Jump to content

Atlantic article on MLB Broadcaster bias


Recommended Posts


Pretty good read, they track the language used to describe the players over a week long span in August 2011.

It isn't racial so much as it is native born/ foreign.

While baseball discussions often reference countable statistics such as home runs, batting average, and strikeouts, they also reference intangible characteristics that cannot be listed on the back of a baseball card. Descriptors such as "scrappy," "hustling," or "plays the game the right way" are bandied about despite the fact there's no way of actually measuring these qualities.

As a general rule, these descriptors tend to fall into three categories: performance-based, effort-based, and character-based.

Performance-based descriptions often take the form of contrasting equivalents?praising a pitcher for being "a pitcher, not a thrower." or being "not just an athlete, but a baseball player."

Effort-based descriptions rely on the old standards of "grit," "hustle," "scrap" and other such synonyms that seem to rely on how much dirt a ballplayer gets on his uniform over the course of a game.

Character-based descriptions ignore the on-field product and instead describe the subject as a person. Announcers frequently like to call ballplayers "professionals" as a compliment. This category also includes praising players for "respecting the game" and being "old school."

I do find it distracting that the information is from 2011 but the teams listed for the players is from 2012.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish they'd tried to look at Asian players too. It says there isn't enough data, but there's always a really obvious angle when you hear broadcasters talk about them -- it isn't about negative vs. positive, but how the praise always uses ethnically loaded terms. "Calm," "poised," "unemotional", etc. It always sounds like they're trying to turn the players into samurai from a Kurosawa movie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores


Orioles Roster Resource

Orioles Prospect Information

2022 Top 75 Prospects


2022 Orioles Stats

2022 Orioles Minor League Stats

Baseball Savant Stats

  • Create New...