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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

 

Chicago Proud
for Our Sox!

by George Bova

Warming Up?

by George Bova

It has been an amusing if not always action-packed winter to be a Sox Fan.  We never expect any sort of coverage of our team besides the perfunctory "in other baseball news" variety that being a fan of the second team in the Second City provides us. 

It's cold, it's January, and our Sox are being overshadowed if not outright ignored.  What else is new?

What's new is what hard times the city's newspaper business has fallen upon.  Ad revenues are down, pink slips are up and the sports section consists of eight pages of the most insipid coverage you'll find this side of a USA Today.  For years the shills working at the Tribune have claimed holy innocence about the nature of their self-promotion of their own corporate interests.  They swore there was no conflict of interest with fair coverage of our White Sox, a direct competitor to one of their sister divisions.  No Sox Fan ever believed them and for good reason:  Their bias was obvious.  "You Write Tomorrow's Cubune Headline" was the longest thread in WSI history and many of the the thousands of Sox Fan spoof predictions were eerily similar to what the "not biased" Tribune editors actually wrote.  Under new Tribune ownership the team is to be sold and the WSI thread finally disappeared after three hilarious years.

So it has been amusing to watch the new cash-strapped Tribune reveal its true nature these past few months in a manner that has nothing to do with our White Sox:  Doing what's necessary to sell more newspapers.  Sox Fans, they've tipped their hand.

Ten weeks worth of front-page pictures obviously-designed to cash-in on the growing cottage industry of presidential keepsakes has done more to torch the Tribune's presumptions of journalistic integrity than 28 years of shilling for the Cubs.  Take your pick:  a Barack Obama keepsake coin, a keepsake electric train, or a keepsake Tribune "newspaper" devoid of any news besides what fits in a small caption of a twenty-inch presidential picture.  Forget the news, buy this picture!

Finally we know what motivates the Tribune's editorial decisions.  Isn't it funny to find out they're simply motivated to sell more newspapers?  Go figure...

As a Sox Fan, it's sort of refreshing to see them scramble on their hands and knees in this fashion.  All this time we thought they were picking on us but now it would seem they only want to keep their phony-baloney jobs -- the dwindling number who haven't been shown the door already.

As December turned to January and the stack of keepsake editions got taller and taller, I was left to wonder what exactly would it take for the Tribune editors to finally turn their attention to some subject that didn't transparently support their obvious need to feature Barack Obama on the front page.  Would it ever end?  Would an unbroken string continue through the 2012 election -- perhaps longer?

This past week we got our answer.  Trib owner Sam Zell has reached an agreement to sell the Cubs and suddenly it's wall-to-wall coverage inside the Tribune of America's most Lovable Losers.  If Barack Obama wants to be on the cover, he should have made a competitive bid!  Besides, Obama is just a Sox Fan and the Tribune sells more newspapers ingratiating itself with the teeming masses of of clueless Cubs fans by dissing the President's team.

There is no news in the Tribune newspaper.  There is barely anything worth reading as the pictures get bigger and the column-inches get shorter.  Most of their feature columns are limited to two flavors:  The insipid and the clueless.

Falling in the latter category is their clueless baseball feature columnist, the guy we've christened "Second City" for his unwavering support for practically any position that helps reinforce the stereotype of Chicago as a place where losers are embraced and winners treated with suspicion if not outright contempt.  His latest effort tears down Sox starter John Danks for not risking his pitching arm to participate in a set of meaningless exhibition games this spring known as the World Baseball Classic.  Not to be confused with soccer's prestigious World Cup, this tournament is mostly about inventing as many rules as possible so a ballplayer as American as Mike Piazza can play for Italy.

The careers of pitchers like Danks are especially at risk for such meaningless exhibitions since their entire livelihoods rest on the health and condition of just a handful of muscles and tendons starting from their shoulders and on past their elbows.  First basemen like Derrick Lee who mostly stand around until asked to pick up a bat 4-5 times per game take no such risks.  Clueless as ever, "Second City" makes no such distinctions though he curiously notes another six top American pitchers who aren't participating either.  Does he note why they're sitting out?  Nah...

As long as "Second City" provides his editors an excuse to place a giant-sized photo of Flubbie Derrick Lee inside the sports section (which they did in the print editions), "Second City"  has done his job:  Making the Tribune money by feeding pap to the biggest bunch of lovable-losing losers to be found anywhere in American sports fandom.

How long before they invent a reason to run a giant picture of Ron Santo or Ryne Sandberg?  Here's predicting we won't have to wait long to find out.


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.  You can write George at george@whitesoxinteractive.com


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More features from George Bova here!

Have a thought about
Warming Up?

You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!

 

 


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