Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It Happens Every Spring

It's the end of April, and that can only mean it's time for the Tribune to rehash the Lee Elia tirade story again.

Funny how things change...twenty-five years ago, Elia said a lot of naughty, naughty words. And people were shocked -- shocked, I tell ya!

Today, there's another manager in town for whom the F-bomb serves as a conjunction, preposition, and adjective. And he's praised for his straight-talking, non-PC way of takin' care of business.

[Side note to everyone in Chicago -- there's only one team in the city that gets a pass. Stop handing out passes!]

More interesting than the same-old, same-old Elia Says Curses story is the accompanying text about the reporters covering Elia's rant. From the first few paragraphs you can tell that Teddy Greenstein is giving us a rare glimpse into the soul of our sports media:

It was a few hours before their 6 p.m. sportscast, and WMAQ-Ch. 5's 1-2 punch of Chet Coppock and Mark Giangreco realized they were hurting for a lead item.

The date was April 29, 1983. The White Sox were in Toronto. The Blackhawks were down 2-0 to Edmonton in their playoff series. The Bulls were already on vacation.

"We're watching the Cubs game and Lee Smith throws a wild pitch in the eighth to bring in the [ Dodgers'] go-ahead run," Coppock recalled. "The Cubs are just awful.

"So I tell Mark, 'Why don't you go to Cubs park? There has to be somebody who will pop off.' "

What that? The media just trolling for controversial sound bites to fill its air time? And not really giving a rat's ass about what actually happens on the field, as long as they can get some good tape of "somebody who will pop off?"

Over the last quarter century, our baseball media has grown much more tolerant of NC-17 language. But they still loves them some hot, juicy sound bites.

Good to know that somethings haven't changed since 1983.

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