Tag Archives: media

We’re not a good journalism town

This is a headline on the Chicago Tribune’s web site right now: “Mark Dantonio has lofty goals for Michigan State: Big Ten title, BCS bowl.”

I mean, sure, those goals may be hard to achieve, but aren’t those the whole reason you play the game? According to the Chicago Tribune’s editors, maybe not.

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A Sports Radio Highlight and a Sports Radio Lowlight

I caught a little of both the Score and ESPN 1000 prior to the Cubs game that didn’t actually happen tonight. Two things stood out.

On ESPN 1000, they were talking about the revelation that Sammy Sosa had a positive drug test in 2003. John Jurkovich was all over the issue, in a good way. His reaction was basically “So what?” Nobody is surprised by this. Sammy was far from the only person who did it, and as Jurko pointed out, it’s a joke that Sammy and Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and even Pete Rose are being kept out of or will be kept out of the Hall of Fame. So I have to give him credit for his take on that issue – I think it’s exactly right.

Then there was the Score. They seemed to have their morning guys doing the pregame for the Cubs/Sox game. Brian Hanley was complaining about the Cubs lineup, and how Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano were in it even though it was a cool, wet night. He pointed out that Soriano hasn’t been given a day off in a few weeks, and that given the weather, Bradley was an injury risk. He also pointed out that Lou said he was going to try to rest players more this season. But Hanley failed to consider that a) the Cubs have had the last few Mondays off, so the players have been getting rest every week, and b) the Cubs actually had yesterday off. Hanley also, in the same bit, criticized Piniella for the lineup he ran out against Tim Lincecum and the Giants where most of the Cubs starters got the day off at the same time. So, to recap – Hanley wants Piniella to rest his good players against the Sox, but he will criticize him if he rests his good players. I think maybe Hanley just wants to to rip Piniella no matter what he does.

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This will solve everything!

Milton Bradley found a voice of support in the media today. Frank Thomas is helping to cover the Cubs/Sox interleague series for Comcast SportsNet, and he offered this:

“I think Milton is a great teammate,” he said of Bradley, who played with Thomas in Oakland. “He’s very passionate and loves to play the game. But sometimes he has things that happen.” That was a reference to Bradley’s emotional outbursts and, more recently, his gaffe Friday in the eighth inning against Minnesota when he threw the ball into the bleachers with only two outs.

“We called him T.O. [for controversial NFL star Terrell Owens] in Oakland and he loved it,” Thomas said. “You give him his space and he’ll produce.” Thomas said when he learned Bradley was signing with the Cubs, “to be honest, I felt at first he’d have problems with the media because the intensity is different from Oakland or Texas or even L.A.

“But it’s early,” Thomas said, predicting Bradley will be a significant contributor for the Cubs in the second half. “Milton shows up in the second half. We wouldn’t have gotten to the playoffs in Oakland [in 2006] without him. Don’t be too quick to judge Milton Bradley. The guy has a flare for the dramatic. He was a teammate of mine and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with him.”

I’ve always liked Frank Thomas, and I felt sort of like Sox fans and the media in this town didn’t deserve him sometimes. Thomas knows about Bradley and knows about the problems the Chicago media can cause a player.

Thomas’s situation is somewhat unique in that I can’t remember any sort of legitimate grievance against him at all. Milton Bradley is getting picked on in the media, sure, but he went after an umpire, even if the whole story is more complicated than that. Sammy Sosa got attacked in the media when he left, but he really did use a corked bat in a game. I don’t agree with the media’s treatment of them, but at least they use real, unfortunate events as a flimsy justification for their personal vendettas.

I’m not a Sox fan and I never followed the coverage of Thomas that closely, but I honestly feel like the media here basically went after him solely because he didn’t like dealing with them. He was an amazing player and I don’t remember hearing about a ton of on- or off-field incidents with him. So there’s a player who was just singled out because he wasn’t nice to the media. I’m glad he’s in Bradley’s corner, but I’m sure we’re just hours away from a columnist calling them peas in a pod and writing about how this shows that Bradley is somehow a bad guy.

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The important things

I’ve always heard that Boers and Bernstein is the smartest show on Chicago sports radio. And yet in the last week I’ve gotten long discussions on drunk photos of Jay Cutler and about Vinny Del Negro’s dad sitting on the Bulls bench. This is the sort of smart sports talk I’m looking for, thanks guys.

Cubs/Reds series preview going up later tonight, since I know nobody’s reading just to hear me bitch about how dumb sports radio is.

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A monster and a menace

Carrie Muskat has this photo of Milton Bradley signing for fans at Hohokam Park.  

It was taken by a Japanese journalist. I guess the memo that Milton isn’t very nice to Paul Sullivan and so shouldn’t get favorable stories didn’t make it across the Pacific. The man only went 0-2 today with a walk, bringing his spring average down to .500. He needs to be stopped. I cannot believe we gave up a classy gentleman of baseball like Mark DeRosa so we could afford to sign this ingrate.

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