The Firing That Wasn't

Well, Monday comes to a close, and despite all of the rumors --- well, rumor --- Ned Yost still seems to be employed as the head coach of your Milwaukee Brewers.  Whether or not he should be fired (he should) and if it will happen later this week (it should) is beside the point.  I wanted to mention the source of the rumor and our good friend Tom Haudricourt at the JS Blogs.

The Badger Blogger

The Badger Blogger seems to be a not-so-widely read, right-wingy little blog that threatens to cover "Wisconsin the way the media won't, covering the media the way they fear!"  (Perhaps it's the fanged, rabid badger on the home page that the media fear.  Seriously, it's a little creepy.) How little?  Well, let's check the ol' site traffic for the week:


For example, Monday's traffic was ten times that of Sunday's, and more than five times the highest for the previous week.  (By comparison, BCB is averaging about 1200+.  eBay, watch out!)  So it's not a Major Source for Brewers News (TM) --- far from it.  And what of the news they broke?

Source: Ned Yost to be relieved of his duties Monday

While BadgerBlogger can not independently confirm this, sources close to the Milwaukee Brewers organization tell BadgerBlogger late this evening, in the midst of another horrid road trip, and on the heels of a sweep by the Boston Red Sox, that Brewers manager Ned Yost will be relieved of his duties during the team’s off day Monday, and replaced on an "interim" basis by team bench coach Ted Simmons.

"Sources close" to the Brewers that cannot be "independently confirmed"?  I hope Bob Costas isn't reading this.  The only good thing I can say about it is the plug for Marty's FireNedYost site.

But hey, I don't really have a problem with Badger Blogger, content notwithstanding.  It doesn't have to be if it doesn't want to be.  What disappointed me was the Journal Sentinel coverage of this breaking non-story.

The Journal Sentinel Blogs

Early this morning, Tom Haudricourt "broke" the Badger Blogger story, admittedly half-heartedly.

Boston - Somebody named the "Badger Blogger," who I am told does mainly political postings (I must admit I'm not familiar with the site) posted a blog late Sunday night claiming manager Ned Yost will be relieved of his duties on the team's off day in Pittsburgh today.

The blog said it could not "independently confirm" the information but said sources close to the Brewers' organization said Yost would be fired today and replaced by bench coach Ted Simmons.

Three hours later, he shoots down his own report.

I just got off a flight from Boston and contacted a very reliable club source who told me he knows nothing about any plans to dismiss manager Ned Yost, as posted late last evening by "Badger Blogger," whatever that is.

The club source told me that he would be aware if any plans were in the works to change managers today, an off day for the Brewers in Pittsburgh.

He adds this kicker, which is the best part of the post:

It could be a totally irresponsible posting by "Badger Blogger," which as I've stated many times is a real danger of the Internet.

The irony, of course, is that when this story was flying around the Intertubes, it was the JS Blogs posting that spurred it on --- Yahoo!, AOL (hey, AOL still exists!), Deadspin, plus all the local news affiliates, it looks like they're referring to the Journal Sentinel blogs (like I often do on here). Tom, I've met the danger of the Internet, and it is you.

When you're the Badger Blogger, you don't need credible sources --- as far as anyone cares, the reliable source could be your David Archuleta singing bobblehead.  You're the Badger Blogger, for Ol Pete's sake.  You have a snarling drooling badger on your home page.  If you're right, and Yost is fired this week (if not today), then your story pans out, and maybe you're taken a little more seriously; if it doesn't, I don't think a lot of people will remember 2 weeks from now.  How it pans out affects the site's credibility, but for a site that is mostly made up of opinions, reporting a rumor is fine with me.

When you're the JS, though, even on the blog page, mentioning a rumor like this is putting some weight behind it.

Tom figured it out by 3:30 this afternoon:

Melvin was aware that a blogger had posted a supposed news scoop late Sunday night claiming he had a source that told him the Brewers were going to fire Yost today. And Melvin said any radio station or TV station or newspaper that responded to a blog site as a news source -- and that includes me because I did so today -- should seriously question themselves.

I know, the blogs are a scary place, and when blogs mix it up with the mainstream media, anything could happen!  Just the same, if you claim to report the news, basic journalism principles apply, whether you're a blog, a newspaper, or a newspaper's blog.  I think Tom is still figuring this stuff out, and he was smart (and honest) enough to put forth an apology, of sorts. 

Still, he should know better --- and probably be a little more careful with his posts in the future.

As a thank you for reading all the way through, here's another rumor for you: it looks like any hopes of signing Corey Hart or Prince Fielder to a Braun-like contract have fizzled .



[edit: frontpaged and re-published, originally posted May 20, 2008 01:14 AM -jacob]