Believe it or not — and my psychiatrist clearly does not believe it — I read every comment posted to this blog. And based upon reading every comment posted to this blog, I have learned two things:
1. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are rooting for the Phillies; and
2. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are rooting for the Yankees.
Really, the passion with which many of you believe that those knuckleheads are rooting for the other team is incredible. It’s rendered even more incredible in light of the fact that so many of the same people who think that Buck and McCarver root also say that they don’t know what they’re talking about. In an ideal world, the statements “McCarver knows nothing!” and “McCarver roots for the other guys” would represent complementary concepts that shouldn’t bother anyone (after all, if they guy truly is a moron, and truly is rooting for the other team, doesn’t that bode well for your team?) But the former notion seems to make the latter notion all the more intolerable for many of you.
Personally, I don’t think that either of those guys root for anything other than high ratings and a long series. In this, they are no different than so many of their predecessors, including Bob Costas, Tony Kubek, and Joe Garagiola, all of whom have been accused of postseason bias over the years (they’re also all NBC guys . . . hmmmmm), erroneously so in my view. But still the perception persists, and I really want to know why.
Those of you who think that the broadcasters are in the bag for the other team: why do you think so? Give us examples of alleged bias in the comments. It’s an off day and we don’t have to listen to them bleat, so let’s talk about their bleatings a bit, shall we?
UPDATE: This post on the excellent Fack Youk! blog is a week old, but it’s a much more thorough handling of the subject.
The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.
Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).
John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.
What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.
The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?