sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

.....Via N&R print edition.......

N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raissman says ESPN is soft on Bonds:

"And yet, you must pay homage to the professors at Bristol Clown Community College. Not only are they solidly behind "Bonds On Bonds," they have expanded the scope of the "documentary" to include ESPN's 'Sunday Night Baseball.'

"Anyone watching Sunday's Giants-Dodgers telecast knows where this is going. ESPN did everything but follow Bonds to the clubhouse toilet. Or as play-by-play man Jon Miller said: No matter how you see Barry Bonds, the point is that you are looking at him.'

"Miller, along with Peter Gammons, who served as a 'reporter' on Sunday's Giants-Dodgers telecast, also played prominent roles in the first two installments of "Bonds on Bonds." ESPN suits are always inclined to say 'Bonds On Bonds' is a production of its entertainment arm (ESPN Original Entertainment), and separate from its news-gathering operation, so how do they explain Gammons' and Miller's roles in the documentary?"

More disappointing, in my view, is Joe Morgan's reluctance to criticize Bonds. I watched with interest as ESPN broadcast two early-season Giants games with Miller and Morgan in the booth. Twice, Miller opened it up for Morgan to comment on the Bonds situation and Morgan declined, offering only a neutral assessment.

The way I see it, Miller's the play-by-play man and thus should remain objective. But as the color analyst, it's Morgan's job to offer up opinions on the state of the sport.

As a player who, needless to say, made the most of his 5-foot-7, 165-pound frame, I would expect Morgan to speak out against the likes of Bonds. I guess my expectations were too high. Or maybe Morgan thinks Bonds is innocent. Or maybe he's been advised not to speak out.


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