Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rant: TBS=Totally Biased Station

AP Photo

So, the story in ALCS game one was pitching. A low scoring pitcher's duel. Pitching = Good. And the story in Game two will also be pitching. Pitching = Bad. Neither team's ace - Scott Kazmir for the Rays and Josh Beckett for the Sox - could hold a lead for their team, and neither lasted more than five innings. It then became a battle of the bullpens - and we were tied until the bottom of the 11th when a rusty Mike Timlin coughed up three walks (one intentional) and a sac fly to lose it.

I choose to focus on the positive, namely that the bats showed some signs of life. Dustin Pedroia had two homers, and the RS had four total. Jason Bay continues to inspire awe - that man wants a championship ring!

But for me the biggest story was the incredible, horrible reporting by the team on TBS. I have never heard such obvious favoritism on a national broadcast. Their play-by-play was what I would have expected to hear on the home feed for Tampa Bay. I thought Chip Caray was going to dance a Papelbonesque jig every time Tampa got a hit - the excitement and raised pitch of his voice was nauseating.

Yes, I realize that the Rays are a very compelling, dramatic story. I know that TBS is hoping for a competitive, exciting seven game series so that they can make lots of money off the advertisers. Still, the Red Sox are due some respect as defending World Series champs. The media has been filled with stories this week comparing us to the Big Bad Wolf to the Rays' Goldilocks, as Bruce Dern to the Rays' John Wayne in The Cowboys. We are out to rain on their parade, they claim. Big Bad Red Sox Nation must be stopped, must be humbled.

How did we go from Cute Underdogs to the Bad Guys? Perhaps we do act a little arrogant at times, when we claim Boston as the center of the sports universe:
(Actually, THEY chose Boston as the best city, but..)

But we spent many years building up to this point. Couldn't we have just one year of respect, of people kissing OUR butts instead of Tampa's. You know that deep in their hearts, the media wants the Red Sox in the Series - the potential ratings on a TB-Phillies match-up is keeping many Fox executives awake at night, I'm sure.

The thing that bothers me most is that the way they spoke last night is typical of a recent trend in America, a trend that is manifesting itself in the political race this year. Instead of building up one side, showing how good they are, we are instead given to a stream of negatives, tearing down the other side in the most viscous manner possible. The GOP isn't giving us reasons to vote FOR Grandpa McCain, they keep giving us reasons NOT to vote for Obama. Instead of focusing on issues - like the economy - they try to distract us with talk about Obama's next door neighbor.

So, instead of further bitching about TBS (as in These Broadcasters Suck), I am going positive. To forget about last night, I went searching thru the DVR and found the 2007 World Series Ring Ceremony. What an incredible day that was back in April - sunny, crisp, the air tinged with nostalgia and the satisfaction that a World Championship brings. Who can forget Big Papi showing off his rings and hugging Johnny Pesky?

Good times. And I refuse to believe that a season that started with the incredible scene of Bill Buckner throwing out the first pitch to Dwight Evans,
a home season that began with Johnny Pesky saying "Play Ball" and that ended with his number 6 being retired - I refuse to believe that a season like that will end in our defeat by the Tampa Bay Manta Rays. That kind of kharma can only result in another appearance in the World Championship.

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Blogger Ted D said...

Beth, last night was the worst. The constant cheering for the Rays was driving me nuts. If it was the Tampa Bay feed I've got no problem with it. But these are the NATIONAL ANNCOUNCERS doing this. Selig should make TBS fire the lot of them.

And Chip Caray needs to go play in traffic on the Mass Pike tomorrow.

What a dink.

8:31 PM  

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