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Didn’t I Hear This Story 25 Years Ago?



By Russ Cress ~ October 21st, 2011. Filed under: Digest Contributors.

Craig Carton has spent the past few months mocking Mike Francesa for his oft repeated crush on Tigers’ third baseman Brandon Inge. Well at least Francesa, a diehard Yankees fan, knows who mans the hot corner in Detroit.

If you were taking the SATs, and the question came up…True or False? “The Yankees are to the Tigers as the Mets are to St. Louis”, you’d probably answer “true” since both are former long time division rivals of the New York teams who moved to the Central division of their respective leagues. In fact, you could make a very strong case that the Mets and Cardinals have a much stronger rivalry than the Yanks and Tigers since they went head to head in several heated pennant races over the years, while the Yanks and Tigers rarely were battling for the top spot when in the same division. In fact, the Metropolitans/Red Birds rivalry was at its peak in the mid to late 80′s, a time when Carton claims to have been a peak of his personal “Mets-Mania,” and when his favorite players were active at Shea.

The combination of these two things can’t help but bring thoughts of startling hypocrisy when Mr. Carton claimed to not even know who David Freese was before the NLCS began. Ironically, Freese went on to win the NLCS MVP. Let’s have a happy recap for a moment…Craig Carton mocks Mike Francesa endlessly for being a Yankees fan who likes the style of play brought forth by Tigers 3B Brandon Inge, yet doesn’t know who the third baseman for the Cardinals is even though he is in one sense, Inge’s NL counterpart. It’s not like Freese is a rookie either, he’s a guy who has been around since 2009 and plays for one of Carton’s Mets historic rivals. Even worse, Carton is NOT just a fan; he’s a professional sports radio host, who didn’t know the name of the starting third baseman of the National League pennant winner, the league that he supposedly follows more closely as it’s where his favorite team calls home.

Maybe I’m wrong, but Mike Francesa knowing and appreciating the game of the Tigers’ 3B, even if he was over the top in his praise for a guy who is now a marginal player, a veteran who was so bad this season he was sent to the minors for a spell this year, is still far more admirable and worthy of respect than not knowing who is David Freese. If Carton was a professional, good at his job, and had a semblance of trying to maintain some credibility shouldn’t he have bluffed his way through the Freese discussion and looked him up on Baseball Reference or Fangraphs, rather than admitting to not knowing who he was, much less doing it in such an almost proud and brazen way? Carton’s buffoonery here, and seemingly lack of respect for his audience was unprofessional and should not be tolerated by FAN management. Don’t the listeners deserve better than that kind of lazy radio clown show? I’ve said this often over the years, first about the morning show when Imus was there, and now when it applies to Boomer & Carton: that show needs to have an extra level of responsibility since it’s the first opportunity the public has to hear analysis of the events of the night before. Clearly, Craig Carton does not understand this part of his role at that radio station.

The second bewildering Carton tirade of the week was his temper tantrum over ESPN claiming to have “broken” the story about Doc Gooden being in a crack house instead of attending the 1986 World Series parade. His beef was due to the fact that Doc told the story on the Boomer & Carton show 6 months ago. He whined and threw a temper-tantrum at ESPN’s claim, ripping them, and then Mike Francesa and John Heyman for having the gall to repeat ESPN’s story rather than giving him the credit. First off, ESPN has a long track record for taking credit for “breaking” stories that other media outlets actually had first. This is nothing new. It’s a repeated pattern of behavior and a sign of ESPN’s arrogance that they have been routinely called out on by other members of the media. So why is he acting so shocked by it here when it’s nothing new? Oh yeah, it’s because he wants credit for it since Carton is all about Carton. If ESPN “stole” someone else’s story he probably wouldn’t care less, but because he sees himself as a victim being “slighted” it’s a big deal.

Yet in the big picture none of that matters since neither of them “broke” this story unless they’ve managed to invent the Flux Capacitor and travel back to 1987. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is a story that is almost 25 years old. Back in the late 80′s I definitely remember reading the story that Gooden wasn’t at the parade because he was in the midst of a drug binge in a house full of undesirables somewhere on Long Island. So it’s not even close to being a new news story; actually it’s a very old story, so old in fact, that it had been forgotten by the mainstream and therefore media hacks like Carton can take credit for it now. What’s next for Craig? Breaking the story about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh Baby? His reaction to not getting credit for something that many already knew was sad, pathetic and quite lame, and only served to make Carton look like a joke and in this case, a really old joke along the lines of ‘last night, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know”.

Until next time, I’m Russ and this is the Cress Corner.

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Russ Cress

Russ has a Masters of Useless Information and is a proud Alumni of the Old School with a major in Trivial Crap. No, seriously, it's actually 2 degrees one in History the other in Broadcasting. He's worked for NBC Sports, worked on Trenton Thunder radio broadcasts, managed a video production company and taught at a major broadcasting school. A massive Yankee fan and student of baseball history, Russ' contributions will largely be in the area of media critiques, DVD & book reviews, retro-reviews of old sporting events with the occasional column on the current baseball scene. As a rotisserie baseball player since the late 1980's, he will also contribute the occasion musing on the world of fantasy baseball. He can be reached at rcressNYY at aol dot com.

1 Response to Didn’t I Hear This Story 25 Years Ago?

  1. Joe D

    Russ your comments on Carton the clown were dead on.My 10 year old niece asked me what a scumbag was because she heard it on the way to school one morning in my car.I really think he is sick or on drugs and Im not trying to be funny

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