Friday, June 12, 2009

The evisceration of bloggers

Because we haven't been professionally trained or have a masthead to work under, we are not allowed to question anything. At least according to Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times:

But there is a training that has to occur. You either learn it in school, or learn it on-the-job at a paper before going out in the field. Or from me. But you have to get some training before you head out there. That way, you don't embarrass yourself nationally, as this blogger just did, or risk ruining a ballplayer's reputation when you may not be right.
I don't think the blogger, Jerod Morris, embarrassed himself. He laid out a case that pointed a direction that wondered if Ibanez was on some PED. Passive-aggressive, true, but I'd rather read that than Morris come out and say definitively that Ibanez was on something without proof. Hell, I did the same thing 5 days prior, with less statistical "evidence". As I noted at the bottom of that posting, we'd be lazy to assume everyone is innocent.

But Geoff, what would you say to your esteemed colleague, Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun Times, who kicked this innuendo door WIDE OPEN? Would you want him to attend your class? If it's good enough for the Chicago Sun Times to run innuendo questioning a hometown player, why can't anyone else? Said Telander, just as a reminder:
To wit, Theriot -- no disrespect, but if he's 5-11, I'm 6-12 -- hit two home runs Wednesday night at Wrigley Field against the Padres, giving him five times more home runs in 33 games this year than he hit all last season.

That rings the steroid/HGH/ whatever-designer-drug-is-in bell, doesn't it?
Mr. Baker seems to take particular delight in the fact that Morris was "eviscerated on national television", as if that represents a nationwide beatdown of guys like me who love the game and love writing about it. Guess again, Geoff.
And in this case, the blogger really didn't have a leg to stand on. That much was clear when he was eviscerated on national television by Fox Sports columnist Ken Rosenthal, a longtime baseball writer for the Baltimore Sun. I've seen some commenters to various fan blogs the past 24 hours try to say the blogger "held his own'' but let's get real. It was ugly. I give the blogger -- I won't mention his name because I'm reluctant to give him his 15 minutes -- credit for going on with Rosenthal. If it was me on the air instead of Rosenthal, I would have torn the blogger to shreds in much the same way. Maybe even worse. I know Rosenthal and spoke to him at the ballpark yesterday after his ESPN appearance with said blogger. When you go on TV and radio a lot, you learn how to destroy people like the inexperienced blogger on-air. It was like that Korean dude pounding on Jose Canseco in Japan the other day.

But I give the blogger props for standing up and taking his blows like a man. There is not enough of that in the internet world these days. Not enough accountability. And the fact he was ready to stand up for what he believed in gives me hope that he can one day rise to better things. That his blogging career was not just ruined by this one misstep. I don't think his was. It took some guts to wade into this topic.
I was lucky enough to enjoy 15 minutes of fame via my VoteForManny idea. I did interviews on the radio, in print. I was on ESPN Radio, MLB on XM, local radio in St. Louis, Chicago, San Diego, New York. I had a blast. It takes a bit of practice to get your feet under you to get your point across in a short window without sounding foolish. You have to learn to anticipate and have your rebuttals rehearsed. I learned quickly to have my responses "canned" and ready to go. I got better at it. Guessing Mr. Morris did not have that chance to learn from his on-air mistakes, but let's face it, the blogger got on national TV to debate with the pros. How AWESOME is that? Just ponder that for a quick moment: That's our equivalent of making the field at the US Open golf tournament as a walk-on weekend warrior. Behold the power of guts, verve, passion, and ignoring the intimidation of the pros. Good for Mr. Morris.

Morris has his last word, follow-up available and it's well done.
Ken Rosenthal asked at one point, “how did we get here?” What I wish I had said was: “We got here because one newspaper mischaracterized what I said, because a reporter from that same paper went running to Raul Ibanez for a comment without (ostensibly) Ibanez or the reporter reading the actual article I wrote, and because the mainstream media and its holier-than-thou high standards decided to run with the story. If none of that had happened, the Raul Ibanez story would be making its way towards 300-400 views right now and fading from relevance even here at MSF, as opposed to being a national story.

I wasn’t setting out to create a firestorm, but it is curious (there’s that word again) that the MSM was so quick to jump on the story. Could it be because the MSM salivates anytime the terms “steroids” or “PEDs” and an actual player’s name are in the same sentence? Might such stories drive pretty high traffic and viewership? Seems to me they would (and, admittedly, the last few days have proven it for us here at Midwest Sports Fans. Thanks mainstream media!).
Rock on.


Zach Sanders said...

When are we going to have some sort of Affirmative Action for Bloggers?

We're people too, and we share our opinions just like columnists do. We just do it in a less respected outlet. Not everyone is idiots who sit in their mom's basement whining at things.

Jerod did have a point with Raul, and I don't want to start a fight over this, but my research and analysis says that there was only a 1.1% chance that Raul could be on this pace. So either Raul is really lucky, or there are outside forces at play.

Alex K said...

Zach, Have you checked out what Joe Pos had to say about it? Apparently Raul has had streaks similar to this before, just not to start a season.

Zach Sanders said...

Alex, as a mariners fan I have seen these streaks before, but they have never been this long or of this magnitude. I thought that was what it was when the year started, but this is way to long to be considered a streak IMO.

Chris said...

Does this guy get paid for writing what he writes on the site?