So apparently a part of sports journalism is now to get your size elevens on someone's throat and keep it there until they are done, finished, kaput, finito. ESPN, the self anointed World leader, nay, the Universe leader in sports reporting has taken an apparent grim satisfaction in keeping the hammer down on embattled Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine. As Bobby has fought to keep his job, and as his team have fought off journalistic attacks that would make the carpet bombing of Vietnam in the 70s look tame by comparison, ESPN has gleefully taken any shred of drama and exploded it nine fold in a British tabloid like attempt to stretch the most out of any stories.

Last night Valentine made a comment about the state of his team. Here is how ESPN translated it.


So, judging by that, Valentine is basically throwing his team under the bus, absolving himself of all blame, acting like some kind of selfish son of a gun, right?

Not so fast.

ESPN has gone wildly out of its way, like some kind of Chinese government official chopping and changing headlines on decadent Western newspapers to make them Communist friendly. What Bobby Valentine actually said was the following;

“Are you kidding? This is the weakest roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball,” Valentine said before last night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. “We could use help everywhere.”

Can you see the subtle yet vital difference? By chopping and hacking at the quote and turning it into a dramatic couple of words, ESPN has left Valentine out in the wind, open to yet more attacks from angry fans who don't understand or read the full comment.

Obviously ESPN can do what it wants, and it is their prerogative to 'sell papers' as it were, however the ugly thing about this is the manipulative way ESPN is trying to manipulate us, the readers.

It's sad, tacky and, you know what, pretty juvenile on their part.

Surely you are better than this level of shoddy, shock tactic journalism, ESPN?

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