Here's a campaign I can wholeheartedly endorse: Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News is boycotting ESPN. Not that it will be difficult for me. I've watched maybe one full SportsCenter since March. I catch Baseball Tonight irregularly, and when I do I tend to want to slap John Kruk. So Tim can count on me and Bruce Jenkins. Anyone else?
Mark Cuban cracks me up. He's got running battle going with sports columninsts and in his blog he proposes that they should be upfront and admit that they are simply gossip columnists. Most of them, at least. Peter Vecsey gets a pretty good basting, as he apparently never bothers to check any facts he "reports." Obviously, I agree with Cuban.
If you haven't stumbled across Mark Cuban's blog yet (yes, that Mark Cuban), I suggest that you pay a visit. The NBA ranks pretty darn low with me these days, falling below the World Poker Tour and the PBA, and ranking just above pro handball (nice gig, Ted Robinson!), yet I do find Cuban fascinating. "500 words to say nothing" takes the sports media to task for an environment that sacrifices understanding for the sake of pseudo-scoops.
The goal isn’t to know a subject cold and find elements that make all those read it smarter about the subject. There isn’t a Wall Street Journal or even a NY Times Business Section for sports. In sports, its about filling up 500 words. Quick story. On to the next day. ... While the sports media won’t do in-depth analysis, it’s usually not the reporters fault. It’s the job they were given. At least they should try to make sure that what is in those 500 words is accurate.
I agree with him, and I give the guy a lot of credit for understanding where some of the fault lies instead of just blaming the reporters. Here's some recent subjects in baseball that deserve better treatment along these lines:
Performance enhancers. What else are players using? What exactly are the benefits and risks? Do these things really help in a game like baseball?
Questec. Is it working? Is it accurate? Is the methodology sound? Why only some ballparks? What's the goal? Is it attainable? If so, do we want it?
The closer myth.
The publicly financed stadium fiasco.
I won't hold my breath. Meanwhile, go back to your regularly scheduled feature on Cody Ransom.