What a dumb way for Colin Cowherd to go out at ESPN

My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana.


I mean, incredibly dumb.

After 12 years of a highly successful tenure at ESPN, Cowherd leaves on the lowest note possible. He was taken off the air before he could deliver a true good-bye on his last show.

In case you missed it, Cowherd got in all sorts of trouble for uttering this statement Thursday:

“You don’t think a general manager can manage? Like it’s impossible? The game is too complex? I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball’s just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic.”

Immediately, the politically-incorrect alarm sounded throughout Bristol. It gets quite a workout these days.

The ESPN PR department went to Defcon 1 in anticipation of the inevitable flak storm coming its way. Sure enough, it was considerable with … Continue Reading

Tom Gage’s terrific induction speech at Hall of Fame: ‘If you’ve loved baseball, I am you’

Last week, I wrote a column for Poynter on Tom Gage, who was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame the same year the Detroit News took him off the Tigers beat.

During our conversation, Gage mentioned he was nervous about the speech he had to give Saturday during the induction ceremonies at Cooperstown. He noted he was a writer, not a speaker.

Deadline Detroit has excerpts from Gage’s speech. The writer did a terrific job.

(Who) am I?

Well, if you’ve loved baseball all your life, I am you. 

If your first memory of watching TV is a baseball game, I am you. 

If you couldn’t wait for the first day each spring that the new baseball cards were out, once again, I am you. 

I’m an adult version of a kid who wrote game stories after playing All-Star Baseball, a

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Here’s wishing ESPN covered more golf tournaments; British Open was excellent

An excerpt from a post I did for Awful Announcing:


Fox Sports showed that trying to air 10-11 hours per day of golf is no easy task. Surely, Fox will adjust its coverage and get better for future U.S. Opens.

ESPN, though, showed how great golf coverage can be if done well. I go way back with Tirico to when he was breaking in as ABC’s host for golf. I remember telling him once at a Western Open in Chicago that I fully expected him to be the host of an Olympics some day. It still might happen if he ever leaves ESPN, but the Monday Night Football gig keeps him very happy. Bottom line: You could see back then that he is a true talent and that he would make it big.

So it always is a treat … Continue Reading

Cubs official Twitter stretches to put positive spin on Hamels no-hitter

It hardly is a secret that the official Twitter for a team always will try to put a positive spin on a defeat, no matter how bad things get.

However, you have to appreciate the person who handles the Twitter feed for the Chicago Cubs. There was this post on Saturday at around 6:30 p.m. Central following Cole Hamels no-hitter at Wrigley Field.

Yes, of all the history that was made Saturday, Dexter Fowler’s two walks certainly merited a mention. Keep in mind, this was the tweet that included the recap of the game.

To be fair, immediately after the game, the Cubs official Twitter did acknowledge Hamels’ feat. However, it made no direct mention that the Cubs were being no-hit during the game.

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Sports Media Friday: Cowherd’s stupid statement about Dominicans in baseball; Wojnarowski’s big deal with Yahoo

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports media:

Colin Cowherd will have to make one of last apology before leaving ESPN. USA Today’s Jorge Ortiz reports on the reaction from a statement he made on Thursday’s show.

“It’s baseball,’’ Cowherd said. “You don’t think a general manager can manage? Like it’s impossible? The game is too complex? I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball’s just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic.’’

The comment has infuriated some natives of the Caribbean nation, which this year produced nearly 10% of the players on Opening Day rosters and disabled lists.

Toronto Blue Jays All-Star Jose Bautista expressed his indignation with a tweet directed at Cowherd that said, “before i rip you a new one, i would like for you to explain what u meant to say

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Chicago news: WLS will have largest radio inventory of games in town with White Sox, Bulls deals

An excerpt from my latest column for the Chicago Tribune:


The upcoming radio rights deal with the White Sox and Bulls was nearly 90 years in the making for the WLS-AM 890.

According to longtime Chicago sportswriter Tim Cronin, a broadcast historian, Blackhawks home games aired on WLS during the 1927-28 season. Despite being one of the biggest stations in town, that marks the only time WLS was the exclusive flagship station for one of Chicago’s pro teams.

Until now. Last week, it was announced WLS will be the radio home for the White Sox in 2016 and the Bulls beginning with the 2016-17 season. Both deals run through 2021.

Suddenly, WLS will have the biggest inventory of games on the Chicago radio dial. The station also airs Notre Dame football and basketball.

Why the big jump into … Continue Reading

Bill Simmons: Can the Sports Guy be successful as TV guy at HBO?

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times breaks down Bill Simmons’ move to HBO. He notes that while he has been successful on multiple platforms, he has yet to conquer television as a personality.

Sandomir writes:

Simmons had a not-so-dandy stint as an analyst on ESPN’s N.B.A. pregame show, “NBA Countdown,” and was the host of “The Grantland Basketball Hour,” which was more “Wayne’s World” than big-time programming. His columnist’s voice did not translate well to the screen, with the medium’s time limits and craving for sound bites.

John A. Walsh, the former executive editor of ESPN who was associated closely with Simmons, said that Simmons was trying to fit his television work into a lot of other endeavors.

“What Bill was attracted to was launching Grantland,” Walsh said, “and if you’re launching Grantland and writing a column and doing

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High and low: Tom Gage inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame in same year Detroit News takes him off Tiger beat

An excerpt from my latest sports journalism column for Poynter:


Tom Gage is struggling to describe the weirdest year of his life. At one point, he just blurts out, “It’s been very awkward.”

Finally, Gage sums up his wildly divergent emotions.

“I would wish this on everybody,” Gage said. “And I would wish it on nobody.”

Saturday, Gage will experience the pinnacle of his career when he accepts the J.G. Taylor Spink Award during induction weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It is the ultimate honor for a baseball writer, marking his quality coverage of the Detroit Tigers since 1979. Gage’s name will reside on a plaque in the Hall that features previous Spink winners such as Ring Lardner, Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Shirley Povich, and Peter Gammons.

Gage recalled he was stunned when he received … Continue Reading

ESPN still hasn’t taken Simmons’ B.S. Report podcasts off Grantland home page

Considering Bill Simmons now is officially at HBO, it probably is time for Grantland to take him off of its home page. This is a screen shot from Wednesday.

His last B.S. Report podcast was on May 8. Just a tad dated with NBA playoff talk about the Houston Rockets.

He also is featured in a May 8 podcast for a summer movie preview. Isn’t it time for the fall movie preview?

What’s the point of keeping Simmons’ presence on the site? Time to let go Grantland.

 … Continue Reading

Bill Simmons headed for HBO; will host weekly show

A good move for Bill Simmons and HBO. More analysis to come.

The official announcement from HBO:


Bill Simmons, one of the most influential figures in contemporary sports media and the founding editor of Grantland.com, and HBO have entered into a major exclusive multi-year, multi-platform agreement highlighted by a new weekly series coming next year, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming.

“We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time,” said Lombardo. “His intelligence, talent and insights are without precedent in the areas he covers. We could not be more thrilled for him to bring those talents to HBO and to become a signature voice at the network, spanning the sports and pop culture landscapes.”

“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in … Continue Reading