You knew this was coming:
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 7, 2014
Commenters have told me that the lesser Skip Bayless-types on various talk radio shows are calling him “Clayton Manning” this morning. Clever.
I do a lot of sports talk radio. I’m usually the token baseball guy they go to for five minutes to interrupt their two-hour-plus block of football stuff. It’s very clear that, with a few exceptions, sports talk radio is both ignorant of and indifferent to baseball. It doesn’t have a week between games which more easily allows the yakkers to come up with imagined storylines and controversies. It is quantifiable enough to where the lingua franca of sports talk radio — questioning guys’ guts and character — carries less weight. It’s also a game where no one person has anything close the impact on a game that, say, a quarterback or a point guard does. Talking about strategy and probabilities and how some 25 people a game interact is not as sexy and visceral as asking whether Johnny Utah is “elite” is.
But God love ’em, the sports yakkers try. They only try when the story is big enough, of course, because it’s just baseball. They come out of the woodwork during the playoffs for this stuff and when they offer it they look ridiculous, like Skip does here. I don’t know if their listeners care. They probably don’t. It’s all a grand game of “hero or bum” for so many sports fans, and there’s little room in their heads, it seems, account for what actually goes on in a baseball game.
Thank goodness for Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette at Sirius/XM. Thank goodness for my pal Norm Wamer at The Ticket in Toledo. Thank goodness for the folks I talk to during my Wednesday morning radio tour across various cities. These are men and women who get and appreciate baseball and, I imagine, have had to fight hard to get smart talk about baseball on the air in anything other than a token role.
Too bad there are way, way more yakkers who try to reduce everything to some dumb lowest common denominator like that which we’re seeing here.