Most baseball fans, particularly ones whose cable service shamelessly neglects to carry the MLB Network, have come to accept ESPN’s baseball coverage for what it is: Highlights spliced in-between emotional montages of the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry, stadium food tours with John Kruk, Bobby Valentine’s freshly frosted hair, Karl Ravech talking to himself whenever WAR comes up, and the former but lasting existence of curiously concerned lizard-fish, Joe Morgan. It is what it is. But something happened at ESPN over the weekend involving Pablo Sandoval and in turn, Keith Olbermann.
During the Giants-Nats game on Saturday, Sandoval broke a hamate bone and by some time later that day, was placed on the DL, but not ESPN’s DL. By not putting the hobbled Sandoval in his proper place, Olbermann’s fantasy baseball league had been compromised:
“And now this weekend, the system by which ESPN manages the only ‘content’ thing it is required to stay on top of – which real-life players are hurt, and which ones have been called up to the majors – collapsed … it’s possible to put Sandoval on your disabled list only after ESPN has put him on its disabled list, and as of Sunday evening, more than 24 hours after the Giants put The Panda on the shelf, the ESPN computer geeks had failed to do so.”
Seems like an innocent mistake that was either thought to be taken care of, or simply overlooked by a careless and severely hungover, Darin the Intern. Nonetheless, a call placed by Olbermann to ESPN’s fantasy help line — admit it, this all comes across as kind of sad — told him that the “game managers” never updated Sandoval’s DL eligibility over the weekend, and would probably not be made DL-eligible until Monday. But two hours after posting his ill-flavored rant about the fantasy baseball tidiness of his former employer, Sandoval had graduated to the DL, though the damage had already been done.
What strikes me as amusing here, other than the intensity of the subject matter itself, is the fact that Olbermann took until the seventh paragraph of his post to convey the purpose. With such obvious pent up distaste, for someone so clearly at death’s door when it comes to ESPN’s attentiveness and general approach to baseball, it’s more than fair to ask a very simple question, which is: why the hell is he still using ESPN for fantasy baseball?
There are a plethora of available alternatives out there. Yahoo’s fantasy baseball platform remains properly simplistic and its game recaps haven’t yet fallen into the auto-play abyss. Probably worth giving one of them a whirl to avoid a second helping of alarming fantasy sports ether.
You Can Rely On ESPN: They’ll Always Let You Down [Baseball Nerd; photo via Getty]