The Media Learning Curve: July 3-10

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It’s been a somewhat taxing week, trying to decide which of the five available NL and AL players we should vote on to be added to Tuesday’s All-Star Game, and basing it only on which one gives Fox more added value to its telecast.

Our guy lost.

Why couldn’t Manny Ramirez have been included among the choices? Because knowing Tim McCarver, that would have made blood come out of his ears to hear that happen and given us at least a reason to try to watch the exhibition that somehow determined which team gets home field for the World Series.

McCarver was the one who couldn’t believe that the network had cut into its Mets-Phillies telecast on the Fourth of July — interrupting the National Anthem in Philadelphia, just so everyone could see Ramirez’s first at-bat of the day for the Dodgers against the Padres (not even his first at-bat back after the 50-day suspension, because that came the night before).

“It’s almost as though Manny Ramirez is being treated as if he’d been on the disabled list for 50 games. … Why all the adulation for a guy who has served a 50-game suspension … (Fox) jumped right on the (band) wagon, too.”

You’re a real man, Manny. … A real man. And still despicable.

Fox, by the way, forced the Padres to change the game from its regular 6 p.m. first pitch (so fans in San Diego could see fireworks afterward) to a 1 p.m. start and then deliver it to 60 percent of the country.

And as it turned out, the move wasn’t so explosive, even after Ramirez homered (linked here).

What else did we learn this week, with all those kids setting cherry bombs off in our mailbox:


== That Keith Olbermann wasn’t bashing Ramirez as much as he was trumpeting Lou Gehrig on the Fourth of July, but it cause someone to drive off a cliff (linked here).

== Mark Cuban has more media advice, via his blog (linked here) And he probably did so without thoroughly checking the new site, Mediaite (linked here), and noting that Jim Rome ranks No. 20 among all the most powerful radio talk show hosts — that’s all genres (linked here).

== This new USOC network that’s supposed to launch in 2010 has some bugs to work out … right, NBC? (linked here) and (Iinked here) and (linked here).

== So, in your professional opinion, what did you think about the Wimbledon coverage on NBC? No, what did YOU think? (linked here)

== If you have yet to see the new ESPN “SportNation” show (linked here), consider yourself lucky to have those minutes free on your phone card.

== Is there anything wrong with “soccertainment?” Other than it’s a stupid word (linked here) Here’s what the fuss is about (linked here).

== Someone decided David Beckham was great soccertainment … there’s that word again … so did ESPN do wrong? (linked here)

== Rick Reilly is strutting around in France (linked here).

== Marc Spears, who used to cover the Clippers for your Daily News, is now leaving the Boston Globe and … actually getting a better job? (linked here).

== We’re not big on sources close to anyone right now (linked here)

== Oh, right, and Charley Steiner can’t be trusted any more figuring out what the heck is going on at the most critical time in a game (linked here).

== AND FINALLY:

“I truly believe Michael made me a better point guard and basketball player as I watched him be so great and be the greatest entertainer ever.”

Whatever …

One more time, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant practicing their banter as they’re about to hand out the Most Improved Skateboarder/Female at next week’s ESPY Awards recalling what a hero Michael Jackson was to both of them, especially if it means an endorsement deal with Kentucky Friend (Grilled) Chicken:

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