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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

N.Y. Sun: Marchman: Time To Recognize the Online Reporters

Way to go, Marchman…I’ve been waiting for someone to stick up for the Vinny and the Hornless Rhino baseball blog!

This gets a lot stickier when you start thinking through what sort of formal arrangement baseball could make to guarantee credible online reporters access. The virtue of privileging newspaper reporters, after all, is that it makes for an objective criterion: You either work for a newspaper or you don’t. To give online reporters a formal access arrangement would entail inherently arbitrary judgments. Dave Cameron of ussmariner.com, for instance, is about as insightful and credible a writer on the game as anyone presently working; someone who makes a real contribution to baseball. He clearly deserves at least as much consideration as Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times, who doesn’t cover the sport fulltime or, honestly, with anything like Cameron’s understanding. How, though, can you guarantee rights for Cameron without opening up the press box to any clown with a blogspot.com account? You can’t, without judging the quality of the work various writers are doing, and a process of judgment is clearly open to stupidity and abuse.

Nonetheless, baseball needs to address this issue; leaving it to team PR departments to address on an ad hoc basis is going to leave baseball behind the curve on exploiting the growth of online media, an area in which the sport has generally been a leader.

Repoz Posted: June 13, 2007 at 01:17 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: community, media, online

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   1. Red Menace Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:11 PM (#2402506)
Let's see... Marchman doesn't jealously guard access to his exclusive club, he's open to new ideas about baseball and tries to convey them to his general audience, he makes himself accountable to jokers like us... Man, this guy's good. He's Posnanski good.
   2. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:15 PM (#2402509)
How, though, can you guarantee rights for Cameron without opening up the press box to any clown with a blogspot.com account? You can’t, without judging the quality of the work various writers are doing, and a process of judgment is clearly open to stupidity and abuse.

Fair question. I imagine you could do it by factoring in website hits, and how long the blog's been around.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:27 PM (#2402520)
I imagine you could do it by factoring in website hits, and how long the blog's been around.


I don't think it would be that easy - I can see a Yankee-centric or Red Sox-centric fan blog getting lots of hits simply because of the fan base regardless of the type of writing that's being done.

I really think it's going to have to be done on a case-by-case basis, actually, by the individual teams. Yes, that process might be open to abuse, but in the long run I think it's probably the most fair way to do it.

-- MWE
   4. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:33 PM (#2402527)
Fair question. I imagine you could do it by factoring in website hits, and how long the blog's been around.


I think the better way might be to wait and see how the "blogosphere" develops in relation to the established baseball media. Years from now, the demand for the insights from a blogger* like Cameron might be sufficient that a newspaper is willing to hire him to present his insights to its baseball-reading audience (and by that I mean not exclusively in an online hidey-hole, assuming "print" media remains in print for the time being). Perhaps this is an ill-considered or unpopular opinion, but I think the best path for the really insightful online guys to gain BBWAA-style influence is to have the patience to see the day when the BBWAA reforms itself through its membership. There may be a time when the media outlets themselves realize the most effective way to convey baseball opinions to their audiences is not through loudmouth, imperceptive generalists like Mariotti.

(Of course, a nice first step on that road would not be, you know, giving Mariotti hits on this website.)

*I'm hesitant to call a guy of Cameron's or Zumsteg's quality a blogger. USSM is a blog, sure, and there's no good term for what those guys do, but they're more appropriately online columnists IMHO.
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:39 PM (#2402533)
I think the best path for the really insightful online guys to gain BBWAA-style influence is to have the patience to see the day when the BBWAA reforms itself through its membership.

I don't know. The problem I see with this is, what exactly is the incentive for the BBWAA to "reform itself through its membership"? The BBWAA still has the HOF voting and the MVP/Cy/RoY voting all to itself, and letting more members into your club makes your club less exclusive almost by definition.

The entity that has an incentive to make sure that quality online writers have full media access is MLB itself. It seems most logical to think that the best place to look for reform to occur is through MLB or, as Mike suggests, through the individual teams.
   6. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2402540)
The problem I see with this is, what exactly is the incentive for the BBWAA to "reform itself through its membership"?


I should have been clearer with that. What I essentially mean is wait for the current generation of {Name Your Favorite DickUOldSportsWriter Who Gets Mocked Here} to die out and the new popular exemplars of great baseball commentary are the Joe Posnanskis of the world, the guys who grew up with a certain Jamesian understanding, shall we say, and who are much cozier with the online baseball writing talent coming up the ranks. It could be that what "baseball writing" is will reinvent itself in the years to come (as it did in years past) and, if so, the BBWAA membership will reflect that.
   7. Mister High Standards Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:50 PM (#2402546)
Yes, David Camereon is very insightful. Clint Nageotte = Jon Papelbon.

If Marchman or anyone else wants to point to someone as an example of high quality internet writing, I'd reccomend BTTF's own Mike Emiegh.
   8. Belfry Bob Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2402575)
This is an interesting area...one of the things that caused me to drop off the editorial staff of one of the larger fansites was the owner's expressed desire to become a 'true news outlet' and get press credentials. Knowing him as I did as a solid fan with no particular skills in that area, I was horrified, and didn't want to have anything to do with it.

Years later, said website owner has his creds, as do several others working on his website, and these guys are nothing more than Joe Fan...with press credentials. Their message board is plastered with 'inside info' from posters who are usually wrong, etc. It's a fountain of misinformation, and the 'editorial' staff doesn't control it at all in the name of 'getting more hits'.

And this is a big website, so I don't think size/hits should have anything to do with it.
   9. Jay Seaver Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2402581)
One thing that clubs and MLB might do, at least at first, is come up with some sort of multi-tier or probationary system. I write film reviews for a fairly decent-sized website, and the first year I went to a certain festival, they gave me ten free tickets when I asked for media credentials. The next year, I got a full pass. Maybe a team could do something similar - just allow the online guy at press conferences at first, withholding pressbox and/or clubhouse access until he's determined to be for real?
   10. Mister High Standards Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2402585)
Jay - if you don't mind me asking which film site? I'd like to check it out.
   11. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:47 PM (#2402587)
This is an interesting area...one of the things that caused me to drop off the editorial staff of one of the larger fansites was the owner's expressed desire to become a 'true news outlet' and get press credentials. Knowing him as I did as a solid fan with no particular skills in that area, I was horrified, and didn't want to have anything to do with it.

Years later, said website owner has his creds, as do several others working on his website, and these guys are nothing more than Joe Fan...with press credentials. Their message board is plastered with 'inside info' from posters who are usually wrong, etc. It's a fountain of misinformation, and the 'editorial' staff doesn't control it at all in the name of 'getting more hits'.


What site could you possibly be referring to? Is it the one with the almost fascistic intolerance of criticism? ;)
   12. GregD Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2402589)
I like the probationary idea; make people turn in a lot of paperwork the first year or two for minimal benefits, have a strenuous reapplication policy for newbies, and give yourself an out to drop an idiot after the first year or two with no explanation. The problem with the idea of case-by-case review is that it increases the workload on team PR staffs, dramatically, with no payoff on their end. Why would they do that? The trick, I think, as Jay says, is to transfer almost all of the extra work onto the applicants, in the form of truly irritating applications that will chase off many of the curiosity- and ticket-seekers.
   13. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:54 PM (#2402594)
I really think it's going to have to be done on a case-by-case basis, actually, by the individual teams. Yes, that process might be open to abuse, but in the long run I think it's probably the most fair way to do it.

I agree, and I don't think evaluating applicants on a case-by-case basis would be all that difficult. With just a little bit of research a staffer in the FO could get a pretty good sense of the quality of the guy's writing, the quality/professionalism of the website, the site's popularity, etc.
   14. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 13, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2402600)
With all due respect to Cameron and the good folks at USSM, I'd like to see guys like Neyer and Sheehan get creds before I look into the blogosphere. I'm all in favor of the right blogs, but it seems that we may be putting the cart before the horse.
   15. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 13, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2402607)
Yes, David Camereon is very insightful. Clint Nageotte = Jon Papelbon
I sure hope teams don't start yanking press credentials for missed prospect reports, otherwise that press box is going to be awful empty
   16. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: June 13, 2007 at 04:23 PM (#2402619)
A couple NHL teams are getting out front on this, which is unsurprising given their lack of US media coverage. I think only about three major US dailies outside LA-Anaheim sent a reporter to this years Cup final. From James Mirtle's excellent hockey blog:

The Islanders will introduce a “NYI Blog Box,” separate from the Nassau Coliseum press box, and allow fans press access to select games to help them start their own Islanders blogs, which will not be censored as long as they are professional. Following the games, an area will be set up for the bloggers to ask questions of players and coaches. The offering, which is the first of its kind for a N.Y.-area pro franchise, also includes linking the fan blogs from the team’s official Web site.
— SportsBusiness Daily

This is a step in the right direction, and it's nice to see more NHL teams are making allowances for blog coverage, but you can certainly sense the organization's apprehension here when it comes to putting "fans" in the actual press box.

The biggest problem with professional sports franchises accepting fans into the traditional press box is that the word "blog" still emits an odour for the wide majority of the population. Guys like Eric McErlain can't get credentialed for events as humdrum as the NHL draft (in Columbus!) simply because their writer's resume is littered with the 'B' word.

Despite the fact that many mainstream media organizations and journalists are using the medium, blogs continue to be thought of as 'that crank in the basement'.

No offence to the team involved here, but 'that crank in the basement' has, in some cases, overtaken most MSM websites in terms of online influence, and it's time for a plan that doesn't involve herding bloggers like mindless sheep into some sort of a lesser press box and giving them controlled access and a pretzel.

But as I said, it's a start, and kudos to the Islanders for that. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has made overtures about spreading the gospel with regards to bloggers in the press box, something he has wholeheartedly embraced in Washington, and this may be the first sign of things to come.
   17. Jay Seaver Posted: June 13, 2007 at 04:29 PM (#2402630)
Jay - if you don't mind me asking which film site? I'd like to check it out.

eFilmCritic; I mostly cover local festivals and fill in their catalog of older films because I'm not (yet) on the publicity firms' lists for critics' screenings. I suppose if I went to them now, I'd have a better shot than I did a few years ago, even if I have only shown up on dead trees a couple times.

I think one big issue for teams might be that us internet people are more mercurial than traditional journalists. A press pass given to a print guy is a pretty good indication that he'll show up on a daily basis, even on the road. What a club gets out of giving an online person one is less certain. He's probably only showing up for home games, and maybe only a handful per month. On the one hand, there's probably no harm in giving a pass to someone like that, but on the other, if you figure the team only wants to give out enough to fill the press box when all are used, online guys might not be the best way to dole them out. When I get a press pass for a festival, I try to see at least two movies a day and review everything I see, because I figure those things don't come free - the festival organizers are looking for publicity and coverage. Not all bloggers are going to be that dedicated.
   18. Belfry Bob Posted: June 13, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2402636)
What site could you possibly be referring to? Is it the one with the almost fascistic intolerance of criticism? ;)

If that's a certain large Orioles fansite, then, yes it is. I'm sure there are others who might be equally fascist. :)
   19. GGC for Sale Posted: June 13, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2402642)
I can see guys wanting to be able to vote for awards and such, but how many online writers really want access to the locker room? I think that the ones who know how to interview people might be good choices for this.
(According to Sam Walker in the linked clip, Jerome Holtzman was the father of the locker room interview. Is this true?)

In Paul Zimmerman's (Dr. Z) book The Thinking Man's Guide to Football he mentions covering a championship game as a young reporter and talking to Green Bay's Fuzzy Thurston and some other linemen about their craft and getting some good insight on the blocking and the pit in general. But his newspaper didn't run this stuff. They only had space for the game story plus quotes from Lombardi and skill players. A studes or a David Pinto doesn't have this problem. They could've published stuff like this. But how many online guys have the chops to do that?
   20. Belfry Bob Posted: June 13, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2402666)
I think it wouldn't be that good a thing most of the time for bloggers to have that sort of access. for example, we've been pretty critical of the status quo (though fair) at our website...if we had credentials, we might be more concerned about 'what the club thought' of what we wrote, etc.

Let's face it, most of the stuff we'd like to know about the inner workings of our favorite club we couldn't publish anyway. When we have interviewed our club's GM, we've always allowed him to review the article before posting. Why? Because otherwise he wouldn't do the interview!

In fairness, he's let us publish a couple of things that surprised me over the years. That being said, I don't have any real interest in getting inside the locker room...though I read a number of quality websites that I'd have no issue with their webmasters doing so.
   21. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 13, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2402670)
(According to Sam Walker in the linked clip, Jerome Holtzman was the father of the locker room interview. Is this true?)

I thought Dick Young usually gets credit for this.
   22. GGC for Sale Posted: June 13, 2007 at 05:02 PM (#2402676)
I have some Koppett book on the history of the press box somewhere at home. I didn't even think of it, but I'll check that out now. Maybe he has something on whether or not it was Young or Holtzman.

I do know that it was the chipmunks like Schecter and Phil Pepe who started covering players likethey were teen idols and asking more about the off-field stuff.
   23. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 13, 2007 at 05:07 PM (#2402683)
I really think it's going to have to be done on a case-by-case basis, actually, by the individual teams. Yes, that process might be open to abuse, but in the long run I think it's probably the most fair way to do it.


This guy was on NPR yesterday. he didn't talk about sports reorting per se, but the discussion was along the same lines as Marchman's piece. While he acknowledged that granting access to limited capacity events like Presidential press conferences (and ballparks) could be problematic, he also opined that those type of situations are reletively rare. The bigger issue he had was with other priveledges the mainstream press enjoys, eg, easier access to FOIA covered writings.
   24. Craig Calcaterra Posted: June 13, 2007 at 05:12 PM (#2402691)
Strikes me that most of the interesting blogger/online columnist stuff I've read owed a lot of it's quality to the fact that it was coming from an outsider perspective. I think it would be really easy for a blogger to get kind of coopted, however casually, by the access and seal of approval granted by the team. I read Mac Thomason over at Braves Journal every day, where he's usually calling for the death or destruction of various players on Atlanta's roster (usually in Latin, but still). Would he be doing that if he had a team-issued press pass (not that I'm certain he'd even accept one)? Maybe, maybe not, but I think it's safe to assume that the particular voice we enjoy from the better bloggers would be altered somewhat by having the one thing they didn't have -- access -- when they developed that voice in the first place.
   25. Shredder Posted: June 13, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2402692)
With all due respect to Cameron and the good folks at USSM, I'd like to see guys like Neyer and Sheehan get creds before I look into the blogosphere.
I'm pretty sure they do, or at least they can. Nate Silver mentioned a few years ago that the individual teams would give him credentials for games, although it was tougher to get them from MLB (for the All-Star game, playoffs, etc.), possibly due to BP's criticism of Selig.

But a lot of what those guys write about isn't game specific, so other than just wanting to go to a game for the hell of it, and not having to pay, there isn't really much reason for them to be there. And from what he and other similarly situated writers have said, they'd rather watch the game from the stands than the press box.

As for bloggers, most bloggers are fans. If I go see an Angels game, I want to be there as a fan. I'd rather not watch the game from the press box in that instance. It might be cool to experience once or twice, but I don't really want to sit in a place where I'm discouraged from rooting for my team.
   26. Repoz Posted: June 13, 2007 at 05:19 PM (#2402695)
(According to Sam Walker in the linked clip, Jerome Holtzman was the father of the locker room interview. Is this true?)

Yea...I've always read that it was Dick Young. The latest example is in Eig's "Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season", where he spends a few pages on the relation between Young and Robinson...and states that Young was the first to invade the clubby.
   27. Covfefe Posted: June 13, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2402701)
I think Shredder's right -

Most bloggers aren't really reporting so much as critiquing and analyzing. Of course, if Marriotti's getting a press pass, then bloggers/online writers probably deserve one for the same reasons.

Personally, I think it would be better if the print columnists were just tossed into the same pool with the bloggers, rather than tossing the bloggers into the pool with the reporters.

I mean, I still read the sports page (albeit usually online) to digest the boxscore and read the game recap. I go to the blogs for the critiques and analysis - not for a recount of last night's game.

Of course, there are events (HOF induction, draft, winter meetings) that blur the line between the need for the strict reporters and the analysts.
   28. Jay Seaver Posted: June 13, 2007 at 05:49 PM (#2402714)
I read Mac Thomason over at Braves Journal every day, where he's usually calling for the death or destruction of various players on Atlanta's roster (usually in Latin, but still). Would he be doing that if he had a team-issued press pass (not that I'm certain he'd even accept one)? Maybe, maybe not, but I think it's safe to assume that the particular voice we enjoy from the better bloggers would be altered somewhat by having the one thing they didn't have -- access -- when they developed that voice in the first place.

I've written the occasional savage movie review without any particular fear that I wouldn't be invited to the next festival or press screening. The difference, of course, is that I don't have to be in the same room as Michael Bay on a regular basis to do it. If I did, and I was worried about this, I might tone my words down a little - or I might just accept that I'm not going to get one-on-one interviews. On the other hand, Dan Shaughnessey does have a press pass, so who knows?

On a certain level, it's probably good that access would change a writer's voice some - the new knowledge it gives you should inform your writing. I suspect few bloggers would really change that much if they got access; unlike with the papers, there's always alternatives for your readers to turn to if they think that you've gone soft or just want to find someone who does the sort of thing you used to.
   29. King Kaufman Posted: June 14, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2403698)
Tim Marchman should shut the #### up.

Just kidding.

The problem I see with this is, what exactly is the incentive for the BBWAA to "reform itself through its membership"?

Staying relevant?

I also think baseball has an incentive to pressure the BBWAA to do this before it has to make a plan to make judgments about online writers. Wouldn't it be better for people in the writing business to determine who qualifies, as opposed to people in the business being written about? It's less work for MLB or the clubs, but also, it's better for the reading public, because MLB is going to be much more inclined to credential fanboys and lapdogs than critics, no?

Isn't that one of the things professional associations are supposed to be about? Vetting their membership? Or is it all just getting a little bit of territory (MVP vote, etc.) and guarding it zealously?

A press pass given to a print guy is a pretty good indication that he'll show up on a daily basis, even on the road.

Every press box I've ever been in has been filled most nights with empty chairs belonging to small local dailies that get season credentials every year even if they never have a beat writer and make no pretense of covering the team with anything but wire. When those seats are filled, they're often filled with a staffer who just wants to take in a ballgame.

Nate Silver mentioned a few years ago that the individual teams would give him credentials for games, although it was tougher to get them from MLB (for the All-Star game, playoffs, etc.), possibly due to BP's criticism of Selig.

That's been my (Salon.com -- no trouble at the White House, Congress, etc.) experience too. I'd also like to note that I spent my entire time working as a newspaper sports reporter lobbying my editors to let me write stories without using quotes from athletes. That said, clubhouse access is a good thing for a writer who uses it wisely. I've learned a lot by talking to people I didn't quote in stories.
   30. Covfefe Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2403712)
Or is it all just getting a little bit of territory (MVP vote, etc.) and guarding it zealously?


Heh... read Murray Chass or Bill Conlin lately?
   31. BDC Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:06 PM (#2403713)
Isn't that one of the things professional associations are supposed to be about? Vetting their membership?

That would seem to me to be the way internet columnists will get recognition: by forming their own professional organization, which will act as a kind of guild seal of quality for its members, and able to exert collective pressure on MLB. There will always be a fringe that doesn't want official access, but if there are enough superb internet-based writers (I think of Jamey Newberg in Texas as another example) then that cadre should have its own organization and its own accrediting structure, even a rudimentary one.
   32. GGC for Sale Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:10 PM (#2403716)
I couldn't find my Koppett book last nite. I sent Walker an e-mail.
   33. Boots Day Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:26 PM (#2403727)
Dick Young was definitely the first reporter to do lockerroom interviews. As someone else pointed out, it never occurred to the writers covering the 1932 World Series to just ask Ruth if he was calling his shot.

GGC (or EWK): Are you thinking of the Holtzman book "No Cheering in the Press Box"? If Koppett wrote something similar, I'd love to get my hands on it.
   34. GGC for Sale Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:30 PM (#2403728)
Call me either, Boots.

Rise and Fall of the Press Box is the book that I was referring to.
   35. King Kaufman Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:42 PM (#2403736)
That would seem to me to be the way internet columnists will get recognition: by forming their own professional organization, which will act as a kind of guild seal of quality for its members, and able to exert collective pressure on MLB.

Sure, but isn't it in the best interests of the BBWAA to be the A of all BBWs? Er, I mean the association of all base ball writers? (Of America?) Why would it want to marginalize itself to being just the newspaper BBWAA, and set up what figures to be a long, losing battle with a group representing newer technology? If there were such a thing around 1900 as the American Personal Transporation Association (commonly known as the stagecoach club), would it have been smarter to embrace drivers of cars, or let the car drivers form their own little auto club?

I'm not saying newspapers = stagecoaches, but it's generally a bad strategy to cling to the old technology in a fight against the new, especially when the trend lines are pretty clear. The BBWAA is clinging to an old technology. It's saying the method of delivery, not the writing, is the most important thing. What really sets a BBWAA writer apart from an online writer isn't the writing -- as others have noted in comparing various excellent online writers with Marrioti -- it's a truck driver.
   36. Boots Day Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2403739)
Thanks, GGC (or EWK).
   37. Covfefe Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:48 PM (#2403740)
What really sets a BBWAA writer apart from an online writer isn't the writing -- as others have noted in comparing various excellent online writers with Marrioti -- it's a truck driver.


I knew it! It's all the Teamsters' fault. Does this mean that Jerome Holtzman knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried?
   38. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:50 PM (#2403745)
I think one big issue for teams might be that us internet people are more mercurial than traditional journalists. A press pass given to a print guy is a pretty good indication that he'll show up on a daily basis, even on the road. What a club gets out of giving an online person one is less certain.

Certainly some sort of mandatory minimum attendance and evidence of daily game commentary should be required, otherwise all this amounts to is giving a bunch of fans free tickets. There's also the problem of a fixed number of press box seats vs a nearly unlimited number of bloggers.

Strikes me that most of the interesting blogger/online columnist stuff I've read owed a lot of it's quality to the fact that it was coming from an outsider perspective. I think it would be really easy for a blogger to get kind of coopted, however casually, by the access and seal of approval granted by the team.

Absolutely. Some of the best perspectives have always come from outsiders, and not just in sports. You could learn a hell of a lot more about the Vietnam war in 1965 by reading I.F. Stone than by reading James Reston or Joseph Alsop. And the process of co-optation is much like that of a lobster being boiled---it happens so gradually that you're often scarcely aware of what's happened to yourself. Would Bill James have been able to write his Abstracts with that much bite if he'd been sitting next to the Kansas City Star beat reporters at the Royals games every night and chatting up the players in the locker room after the game?
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2007 at 03:19 PM (#2403766)
King (and others):

I am encouraged to read those comments as a similar discussion erupted a while back when I made an offhand comment in a thread about how someone like Gleeman will eventually have said credentials and a few blowhards railed about how the current batch of baseball writers know oh so much more than the current cast of "fanboys".

Like you, I believe that the Baseball Writer's Association, like the newspapers that employ them, are clinging to a failed strategy.

I use the following phrase all the time because it's appropriate in so many settings but never more so than here: You can shut yourself in but you cannot shut the world out.

It always makes sense to reach out and manage the change than ignore what is happening around you. Unless the BBWAA somehow equates this new medium as some sort of Mongol invasion that must be defeated for the sake of humanity.
   40. rr Posted: June 15, 2007 at 01:50 AM (#2404609)
Another good idea would be to set out some expectations for online writers who want the sort of access print reporters enjoy.

I wonder how many bloggers would want that sort of access. I doubt many, actually. The whole point of blogging, is, in a sense, to be on the outside. Marchman probably mentioned Cameron in part because Cameron does say he knows some people in the Mariners' organization and does sometimes share "inside" stuff with the USSMariner readers. But, in general, I am not sure that many bloggers would want that kind of access.
   41. GGC for Sale Posted: June 15, 2007 at 11:56 AM (#2404816)
I found the Koppett book. He doesn't clear up my question about Holtzman versus Young. He does say the reporters were in the clubhouse a long time before they interviewed athletes. I get the impression that reporters started interviewing as a reaction to electronic media covering the game.
   42. Jay Seaver Posted: June 15, 2007 at 01:59 PM (#2404875)
The whole point of blogging, is, in a sense, to be on the outside.

I don't think that's really the case; it's more a matter of circumstances than intent. Very few people start blogs to position themselves as outsiders; blogs are just what's available to people who are already on the outside. I doubt many bloggers would pass up access to access and information that let them write a better blog; even as fans, it's generally the sort of thing that would pique their curiosity. I think that there are a great many bloggers who would object to having to give something in return, but a number of others might find it worth it.

"Bloggers", as a group, are far too heterogeneous to tag with one set of motivations or bits of expected behavior.
   43. rr Posted: June 15, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2404885)
"Bloggers", as a group, are far too heterogeneous to tag with one set of motivations or bits of expected behavior.

Sure. That is why I said "not many" instead of "none." I think the bloggers who would want access would be those, like Aaron Gleeman, who use/d blogging as a way to try to make writing about sports their careers. But I think that is a sizable minority.

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