Late Monday night, I wrote a blog criticizing the FSN Wisconsin broadcast crew for its presentation of Prince Fielder-Manny Parra shoving incident that took place in the dugout just before the seventh inning of that evening's Brewers-Reds game.
Although Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder talked about the incident several times during the final three innings, it was my contention that by showing the video clip twice -- once during the game broadcast and once during the latter portion of the post-game show -- the broadcast crew did a disservice to the viewers, especially those like myself, who missed the initial replay.
On Tuesday afternoon, both Schroeder and Anderson let me know that they disagreed with the central premise of the blog. They raised some valid points about the obligation to pay attention to the unfolding action of the game and several other things that I had not considered, including the constraints of doing a game from a road city, working with a largely unfamiliar crew, etc.
Though we agreed to disagree on most of the particulars, I got the impression that both guys, whom I respect and consider friends, felt like I'd blindsided them and their effort with a cheap shot.
That wasn't my intent.
During more than 20 years in the print, talk radio and Web facets of sports journalism, I've encountered a lot of people who criticize teams, coaches, players, announcers, fans and cities in an effort to draw attention to themselves and their respective outlets.
I've never worked that way. I consider each case individually, gather as much information as possible in the allotted time and call them as I see them.
That's why I'm doing this follow-up blog.
Last night, I watched FSN Wisconsin's presentation of the Brewers-Reds game and was thoroughly impressed by the way in which the crew handled the aftermath of the Fielder-Parra episode.
They devoted a large section of the pre-game show to it, showing the clip and getting reaction from a number of sources as well as analysis from Schroeder and Jeff Cirillo, who happened to be on the trip.
In the introduction to the game itself, an often overlooked but important segment that sets the tone for the key matchups and storylines that will dominate the broadcast, the FSN folks showed the clip again and used it as a backdrop for what happened and what was to come.
It was an impressive piece of work. I'd rank it up there with anything I've seen recently on ESPN, the "big" Fox, TBS or any national outlet, but it may have been better because it came without the hype and bombast that often work their way into network broadcasts.
Given the context, some readers out there may question the motives for this missive. They'll either think that I am trying to take credit for goading the FSN gang into thoroughly covering a story that interested me or trying to apologize for ruffling the feathers of people that I genuinely like and respect.
I can state categorically that the former is not true. I doubt if my blog prompted a single e-mail to FSN headquarters. As for the latter, while I do worry that my opinion and the platform in which I stated may have damaged my relationship with the FSN crew, I can assure all gentle readers that I am not trying to get back in anybody's good graces by writing this.
If I had not been impressed by FSN's followup broadcast on Tuesday, I probably wouldn't have written anything.
In this era where lines between news reporting and opinion writing seem hopelessly blurred, it's imperative that journalists try to adhere to this basic standard of fairness: if you're going to criticize when you think something is wrong, you have to give praise when something is right.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.