Monday, December 29, 2008

More Media Stuff (You Should've Seen What I Left Out!)

Recently on the Fire Brand blog, Evan interviewed Peter Gammons. When asked about baseball blogs, Peter said

The media world has dramatically changed, and I feel the blogs are part of our landscape. Are there instances when there is little accountability? Yes. Do I think we need reporters who understand players as people? Yes. Do I agree with everything? No. Look, I always read every word that Sean McAdam writes, because he is a giant. But the fact remains that if you line up the seriousness of good bloggers vs. the angry white minority shock jocks on radio--not Michael Holley, for instance, but those whose worlds exist to spread agenda--are superior to listening to talk radio.

My first reaction was, Okay, that's fair, and I'm glad he thinks a good blog beats a crappy talk radio schmuck. Then, as the Teixeira thing was happening, I thought back to his quote. Specifically the part where he notes "instances of little accountability." And I said to myself, he's getting on bloggers for having little accountability?

The sports media doesn't seem to have any accountability at all! The time leading up to Teixeira's signing was a great example. Never have I heard so many quotes from unnamed sources, people close to the situation, and reporters' butts from what I could tell. It somehow seems worse this off-season than ever before. The night of Henry's trip to Texas was the worst. You had one station report roughly what was going on, and then assuming it meant the Sox were about to sign Teixeira. Then you had everyone else in the media--Gammons at for one--hustling to "confirm" what was an incorrect story, leading ESPN to actually do a breaking news scroll on their TV stations.

Remember the winter meetings? (That was the time when the sports media came out and tried to cover their no-story butts by talking about how "nothing's going on" about 50 times a day.) Remember what Theo Epstein said when he was leaving Vegas? He said that they hadn't made any new deals, and that a lot of the media's reports were untrue. It's almost like people are trying to trick the reporters--Ken Rosenthal reminds me of a middle school newspaper reporter who goes around to the members of the Pee Wee football team asking for info and prints it, completely oblivious to the fact that all the players have decided to fuck with him by making shit up. (He kinda looks like that kid, too.)

I feel like it shouldn't be that hard not to be so incredibly inaccurate. Tip #1: If some guy calls you on the phone and tells you a piece of information, but doesn't want you to give his name out, he's lying. Do NOT print the info he gives you. Tip #2: If a person is "close" to a team, that doesn't mean he knows what the hell he's talking about. That's why he's close to, but not "with" the team. As they are with you, the people who know what's going on are laughing at him right after they close the door to the meeting. Do NOT print the info he gives you. Following these tips from a measly blogger will prevent you from being wrong over and over and over again.

Then I think of how when people like me started doing blogs, we kind of hoped to become a new form of media. The "real" media laughed at us, mentioned the lower floors of our domiciles and our parental units, and made sure to let everyone know that we were the ones who didn't know anything. Once they realized that they themselves were headed toward irrelevance, they suddenly started writing their own "blogs," and copying every idea we the people had come up with. It pisses me off. Some unpaid, start-from-scratch blogger will take years to get her gamethreads to gain popularity, only to watch as some newspaper or radio station's website throws up a place to do game threads, and instantly gets as many people involved as that blogger ever got.

It's getting to the point where the current young people coming up aren't going to know the difference between someone like me (and plenty of others, check my links section), who is unpaid and just started a website one day with exactly zero readers and no corporate backing, and a newspaper's online "blog," which is a page on an existing, popular website, written by a paid reporter who already had a job. Now, the fact that they had a job to begin with is commendable. But if those guys want to do a "blog," they should have to start at the bottom like the rest of us.

Everybody has a blog or nine now. NESN, WEEI, the Globe--all the people that were scared to death of "bloggers" just took the word and made their own version. The worst are the lowest common denominator sports sites. My god, have you looked at the Sports Illustrated site lately? They have a section called "best from the web" or something, and I swear, one of them was a blog entry that listed the top ten "hot chicks." Another one had recently apologized for showing a picture of the wrong athlete's wife. Couldn't even get their schlock right. Some of these bigger sites have no interest in a site like mine, yet if you post a woman in a bikini, you're one of the "top sports blogs."

It's so funny how those tabloid-ish sports sites just eat up readers. "Here's a funny video or picture that's mildly related to sports or dipshit macho sports fans!" "Ooh, that's me! You're a genius! Also, my nickname and avatar are better than yours!" The only thing worse than Dirt Dogs is a Dirt Dogs ripoff.

And on top of all this crap the sports media is pulling, they can't even hire a damn proofreader. Almost every article has spelling or grammar errors now. It's so perfect that on the night I finally write this piece, the Boston Globe reports that Josh Bard and Brady Penny have been signed by the Red Sox. (Still wrong as of 1:30 AM.) Hey, at least if the story turns out to be false, they can say, "we never said anything about Brad Penny..." [Update, 1:00 PM the next day: They've changed the picture and the headline, yet it still says BRADY Penny. (Top right of this page.)]

And the Globe's blog, Extra Bases, had this story up as their top story for four days recently. The one that said Derek Lowe was closing in on a deal with the Mets. (Their source was "a baseball source" and the piece was written by "staff.") Shortly after they put that up, other stories started coming out saying it wasn't true. But it stayed up, all Christmas Eve, all Christmas Day, all...Boxing Day, I guess, and all Saturday, with no update, no correction, nothing, until a new post finally went up today. And yet that "blog" probably gets more hits in one day that my blog has gotten this year. And it's fucking December. I bitter? I don't know, sure, these people piss me off. But you know what? I think I'm Red and this is my final trip to the board at Shawshank prison:

And I wake up this morning and find a from letter email asking to advertise for some Poker site. Oy.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States