… AND IF SO, HOW DOES IT EFFECT THE COVERAGE OF THE DODGERS?
There are several sites that I routinely check daily (or several times per day) for coverage of the Dodgers – TrueBlueLA, Dodgers.com, Dodgers Insider, LADodgerTalk (of course), the ESPN.com Dodgers team page, and others. I also check out national sports news sites to see how the national sports press is covering the Dodgers, but am frequently confronted with no national news about my team at all. I suspect that the national sports media doesn’t care much about my Dodgers.
To check out my hypothesis about how the nation’s sports media covers baseball and how that coverage effects coverage of the Dodgers, I started by looking at ESPN.com’s MLB page on 7/16. Here are the top stories:
- Coverage of Yankees/Red Sox game
- Coverage of Cubs’ victory over Orioles after obtaining Jose Quintana
- Coverage of A’s plans to rebuild
- Coverage of Nationals in light of new bullpen acquisition.
Of the 54 stories listed on ESPN’s MLB page, 2 covered the Dodgers – one about Rich Hill in light of Sunday’s performance (was it for real?) and the weekly power ranking listing the Dodgers #1.
23 were about the Yankees or Red Sox. 5 covered the Cubs.
So then I looked at CBS Sports and Fox Sports. CBS Sports had 18 stories on baseball on its MLB page – none about the Dodgers.
Fox Sports had 29 baseball stories on its MLB page – none about the Dodgers.
Mind you the Dodgers had just swept the Marlins. The games were played in Miami meaning the 3 hour west coast time delay which allegedly affects sports coverage of west coast teams didn’t apply. The Dodgers had just won 9 in a row; 29 out of 33. The team is 1st in W-L percentage, 1st in run differential. They are 3rd in OPS, 1st in team ERA (by nearly ½ run/game) 1st in WHIP, 2nd in strikeouts. They are on pace for 111 wins this season – yet nearly no national coverage.
(By the way – the best team in baseball had no one voted to start in the All Star Game – funny how lack of coverage might affect fan voting?)
So, given the recent lack of coverage of the best team in baseball, I looked back at some old research on the same subject.
- In an article in the Orange County Register 9/9/10, the author noted that in 2010, the Yankees ranked 2nd, the Rays 3rd, the Marlins 5th in Webgems (the defensive highlights shown on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight). The Dodgers were 25th, the Padres 26th, the Giants 27th and the Angels were 30th.
- In an article in Baseball Continuum 5/10/12, the author listed the teams with the most appearances in Sunday Night Baseball between 2007 and 2011. They were:
- Red Sox
- Cubs and Cardinals (tied)
The Dodgers were 7th, Braves 8th, Angels 9th and Tigers 10th.
In another article covering the same subject between 2005 and 2014, the Yankees appeared on Sunday Night Baseball 51 times – 10.3%. The Dodgers were the top west coast team – 7.1%. Two teams (the Mariners and Blue Jays) hadn’t appeared a single time in a decade. The Marlins D-Backs, Rockies and Twins had appeared once. Pittsburgh played twice, but only in 2014 after making the playoffs in 2013. Oh – and by the way, although the Yankees were shown most often, Fenway Park was the stadium where the most games were hosted on Sunday Night Baseball and the Sox were shown 2nd most. Of the 248 Sunday Night Baseball games televised in the decade in question, 31 of them featured the Red Sox playing the Yankees (12.5%).
So – is there an east coast bias when it comes to baseball coverage? Of course there is. The Dodgers are lined up to be the best team (regular season) in years and one of the top in the expansion era – but not many people outside of LA are likely to know it. We’ll continue to get stories about Aaron Judge and the Cubs going for it, but the Dodgers will largely be left out of the discussion.
— Written by DodgerRick
This Post is From the One and Only DodgerRick!