Friday, April 27, 2007

Sulzbeger or Steinbrenner the boss?

I am disappointed. I expected more from the stories sports scribes of the hallowed Great Grey Lady, The New York Times.

I expected coverage that is fair, that is to the point and that is relevant to the events of the day.

I didn't expect them to be apologists for the New York Yankees, to be Boss George Steinbrenner's propaganda machine.

I expect it from Charlie Sterling, the radio sportscaster for the Yankee games. He's paid by the team and is supposed to be their chief excuse-maker.

I didn't expect to see a script for the movie "Wag the Dog," on the sports pages of my morning newspaper.

Let me explain.

"Wag the Dog" is a movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, among others, about an administration that starts a televised war to cover up a screw-up by the president. You know, the script for the Bush presidency.

In the world of sports, especially in New York, the unthinkable has happened. The New York Yankees, the best team money can buy, is in last place in its division. It can't buy a win (let's not get into that) and is slightly behind the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Only four teams in all of baseball are lower than the Yanks. Colorado, the last-place team in the National League West, is slightly ahead of the Yanks.

The arch-enemy, the Boston Red Sox, are in first place and right now are the best team in baseball. They are 5.5 games ahead of the Yanks coming into tonight's (April 27, 2007) first game of a three-game set against the Yanks in the Bronx.

OK, it's April...early days as the British say.

The Yanks have real trouble in that many of their top pitchers some top hitters are or have been on the disabled list.

The Yanks' apologists in the New York Times are whining the beat the band about how it's not a fair test because the Yanks are so beaten up. Last year, the Red Sox were in the same boat, only much later in the season.

Yankee fans are right to say it's not a fair test. They weren't right last year when they refused to give the Red Sox the same break when the Sox were nose-diving because just about everyone was on the sick, lame and lazy list.

I can even deal with that.

What I can't deal with is the play given in the Times to this notion that somehow the sock worn by Sox pitcher Curt Schilling when he beat the Yanks in 2004 wasn't really bloody.

This is the bloody sock of legend, the symbol of determination in Schilling's pitching performance against the Yanks in 2004 when the New Yorkers become the symbol for choking, when the Yankees posted the biggest choke in the entire history of sport and the Red Sox came from three games down to beat the Yankees for the American League championship.

Some idiot sportscaster said Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli told him the sock really didn't have blood on it but read paint and the yakker spread it around. He later apologized, saying he must of misheard Mirabelli.

So, this has to take up a fifth of an inside page of Friday's sports pages, with promotion on the front.

Fellas, you are a disappointment to me. I expected better. First of all, who cares? Schilling performed one of the most heroic feats in baseball history. The sock from the Yankee game is in the Hall of Fame. You clowns suggest that maybe a medical examiner should cut some of the sock off and give it a chemical test to see if there is blood.

Y'all have been watching CSI too much.

As far as the Cardinals games are concerned, neither Schilling nor the Red Sox needed any help in taking apart the National League champs.

Still, one wonders whether some New York Times sports writers aren't free-lancing for the Yankees Propaganda Ministry and spreading rumors that the Hall of Fame folks say are silly.

It's a shame the question even has to be asked.

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