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Thursday, November 07, 2013

CBSSports.com Lays Off Two Baseball Writers

Sure…makes things even tougher for my 2014 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo.

Continuing with a small purge that began this summer, CBSSports.com on Wednesday laid off two of its national baseball writers. A source confirmed those writers were Scott Miller and Danny Knobler.

Our source attributed the layoffs to “some bottom-line stuff” made “at the behest of some people outside the building.” CBSSports.com had made other job cuts over the summer for the same reason, the source added. NFL writer Clark Judge was let go back in August, not long after a few bloggers and some additional people on the site’s freelance copy desk were given pink slips. “They may have waited till after baseball season with Knobler and Miller,” our source said.

Repoz Posted: November 07, 2013 at 10:23 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, media

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4595429)
It's never fun when someone gets canned, but Knobler's "analysis" won't be missed.

When I saw the headline, I was afraid that our Dayn was getting axed. (Whew.)
   2. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4595433)
OK, this is weird. I can no longer find any Knobler/Miller stories on the CBS site. If these guys were truly "laid off" and not terminated for cause, why would CBS give them the Trotsky non-person treatment?
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4595448)
I thought CBS Sports was still a decent sports site, but now you have Yahoo! which is great, NBC Sports which is pretty good, ESPN (which is terrible but is the most popular), Fox Sports (which is terrible), SB Nation, then countless blogs and such. Its a flooded market I would guess.
   4. SG Posted: November 07, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4595450)
I really wish they'd do away with the phrase "laid off" unless it is really a lay off with a chance for recall, which it never is anymore. They were fired, weren't they?
   5. Flynn Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4595473)
Fired implies cause, which might not be true. The British term "made redundant" is pretty brutal, but ultimately quite honest. You weren't bad, you were just surplus to needs.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4595474)
Let go works better. Downsized, maybe. Fired has "for cause" connotations to me.
   7. tfbg9 Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4595475)
Semi coke to WW Jr.
   8. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4595491)
Semi coke to WW Jr.
Too late. You were made redundant, so we had to let you go.
   9. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4595501)
Too late. You were made redundant, so we had to let you go.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
   10. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 07, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4595506)
As Jason noted, CBS is in the process of wiping them from the site, Damnatio memoriae style. Even took down a piece that Knobler did on McClendon in Seattle *last night*.
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4595518)
Removing the work from the site just seems weird. I wonder if it's a contractual thing?
   12. zonk Posted: November 07, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4595520)
What's the point of that?

I mean, scribes don't get click through residuals for all eternity, do you?

Has to really suck for the writers in question - presumably, if you're looking for a new job in the same space - applications are all about writing samples... and it makes it damn hard when you're friggin' employer goes about scrubbing your stuff so that you either have to have your own copies or use wayback machine URLs...
   13. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 07, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4595536)
Make them an offer, they don't waste them now...
   14. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: November 07, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4595563)
Has to really suck for the writers in question - presumably, if you're looking for a new job in the same space - applications are all about writing samples... and it makes it damn hard when you're friggin' employer goes about scrubbing your stuff so that you either have to have your own copies or use wayback machine URLs...


I had some issues with this when I was looking for work and discovered that my old newspaper had changed its website, completely eliminating all the pieces I had written. Fortunately, I found that my university alma mater had digital copies of every issue the paper put out during my time working there, so I was able to recover what I was looking for.

That said, you learn pretty quickly to keep your own copies of your stories. Relying on links still working after a few years is foolhardy.

That said, I suspect Knobler and Miller are probably beyond the "submit three writing samples" part of their careers.
   15. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4595583)
surplus to needs.


Surplus to requirements!
   16. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: November 07, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4595593)
Knobler was useless. I liked Miller.
   17. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4595594)
As Clemenceau said, the cemeteries are full of indispensable men, so at least Miller and Knobler don't have to worry about that.
   18. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 07, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4595740)
As Jason noted, CBS is in the process of wiping them from the site, Damnatio memoriae style. Even took down a piece that Knobler did on McClendon in Seattle *last night*.

Apparently a glitch. Per comments on Twitter, all of their prior work has been restored to the site.
   19. Srul Itza Posted: November 07, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4595741)
I like CBS Sports because it is not really "busy". I come here for my baseball news, and go to CBS just to get scores and game updates, and occasional news about other sports. I don't need or want a lot of bells and whistles and distractions.

Of course, to compete, CBS will probably change completely.
   20. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4595753)
Apparently a glitch.

Maybe a mistake was made, Joe, but I doubt it was a "glitch." No one else's work on the site had been glitched.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 07, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4595773)
I like CBS Sports because it is not really "busy". I come here for my baseball news, and go to CBS just to get scores and game updates, and occasional news about other sports. I don't need or want a lot of bells and whistles and distractions.


I used to get box scores on Yahoo for that reason, and then they changed their site template to... whatever the hell it is now.
   22. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 07, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4595781)

Apparently a glitch. Per comments on Twitter, all of their prior work has been restored to the site.


I know, I'm the one who was commenting on Twitter that it was back!

   23. Jay Seaver Posted: November 07, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4595784)
I doubt it "glitch." No one else's work on the site had been glitched.


Well, I'm not sure how you'd define "glitch" versus "mistake", but I could see them removing the let-go writers' names from the site by deleting them from the database's contributors table, and then having the query which populates the site and retrieves articles failing to include their work because it can't do an inner join to that table to fetch their information. I guess that would be a mistake, because whoever maintains the site should know to set the row in the table to inactive rather than just delete the row, whereas a glitch would be the code not taking this into account, but I suspect non-technical staff wouldn't see the distinction.

I used to get box scores on Yahoo for that reason, and then they changed their site template to... whatever the hell it is now.


A friend of mine had that issue, but found out that Yahoo! hasn't changed the template on their Canadian site, so now he uses sports.yahoo.ca
   24. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4595790)
Well, I'm not sure how you'd define "glitch" versus "mistake", but I could see them removing the let-go writers' names from the site by deleting them from the database's contributors table, and then having the query which populates the site and retrieves articles failing to include their work because it can't do an inner join to that table to fetch their information. I guess that would be a mistake, because whoever maintains the site should know to set the row in the table to inactive rather than just delete the row, whereas a glitch would be the code not taking this into account, but I suspect non-technical staff wouldn't see the distinction.

True, but to a reader, it looks pretty bad.
   25. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 07, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4595812)
Maybe a mistake was made, Joe, but I doubt it was a "glitch." No one else's work on the site had been glitched.

Well, they were the only two let go. "Glitch" might have been the wrong word, but I'm guessing #23 explains things accurately. I can't imagine CBS intentionally tried to make it look as if Knobler and Miller had never worked for them.
   26. zonk Posted: November 07, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4595831)
I like CBS Sports because it is not really "busy". I come here for my baseball news, and go to CBS just to get scores and game updates, and occasional news about other sports. I don't need or want a lot of bells and whistles and distractions.


We've been using CBS' Commissioner software for our Roto baseball league for... geez... how long has it been out? Our league is in its 21st season - and it's the only service we've ever used, so I tend to stick with CBS just for that reason. I suppose it's more habit than anything, but we've looked at other commissioner sites/services -- Yahoo, ESPN, etc -- and the vote to stick with Sportsline's commissioner.com is always unanimous or near-unanimous.

Oddly enough, we've had some really irate complaints about the site... On two separate seasons -- we had site outages/maintenance periods that lasted 3+ days... and both times - those outages occurred EXACTLY at both our and the MLB trade deadline. The problem in such cases is that you cannot just extend the roto trade deadline -- we allow FAAB (Free Agent in season budget) to be traded, so there's a huge element of "Do I wait to see who moves from the AL to NL and hoard FAAB bucks?" vs. including it as a viable trade chit, so just extending the deadline (we did one year, but not the other) ends up really mucking things up.

Still... I agree - the CBS site tends to be a really good example the Jakob Nielsen design principle that utility and functionality should trump other design considerations.
   27. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: November 07, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4595843)
25: Agreed.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: November 07, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4595853)
A friend of mine had that issue, but found out that Yahoo! hasn't changed the template on their Canadian site, so now he uses sports.yahoo.ca


Awesome, thanks. I hope that still works next season.
   29. Obo Posted: November 07, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4595953)
A friend of mine had that issue, but found out that Yahoo! hasn't changed the template on their Canadian site, so now he uses sports.yahoo.ca

Thanks from me as well. I abandoned Yahoo sports when their site went hideous but I may just give them a second chance via the Canadian option. CBS does look good, though.
   30. Baldrick Posted: November 07, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4596065)
A friend of mine had that issue, but found out that Yahoo! hasn't changed the template on their Canadian site, so now he uses sports.yahoo.ca

Yep. I posted that workaround on one of the gamechatters a few days after the switch. It was a lifesaver for the last month or two the season.

I hope you never change, Canadian Yahoo.
   31. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4596405)
Zzzzzzz...
   32. TR_Sullivan Posted: November 08, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4596437)
Danny Knobler and Scott Miller are two of the finest baseball writers I have had the pleasure of knowing and they are even better as a person. Obviously they are close friends of mine. I am sure, especially in this bunch, not all agree with them - certainly I have not - but they are held in high regard within the industry. There is nothing sinister about their departure other than for economic reasons. I hope they re-emerge in some baseball writing capacity.
   33. TJ Posted: November 08, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4596675)
Miller and Knobler are not currently employed as baseball writers, but they still get to keep their HOF vote- two more for Jack Morris this year!

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