Mike Francesa’s Rant Against Twitter (With Video)

Mike Francesa went on a semi-rant about Twitter a few days ago. The clip is below. In short, he’s against the concept.

Given the amount of ridicule Francesa receives on social media and that Twitter is specifically built for the quick witticism and has limited oversight, it’s understandable that he wouldn’t want to partake and, as he put it, wishes it never happened.

Francesa, like most old-school guys would prefer to go back to the late-1950s and a Pax Americana (basically peace on American terms in a Superman “truth, justice and the American way” concept). He openly pines for the long-lost hero of his youth, Mickey Mantle; reminisces about the days in which pitchers would throw at hitters’ heads; and wants reinstitution of the walls that separated people in sports from the common masses.

Part of it is absolute nostalgia and part of it is the marginalization of those who do what he does. Sports commentary was far easier on the commentator in the days of Dick Young, Jimmy Cannon and Tim Cohane when their views were in the newspaper and there were no 24-hour sports talk stations; no ESPN; no MLB package where every game could be watched; and the viewer wasn’t relying on the recaps of the writers and play-by-play of the broadcasters to know what was happening.

Obviously it makes his job harder when he says something totally ignorant like “I don’t know how much Andrew McCutchen is gonna hit” as if McCutchen is a sprinter placed in a uniform as Renaldo Nehemiah was by Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers. The more the listener knows, the harder a Francesa-type has to work to make sure he’s being factual or, at least, logical.

On some level, I empathize with Francesa. For him to have worked his way up to where he is now—and he did work hard to get where he is now, like him or not—it must be draining to have to interact with people who’ve never picked up a baseball and decided that reading a stat sheet and understanding basic concepts of sabermetrics made them a baseball “expert”.

But he also has to realize that he’s benefited from this new technology. Francesa is known worldwide because of the YES Network simulcast; because of the ability to listen to his show via the web; because of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and yes, Twitter.

Like anything else, it has its drawbacks but there’s nothing that can be done to stop it and complaining about it because of the negatives doesn’t make it worthless. You get out what you put in. Short-term attention grabs are exactly that: short-term. Working to gain and maintain an audience isn’t about splashy statements that may or may not be true or boring ruminations about one’s day, but about providing interesting content. The new mediums are making Francesa have to work harder. And that might be the underlying problem.

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  1. #1 by Jeff on May 17, 2012 - 2:27 pm

    Once an idiot always an idiot… I’m suprised Francesca has lasted this long. I’ve listened to him for all of 10 minutes in my whole life and those were an awful 10 minutes I assure you.

    I can attest to there being an awful lot of noise on Twitter these days. Like anything else on the internet, it is what you make of it, but it takes more work now to make Twitter work than it used to. At least, for me. Personally, I’d rather not know what Logan Morrison is doing when he’s not on the baseball field. I never cared before Twitter, why would I care now? In fact, some of the stupid shit pro athletes say makes me shake my head so hard that some days I gotta wear a neck brace.

    • #2 by admin on May 18, 2012 - 12:12 am

      Twitter gets tiresome with all the unnecessary drama and especially the lying, but it is what it is. It took me awhile to believe perhaps 10% of what people on Twitter told me and after that, I wasn’t that bothered about it anymore.
      I can’t say I hate or even dislike Francesa; when he wants to, he can really come through with a great interview, but he’s gotten lazy as he’s gotten older and more established. Part of it has to do with him working alone; another part, I think, is that he’s too arrogant and attached to 1957 to adapt to the way things are nowadays. What has to be realized is that there really aren’t any alternatives to him. When the other WFAN hosts fill in for him, everyone wonders where Francesa is and appreciates him more. The ESPN option is Michael Kay. And we’re not going there.

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