ESPN Broadcasters Clearly Displayed biased views… again
In the first half of the 2014 season the first place Baltimore Orioles have played three nationally televised games; two on ESPN and one on Fox. The two games on ESPN were against two of the Orioles biggest rivals, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. The game on Fox was against the Oakland Athletics.
Nationally televised games are what the Orioles and their fans want. It gives the Orioles a chance to show the country what they are all about and how great the actually are. The opponents the Orioles are playing against that game want the same thing.
Because it is nationally televised, both teams should get an equal and fair amount of publicity. No one team should be focused on more than the other. ESPN doesn’t always seem to agree on that.
Both of the games on ESPN featured the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team of Dan Shulman and John Kruk. Dan Shulman, the play-by-play announcer, is one of the more talented and enthusiastic broadcasters who work for ESPN and most likely the reason why he is the main guy for the Sunday Night games. John Kruk had a long career playing baseball which makes him a good, but not great (reference to what he said about the Orioles last night), candidate for the color commentator.
However, during both games Shulman has called when the Orioles were playing, both he and Kruk have showed a certain bias towards the opposition. I first noticed it late in the game versus the Red Sox on April 20.
If my memory serves me right, the Orioles had the lead for most of the game. The Red Sox had the tying run on base with David Ortiz coming to the plate in either the seventh or eighth inning. ESPN was able to pick up the sound of the PA announcer’s call of Ortiz walking to the plate. Shulman and Kruk then proceeded to insinuate that they wanted Ortiz to get a RBI.
Granted, David Ortiz is one of the most feared hitters in the game so most broadcasters would be excited when an opportunity like that presents itself. Nonetheless, I think Shulman, or maybe the producers, went a little overboard with the whole situation. I highly doubt that ESPN would have done that for any Oriole player.
More recently, Sunday night, Shulman and Kruk were both talking about the AL East standings. They were saying if the Rays or Yankees were not dealing with injuries the standings would look a lot different. Basically, they were saying the Orioles were lucky to be in first place.
In both cases, neither Dan Shulman nor John Kruk seemed to be in favor of the Orioles either winning the game or doing well in the game. The number one rule for broadcasters, especially ones the will be on nationally televised broadcasts, is to never show bias toward one team over the other.
Shulman and Kruk absolutely broke that rule. They clearly showed attraction toward the Red Sox and Yankees. As an aspiring broadcaster, even without any formally training, I can clearly see that what they did is highly unprofessional. Actually, anyone could see how biased and unprofessional they were.
It seems like Baltimore sports teams, more recently the Orioles, do not get enough respect from the media. To gain the respect from the media I believe that the Orioles will have to do something so great they will have to give them respect. And if winning the World Series is the thing the Orioles have to do, they certainly have a great chance of doing that in the next few years.