ST Game 2: The first one on TV
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The Baseball Tonight crew just unloaded on Hank for his comments about ESPN being full of Red Sox fans, claiming he doesn’t know what goes on behind the scenes. John Kruk even invited Hank up to Bristol for the look-see.

Immediately after that, Kruk said Beckett was a HOF pitcher (based on four playoff starts) and Gammons said Varitek was more important to the Red Sox than any other player on any other team in the game. They also said the Yanks will struggle with two kids (Hughes & IPK) in the rotation, neglecting to mention that Buchholz & Lester will be Boston’s rotation because of the injury to Curt Schilling. That was after Donald Duck picked Donald Duck to win both the AL MVP and Cy Young awards. I’m dead serious.

Update: Goofy just picked Pluto and Mickey to win the NL Cy Young & MVP awards, respectively, but oh snap! Donald Duck sabotaged it and it looks like he’ll bring home those awards too. Karl Ravech is in mid-season form, cracking snarky little comments that manage to go over everyone else’s head. What the hell happened to ESPN?

FYI – Joba will be on in a bit. Hopefully he’ll give Kruk some double-chin music.

ST Game 2: The first one on TV
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  • Mike R.

    I wonder if they have anybody on staff they pay just to watch the show and let them know when the bias is getting a bit out of hand? Just a regular guy to point out small discrepancies like this one.

  • RZG

    They have an ombudswoman.

  • http://justinyates.wordpress.com Yankee Psycho-fan-t

    I saw that…it was disgusting. The fact the ESPN is in New England is suspicious, but they are all “professional journalists” so we should expect them to provide news with the same balanced perspective as the other media outlets we all know and love…like FOX. ESPN is where former Red Sox beat writers go to die. Its the Boca Raton for New England sports journalists. Baseball and Yankees fans would be better served to stay away from Baseball Tonight, although it is glorious to see the Yankees continually prove Steve Phillips and John Kruk wrong every time they pick someone other time…e.g. (Steve Phillips: The Mariners will win the American League West, they look a lot better with Eric Bedard and John McLaren will make all the right moves) I hope you just stopped reading, because that sort of hogwash shouldn’t be allowed to enter the public domain. Shame on ESPN for proving Hank Steinbrenner right. Maybe if they played it differently they would have had more of a story out of all this.

  • Barry

    Donald Duck could probably put more of a hurt on a ball than Varitek at this point.

  • Souter Fell

    Good for Joba. The douche on the left end really tried to bait him and he wouldn’t bite. I was laughing at every crowd pan where not only do Yanks fans outnumber Sox fans, but almost the rest of the fans put together.

  • Guiseppe Franco

    I’ve never bought into the “ESPN is anti-Yankees” argument. A lot of Yankee fans just don’t like any member of the Red Sox getting praised in any way shape or form, so it’s easier to translate those praises into “pro-Red Sox” or “anti-Yankee.”

    It’s all BS.

    No team gets covered more than the Yankees on that network. It’s really not even close.

    BTW, Kruk was dead on about Hank. Hank should shut his piehole once and for all and let the players do the talking on the field.

    Hank has been an embarrassment since Day 1.

  • Barry

    The reason I think you’re argument is flawed is because watching ESPN their bias is immediately noticeable. The only reason they even show so many Yankee’s clips is because the Yankees have the largest market in Baseball, if not professional sports. This would make Hank’s argument right.

    • Guiseppe Franco

      I think your argument is flawed because any praise of the Red Sox is often translated by Yankee fans as “Red Sox loving” or “Yankee hating.”

      Also, any criticisms of the Yanks is translated as “Yankee hating” – whether the criticisms are valid and made by Yankee fans on this very blog. Some people just can’t stand hearing legit criticisms from an independent source.

      When you have a preconceived notion that a network leans one way or another, you’re going to find reasons to justify that stance. It seems like it’s impossible for Yankee fans to hear their team get criticized or the Red Sox get praised.

      That said, Red Sox Nation does the same damn thing. They label ESPN as the YES Network II, while Yankee fans label it N-ESPN.

      The truth of the matter is that ESPN is both pro-Yankees and pro-Red Sox. These two teams essentially rule MLB and they get the most coverage as a result.

      • Steve S

        Thats a complete myth, while I dont think that its as strong as everyone is making it. ESPN has a vested a lot of time into people and analysts who are either consciously or subconsciously ripping the Yankees. And part of it has to do with the location but look at the facts:

        – Peter Gammons (who probably plays it as well as he can): its just like Michael Kay. When you live in the city, when you are a beat writer for the team, its hard to provide an objective analysis.

        – Steve Phillips: no need for comment, if there is anyone who day in and day out demonstrates his hatred for the Yankees, its old Steve.

        – Bill Simmons

        – Jim Caple: has acknowledged on dozens of occassions that he simply hates the Yankees.

        – Buster Olney wrote a book in 2003 about the end of the Yankee dynasty. Lets be honest, if the Yankees win that series against Florida (the book was released in 2004), then its difficult to make an argument that the dynasty was over. It would have been their fifth world series in eight years. As much as Buster may have written a good book, no Jeff Weaver, then that book is in the bargain bin come the start of 2004.

        – John Kruk is a moron. I dont even know if he favors the Sox, but he is a moron.

        – Eric Kassilias (radio) is native New Englander and die hard Red Sox fan, and admits it, often.

        I dare anyone to try and find one member of ESPN’s baseball coverage that is an admitted Yankee fan (and I dont mean 1050ESPN radio). Granted they put Tino Martinez on a couple of years ago. But I think the players are a little different than these so called journalists and other analysts.

        Hank wasn’t speaking out of turn, he was being honest. The Red Sox are an amazing marketing tool, unlike New York where people have a life, people in New England actually hang on everything the Sox do (to the point where they even ignore when their football team wins a couple of championships). ESPN isnt stupid, the Red Sox world series in 2004 was one of the highest rated series in a while. And the merchandising that followed that Series was incredible. They see a religious following in New England, which if we are being fare, the Yankees probably have more fans, but I think there is a greater concentration of Red Sox fans in one area and they are a little more loyal. They come out to the ballpark regardless of the record, and they don’t share the city or region with any other team. I think everyone is overreacting to this whole Hank comment. Its no different than half the stuff Lucchino has said in the last couple of years. And I think it makes it interesting.

        • Guiseppe Franco

          Give me a break.

          First off, Buster Olney wrote the most comprehensive piece of journalism I’ve ever read about the late 90s Yankee Dynasty. That book was virtually pro-Yankees all the way and I would highly recommend it to any Yankee fan. His book absolutely put Joel Sherman’s book to shame.

          As most of us know, Olney covered the Yanks for the NY Times before his ESPN gig. You lambasting Olney because of his focus on the “end of the dynasty” is just another example of why people like you look for reasons to justify the “ESPN is anti-Yankees” stance. If Olney had written for the Boston Globe prior to his ESPN gig, you would be citing that as an example of Olney being anti-Yankees.

          The fun never ends. When you believe someone leans one way or another, you’ll find plenty of examples to reinforce that argument. Makes no difference if your logic holds water or not.

          For the record, Colin Cowherd is a Yankee homer. He’s said as such many times on his radio show. Many times. Dare to be dared.

          Peter Gammons is a Hall of Famer. He didn’t get voted in by the folks at ESPN. I’ve never had a problem with Gammons and the man praises the Yankees much more often than Yankee fans give him credit for. So what if he’s a Red Sox fan? That doesn’t mean he’s incapable of being objective.

          And your point about John Kruk being a moron has nothing to do with anything. Again, you don’t like ESPN so you’re looking for reasons to rip them. While I’m not a fan of Kruk, I don’t see why calling him a moron for the hell of it enhances your “ESPN is anti-Yankees” argument.

          Also, while I don’t like Steve Phillips, he was the lone analyst on the BBTN panel who said Joba Chamberlain should be a starter. Everyone else said Joba would be most effective in the pen setting up Mo.

          Imagine that. RAB and Steve Phillips agree.

          • Mike P

            To be fair I don’t think ESPN has a Red Sox bias. Like Guiseppe said, they cover New York and Boston so much because those are the only two big market franchises who go head to head every year for a World Series berth.

            ESPN isn’t all that biased. It’s just got a load of crap reporters trying to sensationalise crap stories. It’s just plain bad, not biased.

          • Steve S

            take a break buddy, no need to ask me BUT

            First of all I didnt criticize Olney’s book. However, its premise is that following the 2001 World Series George Steinbreiner ruined the team when he started adding guys like Giambi, etc… The recap of the late 90’s dynasty is great however, there is no doubt that during the 2003 ALCS and subsequent years Buster Olney had a conflict of interest when discussing his thoughts about the Yankees chances of winning a world series. There is no doubt or argument that when you write a book entitled the “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty” and the Yankees win a World Series in 2003 or 2004, then the book for commercial purposes loses a lot. And last time I checked Buster isnt beyond reproach.

            Kruk doesnt offer anything in the form of a sophisticated opinion or any insight into the game. The man for the most part was a joke as a player and now makes reputation on making pseudo controversial statements, and having no accountability for when he is wrong.

            Peter Gammons is not a Hall of Famer, he was honored by the Hall of Fame. And I gave him some credit and I don’t think he hates the Yankees, but when you are a season ticket holder for the team, then again there are some conflicts in rendering an objective opinion.

            And sorry I dont bother with Colin Cowherd, the guy who does the 10:00 AM show thats not even on in New York (I have a job). And you managed to name one guy who is as inconsequential as they come within that network. So you win that dare.

            Next youll tell me that Mike Lupica loves George Steinbrenner. Its okay, I dont know if you work for ESPN or have stock in Disney, but guess what ESPN does an okay job of covering baseball and they have wisely fed into the Red Sox popularity over the last couple of years. Just like CBS put every Patriot game they could on nationally this year. Its what makes them money, there is nothing wrong with that, just like there is nothing wrong with Yankee fans being annoyed with certain biased commentary. Now go to Neyer and Law, and they give you honest sphisticated commentary amd truly objective. However, how often do you see them next to kruk, because Kruk gets the lower common denominator to watch (no offense).

  • BBB

    I’ll take Donald Duck’s hard hitting analysis over most of the clowns on Baseball Tonight.

  • http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/ Around The Majors

    How about when a couple of years ago ESPN aired the mock court case- Breaking Up The Bombers: Yankees on trial, where they put on trial the spending of the Yankees and whether or not the Yankees need to be broken up. Oh yeah they also gave us John Gotti’s lawyer to defend the Yankees. ESPN might not be pro Boston but they are definitely anti-yankee.


  • TurnTwo

    FWIW, Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy on their show on XM both backed up Hank’s comments, as former ESPN employees.

  • David

    Dibble has mentioned the pro-Boston bias on more than one occasion.

  • Paul

    Of course not all, but some ESPN analysts are red sox fans or yankee haters. Virtually none are Yankee fans or red sox haters. It does come out at times – not overt rooting, but the perspective they give as to issues can be colored. I remember, when the sox were going to get A-Rod, Gammons continually gushed how great it would be for baseball (best player in a huge market). Then, weeks later when the yanks got him, Gammons talked of it as a travesty. So, when the big bad yankees get him it ruins baseball. But when the sox – who are bigger than every team but the Yankees, wer going to get him it was “great for baseball.” Not too biased. And, when the yankees won in 96-2000, it was all due to payroll. Of course, the sox were only a few million behind the Yankees, but all you heard from ESPN was about the payroll. When the sox won in 04 and 06 with double the payroll of their opponents, you heard little to nothing about disparity. ESPN leads the way in sports opinion making. The casual fan spits back the BS they hear on ESPN as gospel, and fails to realize that these writers or analysts are often fans with a biased perspective. Hank was absolutely right, although there is nothing to be done about it.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    i avoid ESPN (and most talk radio) whenever possible.

  • dan in nj

    Remember when Espn went on and on how the Red Sox draw the most fans on the road? But they neglect to mention the difference between Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park when the teams play in each other home park. If you take those games out the Yankees draw better but of course they don’t.

  • pete

    to be fair, find me a single sports show that isn’t biased. Sometimes I think the concept of ESPN is the reason why it isn’t very good sports analysis. It’s better than every other network simply because it’s all sports. But biased sports writers – that is, sports writers who are fans – tend to give better analysis, at least of their teams. For example, if you want to find out what’s going on with the yankees, you’d be much better served to read Brian Hoch’s blog (or even this one) than to watch sportscenter. The real purpose of sportscenter is to give people the opportunity to have a good general idea about what is happening with the sports and teams that they are not as interested in. What needs to end, though, is FOX’s monopoly on baseball games. You can’t watch out of market games on Saturday (MLB.TV) afternoons if they aren’t on FOX, and during the postseason you’re stuck with FOX every game (or TBS in the division series). I think come postseason, or at least come world series, the home team’s announcers should do the announcing, or the announcers of the team nearer to each viewer’s market do the commentary. Sure it will be biased, but at least they’ll have a clue about what they are talking about.

  • Guiseppe Franco

    Steve S.

    Again, nice try.

    You dared anyone to give an example of a Yankee fan on ESPN and when I named Cowherd – you called him “inconsequential.”

    However, you did manage to focus on the very consequential Eric Kassilias (a guy who is nothing more than a fill-in for other hosts on vacation) because of his Red Sox leanings.

    Why the double standard?

    Once again, you see what you want to see. A fill-in guy like Kassilias seems to pull more weight in your eyes than a guy like the Herd with his own show 5 days a week.

    And again, Olney’s book about the Yankees Dynasty was pro-Yankees all the way. If you can’t see that for what it’s worth, you need a lot more help than I can give you.

    • Steve S

      Kassilias is on in place of Mike and Mike often, and given the reigns of their premier show. I think in the grand scheme of things Kassilias is given a little more important air time than Cowherd. And he happened to be the last guy I even mentioned. He probably has the best perspective because at least he, like Bill Simmons, openly acknowledges that they hate the Yankees and root for the Red Sox.

      Since you missed point of my original post, Ill try and explain in it as plainly as possible. ESPN has either filled their personnel especially when it comes to national baseball coverage, with people either have conflicts of interest regarding their own feelings towards the Yankees OR they have people who simply acknowledge the fact that they dont like the Yankees. Therefore, their analysis and commentary will always be somewhat biased. You havent said anything to disprove that, you have merely mentioned some of these guys credentials which still doesnt change the fact that they have certain factors within their backgrounds which makes it difficult to believe they can be objective all the time. Its the same thing when people discuss Michael Kay or Mike Francesa. Its the same exact concept.

      Im not sure if you have issues with reading comprehension or just border line retardness but my point about Olney is NOT about the book but his analysis after he wrote the book which decidedly became doom and gloom regarding the Yankees. Its hard to see someone saying that in 2003 (pre-2004) when they won the ALCS in 2003 and had made the playoffs the year before and simply lost to the Angels, who happened to win the World Series (oh and they won 100 games in both of those seasons). yet somehow Buster Olney was on the radio and tv every day claiming that the organization took a horrible turn following game 7 in 2001.

      And as for Cowherd, you win that one buddy, you named one guy who is a admitted Yankee homer (I have never listened to him) and I gave you a whole list of guys who demonstrate a bias against the Yankees. Awesome, I guess you have convinced me that ESPN is the bastion of journalistic integrity. Maybe the next post can be who is going to win at the Espys this year.

    • Mike R.

      Guiseppe – You never tried to justify the earlier comment that Rod dibble, a former ESPN employee with no ties to the Yankees, said he thought that Hank was right. Additionally it is not only about employee loyalties. Kieth Law grew up a Yankees fan and is not partial toward them at all.

      It is possible to be a fan and impartial, but what do you call Peter Gammons criticizing the Yankees for all their spending before the Dice-K bids saying they would outspend everyone else and that it wasn’t fair and then turning around and applauding the Red Sox for landing him. Same with Johan Santana.

      ESPN is pretty biased and not only with the Red Sox. Anyone remember the series where they declared the USC Trojans the “Greatest College football team in history” only to see that team go on to lose the national title game? It might not be blatant, but it is there. Little things like failing to ever mention on a single broadcast that George Mitchell was a member of the board of directors of the Red Sox, or saying the Yankees will have trouble with their rotation because they are counting on two young guys, but mentioning the Red Sox among the best rotations in baseball, when they themselves have two young pitchers in their rotation.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    I don’t care what anyone says, the most BS anti-Yankee or ignorant baseball talk you will hear is from Chris Russo and Mike Francesa. The ignorance these two display about baseball personnel and baseball prospects is mind-numbing. The fact that so many listen and follow their word just infuriates me endlessly because their ignorance is being spread.

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