Local sports media markets are always a fun ride. Why, here in Chicago, we have quite possibly the most gloriously insane homer in all of broadcasting, Hawk Harrelson. In Hawk's mind, there has never been a strike zone that was favorable to the Chicago White Sox, never a close slide play called correctly, never a fair shake from the local media. (Who are, of course, in the tank for the Cubs.) It's actually beyond annoying now; it's just entertaining in that certain "Uncle Hawk's drunk again" sort of way.
Los Angeles is apparently not immune to this phenomenon. When the Dodgers clinched the pennant, the Dodgers TV broadcast team toasted to the accomplishment -- popping bottles of [cider], putting on division champs t-shirts, the whole bit. And the L.A. Times's media critic, Steve Springer, is not amused:
So what's the problem? This is an L.A. team being covered by a locally based outlet. What's wrong with a little hometown loyalty? Nothing, except a loss of credibility. Fans might love being fans, but they want to be informed fans. If they want inspiration, they'll go to a pep rally. If they want information, they go to the media.
But only if they think they'll get balanced analysis. Only if they think they can get an unbiased appraisal of their team. Telling us between gulps how great the Dodgers' chances are to raise the pennant doesn't result in much faith in the prognosis.
Springer's is a fair point, and it was probably a bit much. Kevin Kennedy sudsing all over his analysis -- that was an unfortunate verb, but I'm keeping it -- is not going to engender sober-minded analysis. But ... Springer is being a little too joyless here. Let it ride, Springy. It is possible, after all, to be happy about a team's success and still be able to correctly analyze that team's chances. Fans get that, because they're usually the harshest critics.
I doubt too many Dodgers fans saw Steve Lyons and Co., bottles in hand, and lost faith in America's journalistic institutions.