Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MLB.com: Journalistic freedoms my ASS!

There are only two factors to address when it comes to quality journalism; audience and intent. Though an article will be subjected to multiple editors and reviewers, the writer has the final verdict when it comes to dispositions; none-the-less a piece will be perfect if you have a strong grasp on what your audience wants to hear your intentions when writing an article. When I read mainstream articles from MLB.com, this rule can’t be clearer. MLB has one audience they direct their articles towards; the fans who will visit the site the most, click ads, browse the Pro Shop, and own MLB. TV  subscriptions. Highlighting the latest news is a no-brainer, regardless of the material; it will bring in the audience. The audience will only read the articles they want to read, too easy. I don’t blame MLB.com; I am not even concerned a bit. I don’t blame the writers for their literature; it all is written very well, very detailed, and factual. However, some writers come up with some opinionated material that is objective and is wreck of journalistic shenanigans. Their intent for the article is unclear, or maybe to create a frenzy of discussion and arguments, which keeps readers around long enough one might decide to check out MLB Pro Shop. Why am I complaining about all of this, well not so much complaining, MLB is a business and that is all it is. In a recent article titled NL Central: Crew tough, but beware of Cards got my attention because it sucked. It was the some of the worst writing I have seen flow from Richard Justice’s creepy little head. If you read the article straight up, it is actually pretty good; then you start to think…wait, what the hell? Justice kicks it off with a little number about the Cardinals winning the NL Central even though the Brewers had a better record and later they beat the Phillies and the Diamondbacks out of a pennant, in which both teams also had a better record. Duh Richard, we have heard it over and over and over and over again, baseball is all about getting hot at the right time. Ok, moving on. Justice wrote “Here’s something important to remember about the Cardinals. Don’t sleep on them. Don’t count them out. And whatever you do, don’t underestimate them.” Ok Richard, I can buy that, I believe that in the game of baseball any team has a chance, anything can happen. He later describes how even in the loss of their star first baseman, manager, and now their ace pitcher, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Let’s forget everything that happened in the regular season, because it just doesn’t matter come October. Pujols belted 15 runs, 24 hits, 8 doubles, 5 home runs, 16 RBIs, and a batting average of .353 during the post season. He has 3 MVP awards, 2001 Rookie of the Year, 2 Gold Gloves, 6 Silver Sluggers, NLCS MVP, 2 Hank Aaron awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. REPLACE THAT ST. LOUIS! You just can’t. I don’t like Albert in the NL central anymore than the other five teams, but you have to admit he is one of the greatest players of our time. Albert has never batted less than .300 in his 11 years in the game, oh wait, he did in 2011 with a .299 average…That later won the World Series. Tony LaRussa, the captain of this mighty vessel, this guy was the keystone of the team. LaRussa has been manager of the year four times. He has 3 World Series Championships under his belt. This guy secured 6 pennants with two different teams. LaRussa has a career W-L% of .506 with 522 wins and 510 losses. Chris Carpenter has a Cy Young Award and a 3 time All-Star. Carpenter has a modest 3.76 career ERA but has 144 wins and 92 Losses. Chris is a winning machine, which is all he does. During the 2011 post season, Chris had 4 wins and 0 losses. Chris threw 36 innings, which are four solid games. I understand the offensive and defensive prowess of guys like Lance Berkman, David Freese, Allen Craig, Lance Lynn, Carlos Beltran, Wainwright and Motte, but the Cardinals are crippled. Will the Cards still put up a fight, well sure, will they fall below Houston, Chicago, or Pittsburgh, well no. But they will not pose a threat in the National League during the 2012 season. When you continue Richard’s mind numbing article you’re going to notice you are just about done reading the meat and potatoes of the his El Manifesto. Wait? What about the Brewers? Reds? Cubs, Astros, or Pirates? Don’t worry fellas, they get a sentence, bullet or special mention, keep reading. Richard assures us nothing when it comes to Prince Fielder swapping leagues. Prince had a post season batting average of .237 and really didn’t stand out as a defensive prodigy. He didn’t even mention the rest of the Brew crew: Lucroy, Gamel, Weeks, Gonzalez, Ramirez, Braun, Morgan, and Hart? At least he covered the fact that the Brewers have a stellar rotation and bullpen. In my opinion the Brewers are the team to beat this year, and the NL Pennant is going to be covered in blue and beer. But he did suggest that the Brewers have the best rotation in the National League? Not a chance in hell Justice. The Reds get a 6 sentence insert about their defensive capabilities. Most of which mentions the Reds three infield golden gloves, a clutch centerfielder, and a rookie shortstop. It gets better, the last sentence discussing the Reds actually brings up the Cardinals and Molina’s defensive catching. The cardinals’ insert wasn’t just for the Reds; while discussing the Brewers hot bullpen, Justice had to throw in how Motte is the guy to watch and a little something-something about Brett Myers. After reading the article I couldn’t help to think that attracting site hits and potential customers is by covering last year’s champions. Makes sense to me, except this is digging a little deep. The article was about competition in the toughest division in the game, instead it was about how everybody compared to the Cardinals. I think Richard Justice needs to pander to the more common and sizable crowd of MLB.com viewers. Justice, how about writing for those of us with brains, opinions, and probably a better understanding of the game.


  1. Well, at least he didn't write an entire article about how the Nationals would surprise the Nation and win the Series in 2012.

    Also, I thought the perfect formula to ensure maximum readership/viewership was to mention the Yankees no fewer than 15 times per article? Clearly this guy isn't in it for the popularity. lol

  2. Ugh, they can't get any worse than ESPN.