From the category archives:

Mainstream Media

Padres seem to get blogging

by Bill Ferris on June 18, 2008 · 0 comments

in Interviews,Mainstream Media

Ducksnorts proprietor Geoff Young recently sat down for a lengthy conversation with San Diego Padres CEO Sandy Alderson. They cover a number of topics in the 3 part series, but of interest here is Alderson’s take on blogging.

Alderson comments on Paul Depodesta’s blog and how it is another avenue to communicate with the fans

The blogosphere creates another opportunity to communicate, and I’ve got a lot of confidence in Paul — in his ability to write, in his ability to self-edit if that’s necessary — to be as straightforward as possible under the circumstances. We ran it internally for, I don’t know, a month or something like that and decided… let’s go ahead. I’m not sure what we get back in the form of commentary is terribly useful because it tends to be — not a fringe element, but I wouldn’t say it’s [laughs] an accurate poll of public opinion.

And perhaps more interesting for those of us bloggers who aren’t members of front offices, they are considering bloggers in the press box.

The other thing we’ve been toying around with is allowing people like yourself into the press box. I know there’s a lot of controversy about that among mainstream media and so forth, but our attitude is, the more access, the better. In Paul’s case, it’s a chance for him to express himself on an unflitered basis. He doesn’t get interpreted by [radio host] Philly Billy [Werndl] or [newspaper columnist] Tim Sullivan or somebody else. It’s an unvarnished line of communication.

Geoff does a great job with the interview and I encourage you to peruse all 3 parts. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

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Bob Costas joins ranks of ignorant MSM

by Bill Ferris on March 14, 2008 · 4 comments

in Mainstream Media

Add Bob Costas to the list of mainstream media who feel that all bloggers work from their parents basements. In an illogically constructed rant oozing with ignorance Costas lashes out against those who enjoy debating sports.

Costas questioned why fans would take part in an ESPN.com poll. He questions why anyone would care about what the common fan with a computer thinks.

”Today, I saw on ESPN a poll about which Western Conference teams would not make the playoffs,” Costas said. “Well, 46 percent said the Denver Nuggets, which has zero percent influence on anything. No reasonable person who cares about the NBA should care about that. Who has the time or the inclination to do this, even if you’re sitting on your computer? Why would you weigh in on it?”

It’s kind of a strange stance for someone who makes millions of dollars because of people’s interest in sports. Or is it that fans should sit quietly by and accept whatever broadcasters and reporters tell them while not forming and voicing their own opinions? It kind of looks that way:

”I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do,” Costas said. ‘But it’s one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother’s basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they’re a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard’s column or Bernie Miklasz’ column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.”

Aside from the general ignorance of what constitutes a blog or a blogger (leaving a comment on a newspaper article or course constitutes neither), it’s more vitriol for fans – or Costas’s primary audience.

Costas doesn’t understand that the forum is proportional the quality of the content. Only the good stuff gets a big audience. And by good stuff I mean the stuff that bubbles to the top either in uniqueness, quality of writing, humor, etc.

Why is it okay for Costas to get a forum while no one else does? I’d guess that his answer would have something to do with earning it over the years. Someone at some point had to think he was good enough to put on the air. The problem is that was a singular decision. It’s something that the vast majority of fans didn’t get a chance to weigh in on. Costas was thrust upon us.

The next step of the argument would be that if he wasn’t well liked he wouldn’t still have a job. But we see all the time instances of broadcast professionals who are awful, and widely held in low regard, continue to work.

With blogging it is a much more democratic process. If you’re not good at something, chances are you won’t get read. So that forum gets “earned” albeit in a different and arguably better way.

There is one point where I do agree with Costas:

“confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn’t mean I’m insightful or tough and edgy.

That’s one aspect I’m not a fan of and generally don’t participate in. Of course in the next sentence he refers to those same people as “idiots” and if you remember he also called bloggers “pathetic get-a-life losers” so feast on that irony for a moment.

And to clarify, I have no problem with Costas the broadcaster. I generally like things he’s involved with so there is no personal bias here. It’s just disappointed that Costas views himself as judge and jury for what is and isn’t acceptable.
Sports bloggers weave a tangled web – 03/14/2008 – MiamiHerald.com
Hat tip Inside the Book.

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SNY, the sports network in New York is genius. Several months ago they teamed up with Matthew Cerrone and MetsBlog. Now they have added a Yankees blogger to the mix by teaming up with Steve Lombardi and WasWatching.com

In both cases the blogs get to keep doing exactly what they were doing before with the authors retaining full editorial control. The blogs, and bloggers get more exposure and some fantastic opportunities. Cerrone has already been on the channel several times and is now reporting from spring training.

But why is this genius for SNY? They get to move forward in their quest to become the “Online Home of All Things NY Sports.” They’re brining in two established brands. But more than that they are bringing in established voices. People that the fans are already relating to. They don’t have to establish the bloggers credibility, it’s already present in the hundreds of thousands of page views that the sites get.

And by putting those who are most passionate about the subject front and center, they get some amazing coverage such as Cerrone’s recent conversation with Johan Santana about the circle change.

This is clearly a win for everyone involved. So congratulations to Steve Lombardi, and congrats to SNY for recognizing a good thing.

WasWatching.com: WasWatching.com Joins SNY Sports-Blog Network

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Peter Gammons on bloggers

by Bill Ferris on January 21, 2008 · 3 comments

in Mainstream Media

Peter Gammons writes at length about various topics today, but a big component of the article is a flattering look at baseball blogs. He writes several hundred words about the topic and manages to not only point out a number of his favorite blogs, but he doesn’t once mention basements or pajamas.

A refreshing take from one of the deans of the mainstream baseball media. Bloggers everywhere say “Thank you Peter.” Now there’s a Hall of Famer I can get behind.

A portion of the article is below:

The fact is that we all know more about baseball because of the proliferation of creative thought. Run through Baseball Think Factory, The Baseball Analysts, Squawking Baseball, Sabernomics, Beyond the Box Score, Dan Agonistes, John Sickels’ minorleagueball.com. For everything, Deadspin.

Unfortunately, time keeps most of us from getting to those sites specific to teams. It’s amazing how many club officials read USS Mariner (Seattle), Fire Brand of the American League (Boston), Ducksnorts (San Diego), Athletics Nation (Oakland), Viva El Birdos (St. Louis), Lone Star Ball (Texas), River Ave. Blues (Yankees), MetsBlog.com, FishStripes (Florida), Dodger Thoughts, Bronx Banter (great writing), The LoHud Yankees Blog, Reds Reporter (Cincinnati), Bleed Cubbie Blue, Brew Crew Ball (Milwaukee) and more.

And you need an update on steroids? Try Baseball’s Steroid Era (an informative blog).

There are probably hundreds of sites I have missed. If so, hopefully, they’ll run by my laptop. But as we begin the 2008 season, our information, understanding and thought processes have been dramatically altered from the days when a Sunday newspaper notes column seemed significant. And, as fans, we are so much better off for all the work that is being done.

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MetsBlog teams up with SNY

by Bill Ferris on December 3, 2007 · 0 comments

in Blog News,Mainstream Media

Matthew Cerrone, the owner of MetsBlog has teamed up with SportsNet New York (SNY). SNY broadcasts Mets and Jets games. As for the agreement, MetsBlog goes largely unchanged, but Cerrone will work with the network to create original online video content.

The real kicker though is that Cerrone will now have access to the players and team.

Like you, my biggest concern had been that SNY will try to alter the site’s voice. However, and I cannot reiterate this point enough, it is still Matthew Cerrone’s MetsBlog.com – in every way, shape and form. From this point forward, though, in addition to writing MetsBlog in the exact same way you have come to trust, I now have better access to the team; better access to video content, and top-of-the-line equipment and producers to help create it; and, most important, you will get better and more original material to read and watch throughout the day.

Congrats to Matthew who follows in Henry Abbott’s True Hoops footsteps in partnering with a major media organization – and still getting to remain a blogger.

News: MetsBlog and SNY agree to Partnership | MetsBlog.com

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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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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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Derek Zumsteg recently authored The Cheater’s Guide To Baseball and launched a blog to accompany it. He recently wrote a post, with pictures and video stills, that detailed how Francisco Rodriguez was using a foreign substance. The story actually gained quite a bit of steam. It was discussed on Baseball Tonight last night, and now MLB is looking into it.

That last link, take a look at the story. They never mention Zumsteg’s name. They mention the blog, but fail to mention that the blog’s author also penned a book by the same name. They don’t link to blog either despite it coming from ESPN.com News Services that gathers and produces news for the web, where there are links and stuff.

The thing is, I’ve heard this mentioned on sports talk, and other avenues and they also refer to the source as a “blog” or a “blogger” as if almost to discredit it. The man has a name. He is an author. He’s written for Baseball Prospectus in the past. Why not write it as “The issue was first raised by Derek Zumsteg, the author of The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball and a blog by the same name.” Give the man his due, and don’t try to diminish the message because of the medium he used.

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SI.com linking out

by Bill Ferris on March 26, 2007 · 0 comments

in Mainstream Media

I just noticed this recently, but SI.com is listing blogs on team pages. Select a team, any team, and there are a couple of blocks towards the bottom of the page. One is a feed of relevant news from Blogs and Fan Sites. The other is links to More Local News which includes links to forums and blogs. Very cool!

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