It's that time of year again. Let the moaning and groaning begin.
No, I am not referring to Karl Malone's usual yearly tirade against the Jazz.
And I am not talking about professional baseball's grumblings about a strike.
I am talking about the calls we at the Sun Advocate get and the people we run into who complain about the coverage we give the little kids when it comes to the American pastime played in junior style.
We hear laments that say everything from "you always cover American Legion and the high school, but you don't cover WBBA" to "you are biased against (insert the Carbon County town of your choice) teams."
Last year when I was sports editor, I mostly just took it and didn't say a thing because I figured it was my first year and I had probably screwed up by not finding a way to give more coverage, even though I thought we actually covered little league better than it had been done in years.
But this year, having been moved to a different beat, working on the focus sections and the opinion pages of the newspaper, I have watched as Karen Basso, who is now handling the bulk of the sports news, taking even more heat. It's funny how often you can be more angry about the way someone else has been treated than you are about how you are dealt with by others yourself.
Last year toward the end of the season I spent a great deal of time and effort talking with coaches and various little league officials about how much we would like to do more coverage on little league and Babe Ruth teams in all areas of the county. We can't be to every game; in fact we can't be to most games. Unless we both spent all our waking hours covering little league and put every other bit of news in the paper second, we just could not physically handle it.
I pleaded with people last year to be sure they appoint someone from each league to be a liaison with us; to report scores, special efforts and to make sure we were kept up on standings and schedules.
But it didn't happen. I can't speak for Karen, but I was only contacted by two people at the beginning of the season (one of which was Walt Borla who is always a tremendous help on WBBA and another whom I never heard from again). No coaches, no league officials, not even parents.
That is of course until the end of the season when everyone starts in on us about the coverage.
The difference between covering little league and AL ball or high school ball is largely communication. During the high school baseball season we are in regular contact with Lane Herrick of Carbon and Todd McFarland of East Carbon. Every week, like clockwork Jeff Cisneros has called Karen about the Helper AL team this summer.
From little league affiliates we got nothing except silence and now grief.
As for being biased, that idea is a joke. I have no kids or grandkids in little league in any town around here. Neither does Karen. And to be specific, neither of us live in Price, so we certainly aren't biased in that way.
Regardless of what happens, we as a newspaper will continue to give the best coverage we can based on our available resources.
But how extensive that coverage will be in the future depends on what the baseball community does to aide us in that endeavor.