Saturday, May 3, 2008
Friday Night Lights
Good Saturday morning! I thought I would take a few minutes and post something this morning since I am up way too early. It was a good night last night for the Twins and three of their four affiliates, although they also had a great performance in the game that they did lose.
I almost feel funny using that title line this morning. I know I am a couple of days late, but I do feel the need to replay, even briefly on the Internet Media segment of this weeks episode of Costas Now on HBO. I'm sure you have seen the video elsewhere. It is really interesting and worthy of discussion. For those unaware of what it is, Costas had one segment of his show in which he had Pulitzer Prize winning writer, and author of Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger speaking for the Main Stream Media, while Will Leitch, the founder of the sports blog, Deadspin. Oh, and for some unknown reason, Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards was also in the discussion. Now, if you watch the video, you will notice that Bissinger has a complete meltdown, including many expletives, directed at Leitch specifically, but really lumped him with all bloggers. Anyway, the video is about 20 minutes and totally worth watching, just remember that the show is on HBO, so there is no bleeping out of any of Bissinger's words.
My primary thought is this... why do blogs and the main steam media have to be mutually exclusive? Why can't we have both? If I want to read a game report, I will go to the newspaper. If I want to read quotes from the players or manager, I'll read the game reports. The beat writers have access to the locker room and so they can do those things. However, print writers are limited in space so they can't cover everything. There are a lot of fans who are looking for something more. And that is where blogs can come in. Maybe it is some extra stats. Maybe it is just an opinion. But I don't know why there has to be this disdain.
Secondly, I think we also have to remember that the newspaper articles appear on the internet as well, in their newspaper's website. That is why the newspaper sales industry has seen dramatic drops in circulation. The internet is an easy, convenient means of attaining the information. If it is there, what is the purpose of buying an actual paper? When I do buy a paper, I only read the sports section anyway, and I probably read no more than 25% of that (the baseball stuff).
Bissinger vulgarly and angrily attacked Leitch and all bloggers for being vulgar and agree and attacking people. Ironic? He really did a complete disservice to sports writers everywhere.
There is definitely a distinction that is not made by many. There is a huge difference between a blogger and those who comment on blogs.
There are good blogs, and there are not-so-good blogs. There are good beat writers, and there are not-so-good beat writers. There are good columnists, and there are not-so good columnists. There are good authors, and there are not-so-good authors. There are good teachers, and there are not-so-good teachers. There are good accountants, and there are not so good accountants. I think you get my point.
There seems to be an arrogance with Bissinger (that is likely shared by several others in the media) that because they are journalism majors and have been published officially in news print or books that they are experts in baseball. They (Again some) believe that they have better, or maybe even "the right", opinions and facts because of their access and privileges. In some cases, that is true.
There seems to be quite a few bloggers who seem to think that their opinions and facts are more accurate and they love finding an article by a main stream media author that differs from their opinion and thus is wrong. I am guilty of this from time to time as well.
Twins fans are really lucky to have La Velle E. Neal and Joe Christensen at the Star Tribune, and Phil Miller and Kelsie Smith have done a good job at the Pioneer Press. Part of that is that they have their own blogs through their respective newspapers (even if I think they would all admit that they probably weren't real high on the idea initially). They have acknowledged that the internet is the future* and that the blog gives them a forum to provide extra information that can not appear on in the newsprint.
Going back to my asterisk (*) in the previous bullet point, to say that the internet is the future is like saying that "Green" is in the future. The reality is that it is in the present too.
We hear about the access that main stream media has with players and coaches by being in the locker room before and after games. Bissinger said that they get to sit in the press box because it gives them a perspective of the game that no one else gets. True. However, if I am sitting out in left field, I have a different perspective than he has. What if I sit in the fourth row right behind home plate? That is actually a closer perspective than the press box. If I watch the game on TV, I can see the game and get a different perspective too.
Secondly, I frequently hear that bloggers don't have to go into the locker room and answer to the players or managers when they write something negative. True. But, couldn't that compromise a writer from giving a true or fair opinion or story, fearing that they may lose the confidence or trust of the players that they have access to? In other words, can't a blogger write a more truthful (or negative) article about something because he doesn't have to worry about how it will affect him the next day?
To say that Deadspin best represents all blogs is like saying that Buzz Bissinger represents all writers.
For me, do I claim to be a journalist? I have opinions and minor league thoughts and a few stats and such, and I frame it as nothing more than a blog. I'm not a journalism major, but I do happen to think that I am able to write at a decent level. Should I read through my postings and edit them? Probably should!
That whole Freedom of Speech thing must come into play here somewhere, right? Even if a blog is horrible or an opinion varies from others, everyone has the right to voice an opinion. The internet, and specifically blogs, is a means of doing that.
If players put pictures that could be found on facebook or myspace or any such site, it's all fair game.
I can't help but wonder how the show might have been different had Joe Posnanski been selected to appear rather than Bissinger (Posnanski said he was on a short list of those being considered). What if Aaron Gleeman or Jon Weisman or David Pinto would have been chosen to represent the bloggers (although Leitch did fine and showed excellent control under the attacks).
Finally, what was the purpose of having Braylan Edwards on there. He doesn't blog. His teammates don't blog. He did acknowledge that he does occasionally read blogs to give him an idea of what the fans are thinking. What if Pat Neshek, Phil Hughes or Curtis Granderson, or even Gilbert Arenas would have been asked to represent the players.
I left some
comments on Aaron's site yesterday, and the summary of them was:
"Clearly the purpose of the segment was to bash all bloggers as being uninformed idiots whose sole purpose is to spew venom. Even Will acknowledged there are many of them. But there are a lot of good bloggers who choose to provide fans with something more, something that they can't get in the paper. Each serves a good purpose."
It was an interesting, if frustrating, discussion to watch. Bob Costas gave his thoughts on the show here. I do think it is a good discussion and a very important discussion. I hope there are more discussions like this, but I hope that it is more fair and more discussion and less show.
I don't know if you saw the episode or want to take a look at the video online. It is interesting and I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
TWINS 11, TIGERS 1
Ron Gardenhire is not with the team for this home due to the unfortunate death of his older brother. Hopefully he takes as much time as he needs because baseball just isn't that important. The Twins got pitching and the bats showed up. I would say an 11-1 game is always good! Here are my thoughts:
After three bad starts, Livan Hernandez put together a good one. In seven innings, he gave up one run on eight hits and two walks. That dropped his ERA back into the mid-4s. The one run came on a Magglio Ordonez solo home run.
Matt Guerrier and Juan Rincon each pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
There were lots of hitters who had good nights, something many of them really needed!
Justin Morneau was 3-5 with his fifth double.
Jason Kubel went 3-5 with a triple.
Joe Mauer was 2-2 with two walks. I just don't understand why, when the game is a blow out like this, Mike Redmond isn't being put into the game.
Michael Cuddyer was 2-5 with his second and third doubles.
Delmon Young was 2-5.
Brendan Harris had just one hit, but it was his second home run of the year.
Chris Gomez was on his way to a good game. He had a walk (seriously!), he was hit by a pitch, and he had a single. He also stole two bases. Unfortunately, on the second steal, he was hit in the head by the throw from the catcher and left the game. Fortunately, he appears to be OK.
Adam Everett was back in the lineup and in the nine spot. He had a double. Now that he is healthy, I am interested in finding out about his defensive capabilities.
Twins Minor League Updates
Friday SethSpeaks Player of the Day – Edward Ovalle, Ft. Myers Miracle
Friday SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Day – Michael Tarsi, Beloit Snappers
Be sure to check out Twinkie Town today where I would expect Roger to post his weekly Minor League Report. Also, Travis Talks has had a couple of interesting postings the last few days. He looked at the Rochester Red Wings in April. He also updated his Top 10 Twins Prospects.
Friday - Red Wings 6, Toledo 2 – The Twins AAA Affiliate beat the Tigers AAA affiliate too last night. Dontrelle Willis actually started for the Mudhens, a rehab start. He gave up two runs on four hits in 4.2 innings. He struck out four. Glen Perkins started for the Red Wings. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on two hits. He walked four and struck out four. Mariano Gomez came in and struck out two in 1.2 innings. Tim Lahey recorded his third save with two innings of work. He gave up one run on four hits and struck out two. Darnell McDonald had another great day. He went 3-4 with his sixth double, third homer, five RBI and his third stolen base. Denard Span went 2-4 with a walk and three stolen bases. Tommy Watkins returned from the DL and went 2-4.
NEW BRITAIN NEWS
Friday - Rockcats 12, New Hampshire 6 – Anthony Swarzak was named the SethSpeaks Pitcher of the Month for April yesterday, and then he went out and had a bad start. Fortunately the Rockcat bats picked it up for him. Swarzak started and went just four innings. He gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk. Kyle Aselton then struck out four in three shutout innings to be credited with the win. Ben Julianel then gave up a run in two innings. Steve Tolleson went 3-3 with a walk, three doubles (he has seven on the year now), three runs scored and two RBI. Dustin Martin went 2-5. Trevor Plouffe was 2-4 with his sixth double. Brock Peterson went 1-3 with two walks and his ninth double. David Winfree hit a grand slam.
FT MYERS MEMOS
Friday - Miracle 11, Clearwater 10 – Deolis Guerra had a rough start again, but Edward Ovalle and the rest of the bats were enough to give the Miracle a nice win. Guerra gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in just 3.1 innings. Matt Fox then came in and gave up five runs on five hits and a walk in just one inning. Zach Day gave up one run on three hits in 2.2 innings to gain the win. Rob Delaney went the final two innings and did not allow a run to get his seventh save. Ovalle went 4-5 with his third triple, first homer and two RBI. Rene Tosoni was 2-2 with a walk, he was hit by a pitch and he hit his sixth double. Wilson Ramos went 3-5 with his fifth double. Yancarlos Ortiz hit his second and third doubles.
Friday - Snappers 1, Great Lakes 2 – Michael Tarsi has been terrific his last three starts, and he was great in this one too. Unfortunately, the Snappers offense has not helped him and with this loss, he is now 0-6 on the year. Tarsi went all eight innings and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out six. Danny Lehman led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk and his second triple. Chris Parmelee and Ben Revere each had a double.
Alright, let's take a look at Michael Tarsi's season in two parts, his first three starts and his last three starts:
|First three starts||0-3||11.1||28||21||4||9||16.67||2.82|
|Last three starts||0-3||22.0||16||4||4||12||1.64||0.91|
I think that constitutes a bit of an improvement, and put Tarsi right back up on the prospect lists.
That's it for today! Have a great Saturday!|
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