During last night’s game I made an observation on Twitter that initiated a robust debate.
— newballpark (@newballpark) July 26, 2012
That begat the following responses from BANG’s Tim Kawakami:
@newballpark Conspiracy! You must’ve bugged one of our secret meetings.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 26, 2012
Some angry A’s fans are funny. I guess there’s a vetting process to cover them now? Swear on Fosse’s scorecard? Root Beer Float ID card? — Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 26, 2012
and a bewildered response from the Chronicle’s Susan Slusser:
Thanks all! I was just taken about to hear Bay Area media biased against the A’s when I tweeted about astonishing Reddick catch. All OK now.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 26, 2012
Clearly, I wasn’t referring to Slusser, who has been the best in the business for years, and her beat colleagues Joe Stiglich and Jane Lee. I was referring to columnists like Kawakami, or the Scott Ostler column from yesterday. To his credit, Kawakami’s interview with Billy Beane was very illuminating and should answer a lot of questions about the organization’s postseason intentions. That said, such columns are few and far between. What’s more common is the standard tripe proffered by Lowell Cohn or Ostler, who may have confused the column space for a long tweet.
I’ve been following the A’s for more than 30 years, well before the popularity of Sports Talk Radio and the Internet. I was aware as a kid of the coverage inequity between the two teams. It was something I simply accepted as part of the sports media landscape. Fortunately for A’s fans, the expansion of information sources and real-time availability has not only lessened the impact of the gruff, eternally cynical, cigar-chomping (or free-food chomping) columnist, it has made that character a dinosaur. The A’s get better coverage now thanks to the tireless work of the local beats and the added perspective of national writers who, frankly, love Billy Beane (which helps). I’m perfectly fine with that. I no longer worry much about the lazy, often provocative style of the local sports columnist. Well, enough to get it off my chest for two posts, but anyway…
FWIW – Kawakami’s best work was when he was covering the Lakers for the LA Times.
P.S. – If you want to see a lazy, provocative media type get thoroughly destroyed, check out former Merc columnist Skip Bayless shrink in the face of Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s withering commentary.