ESPN takes a lot of grief, and justifiably so, for what it does wrong — shoehorning sponsors into segments (“Coors Light Cold Hard’’ facts, which often are neither cold nor hard nor very often factual), underplaying sports in which they are not rights-holders (FYI, the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup), and most unconscionably of all, foisting Skip Bayless on an unwitting public (inexcusable and inexplicable).
Maybe it’s not as much fun to acknowledge all that ESPN gets right, but it is quite a lot. The positives begin with baseball coverage. Karl Ravech is a poised, informative studio host, and the “Sunday Night Baseball’’ team of Dan Shulman, Terry Francona, and Orel Hershiser is understated and insightful. Francona in particular has a knack for subtle one-liners. It’s almost as if this is the network’s way of apologizing for 21 years of Joe Morgan.