After Thomas Boswell took a mild shot at D.C.’s television and radio sports persons for their lack of Nats coverage in his chat this week, many of them chirped back at Boz in various forums. One of them, Holden Kushner, went sort of hard at Boz, and then invited him onto his show on 106.7 The Fan to discuss.
At which point, while talking to Mike Wise, Boswell said this was all part of the plan. (Audio below.)
“Mike this is exactly the reaction that I was hoping for,” Boz said. “Just some talk about it. And if there’s a little fuss about it, that’s fine. Now, everybody don’t ask me about auto racing. We all have different things that we know more about. Nobody knows everything about everything.
“But yes, I was delighted to stir things up a little bit, because the Nats are really going to be a fascinating story. Whether they work out wonderfully or whether they are a disappointment over the next five years, they’re gonna be a big story, just like the Caps have been a big story the last five years.”
Kushner argued that just because broadcasters in this market don’t talk about the Nats doesn’t mean they don’t know baseball.
“I don’t know how much is known, but I know how much is talked about, and it’s very little,” Boswell said. “Now, that happened with the Caps up until five or six years ago. There wasn’t a whole lot of discussion about the Capitals on TV and talk radio, and they played a lot better, and they were worth talking about a lot more....
“All I’m saying is that it’s been a Redskins-obsessed town for many, many years, ever since baseball left, and that’s good. You write about what you have. But I think the time is coming when people are going to have to spend more time talking about the Nationals, and learning more about them.
“Anybody who’s going to tell me that the sports media in this town is as savvy about baseball as they are about the Redskins is simply not accurate. And one of the reasons is, for the last 30 years, people who select where they’re going to work, they pick a town, they look at that market, they say what does this market have, why would I want to go there? And if you love football, if you love basketball, you’re going to go to Washington. You’re going to say hey, they’ve got those good teams, but they don’t have baseball, and I don’t really care much about baseball. That’s a good fit for me.
“And I think you’ve seen that evolution for decades. And I think there’s just gonna have to be a little more education of the public and a little more education of some of the people in the local media. I’m out at Nationals Park all the time. I never see anybody.”
He continued to compare the Nats to the Caps, saying D.C. media members didn’t have to learn the rules of hockey until the ‘80s, and didn’t have to get more sophisticated than that until the ‘90s, and baseball fans might require similar patience.
“And it may take longer than the baseball people would like,” he said. ”It’s a sophisticated sport like hockey, there’s a lot of detail, and people have a big learning curve.”
Incidentally, when I listed a few radio folks who are passionate about the sport earlier in the week, I neglected ESPN 980’s Chris Russell — who used to work at XM’s MLB Home Plate — and WTOP’s Craig Heist — who always travels to Spring Training and basically lives in baseball press boxes every spring and summer.
I will now attempt to stop exploiting my co-workers for Web traffic. Attempt being the key word.