The Media Learning Curve: So taxing, yet we still return

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Wednesday night’s Dodgers-D’backs game did finally end, long after apparently every newspaper’s deadline, so the final score, and box score, will finally appear in today’s editions.

About 30 hours after the last out.

Delayed gratification. Can you handle it?

Spoiler alert: Dodgers, no bueno.

It’s like filing for an extension with your tax returns. With a Turbo Tax account that doesn’t have a “send” button.

We knew the end of the game was due on April 14. But then it spilled into April 15. And then we got to read about it on April 16. And we paid a major penalty for that.

Unless you have the Internet machine and could have read about it immediately.

Which leads to the question: Is baseball coverage in newspapers dying?

They posed the question at this site, Fangraphs.com (linked here), and concluded:

With all the extra coverage around the ‘Net, game reports are pretty much covered by places like ESPN, FoxSports, and MLB.com. What newspapers should be focusing on is features, interesting angles and even teams’ up-and-coming minor league stars. … I haven’t read a truly interesting or inspired column in a year or more. Their Q&A articles, which seem to be rather popular, are usually bland and misinformed.

The cheapest way for some newspapers (especially those operating in small or mid-sized markets) to get some footing back for their sports pages is to embrace the online writer (I dislike the term blogger; there are too many negative connotations). Hiring a writer or two off the Internet would be both cheap and it could really infuse some life back into the baseball coverage. Sure, there are some lousy and unreliable baseball writers online, but there are also some great ones that produce insightful and clean copy. The exact same can be said for sports columnists in the newspaper world.

Just like you can read this stuff, in addition to today’s media column (linked here) before the actual hard copy of the paper lands in your bushes:

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== “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers, who is also the show’s head writer, has decided to accept ESPN’s invite to host the next ESPY awards, which will be No. 18, from the Nokia Theatre across the street from Staples Center on Wednesday July 14 at 6 p.m. The only real news — aside from it lasting this long — is it’s going back to a live show, actually airing on Wednesday instead of going to tape and forcing a Major League Baseball game to start earlier on the following Sunday so that ESPN can show its awards program in the game’s usual 5 p.m. slot. Last time the ESPYs were live was in ’03.

“If you asked anyone I played sports with as a kid they would tell you ‘the only way Seth was making it to the ESPYs was as a host or presenter,’” said Meyers in a funny statement.

Surely, he has his Ben Roethlisburger jokes already written for him. By Ben himself.

A “limited” number of ESPYs tickets are available for public purchase starting April 24 through www.ticketmaster.com.

== Galaxy soccer guy Landon Donovan will be the subject of a Rick Reilly “Homecoming” episode, to be taped at his alma mater, Redlands East Valley High on Monday night. To attend the taping, to go www.onsetproductions.com.

== The NFL Network, and NFL.com, will break its own news with the announcement of the 2010 schedule — all 256 games — on Tuesday at 4 p.m. On the TV side, it’s a two-hour special.

== Fox sends Dick Stockton and Mark Grace to Dodger Stadium to cover Saturday’s Dodgers-Giants game, which will feature Tim Lincecum pitching against Charlie Haegar. It will go to 22 percent of the country. Most (61 percent) get Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver doing the New York Mets-St. Louis game, with 16 percent getting the Chicago White Sox at Cleveland (with Chris Rose and Eric Karros).

== Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward will be in Atlantic City, N.J., for Kelly Pavlik-Sergio Martinez bout, while Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Lennox Lewis are in Montreal for the Lucian Bute-Edison Miranda fight, both of which will go back-to-back on HBO Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

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AND FINALLY:

== Onion Sports has officially hooked up with Comedy Central for “The Onion Sports Network” (that’s a working title) with scripted episodes set to premiere in the first quarter of 2011, the network announced.

According to The Onion, its news network “reaches 7 billion viewers in 11 different countries, as well as more than 115 million prison cells worldwide.”

“The Onion Sports Network teaming up with Comedy Central?” said Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, in a statement. “If I were ESPN, I’d consider a whole new line of work.”

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