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WSI News - News Watch

Cubune misses Frank story! (Surprise!)

filed by George Bova

March 19. 2005

The White Sox beat the Chicago Cubs for the second time this spring in an exhibition game in Tucson Friday afternoon, the day after a congressional panel convened to investigate steroid use in baseball. As the New York Times noted in today's edition, this game in Tucson was especially noteworthy because it involved both Chicago teams, a city central to the steroids controversy thanks to Sammy Sosa and the unreported thoughts of Frank Thomas, a vocal advocate of stricter rules to ban steroids from the game.

Meanwhile the Chicago Tribune sent a staff reporter to cover the same story.

The New York Times noted that Frank Thomas had spent Thursday afternoon and evening patiently waiting in front of a television camera, hour after hour, to answer even one single question by the congressional panel that never came. The Tribune missed this point in their story. Not "Chicago" enough, I guess?

The New York Times noted Frank's comment that "this is real" and juxtaposed it against many other players who feigned indifference to the matter. The Tribune missed this point. They got nothing quotes from the usual suspects: garbage from toothpick-grinning managers and utility infielders desperate to say and do anything to make the team.

However the incompetence of the Cubune goes beyond the failing of one silly staff reporter. Of the ballplayers subpoenaed, only one of them was from Chicago: Frank Thomas. The Cubune's editors, perhaps recognizing what a lousy job their reporter had done, buried the Frank Thomas story on page 4 of the Saturday sports section. Meanwhile Jose Canseco's book signing at a Loop bookstore makes page 1, complete with a color photo. Did he have anything new to share that he didn't already say Thursday to the congressional panel? Or to 60 Minutes last month? Or any other of his countless appearances these last few weeks specifically intended to stoke sales of his new book -- just like this one? Don't make me laugh...

And what were the Cubune's columnists busy doing the day after this major baseball event involving one of Chicago's biggest (the biggest?) baseball stars?

Mike Downey was in Indianapolis piecing together a bunch of disjointed droll comments about unrelated sports stories. That's what the Cubune deemed page 1 column 1 material.

Rick Morrissey breathlessly covered the scintillating news coming from the Illinois basketball team's press conference. That was a tidy two hours worth of work, page 1 material, too.

Baseball columnist Phil Rogers? Missing in action. No report at all.

Sox Fans, you want coverage of your team? Don't bother with the local rags.

Chicago Baseball Fans, you want coverage of your sport? It's not delivered to your doorstep -- unless it's the New York Times.

Un-freaking-believable... and 100 percent typical, too.


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