Monday, April 28, 2008

A Great Story in Salt Lake City

The best story of the 2008 baseball season isn't happening in Boston, New York, Chicago, or even Tampa Bay. The story isn't being reported by national media outlets like USA Today or ESPN. Sadly, one of the most amazing stories in the history of modern professional baseball is getting very little coverage in the team's local market. But despite the lack of coverage, the Salt Lake Bees record setting 21-1 is a story in which every baseball fan should be interested. What the AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is accomplishing has never been seen before and probably won’t be seen again.

It is a shame the record setting performance of the Salt Lake Bees is not being recognized. With all happenings of the sports world it is unrealistic to expect the national media to spend much time on minor league baseball. But there is no excusing the local media for ignoring the Bees accomplishments. The two local newspapers view the Bees as unimportant. The small stories on the Bees are buried on the back of the newspaper’s sports sections after endless stories and columns about the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Both of the local sports-talk radio stations in Salt Lake City have adopted an “all Utah Jazz all the time” format. If Jazz point guard Deron Williams breaks a shoelace at practice it becomes the front page headline of the newspaper’s sports sections. The sports radio stations have live, on the scene coverage of Williams changing his shoelace and the impact the new shoelace will have on the Jazz in the playoffs. Even an out of control fan being ejected from a Jazz playoff game was the subject of endless coverage while a Bees victory is afforded only a token mention.

I am not proposing a AAA baseball team be covered with the same intensity as the only “major league” sports team in the area. But the overboard fascination Utah sports media and fans have with the Utah Jazz is ridiculous. The 2008 Salt Lake Bees are an exceptional story and should be receiving more coverage from the local Salt Lake media.


BeesGal said...

Hi Kevin,
It's not just NBA that pushes baseball aside. I've been a season ticket holder since 1998 (the Phil Roof and Buzz days). I can't tell you how many times baseball has gotten bumped from it's *radio* slot by high-school tournaments and independent league hockey.

The good news is ECHL hockey is almost finished and NBA basketball ends in a few more weeks and then the papers won't have anything better to cover. ;-) Can't wait to read their "revelations" of the history-making we've followed for weeks.

See you at the ballpark. . . BeesGal

Bob said...

I understand the excessive Jazz coverage, but I don't get why RSL, the winless Utah Blaze, and AA Hockey get more press coverage by the local papers that the Bees.

Even BYU, Utah, and Utah State spring football got better local coverage than the Bees.
How sad.