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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Against baseball’s transactional scoop mongering

The increasing value placed on being the first to report something that either doesn’t matter or will soon be public skews the entire baseball media ecosystem in such a way that it’s entirely too easy to suppress more important, less savory stories.

And here’s the thing, it’s not even the announcement of actual done deals that’s a problem — they are, objectively, “news” that people are eager to know — but rather the trickle-down effect of dozens of reporters chasing the chance to tweet that the Dodgers or Angels were “talking to Gerrit Cole.” Or even the postmortems on how they made him an offer, the parade of reports that your favorite team almost did something exciting.

These are not newsworthy, they don’t matter, their value only exists because of a media economy that so disproportionately rewards transactional news. And imbuing all these non-notable pseudo-scoops with value — regardless of whether they’re even accurate (!) — thereby imbues the gatekeepers of this kind of information with an outsized amount of power. If teams that fail to secure a blockbuster acquisition want to placate fans by broadcasting their unsuccessful efforts, let them do so on their own feeds.

Reporters are always going to rely on the favors or self-serving motivations of front office personnel and agents to a certain extent, but this is one genre of news in which we can fully eradicate those shackles without any disservice to fans.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2019 at 08:33 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: journalism

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. 185/456(GGC) Posted: December 27, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5911224)
I’m not complaining because I think the media members who chase free agent signings and trade news are bad reporters. I’m complaining because I think they’re good reporters whose talents are wasted trying to one-up each other in publicizing information that teams want out there anyway. (Either way, a moment of due respect to the originators of the salary scoop who are responsible for our modern expectation of relative financial transparency.)

Wasn't the originator that blogger Murray Chass?
   2. McCoy Posted: December 27, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5911231)
Wasn't it the union that demanded that so contracts be made public?
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: December 27, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5911234)
I thought transactional scoop mongering was arguing about whose turn it is to deal with the litter box.
   4. Sunday silence Posted: December 27, 2019 at 05:17 PM (#5911277)
I came here looking for a discussion of defensive metrics...

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