Rocket Fails to Launch


I have a few gripes with ESPN's telecast of Roger Clemens' pitching performance from Moosic, Pennsylvania yesterday. First off, the full disclosure: I detest Clemens and wish he'd just drive his gigantic Hummer off into the sunset once and for all, so maybe watching him put me in a bad mood to begin with.

I was watching from a pub, as surely many viewers were, it being a holiday weekend and all. The sound was off, and a graphic gave a running count of Clemens' pitch count. No count on the batter, no score, no radar gun telling us if Rocket was breaking 90, nothing else. Just the running pitch count, which wasn't all that interesting, considering the fact that it was pre-determined how many pitches Clemens would throw, and any sports fan with Google access could've dug that up with a few keystrokes.

Another issue: ESPN only showed the half-innings when Clemens was pitching. Of course, no one had tuned in to watch the Toledo Mud Hens (yes, his opponent was actually the Toledo Mud Hens), but for the baseball purists out there, it would've been nice to see the game in its entirety. You know, Memorial Day, America, minor league baseball, a beer and all that.

It reminded me of an editor I worked for a decade ago, who always took issue with the elitist British media only publishing the British team's lineup, not the opponent's, when they would play a lesser team like Japan or Korea. He'd thunder: "Who are the Brits playing against, a bunch of ants?"