Thursday, October 3, 2013
Posted by el duque at 8:28 AM
Well, one answer might be in that crowd in the street waving the "RANDY LEVINE IS THE DEVIL" signs. It's the trial of the century: The people vs. A-Rod. (By, "the people," I mean Bud Selig and Hal Steinbrenner.) It's the OJ trial, merely without homicides, and it's happening now.
Eventually, the wild crapola flying in that hearing room will emerge in newspaper accounts that make the 2011 Boston clubhouse beer-and-fried-chicken scandal look like one of AJ Burnett's walk-off cream pies. But we will never see the drama unfold in real time. Too bad. This is where YES should have been. This is is the ratings splurge that could save the Yankees from having to sign a 2014 batch of Vernons and Pronks to sate their disappearing fan base. Because here's a sad truth:
The programming at YES is as dead as the Yankee farm system.
For starters, YES covers the Yankees the way Fox News does John Boehner. Sure, we hear a few snide comments after Anduw Jones has gone 0-for-July, but nobody on YES ever holds the team management accountable, and - let's face it - in the current lineup, nobody ever will.
A regular debate with an angry Yankee critic - even a Yankee hater - would be more fun than updates on Paul O'Neill's lawn care. It might even expand the viewership to people who don't like the Yankees.
YES has the most loved and hated sports franchise in America. Why does it only cater to half its audience? It has no Yankee humorists - no Artie Lang, Billy Crystal or Larry David. (Or younger, currently unknown comics.) It never raises controversies, which generate interest. It runs from them. It has tremendous access, tremendous entertainment potential - and like all the money that we spend on fogies - it pisses it away.
Do they really think we want to spend the winter watching Yankee Classics and Michael Kay interviewing the year 1975? And next spring, will we have to watch another lineup of broken down farts, because the team has to offer YES something to tout?
The Yankees have to change their ways. So does the Yankee TV network.