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Brian Sabean: “the game is East Coast-centric”

Mar 16, 2011, 6:16 AM EDT

Brian Sabean phone

An article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat catches up with Giants GM Brian Sabean, who notes that life hasn’t changed all that much for the World Series champs in terms of hype or outside media interest or anything like that.  Part of that may be, he explains, because of the dreaded east coast bias:

“It teaches us that the game is East Coast-centric. If you came in here after traveling on a year-long safari in Africa and knew nothing about the events of last year, you would not know there was any difference.”

East Coast-centric?

“We were joking about the Phillies’ press conference they chose to have, I guess, because of all the interest with their starting pitchers. Somebody told me they had 200 media people there. And they didn’t even get to the World Series.”

I don’t think Sabean is complaining here or taking a swipe at the Phillies rotation, but I also don’t think that interest in the Phillies rotation compared to the Giants winning the World Series is indicative of anything, east coast centrism or otherwise.

Someone wins the World Series in the fall and starts spring training the following February every single year. Unless they import some player with a singularly large media following like Hideki Matsui, the same media contingent that follows them each spring shows up.  Maybe during your first game of spring training you get some guest members of the national sporting press hanging around — the Giants’ spring kickoff played host to me, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times and Dave Brown of Yahoo!, among others — but beyond that it’s the same half-dozen beat writers and a random camera crew or two who always cover the team.

What doesn’t happen every year is the assembly of an All-Star rotation like that in Philly. So when the Phillies — who were no doubt inundated with individual press inquiries — decide to hold a press conference about it, of course it’s going to garner considerable interest.

Put differently, the Giants aren’t news. They were news in October and if they do anything neat again, they will again be news.  The Phillies rotation coming together is news.  And reporters tend to go where the news is.

(link via BTF)

  1. writtenbyross - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    They really stuck it to the East coast with that vicory parade in NY.

  2. shaggylocks - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    This is especially funny considering the Giants picked up and moved out of New York to tap the West Coast market.

  3. mercyflush - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:51 AM

    i’m tired of the east coast bias thing. LA doesn’t get press?? give me a break.

    King Felix won the Cy Young last year, beating out a NY, Boston and Tampa pitcher in the process. Lincecum won the two previous seasons. Posey won ROY, beating out an Atlanta player.

    The only place that the east coast seems to get favored is in who ESPN picks for their Sunday Night baseball games, but that’s not “east coast bias,” it’s based on simple facts: they get better ratings for NY and Boston games, and ratings=money.

    Other than that though, I think it’s crap.

  4. banksatdixie - Mar 16, 2011 at 8:35 AM

    The Giants were successful in spite of Brian Sabean, and he finds something to complain about? If I had his string of recent luck I’d be playing the lotto.

  5. oldnumero7 - Mar 16, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    What bugs me about this whine is that it’s not about the performance of the team. Sabean thinks the Giants (and specifically Sabean) ought to be getting more love from the press, which has nothing to do with winning. A good GM focuses on making his team better, you don’t see Daniels/Friedman/O’Dowd bitching about press.

    • sayheykidwschamp - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:38 AM

      So it’s about winning right? So the Giants win the WS…that’s winning. The Giants have the best record in the Cactus League, and I think for all of ST? That’s winning right? But the Phillies and Yankees and RedSox get it for just being…they haven’t won anything recently, but they get all the press. And none of the Giants success had to do with Sabean the GM, who was focused on making his team better. Not sure what bugs you about Sabean because he seems to be doing what you said a good GM should be doing. That’s what bugs me.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        They haven’t won anything recently? The Phillies, Sox, and Yankees were the three winners before the Giants…

  6. sdelmonte - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    I will note this, though, re: East Coast bias. There are a lot of posts about the Mets here. A lot more than a team that might struggle to reach .500 should have, I would say (even if I am a fan). Is that East Coast bias?

    Not saying I am sure it is. Just wondering about how much coverage some teams get and others – the Mariners would come to mind if they got coverage – don’t.

    • Ari Collins - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      There are a lot of posts about the Mets because of the drama around their finances. There was a similar amount of posts about the Dodgers’ McCourts divorce.

    • BC - Mar 16, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Half of that is due to Craig hating on the Mets and poking fun. The other half is that the Mets spent $100,000,000,000,000,000 on payroll and an new ballpark, they stink on ice, and their owners are financially inept and only slightly more incompetent (and perhaps incontinent) than Donald Sterling.
      As far as East Coast bias…. is it a coincidence that ESPN is within 2 or 3 miles of being geographically equidistant from Boston and New York? Then throw in the Phillies being a serious contender, and OF COURSE they’re East Coast biased. I mean, when was the last time that all three of those teams stunk at the same time, 1965-1966? They didn’t even have cable TV then. (How did people survive???!?)

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 16, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        You might be slightly off on your financial expenditure number there, but otherwise, you’re right. I think Simon might just want some of the heat taken off, what with the immense and far reaching suckitude of the Wilpons and Minaya.

    • ta192 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      There’s an “east coast” bias, then again there’s a “New York” bias as well as a specific “Yankee” bias. Mercyflush pretty much nailed it, it’s about the money and business decisions, but you gotta expect the Mega Market to take a wee bit bigger bite of the apple…

  7. kellyb9 - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Thats funny because basketball seems to have a west coast bias, hockey seems to have a north coast bias. The sport is more popular in New York, Boston, and Philly right now than it is just about anywhere on the West Coast… so theres going to be a bias towards those areas.

  8. lardin - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Year in and year out the best teams are from the East coast. Occasionally A team out west wins. Sabean is right. The game is East Coast centric. But than again, Grass is green, the sky is blue and water is wet.

  9. Ari Collins - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I think it’s important to differentiate between saying the GAME is East-Coast-Centric and saying that the MEDIA is East-Cost-Centric. You could make an argument for both (and both together: the East Coast has more fans and money and wins more often, therefore not only gets but maybe DESERVES more media attention), but what Sabean said is that the GAME is East-Coast-Centric while providing a poor argument for the MEDIA being East-Coast-Centric.

    More importantly: stop whining that your championship team from last year isn’t getting as much attention as what looks like a championship team for this year. It’s a short news cycle, you got your moment in the sun. Whether you’re in the news or not has NOTHING to do with the games played, which should be your focus. And it’s not just losers that are sore.

  10. stealofhome - Mar 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Brian Sabean payed over-market prices for that Motorola RAZR because it brings a veteran presence to his ears.

  11. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 16, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    The east coast is three hours in the future compared to the west coast. The news, is therefore, newest in the east. Case closed!

  12. macjacmccoy - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Agree, The Phillies didnt get any extra attention from the national media at the beggining of 09. It was basically all about the Yankees that year getting Sabathia and Teixiera. You didnt hear anyone in Philly complaining about New York bias. Thats just the way it goes once a new season begins all that matters is whats going to happen not whats already happened. By then whoever won the world series, no matter what geographical location there team players in, is old news and the media is looking for the next big story they can cling on to. This year it happened to be the Phillies rotation for the 1st month or so, then Albert Pujos’ no contract, contract deadline, and then Adam Wainwrights injury, till now. And its going to continue to go from story to story like that until the first pitch of the season. People on the west coast need to stop being so sensitive about the coverage they get. It has nothing to do with bias it has to do with numbers. Theres just more people and more baseball teams on the east coast, and the more there are the more reporters are needed to get everyone the news, and the more reporters there are reporting something the more chance there is that that thing will get coverage.

  13. cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Sabean wants more press? Well I have a thought (I got lots, so this one’s gratis); have Tiny Tim appear on camera with Louis the Cab Driver and give him a a big $1 million cheque (one of those giant novelty jobs so we can appreciate how little Timmy is; you know? For the pathos). This way everybody wins; Louis gets to “land on his feets”, the Giants have somewhere to stay in Brazil, Sabean gets press, Timmy is off the hook for those “clove cigarettes” and we all get to see that a) the Mets are not alone in wasting dough so as to get the Wilpon’s mugs on HBT and b)Timmy & Louis are really 2 separate people.
    Thank you. I’ll be here all week, folks. Meanwhile, check out Louis;

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      Did you just spell that “cheque?” Sheesh. Damn Canadians and their bastardization of Ameringlish.

      • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:14 PM

        I beg your pardon (et moi); c’est francais, not l’anglais. As such, you are abâtardir the word ‘cheque’ to ‘check’, not moi. Aussi, it’s not “Ameringlish” je parlez; c’est “Franglish”. So there.

      • ta192 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        I hope Gator reads Cur’s post…he’ll love it more than I did…

  14. clydeserra - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    I believe Sabean is an idiot and he got very lucky last year.

    That being said, he answered a local reporters question, he may believe what he said, but its not like he is going out to bash ESPN (who until recently employed as their #1 PXP guy, the Giants PXP guy)

  15. markus124 - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Perhaps the focus is on east coast teams because the west coast teams play 3/4 of their games when most of the country is asleep. Play some 5PM starts and you’ll be amazed at the increased attention.

  16. lbehrendt - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Dude. Surfing has a west coast bias. I’m totally serious.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      Totally, brah.

  17. yankeesgameday - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    I have two baseball sites up now, a yankee specific one and a general baseball one. On the general baseball one I do these stories about all of the teams in spring training and by far, the people who come to the sites are from the east coast. I can do a story on the orioles and get a ton of hit but I did one on the Giants and no one shows up. It’s not just that there is an East Coast bias… it’s that by sheer volume there are more people passionate about their teams willing to seek out information about them there than here on the West Coast. And I am starting to actually see the numbers to prove it.

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