Perhaps not The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman, whom while comforted by Yankee turmoil (“the thought of bizarre controversy being eliminated from the pinstriped equation is like banning jelly from all peanut butter sandwiches”) is equal parts baffled/amused by the YES Network’s failure to cover this week’s stakeout in Tampa.
Guess providing comprehensive coverage of one of the biggest stories in Yankees history, one affecting the future of Torre and the entire organization, was not as important to Al Yankzeera as those “White Shadow” reruns. Or replaying a particular “YES’ Ultimate Road Trip” for the 50th time. Could it be that YES suits, who say their network is worth $3 billion, found it cost prohibitive to send one of their broadcasters all the way to Tampa to cover the story? Did it dawn on Al Yank’s programming brainiacs that carving out a half-hour to do a nightly report on the Torre situation would have produced compelling TV and a healthy rating as well?
Perhaps YES executive producer John Filippelli thought the network’s simulcast of WFAN’s “Mike and the Mad Dog” show would take care of the network’s Torre “coverage.” Mike Francesa and Chris (Mad Dog) Russo are about offering opinion and analysis, which yesterday included them – being totally duped – treating an unconfirmed Newark Star-Ledger report, saying Torre had accepted a one-year deal, as fact.
As things turned out, WFAN (or YES’ simulcast) was definitely not the place to be if you were looking for breaking Torre news. ESPN-1050 was. Not only had the station provided live spots from Tampa the entire week, courtesy of reporter Andrew Marchand, but when the deal went kablooey yesterday, ESPN-1050 was on the air with the Yankees’ conference call well before FAN aired it.
Still, ESPN-1050’s major score came just as it began broadcasting Levine’s remarks. Michael Kay cut into the Yankees’ conference call, which was being broadcast on a delayed basis, to introduce Sports Illustrated’s John Heyman, a frequent ESPN-1050 contributor. It was Heyman who delivered the word. He broke the story that Torre had turned down the Yankees’ offer.
In case you forgot, Kay is YES’ play-by-play voice of the Yankees. So, he and ESPN-1050 (courtesy of Mr. Heyman) not only scooped WFAN but YES as well.