Friday, October 19, 2007

The End of an Era

It's noon on a Friday and I notice "SportsCenter Special" is on the screen. What is it for? The Yankees. Joe Torre not signing with the Yankees. In the middle of Rockies vs. Indians/Red Sox, there is somehow hours of Yankees coverage. Honest to God - it's called SportsCenter Special: 2007 Yankees The End of an Era Take a look.

If this is the new direction of 'This is SportsCenter' ads, then you can count me out. How is this any better than the repeat of the west coast show? At least then I could have seen highlights of the Rutgers/USF game... instead I'll have to watch FSN's Final Score.

The ALCS is still going on. I know nobody is really watching ESPN in the middle of the day, but c'mon. I'm watching in a bar and there's no volume or captioning, so I borrowed a computer and TiVoed it on over the internet. Here's the best of the best of what I heard from Joe Torre's news conference.

All times are central.

1:17 pm - and not very important - The TiVo was awakened from recording a suggested recording of Card Sharks to record. I join the press conference in progress, which is a shame. I really wanted to hear what was said when I was in the bar.

1:20 pm - Budd Mishkan, NY1 - "We've seen some strange things from the Yankees in years past. Managers fired, then the decision is reconsidered in the next couple days. Billy Martin was announced at an Oldtimers day a couple days after he was fired. I know it's a long shot, but in the next couple of days, they reconsider for whatever reason would you or is the door absolutely shut?"

I bring this up not because of how confusing the question seems at the end there, but what's on the screen. TheBottomLine has JOE TORRE STATISTICS scrolling along the bottom instead of who will play tonight and a meaningless stat about that match up or a player in that game. Moments later, the SportsCenter Pièce de résistance of live action split screen with vaguely related stat gives us Longest Tenured GM/Manager. No doubt that somewhere in Bristol, makers of these stat screens were sitting at the screen like parents at a children's beauty pageant. Quickly, they pace around a control room hoping that something is asked that kind of resembles their stat so that THEY get picked. Sure it's interesting that the four longest GM/Manager relationships all broke up this year, but maybe it's time that they moved on. I'm sure there are other managers looking for a GM out there. Better managers. Managers with feelings. And a boat.

1:23 - Amy Nelson, - "What is it that you're going to miss most about being manager of the Yankees?"

Hard hitting questions today. I can name a couple of the things that I would miss about being a manager:
The money.
Bottomless buckets of bubble gun and sunflower seeds.
Being the only coach that wears a uniform, therefore being the only coach allowed on the field in all of sports.

But let's see how Joe answers:

"Well, spring training is wonderful. Even though George'd never agree with me, I said spring training is great because you don't have to win games."

...and then he talks out of the side of his mouth, waiting for uproarious laughter from the press. Nothing. Boy, tough crowd. Maybe something a little blue will crack them up yet, Joe. Quick, SAVE IT!

"...but that didn't always sell on my part. I had a lot of fun with it though. The thing I'm gonna miss most are the players... I mean, the players and the game itself... uh... and my coaches. That was the most fun for me."

Well I guess I missed the mark. He could have two of the three of those things with a fantasy team and MLB Extra Innings.

1:30pm - Joe Torre: "I know Brian [Cashman] as General Manager has a lot of balls to keep in the air at the same time. As fas as I'm concerned it's pretty simple..."

A little out of context, juvenile quoting for you. I was actually typing the intro when I heard that and pressed pause so I could get right back to it.

1:34 pm - CJ Papa, TV55: "What was it like for you this morning when you woke up knowing you were not the manager of the Yankees anymore?"

Torre at the Improv: "Well, you know, it wasn't that tough. I mean, which time when I woke up?"

Torre brings out the laughs with incontinence. I really hope there's a follow-up question coming from NY1 that involves holding a lead. CJ Papa hiccups into the microphone laughing. Torre is probably kicking himself that he forgot his fart machine. That thing would have killed.

1:37 pm - Bob Wolf, News 12: "All of the sudden, the Yankee front office seems to believe that a 3 out of 5 series is more important than a 162 game campaign. Have you ever been able to convince them that it's just a matter of luck, you're going to do a short series like that?

Let me check real quick... nope, they still play a postseason. That would make a 3 out of 5 series more important than a 162 season. It would appear winning the regular season didn't get the Yankees a championship.

1:47 - Back to the studio, where we are told to tune to ESPNews

What's interesting about this is the last question that aired on ESPN was from ESPN, then they cut away. The studio crew takes us to the top of the hour, where the coverage is accidentally summed up by Karl Ravech as he throws it to Buster Olney to close it all out.

"Let's get Buster in here quickly. We had Donald Trump talk about the early 70s and we know how they struggled in the 80s. What crossroads do you think the next 6 months will be for the Yankees?"

That's right. To talk about baseball, ESPN called Donald Trump. They can bring in an endless parade of sports writers to be talking heads. But somebody said "GET ME DONALD TRUMP!" and it was so.


eriz said...

i was pretty annoyed by ESPN's coveage of Torre the past week. That being said, I was much more pissed at McCarver/Buck's inning long diatribe last night on the yankees DURING A RED SOX/INDIANS GAME!

larry b said...

I hope Torre at least took the media out for a nice dinner before they did that to him. Seems dirty otherwise.