Monday, April 12, 2010
The Ghost of Babe Ruth whispering in the ears of these many Boston Red Sox's General Managers
Las night after finishing my first post of the new season for BaseballBlogs (Baseball too long? Why not fewer Ads?), I was doing the normal syndication stuff - post to Twitter which feeds to Facebook, then to The Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) to see if the new feed capture machine published my headline and a snippet, or mistakenly the image html of my new Bi-line thingy (I'm very proud of my new bi-line thingy).
Everything worked fine, the post looked great.
It'd been a long time since I've been to the Bloggers Alliance, so I thought I might as well have a look at all the new Blogs.
Many bloggers publish box scores at the top of each post - which don't look good in the BBA syndication layout. I guess they must get hits with the format - the bots love those juicy keywords like 'final' and 'score', and those team names.
But a few stand out in a good way, they have captivating headlines and interesting writing. One of the smart ones is the blog, "Joy of Sox". I twigged onto a brilliant headline in this provocatively titled blog, Giving Ortiz A Chance - Being Reactionary Is The Media's Job - a story about how the craft of baseball writing may be, by definition, a reactionary pursuit.
Redsock does a nice job of sketching out the lay of the land in (sport) journalism around the current David Ortiz polgrum in Boston. (At the time of the post Ortiz had 1 hit in 11 at bats - at this time he is 2 for 18). The piece lets the Boston media off the hook for leading the mob against Ortiz, because for example, the mob wants to be lead that way - everyone else who leads mobs now-a-days leads them like that... It's post modern, avant-garde. You know, smart.
I disagree, it's not smart - and it's amoral and gutless.
The disruption in all media in the last years created by the revolution in all things communication has created media ghettos where underpaid over worked journalists (like Rupurt Murdock's Fox) have been used to help prove Murdock's rather profitable theory that journalists will work for much less than usual and will sell their souls to write for a living. "After all", goes the mantra of the enslaved, "What can I do? I'm just one writer..." Blah, blah, blah.
The myth corporate mass media conglomerates are trying to make real is not true from this observers point of view. How important are the tabloid rags and the local spectacle crime driven local broadcast television news stations? What future do the paparazzi driven productions that tell the beautiful/ugly soap operas stories of the rich and famous against the evolving ecosphere of social networking tools and the citizen journalism in Web 2.0?
The craft of journalism is on the verge of exploding in a Renaissance of conscientious hard working responsible craftspeople driven by excellence rather than fleeting fame. You can't quite see it yet, but its coming. There are a billion writers in their own journalism schools blogging around the world today.
As for the Boston medias campaigns against current/former stars - I think I've seen this before (Roger Clements,and others). When ever Boston ownership wants to dump salary they demonize the superstar through their agents in the Boston Media - and then they trade him away because he dosen't want to play in Boston any more (for some reason).
What is it about general managers in Boston? Perhaps it's because Boston is the centre of the universe of baseball writing that they don't think they can handle the wrath of Boston Red Sox fans. This is insane of coarse, because it results in lower value for the player. Could it be that the ghost of Babe Ruth whispering in the ears of these many Boston General Managers drives them insane?
The other day Ortiz hit the roof in a press conference and in an expletive filled diatribe, hammered home the final nails in the shipping box that's going to deliver him elsewhere sometime soon.
Hopefully that's Toronto.
Stats link: Baseball-Reference.com