SBD/Issue 163/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Harwell Continues To Be Remembered

MLB Runs Full-Page
Ad In USA Today

In Detroit, Michael Rosenberg wrote former Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell, who passed away Tuesday, had "three qualities Detroiters love: He was great at his craft, he never acted like he was better than anybody else, and he never left for somewhere else." Harwell "would have been just as great a broadcaster if he'd spent his career in New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta." But Rosenberg wrote, "I don't think he would be quite as beloved, and I don't know if he would have been as happy" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/6). Also in Detroit, Laura Berman writes Harwell was "that rarest American man, a treasure saluted in his lifetime for all the right reasons." Berman: "If baseball is the American game, he was until the end the embodiment of its pure spirit" (DETROIT NEWS, 5/6). Meanwhile, MLB runs a full-page ad in USA Today honoring Harwell. The ad features the copy "His Voice Was Beyond Legendary. His Impact Went Well Beyond The Game." It is scheduled to run in tomorrow's edition of the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News (THE DAILY).

MADDEN-ESQUE: USA TODAY's Gary Graves wrote Fox NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip's "summations and recollections have drawn comparisons" to former NFL analyst John Madden and "helped create a similar cult-like following." His broadcast focus "resembles his racing strategy: finish better than you start and be honest." Waltrip said he is "really opinionated to a fault, and that gets me in trouble sometimes." But he added, "My role today is no different than when I was driving; there's people that love what I say, and some that don't." Graves writes, "It's hard to envision Fox's NASCAR coverage without Waltrip" (USA TODAY, 5/6).

DOUBLE STANDARD? In N.Y., S.E. Cupp reported Indiana-based From the Right Radio last week "launched a Web site called RespectTheGreatGame.com to bring attention to the fact" MSNBC's Keith Olbermann "is blogging for MLB.com." Visitors to the Web site can sign a petition asking MLB Commissioner Bud Selig why the league is "working with hate speech merchant Keith Olbermann." Cupp writes Olbermann is a "menace lurking in the shadows of the dugout, someone so ugly, so vindictive, so polarizing that with every word he utters he is bastardizing whatever sanctity remains of the game." Cupp wonders if there is a "jarring double standard in sports and the media when it comes to political correctness." Cupp: "Olbermann gets paid to partner up with Major League Baseball -- and the National Football League, while he's at it, as a member of NBC's 'Football Night in America' team -- but a controversial conservative commentator like Rush Limbaugh can't even buy his way into the NFL" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/5).

BACK IN THE GAME: In Boston, Jessica Heslam reports NESN Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney, who had been sidelined by a concussion, returned to the net "full time on Monday." Watney has "yet to reveal how she got the concussion" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/6). Watney is "getting mostly sympathy from Sox players as she recovers." However, a few players "kid her about the concussion," including Red Sox P Manny Delcarmen, "who teased her by signing 'If I Only Had a Brain' from 'The Wizard of Oz'" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/6).

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