Archive for the 'The Fynal Cut' Category

23
Apr
08

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Press Pass – pt. 3

Some day soon, a book will come out entirely centered around the journalistic phenomenon we now call blogging. Specifically sports blogging. It won’t be written by a blogger, but some Ph.D. at a liberal arts school. The book will analyze all the ways in which this new form of media has effected “traditional sports reporting” and how the landscape of event coverage has changed forever. One of the chapters in this book will be an expansion of this article (or at least the beginning of it), published in the New York Times on Monday, April 21. The chapter will center around access, and who deserves what amount. But before all that happens, we wanted to address this issue in a five-part series. We will view the access question from the perspective of all the major parties involved: owners, players, reporters, bloggers, and we’ll end on Monday with the most important perspective of them all — the fan’s.

PART 3 — THE REPORTERS

Alright, let’s get this out front first. Yes, a lot of reporters write blogs for their given outlets, but it’s not necessarily by our own accord. More often than not, an editor calls us into the office, tells us that management wants to establish more of a “Web presence” because that’s what all the kids are doing these days with their Giggles and Tube Yous, then they tell us to cross our arms and “Oh my god, look at the spider on the ceiling!” then *FLASH*-*SNAP*, we have a blog.

What I’m trying to say is, that’s not entirely by choice. As much as I love being forced to write twice as much as I used to, I’m not the biggest fan of sports blogs. Never really have been.

I look back on how I got to this point, and I see college where I spent countless hours in sweaty rooms writing news leads and memorizing the different between lay and lie. I covered field hockey and volleyball and water polo and track and softball… And what did it all get me? My first job covering all the same shit — except at a high school. My big stories were about a basketball player with down syndrome and a football recruit getting arrested (which I co-bylined with a fat man named Bill who had a burly mustache and a car that smelled like sour hot dogs).

Ten years of that landed me right back at the colleges, and another 15 years after that I finally cracked open the doors to a professional press room. That’s how I got the job I have, how about you bloggers that want a seat next to me? You opened an account at Blogspot and started calling me a shmuck.

I’m not saying all that makes me more or less worthy, I know the world doesn’t work like that. What I’m saying is that you can’t replicate the passion and respect that those 30 years have left me with. I approach these games like a surgeon approaches a patient; like a lawyer approaches a courtroom. These are not some free tickets to me. This is work.

When I look around that press room, I see a bunch of tired faces that carry the same battle scars as my own. And I’m just as dependent on those guys as I am on my recorder and notebook. You see, in the eyes of these athletes, we’re all the same. Lumped into one giant bunch. “The Media.” And the fact of the matter is, if one guy pisses of the coach, he walks out on all of us. I have to tell my editor that my story won’t have quotes tonight, just like the other 20 guys in the room. Around here, there isn’t any room for renegades.

Listen, even though I could go on about “ethics,” and “standards,” and how “I can’t do what you do and get away with it,” I don’t think those are the central issues to this matter. I think journalists have proven they are just as capable of acting unethically. What’s bigger is the history, tradition, and honor that surrounds covering a coach who just won a Super Bowl, or a 22-year-old kid that’s sobbing into your microphone because he just lost the last meaningful game he’ll ever play in his life.

Those are the things that are not to be taken for granted. And unless you’ve seen that same elation on the face of a little league coach or that same anguish in the eyes of a high school softball pitcher, I argue that you’ll never truly understand what a privlege it is to cover these games. So for now, let’s just stick to what we each do best. I’ll keep writing game wraps, and you can keep calling me a shmuck.

View the other perspectives: The Owners and The Players

30
Aug
07

The Fynal Out: N.L. races are so hot right now

InterferenceAll of the sudden, none of the American League playoff races are close.

Of course, the Yankees’ deficit has been lingering from 5-8 games for what seems like months.

But now the Tigers are 4.5 behind Cleveland (thanks to two straight losses to KANSAS CITY) and the Angels have widen their lead to 5 games over the Mariners.

But in the N.L., things are tightening up. Especially in the East. And the Central. And the West.

Last night, behind four straight wins, the Phillies closed the gap to 3 games. The Mets appeared to have tied the game in the top of the ninth, but Marlon Anderson was called out for interference, ending the game on a controversial note.

Either way, a loss is a loss, and the Mets now have four in a row. Philly goes for the sweep today at 1:05 EST.

Mets 2, Phillies 3: In addition to that helpful interference call, the Phillies got six strong innings out of Jamie Moyer, who gave up just two runs. The Philly offense was boosted by first inning home runs by the break-dancing Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell.

Red Sox 3, Yankees 4: Roger Clemens somehow took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, before giving up a solo shot to David Ortiz. Although it’s not time for Boston fans to jump off the ledge yet, Josh Beckett gave up a season-high 13 hits. The Yankees are now tied for first in the Wild Card race.

Angels 8, Mariners 2: This series was supposed to be crucial. We would have even taken competitive. The Angels closed out the sweep Wednesday behind solo home runs from Jeff Mathis and Vlad Guerrero. Jered Weaver went eight innings and gave up just one earned run. Up-and-down Seattle has now lost five in a row.

Diamondbacks 1, Padres 3: Speaking of sweeps, the Padres go for an important one today. Three straight wins have put San Diego in a tie for first out West, and a win today would put Arizona alone in second. On Wednesday, Micah Owings allowed just three hits and a run in seven innings, but got no help from his offense.

More scores…

Continue reading ‘The Fynal Out: N.L. races are so hot right now’