I grew up with the axiom that there’s no such thing as dumb questions. Being of a questioning spirit denotes that one is seeking knowledge and clarity from others, that one is seeking to better themselves through outside input.
There are some questions, however...that are best left unasked. Questions where the answer is very much apparent. Questions where you know you’re throwing a figurative match into the forest of Twitter just to watch it conflagrate, thinking you won’t self-immolate.
The San Diego Union-Tribune needs to invest in some aloe vera for the burns they just endured trying to start this fire:
Sports poll: Are you OK with Padres announcers Mark Grant and Don Orsillo trying to have fun and keep things light in the broadcast booth? https://t.co/yRYbijhMCv pic.twitter.com/dWO52jzYSm— San Diego Union-Tribune (@sdut) July 8, 2018
Go ahead and ponder that query for a minute. Jump into the comments and see what most of Padres Twitter thinks.
I’ll also save you a click: out of 1055 respondents a whopping 85% said yes, they’re OK with Mark and Don doing what they do. 7% said no. 8% asked to tone it down a little.
In a Padres season where there isn’t much to cheer for, Don Orsillo and Mark “Mudcat” Grant have done their damndest to keep the television viewer entertained when the on-field product flails more often than not. Don and Mud have a natural fun-loving chemistry between each other that livens up the broadcast on a more than regular basis. Whether it’s Mark drilling a baseball into one of Don’s appendages or Don criticizing Mark’s wardrobe, the two keep Padres games what they should be: fun. These are baseball games, last I checked.
This is sort of par for the course when it comes to the Union-Tribune. While Kevin Acee is doing his best to cover the beat of the team in between snarky rebuttals on Twitter and most of Twitter in turn taking shots trying to dunk on him, Jay Posner openly admitted on a popular podcast that he believes Padres Twitter and most of social media is just a “vocal minority” and isn’t indicative of the general consensus. Forget that 69% of Americans use some sort of social media or that Twitter, Facebook and the like have turned into outlets for news consumption (I heard Facebook may have part of a major political election scandal, can you believe that?). Ignore the fact that 88% of adults aged 18-29 use at least one form of social media. Let’s continue to cater to the 50-60something that gets a paper thrown onto their front stoop and continue to lament the death of print that caters to an outgoing generation.
This question and the backlash is indicative of the tone-deaf nature the SDUT Sports section has taken since the departure of the Chargers. In a one-sport town the section has devolved to featuring a girl who caught a foul ball in her beer and Nick Canepa catering to their readership base (again, old people) with really bad takes, Charger talk and “I don’t get sabermetrics, buncha nerds” routine.
Margot exit velo 243.5 MPH. Launch angle 5.— Nick Canepa (@sdutCanepa) June 24, 2018
That isn’t to say that the paper is devoid of material or good writing. There are some gems to be found in Jeff Sanders covering the vaunted Padres minor league system. Kevin Acee does some good work when his snark or stilted writing style doesn’t detract from the story.
It just gets overshadowed by the smoke of the fire the SDUT started with questionable motives.