Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fox Tries to Convince Us To Care About Manny

Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez made his return from a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test on Friday evening. Fine.

On Saturday, Fox decided that what we as the public needed was more Manny, whether we wanted it or not. As a result, each of Man-Ram's at-bats on Saturday were broadcast to 100% of the nation. No matter which Fox game you had on Saturday, when Manny came to bat, you had to watch him.

But why? I'm not of the belief that fans don't care about the steroid issue, as the fan reaction to Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro proves that people do care. I just think no one cares about Manny.

This is another example of why more and more people at-large and sports fans specifically are fed up with mainstream media outlets. I love baseball, and as a result, I do care that a great hitter like Ramirez used steroids. But I don't care, at all, about seeing each of his at-bats in his second game back from suspension. I'd much rather continually watch the Mets-Phillies game instead of being taken to the West Coast to watch Manny ground into a fielder's choice.

He wasn't chasing a record. They didn't broadcast all of his at-bats before. So why now?

Manny is turning into the Brett Favre of MLB, only unlike Favre, this isn't Manny's fault. The media loves him because there's always a story, whether it's home runs, throwing down the traveling secretary, failing a drug test or just being a regular malcontent, Manny's always got something going on.

And because of this, Fox and other mainstream media have shoved it down our collective throat. Manny came back on Friday. Did you hear?

Like the Brett Favre saga, Michael Jackson's passing, swine flu, or whatever else, the 24-hour news cycle is turning into one big, long re-run.

Maybe that's why people like me write about the subjects they're passionate about, be it baseball, politics or anything else. The 24-hour news cycle may produce an awful lot of schlock in the 'big' media outlets, but people writing about topics they legitimately care about will never go out of style.

The key is to let the consumer dictate what they want read or hear about, not to tell them what they should be thinking about.

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