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ESPN betrays the Yankees and MLB

Posted by TopOfTheThread on July 10, 2008

Over the last year or so, ESPN and other sports carriers have been providing “open- or all-access” to professional sports.

You, the viewer, get to (for example) sit in the locker room and listen to Doc Rivers instruct Paul Piece,hand gripping a baseball tipping pitches Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and the rest of the Boston Celtics on what they should be doing in the second half of the game. Typically the coach has already told the team private, strategic message. By the time the camera is turned on, the viewer usually hears meaningless dribble like “fight over the pick-n-rolls” or “play hard, we have this game.”

In another sports scenario, a hockey player will be mike’d. You hear some of his conversation and banter. The viewer sees and hears a very moderated and edited clip. There is specifically no cursing and “important” interaction with the coaching staff.

We know ESPN (et al) are trying to give the viewers a taste of being behind the scenes at a professional sporting event. Nice try but weak. And now it seems like ESPN may have pulled a “Bill Belichick” and poked the cameras where they don’t belong.

According to Bronx Liason, “(July 7, 2008 ) While Brett Gardner led off the eighth inning, the ESPN cameras peered into the tunnel – which they’re not supposed to do – and caught Bobby Abreu showing Alex Rodriguez how Manny Delcarmen tips his pitches.” ESPN and everyone knew what they (ESPN) were doing was wrong. ESPN announcer Joe Morgan said, “I don’t think we should have showed that…”.

ESPN had been showing the players sharing how the pitcher was tipping off his pitches.

ESPN stepped over the line. Not just the Yankees, but Major League Baseball (MLB) needs to reinforce the rules with them. Obviously this needs to be done in a delicate way in that ESPN pays major fees to MLB, but it needs to be done.

ESPN is given special permission to be invasive. They need to use better judgement and not give up something strategic to the entire viewing public. They knew exactly what they were doing.

(photo pitchingtips.files.wordpress.com)

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