Keeping the news in perspective

From the 'You Don't Say' Department
Straw to Joba: Don't do what I did

October is a slow month for a baseball team not in the playoffs. With a general gag order from the Commissioner’s Office and no free agents yet, the other 28 teams that didn’t make the Fall Classic are in a bit of a holding pattern with organizational meetings and preliminary talks with their own free agents.

So all we’re left with is the same old-same old. Jon Heyman rehashes the rumors. Ken Rosenthal tries to find some new angle. Only ESPN, it seems, refrains from going overboard with the “anonymous scouts” and “one AL executive” stories. In two weeks, of course, that resolve will be thrown out the window, but for now, at least one sports news organization seems to appreciate the World Series for the games, bad managing or not.

Nowhere is this lack of news more disturbing than in New York. The city’s tabloids thrive on the constant New York attention, and when a team from Philadelphia plays a team from Tampa in the World Series, New York must take second stage to the rest of baseball. Needless to say, no one paid to write likes that too much.

To sell papers, to keep people talking about the Yanks and about baseball, these papers and the bloggers that follow the team will post just about anything. Five years ago, hardly anyone had heard of the Arizona Fall League. Now, columnists and bloggers salivate over the daily results from an instructional league with little or no perspective on what those results mean.

Meanwhile, on the free agent front, any time a potential free agent — or a potential free agent’s teammate’s brother’s cousin’s former secretary — breaths a word about New York, it’s front page news. No free agents want to come to New York! None of the Yanks’ young prospects are any good! The sky is falling!

Over the last few years, folks in politics have had to adapt to a world in which the Internet exposes everything. Say something stupid in speech in California, and YouTube will have it available to the world within a few hours. Now baseball is suffering through the same problem. We have unfettered access to Minor League numbers and games. We have limitless access to everything but clubhouse insiders, and the response is overwhelmingly wrong-headed.

Instead of allowing for negotiating strategies — by saying you don’t want to go somewhere, you raise your asking price — instead of allowing for the struggles of youth, writers and bloggers write off General Managers while displaying a willful ignorance of the role a GM and his scouting staff plays. These same writers throw in the towel for 2009 before the free agent signing period even begins.

Right now, no one knows anything about the next few months. We know that the Yanks have a lot of money and a bunch of options on the table. We can speculate until the cows — or Eric Bruntlett — comes home, but in the end, it’s all meaningless. For now, we should just step back from the ledge, enjoy the World Series and worry about who’s signing where and what young kids will play a role next year in a few weeks. Anything else is just idle, uninformed speculation.

From the 'You Don't Say' Department
Straw to Joba: Don't do what I did
  • Ivan

    Welcome to the 21st Century Ben K.

    The world has change incredibly.

    Years ago, pitching prospects struggling on the pitching side was the norm not the exception. Now it has been the reverse. Considering it is harder now to pitch than it was years ago, young pitchers should be given more rope than ever instead it is shorten.

    Years ago, everybody wanted to play for the yanks. Now No body wants to play for the yanks. Wierd.

    The media has gone more and more bias and irrational year by year.

    PS: If FA players don’t wanna come to the yanks, wouldn’t the media be more rational to the yanks to build their own product/players and creating their own system/core instead of trading everybody or overpaying somebody cuz he didn’t wanna come here.

  • Ben K.

    Nah. The media can’t be rational. That wouldn’t sell papers and get folks like us all riled up at them.

  • Mike R.

    Our buddy King George III isn’t even bothering to come up with “anonymous sources” anymore. Now he either states it as if it were fact or writes things like “word is spreading”. A whole bunch of these guys need to wake up and eraluxe that the information age is all about questioning authority and that their credentials will only get them so far.

  • Frank

    Yeah, New York “journalists,” or tabloids, are nothing more than toilet paper with little pictures on them. I think this also falls into the “You Don’t Say” category.

  • Ivan

    You know whats amazing? Reporters/journalists don’t do research anymore. Nobody within that job don’t use research, try to gather facts and really try to come up with credible stuff. Yet, we live in an era where like Ben alluded to, it is so much easier to get research, to get facts and gather credible stuff than it was several years ago. Nevertheless, these people don’t use the research to come up with credible work and get straight accurate facts. That’s amazing.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Last year we were all freaked out about everything…Mo, Po, Pettite, Arod, Torre…this year is much different. At least the world won’t come to an end when the WS ends, the RS aren’t going to win it and Arod’s not opting out, Posada is not having lunch with the Mets, Mariano is not threatening to walk.

    So it’s better to be dull than what it was last year.

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Great post.

  • B.George

    Idiot Joel Sherman is saying that Phil Hughes sucks in the column. I guess he doesnt watch the world series watching the rays pitching staff and how they devolped with age. Hes a moron and shouldnt write anymore.

  • Shamus

    Yeah… Its funny to see some posters on here and especially over on the Lohud going chicken little because CC and Burnett REPORTEDLY don’t want to come to NYY.

    If they don’t want to come tot he Bronx when the Yankees have made them the best offer, then screw ’em.

    If (hypothetically) CC gets offered:

    NYY 6 years, $150M
    NYM 7 years, $130M
    BoSox 5 years, $100M
    Dodgers/Angels 7 years, $120M

    And he wants to go somewhere other than the Bronx? Then screw him! Let him eat $5 footlongs elsewhere for the next six years.

    Same goes for Burnett.

    The NYY need players that want to be a part of the lore of the ‘stripes. Not b/c they know its the best paycheck out there.

    We, as fans, need to be patient and wait. We need to not fall off the rocker and go crazy in a chat room when some hack like Sherman, GK3, P-Abe and so on claims that Burnett’s agent’s-sister’s-friend-of a cousin heard that AJ isn’t warm to NYY.

    Wait for the words from the horse’s mouth, IMO.

    • Shamus

      Here’s to hoping the Yankees open the new year and the new Stadium with a championship-caliber team!

      Manny = Hell No!

      Sheets = Please, lord no!

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        Wouldn’t Manny help us become a championship caliber team? All the teams he’s been on have been championship caliber, no?

        (Not that he’s coming here… looks like he’s staying in LA. I’m just saying…)

  • B.George

    The reason why CC and Burnett are saying they dont wanna go to NYY is because they will lose so much leverage in negotiating by saying they want to come here. By saying they dont wanna come here they are forcing the yanks hand to overpay for them. You would think idiots that write for the local papers would know that.