SBD/July 10, 2013/Media
ESPN Ombudsman Examines Dwight Howard Coverage Amid Free-Agency Speculation
Published July 10, 2013
PUSHING THE VOTE: ESPN's Buster Olney noted some players on the Braves "expressed anger for what they perceive to be a concerted effort to get" Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig "voted in as the last man" for the NL All-Star Game roster. He added, "In particular, they're not happy with ESPN." Olney: "On the baseball page of ESPN.com Sunday morning, there was a caption that contained a reference to Puig saying 'Vote For Him' with an exclamation point." Olney noted Braves P Tim Hudson "responded to this suggesting the network had an agenda." Olney said, "Now I can promise you that there was not a big memo that went out telling everybody to push for Puig." He added, "The Braves should know that what's pushing Puig now is not a conspiracy, but the excitement that always comes along with the climb of a young player" ("Baseball Tonight," ESPN.com, 7/9).
TWO THUMBS UP: SI.com’s Bruce Jenkins wrote ESPN showed “commitment” in its coverage of Wimbledon, and tennis fans “can only welcome ESPN's ever-growing dominance at the majors.” ESPN’s coverage “provides what we don't get from NBC when it tape-delays crucial matches or springs ‘Today’ on an unsuspecting audience.” It is what “vanished so inexcusably when CBS turned over a U.S. Open men's final to ESPN2 in mid-match (2010).” To whatever extent the major-network presence “was missed, fans had to be delighted with the prospect of solid, no-surprises coverage at Wimbledon.” Jenkins: “I thought ESPN did its best work yet, culminating with impressive commentary from Chris Fowler and the McEnroe brothers, John and Patrick, in a three-man booth for the men's final.” Meanwhile, Jenkins wrote the “strength” of Tennis Channel's coverage was “in its studio arrangement” (SI.com, 7/9).