeman" implying that I don't care about the Twins because they're not the Red Sox or the Yankees. Come on, guy, that's not fair. We show highlights of every game, every night, no matter what the team, or how far away from Bristol they are. We have so many satellites out there, we're like Jupiter! (Which has 63 known moons.)
We even showed Twins highlights on the night of the single most important thing to happen in baseball in the last 84 years. Believe me, after seeing that fan in Fenway hit Gary Sheffield, and Sheff shove him back, it was hard to move on...but we did it!
The thing is, "Gleeman" is right. We don't cover everyone equally. You know why that is? Because New York and Boston are THE BIG STORY. The traditional rivalry between these two storied clubs is what America wants to hear about! If the viewers didn't think that way, would we have shown that clip so many times? Would we have thrown it out to our correspondents so often? Would I have gotten as overheated and slightly sweaty as I did? Heck, no. We know what our fans want. We're the Worldwide Leader in Sports, for gosh's sakes! You don't get to be #1 without being the best.
And that, my friends, is why the Yankees and the Red Sox are always the big story on our show. They are the two most famous teams in the country because they are the best. Even in a year where one of the two of these dynasties DON'T win the championship, they're still usually the two best teams. Are you kidding me? Arizona won just a couple of years ago, and so did Florida. Do you see them all over ESPN? NO! Because America doesn't care about them, not really. They're both great squads, for sure, and their plucky local fans like them just fine. But if they are so great, where were they in the 1990s? In the 1970s? Who is the Mickey Mantle of the Florida Marlins? Juan Encarnacion? Is there a curse of the Craig Counsell? I don't think so.
We cover the Show. Because we cover the show, we decide what the big stories are, and we cover them. And what's wrong with that, "Aaron Gleeman"? Your name's probably "Jim Schwartz" anyway. "Gleeman." Sheesh.
ANYWAY, enough of my yakking, for now. I'll be back with "Some Thoughts on My Mind" when I have more thoughts on my mind. Or when Kruk-meister and H-Reyn and L-Bow let me get a word in, "edge-wise!"