Taking A Positive Spin On the Negative Highway

A local San Francisco sports talk-show host recently offered a dissertation about the large number of talk show callers who call in just to rant about, and criticize, their favorite Major League Baseball team. Unrelenting negative anger seems to be the default mode for a large number of sports fans, and certainly for the overwhelming majority of sports talk-show callers. For baseball bloggers, constant, impatient rage appears to be a primary demand in the job description.

It may be as American as chicken enchiladas and hummus, but it does gets old.

The team is crap, the manager sucks, the players have no talent and are overpaid, the owners and the general manager have their heads up their rear ends, and the locker room attendants can’t properly fold the towels. And why doesn’t the team just trade Aaron Rowand for Miguel Cabrera, I mean what’s up with that?

In one sense, it’s the negative yin to the non-stop positive yang we get from team broadcasters and local beat writers who are generally paid to spin positives, or at least to not scare the fans too far away from the land of “everything’s OK with the team, now just relax and purchase additional products and services from our sponsors.”

But sometimes fan anger and negativity never seems to let up and the media has to wrestle with that– especially radio. I admire, in particular, the skill of radio sports talk show hosts who expertly work through what can seem like endless, repetitive team-dumping to try and make their programs interesting and informative. The San Francisco market is fortunate to have a talented group of radio and TV broadcasters and commentators, and newspaper writers, who actually add to the understanding and appreciation of Major League Baseball. Year after year, it’s a media paradise for serious baseball fans.

As a sports blogger and writer, my passion is discussing and analyzing the current MLB season, and discovering new insights about the teams and the game. I may be a tragically addicted longtime San Francisco Giants fan, but there’s a raft of great stories to be told about every Major League team; even the Cleveland Indians.

I love the game, respect team management and the players, and value the history of the game; but I also feel a responsibility to be critical. Not critical in the sense of throwing endless f-bombs, but to evaluate the management and direction of MLB ballclubs, and to be as thoughtful and as interesting as I can possibly be while doing it. With, hopefully, a big emphasis on the “interesting” part.

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