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Monday, April 29, 2019

Report: Cubs privately threatening writers who criticize Addison Russell

Sheryl Ring of FanGraphs, who is also a lawyer, has spoken to a member of the media who said that the Cubs privately instructed that person to lay off Russell, threatening reprisal. The Cubs are approving stories that paint Russell in a positive light, particularly in terms of redemption. One that comes to mind is an article published last week by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. Nightengale minimizes Russell’s behavior and sets him up as a fallen hero. Others have said they have heard the same as Ring, including Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus.

Pretty reprehensible if true.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 12:37 PM | 82 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: addison russell, chicago, chicago cubs, cubs, domestic abuse, domestic violence, general, media

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   1. Man o' Schwar Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5836445)
This has already been debunked as false.
   2. salvomania Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5836447)
True, false, what's the difference nowadays?
   3. PeteF3 Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5836448)
As was pointed out on Twitter, "The media guys who get the best access are the ones that don’t have to be told explicitly that they need to do positive coverage."

A few local writers have said that pressure hasn't happened to them, which does not "debunk" that no pressure has been placed on anybody.
   4. Tin Angel Posted: April 29, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5836450)
This has already been debunked as false.


Link?
   5. akrasian Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5836455)
Yeah, it wouldn't be a press release, or an email to all writers. If true, it would be some writer of egregrious Russell criticism who then requested some sort of access being told that they were upset about the article, and they'd "have to see" about the access. Something that could be cited as a misunderstanding, even if the intent was clear.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5836461)
This has already been debunked as false.


It's been "debunked" by one specific beat writer, Rogers, who said that neither he nor four other beat writers were told anything like that by the team, but couldn't speak for anyone who wasn't a beat writer.

As the linked piece notes, it's backed up by at least one other writer, Mike Gianella of BPro.
   7. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:26 PM (#5836462)
My reaction to this is severalfold:

1) It shouldn't need to be said, but my experience is that everything needs to be said, so I'll say it: any intimidation of the press by the Cubs is wrong.

2) That said, TFA seems irresponsible, specifically this:

If true, this is a gross abuse of power on the part of the Cubs, though it falls in line with the absurd way the organization has handled the Russell situation from day one.


If true? I tell you what, Bill Baer, you're posing as a journalist - how about you find out if it's true or not? As a rule, "if true" is a dead giveaway that a piece that is posing as journalism is actually just rumor-mongering. As a corollary, "if true" usually means that the rumor couldn't be substantiated, and therefore means that the likelihood of it being actually true just went down a few notches.

3) Speaking of journalists, who's the effing "member of the media" that spoke to the FanGraphs lawyer but won't go on the record? If the Cubs are threatening reporters, that's a story - if you're part of the media you report that story or at least go on the record to another reporter.

4) Is the person who spoke to the FanGraphs lawyer the same person that the BPro guy heard from, too? Are we talking just one media member running around telling people how the Cubs were mean to them? How many reporters have been threatened? Was there any effort to nail down the basic facts of this story?

   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5836463)
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5836469)
Here's a post by another member of the Chicago media, a producer at 970 The Score, corroborating the allegations.

I don't know this guy from a hole in the wall - any Chicago people want to weigh in?
   10. Tin Angel Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5836472)
Jesse Rogers sure seems like a slimy "journalist."
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5836474)
Speaking of journalists, who's the effing "member of the media" that spoke to the FanGraphs lawyer but won't go on the record? If the Cubs are threatening reporters, that's a story - if you're part of the media you report that story or at least go on the record to another reporter.


Unless, of course, you're worried about being blackballed out of your career as a result of going public. Which very well could happen, given Ricketts's history with journalists who challenge him.
   12. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5836479)
I'm gonna be honest: Between only passively following the team so far and the extending of David Bote, I've almost forgotten Russell even exists.
   13. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5836480)
Unless, of course, you're worried about being blackballed out of your career as a result of going public. Which very well could happen, given Ricketts's history with journalists who challenge him.

Forgive me if I don't sob for the journalist who isn't willing to report tough stories.
Here's a post by another member of the Chicago media, a producer at 970 The Score, corroborating the allegations.

I don't know this guy from a hole in the wall - any Chicago people want to weigh in?

I don't know this guy either, but I'd ask the same of him - what's he heard? Speak up, media!
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5836484)
Forgive me if I don't sob for the journalist who isn't willing to report tough stories.


He or she DID report it! Just as an anonymous source in order to protect himself/herself from retaliation, which is pretty normal and accepted practice in journalism.
   15. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5836485)
Here's a post by another member of the Chicago media, a producer at 970 The Score, corroborating the allegations.

I don't know this guy from a hole in the wall - any Chicago people want to weigh in?


He's not a journalist. Also a weird sort of confirmation, if you ask me. Sports radio personalities are way down the list of credibility, IMO.

---

Nightengale's puff piece last week was pretty disgusting, and I've never thought very highly of Rogers either (he's pretty clearly a cheerleader for the team, to the point other beat writers needle him about it openly on twitter). So if nothing else, it sure would seem someone at the Cubs is giving them access to generate that PR garbage.

I can't speak to how actively FG or BPro are trying to cover the Cubs, or who their source (sources) would be. I do find it curious the silence coming from the rest of the people that cover the Cubs; whether that means this is more or less likely is unknown to me. I think I'm pretty cynical in general, and specifically in instances like this where there is clearly an incentive for someone within the org to get positive press, perhaps at all costs. I'm also pretty disgusted with how everyone* on the Cubs has handled this. So purely just IMO, I find it likely that someone at the Cubs said something that could be interpreted as threatening, though doubt it's either an official or unofficial stance of the org.

*I think Theo has spoke pretty movingly on this subject, a couple of different times, and I really, really want to believe him that the team is doing all this stuff we'll never see. However, I question his sincerity only because my cynical side has always assumed the most likely outcome (i.e. what's happening) as inevitable.
   16. bfan Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5836487)
I am no fan of a man hitting a woman, but at what point do we just stop the scorn and hate and let someone undergo a redemption? If Addison Russell has done what we ask of people who do this (counseling; public acts of apology; all that the list entails), why can't we let this go?

The punishment for this isn't "and you lose your job forever". If someone wants that to be the rule because they feel the current punishments are not dissuading the act enough, then get that introduced into legislation and let's debate it. But until that happens, I wish we would not the public scolding and attempts to broaden the punishment beyond what the law would provide.
   17. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:43 PM (#5836489)
He or she DID report it! Just as an anonymous source in order to protect himself/herself from retaliation, which is pretty normal and accepted practice in journalism.

That's nonsense. Since when is it "normal and accepted practice" for journalists to use other media members as anonymous sources?
So purely just IMO, I find it likely that someone at the Cubs said something that could be interpreted as threatening, though doubt it's either an official or unofficial stance of the org.

If I had to guess, I'd probably guess roughly the same thing - that someone was going to write a hit piece on Russell or the Cubs that went beyond the facts, and the Cubs said, "hold up, that's not right, be careful before publishing something so irresponsible." That would explain the rumor-mill treatment this story is getting, and also why the anonymous media member (AMM) isn't willing to stand publicly behind their story.

Until we know a) what the AMM was going to publish that drew the threats, and b) how widespread these threats were, I'm not going to put much stock in this story. Given that this stuff supposedly happened to people who are in the media, that doesn't seem like a big ask to me - just the bare outline of actual facts. But so far it's all just too vague and people that have the opportunity to add details seem not all that interested in doing so.

   18. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5836490)
any intimidation of the press by the Cubs is wrong.

Who do they think they are, the Yankees?
   19. VCar Posted: April 29, 2019 at 05:55 PM (#5836493)
When I see 'Chicago' and 'threaten' in the same headline, I'm thinking the Bosa brothers may show up on behalf of their great-grandfather. If you don't get the connotation, check out the latest SI issue.
   20. Bhaakon Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5836497)
This sounds like less of a threat and more just a stating of the unwritten rules of sport journalism. The only surprising thing here is that, assuming it's true, is that it's done at the club level. Usually it's just the players freezing guys out. There's a reason that beat writers generally give either optimistic or neutral takes: their job is at risk if they can't get quotes from the players they cover. Journalists with a larger audience still get stonewalled for negative stories, but they have enough bridges that they can afford to burn a few.
   21. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:12 PM (#5836498)
I am no fan of a man hitting a woman, but at what point do we just stop the scorn and hate and let someone undergo a redemption? If Addison Russell has done what we ask of people who do this (counseling; public acts of apology; all that the list entails), why can't we let this go?

The punishment for this isn't "and you lose your job forever". If someone wants that to be the rule because they feel the current punishments are not dissuading the act enough, then get that introduced into legislation and let's debate it. But until that happens, I wish we would not the public scolding and attempts to broaden the punishment beyond what the law would provide.


I say this as a Cubs fan - and one who REALLY liked Russell 3 years ago - but his first and only real apology was a press release that sounds exactly what you'd think a PR firm in consort with his agent would author. His statements since then have been virtually interchangeable with... well... statements about recovering from major knee surgery.

It rubs me the wrong way beyond the initially typed up press release he issued - his statements have been suspiciously devoid of hints that he actually gets it... I'm sure it gets old saying repeatedly "I did a terrible thing" - but I think that's part of a real apology, demonstrating real remorse rather than jello-esque "I've got to keep working!" with a strong whiff of "And next time, I won't get caught."

His original - and first, despite the story being around for a year prior - apology mentioned working with NfPs - I'll wait and see what comes of that.

I do believe in redemption and forgiveness... but it's not a checklist your agent prepares and you initial. He's got work yet to do to prove it to me.

Just one fan's judgment...
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:18 PM (#5836500)
I think I co-sign #21 in its entirety.
   23. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:49 PM (#5836503)
I agree with #21 but I’ll play devil’s advocate. Is it possible that Russell (or someone else in a similar situation) is avoiding a more genuine “real” apology to avoid either incarceration or significant financial loss in the form of a settlement?

I’m not saying that is reason to feel bad for him but it might explain why a person in his position might not be as forthcoming with an apology as we would like.
   24. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:57 PM (#5836505)
It rubs me the wrong way beyond the initially typed up press release he issued - his statements have been suspiciously devoid of hints that he actually gets it... I'm sure it gets old saying repeatedly "I did a terrible thing" - but I think that's part of a real apology, demonstrating real remorse rather than jello-esque "I've got to keep working!" with a strong whiff of "And next time, I won't get caught."

His original - and first, despite the story being around for a year prior - apology mentioned working with NfPs - I'll wait and see what comes of that.

I do believe in redemption and forgiveness... but it's not a checklist your agent prepares and you initial. He's got work yet to do to prove it to me.

Just one fan's judgment...

My favorite part of this is the faux humility of "just one fan's judgment".

I've said this before, but it's extravagant narcissism for fans both to demand an apology and to feel qualified to evaluate the worthiness of an apology. And as I've highlighted, this is all a constant refrain of me, me, me, me.

Russell owed an apology (and more) to the people he abused. One might argue that he was owed one to his employer, but of course they didn't pay him for the time he was suspended, so that's kind of a wash; the apology would more appropriately be for the poor press that they had to deal with on account of his actions, although they have people in the org whose job is to do precisely that kind of stuff (not deal with abusers specifically, but bad press in general). His teammates probably have a stronger case for an apology than the org itself, IMO.

But fans? Gimme a break. He didn't do anything to you. What kind of person says, "Dude hit his wife, but what really matters is how he apologizes to me." It's completely twisted, but people have a tendency to make anything and everything all about themselves. And so stories of domestic violence become a way for the tabloid crowd to validate themselves and their own impeccable virtuousness ... "look at how much I care, I'm holding out for a better apology because my moral purity demands I not settle for anything less!"

And even if he does apologize, who are we to evaluate that apology? We see a couple of news clips, read a press release, and all the sudden we have any idea what's going on in his head and in his heart? It's hard enough to size up sincerity in someone we know and are close to, and yet we're all going to play effing Dr. Phil on disgraced celebrities? "He's got work yet to do to prove it to me" ... whatever. Get over yourself, bro.
   25. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: April 29, 2019 at 06:58 PM (#5836506)
I agree with #21 but I’ll play devil’s advocate. Is it possible that Russell (or someone else in a similar situation) is avoiding a more genuine “real” apology to avoid either incarceration or significant financial loss in the form of a settlement?


Russell's settlement with his ex-wife was finalized prior to the statement last November/December, FWIW. Indeed, that seems to have been the whole trigger for the acceptance of the suspension, apology statement, etc.
   26. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:07 PM (#5836510)
Is it possible that Russell (or someone else in a similar situation) is avoiding a more genuine “real” apology to avoid either incarceration or significant financial loss in the form of a settlement?


If you’re not actually sorry enough to accept the consequences of you actions, how sorry are you, really? Lots of self-help programs require you to make amends to those you have wronged.

I’m particularly unsympathetic to the “financial loss” argument, given that one of the things Russell is accused of doing is controlling his ex-wife by keeping her broke and desperate:

Money was one of the things Melisa felt Russell always held over her. “He always told me, I havethe career here, not you. I make the money. What do you do?” Nevermind, Reidy adds, that she gave up her career and her life because Addison wanted her to be with him. She describes their financial arrangement as her having a separate card that he deposited money on once a month that he told her to use for herself and Aiden. She had no access to his money and her allowance was expected to cover “diapers, wipes, food, travel, hygiene, stuff for the house” and remembers using it to purchase items to make a giftbasket for the Cubs to auction off for charity. Or, other times, she says they would go out to eat and he would get angry, storming out in the middle of a meal and leaving her with the bill.
   27. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:12 PM (#5836513)
Get over yourself, bro.


The only thing in the screed I'll agree with.

I'm a fan of an entertainment spectacle that involves more than two dozen individual actors annually. I've found plenty of reasons to dislike plenty of players even on the team I like. Some are legitimate - you are really bad at baseball, Jose Macias. Some silly - you have a horseface, you're an ex-Cardinal, you whine constantly, and you work slow as molasses, John Lackey.

As I've never felt any need to reflect on my narcissism involved in those judgments, I sure as hell feel no need to reflect on this one.

I don't want to root for a wife beater that I don't think sounds all that repentant. I haven't stopped rooting for the team he plays for and I'd prefer they exit him from the team, even if only to maintain the illusion that at least there's no longer someone I think falls short of my own hazy standard of upstanding person (and for all I know, half the team beats their wives).

If it bothers you that I've chosen to incorporate some hazy personal standard and perception about a lack of remorse regarding my decision to root for a slick fielding 242/313/392 hitter earning 3.4 million playing a position now in perfectly fine hands.... I got nothing for you.... and refer you back to the one thing I agree with.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:14 PM (#5836515)
That's nonsense. Since when is it "normal and accepted practice" for journalists to use other media members as anonymous sources?


In stories about labor issues, it’s pretty typical to protect the identity of whistleblower sources. This isn’t fundamentally any different just because the industry in question is journalism.

If I had to guess, I'd probably guess roughly the same thing - that someone was going to write a hit piece on Russell or the Cubs that went beyond the facts, and the Cubs said, "hold up, that's not right, be careful before publishing something so irresponsible." That would explain the rumor-mill treatment this story is getting, and also why the anonymous media member (AMM) isn't willing to stand publicly behind their story.


That seems like a real reach to me. If someone were writing a “hit piece...that went beyond the facts”, the easiest response to that would be to shut it down via threat of legal action. Threatening access, and thus indirectly targeting a journalist’s ability to do his or her job, is more what an organization would do if it recognized that an unflattering story was true and verifiable but needed to shut it down anyway.
   29. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5836517)
Co-sign on post #21

Time for a pointless nitpick:
Here's a post by another member of the Chicago media, a producer at 970 The Score, corroborating the allegations.

(It's 670 The Score). See? Pointless nitpick.
   30. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:26 PM (#5836520)
I'm a fan of an entertainment spectacle that involves more than two dozen individual actors annually. I've found plenty of reasons to dislike plenty of players even on the team I like. Some are legitimate - you are really bad at baseball, Jose Macias. Some silly - you have a horseface, you're an ex-Cardinal, you whine constantly, and you work slow as molasses, John Lackey.

As I've never felt any need to reflect on my narcissism involved in those judgments, I sure as hell feel no need to reflect on this one.

What a strange response - it's just all part of the "entertainment spectacle." Gotcha.

And here I mistook you for pretending to care about abuse victims. My bad.
   31. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:35 PM (#5836522)
That seems like a real reach to me. If someone were writing a “hit piece...that went beyond the facts”, the easiest response to that would be to shut it down via threat of legal action. Threatening access, and thus indirectly targeting a journalist’s ability to do his or her job, is more what an organization would do if it recognized that an unflattering story was true and verifiable but needed to shut it down anyway.

Where were we told that the Cubs are threatening access? All the tweet in question says is "reprisal". That could mean anything. Also going beyond the facts does not mean that the story is necessarily actionable.

Of course, we're all missing the real story here, which is that Nightengale wrote a positive story about Russell. That can only mean one thing: Russell is actually a serial child-murderer and cannibal and Nazi and also smokes cigarettes indoors in public.
   32. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:40 PM (#5836525)
And here I mistook you for pretending to care about abuse victims. My bad.


Apology accepted... but I expect you to work on your sincerity.

   33. Davo Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:54 PM (#5836528)
As was pointed out on Twitter, "The media guys who get the best access are the ones that don’t have to be told explicitly that they need to do positive coverage."

I’m reminded of the Chomsky line—“I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believe something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”‘
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:57 PM (#5836531)
Where were we told that the Cubs are threatening access? All the tweet in question says is "reprisal". That could mean anything. Also going beyond the facts does not mean that the story is necessarily actionable.

"Reprisal" has very strong connotations of extra-legal or illegal means. "If you compete on my garbage collection routes, I'm going to lower prices, and sue any customers who breach a contract with me." is not what anyone would call threatening reprisals. "If you compete on my garbage routes, I'm going to burn all your trucks and beat up your drivers." is threatening reprisals.
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 07:59 PM (#5836533)
Where were we told that the Cubs are threatening access?


This Baer retweet pretty strongly suggests that “reprisal” = cutting off access.
   36. Rough Carrigan Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:13 PM (#5836538)
I don't know if this is the case in other cities and with other teams but in the Boston market beat writers following the Red Sox and Bruins have, in the past, behaved as if they were victims of the Stockholm Syndrome with the manager and coach of those teams their captors.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:17 PM (#5836539)
As was pointed out on Twitter, "The media guys who get the best access are the ones that don’t have to be told explicitly that they need to do positive coverage."

that's not actually true, but go with that if you like.

in general, players - particularly those with longterm guaranteed contracts - aren't cowed by management. they give 'best access' to whom they want.

sure, at times that is self-serving.
but often it is because players have far more respect for a beat guy with balls than a PR guy with none. write a 'tough but fair' column and show up to face the music the next day, and you'd be surprised how reasonable the majority of pro athletes are.

a famous example in the past decade or more has been Frank Isola, ex-NY Daily News guy and now at The Athletic. Knicks PR would try to 'babysit' all interviews, and the veterans would laugh - then either resume chatting with him around the gym corner, or by phone/text, no babysitter on the premises.

if you can't cover a beat well unless you suck up to the PR staff, then you suck at your job (yes, particularly in the NY market).
   38. Greg Pope Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:37 PM (#5836545)
but at what point do we just stop the scorn and hate and let someone undergo a redemption? If Addison Russell has done what we ask of people who do this (counseling; public acts of apology; all that the list entails), why can't we let this go?

The punishment for this isn't "and you lose your job forever".


I do agree with this, although I won't comment on Russell himself.

Michael Vick seems to have done everything that could be asked. He was in jail. He went to counseling. He has spoken out many times about how wrong he was. He has spoken to many groups (teens, inner city, etc.) about how wrong dog-fighting is. But there are still many people who's first reaction is "Michael Vick, what a bastard." or something similar.

As for "lose your job forever", what about Kevin Hart? Someone digs up something from 10 years ago and there's an outrage over his hosting the Oscars. It was 10 years ago and Hart has said that he was wrong. If you can lose your hosting gig 10 years later, then I guess you can never host anything again. Now I'll grant his apology was somewhat antagonistic, but he has made very clear that he regrets his old jokes and is not homophobic. Ellen Degeneres even said that he should be the host.
   39. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:51 PM (#5836549)
This Baer retweet pretty strongly suggests that “reprisal” = cutting off access.

Oh come on. What is her link to the story? How does she know what happened? Does that tweet even have anything to do with this story? Does Baer even know what happened, considering that his story was 100% composed of linking to the original tweets and didn't even claim of first-hand knowledge or any actual new information?

"Strongly suggests" is just another weasel way of saying "didn't say." Again, if this is actually happening, why are the basic facts of this story so shrouded in mystery?

"Reprisal" has very strong connotations of extra-legal or illegal means. "If you compete on my garbage collection routes, I'm going to lower prices, and sue any customers who breach a contract with me." is not what anyone would call threatening reprisals. "If you compete on my garbage routes, I'm going to burn all your trucks and beat up your drivers." is threatening reprisals.

Of course, as far as we know, the word "reprisal" comes to us secondhand and isn't even a quote.

But now the Cubs are apparently going to start breakin' some reporters' legs if theys gets out of line, I guess.
   40. Red Voodooin Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:09 PM (#5836558)
But now the Cubs are apparently going to start breakin' some reporters' legs if theys gets out of line, I guess.


I heard they threatened to introduce Addison to the beat reporters' daughters...
   41. BillWallace Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:21 PM (#5836562)
I've said this before, but it's extravagant narcissism for fans both to demand an apology and to feel qualified to evaluate the worthiness of an apology


This is BS. We're not demanding an apology as a matter of law or faith or even morality in some absolute inviolable sense.

We're demanding an apology only in the context of the millions of dollars we pay to watch baseball. Russell is free to feel that he only owes his victim a true apology and not care whether his fans think he's sincere or not, and we're then free to think he's an ass and don't want to watch him play baseball.

You're creating your own standard and context to fan's reactions beyond what's there, and then failing them against those standards.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5836564)
Hart has said that he was wrong


Well, not exactly. He’s said that he said he was wrong at some indeterminate point in the past, but refuses to provide any specifics on when or where he supposedly made that apology, or on what it contained, and there’s no contemporaneous record of him saying anything of the sort.
   43. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5836567)
Oh come on. What is her link to the story? How does she know what happened? Does that tweet even have anything to do with this story? Does Baer even know what happened, considering that his story was 100% composed of linking to the original tweets and didn't even claim of first-hand knowledge or any actual new information?

"Strongly suggests" is just another weasel way of saying "didn't say." Again, if this is actually happening, why are the basic facts of this story so shrouded in mystery?


It seems like reporters (except for ones of the stenographer sort, like Rogers) are reluctant to go on the record because they’re afraid that the team will retaliate against them by pulling access. I really don’t get why you’re having so much trouble with that concept.

She’s a sports columnist and a colleague of the sports radio producer I mentioned as corroborating the allegations in #9, so she presumably knows either from direct experience or by hearing about it from co-workers at 670 The Score. It’d be pretty coincidental if she just happened to decide to re-tweet one of her old tweets about teams exerting pressure on reporters by denying access on the same day that the Cubs were in the news for allegedly doing so, without meaning to draw a connection between the two, and it’d be even more coincidental if Baer (who is also involved in the story) happened to re-tweet it on the same day for no particular reason.
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:44 PM (#5836570)
Gianella says that his source on the story is male, and a reporter. Doesn’t narrow it down much, but specifics are always useful.
   45. Brian C Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:26 PM (#5836589)
It seems like reporters (except for ones of the stenographer sort, like Rogers) are reluctant to go on the record because they’re afraid that the team will retaliate against them by pulling access. I really don’t get why you’re having so much trouble with that concept.

Because it fundamentally goes against what journalism is?

I mean, look, you can't rag on a guy for being a "stenographer sort" while also defending his colleagues for being afraid to speak up against the team. Do you see how those two viewpoints that you are putting forth in the same sentence are at complete odds to each other?

We're demanding an apology only in the context of the millions of dollars we pay to watch baseball. Russell is free to feel that he only owes his victim a true apology and not care whether his fans think he's sincere or not, and we're then free to think he's an ass and don't want to watch him play baseball.

Uh huh. Saying that it's really all about you and your dollars and your feelings is not an effective counterargument to charges of narcissism, buddy.

But by all means, don't buy his jersey and boo him when he comes up to the plate or whatever. I don't have a problem with that.

I'm just saying that you have no standing to demand an apology because he didn't wrong you.
   46. JJ1986 Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:48 PM (#5836596)
Didn't Kevin Hart pitch for the Cubs circa 2008?
   47. Spahn Insane Posted: April 29, 2019 at 11:38 PM (#5836602)
I find the lack of specifics as to what the "threatened reprisals" consisted of a little odd in light of the source's remaining anonymous. Being freed to spill at least some of the beans is kind of the whole point, no?

I don't know any more about what actually happened than anyone else, but Moses's speculation seems highly plausible.

Edit: I posted the above before reading 44, but "male reporter" is about as unspecific as "specifics" get.

Also edit: Nothing I said above should be read as approval of how the Cubs have dealt with the Russell generally. If I had my druthers, he'd no longer be a Cub, and this is coming from a guy who wore his damn jersey while watching game 7.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 06:32 AM (#5836626)
Because it fundamentally goes against what journalism is?


Please explain how you think being reluctant to report on threats made against your own job, and instead providing that information to a third party to use for reportage of that nature in order to protect yourself, “goes against what journalism is”. Because what you’ve said so far doesn’t make any sense at all, and I genuinely would like to understand what you’re trying to convey here.

Do you see how those two viewpoints that you are putting forth in the same sentence are at complete odds to each other?


Not at all, no. The one is exposing the truth at great personal risk, and the other is perverting the ideals of the profession in exchange for a cushy gig.

I'm just saying that you have no standing to demand an apology because he didn't wrong you.


That one’s not my fight, but any crime is an offense not only against the victim of the aforementioned crime, but also against the public order. That’s why, in criminal cases, it’s filed as “The People of [State] vs. [Offender]” - the state is acting as a proxy for the general public, which has a vested interest in people not going around and committing crimes.

As such, in any situation involving a crime, such as Russell’s domestic violence, the general public has also been wronged by the criminal in question and any individual member of that public is entitled to hold a grudge against him for it until it meets whatever conditions they deem necessary. Including an apology.
   49. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 30, 2019 at 07:44 AM (#5836631)
[32] is excellent - as are all of Zonk's posts in this thread. Fandom can be a complicated thing. I don't see what's so hard to understand about a fan having sympathy for abuse victims while also wanting to root for baseball players who are not horrible human beings.
   50. . Posted: April 30, 2019 at 07:55 AM (#5836632)
As such, in any situation involving a crime, such as Russell’s domestic violence, the general public has also been wronged by the criminal in question and any individual member of that public is entitled to hold a grudge against him for it until it meets whatever conditions they deem necessary. Including an apology.


That would justify never hiring a black kid who sold a bag of weed and got caught. You're right that the general public has been wronged by the criminal, but the criminal pays back the general public by serving the sentence imposed by the judge. An individual demanding and enforcing additional punishment is little different than vigilantism. Getting rid of such a thing is precisely why justice is done in the name of the community, rather than individual members of the community.

Mob justice is not justice. Deliberative, rational, proportionate justice is justice.
   51. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: April 30, 2019 at 08:08 AM (#5836633)
She’s a sports columnist and a colleague of the sports radio producer I mentioned as corroborating the allegations in #9

She's also an on-air host for the station - she has the late night slot weekdays & co-hosts a show once a week on weekends. She's also a former lawyer & the station's go-to expert for when sports & legal matters intersect.
   52. Brian C Posted: April 30, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5836677)
Please explain how you think being reluctant to report on threats made against your own job, and instead providing that information to a third party to use for reportage of that nature in order to protect yourself, “goes against what journalism is”. Because what you’ve said so far doesn’t make any sense at all, and I genuinely would like to understand what you’re trying to convey here.

Because the very definition of a journalist is one who provides said reportage? We're not talking about laborers who want to go whistleblower but have no voice. Journalists are the voice. The risks that you are describing are built into the job.

Think about what you're saying (because you clearly haven't yet). If reporters are so easily cowed, then what value is the reporting? You bash "stenographer sorts" but the very nature of reporters being afraid to publish negative stories means that all reporting will be safe and inoffensive. You can't have it both ways - either reporters should be unwilling to be stenographers, or they're justified in being easily bullied into not publishing the offensive stories.

And at any rate, the narrative you've constructed here makes zero sense. In this narrative, a reporter decides to do a story that is negative about Russell and/or the Cubs, which common sense will dictate that the Cubs will disapprove of. But then the Cubs make some kind of threat, and all of the sudden that reporter suddenly is scared - almost literally to death by your telling - and now not only won't publish the story that they were brave enough to risk the Cubs' wrath over beforehand, but also have to go into hiding?

That's a bullcrap story that makes no sense.

Also, can you stop talking as if these reporters are facing some sort of grave danger to their livelihood? You've just made all that up. This town is full of reporters who've written critical things about the Cubs and Addison Russell and life has gone on just fine. The town's sports media is notoriously antagonistic with the city's teams and have been forever. No one's getting "blackballed" over this - even if the Cubs made that threat (which you have no idea if they did or not), they'd have no real way to carry it out. This isn't a struggle over labor unions that you linked to in the Ricketts story earlier - unlike labor struggles, people actually care about sports.

The one is exposing the truth at great personal risk...

What "truth" is that? The Cubs are alleged to have made threats of an unknown nature against an unknown person over an issue pertaining to Addison Russell with an unknown point of contention. You don't know #### about what happened, because you are relying entirely on vague reporting and innuendo, and this is your "truth?"

That one’s not my fight, but any crime is an offense not only against the victim of the aforementioned crime, but also against the public order. That’s why, in criminal cases, it’s filed as “The People of [State] vs. [Offender]” - the state is acting as a proxy for the general public, which has a vested interest in people not going around and committing crimes.

As such, in any situation involving a crime, such as Russell’s domestic violence, the general public has also been wronged by the criminal in question and any individual member of that public is entitled to hold a grudge against him for it until it meets whatever conditions they deem necessary. Including an apology.

Come off the strained attempts at grand theory, this isn't a seventh-grade debate club. No one's impressed that you apparently watched an episode of Law & Order at some point in your life.

Again, people finding ridiculously tortured and esoteric ways to make this all about themselves is not a workable rebuttal to charges of narcissism.

And besides, Russell was not charged with any crimes, so the "people" in this case have no claim by this logic (i.e., your "as such"). Even still, your logic breaks down completely when you shift from "the state acting as a proxy" to the individual, as if those are the same thing; the whole point of "the state acting as a proxy" is that individuals have no right to take criminal justice matters into their own hands.
   53. DJS Thinks Apples and Oranges are Similar Posted: April 30, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5836684)
You hear a lot of stuff in press boxes and teams putting pressure on reporters certainly isn't unheard of. I have no reason to doubt Sheryl's credibility and I've never heard any issues about Herb Lawrence. I haven't *personally* heard this, but I've only been in a Cubs press box once.

I do not know specifically in this case (so it's speculation, not fact), but I would not be surprised if the pressure is notably different on different groups of media. Teams are far more likely to be tougher on people *without* BBWAA cards. The Mets were essentially able to threaten Howard Megdal a few years back because he wasn't a BBWAA member and they actually had the power to deny him access (not that Howard gave in).

The BBWAA has a direct agreement with MLB itself on credentialing, so it would be harder for a team to pressure a beat writer with a BBWAA card, so it would be unsurprising if they weren't pressuring people like Rogers. I very rarely report on things, but I do throw elbows in commentary and just speaking for myself, I've gotten zero pushback in the years since I got my card. A team could tell their employees not to cooperate with me, but they can't actually keep me out of the press box, the clubhouse, or batting practice unless I commit some specific violation, like asking for autographs.

It would be nice if the IBWAA were more organized; they really need some people with the clout to negotiate access directly with MLB. Having a set of rules for credentialing for bloggers would go a long way to professionalizing a really awkward situation in which 30 teams have 30 cloudy policies on who can be credentialed or not, which gives the teams the opportunity for shenanigans. Even if they didn't end up getting the same access rights as BBWAA members do, they really ought to have an agreement with MLB on what rights can be taken away from them.

I'd love if we accepted more members (and Slusser and Gould did huge jobs liberalizing BBWAA's policies in this respect), but I don't think there's any chance we'd triple our membership overnight. It's a surprisingly small organization; in seniority I've already moved up almost 200 spots since joining and people admitted just ten years ago (Law and Kahrl) are already in the 200s (IDs are based on seniority). I'm in the Cincinnati chapter and we only have like 12 active BBWAA members and some cities like Milwaukee have even fewer.
   54. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5836716)
Again, people finding ridiculously tortured and esoteric ways to make this all about themselves is not a workable rebuttal to charges of narcissism.
You don't seem to grasp the difference between "I feel this way about this situation" and "This situation is all about me."
   55. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5836724)
What I don't understand is why they don't just blame Crane Kenney for this and say that they've given him another good talking to.

I've long been under the impression that's why they keep him around.
   56. Brian C Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5836726)
You don't seem to grasp the difference between "I feel this way about this situation" and "This situation is all about me."

It's not like those two things are mutually exclusive.

But anyway, it seems that the actual issue here is that many others here are unable to grasp the difference between "I disapprove of Russell's actions" and "I demand an apology!"

The latter is exclusively so that fans can feel better about themselves: "OK, he seems contrite enough, so I can feel OK rooting for him." It can hardly be about anything else - they're not in a position to know if he's made right by his family, or whether he's sincere in his public show of contrition, or even if he's stopped doing the things that got him into trouble in the first place. None of that matters - it's just "I feel bad rooting for him and I don't want to feel bad about it." Pure ego-stroking.

   57. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5836731)
Think about what you're saying (because you clearly haven't yet). If reporters are so easily cowed, then what value is the reporting? You bash "stenographer sorts" but the very nature of reporters being afraid to publish negative stories means that all reporting will be safe and inoffensive. You can't have it both ways - either reporters should be unwilling to be stenographers, or they're justified in being easily bullied into not publishing the offensive stories.


LOLWUT?

This entire situation came about because one or more reporters refused to be cowed and presented their story to the public (via other journalists who couldn't be subjected to the same kind of pressure).

all of the sudden that reporter suddenly is scared - almost literally to death by your telling - and now not only won't publish the story that they were brave enough to risk the Cubs' wrath over beforehand, but also have to go into hiding?


Show me where I said that, please. Here's a hint: You can't, because I didn't. I said that the team posed a threat to the reporter's livelihood by denying access, and you went off on some wild flight of fancy from there. Your argument might make more sense if you were responding to things that I actually, said, rather than stuff that you made up out of whole cloth.


What "truth" is that?


That there are several reporters who claimed that the Cubs threatened to retaliate against reporters by denying them access over legitimate and factual (albeit uncomplementary) pieces related to Cubs shortstop and habitual shitbird Addison Russell. No matter how much you try and dance around it, you can't escape that.

Come off the strained attempts at grand theory, this isn't a seventh-grade debate club. No one's impressed that you apparently watched an episode of Law & Order at some point in your life.


It's not my fault that you're bad at thinking or arguing in favor of positions, or that you're jealous of people who can do both. Try to stay on topic.

And besides, Russell was not charged with any crimes, so the "people" in this case have no claim by this logic (i.e., your "as such").


He has already publicly talked about abusing his wife and voluntarily accepted the suspension that MLB levied over it, so arguing that he didn't really do anything wrong is facile at best. The fact that he didn't ultimately end up being charged for his offense doesn't change the fact that he committed the crime. If anything, the fact that he wasn't charged lends even more legitimacy to any grudge held by members of the public, since it renders irrelevant SugarBear's argument in #50 that serving out a sentence discharges any residual debt to society.

the whole point of "the state acting as a proxy" is that individuals have no right to take criminal justice matters into their own hands


Which would be a valid point if we were talking about vigilantes kidnapping or lynching Russell, rather than just choosing not to associate with him because he's an ####### and exercising their right to free speech to express that opinion.
   58. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 30, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5836752)
But anyway, it seems that the actual issue here is that many others here are unable to grasp the difference between "I disapprove of Russell's actions" and "I demand an apology!"

Who is demanding anything of the sort?

Anyway, if the root of all this was selfish ego-centrism that requires Russell to acknowledge us fans by way of an apology - he already checked that box.
   59. . Posted: April 30, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5836757)
The fact that he didn't ultimately end up being charged for his offense doesn't change the fact that he committed the crime.


It not only changes the "fact," it vitiates it. If confession meant guilt, we wouldn't have things like Miranda warnings or the Central Park Five.

If anything, the fact that he wasn't charged lends even more legitimacy to any grudge held by members of the public, since it renders irrelevant SugarBear's argument in #50 that serving out a sentence discharges any residual debt to society.


Since the community wasn't able to demonstrate, pursuant to its very worthy norms of due process, that its standards were traduced, he has no debt to the community -- "residual" or otherwise.

What you're really talking about here are the shifting norms of celebrity repentance, which is essentially a different topic altogether (*) from justice imposed by the political community.

Which would be a valid point if we were talking about vigilantes kidnapping or lynching Russell, rather than just choosing not to associate with him because he's an ####### and exercising their right to free speech to express that opinion.


You're certainly right that individual members of the community have the right to speak freely and the right not to associate, but the topic was things like Russell apologizing correctly -- and that gets into vigilantism as it demands sanctions directly from him.

(*) And certainly a lower brow one.
   60. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5836788)
This entire situation came about because one or more reporters refused to be cowed
Uh, if they're only willing to discuss this anonymously, then they were cowed.
   61. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5836810)

I agree with Brian C on the journalistic question. Journalists already use *way* too much anonymous sourcing as it is. My favorite is the "X spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions" or "because he is not permitted to speak to the press" formulation that you often read in political stories. Like, no #### it's a sensitive topic -- just about any reporting that's worth a damn is going to be sensitive to someone. But the fact that a topic is sensitive is also why you should require more than just one or two anonymous quotes before going to press (For example, an anonymous source can still show you first-hand evidence like documents/texts/emails). At the very least, an anonymous source should give you real details that can corroborate/disprove the story, since they are unavailable to answer follow-up questions afterwards. At least tell us what the Cubs source said, what was threatened, so that we can judge the action for ourselves. I simply have a hard time caring about a story with vague details provided by an anonymous source.
   62. Brian C Posted: April 30, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5836821)
That there are several reporters who claimed that the Cubs threatened to retaliate against reporters by denying them access over legitimate and factual (albeit uncomplementary) pieces related to Cubs shortstop and habitual shitbird Addison Russell. No matter how much you try and dance around it, you can't escape that.

Here are the things in that first sentence that you do not actually know:

1) How many reporters claimed to be threatened - you use plural but we do not know this
2) Whether the threat was to deny them access - you've said this multiple times but have provided no evidence aside from your assumption based on a cryptic tweet from someone who doesn't seem to be actually involved in this story
3) Whether their were multiple pieces that were the cause of threats - again you use plural but don't know that it's true
4) Whether the pieces were "legitimate and factual" - you have no idea what the piece or pieces were about and simply made this up just now

That's a lot of misinformation that you've packed into a short space.
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5836858)
How many reporters claimed to be threatened - you use plural but we do not know this


Ring's initial tweet used the word "commentators", so while we don't know the exact number of them, she is saying that there's more than one. Similarly, when Lawrence wrote his "Very true" tweet, it was paired with a link to an article whose headline described the Cubs as "threatening writers," plural. As such, the plural I used was entirely appropriate.

Whether the threat was to deny them access - you've said this multiple times but have provided no evidence aside from your assumption based on a cryptic tweet from someone who doesn't seem to be actually involved in this story


As opposed to your theory that the Cubs are going to disappear them or have their legs broken? Which one of those seems more likely? Particularly given that you've offered nothing whatsoever in defense of the position that it's some other kind of reprisal...

Whether their were multiple pieces that were the cause of threats - again you use plural but don't know that it's true


Since we've established that the claim applies to more than one writer, that'd necessarily mean more than one piece, unless you think the writers in question were collaborating on one article. That seems unlikely to me, but I guess it's possible.

Whether the pieces were "legitimate and factual" - you have no idea what the piece or pieces were about and simply made this up just now


As I noted earlier, if the pieces weren't legitimate and factual, the Cubs wouldn't need to resort to this sort of skulduggery to try and shut them down.
   64. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5836860)
Since it hasn't already been noted in the thread, Baer has updated his post on the subject. It now includes the following:

(After publishing this on Sunday night, I received another confirmation of Ring’s report from another member of the media who wishes to keep their name private.)
   65. BillWallace Posted: April 30, 2019 at 05:39 PM (#5836882)
Brian's stance is so crazy here, I've rarely seen anything like it... it's like the polar opposite extreme of virtue signalling.

In this view I have to be so afraid of being branded a narcissistic virtue signaler that I'm not allowed to express a basic preference to deal with people that I don't think are jerks.

It has a very self-flagellating feel to it. Perhaps there is some ritual sacrifice or ordeal I can undertake to give myself the moral purity necessary to demand that money out of my pocket doesn't go to an unrepentant wife-beater.


   66. . Posted: April 30, 2019 at 06:27 PM (#5836895)
Perhaps there is some ritual sacrifice or ordeal I can undertake to give myself the moral purity necessary to demand that money out of my pocket doesn't go to an unrepentant wife-beater.


If you don't approve of the behavior of one of its public-facing employees, you're perfectly free not to give the business your pocket's money. Other people are free to continue to move the money from their pockets -- and the business of the Chicago National League Baseball Club appears to still be percolating.

At this point people seem to be complaining about the dilemma they've been put in -- IOW, pretty much what Brian has been saying -- and want Russell to engage in some kind of flagellating ritual so as to relieve them of the dilemma and assuage their guilt. As he's argued persuasively, this means it really isn't about Russell, but about the people stuck in the dilemma.
   67. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 09:39 PM (#5836963)
Theo all in: all in
<quote>Theo Epstein, on coverage of Addison Russell: “If you want to write critical articles about Addison or about the club’s handling, you’re more than welcome to. Seriously, we believe in the freedom of the press and this is an issue where we expect there to be strong opinions. People have the right to have those opinions and express them however they want. We would never try to stifle freedom of the press. The threat of reprisal to a media member about any topic, especially one of this nature, is not acceptable. I would be surprised if that happened with the Cubs and if it did I would want to know who it was and they wouldn’t be working for the Cubs much longer. That’s a fire-able offense.” <unquote>

a denial denial
   68. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 30, 2019 at 10:57 PM (#5837010)
I get where Brian’s coming from but I think he’s taking it a bit far here. As a Jew, I sometimes get annoyed when non-Jews demand apologies for what they imagine are anti-Semitic comments. Likewise, I try not to get offended on behalf of other groups of which I’m not a member — but I believe members of those groups when they say they’re offended, or when they say they accept someone’s apology. And I can stop supporting a person if I don’t think they’ve learned anything from the situation.

A similar idea is at play here. Addison Russell doesn’t owe us an apology; he owes his ex-wife one. However, the post that Brian was quoting in #24 didn’t say he does. It did say that Russell hasn’t demonstrated much growth from this incident. I don’t know if that’s a reasonable assessment, but it’s a reasonable thing for a fan to want to see before supporting him again.
   69. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:00 PM (#5837011)
On top of that denial from Theo, multiple other media folks have come out bashing the credibility of the initial report.
   70. Meatwad Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:12 PM (#5837012)
I will take theo at his word on this one. For the most part he has told the truth to the fans and media for his cubs tenure. Only issues are with oayroll and finanical flexability.
   71. Brian C Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:16 PM (#5837015)
In this view I have to be so afraid of being branded a narcissistic virtue signaler that I'm not allowed to express a basic preference to deal with people that I don't think are jerks.

Who's not allowing you? Good grief.

I've written a short one-act play to dramatize the dynamic here:

ME: Your behavior seems narcissistic to me.

OTHERS: BUT WHAT ABOUT MY FEELINGS!?!?!?

---FIN---
   72. Brian C Posted: April 30, 2019 at 11:21 PM (#5837017)
I mean, seriously guys. I say that you have no standing to demand an apology, and the reaction is "How dare you, I'm allowed to express a preference against wife-beaters!!"

The constant knee-jerk defensiveness is a bit much.
   73. BillWallace Posted: May 01, 2019 at 12:25 AM (#5837033)
There really isn't any more ground worth covering on the argument I was participating in, so I won't continue.

As a Jew, I sometimes get annoyed when non-Jews demand apologies for what they imagine are anti-Semitic comments. ....


I like this whole post, but one point. You said "what they imagine are anti-Semitic comments". Certainly there are scenarios as you describe that involve comments and intentions that may or may not be anti-Semitic. But what about scenarios where it's unambiguous? Surely if someone said something very clearly and intentionally hateful towards Jews, then I as a gentile can demand justice.

There are people in the world who want to fight for oppressed and mistreated groups even if they don't belong to those groups... not because they want to score brownie points or ease a guilty conscience. But because they have empathy and want to increase fairness and justice in the world. This should be encouraged.
   74. manchestermets Posted: May 01, 2019 at 04:24 AM (#5837043)
The constant knee-jerk defensiveness is a bit much.


Stop ruining what has the potential to be an interesting discussion by repeatedly doing it then.
   75. Zonk Will Not Get Over It Abusing Its Office Posted: May 01, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5837066)
I mean, seriously guys. I say that you have no standing to demand an apology, and the reaction is "How dare you, I'm allowed to express a preference against wife-beaters!!"


To be fair here - you leapt to the conclusion that I demanded an apology. I did nothing of the sort. I specifically cited his press release apology mentioning working for NfPs (which I presume to mean talking to kids about domestic violence and the like) and the paucity (or indeed, lack entirely) of any reporting that he's done so.... and given his expert-crafted, year-after-the-fact press release apology - call me skeptical that someone (the Cubs, his agent, etc) wouldn't be releasing stories of Russell talking to HS kids or somesuch.

An apology is one way to demonstrate remorse, sure... but it's not the only way or even the best way. The best way is to show via actions and words - your own, not the ones someone typed up and released on your behalf. Actions, I'm obviously not privy to.... but the words I have read via reporting on him since (and I don't claim to have encyclopedic cataloging of them) sound the same you'd hear if he was out till May because of major knee surgery or something.

There are a multitude of ways someone in Russell's situation can talk about becoming a better man, for his kids' sake, for the sake of his ex-wife who is still co-parent of his kids, etc that would show some remorse and growth.

I am not a psychological professional, but it seems to me that at the root of the offense is an egotism that forestalls empathy towards others, including others closest to you. Working on that and improving obviously involves a lot of "I/me" reflection... but showing that you have grown, learned, become better, etc seems to require that you acknowledge those beyond yourself. And I'm NOT talking about the fans, teammates, or organization - I'm talking about his family.

Something as simple as adding "...for my kids so I can be a better father, provider, and role model and for the mother of my children" to the "I've got to keep working" would go a long way towards making me comfortable cheering for him again.
   76. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 01, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5837148)
Brian's stance is so crazy here, I've rarely seen anything like it... it's like the polar opposite extreme of virtue signalling.

In this view I have to be so afraid of being branded a narcissistic virtue signaler that I'm not allowed to express a basic preference to deal with people that I don't think are jerks.

It has a very self-flagellating feel to it. Perhaps there is some ritual sacrifice or ordeal I can undertake to give myself the moral purity necessary to demand that money out of my pocket doesn't go to an unrepentant wife-beater.

I stopped myself yesterday, from making a joke here, saying something along the lines of 'my only takeaway from this thread is that Brian C works for the Cubs at intimidating journalists...'

It is completely bizarre to me, that you can want to quadruple (quintuple(?), dodecatuple(?)) down on that stance...
   77. jmurph Posted: May 01, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5837186)
I stopped myself yesterday, from making a joke here, saying something along the lines of 'my only takeaway from this thread is that Brian C works for the Cubs at intimidating journalists...'

It is completely bizarre to me, that you can want to quadruple (quintuple(?), dodecatuple(?)) down on that stance...

Same thoughts. And while we're refereeing the thread, Vlad, of Joe Maddon is the anti-christ fame, is hardly a neutral party on the other side.
   78. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 01, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5837190)

I like this whole post, but one point. You said "what they imagine are anti-Semitic comments". Certainly there are scenarios as you describe that involve comments and intentions that may or may not be anti-Semitic. But what about scenarios where it's unambiguous? Surely if someone said something very clearly and intentionally hateful towards Jews, then I as a gentile can demand justice.

There's a lot that could be said in response to this, but at the risk of going too OTP, I will just say I
guess it depends what you mean by "demand justice". If a crime has been committed, I get it. If not, then what are you demanding?
   79. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 01, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5837194)
Vlad, of Joe Maddon is the anti-christ fame, is hardly a neutral party on the other side.


I don't have anything against any of the non-Maddon members of the Cubs, apart from Russell, and I doubt either of them were the ones making the threats.

Though it is kind of amusing to imagine a gutless wonder like Maddon trying to put the screws to someone.

Edit: Now that I think about it, in the interest of full disclosure, Joe Ricketts seems like kind of a piece of ####, too. Forgot about him for a minute.
   80. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 01, 2019 at 01:41 PM (#5837235)
Come on, man. Vlad thinks Jim Tracy is the anti-Christ.
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 01, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5837246)
Vlad thinks Jim Tracy is the anti-Christ.


That seems like an enormous slur upon the character of the anti-Christ.
   82. BillWallace Posted: May 01, 2019 at 05:49 PM (#5837377)
If not, then what are you demanding?


Fair question, it depends on the situation, and may not be worth digging too far into trying to find examples to debate. I suspect you and I wouldn't be too far apart in any case.

The broader point I would make is that I think it's fine to be sensitive to the phenomenon of an outside group co-opting the 'offense' of another group for various impure purposes, such as scoring political points, or virtue signalling, or whatever.

Certainly this happens all the time and is not nice to see. But it's also harmful to go too far in the other direction, and to try to gate-keep all such reactions, such as in saying "if you're not in group X, then you can't have any reactions to any offenses committed against X". This kind of harmful gate-keeping is to be seen all around any movement for justice.

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