Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Guardian extends its sports live blogging to the U.S.; Opening Day game in Japan blogged

Most people, and few baseball fans, are probably aware that today is Opening Day of the baseball season. Really.

As I write this, the Oakland A's are playing the Seattle Mariners in Japan. Both teams were pathetic last year, and seem to be promising their fans the same level of play again this year. Not surprisingly, the game has gone into extra innings with the score 1-1. The snoring coming from the packed house in Tokyo is deafening.

Even ESPN has been advertising that Opening Day is next week Wednesday with the game between the Cardinals and the Marlins (now called the Miami Marlins, if you haven't been keeping track).

But The Guardian's new U.S. website is live blogging the game this morning, bringing the practice of live blogging sports events to this country. The Guardian has been live blogging soccer (ah, I mean "football") matches for quite some time, even fighting the Premiere League over the issue.

The Guardian is clearly committed to the art form (live blogging, that is). The U.S. news site has been live blogging MLS games – giving more attention to the professional soccer league than most other news sites.

The Guardian seriously messed up recently when it posted a live blog on an international friendly between England and the Netherlands while the U.S. was playing a friendly against Italy. England ended up losing its game, while the U.S. won in Italy for the very first time. The U.S. win was historic, while the English lose was largely irrelevant. Worse, it gave the very strong impression that The Guardian's U.S. site might only be of interest to English expats – something I don't think they were intending.

Their live blogging of both MLS and today's incredibly boring game between two bad teams is a sign that The Guardian is serious about covering U.S. sports – even if it proves to be painful for the reporters.

Side Note: it is interesting that the live blog of today's baseball game has a UK website address, though it is being blogged by David Lengel, who is based in Brooklyn (according to his Guardian biography). But the blog is appearing only the U.S. home page while the UK home page is featuring a story on UK football.