Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Morning After on TSE - 6.21.2007

Normally when I wake up the first thing I do is turn on Sportscenter, just like the few million or so other guys on the planet. I don't like what Sportscenter has become since it's heyday about 5 years ago and it's a consensus that TSE doesn't like ESPN too much on the whole. But until a suitable replacement (read: Dan and Keith at 11, Kilby and Van Pelt in the morning on some other network; I'm thinking Versus) comes into our world, we're stuck with the WWL in the mornings.

Back on topic, for once. Today on Sportscenter Tim Kurkjian, one of the only "experts" on ESPN to whom I will actually listen (and we're talking about a network that counts Stephen A. Smith as his peer...) and he did a story about Sammy Sosa's 600th home run, which he hit last night against, ironically, the Cubs. (TEEPLE'S NOTE: Not irony; coincidence) The story was painted with imagery and celebration about Sammy Sosa's career. Kurkjian (I'm assuming he wrote and helped cut the story, but I could be wrong about that) compared him to the likes of Ruth and talked about how his power is almost unmatched in the last 10 years. Sure, Kurkjian mentioned Sosa's dismal season with the Orioles two years ago, but then mentioned Sosa had gone from a power-hitter, to a has-been and now to a power-hitting middle-of-the-order guy.

Good story, well-edited and presented but it lacked one tiny, insignificant and trivial part of Sosa's legacy.

He did steroids. He corked his bat. He went from being internationally loved to universally dismissed just like that. And the story didn't say a word about it.

Now I'm one of the proponents for people finding a way to accept the current state of baseball, steroids and all (and it sparked a rather huge discussion on but the story barely mentioned it. It didn't even mention the congressional hearing in 2005 and how Sosa went from bubbly and happy and English-speaking to your basic line-cook at McDonald's who can't understand a word of English the cashier is frantically trying to yell back at him.

My beef here isn't with Sammy Sosa because I think that anyone who can belt 600 home runs regardless of the situation deserves some credit. I feel the same way about Bonds and his race to 755. It is just too impressive to just throw out; I may be alone in this but that's my opinion. My problem lies with the WWL and their fluff piece about Sammy Sosa. How can you talk about someone's legacy without mentioning the ill parts to it? And the season with the Orioles doesn't count. Say what you want, but there are plenty of people who want to hear what Sammy Sosa had to say at the hearings, and not by way of a translator that he needed then but never before or after. That's just bad journalism.

Anyway, the day has begun, Jed and Paul actually started writing (!!) and I'm getting funny looks from my coworkers because I haven't done anything today. So it's back after it. Stay tuned for my Jhonny Peralta/Jared from Subway story later today (just kidding, Jed.)

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