SBJ/June 4 - 10, 2001/No Topic Name


Kevin Malone's complaints about the Los Angeles Times ["Cynical paper takes a swing and a myth," May 14] sound like an echo of the statements Sandy Alderson made, to much denial from the Bay Area media, just before he left Oakland for the commissioner's office.

Anyone who doubts the media's influence with fans need look no farther than 400 miles north of Dodger Stadium. Since the A's arrived in Oakland in 1968, they have outperformed the Giants, winning 11 divisions to San Francisco's four and four World Series to the Giants' none. Prior to the construction of Pacific Bell Park — and perhaps cumulative to this day — the A's have outdrawn the Giants at the turnstiles. The construction of the football grandstands known as Mount Davis supposedly "ruined" what previously had been grudgingly acknowledged by the Frisco press as the more fan-friendly stadium between the Coliseum and Candlestick Park. Now, one is apparently loathe to admit to paying to see baseball anywhere but McCovey Cove.

Yet, when I went alone to a game at the Coliseum last season, I was joined briefly by another guy playing hooky from work who began raving about how nice the park was and how he hadn't expected it to be so pleasant or the A's to have such a solid team. From out of town, I asked? No, he was a Giants season-ticket holder!

The Giants-leaning press has always gone beyond simply highlighting "the Lads" — as the Frisco reporters call the Giants — above the fold and the A's below. The acerbic and definitely not diversity-friendly Will Clark was revered, given a pass in a city that may well be the PC capital of the world while every Jose Canseco speeding ticket was front-page news.

The 1989 World Series, swept by the A's by the widest run-differential of any four-and-out series, is always asterisked as "earthquake interrupted," as though "the Lads" would no doubt have easily erased the two games-to-none hole they were in when the Loma Prieta temblor struck.

There is no doubt the media can and does influence fan choices.

Dave Weber
Olympia, Wash.

Fordham Prep’s proud of alumni, Bronx home

I very much enjoyed the article on Tim Brosnan [“Master of the straight pitch”] in the May 14-20 issue. Tim serves as a trustee of Fordham Prep and he delivered our commencement address on May 30. There is one error in the article that all good baseball historians have no doubt caught. Ever since the time of Frankie Frisch ’16, Johnny Murphy ’25, Snuffy Stirnweiss ’36 and Vin Scully ’44, Fordham Prep has been located in the Bronx, not Manhattan.

Joseph P. Parkes

Joseph P. Parkes, S.J., is president of Fordham Prep.

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