I may be really naive but I just can’t see the suits in the suites calling to the YES broadcast team to instruct/demand them to waylay ARod in his first at bat. Even though Raissman tries to distance himself from his own allegations, he clearly thinks that someone “influenced” Michael Kay and Ken Singleton:
Especially when it comes to Bombers who have made screaming headlines for using performance-enhancing drugs. In the past, YES did not exactly give major play, and dig into, the steroids sagas of Rodriguez, Jason (The Giambalco) Giambi, Roger Clemens or Andy Pettitte. The network either downplayed these stories or, initially, ignored them.
Highlighting tales of syringes and shady characters is not good for the Yankees brand. This time around, though, although it’s “just” about him having to talk to the FBI, A-Rod was not provided cover. For YES, this was a radical departure. It indicates the depth of anger here. While there’s no evidence Kay and Singleton were ordered by the higher-ups to highlight this so early in the telecast, you can be sure, absolutely sure, none of the Yankee higher-ups called their counterparts at YES to complain.
Raissman recaps the broadcast:
“That all amounts to a huge sigh or relief for Alex Rodriguez, who now comes into camp healthy,” Michael Kay, YES’ play-by-play man, said as Rodriguez stepped in Wednesday to face Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf.
As soon as those uplifting words left Kay’s mouth, Ken Singleton, his partner, down-shifted into the dark side. Singleton started talking about last spring, hip surgery and “uh, uh, steroids.”
Kay quickly said: “Now Alex was looking to have a very, very quiet spring this year with health and the world championship, but he was questioned by the media the other day because he’s going to be questioned by FBI officials about the Canadian-based doctor Anthony Galea . . .”
Singleton tried to characterize this as a routine matter, but the prominent mention of A-Rod’s latest controversy – highlighting it during his first spring at-bat – was not business as usual for YES.
YES has been likened to Al-Yanksjazeera in the past, but in a way that’s cheerleading, not crushing their own. I’ve re-read those broadcast comments above a few times now and I don’t see a problem with it. Nor do I see fingerprints. Again, maybe I am just too naive. I think Kay and Singleton were merely doing the uncomfortable duty of recapping the latest ARod misadventures.