Friday, January 11, 2008

Above the Fold - Columnists say the darnedest things

It's been a long while since I took a tour around the fishwrap columnists in town, and today's as good a day as any to see what's on the minds of the supposed best and brightest of the MSM. Of course, "best and brightest" being a relative term, as we are talking about the MSM. A 20 watt bulb is brighter than some of the writers in Detroit.

Let's start with the Detroit News. No Rob Parker today? We're off to one Hell of a good start!

With my daily, cleansing diss of Parker that out of the way, Mike O'Hara and Vartan Kupelian lead with the Tiger Woods "lynching" kerfuffle, and the suspension of Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman. It's been commented/discussed/dissected to death on the web earlier this week, but with the dailies being a day late, and millions of dollars short, O'Hara and Kupelian get around to covering it today...

Tilghman played college golf at Duke. She's a smart lady who said a dumb thing. It's another example of a broadcaster looking for something dramatic to say when it isn't necessary. Tilghman, the viewers and the game would have been better served if she had worthwhile information to share.

That's what makes the best announcers so much better than the rest. They know when silence is golden. From now on, Tilghman should let Faldo make the wisecracks. That's what he gets paid for. We're betting she's learned that lesson.

Actually, they make a good point. Tilghman was totally out of her element, a host trying out analyze the genuinely witty and incisive Faldo. When do announcers tend to put their feet in their mouth? When they are trying to be funny. Just why do they feel the need to funny/wacky/irreverent? Because that's what they try to do on the 4 letter 365/24/7. What evil hath ESPN wrought?

Lynn Henning is back with a very disjointed Tigers piece, just skimming the surface on subjects that require more in-depth coverage, such as the pressure upon Jim Leyland to win, who could be the MVP of the '08 Tigers, and most importantly, advice on buying TV's this spring.

The Tigers have already sold tickets at a pace so torrid they likely will beat last year's record attendance of 3 million-plus.

The Red Wings are the NHL's best team and seem particularly poised to take care of business in the early rounds of the playoffs and make off with another Stanley Cup.

The Pistons are almost certainly going to duke it out with the Celtics ahead of another potential trip to the NBA Finals.

All of this will be taking place simultaneously, of course, as the usual spring overlap of baseball and Pistons-Red Wings playoffs plays out.

It appears to be a good year to invest in that third television set.

Who needs Engadget or Gizmodo for your electronics fix when you have Lynn Henning? This is column material? I normally think Henning is, if not on the money, at least capable of making a credible argument. But the "Ooo, there's 3 good teams in town, best get another TV" bit is Mlive message board quality lame. I expect kiddie pool deep crap from Rob Parker. Henning's better than this...

At the Freep, Michael Rosenberg panders to the normally ignored Red Wings fans, admitting that it's his "first column off a Red Wings game all season." He also takes a shot at the fans, calling them "spoiled."

Have you noticed? Probably not. The Wings are hot; their tickets, not so much. There are a lot of reasons for it: the lockout, a slumping economy, high ticket prices, the retirement of Stevie Y (let's have a moment of silence, everybody), and the fact that in the Red Wings' peak-popularity years, they were the only contender in town.

But don't discount that people are spoiled. It's natural. Heck, if the Wings' playoff streak were a person, it would be able to vote for president this fall.

For most of the last two decades, Wings fans could fill out a customer satisfaction form every spring by checking one of two boxes:

BOX ONE: Satisfactory.

BOX TWO: Failed to win the Stanley Cup.

Well, he's got us there, every Red Wings season is judged on playoff success. But when it comes to the attendance woes, Rosenberg chooses to ignore two very important reasons. The NHL's absolutely shitty scheduling practices, and the Red Wings taking a loyal fanbase for granted, and milking them for every dollar they have, and then taking even more. Come on, the only concession they made to the fans after the lockout were the laughable "Joe Bucks?" That was a hard slap in the face of Red Wings season ticket holders.

Then again, it should be expected that a columnist that has ignored the Red Wings all season to fail to grasp the obvious.

With the other Freep columnists finding better things to do than write for the paper (Albom is probably working on his next Oprah approved tearjerker, "For One More Tuesday You'll Meet the Five Morrie's in Heaven" and Drew Sharp busy researching more ways to rip Michigan and the Big 10), I had to go to Jon Paul Morosi's blog for a sports opinion. The "Winter of Morosi" continues, as he calculates the massive amounts of cash required for the Tigers to sign Miguel Cabrera long-term.

Still, the early arithmetic on a potential extension is fairly straightforward: Assuming he continues his current production, Cabrera should earn roughly $14 million in 2009, his final season before free agency.

In other words, he would make roughly $25 million through arbitration over the next two seasons.

Now comes the tricky part: How much would each of those post-free-agency years be worth?

The current market would suggest that he receive an average annual salary of at least $20 million.

Yes, at least $20 million

This is the sort of issue Henning should be commenting on, rather than telling us to buy a TV. Morosi continues his pwning of the other baseball scribes in the D.

The Tigers traded arguably the 2 best prospects in baseball to acquire Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Do the Tigers even have a choice? They don't, as Cabrera has be signed long-term for the deal to be considered a true win. Honestly, I'm not all that worried. If Mike Ilitch was willing to pony up, and give the mercurial Juan Gonzalez $140+ million over 7 years, he'll do the same for the much younger, and unlikely to be 'roided up (Unlike Juan Gone), Cabrera. Will the Tigers locking up Cabrera happen soon? No, but it will happen....

At the Oakland Press, Pat Caputo looks into the budding rivalry between...the women's basketball teams of Oral Roberts and Oakland University? Um...OK. Hey, womens hoops is fine and dandy. Just don't expect me to care, let alone read about it. Quickly moving on to Mlive...

...Where they have absolutely no opinion pieces today. Nothing from their beat writers, other than game recaps, and nothing of note on their blogs. Will the fishwraps ever get it through their heads that readers want opinion? We can get rote recaps anywhere.

And the fishwraps wonder why they are being called out by the likes of Nelson Muntz. "Your medium is dying," indeed...

That's "Above the Fold" for Friday, 1-11-07!

No comments:

Post a Comment