Perhaps there is no single story that is a greater illustration of what's wrong with the way the Sawx and Yanks have dominated the baseball media in recent years than the following. Current Boston manager Bobby Valentine has caused quite the stir in his new home and with fans of his new rival. Not for any on field decisions. Not for wearing a goofy disguise. Bobby V has, surprise, drawn attention to himself because he's agreed to do a weekly radio spot in... New York (dun Dun DUN!!!). And he's not just appearing with any radio host, he's going to be on weekly with Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay on ESPN 1050.
The horror, the horror. How could the Boston Red Sox manager have the nerve to appear on the radio weekly in New York? How could a New York station have the nerve to pollute their airwaves with the scummy manager of the hated Red Sox?
Of course, Bobby V has never met a michrophone he didn't like, much less one that involved a contractual agreement. And of course he relishes the opportunity at sustained relevance by thrusting himself into any manufactured controversy involving the Sawx and Yanks, even if it's spring training.
On the flip side, the chance for controversy and ratings for the historically weak 1050AM was a no-brainer from the station's perspective. The New York Daily News actually has some useful insight on 1050AM's thinking in having a baseball voice to compete with stations like WCBS and WFAN that carry the Yankees and Mets respectively, even if it is the Red Sox manager. Also, Valentine is a known commodity in New York from his stint as Mets manager. In actuality, the move actually makes sense, although it doesn't justify the hysteria it will cause in some circles.
East coast bias is a phrase that gets thrown out a lot when discussing the sports media. Some times it's true, sometimes it's not. But it's clear that every baseball season for the past decade has devolved into nothing but a months-long media circle jerk covering the Red Sox and Yankees. Every other story in the sport is only a supporting actor to the lifelong drama between the Montagues and Capulets of the former national pastime. Don't let an offseason filled with talk of Pujols, the Miami Marlins, and other teams located outside the New York/Boston axis of evil fool you. Once the season starts, it will be business as usual and nothing outside of those two towns will have the same importance to any major media outlet that covers baseball.
In fact, I'd be willing to wager (if I were a gambling man) that within the first six weeks of the season something Valentine says on the radio in New York will be featured in the first segment of PTI. And then it'll happen again, and again, and again. And then there'll be another stupid, pointless story or manufactured controversy between the Yanks and Sawx that will be the most important development in the history of the most important rivalry in all of sports. And millions of people in New York and Boston, and those in the media that enable their organizations and fans, will be captivated with the life and death struggle between evil and evil. And millions more people across the rest of the country, who try to appreciate their players, their teams, and their sport, will want them to just go away.