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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Minihane: Time for Jenny Dell, NESN relationship to end

Our Miss Middlebrooks...or something.

Dell is hugely popular both among fans and people at NESN, and Middlebrooks has done much charity work in his short career with the Red Sox. And this is, last we checked, a free country. So let’s allow the kids some fun, stay out of the way, and see how it ends. Usually, I’m on board with that. As a libertarian that is exactly what I believe—I’m going to stay out of your business and you should stay away from mine.

Except there’s the issue of conflict of interest.

Now, I don’t have the first clue how this is going to end. Maybe Dell leaves NESN for Fox Sports 1, as has been reported. Maybe NESN shifts her over to more studio hosting or some other role. Or maybe she just quits. But there is no way NESN can bring her back in her current position as (according to her own bio on Twitter) NESN reporter for the Boston Red Sox.

Put it another way: There is no way NESN’s coverage of the Red Sox can be taken seriously if Dell is allowed to return to that position. The already blurred lines will permanently be crossed. What’ll be next? Linda Pizzuti filling in for Jerry Remy? Tom Werner giving Tom Caron a night or two off?

Lots of times we don’t know right or wrong, but lots of times we do, and this sure is one. Now, it’s not wrong that Dell and Middlebrooks have feelings for each other. That’s life, the heart wants what it wants, all that. But a reporter cannot be in a romantic relationship with—much less living with—a player he or she is covering on a daily basis. That’s simply not how it works.

...Spring training is about a month away. Again, NESN can go one of two ways: Ignore and be subject to deserved ridicule, or perform as an actual network would. There are real professionals in the Red Sox broadcast both in front of and behind the camera and it would injure their credibility to be part of a team that includes the girlfriend of a player, popular and capable though she may be.

Jenny Dell and Will Middlebrooks are in a relationship. It’s complicated, but it happens. But what can’t happen is Dell’s return to Red Sox coverage on NESN this season. It is the ultimate conflict of interest.

 

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 122 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4641518)
It's cute when people like this are thought of as actual journalists.

   2. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4641521)
Jenny Dell and Will Middlebrooks are in a relationship. It’s complicated, but it happens.


Well, obviously, this means the Sox will have to trade Middlebrooks. Maybe to the Tigers for Phil Coke, straight up. (Everybody's happy, especially me.)

Oh, wait...you're saying the woman has to leave her job?! How sexist!
   3. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4641525)
And now the one good thing about watching the occasional Red Sox broadcast is ruined.
   4. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4641531)
Oh, wait...you're saying the woman has to leave her job?! How sexist!

Middlebrooks dating a reporter is not a conflict of interest for him or the team.
   5. Dale Sams Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4641535)
Because NESN is SO impartial in their coverage of the Sox.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4641540)
It's cute when people like this are thought of as actual journalists.


It's totally kosher for a member of the sports media to cover the team that employed him as a player for 20 years, or to broadcast a game where his son is the starting quarterback for one of the teams, though.
   7. Publius Publicola Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4641544)
But there is no way NESN can bring her back in her current position as (according to her own bio on Twitter) NESN reporter for the Boston Red Sox.


Why not? What's the conflict of interest? All she is is the sidelines reporter. She does fluff interviews.

If she is asked by NESN to leave, that's grounds for a lawsuit, IMO. Corporations should stay the #### away from their employees personal business, unless it is directly involved with theirs. What Middlebrooks and Dell do with each other on their own time is their own business. Period.
   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4641546)
Everybody's happy, especially me


Until Middlebrooks breaks out his "swing at a slider in the dirt on 0-1 then take a fastball down the middle for strike 3" act.

Seriously, I love WMB but I've never seen a hitter so obviously guessing on a regular basis. He seems to make up his mind to swing before the pitch is released half the time.
   9. Guapo Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4641552)
This should make her reporting BETTER. "This is Jenny Dell. According to my anonymous sources, David Ortiz was seen going into a bathroom stall in the Red Sox clubhouse with a needle that was about 18 inches long and filled with a florescent green liquid. When he emerged, he let out a bloodcurdling shriek and declared himself ready to bat cleanup tonight. Back to you, Dusty."
   10. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4641556)
this complaint is dumb
so she is having a relationship with one of the guys
there is no "reporting" going on anyhow
the people employed by the team, like she is, says exactly what they tell her to
   11. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4641558)
Seriously, I love WMB but I've never seen a hitter so obviously guessing on a regular basis. He seems to make up his mind to swing before the pitch is released half the time.

This is how I felt about Pedro Ciriaco.
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4641560)
If she is asked by NESN to leave, that's grounds for a lawsuit, IMO. Corporations should stay the #### away from their employees personal business, unless it is directly involved with theirs. What Middlebrooks and Dell do with each other on their own time is their own business. Period.


So if WMB is hitting .210 on May 30th and Garin Cecchini is tearing it up at AAA do we trust Dell when she says a "source" told her that Cecchini was on steroids?
   13. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4641562)
Those defending Dell, I would bet that Dell would be heavily insulted to be told she is not a "real reporter." If that is your point of view that's fine but I don't want to hear complaints when she is not taken seriously.
   14. Publius Publicola Posted: January 18, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4641569)
So if WMB is hitting .210 on May 30th and Garin Cecchini is tearing it up at AAA do we trust Dell when she says a "source" told her that Cecchini was on steroids?


Oh right. I'm suuuure she would break a story like that. (sarcasm intended)
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4641575)
OK, a less extreme example; "reports from Pawtucket suggest that the Sox have some questions about Cecchini's work ethic."

The point is anything she says on the topic can't be trusted. When you can't trust a reporter that person is not a reporter. And again, those of you saying she's not a real reporter are already being pretty insulting toward her (and all other reporters for RSNs).
   16. base ball chick Posted: January 18, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4641576)
this woman works for the team owned station

why do any of yall actually believe that the team would allow her to "break" any story they didn't want broke?

when is the last time any sideline reporter like her, employed by a specific team, broke ANY story? you think they would allow her to not follow an already written script? when the astros were on foxsports, the announcers never EVER said anything that was a"breaking" story - they didn't break the story (which i actually discovered - MBS - and told the chronicle beat guy) of jose valverde suddenly turning a year older. they didn't even mention it AFTER the chron reporter verified it

they didn't talk about miggy tejada being on the mitchell report, they didn't talk about his little discussion with congress or his visa.

nothing

and i seriously disbelieve that the redsox have given ms dell license to say any report
   17. Swedish Chef Posted: January 18, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4641586)
The point is anything she says on the topic can't be trusted. When you can't trust a reporter that person is not a reporter. And again, those of you saying she's not a real reporter are already being pretty insulting toward her (and all other reporters for RSNs).

But you can't trust any of them, they are all shills, every single one of them.
   18. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4641590)
So maybe the real problem is that this should be a conflict of interest? Or are y'all saying that it's somehow a good thing that the teams own the networks and the network employees don't do any real reporting?
   19. Dale Sams Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4641592)
OK, a less extreme example; "reports from Pawtucket suggest that the Sox have some questions about Cecchini's work ethic."


When's the last time ANY NESN reporter, never mind a sideline reporter blurted out an attack on a Pawtucket player like that?
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4641598)
I've got to admit I am shocked anyone is defending Dell here. A reporter engaging in a relationship with a subject he/she is supposed to be covering seems so obviously inappropriate that it blows me away.
   21. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4641600)
So maybe the real problem is that this should be a conflict of interest? Or are y'all saying that it's somehow a good thing that the teams own the networks and the network employees don't do any real reporting?


I don't see the teams owning the networks as a particular problem. I mean, I don't care if some entertainment reporter is dating a movie star. There's plenty of "real" reporting to be found outside the organization. Maybe it would be nice if a sideline reporter broke a "negative" story about a team, but honestly knowing some crappy detail about a player or the org that only a sideline reporter could provide isn't going to improve my life in any way.

Is receiving a paycheck from the organization more or less influential than dating someone in the organization?

   22. Dale Sams Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4641603)
I've got to admit I am shocked anyone is defending Dell here. A reporter engaging in a relationship with a subject he/she is supposed to be covering seems so obviously inappropriate that it blows me away.


But, as far as I know, she isn't an investigative journalist. Did they even take any action against Heidi Watney over the Varitek thing, or did she leave on her own accord? That was a much more volatile situation.

As far as "shocked....blows me away"...yup, been there. I know all about that, "Did I take crazy pills???" feeling. Particularly over the Gomes/Nava playoff deal.
   23. Dale Sams Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4641605)
I can't remember the last time NESN said anything negative about a Red Sox player short of a Manny Ramirez threshold.
   24. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4641607)
The we should call them all "entertainers" or something instead of reporters. That way nobody gets their panties in a twist about faux conflicts of interest, and nobody gets all worked up about insulting the Jenny Dells of the world either.
   25. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4641610)
So maybe the real problem is that this should be a conflict of interest?


While I am not seconding this sentiment from the perspective of "should a baseball team be able to own a cable network that broadcasts their own games", I am seconding this from a different angle.

I watch most of the Red Sox games, and have seen Jenny Dell working on TV a ton of times. If you haven't, here's what you need to know:

1) She is gorgeous (I was going to link to a photo of her on Google, but just Google her name yourself...she's ridiculous).
2) She is asked about, I dunno, four or five times a game to do a live sideline-type report in the middle of the game, usually from one of the camera wells, usually about something kind of "human interest-ish". Examples: "Next week is the Jimmy Fund Telethon. I spoke with owner John Henry about why this is has been so awesome for the community" [cut to sound byte from earlier that day]. Another example: "Jackie Bradley, Jr. proposed to his fiance last week during an off-day on the team's schedule. According to Bradley's fiance, she popped the question after placing their order at Coolidge Corner Clubhouse in Brookline. Here's a picture of the happy couple." In other words, she does absolutely nothing about which you need to know.
3) She does a weekly show during the season that is like a TV magazine-type thing, focusing on feel-good stories from Red Sox Nation, as well as many full-body shots of Jenny Dell reading a script from a teleprompter.
4) She attends a lot of community functions on behalf of NESN. People love to see her at these events, because she is gorgeous. (See #1). Many Red Sox fans would rather meet her at an event than, say, Felix Doubront.

This is the summary of her employment with NESN. This is why it is NOT a conflict of interest. If we, as fans, do not get any sideline reports in 2014 from Dell about Middlebrooks, it does not matter. It should matter, in that I would prefer somebody doing this role who was, say, a sabermetrician who would "crunch the numbers" during a game, increasing my knowledge of the game. Even better, I would like that sabermetrically-inclined sideline reporter to look like Jenny Dell. But this is not the case. The Red Sox have clearly decided that the most important skill set to getting this role is to be gorgeous, so I don't think it really matters if she is dating a player.
   26. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4641612)
"Sideline reporter" is really a misnomer, anyway. They should be called "sideline announcers" because they are really just part of the announcing team. They are talking about what is happening at the game; they are part of the entertainment product that is professional sports. That's not an insult; that's just the way it is. It's like saying that my shirt isn't a pair of pants.
   27. Monty Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4641614)
"Sideline reporter" is really a misnomer, anyway. They should be called "sideline announcers" because they are really just part of the announcing team. They are talking about what is happening at the game; they are part of the entertainment product that is professional sports. That's not an insult; that's just the way it is. It's like saying that my shirt isn't a pair of pants.


I agree. As has been pointed out, it's apparently okay to announce a game where your son is one of the quarterbacks.
   28. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4641615)
She's not a reporter, she's a talking head. She's almost certainly fed a series of talking points that she then reads out over the air. She has never and will never be reporting on substantive things to do with the Red Sox organization, its management, or anything else.

To profess to be "shocked" that this is going on strikes me as a hugely naive, or something. They're not in a journalist-subject relationship outside of their personal lives; they're employees of the same company who work in different departments. They're all a part of the giant entertainment complex that is the Boston Red Sox.
   29. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4641616)
OK, so I'm scrolling through the google image search and, lo and behold, there was a Jenny Dell Bobblehad Night. Shouldn't they have made a different part of the doll "bobble"?
   30. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4641621)
The we should call them all "entertainers" or something instead of reporters. That way nobody gets their panties in a twist about faux conflicts of interest, and nobody gets all worked up about insulting the Jenny Dells of the world either.


Maybe, although they do report on stuff in a way. They do actually talk to people and do interviews and package that information for broadcast. They're human interest reporters. They report on stuff the way reporters on Entertainment Tonight report on their industry, and in the way lots of local news reporters report on their community. I think that's fine for sports and entertainment, and there's a place for it in local "real" news, although it certainly shouldn't be the whole of it. Not everything needs to be adversarial.
   31. Shibal Posted: January 18, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4641624)

I've got to admit I am shocked anyone is defending Dell here. A reporter engaging in a relationship with a subject he/she is supposed to be covering seems so obviously inappropriate that it blows me away.

Meanwhile, over at the White House:

ABC New President Ben Sherwood's sister is a top adviser to Obama.
CBS News President's brother is a top adviser to Obama
NPR White House correspondent is married to Michael Gottlieb, working in the White House counsel's office.
Claire Shipman, Good Morning America, married to Jay Carney, press hack.

   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 18, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4641626)
I've got to admit I am shocked anyone is defending Dell here. A reporter engaging in a relationship with a subject he/she is supposed to be covering seems so obviously inappropriate that it blows me away.

she is not an actual reporter she is a sideline interviewer she does not actually do any reporting
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 18, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4641633)
There's plenty of "real" reporting to be found outside the organization.

Well, isn't that the reason WEII ran this article - to tell everyone that it is the better place to go for unbiased Red Sox coverage even if its reporters are not as attractive as Ms. Dell. I have my doubts that they'd be taking the same stance if their reporter had a relationship with a player. That's that news biz these days.
   34. Bob Tufts Posted: January 18, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4641635)
When bleach and hair dyes are outlawed, only outlaws will have bleach and dyes - and so will "sideline reporters".

If you expected Edward R. Murrow to be employed by a network almost wholly owned by the people that it covers, I feel sorry for you.

Move on, nothing to see here.

   35. God Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4641663)
We've gotten this far in the thread and nobody has mentioned the recent precedent? Carolyn Hughes was a Fox Prime Ticket reporter when Derek Lowe was with the Dodgers. She wasn't the sideline reporter (LA doesn't use those) but the person on the desk at the start of the broadcast. Anyway, she started sleeping with Derek Lowe, who at the time was married with kids. When this became public, she was gone from the desk. I don't know whether she was allowed to resign or was fired, but it was clear that even Fox was disturbed by the conflict of interest and wasn't going to let her keep her job. Lowe eventually left his family and married her.

I gotta say, this is a genuine conflict of interest, but it bothers me a lot less than the conflict of interest when, say, Joe Buck announces Cardinals games, or Tony Gwynn announces games his son is playing in.
   36. Dale Sams Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4641673)
Horsehockey.
   37. eddieot Posted: January 18, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4641678)
Anyway, she started sleeping with Derek Lowe, who at the time was married with kids. When this became public, she was gone from the desk.

Seriously, you don't see a difference here?
   38. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4641680)
It's only a conflict of interest to those who thinks anything Jenny Dell says matters. As I've said in the past, she's best listened to with the sound off (although she was easier to listen to last year than the year before. But still.).
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4641682)
Anyway, she started sleeping with Derek Lowe, who at the time was married with kids. When this became public, she was gone from the desk.

Seriously, you don't see a difference here?

I think there is more to be said for firing or reassigning a reporter on conflict of interest grounds, as opposed to making case-by-case moral judgments about the reporter's relationship with a specific player. Home wreckers disallowed? What about adultery if there are no kids? Just single guys OK? What if it's half the team? That sort of variable standard, if applied only to female employees, can violate the employment discrimination laws.
   40. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4641686)
"Sideline reporter" is really a misnomer, anyway. They should be called "sideline announcers" because they are really just part of the announcing team.


They shouldn't be called sideline reporters because baseball doesn't have sidelines.

But I'm with Jose. She shouldn't be covering the Sox, whatever that entails in her case, if she's sleeping with one of the players.
   41. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4641692)
Until Middlebrooks breaks out his "swing at a slider in the dirt on 0-1 then take a fastball down the middle for strike 3" act.

Anything's better than the sheer horror of watching Phil Coke stroll to the mound.
   42. Bob Tufts Posted: January 18, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4641697)
If Dustin Pedroia were the player involved, does it change anything? Does the security/ability of the player involved change the dynamic? Probably - fans would be very "forgiving" if the star or a favorite player is the subject - like the Varitek situation.

What does this do as it relates to other women who want to work in baseball? Is a loud message being sent by Dell that women who want to be around the game are only in it to hook up with athletes - and they (and other women) should not be taken seriously? Probably. The "sex sells" component gives this story impetus. And do women around sports have to be "young, single, successful, attractive" or can they have the luxury of looking more like a "normal" person as opposed to a model??
   43. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 18, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4641706)
So . . the organization that lets Don Orsillo giggle his way through a half hour of every broadcast will somehow lose its Edward R. Murrow-esque aura of integrity if the woman who goes into the stands to talk to kids wearing balloon hats on their birthdays is having a relationship with a player? Um . . okay. If you say so.
   44. ptodd Posted: January 18, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4641711)
This is satire, right?
   45. Swedish Chef Posted: January 18, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4641714)
I've got to admit I am shocked anyone is defending Dell here. A reporter engaging in a relationship with a subject he/she is supposed to be covering seems so obviously inappropriate that it blows me away.

I know that you have some peculiar romantic, almost monastic, notions about what being a journalist entails over on your side of the Atlantic. But even assuming that she is a journalist, there can't really be a problem with any kind of relationship as long as it's openly declared, right? You know enough now to make an informed judgment about her biases. There are plenty of other muckrackers around to tell you about WMB's shortcomings.
   46. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 18, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4641715)
But even assuming that she is a journalist, there can't really be a problem with any kind of relationship as long as it's openly declared, right?

That could be interesting. You can't expect folks to research which announcer is sleeping with which player before tuning in, so perhaps NESN could run a crawl - Jenny Dell Is Sleeping With Will Middlebrooks - whenever she appears?
   47. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 18, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4641727)
I know that you have some peculiar romantic, almost monastic, notions about what being a journalist entails over on your side of the Atlantic. But even assuming that she is a journalist, there can't really be a problem with any kind of relationship as long as it's openly declared, right? You know enough now to make an informed judgment about her biases. There are plenty of other muckrackers around to tell you about WMB's shortcomings.


Is it common in Europe for journalists to maintain romantic relationships with the high profile individuals they cover? I don't think it's too romantic to hope for at least the appearance of objectivity in your journalists. If that wouldn't raise any eyebrows in at least western Europe, then it's no wonder they have so many problems.

I mean, in sports, yeah, who cares, but in more important areas that's kinda rough.
   48. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 18, 2014 at 10:11 PM (#4641735)
Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan were boning for a decade and she's one of the highest profile reporters out there. The point is for you to imagine their love-making sessions. I bet you Greenspan wore a $100 bill as a fig leaf.

Dell needs to go.
   49. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: January 18, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4641750)
I gotta say, this is a genuine conflict of interest, but it bothers me a lot less than the conflict of interest when, say, Joe Buck announces Cardinals games, or Tony Gwynn announces games his son is playing in.


See, to me, a conflict of interest is when you co-own a screen printing company and also work for the local recreation dept and use your influence to monitor bids and get big orders for your business. And on the conflict of interest scale, it's small potatoes.

Announcing games that your kid plays in or that your dad was a legendary announcer for (realize that Joe also worked for the Cards) might be a conflict in the strictest sense but it doesn't affect the play on the field one bit.
   50. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 19, 2014 at 01:49 AM (#4641777)
"Sideline reporter" is really a misnomer, anyway. They should be called "sideline announcers" because they are really just part of the announcing team. They are talking about what is happening at the game; they are part of the entertainment product that is professional sports.


I think this really hits the nail on the head. Dell is not there to break stories, investigate things, or even give an honest and forthright picture of the team or players. She's part of the announcing crew for Red Sox games and associated programming. Baseball is the business of entertainment, the biggest part of that is obviously the players themselves but the announcers and other people that are employed by the team/RSN are part of the entertainment delivery package as well. It's not a real conflict of interest because Dell and Middlebrooks are in essence performing the same function. Call her what you want but she's not, and isn't expected to be, an unbiased and independent reporter. She works for the Red Sox and so does Middlebrooks.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:09 AM (#4641779)

It's cute when people like this are thought of as actual journalists.

   52. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:07 AM (#4641792)
People see girls with microphones out there, and the perception is that they're reporters. They're not us. They're impostors. Even people I know come up and say: 'Hey, what does Jenny Dell do? Is she a reporter?' I say, 'Come on, she's a shill. She's not a reporter.'
   53. villageidiom Posted: January 19, 2014 at 08:17 AM (#4641798)
Did they even take any action against Heidi Watney over the Varitek thing
Don't know. At least to us, the only "thing" between Varitek and Watney was a rumor floated during his divorce proceedings about her consoling him in public about his divorce. It is still unclear, to the public, whether there was anything to the rumor. The only other item of note in the public is that Watney got an on-air apology from a Boston-area radio guy who repeated the rumor as fact on the air.

That aside... Jenny Dell should not be in a role where she is supposed to have objectivity about Will Middlebrooks while they are dating. The open question is really whether the role she is in requires that objectivity. I don't expect anyone on the NESN broadcast team to be objective about the Red Sox. YMMV.
   54. Lassus Posted: January 19, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4641804)
1) She is gorgeous (I was going to link to a photo of her on Google, but just Google her name yourself...she's ridiculous).

Because I'm normally not, I'll be that guy: Between her, Watney, and the girl with the nerdy hipster glasses who was there in the late aughts for pregames (who I don't know the name of nor if she's still there), Dell is solidly - perhaps distantly - in third place.


As far as the conflict of interest, I'm not really with Jose and SoSH here, but I do grok their argument, and it's a fascinating thread.
   55. Chip Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4641827)
Anything to get rid of her. Even if you define down the role of "sideline reporter" to the cloying and insipid type NESN seems to prefer, Dell is bad at the job. She projects zero knowledge of baseball and isn't even good at the basic on-air persona skill of sounding natural while you're reading a script.
   56. villageidiom Posted: January 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4641830)
the girl with the nerdy hipster glasses who was there in the late aughts for pregames
Amalie Benjiman. You're welcome, I think.
   57. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4641850)
The thing I object to most is the idea that corporate America gets to decide who their employees can #### or not ####. It's an obvious invasion of privacy, and would never stand up in court if it ever came to that

Besides, what about the conflict of interest in Henry owning the Boston Globe, which supposedly is a legitimate journalistic source?
   58. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4641855)
Dell majored in "Sport Event Marketing". NESN should immediately take "reporter" out of her job title, but my opinion is that canoodling with a team member is like a game-show host canoodling with a contestant on that show. Nothing to write home about. Whether they title her like this or not, she's a "presenter".
   59. BDC Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4641858)
If Dustin Pedroia were the player involved, does it change anything?

My opinion of Jenny Dell's taste in guys.
   60. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4641862)
"Canoodling". Is that what you call it? What if they genuinely love one another and would like to spend the rest of their lives together?
   61. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4641868)
First, the canoodling. Then, the lasting, forty-year relationship.
   62. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4641881)
I realize that I'm treading into an area in which those who choose to misunderstand me can characterize my words, but I'm just going to say stuff and let the haters rip.

Dell is Shawn Bradley. Jenny is so attractive that she does things to TV cameras. So they put her in front of one. I don't think she's well-suited to be a journalist, and just as Shawn Bradley was an insult to actual NBA centers, she's an insult to actual reporters.
   63. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4641901)
During telecasts I've heard enough of the scripted little blurbs along the lines of "The team selected the announcers for this game", which should make it obvious that nobody on a sports broadcast is peak Mike Wallace. So I don't see this as a problem from NESN's standpoint.

But this seems like a really bad idea for Jenny Dell's career. If I'm a producer looking for some on-air talent that will do even the slightest bit of capital-J Journalism, then I won't bother with somebody like that.
   64. Shibal Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4641902)
Because I'm normally not, I'll be that guy: Between her, Watney, and the girl with the nerdy hipster glasses who was there in the late aughts for pregames (who I don't know the name of nor if she's still there), Dell is solidly - perhaps distantly - in third place.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

I did a quick google search of Amalie Benjimin. Attractive enough I guess. Kind of like your friend's kid sister that you might bang when she comes home from college for the weekend. After first checking to see if she shaved her legs in the last week.

   65. bobm Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4641905)
https://twitter.com/AmalieBenjamin

Richard Deitsch ?@richarddeitsch
Jan 15
Should a TV sports reporter/personality cover a team when dating a member of that team?
http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/kirk-minihane/2014/01/14/time-jenny-dell-nesn-relationship-end?

Amalie Benjamin ?@AmalieBenjamin
Jan 15
@richarddeitsch Never. Ever. And more, it hurts the credibility of every female reporter doing it the right way. 

Richard Deitsch ?@richarddeitsch
Jan 15
@AmalieBenjamin Given this is your market, your words also carry bigger meaning. 

Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin
@richarddeitsch I'm always surprised that this is even a question. Reporting 101. 

12:48 PM - 15 Jan 2014
   66. Dale Sams Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4641907)
@richarddeitsch Never. Ever. And more, it hurts the credibility of every female reporter doing it the right way.


Velma slut-shames Daphne. News at 10.
   67. BDC Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4641909)
Seriously, this is technically a minor conflict of interest, but as several have pointed out, in the world of contemporary journalism it's really the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
   68. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4641910)
But this seems like a really bad idea for Jenny Dell's career. If I'm a producer looking for some on-air talent that will do even the slightest bit of capital-J Journalism, then I won't bother with somebody like that.


It always amazes me that people can't/won't see this. She won't be in her twenties forever. She won't be otherworldly hot forever.

If she wants to be out of the biz by the time she's 30, this is a great way to go.
   69. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4641911)
Velma slut-shames Daphne. News at 10.

Do you think she's wrong, Dale? Or was this content-free snark?
   70. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4641914)
Why would anyone look to a baseball bunny sideline reporter to do capital-J journalism? Has that ever happened? If it has how often? Basically if she maintains her looks into her 30's and 40's and can portray herself on air as having some intelligence she might have a future on Fox otherwise she isn't going to have a career in journalism or on TV for long regardless of who she dates.
   71. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4641916)
Why would anyone look to a baseball bunny sideline reporter to do capital-J journalism? Has that ever happened?


I don't know if you want to accuse the YES blondes of being bunnies, but I've gotten used to them doing some newsgathering around the team; interviews and whatnot. Also, they do injury reports (which were arguably the story of the 2013 Yankees - sometimes the report would last for a half-inning.)
   72. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4641919)
That is considered serious journalism?
   73. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4641921)
It ain't investigating property records as part of a sting, but as far as baseball goes? Yes.

It's actually closer to journalism than the "in-studio hosts" (Bob Lorenz on YES) practice.
   74. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4641923)
It ain't investigating property records as part of a sting, but as far as baseball goes? Yes.

So she can't interview a player or tell the world via a company controlled cable channel that Pedroia has a hamstring pull because she is dating a ballplayer? If a bias exists I would think it exists because one should take everything that is being pumped out from the company organ with a grain of salt.
   75. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4641929)
Richard Deitsch ?@richarddeitsch
Jan 15
Should a TV sports reporter/personality cover a team when dating a member of that team?
http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/kirk-minihane/2014/01/14/time-jenny-dell-nesn-relationship-end?

Amalie Benjamin ?@AmalieBenjamin
Jan 15
@richarddeitsch Never. Ever. And more, it hurts the credibility of every female reporter doing it the right way.

Richard Deitsch ?@richarddeitsch
Jan 15
@AmalieBenjamin Given this is your market, your words also carry bigger meaning.

Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin
@richarddeitsch I'm always surprised that this is even a question. Reporting 101.

12:48 PM - 15 Jan 2014


The problem I have with Benjamin's (by the way, it feels kinda weird to refer to a woman by her last name when said name is something like Benjamin) point of view on this is that the question to her was phrased as the person "cover(ing) the team". Dell isn't covering the Red Sox, she's employed by the Red Sox (ok, NESN, but it's really the same thing) as part of the entertainment package that is Boston Red Sox baseball. I can understand Benjamin's reluctance to classify Dell as merely an entertainer, women's roles in the male-dominated sports world can be a touchy subject when there are too many macho idiots out there who won't take women as seriously as men when it comes to sports coverage, but Dell's job is very different than her's. In fact she should probably be a bit offended by anyone equating Dell with her.
   76. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4641930)
I don't know if you want to accuse the YES blondes of being bunnies, but I've gotten used to them doing some newsgathering around the team; interviews and whatnot. Also, they do injury reports (which were arguably the story of the 2013 Yankees - sometimes the report would last for a half-inning.)


Ok, but that's really just part of the entertainment package that is New York Yankees baseball. If Brett Gardner says he hurt his back washing his truck then the YES blondes are going to report that he hurt his back washing his truck, not that they heard that he really injured himself in a motorcycle accident and is lying about it so his contract doesn't get voided. McCoy nails it in #74, the bias already exists because these are essentially team employees whose job is to put forth a positive image of the team whenever possible.
   77. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4641933)
Because I'm normally not, I'll be that guy: Between her, Watney, and the girl with the nerdy hipster glasses who was there in the late aughts for pregames (who I don't know the name of nor if she's still there), Dell is solidly - perhaps distantly - in third place.
Everyone likes what they like and that's fine, but to the extent that there is *some* broad consensus on attractiveness, this is...let's say I'm comfortable saying this would be a decidely minority opinion.

To the matter at hand, I think this is probably something NESN would prefer not to have to deal with, but like others I just don't see the NESN folks (any of them really, not just the "sideline" women) as reporters in the journalistic sense. To one degree or another they are mouthpieces.
   78. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4641937)
So she can't interview a player or tell the world via a company controlled cable channel that Pedroia has a hamstring pull because she is dating a ballplayer?


If she's Biblically close to Pedroia? No. Where did she learn this? What if the injury is to his understudy/the player blocking his position?
   79. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 19, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4641939)
If she's Biblically close to Pedroia? No. Where did she learn this? What if the injury is to his understudy/the player blocking his position?


Do the Red Sox want this reported? That's the only question that matters.
   80. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4641944)
Michael Kay has a radio show for E5PN. From what I hear, he acts as a journalist, as opposed to his YES gig, where he is a carnival barker.
   81. Shibal Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4641945)
I get far more offended when broadcasters blow players in public as opposed to blowing them behind closed doors.

Yes, I'm looking at you Rex Hudler.
   82. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4641947)
Where did she learn this?

Her employer told her to report it. The only thing getting on air that hasn't been pre-approved by her employer would be a bat or ball to the face and even then I'd have my doubts.
   83. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4641957)
Shawn Bradley was a productive NBA player, albeit a seriously unorthodox one.
   84. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4641967)
What if they genuinely love one another and would like to spend the rest of their lives together?

What if they break up? Probably the most likely outcome. Will that cast doubt on the objectivity of her report that Garin Cecchini is tearing it up at AAA?

Of course, if Ms. Dell is actually as hot as some here are suggesting, she'll be dating Derek Jeter soon. That OK?
   85. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 19, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4641970)
Shawn Bradley was a productive NBA player, albeit a seriously unorthodox one.


If he was 6'5, he would never have sniffed the NBA. He probably didn't have the skills (other, of course, than being tall and getting in the way) to play in Europe or American NCAA, either. There's nothing wrong with your physical skills getting you in the door of your profession and not advancing behind that. But if that happens, when/if your physical skill (I'm counting attractiveness as a skill, which is problematic) deteriorates, you're left with nothing.
   86. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4641981)
Isn't that kind of like saying that if Eddie Arcaro weighed 220, he never would have sniffed the Kentucky Derby? So what if he was 7:4? We all know size is an advantage. It's an advantage in a lot of sports.
   87. GregD Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4641992)
If he was 6'5, he would never have sniffed the NBA. He probably didn't have the skills (other, of course, than being tall and getting in the way) to play in Europe or American NCAA, either. There's nothing wrong with your physical skills getting you in the door of your profession and not advancing behind that. But if that happens, when/if your physical skill (I'm counting attractiveness as a skill, which is problematic) deteriorates, you're left with nothing.
Isn't this true of every NBA center ever? Anthony Davis had one scholarship offer before his growth spurt and then he became the #1 draft pick within two years. I don't think most good NBA centers would have gotten any D1 scholarship offers at 6-5. Wilt probably.

I also think you've got the narrative backward on Bradley His skill was being 7-6. That didn't go away. His career ended because his secondary attributes--almost average for a center foot speed and explosiveness--deteriorated to unacceptable. By your analogy, you would think he left the NBA when he shrank to being 7-1 or something
   88. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4642005)
Bingo, Greg. Height is a skill.

Shawn's biggest problems early on were notoriety, lack of skill on offense (where he improved though that was never his strength) and getting minutes before he'd "earned" them. Over time, he became a productive player (league average career WS/48, slightly above average PER, and that probably underrates him defensively and therefore overall.
   89. PreservedFish Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4642011)
I read Muggsy Bogues' autobiography when I was in junior high. After I finished it I was pretty much convinced that had he been born over 6' tall, he would have certainly been the greatest player in history.

(on edit) oooh, it's available for $.01
   90. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4642012)
From The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics:


Act Independently
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.

Journalists should:

—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.


I won't even give an *opinion* on a baseball-related matter to anybody working for a team if I haven't already given that exact opinion publicly.



   91. Dale Sams Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4642023)
Will that cast doubt on the objectivity of her report that Garin Cecchini is tearing it up at AAA?


Jenny Dell doesn't say anything about anyone that NESN hasn't already approved. She certainly isn't seeing games in Pawtucket.
   92. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 19, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4642029)
Dan, I don't think anybody is disputing the truth or necessity of those rules. If Dell was actually a professional journalist like Amalie Benjamin instead of an entertainer/announcer then it would matter.
   93. Dale Sams Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4642034)
This whole thread is hilarious.

People act like Jenny Dell is GD Bob Woodward and Middlebrooks is Mrs. Nixon.

More like Jenny Dell is Nixon's press secretary and Middlebrooks is the White House butler.
   94. PreservedFish Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4642035)
It's definitely fair to ask if she even qualifies as a journalist.
   95. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4642037)
If this thread gives us nothing else, hopefully it gives us the lasting nickname "Mrs. Nixon" for Will Middlebrooks.
   96. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4642039)
If Dell was actually a professional journalist like Amalie Benjamin instead of an entertainer/announcer then it would matter.

If she *thinks* she's a journalist, she should act like one.

If she isn't, NESN and Dell should drop the façade and make it clear that she's not employed to be a journalist.
   97. Publius Publicola Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4642042)
I don't see "relinquish constitutional rights of privacy and free association" in that list in #90.
   98. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4642044)
If she *thinks* she's a journalist, she should act like one.

If she isn't, NESN and Dell should drop the façade and make it clear that she's not employed to be a journalist.


I agree completely with the latter part. As for the former, do we know that she truly thinks of herself as a journalist? She pretty clearly isn't one, and isn't acting like one, so even if she would describe herself as such then that just means someone needs to point out to her what she actually is.
   99. God Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4642045)
If Dell was actually a professional journalist like Amalie Benjamin instead of an entertainer/announcer then it would matter.


Amalie Benjamin is not only a real journalist, but hotter than Jenny Dell.
   100. McCoy Posted: January 19, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4642046)
If she isn't, NESN and Dell should drop the façade and make it clear that she's not employed to be a journalist.

If she had to drop the facade (and I'm not playing with HTML code) then about 99% of the so called journalists would have to as well. Anybody who thinks the fifth estate has been and is a strong and independent branch of our society should just ahead and buy a subscription to Pravda right now.
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