Sports reporters- annoying, informative, helpful, and yes, necessary! As a New York sports lover and baseball fanatic, I like hearing trained, professional journalistic perspectives mixed with the everyday fan rants. Yet, like you, I get aggravated from time to time with the reporters I listen to on ESPN or read in the New York Daily News. So, here are a few rants of my own, chock filled with smack and raw opinions.
First our national reporter, Buster Olney, senior baseball writer for ESPN The Magazine, covered New York Yankees and New York Giants for the New York Times, is a frequent contributor for ESPN's Baseball Tonight and hosts his daily podcast for the network. He, like many other reporters, also keeps his own blog and tweets consistently on Twitter(@Buster_ESPN). He has published a couple of books including, The Last Night of the Yankees Dynasty, where he analyzes why the Yankees lost the series to the Arizona Diamondbacks and why they fell so hard in the early nineties. Now that you have his credentials, let me tell you what I think of him. I think he's smug, Joe Buck-smug but with a stronger resume. The other day I posted a TED Talks presentation by Rita Pierson who candidly stated that "kids don't learn from teachers they don't like." I put Olney in the same category, he's not likable. He doesn't connect with fans and he doesn't care. That's just my opinion. He's no Peter Gammons. He's Buster Olney and he's cocky. He beat up stats people in his Insider's bog back in July, read that HERE, and he laid on thick with Ryan Braun and he pissed off Deon Sanders when the two of them were just rookies. Olney wrote an unflattering piece about Sanders who blew off his request for an interview. Sanders replied to Olney by writing on a baseball "Keep writing like that your whole life and you'll always be a loser." Olney is not a loser but he does have a knack of taking a story a bit too far.
Next, a local reporter, The Daily News' own Mark Feinsand resonates with fans both in print, on the web, podcasts and his Daily News Fifth from the WCBS Booth during games. I, for one, look forward to his insights. When I first joined Twitter in 2007, Mark Feinsand was one of the first reporters I followed (@FeinsandNYDN). His local and national sports wisdom gives fans a lot to digest and he challenges us to know our stuff. He writes simply with a good amount of wit and core knowledge of the game and Yankee lore. He calls it straight but he's not mean and he's not condescending despite our Yankee struggles this year. No he is not going to put a positive spin on Phil Hughes' next start or the Alex Rodriguez comeback, but he will provide you depth and the hard-nosed facts like THIS. Following the Yankees triumphant win on Friday night Feinsand filed this insight, "In typical A-Rod fashion, he headed for the clubhouse after being lifted for defensive purposes for Jayson Nix in the ninth, read more HERE. Who knows where he was when Brett Gardner stroked the game-winning hit past a diving Miguel Cabrera an inning later, but he wasn’t part of the swarm that surrounded Gardner to celebrate the win – one the Yankees needed in the worst way." That's how you cover the games New York-style.
Now, let's take a look at a sports reporter legend in Mike Lupica. An American icon when it comes to provocative journalism and commentary, 61-year-old New York native Mike Lupica calls it straight. New York Daily News reporter, ESPN analyst, resident sports expert and New York Times award winning author, Mike Lupica is who I check in with when it comes to storied that affect baseball at its core. What will PEDS do to baseball? Why does ARod have so much power? What do athletes like Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez do when they fall from grace? I want to know from Lupica when all is said and done. And with football season quickly approaching, Lupica is pushing out his next installment of motivating sports novels in QB1 in September. He continues to "heat" up today's fans with his sports knowledge and ingenuity. Find out more about him HERE.
For Lupica, respect comes first and it shows in his writing and his interviews. "I want children to idolize their parents, their teachers, even older kids who set a proper example, on and off the field. I tell my sons and my daughter all the time something I wrote in a book once: I hope that when I am old and they are older, they will love and respect me the way I love and respect my parents," Lupica said.
Lastly, I can't do an article on sports reporters without taking one parting shot on Fox Sports Announcer Joe Buck. As I have stated openly in the past, Buck seems to hate what he does and his negativity toward teams like the Yankees is just nauseating. Again, my opinion. He loves to stick it to our guys and our team whenever he can. It's all about the latest trends and hearsay rather than real sports, real game time analysis, honest baseball. Not that he is dishonest, but he does not call the game fair. He and Onley parallel each other, but I guess there has to be people like Buck and Olney to keep us fans on the ball.
So there are national, local, legendary and Joe Buck reporters. And love or hate them, they call the shots, give us the information and at times like this, make our season's miserable. But love 'em or hate 'em, they are there and that's American democracy at it's best!
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
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