Thursday, July 19, 2007

Too much softball?

A letter-writer expressing his displeasure over the sports coverage offered by the TriCities paper in Virginia got called to task in a column by opinions editor Andrea Hopkins. What was the dude's gripe? Too much softball coverage that he felt bordered on obsessive. He not only cited the paper for too much coverage--including color pictures!--of girls' softball but moved on to diss softball in general. He was especially upset by this year's Women's College World Series which he found boring and compared the efforts of the student-athletes to little leaguers.

He clearly missed the segment in the recent coverage of World Cup of Softball where ESPN showed American pitcher Jennie Finch striking out every Major League Baseball batter she faced. Apparently only one hitter even got a piece of the ball--the softball, mind you, which is larger than a baseball. And he had been tipped off that Finch likes to throw a change-up on her third pitch so he sat back on it. Hardly Little League.

So the US team easily made it to the championship game of the recent World Cup without dropping a game and beat Japan, probably their greatest competition at the moment, 3-0. ESPN and ESPN2 covered the tournament. Kudos. But they keep re-airing the semi-final game where the US beat Canada. I know I always bemoan the lack of coverage of women's sports and particularly ESPN, but re-airing a game that wasn't even that good (the game with Japan was closer) in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week doesn't count toward establishing a commitment to women's sports.

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