No Love From National Media: Bay Area Teams Get No Respect

Evan Aczon@TwoSeamGripeSenior Analyst IApril 23, 2008

Maybe its because the ESPN studios are in Connecticut, or maybe its because our teams haven't won a championship since 1995. Maybe "We Believe" isn't enough to convince them. or maybe the "Krukow Kurse" is enough to write us off.

But if you look at the front pages of Sports Illustrated, or the Power Rankings on, there is a total absence of positive feedback on any Bay Area team.

For example, when the Niners made all their off-season signings, local newspapers looked at both the good and the bad. National sources condemned the signings of Isaac Bruce and Mike Martz and continued to focus on Mike Nolan's supposed rift with Alex Smith.

Another example is the lack of coverage on the first-place Oakland A's, who have one article on the baseball page on ESPN, about how they might be interested in Frank Thomas.

The Warriors have gone all year being heralded nationally as the biggest letdown. The national media says they have no defense and they are just getting lucky. In reality, they're still the best team in history to not make the playoffs. You can't win 48 games by being “lucky.”

The Giants, who took four games from St. Louis to win the season series and who have shown spurts of offense to go with top starting pitching, still have to answer to the ESPN headline "Giants stand at precipice of offensive infamy."

This article, like every other Giants profile, emphasizes the shortcomings of Ray Durham, Rich Aurilia, and Barry Zito, but does nothing to highlight the red-hot Freddy Lewis, strikeout machines Jonathan Sanchez and Tim Lincecum. Nor does it address the fact that they have just as many wins as the Indians, Tigers, Pirates, and Dodgers.

In fact, the Giants have more wins than Texas and Washington, and 10 out of their 12 losses are against teams with records over .600.

Over the past three years, the only national attention that the Giants have received is the collateral damage of Barry Bonds. Everyone is quick to dismiss the other steroid victims solely because none of them has had the impact on one team as Bonds did on the Giants. But just because Bonds did, that doesn't mean that the Giants are all doing steroids, as it seems in the media coverage.

Even the little things are glaring if you pay attention.

Look at the headlines; even when they win against big-name teams, the Giants never get a front-page mention. Even though both teams have highlights from every game, they will never be on the SportsCenter Top 10 Plays.

The Warriors only made headlines when they lost their way out of the playoffs. The Niners and Raiders get nothing but negative coverage, if they get coverage at all.

Even the San Jose Sharks, the Bay Area's only legitimate title contender for the past couple years, get minimal coverage, ceding the front page to NBA and NFL draft talk and the possibility of a fist-pump contributing to Tiger Woods' knee injury.

It is unfortunate, but it seems that these are not just geographical prejudices, because other West Coast teams get tons of coverage (see the Angels, Ducks, Lakers, etc.). It just seems that these national "beat writers" are not really in tune with the Bay Area, and are taking the easy way out, bashing the rebuilding teams and not looking at their solid foundations being poured into place.

To quote seanegan8, who posted a comment on the ESPN article, “They're not even close to as sad as they're saying. Get back to Red Sox and leave us alone already..." Or, in better terms, do some research; New York and Los Angeles aren't the only sports cities in the country.

P.S. The ESPN article brings in a "new statistic" calculating "a measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EqA considers batting as well as base running, but not the value of a position player's defense. The EqA adjusted for all time also has a correction for league difficulty." What is that?