It was suggested by a couple of persons whose opinions I halfway respect there was something decidedly unjust about using the death of Cory Lidle as an excuse to take a shot at Mike Francesca and Chris Russo.
So with that in mind, I’ll try to elaborate for a change.
Obviously, the Doofus Twins had nothing to do with Lidle’s passing, and I have no substantial complaints with their coverage of yesterday’s plane crash (though I’ll agree with David Roth their insistence that last night’s NLCS Game One be postponed — irrespective of the weather — was typically hysterical).
My problem is with the way Lidle was treated on Monday, in particular Russo’s manufactured outrage over the pitcher claiming he was “trying to enjoy a day in New York City.”
The tri-state area’s biggest SF Giants fan argued that members of the Yankees should be in hiding after their disgraceful showing against Detroit, and “Yankee fans aren’t enjoying their day.”
I’ll remember this unlistenable exchange the next time I see the likes of Barry Zito or Rick Peterson talking about “putting things in perspective.” I mean, yeah, an individual’s life or death is far more important than a ballgame — or a bullshit, faux controversy that could’ve easily been explained away by either Lidle fessing up to a poor choice of words, or a rational radio host simply saying as much after reading the quotes about the Tigers being “more ready to play”.
Nobody in this mix can have it both ways. If you really believe that Lidle’s exit “puts things in perspective”, what sort of perspective allows Lidle to be so poorly treated on the radio for having the temerity to say, in his own haphazard way, that Detroit was the better team?
And make no mistake — Francesca and Russo are hardly the only persons with egg on their face. Yack radio, the competing newspapers, countless blogs (present company included) micro analyze the low-watt musings of Lidle and his peers to the point where any dopey public statement is grounds for lynching.
Holding the media (nuevo bloggy and old school inky) accountable is a nice exercise for self-righteous cranks like yours truly, but also ignores the simple truth that such irrational obsessions are what fuel the sports media biz, if not all entertainment and consumer activity. Really putting things in perspective would mean blowing off the baseball playoffs and putting an equal amount of time and energy into helping someone else. Actually recognizing “what’s really important in life” would probably mean pulling the plug on WFAN, BBTN and a big percentage of what you’ve got bookmarked.