Red Sox Face Both Local & National Media Bias

(Photo credit:  Yahoo Sports)

By Ted Gay – @TedG63

My father used to state after every Boston teams’ nationally televised game that the announcers were being paid by our opponents. This culminated with him insisting that the NBC broadcast he watched of a Patriots vs. Texans playoff game was the “Houston feed.”  When I told him that football had no regional television broadcasts, he countered with “well, then how did I get it?”

As I grew older, I began to see the wisdom in my father’s words.  When the Red Sox were broadcast nationally, the announcers seemed continually biased for the other team.  Sunday night’s broadcast took the partisan Yankee line to a new level.

Red Sox fans are cognizant of announcers openly salivating over the opposition after having spent the early part of the century listening to Tim McCarver use every postseason game to audition for a full-time position at the YES network.   His hysterical reaction to a charging Don Zimmer being taken down by Pedro Martinez and a groundskeeper fighting Kiko Garcia in between innings are classic examples of bias from the press box.

New England listeners can also hear the most partisan Yankee talk show on the radio between six and seven broadcast from the Sports Hub.  WFAN and the YES Network would be embarrassed by a host who lauded praise on every trade the Yankee general manager, or move the manager makes while showing unbridled love for their right fielder.   At 98.5 it is considered a sound marketing strategy. Only on the Yankee Reporters Show would someone hear, as was said by one of the host’s minions on Friday “God forbid the Yankee get swept.”

From the first pitch, it was apparent that Sunday night’s storyline was the injured, temporarily depleted Yankees, valiantly fighting back against a healthy Red Sox team.  Matt Vasgersian, Jessica Mendoza, and A-Rod spun the tale from the start of the game, increasingly praising the Yankees while treating the Red Sox like upstarts who were due  the comeuppance they were surely getting.

The crowning achievement of the Yankees Sunday Night Resurgence was Aroldis Chapman standing high on the hill as he, assumedly,  would shut down the mighty Red Sox in the ninth. A-Rod, who was was more complimentary to the Yankees as an impartial announcer than he was as a teammate continued, as Chapman’s pitches continually missed the zone, to repeat how dominant the Yankees’ closer was, falsely claiming that Chapman had not blown a save this year.

With Steve Pierce at the plate, A-Rod kept suggesting all Chapman had to do was throw a single slider to escape the hole.  After JD Martinez’s two run-scoring single Vasgersian, Mendoza and A-Rod reacted like financial analysts after a Wall Street crash.    When Greg Bird was unable to hold on to Miguel Andujar’s low, but catchable throw and JBJ scored the tying run the ESPN three turned into grief counselors. A stunned A-Rod, spotting Jonathan Holder loosening in the bullpen remarked “you don’t often see a guy warming up to replace Chapman,” seemingly oblivious to the fact that Holder was preparing to pitch the tenth inning.

In the top of the tenth the camera, always peering into the Yankee dugout showed Andujar standing near Aaron Judge.   A-Rod concluded that the big slugger was counseling Andujar after the rookie’s error. To the unbiased eye, it looked like Andujar was hiding in the shadow of the disinterested giant   “That is good leadership,” A-Rod said as the two-man stood, obviously not communicating.

When the Sox quickly put men on against the incredibly shrinking Holder, and it slowly dawned ESPN’s terrific trio that their storyline would not have the assumed happy ending A-Rod quipped that Boston had come into the series with a four and a half game lead and would leave ahead nine and a half games. Somehow Boston gained five games on the Yankees during a four-game sweep.  Damn.

I don’t know who will be announcing the inevitable five-game divisional series between the Sox and Yankees, but I do know under their network blazers they will be wearing a Yankee T-shirt as they audition for a role on the YES network.

Until then Yankee diehards are going to have to be satisfied with their cheerleader radio host boasting about their chances on the Sports Hub between 6 and 7.  On Tuesday night the host began his show playing the audio of the Patriots blowing out the Jets in the regular season than boasting the spirits of his Yankee loving audience by stating, despite the Patriots blow out victory, a few weeks later the Jets beat the Patriots in the playoffs.  On New York radio they were ripping Yankee players who were suffering concussions for not playing. Their management would not abide such shamelessly biased commentary. Why is it at the Sports Hub?

I don’t envy New York fans for much this season, but at least they are not subjected to a radio host enthusiastically pumping the Yankee house organ as the sun sets on their chances of winning the division and perhaps the World Series.



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