I generally try to steer clear of blogger/MSM debates, and I don't even find a lot of fun anymore in mocking the simplicity of old-school beat writers. Thus, I mostly kept quiet after the Buzz Bissinger eruption several weeks ago, and I haven't had much to say about Tom Haudricourt's inanities in the time since.
For a while, I was even a bit psyched about the Journal-Sentinel blog. One thing we can all agree on is that beat writers have access (to the clubhouse, to front office guys, to Yost, etc.) and we don't. I don't particularly want the responsibility of maintaining those relationships, but I do like having the insight. It seemed that the J-S blog would allow Tom and Anthony to get the news out faster.
And most of the time, they do so in an appropriate "just-the-facts" style. That's the best--they are perfectly capable of asking questions, taking notes, and reporting what people said.
Unfortunately, they have opinions, too. Even more unfortunately, they feel the need to publish them.
I should've known it would go downhill fast after Anthony's much-discussed response in the April 30 mailbag:
Q: Adam of Milwaukee - Hey Anthony, There was a showdown on Costas' HBO show last night between the Deadspin creator and a national writer talking about blogs and the media. Where do you and Tom stand on that argument? There are so many great blogs about the Brewers (Brew Crew Ball, Chuckie Hacks) that in my mind serve as mainly a way for people to get excited about this Brewers season. I don't see anything wrong with that! Do you!
A: Anthony Witrado - Not so much, but those people are also not in the clubhouse gathering inside info like Tom and I. Blogs are all good as long as you know which ones are informed and which ones are just fans. I also hope people don't mistake the people who write the fan blogs for actual journalists. But to better answer you, no, I don't see anything wrong with it.
I don't see anything wrong with Witrado being a quote-monkey with a press pass, either, but I hope people don't mistake him for someone with anything interesting to say, ever.
Tom H lost a lot of credibility with his mishandling of the Badger Blogger rumor that Ned Yost was about to be fired in mid-May. It's tough to forget this choice tidbit:
It could be a totally irresponsible posting by "Badger Blogger," which as I've stated many times is a real danger of the Internet.
Of course. Heaven forbid Grandma (not morineko's grandma, though) reads an incorrect rumor, which causes her to fall and break her hip. Then that would be on the conscience of Badger Blogger--whoever that is.
With the exception of the frequent spelling errors that made us wonder who really went to J-School, it had been silent on this front for a few weeks, but the last several days have been brutal.
First, Tom H reported that Weeks sprained his knee, though there was no sign he was going on the DL. Way to use those inside sources, buddy! An hour and a half later: Weeks goes on DL.
Next, Tom snips at Mass Haas of BrewerFan.net about posting regarding Seth Lintz's reported signing. I'll let MH relate the story:
So earlier this (Saturday) afternoon, Haudricourt emails me this -- now keep in mind this is four days after we posted the article, and four days after MLB.com's McCalvy acknowledged the article.
The only problem with putting something on your website like that without fact checking it is that it might not be true. The Brewers deny that they've reached a deal with Lintz.
And now, just a few hours later, Haudricourt, copied for emphasis from earlier in this post, writes:
The Brewers' other second-round pick, prep right-hander Seth Lintz of Lewisburg, Tenn., told his hometown newspaper that he received $900,000 to turn down his scholarship to Kentucky.
Gee, Tom, how is that any different from what we did, except that it's 108 hours after we posted it?
For those of you who don't know, Mass Haas is about as tireless a resource as you'll find on the intertubes--he's like the Haudricourt of the Brewers minor league scene, only without the inanity and snippiness. (I mean that as a compliment to MH, in case it isn't clear.)
I promise, I have a point. Here it is.
Long story short, Haudricourt and his colleague Witrado have proven themselves to have inflated senses of self-worth, to commit more or less the same crimes they rush to condemn in others, and to seriously question the value of any Brewers coverage that doesn't emit from their own publication. (Hey Tom, how many draft picks have you interviewed lately?)
All this would be tolerable if they were providing much of value. But really, what do we get from the J-S that we don't get from Adam McCalvy and the team at MLB.com? I'll answer that one for you: We get the starting lineups. Most of the time. A few hours early.
That's it. Well, that and a bunch of useless crap.
If you can't tell, I'm sick of it. As far as I'm concerned, the J-S guys provide nothing of value that I can't get elsewhere. Reading their blog and their pieces in the sports section is a waste of time, one coupled with the occasional insult and the frequent mistake.
As of today, I'm removing the J-S from my blog readers, I've deleted the J-S from my bookmarks, and I'm done linking to the J-S on this site. I encourage you to do the same.
If you want to keep reading their tripe, be my guest; I don't even really care if you link to it on the site, in comments or FanPosts. I'm not trying to start a movement here. All I really want to do is eliminate one annoyance from my life and make it a little easier to have fun being a Brewers fan.