There is a certain degree of monotony to the recurring theme: Manny is selfish. Manny is like a petulant teenager. Something must be done about Manny. Manny goes on an offensive tear. Manny hits a couple balls to Mahs. Manny is a hero. Manny takes day off. Manny is a losah. Burn Manny; he's a witch. Yawn … (Soxaholix)
My sentiments exactly.
Oh, and I didn't recognize that this post by Steve Brady was satire until Kristen explained it to me.
I don't think I've read the Globe sports section in many months (their online registration thing didn't help, either). Frankly, I'm happy with the blogosphere and official sites and NESN as my sources for sports news. While NESN is part of the whole "cartel", they seem to grasp that they, and their subject, are entertainment, that people want to see Derek Lowe talk about his favorite movie being Tin Cup and Keith Foulke saying he'd probably be a cop if he wasn't a Major League closer and Papi cooking with Sam Horn. Sure, there's analysis, but it's The Eck ranting and raving about someone's on-the-field pitching performance or Sam Horn going KA-POW! in reference to a home run. And NESN is the best sports station on the planet.
Seriously. Try to find a NESN anywhere else in the country.
Meanwhile, the Globe and Herald sports staffs seem to think it is their job to stir up controversy at least twice or three times in a season. They seem to think that this is the only way they can maintain credibility and objectivity as journalists. There's a word for sports journalists who only give you the fluff--ballwashers. And it seems that Boston's print media live in such fear of being thought of as such by their own colleagues that they have completely lost all sense of touch with the team, the fans, the sport, and most importantly, what they're supposed to be there to do. Which is cover baseball. And the only reason they get paid to cover baseball is because they, unlike the fans, have a little thing called a press pass that means they can barge into the clubhouse and talk to Kevin Millar whereas you and I would be arrested for attempting to do such a thing. They are then supposed to publish what Kevin Millar told them that we couldn't hear ourselves firsthand.
But somewhere along the line, the members of the sports staffs at Boston newspapers lost sight of just about every tenet of their core mission. Instead, they have become gossip mongers, rumor mills, and troublemakers. The saddest thing is that it's so unnecessary. People want to read about the Sox - the sitemeter on this humble blog when there are thousands of others could tell you that. It's an insult to a storied organization, the country's most passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and some of the game's most talented players that some print reporters and editors in this town seem to think that's not enough.
When was the last time someone won the Pulitzer for sports journalism? This isn't High News, folks. It's not the White House Press Corps. Even the most controversial, fraught-with-intrigue sports piece amounts to little more than an irrelevancy to the vast majority of daily lives. Injecting drama into it--say, for instance, making ballplayers unhappy and running them out of town, so the team gets worse and the management gets frustrated and fans are grief-stricken, and then founding a cottage industry based on documenting the grief-stricken nature of the fans as if it's an idiopathic sociological phenomenon--isn't going to make it any more important in the grand scheme of things. And--I cannot overstate this--it's so unnecessary.
Finally, really, guys, where's your sense of creativity? You want to start shit? Dig up some dirt on Trot Nixon, maybe. Or how about Kevin Millar? None of these guys have been saints. So why vilify Manny all the time? Do you just think that if you pick at it long enough, Manny will leave town, and secretly you can all applaud your inflated sense of self-importance when you've actually had a measurable (if largely pointless and unacknowledged) effect on something? Is that how it works? Keep beating the same dead horse till you get a reaction from somewhere? Because really, if fairness and objectivity are being paid more than just lip service here, then pick on everybody. Start digging into the private conversations every Red Sox player has had with Francona. I'm sure there have been some doozies in the past. In other words, if you're determined to be relentlessly negative, be thorough about it. Pick on someone else for a change, dammit. Not only is this drama so patently unnecessary, but the topic of Manny's supposed moral infidelities is old. It's used up. It's NOT. EVEN. INTERESTING.
You guys really want to shock a Boston audience, how about this. Interview a ballplayer and then put what he said in the paper. The end. Nothing more. Let your reader draw their own conclusions like the journalistic code of ethics you at least claim to espouse says you're supposed to.
Surely it can't be that hard.