Reds - General

Shooting at the messengers

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the Reds beat writers.

It’s one thing to be wrong. (And because I offer so many opinions here, I’m wrong plenty of times. Even “loud wrong” as Tony Kornheiser says. Remember this?

Commit this thought to heart: The Yankees are going to sign Robinson Cano. The Yankees are going to sign Robinson Cano. The Yankees are going to sign Robinson Cano. The leak of the Yankees’ interest in Phillips smacks of way-obvious negotiation strategery on the part of New York. Because the Yankees are going to sign Robinson Cano.

That’s me being loud wrong about the impossibility of Phillips being traded to the Yankees.)

Back to the point. It’s one thing to be wrong, it’s another to be unfair.

Yesterday, I was frustrated with the lack of progress from the Reds at the winter meeting. I was incited by an inaccurate article by John Fay in the Cincinnati Enquirer. But instead of understanding the right source of my irritation, I fired a broad, cheap and too easy shot at the messengers, and regret it.

After receiving some friendly input, I took a closer look at the reporting done by the beats last week. I’d missed a few things among the tweets, blog posts and stories.

Mark Sheldon not only confirmed (first posted at midnight) the rumors about the Phillips-for-Gardner trade offer, but he was the first to report the important information that Phillips had a no-trade clause with the Yankees. He also had quotes from the Yankees side of things that implied they weren’t all that into BP and were looking for pitching instead. And separately, Sheldon reported a conversation with Bronson Arroyo and debunked rumors of the Pirates’ interest in signing the free agent pitcher.

C. Trent Rosecrans sourced a report that the Pirates were going to meet with Arroyo. He also reported sources saying the negotiations between the Yankees and Reds continued even after reports that the Yankees had shot down the Reds’ offer.

Even though I agree with John Fay’s conclusion about trading Chapman, I stand by my comments about his post (which he’s now corrected). Yet, it was wrong and unfair of me to suggest the Reds’ beat writers hadn’t broken any stories or mined sources during the winter meetings.

While there are aspects of being a beat writer I’d probably enjoy quite a bit (as would most fans), other parts leave me cold. As I pointed out yesterday, much of their job is difficult and undoubtedly frustrating. They’d probably appreciate it if bloggers like me didn’t blame them for the fact there was nothing much to report in the first place.

17 thoughts on “Shooting at the messengers

    • You must be a humble person.

      Humble? Steve? Uh, I don’t think so, but honest, fair amd insightful…I’ll by a ticket on that train.

      Nice follow-up Steve.

  1. Comparing beat writers to the national bloggers is tricky. Guys like Olney, Rostenstal, Heyman … they’re going for clickthroughs. They never site a source and often spend most of the credibility quoting each other … so if something works out, they can gloat about it.

    Rosecrans did the same thing when he was with CBS.

    Fay and Shelton are less likely to work that way.

    In any event, beat writing is tough. I’ve done it and the stories you want to tell are the ones that you can’t tell.

    Years ago, what was said in the clubhouse stayed in the clubhouse. Now, the players Twitter it out there anyhow. Next thing you know, Cueto is kicking somebody in the head.

  2. Way to man up Steve. The beats are closer to the team than Rosenthal, Heyman, etc. You would think they could glean a few “scoops” occasionally.

  3. Steve,

    Way to man up. That says a lot about you. People throw darts at you on this site as well. That said. I think it is ok to push/question the beat writers. I know you see both sides. Let me give you my humble opinion of our writers..

    1. John Fay is well–John Fay. He is loyal, predictable and always there.. For lack of a better analogy-He is like an ex-wife who is there everynight no matter how bad you were with not much to offer..

    2. Daugherty is way too negative for me. I stopped reading most of his post a few years back. When I read his articles it made me mad/irritated/bumbed–Just take your pick. He is a very good writer with great ideas and a terrible delivery.

    3. C Trent. This is the guy who needs the slack. He is young, works for peanuts, looks like a lazy criminal and has had to report thru multiple outlets ( The Post, C nati, etc) the past few years. He needs the slack. He needs time to develop his contacts, style, way of thinking etc. The kid has been kicked in the teeth way too much these past few years.

    Steve, as I said these are humble opinions from a life-long Cincy sports fan. Thank you for what you guys do.

  4. Fay reminds me of George Grande in the sense that he is a big baseball fan, but really doesn’t have a clue as to the how’s and why’s of baseball. He seems like a super nice guy, his grammar and spelling in his blogs are very lacking.

    C Trent, I think is also in over his head. It seems most of his posts are swipes of other MLB blog posts. Granted there are many ideas circulating that could make for repetitive blog posts, but most blogs like this one at least give credit to a post they read to spark the discussion. Again has grammar issues.

    I myself have sever grammar issues, but I do not write professionally.

      • @Redsfanx: Sullivan was fired from the U-T a couple years ago, for not parroting the company line. (New owner of the paper, a real estate developer, expressly ordered the staff to support a new stadium deal for the Chargers. Sullivan didn’t.) He’s now in Louisville.

        • @Chris Garber: I hadn’t realized that, I just googled and see he is now writing for Louisville’s The Courier-Journal. Maybe the enquirer can swing a two for one trade sending C Trent and Fay.

  5. While you have identified specifics that negated the premiss of your previous article, I feel the criticism regarding the lack of depth from the local beat writers is warranted. During the season I read their articles daily because I’ll read most anything about the Reds. I read The Nation because it is interesting, insightful and, like good writing should, it gives me something to think about all day.
    While I respect you more for your retraction, I’d advise you stay away from being a political pundit. I doubt your integrity would serve you well in that world.

  6. Nice job. Nice gesture. Nobody’s perect. But when the sports writers sit around and don’t report, it leaves a vacuum, especially at the Winter Meetings when the fans were hoping for some big news. And when that vacuum is left unattended by the sports writers, it can help to create the likes of twitter dude. Hopefully legal action is coming his way. The sports writers should be cognizant of that fact in the future when it comes to reporting on important weeks and Winter Meetings.

  7. Fair points, Steve. And the self-reflective process is very healthy. Especially for you guys who make mistakes. :)

    But the local beat can certainly use all the scrutiny it can handle. Too often, there appears to be a lack of competition, with guys happy to be along for the ride, taking more pleasure from yukking it up with Marty then in breaking stories.

  8. I am a writer and a blogger. I have taken my share of criticism for criticizing the writers who cover the Reds. Your opinion doesnt mean as much as mine but is accurate.

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