From the category archives:

Blogs & Journalism

I promise this blog won’t become the promotional tool for SNY bloggers, but I have to point you to more from Matthew Cerrone and his adventures at spring training.: Opinion: I am more Naive than I thought

In the piece are some valuable lessons for those bloggers who 1) always knock the mainstream media and 2) who aspire to get press credentials. It’s not as easy as it looks. The good news for the rest of us bloggers is that Cerrone by all accounts represented the blogosphere well, not only in his output but in his conduct as well.

Check out Cerrone’s chronicling of his last week on the job, as well as the interview he did with Big League Stew.

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Bill Conlin – sigh

by Bill Ferris on November 23, 2007 · 1 comment

in Blogs & Journalism,Mainstream Media

It seems like it was only a couple weeks ago that Chris McCosky pulled the “I have a degree in this stuff” routine when differentiating himself from bloggers.  Now Bill Conlin is playing that card.

The whole chronology is detailed in: crashburnalley.com » Conlin’s Losing Numbers [UPDATED: See end]. The story is as old as time. Columnist slams sabermetrics despite poor understanding of the concepts. Blogger writes email to columnist. Columnist says that he’s smarter. This one went a little farther though in the exchange with Conlin ultimately dropping this response:

The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler’s time on earth–I’m sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called “Pamphleteers.” They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO. Shakespeare accidentally summed up the genre best with these words from a MacBeth soliloquy: “. . .a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. . .”

I will say I’ll give Conlin credit for responding to the email. But that’s where it ends. Ignorance and idiocy trumps participation in this case. So Conlin longs for the return of Hitler to take care of those pesky bloggers?!

And he wasn’t it those pamphleteers that contributed to the series of events that allowed for Conlin the freedom to say stupid things and a free press. And he rights for a Philadelphia paper? The irony is excruciating.

For more see John Brattain’s response: The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort: Barry Bonds vs. Bill Conlin…

UPDATE: Brattain has another response worth checking out. You can follow all responses on Ballhype

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Joe Posnanski is a wonderful and insightful writer no matter the medium – be it his blog, his column, or his book. He recently took on the blogger/MSM topic and had an excellent analysis. (hat tip Aaron Gleeman)

No, most sports blogs do not have access to the players, nor do the bloggers have to face the music. But most of them are writing for LOVE of sports. So they have a depth of emotion involved. Yes, some blogs are poorly written and poorly informed and spew hate. But that’s the price of a free Internet.

Bloggers are not getting paid to do it (or not getting paid a lot to do it). They are writing from the heart, from the gut, from the research they have finished, from a hard point of view, and it’s often the most entertaining and heartfelt work around. It’s often the most slanderous and bitchy work too. All in all, it’s a fun time to be a reader.

Though he wrote it on his blog, he presented both sides’ strengths and weaknesses and didn’t resort to any name calling, cheap shots, or petty stereotypes. In doing so he advanced the cause for both mediums instead of fretting about lines blurring.

Joe Posnanski » Blog Archive » Shadows and Blog

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The Islander Blogger Box

by Bill Ferris on June 19, 2007 · 0 comments

in Blogs & Journalism

Talk about reaching out to your most loyal fans…The New York Islanders are creating a special press box for bloggers. Bloggers apply, and if they are selected can watch the game from a kind of press box junior, without the stuffy rules like no cheering. Members of the “new media” will also be given some access to players – after the traditional media get their crack.

I think this is a tremendous idea. Whether it is painted as the team recognizing bloggers as media, or simply as an effort to appeal to their most loyal fans, it just makes sense.

Blog In A Box!: The Islanders Want Their Blogs In A Box – Deadspin

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There was a great article this week by Tim Marchman advocating that MLB reassesses who does and doesn’t warrant press credentials. He make the point that I enthusiastically agree with that the content of the work should weigh heavier than the distribution mechanism. I couldn’t agree more.

He also astutely points out that not everyone needs the same access and beat writers can still be given special consideration.

The one thing the current system has going for it is that it is objective. If you’re online only, especially independent, you’re out. It doesn’t get messy with subjective reviews of writer’s portfolio’s. Of course that makes for a time consuming endeavor that media relations folks currently don’t have the time to do. But still, there has to be something better.

There’s some great discussion around this at:BBTF’s Newsblog Discussion :: N.Y. Sun: Marchman: Time To Recognize the Online Reporters

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Alex Belth, who is a blogger at Bronx Banter, and a MSM member for CNNSI, interviews Curt Schilling who is a baseball player, about Schilling’s blog, and they talk about the impact of blogs and mainstream media. It’s a great interview with a couple individuals who bring some great perspectives.

On another note, Schilling’s blog has been a treat to read in that he really seems to “get” blogging. Another player blog I’ve been enjoying is Curtis Granderson’s. While it hasn’t had as much baseball centric content so far, he is using it as a mechanism to let his fans get to know him better.

SI.com – Writers – Alex Belth: Schilling sounds off on blogs, baseball, media – Thursday March 22, 2007 2:25PM

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Blogger=Forbidden

by Bill Ferris on February 16, 2007 · 1 comment

in Blogs & Journalism

The folks at Bleed Cubbie Blue point out that one of the SB Nation sites, Halo’s Heaven, was completely denied access to team personnel for interviews. What’s a little bizarre about this is that MLBAM has supposedly set policies forbidding teams from interacting with bloggers.

There are a couple things to consider here. First, does MLBAM actually have this kind of authority? I don’t entirely understand the relationship, but I don’t think they’re really in a position to govern how a team’s media relations department chooses to function. That’s what makes me think that the Angels may have just been giving Halos Heaven a kiss off. Not to mention the fact that individual teams seem to have some different policies in regard to level of access and cooperation with the blog-o-sphere.

Goatriders got in touch with someone from MLB who stated that there isn’t a specific edict to shut bloggers out so make of it what you will.

But let’s pretend it is true, at least that MLB doesn’t want team’s talking to bloggers. It is certainly understandable that MLB wouldn’t want to open the door to all bloggers. But a unilateral decision clearly isn’t the way to go. I would hope that most teams at least have an idea of the prominent sites covering their teams. A case by case evaluation wouldn’t be that difficult would it?

And mind you I’m not even advocating for credentials, just some sort of access. Be it attending a free agent press conference signing, or a 15 minute phone interview with a team exec, or even cheesy offseason photo-ops, these are all great opportunities for MLB and teams to test the waters. They’re also an opportunity for bloggers to show they won’t abuse the access that they are granted.

Face it bloggers, most of us aren’t journalists and there is no editorial process for our work. I don’t know that we belong in a clubhouse and I can entirely understand MLB’s apprehension. But that doesn’t mean that we as bloggers aren’t capable of acting and writing in a professional way. And if teams don’t already have a handle on which sites would be candidates for some access, then they are already missing the boat.

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NBA blog True Hoop has been bought by ESPN. This is of course very exciting news for author Henry Abbott. Will this spur a buying frenzy of top blogs my top mainstream media providers? Perhaps, but even so it probably won’t effect more than a handful of blogs.

In the last year I can think of 3 bloggers off the top of my head who were recruited by MSM dot com arms (Weisman, Belth, and Gleeman). While this differs in that ESPN bought the blog, it is an extension of the big boys looking to the ranks of bloggers.

In any case though, congratulations to Henry!

True Hoop: Major Announcement: TrueHoop is Becoming Part of ESPN
true hoop, espn

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While many bloggers are trying to get press credentials, Wil Leitch warns that it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
No Cheering In The Press Box – Deadspin

You don’t want to be in a press box; it’s depressing and reeks of back sweat and pit stains. The freedom that’s unique to blogging is diametrically opposed, in our view, to the typical paradigm of Apply For Press Pass / Mingle With Public Relations Drones / Eat Free Buffet / Slowly Realize That Sports Isn’t Fun Anymore. MLB doesn’t want to credential bloggers because they think they can’t control them, which, ironically, is the exact opposite of the truth. Credentialing them is the best way to control them. It’s only a matter of time until they realize that’s true, at which time bloggers will enter the press box and immediately become the most hated people there, derided by reporters, flacks and players alike. Once you’re in the press box, you’re just a beat reporter, subject to the same organizational whims everyone else in there is. Trust us: It’s not worth it. The view’s better from the couch.

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DenverSportsZone.com » MLB Fair Press is a “movement to force Major League Baseball to open up its press pass policy to including the world of legitimate blogging.” Apparently MLB has a league wide ban on issuing credentials to independent websites.

The authors of the site came across this information while applying for press credentials for the Colorado Rockies. He was denied based on the MLB policy.

Assuming this is true, this is disappointing to say the least. I understand the apprehension, but a blanket policy probably isn’t the best way to deal with it. Most of the teams are probably familiar with most of the blogs that aren’t following them. It should be up to the individual teams whether or not they grant access.

Has anybody actually had luck applying for credentials?

Hat tip Redleg Nation

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