You’re So Vain

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? Don’t you?
~Carly Simon

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As a fan, sometimes it feels as though the national media may be against your team. It really seemed that the ESPN Sunday Night game was very Cardinals heavy, and not so much about the Dodgers. I decided to go back through the game and time how much each team, and subsequent filler, were talked about.

A couple caveats – I am rewatching on the MLB.tv app. I am fully expecting it to be much more Cards heavy, although this probably isn’t true. I have three timers – one for the when they are talking about the Dodgers, one for when they are talking about the Cardinals, and one for anything else, such as promos, general plays in the game, going off on tangents, that sort of thing. I’ll admit there probably is a lot of grey area- but I’ll do my best to stick to these specific areas. Any time it’s not specifically about a player on either team, it will probably fall into the third category.

The ESPN broadcast team consists of Dan Shulman, Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone. They don’t really bother me, but I don’t think they are exceptional either.

End of first inning —

Dodgers — 5:32

Cards — 3:00

General play and promos — 4:28

So far, Cards behind.

End of second inning — thanks to a good 5 minutes spent on Aledmys Diaz, and despite a three-minute breakdown of Alex Wood‘s mechanics, Cards leap ahead in time.

Dodgers — 8:31

Cards— 12:00

General — 7:17

Dodgers catch up, mostly due to a 3 minute one-on-one with Justin Turner with Mendoza. Most of the bottom of the third spent talking about the brawl between the Rangers and Blue Jays.

Dodgers — 12:39

Cards — 13:05

General — 13:14

Surprise, surprise. Dodgers jump ahead, thanks to long breakdown of both Adrian Gonzalez‘s and Yasiel Puig‘s swings, and on AGon showing little leaguers how to play 1st and JT and Puig playing baseball on the beach.

Dodgers — 20:17

Cards — 15:10

General — 16:28

End of five innings —

Dodgers — 22:01

Cards — 17:40

General — 20:43

Cards surge ahead, as the bottom of the sixth is spent discussing their pitching rotation.

Dodgers — 22:19

Cards — 23:30

General — 24:45

End of seven innings. Between pitching changes and some runs scored, the general talk increases. Score Cards 4-1.

Dodgers — 24:54

Cards — 26:49

General — 29:16

Now to the end of the eighth frame, and the talk of the Cardinals and Dodgers is dead even.

Dodgers — 29:01

Cardinals — 30:07

General — 34:00

End of game. No Dodgers talked about in the 9th inning. There was almost 5 minutes of Cardinal talk.

Dodgers — 29:01

Cardinals — 34:54

General — 39:09

So, in my highly scientific and pinpoint accurate timing of the game, it seems that the Cardinals did get more love. Also, in my completely unbiased opinion, things seemed to be phrased more complementary when talking about the Cardinals – they praised their ability to do well in pinch hit situations, while they questioned the Dodgers use of platooning. These two scenarios could both independently be true. But to a discerning ear of one team, it may seem to be pro the other team. Also, aside from the taped features on the Dodgers players, they spent a lot of time breaking down and commending players on the Cardinals, particularly Jeremy Hazelbaker and Diaz.

Take from it what you will. It was a fun little exercise in seeing if what seems to be happening during the broadcast is actually happening. And it seems to me that it was slightly biased towards the Cardinals, but it very well might have been different if the Dodgers had won the game. One thing I’ll say, is that they do tend to talk about one team at a time for extended periods, adding to the idea that they are biased about one team or the other. I’ll have to do a national broadcast in the future to see if it holds true.

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