Geoff Baker, The Media, and Judging Motives

Dave · February 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

This post is probably overdue. In retrospect, I should have written this a while ago.

A little less than two years ago, we held a USSM/LL Q&A with Bill Bavasi down at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma before one of the Rainiers games. Bill was remarkably good to us, as always, spending a good chunk of time answering questions honestly, giving a section of the fanbase most critical of his performance a look into the front office that was essentially unheard of five years ago. At the same time that Bavasi was talking to us, John McGrath was down on the field waiting to interview Rick Ankiel for a story for the Tacoma News Tribune. Ankiel never showed.

After the game, a friend noticed the juxtaposition of the two events as a highlight of how much journalism was changing. The GM of the major league franchise spent an hour being remarkably candid with a bunch of fans, while a well-respected member of the media was getting stood up by a flame-out former prospect. It’s hard to come up with a better example of how the internet changed the game, and how print journalism wasn’t going back to how it used to be.

The Seattle P-I will probably be gone in a couple of weeks. Art Thiel, one of the preeminent voices in the history of the Seattle sports scene, will have lost his place to scribe.

This isn’t something to be celebrated. That isn’t good news. For whatever reason, real or imagined, there’s been this perception of a struggle for power between upstart blogs and the established media. In many ways, it’s probably fair to say that the rise of sites like this one have contributed to the failing of the business model for newspapers. While I think change is inevitable, that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. The P-I going away is a loss for us all.

Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this in the first place. In the comments section of the last “holy crap Griffey make up your mind already” thread, there was a surge of comments based around the problems some of you have with Geoff Baker. It wasn’t just frustration with the Griffey thing, either – a lot of you are obviously upset with the way Baker is handling his role as the Times’ primary beat writer. The accusations were flying fast and furious, and unfortunately, our comments section (which is probably at its all time low in terms of quality) became a breeding ground for anti-Baker sentiment.

That stops now.

Obviously, we’ve had our disagreements with Geoff since he got here. Whether it’s been the value of Adam Jones, the relative importance of tensions in the clubhouse, the necessity of veteran relief pitching, or a couple hundred other philosophical disagreements we’ve had with him, we’ve often come down on different sides of the opinion fence about which way the organization should go in terms of making decisions. And those differences have fed the perception of a USSM vs Baker Blog war that just doesn’t exist at the author level, and shouldn’t exist at the commenter level.

In reality, Geoff Baker is doing fantastic work for the Times. He’s fighting for his profession, and for his part, he’s winning. He’s turned a position that wasn’t much more than organizational mouthpiece into a constant stream of information and quality work. He’s changed the way that the blogosphere and the local media interact, given tens of thousands of readers unprecedented access into the thoughts of people in the organization, and improved the quality of coverage around the team dramatically. He’s made the Seattle Times baseball section relevant in a way it never was before, and that is why the Times hired him.

When it comes to a lot of issues about how baseball teams should make decisions, he and I will have different viewpoints. That doesn’t change that I have a tremendous amount of respect for the amount of work he puts in, or that there’s value in both of our viewpoints being put out there. USSM is a better blog because of Geoff Baker’s work as a beat writer, and I think he’s a better beat writer because of USSM. We’re complements to each other, not substitutes for one another.

We cannot fill the role of a beat writer. We don’t want to, nor are we trying to. It is in all of our best interests that the Times not only survives, but flourishes. Through their better coverage, everyone wins.

Whatever issues you have with how Geoff is doing his job, USSM will not be the host for you to air those to the world. I don’t share your judgments about his character, his motives, or the quality of his writing. I agree that he looks a bit like an Osmond, but that’s the extent to which criticisms of Baker himself will be allowed. That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to expose the flaws in his logic if he proposes trading Gregory Halman for Eric Gagne this summer or that we’re going to give the clubhouse issues the same amount of credence he does, but we’re putting an end to your ability to be openly hostile in our comments section.

I hate the judging of other peoples motivations, and the assumptions about their character that go along with those judgments. Just as we reject the “Ichiro is selfish because he doesn’t dive” rhetoric, I also reject the “Baker is intentionally creating stories in order to further his agenda” stuff. You cannot judge the motives of another person, whether it’s a player, a beat writer, or me. Stop trying.

I like Geoff. I think he does a great job. If you don’t, take it up with him on your own time. We won’t let you turn this into a USSM vs Baker war anymore. Seriously. Consider it part of the commenting guidelines – straying from this will result in a quick exit.

Comments

89 Responses to “Geoff Baker, The Media, and Judging Motives”

  1. Sports on a Schtick on February 17th, 2009 7:34 pm

    Baker does a fantastic job for the Times. The quality and quantity of his work is tremendous. While I disagree with some of his arguments there’s no doubt M’s fans should be grateful for his diligent coverage. Just look at his spring training stuff from last year and now. No one else can provide that kind of access.

    If you’re complaining about Baker, imagine living in Denver and having Woody Paige and Jim Armstrong as your local media.

  2. gwangung on February 17th, 2009 7:35 pm

    Well, that’s a shame, in that folks are focussing on perhaps the wrong areas; it looks like whatever “faults” Baker has are pretty much endemic to the nature of modern journalism.

  3. decatur7 on February 17th, 2009 7:42 pm

    Amen, Dave. Amen.

  4. Bach on February 17th, 2009 7:43 pm

    Thank you very much for the post Dave. I follow all media for the Mariners very closely and to be quite honest I have been turned off by USSM (even though it is my favorite source of Mariner’s information) due to the negativity towards Geoff and negativity in general about the club.

  5. bigred on February 17th, 2009 7:44 pm

    [no]

  6. floydr on February 17th, 2009 7:54 pm

    I was musing today, annoyed at myself for getting excited about the baseball season. It’s far too early, and my brain tells me it’s not going to be a great season for M’s fans.

    But the _reason_ I’m excited is directly related to the superb reporting done by Baker and Larry Stone (well, USSM and the new management have a little to do with it, too.)

    They’re doing a fantastic job IMHO. We’re lucky to have such a pair (and others I will miss at the PI.)

  7. awesomenossum on February 17th, 2009 7:55 pm

    Amen!

  8. themedia on February 17th, 2009 7:57 pm

    I agree about entirely with you guys about Geoff. Agreeing to disagree is fine, but you have to respect the guy for what he does. We’re lucky to have someone who cares that much about the overall product of journalism covering the M’s.

    What I don’t get—and maybe this is something you guys can explain to me [through email, because it's really off topic]

  9. Chris Hafner on February 17th, 2009 7:57 pm

    Well-said, Dave, and, honestly, it’s just an extension of the commenting guidelines, which make clear that ideas and opinions are fair grounds for debate and (generally polite) derision, but people themselves are not.

    Bach:

    “I follow all media for the Mariners very closely and to be quite honest I have been turned off by USSM … due to the negativity towards Geoff and negativity in general about the club.”

    As a frequent lurker and infrequent commenter here, I don’t agree that the USSM authors are too negative towards Baker or the club. I think both subjects are praised when the authors agree and intelligently picked apart when they’re not.

    Even if you’re talking about the commenters here, I’m not sure I agree.

  10. gag harbor on February 17th, 2009 7:59 pm

    Tuning into the Geoff Baker Live Show on his blog today, I heard him read a question if the Times was going to hire a new baseball beat writer. It was a pretty low blow. I know this blog is not about setting rules on other blogs but for whatever reason, it seems like USSM readers spar with Baker for sport. People getting petty with him when he’s trying to bring more baseball to us than we’ve ever had in our lives, is not good. I do hope the quality of comments about people’s jobs can be more professional on here.

    On the flip side, I’m surprised Baker downplays the detail provided here (specifically by Dave) and I can’t believe he would miss the USSM events at all. It’s a great story that several hundred hardcore fans (and USSM readers) would pay to meet and get treated to some candid feedback from the front office. It’s also a huge press conference but when the press fails to show up it seems silly to me. If he was on vacation and there was a Times reporter there or I just didn’t see him then I take back this paragraph.

  11. Dave on February 17th, 2009 8:01 pm

    Reporters weren’t invited to the USSM event, precisely because the whole thing was off the record.

  12. msb on February 17th, 2009 8:03 pm

    It has been very interesting the last year or so to watch Geoff and the Times lead the way in Ms coverage; blogs on every local news site, the addition of sound and video …

  13. ThundaPC on February 17th, 2009 8:04 pm

    I’m glad this was said.

    At one point most everyone was okay with describing Geoff Baker as being a “fantastic beat writer who sometimes gives baffling analysis”. Over time it somehow veered away that and closer to “Geoff Baker sucks. He’s best friends with Silva and he tries to stir up the clubhouse.”

    Even without considering the state of the Newspaper business I continue to read Baker’s stuff on a regular basis simply because the guy pumps out quality content like nobody’s business. Yea, I find myself shaking my head at some of the things he says but it’s something I can certainly live with.

    And with the Geoff Baker blog now comes the Larry Stone blog. That’s going to be one heck of a 1-2 punch of Mariner coverage.

  14. Russ on February 17th, 2009 8:05 pm

    Thanks for this post. One of my biggest peeves is people assigning motive to another or interpreting their words to have some meaning beyond the sum of those words.

    I have to laugh at those posts that assign some motive to the athlete about whom rumors are circulating. Trying to guess what someone else is thinking or doing is the cheapest form of gossip. What a bunch of hens.

  15. NiceThrowLupus on February 17th, 2009 8:12 pm

    Blogs have been a minor cause of failing newspapers. The main culprit is really Craigslist. For years newspapers were subsidized by their classified ad sections. Now with Craigslist, that once profitable cash cow is completely gone. It used to be back in the day that every auto dealer in town would have a full page ad, and everybody and their grandma would use the classifieds to sell that couch or dresser. Those days are long gone, and with that, goes the newspaper industry.

  16. msb on February 17th, 2009 8:23 pm

    Of course, Craigslist didn’t exist 26 years ago when the PI was forced to join the Times in joint operating agreement to keep from going under the first time.

    Any rumorings on what Thiel will be doing in the future?

  17. Marinerfan4life on February 17th, 2009 8:29 pm

    Geoff has done a wonderful job in my opinion. He is bringing us much closer to the game and the Mariners than I ever could’ve dreamed of when I was a kid 10 years ago. He definitely goes the extra mile, I mean he kept his blog going and kept us up to date during the whole off season. Some may not agree with him, but he is very good at his job and goes the extra mile when he doesn’t have to.

  18. MER on February 17th, 2009 8:29 pm

    I am glad to see this post and the direction Dave has gone with this issue, which at times has been quite ugly and reflects poorly on the Mariner blog-sphere. As a avid reader of both the USS Mariner and Geoff’s blog, I am often troubled and uncomfortable by the insensitive and inappropriate comments directed at Geoff. He certainly must have a thicker skin than most of us. I look forward to a more civilized debate when there are differences in opinion, which of in it’s own right is why I seek to read multiple viewpoints.

  19. skipj on February 17th, 2009 8:35 pm

    Very well said Dave. I do think some of the problem comes from Times bloggers who mosey on over to USSM and find that they are in a well moderated blog with a comparatively stringent set of comment restrictions. I know that some are thrilled to find USSM, but some are outraged and frustrated that their “off topic” A-Rod comment was deleted.

    I note more hostility disgruntled Baker bloggers than from USSM commenters. In any case, who can object to a call for more civility?

  20. CCW on February 17th, 2009 8:45 pm

    Agreed we should be more civil to Geoff, that assuming motives is never a good idea, and that the comments here have often not been fair to him. But I can recall numerous times when Baker himself pointed directly at USSM and essentially picked a fight. What happens next time he does that? I guess we should just shut up and let you handle it…

  21. toshi on February 17th, 2009 8:46 pm

    Dave,

    Thank you for the post, which reminded me why I am a big fan of this blog. Interestingly, another great piece from Dave today at FanGraphs was about players understanding different playing styles in relation to recent reports on club house tension around Ichiro. The common theme for both posts is understanding the difference between people. Because we (fans) demand the M’s players to accept the difference in playing styles, we should also accept the difference between some of us and Geoff (or anyone) on opinions.

  22. NateDawgUS on February 17th, 2009 8:46 pm

    I don’t understand why people complain about a writer when nobody is forcing them to read their work. I enjoy both Geoff and USSM. Both have insightful pieces and both provide different viewpoints, which gives me as the reader the ability to better formulate my own ideas. It was pretty embarrassing seeing all of those USSM readers on Geoff’s webcast today just bashing him. That needs to stop because the only thing you’re doing is making yourself look like an idiot. If you don’t enjoy Geoff, don’t read him. I, for one, will continue to enjoy both Geoff and USSM.

  23. ceepdublu on February 17th, 2009 8:47 pm

    I have both USSM and Baker set as RSS feeds (and as of yesterday, Stone too). The great thing about this whole Interweb thing is that it allows people easy access to differing viewpoints.

    One of the things I have found most interesting about the Times coverage is how the paper has made a commitment to providing coverage for Geoff’s blog even when he has time off. Between Stone and Romero, there’s pretty much always been good gameday commentary – even when the paper skimped by not sending a travelling writer.

  24. Corey on February 17th, 2009 8:48 pm

    Whenever I find myself disagreeing with Geoff I simply recall what it was like to read Pocket Lint. At this point, even if Steve Kelleys’ articles have an interesting title, I never bother to read them.

    I am still extremely happy with the fact that Geoff is covering our squad for us. Warts and all.

    Thanks for putting that sentiment into much better words than I can, Dave.
    :)

  25. eternal on February 17th, 2009 8:56 pm

    Thanks for the post and yes I agree with you. I really cut down on reading the comments on USSM and Baker’s blog because the negativity is frustrating and generally tangential to whatever is being discussed. I don’t know if people are just bored at work or frustrated with themselves but to go onto both of these blogs day after day and just call people names seems a little ridiculous. It is good that you can shut down the comments but I’m afraid Baker won’t be able to stop the harassment on his own site, which I really enjoy reading.

  26. Luke on February 17th, 2009 9:03 pm

    I think Geoff deserves lots of love for his behind-the-scenes looks at ballparks around the AL & NL, as well as for his spring training videos. It’s really nice to see the Times giving its readers extra content that’s actually cool and valuable.

  27. PatLagreid on February 17th, 2009 9:04 pm

    The Seattle P-I will probably be gone in a couple of weeks. Art Thiel, one of the preeminent voices in the history of the Seattle sports scene, will have lost his place to scribe.

    Any thoughts on asking Mr. Thiel to pen some columns for the USSM if he has some downtime?

  28. Zobmie on February 17th, 2009 9:09 pm

    Thanks for this Dave. It’s reasoned thoughtful posts like this that keep me coming back to USSM. Quality people having quality discussions about baseball.

  29. Kid_A on February 17th, 2009 9:20 pm

    I’m a journalism student at the UW, and Geoff Baker is the perfect example of the type of reporter we’re all striving to become (though I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything). Being able to utilize video, audio, and other multimedia platforms is what separates him from most journalists of this era. In a few years, all journalists will have to be able to do those things or they won’t find work.

    To put it simply, not a lot of beat-writers offer the same kind of multimedia experience that Geoff does, and for that we should be thankful.

  30. Typical Idiot Fan on February 17th, 2009 9:30 pm

    I don’t have any problems with Geoff Baker. Like everybody else here, there are times when I will question his philosophy on baseball team building and what have you, but I will never question his passion nor his love of the sport (or the Seattle Mariners). Geoff is an awesome guy and hopefully this crap will all stop.

    I’ll tell you what, guys, you have your rules and your limits to your patience, but it’s amazing how many butt hurt people there are out there spewing bile about this place just because they were banned. People here read it and I’m sure it irritates us to see someone knocking what they clearly don’t understand. I’m starting to wonder if all of this could be avoided by a little more patience. At the least, I think the commentary ban needs to be extended to the folks who post in the comments on Baker’s blog. No sense in it, no matter how much you think they’re dumb.

    This request does not apply to the Official Seattle Mariners website’s MLB forums’ posters. Those people are morons.

  31. megapaw on February 17th, 2009 9:30 pm

    I kid because I love.

    We are extremely lucky as fans of the M’s to have Geoff as a resource. Geoff and USSM! There is nothing like the “one-two punch”(haha, remember that from last year) that we get as fans anywhere else in the league. We should be very grateful. The last few off seasons have been much more interesting and fun because of it.

    Thanks Geoff and USSM.

  32. optigan on February 17th, 2009 9:35 pm

    Love your posts, guys, and I appreciate that running a blog like this can wear on one, but when it comes to relating to your readers/commenters, you’re starting to sound like one of those Fugazi concerts where Ian MacKaye spent the whole show telling people how not to dance.
    People will write dumb stuff in comments, it’s one of those Rumsfeldian stuff-happens aspects of freedom. But that’s better than the comments directly above this one where everyone tries their best to agree with you in a way they hope you’ll appreciate. You’re building an echo-chamber where you could have a forum.

  33. Slurve on February 17th, 2009 9:42 pm

    Geoff Baker- Great reporting, beat writer, and covers the M’s well and has brought M’s reporting to a new level but sub-par analysis… aye?

  34. megapaw on February 17th, 2009 9:52 pm

    optigan

    Funny to see a Fugazi reference here.

    Anyway, there has never been a censoring of well thought out arguments that disagree with the consensus of opinion here. In fact, I would say that logical dissent is encouraged.
    There are rules of discourse in a formal setting, I believe that’s all that’s happening here.

    Anyway Ian hates baseball. Steve Albini on the other hand is rabid cubs fan, and never stopped me from being an idiot at his shows. Go figure.

  35. DMZ on February 17th, 2009 9:55 pm

    If in my life I could write a couple songs as good as Fugazi has, I would be happy.

    Also: since we opened this up to comments, we have continually strived to make this a reasonable forum for educated debate. If we’ve failed, because it’s impossible or we suck, then so be it. It was worth the effort.

  36. Typical Idiot Fan on February 17th, 2009 10:05 pm

    “Failed” implies that it’s over. The evolution continues. Where it will all end up cannot be known by us lesser creatures. I would like to think that the Utopian ending involves the lot of us sitting around with all the baseball fans in the world merrily chatting away about baseball and contributing knowledge.

    Then again, this is the internet, so who am I kidding?

  37. JerBear on February 17th, 2009 10:11 pm

    This needed to be said, and you said it well. Thanks, Dave.

    And Geoff, if you happen to mosey over here, thank you for your excellent coverage of all things Mariner. Like others around here, I may not always agree with you, (the world would be pretty damn boring if we all agreed all the time) but you do a hell of a job. Keep up the good work.

  38. optigan on February 17th, 2009 10:17 pm

    “If in my life I could write a couple songs as good as Fugazi has, I would be happy.”

    Me too. Especially this one.

  39. myohmy41 on February 17th, 2009 10:31 pm

    Well said, as a fellow blogger I think the work you and Geoff do is amazing. I only wish my sports coverage can come within sight of you and Geoff. Keep up the good work!

  40. diderot on February 17th, 2009 10:32 pm

    Dave,
    Thanks for standing up for Baker, thanks for standing up for the poor people at the P-I (although I, for one, will not miss Thiel), and thank you for defending ‘traditional’ journalism even during the ascendancy of online media. You nailed this.

  41. Brian Rust on February 17th, 2009 10:32 pm

    The only people who really believe in the extreme positive value of these off the field things are baseball writers. You know, the ones who have a vested interest in cultivating positive relationships with these people off the field.

    In as constructive a spirit as I can muster, I’d suggest this kind of post does much to set the tone. Judging motives, indeed.

  42. optigan on February 17th, 2009 10:36 pm

    BTW, you the-opposite-of-suck. I just think herding commenters, even in hopes of building a stronger community, can discourage open discussion, and discourage you, too, when we fail to rise to the level of debate you’d like to see. I’m not seeing commenters who critique your posts in serious, reasonable ways, the equivalent of, say, fnarf on Slog, and it makes me wonder why.

  43. bratman on February 17th, 2009 10:41 pm

    whatever. still think his work is overrated. anyone could do and would love to do his job. dave and dmz would work wonders with the type of access this guy has to players and sources.

    so he reports the news. congrats.

  44. Kunkoh on February 17th, 2009 10:50 pm

    Glad you guys are taking the high road. I can’t even read the comments on his blog they are so infuriatingly antagonistic to USSM/LL, and I get just as annoyed when I see the same thing happen here. Quite a few fans of both sites/styles are canonize the authors of the different sides as some sort of SABR vs Old school deities, and trying to use them in some E-had/e-war.

    It dilutes the otherwise great articles on both sites, and quite silly since it seems the authors on both sides have nothing against each other – though they don’t often agree. That’s a good thing though. The disagreements between the authors add a little bit of a friendly rivalry/drama. It gives different perspectives, that if everyone reported the same thing and wrote about the same thing you wouldn’t get.

    I really don’t know why some people get so bent out of shape. To paraphrase Saint Rufus, “Fans got it all wrong by takin’ a good idea and building a belief structure out of it.”

  45. TranquilPsychosis on February 17th, 2009 10:52 pm

    Thanks Dave,

    Not being a great fan of Baker, (I’m a stone fan from the word go) I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    I’m not going to say that Baker is doing a poor job or being a self-serving mouth piece. He does bring out good information while others might be caught up in the major stories of the moment. But that is their job, to bring us different perspective on the news at hand.

    Nor will I rip any other beat writers for doing what they are paid to do. They do have a huge audience and only one mind, it can’t be easy.

    As a reader, I also have a job. I have to sort through what is relevant (in my eyes as a reader) and either admit or dismiss the information depending on the usefulness to me. If it’s about the Rays, and they don’t matter to me at that time, just let it go and move on to what does inspire me.

    Either way, it’s not my place to demean or belittle. My place, as a fan, is to take the information in and use it to help me make an informed decision.

    Information. Isn’t that what the media is there to provide us? I think Geoff does a good job in this particular area. And, while I may prefer other writers for other things, Geoff is always a decent source for knowing what’s going on.

  46. Teej on February 17th, 2009 10:54 pm

    Good God, thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a fellow ink-stained wretch, but the amount of vitriol spilled around here about Geoff Baker makes me sick, and I’m elated to see one of the two pre-eminent Mariners blogs stand up for him.

    Anyone with a fourth-grader’s understanding of how the media work knows that USSM would be worse without Baker, and vise versa. There’s a massive difference between journalism and analysis, and I think the readers here (and at LL) have been far too simple-minded when it comes to the difference between the two. I know the analysis on the blogs is far superior (that’s why I’m here and at LL all the time), but can we not admit that a huge chunk of what our favorite blogs do is analyze information that comes from actual reporters?

    And as far as the Ichiro thing, sure, maybe Geoff Baker has pushed it a bit father than he should have, but he is not the one criticizing Ichiro. These divisions in the clubhouse — no matter how stupid you think they are — exist. And Geoff did not create them.

  47. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on February 17th, 2009 10:55 pm

    You cannot judge the motives of another person . . .

    I agree with the tone and content of this post, but this statement just isn’t true. We base our entire system of justice on using evidence to determine the motives of even complete strangers. We take objective evidence, analyze it, and come to a conclusion about why a person acted, spoke or wrote in some fashion, usually to the detriment of others.

    Consider as well every close interpersonal relationship that you’ve ever had. Your wife gives you a gift because you deduce she is motivated out of love. Your buddies support you, even in foolish decisions, because they are motivated by loyalty and friendship.

    The problem with the unbridled criticism of you or Geoff Baker is not that we can’t tell what may be motivating people as a general proposition. It’s not difficult to do that with folks we know, or where we have sufficient objective evidence. The problem is that we don’t know you or Geoff in a meaningful way, such that we have sufficient evidence of what motivates you. Opining on your respective motivations, then, is improper because it is pure speculation, not grounded in any firm knowledge of you or Geoff as people, or specific evidence about your motives regarding the topic at hand. Not permitting that kind of thing on the blog is commendable, of course.

    I hope the new rules don’t extend to making the astute comment that Baker (whom I have met, and who I know to be a kind guy and a good reporter – I have a picture with him from Spring Training last year taken at a time when he could have blown me off, but instead met with me and posted a picture of my family on his blog) is a better reporter than analyst. That’s valid criticism based on objective fact. I disagree with his conclusions and focus at times, but have great respect for him as a writer and person. At the very least, he does a great job of taking on tough topics, and is a sport about the often low quality of comments he must endure.

  48. TranquilPsychosis on February 17th, 2009 11:03 pm

    Any thoughts on asking Mr. Thiel to pen some columns for the USSM if he has some downtime?

    Here, here! Bring on the master of the diatribe.

  49. Teej on February 17th, 2009 11:06 pm

    anyone could do and would love to do his job.

    That’s ridiculous. Being a baseball reporter is a terrible, terrible job. Reporters make pennies, and they spend more than half the year on the road away from their family. They work ridiculous hours, only to have their work picked apart by a throng of readers sitting on the couch who think Deadspin is journalism. Being an MLB reporter is not just sitting at home watching MLB.tv like we do. It’s draining as hell. Believe it or not, you can’t just watch a game on TV and e-mail in your thoughts. Baker is a reporter. You aren’t. Nor is anyone here.

    dave and dmz would work wonders with the type of access this guy has to players and sources.

    Again, no. I don’t know exactly what Dave and Derek do for a living, but I’d be willing to guess that they make money that is at least equal to what a baseball reporter makes, and they get their nights and weekends off to spend with their families.

    I’m only 26, but I’ve been working at newspapers full time since I was 18. Reporters, in general, make shit. It’s a low-paying job, and very few people make it through the grinder, because, honestly, there just aren’t that many rewards.

    I don’t want Geoff Baker doing my baseball analysis, and I damn sure don’t want anyone from USSM doing my baseball reporting in their spare time. We need both.

  50. Lasky on February 17th, 2009 11:13 pm

    [meta, email w/mod complaints]

  51. bratman on February 17th, 2009 11:15 pm

    Teej – A low paying job doesn’t mean it’s terrible. I have always wanted to be a baseball reporter … and many of these guys do it for the love of the game.

    Do you ‘rate’ jobs based solely on income? Seems like it.

  52. Anna11 on February 17th, 2009 11:20 pm

    One quick comment — I sure hope that the Times picks up Art Thiel’s column. They’ll be missing out on a golden opportunity if they don’t. I interviewed him for a project when I was a college student. He’s a great guy, and really helped with my project.

    Art’s column is the best thing about the PI. If it’s gone, it will be missed.

  53. Evan on February 17th, 2009 11:28 pm

    We base our entire system of justice on using evidence to determine the motives of even complete strangers.

    This is, I think, the greatest failing of western legal systems.

    But that’s not what Dave said. He said we cannot judge motives, not that we cannot discern them (though I’d agree with that too).

  54. aaron c. on February 17th, 2009 11:29 pm

    Teej – A low paying job doesn’t mean it’s terrible. I have always wanted to be a baseball reporter … and many of these guys do it for the love of the game.

    Do you ‘rate’ jobs based solely on income? Seems like it.

    It pays crap, the hours are crap and it’s highly skilled and high pressure. Teej knows what he’s talking about here. It takes a very specific kind of person to do what Baker does as well as he does. Most people don’t have it in them to do the job well, and most that do can make a better living while dealing with far less stress.

  55. Teej on February 17th, 2009 11:30 pm

    A low paying job doesn’t mean it’s terrible.

    Agreed. That’s part of the reason I decided to be an editor. If I’m going to be paid dirt, I at least want to set my own hours! Kidding. Kind of.

    “Terrible” was a bad word. But being an MLB beat writer is insane. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, unless that enemy were dead-broke and without a single family member. The free lunches are nice, but — in my opinion — it’s just not worth it.

    Ask Dave what he thinks about sacrificing his quality of life to work in baseball. He has mentioned before that it would take a pretty persuasive offer to get him to leave the life he’s grown accustomed to. That’s natural.

    Dave can do awesome baseball analysis from home. Geoff will do the reporting in the clubhouse. I just don’t see what’s so wrong with the current relationship we have right now.

    I guess I just resent this idea that anyone can be a baseball reporter. Is anyone here willing to give up their job to cover the Rainiers every day for three years for $30,000 a year until they get the call-up?

    I have always wanted to be a baseball reporter … and many of these guys do it for the love of the game.

    So did I, until I realized how much effort it actually took. I’m an editor because reporting is obscenely time-consuming. The love just wasn’t enough. Call me lazy, but I don’t want to work 14 hours a day. My girlfriend and my health are more important.

    Do you ‘rate’ jobs based solely on income? Seems like it.

    If I did, I wouldn’t work for a newspaper.

  56. rmac1973 on February 17th, 2009 11:31 pm

    Wait just a darned minute…

    Who is Geoff Baker?

    ::: grin :::

  57. Teej on February 17th, 2009 11:38 pm

    Thanks, Aaron.

    I’ve spent too much time in newsrooms to pretend that bloggers can fill our reporters’ roles.

    And I’ve spent too much time at USSM/LL to pretend that Geoff Baker can fill our analysts’ roles.

  58. Breadbaker on February 18th, 2009 12:09 am

    To me, it’s simple common sense. You agree with someone or you don’t. If you don’t, you state the reasons for your disagreement. Adding a little spice is nice, but that’s a far different thing than impugning someone’s motives. Geoff Baker may analyze some facts differently than I do and it’s my right to point that out. Why he does so is nothing I particularly care about. That he seems to be someone who actually reads what others say about him is something I admire. This is a marketplace of ideas, and the counter to someone’s analysis is your own analysis, not the impugning of character.

  59. DMZ on February 18th, 2009 12:15 am

    I’m not seeing commenters who critique your posts in serious, reasonable ways, the equivalent of, say, fnarf on Slog, and it makes me wonder why.

    I think they’re here. We made a couple of them mods.

    Without taking this too far off track, I think a lot of this has to deal with the natural tendency to migrate where you’re comfortable and welcome — I know I’ve seen people I frequently conceded points to and who I really liked seeing comment because I knew it’d be a different viewpoint head off to hang out places where their thoughts are met with simple “yeah!” agreement. I don’t know how to solve that, save for hiring people I like to write for us, and we have no money.

  60. LJD on February 18th, 2009 12:19 am

    I am happy to see this positive attitude. I have read this sire for a long time now and have been a little scared to join for fear of being abused. Baker seems like a decent writer much better than Kelley IMHO. If Griffey comes or does not it is not really a BIG deal in regards to the future of the team right?

  61. DaveValleDrinkNight on February 18th, 2009 1:28 am

    Maybe it’s just me but I love Geoff’s film blogs from Spring Training.

    I have since he started doing it.

    Just makes you feel like Baseball, Sunshine, and BBQ’s are so close. Even when it’s 38 degrees outside.

  62. pinball1973 on February 18th, 2009 1:45 am

    Frankly, this sounds like one hellavan over-reaction. As I have made obvious, I find sportswriters in general a useless crowd that more often interferes in my enjoyment of the game than in complimenting it – how very, very rarely does the typical sportswriter’s opinion sound like anything more than cheap fawning or cheap dumping, depending on what the worst LCD fan seems to want that day.

    It’s your blog, obviously, and it’s a great one. If you want this to be the way, I can see no damage to its quality, and it may indeed improve the (generally excellent) quality of the comments.
    Negative sniping, even on the intertubes, has never made me a noticably better person, or a more insightful one.

  63. The Ancient Mariner on February 18th, 2009 5:12 am

    Thanks.

  64. terry on February 18th, 2009 6:10 am

    Whether it’s been the value of Adam Jones, the relative importance of tensions in the clubhouse, the necessity of veteran relief pitching, or a couple hundred other philosophical disagreements we’ve had with him, we’ve often come down on different sides of the opinion fence about which way the organization should go in terms of making decisions.

    IMHO (and everyone can have a different view obviously) if a source is wrong continually about the above issues, then for me as a student of the game, it’s less relevant. I love baseball. Beat writers are essential because they are a conduit between the club and fans. That said, much of their message can be had from secondary sources such as promiscuous sites like mlbtrade rumors etc or by fan blogs. So while a beat writer is essential primarily because of their daily access, reading their work isn’t IMHO. That said, Baker has revolutionized the way beat writers deliver their message in Seattle. Kudos for those efforts.

    But really, local beat writers and blogs basically have two different core audiences. While the ven diagrams do overlap in some way, the philosophical views of those audiences tend to be very different. Hence the clashes in the overlapping part when the subject becomes chemistry, intangibles, player evaluation, the value of defense, counting stats versus marginal wins etc.

    I’d offer John Erardi as an example. He’s found a nice niche in Cincinnati by trying to bring sabermetrics to mainstream fans. He pretty much gets slammed in his comments section.

    Finally, I think it’s an enlightened decision to put the nix on those that want to use USSM and Baker as opportunities to grind the “old school vs stats” axe.

  65. Jar on February 18th, 2009 6:51 am

    Well said Dave.

  66. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on February 18th, 2009 7:08 am

    This is, I think, the greatest failing of western legal systems.

    Not surprisingly, I can’t disagree with you more.

    But that’s not what Dave said. He said we cannot judge motives, not that we cannot discern them (though I’d agree with that too).

    Well, I think Dave was getting at that we can’t tell what is motivating Baker in his writing, and that to impute bad motives is wrong given that. He may add to that that any judging is bad. But it doesn’t matter. We judge the motives of others in our courts of law (and often it is a jury of non-lawyers/non-judges doing it).

    We judge that the wife’s gift out of love is a good and pleasing thing. We judge that our friends’ loyalty and friendship is good, and a sign of a strong relationship. We don’t just look at one another’s motives after we discern them and remain neutral about it. If we learn that Bernie Madoff was motivated by greed to steal billions of dollars, that is something justly deserving of scorn and anger. Our judgment of those who make selfish decisions in our workplace rather than focusing on the team (cut out of work in the middle of the project to hit the beach for instance) is judged as a negative thing. Judging of motives is essential to help others understand the parameters of appropriate social interaction. It comes with penalties ranging from social stigma to imprisonment or, in some places even more severe penalties. We judge the motives of others as worthy or unworthy, and that’s ok with me, where we can know the motivation through personal knowledge or evidence. Most of our daily lives rely on these judgments, to be honest. It’s just not right to impute motives based on speculation or little or no evidence.

  67. johnnymac on February 18th, 2009 7:34 am

    I’m not too familiar with Geoff’s writings being fairly new to this forum. But my hat is off to you Dave for taking this to the high road. An attack on anyones character based on an expressed opinion is wrong…in any venue!

  68. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on February 18th, 2009 8:18 am

    I apologize for my italicizing issues above. The first and third paragraphs should be italicized only. The rest is my response.

  69. Teej on February 18th, 2009 8:41 am

    Morning reflection:

    My posts last night tended to veer off the topic of judging motives and more toward “it’s hard to be a beatwriter.” The idea that anyone with a press pass and a tape recorder can be a reporter irritates me to no end, but arguing about that probably didn’t help me make my point. So let me summarize my thoughts:

    - Geoff is a talented and prolific reporter, and the fact that he’s not the greatest analyst in the world doesn’t change that. Nor does it bother me, really. I don’t go to Geoff for analysis; I go for information on what’s happening with the team. With all due respect to USSM, the authors aren’t talking to players and team officials every day to dig up news. USSM cannot be your sole source of information about the team, because it is not a news-gathering operation. Journalists report the information, USSM analyzes it. (That’s an oversimplified explanation, because USSM does a lot that isn’t based on the news of the day, but you know what I’m getting at . . . ) One cannot replace the other, and I’d argue that USSM wouldn’t be half as interesting without the stream of news the authors can use as a springboard into their analysis.

    - Accusing Geoff of manufacturing drama and/or citing false sources is a serious accusation. When he says something like “I’m in the clubhouse, you aren’t,” I know it rubs some people the wrong way, but it’s an essential point that has to be understood. Geoff knows a lot more about the inner workings of the organization and the clubhouse than we do. I’m blown away by the people who can’t admit that. I’m not prescribing a value to that access, because that’s up to you, but it’s a fact.

    - Finally, this whole “bloggers vs. newspaper writers” thing is getting to be as trite and petty as the scouts vs. stats arguments. They’re two different things that serve different purposes. One’s value does not render the other valueless. Take all the information you can get, and be thankful that it all exists for you to read. For free.

  70. ThundaPC on February 18th, 2009 8:57 am

    I hope the new rules don’t extend to making the astute comment that Baker (snip) is a better reporter than analyst.

    I want touch on this point for a bit. I think the whole reason for the post is to point out that this blog will no longer be a launching point for complaints about Geoff Baker.

    As I mentioned earlier, the blogosphere used to be fine with describing Baker as “Good Reporter, Bad Analyst.” However, these days it’s more like “Wow, Baker’s an idiot” or “Baker clearly hates Ichiro, loves Silva” or “Baker just loves to hammer the clubhouse story. What a jerk. (even though it was Larry Stone who put the topic back into the forefront with the Putz interview)”

    Heck, just in the Griffey Denial thread we had several people questioning Baker’s credibility with his sources for (quite honestly) no good reason just because he said “My sources said that the deal is done” and the saga is still going. Baker’s report hasn’t even been proven false yet and he’ll likely to be proven correct at this point.

    That thread is a good example of the Baker talk going overboard. Nobody has to like him but none of the topics here require that we even TALK about him let alone make up some 1/3 of the comments about a particular subject.

  71. rmac1973 on February 18th, 2009 9:06 am

    Good Lord… if anyone here also frequents Geoff’s Blog, that place has deconstructed into an absurd debate over free speech rights and intents, and whether or not the editors here on USSM restrict free speech.

    It’s sad.

    For my money, I think it’s admirable that Geoff does very little editing of users’ posts on his ST blog. At the same time, I can understand why the editors here restrict some topics and kinds of posts – it can be a slippery slope, yes, but it also offers a far clearer vision of what should be considered civil and appropriate behavior.

  72. rmac1973 on February 18th, 2009 9:08 am

    Well said, Teej – HEAR HEAR!

  73. JerBear on February 18th, 2009 9:09 am

    Maybe it’s just me but I love Geoff’s film blogs from Spring Training.

    I have since he started doing it.

    Just makes you feel like Baseball, Sunshine, and BBQ’s are so close. Even when it’s 38 degrees outside.

    I’m with you. His spring training videos are like buttah.

  74. terry on February 18th, 2009 9:12 am

    Really the chemistry issue last year was tantamount to picking a horse with no legs and shooting it with a bazooka . It’s disappointing that ST coverage began by beating the carcass.

    Rather than a glimpse into an author’s soul, it mostly just reveals the prism the author uses to better understand what’s happening on the field.

  75. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on February 18th, 2009 9:27 am

    I think the whole reason for the post is to point out that this blog will no longer be a launching point for complaints about Geoff Baker.

    I hope you see the difference between the comment that Geoff is a better reporter than analyst vs. Geoff is an idiot (which he clearly is not). Those 2 comments aren’t even in the same ballpark. The first is an observation akin to folks saying I am a better writer than speaker. It’s no attack on Geoff’s character, and says nothing about motive. Erroneously saying he is an idiot clearly is an attack. Saying he’s making things up to create news is a speculation about motive that is wrong to make.

    So, I am pressing Dave and Derek a bit to be clear on what the ground rules are. If we can’t say that Baker’s analytical skills fall short in looking at given situations, then it seems foolish to link to his materials and comment on them at all, even in posts. Censor the folks who call him an idiot, but leave intelligent commentary that points out flaws in an author’s analytical framework and approach. Isn’t that what this site does all the time? If critical thought about public opinions on the game is hammered home in the body of the post, it seems like a recipe for disaster not to allow it in the comment section. I don’t think USSM intends to go there, but it’s hard to tell.

    Again, impugning Geoff’s character because you think he analyzes a situation improperly is going too far. It should be possible to prevent folks using reasonable but critical assertions with support as a launching pad to devolve the comments threads into a name-calling sessions.

    Where’s is line being drawn? I ask out of desire for honest compliance.

  76. Jeff Nye on February 18th, 2009 9:36 am

    We’re not going to say “this is where the line is”, because that will lead to people trying to slip a toe over the line and see what happens.

    Use common sense and you’ll be fine, and err on the side of being conservative.

    The problem with making the (arguably valid) point that he’s not much of an analyst is that we’ve seen conversations that start from there very quickly lead into the other stuff, time and time again. And that’s what we’re not wanting here anymore.

    There isn’t any intent to censor here; the point of ALL of our comment guidelines is to try to raise the level of discussion, and talking about Baker at all is getting dangerously close to the level of steroid conversations, where we just can’t let them happen at all anymore because we know what the endpoint is.

    If that comes off as overly restrictive, I’m sorry; but as Dave is saying, there’s no inherent right to post here, and we don’t really ask all that much of you guys as commenters.

  77. Teej on February 18th, 2009 9:45 am

    If you type “Geoff Baker” into Google (as I do to find his blog), this post is already on the first page of results.

  78. ThundaPC on February 18th, 2009 9:54 am

    I hope you see the difference between the comment that Geoff is a better reporter than analyst vs. Geoff is an idiot (which he clearly is not). Those 2 comments aren’t even in the same ballpark. The first is an observation akin to folks saying I am a better writer than speaker. It’s no attack on Geoff’s character, and says nothing about motive. Erroneously saying he is an idiot clearly is an attack. Saying he’s making things up to create news is a speculation about motive that is wrong to make.

    Don’t take this the wrong way but in my two posts I mentioned that we’ve gone AWAY from “Geoff Baker is a better reporter than an analyst” and closer TO “Geoff Baker is an idiot” which implies that the two are vastly different. So yes, I understand the difference quite clearly.

    And my point is even if the issue is about Baker’s analytical skills there’s no reason to constantly point it out. Not on this blog, anyway. Sure, Dave and Derek can clarify but I think the line is pretty clear. Based on the front page alone the only topic where it makes sense to talk about Baker’s style is the one we’re in now (if even that).

    Or perhaps it’s just easier for me because the “Good beat writer, bad analysis” argument is at least 2 years old with not much changing in between.

  79. Steve T on February 18th, 2009 10:01 am

    I like Geoff Baker. But I think a war between USSM and Baker’s COMMENTERS is completely warranted. his commenters are bad, really bad.

  80. bermanator on February 18th, 2009 10:02 am

    The problem with making the (arguably valid) point that he’s not much of an analyst is that we’ve seen conversations that start from there very quickly lead into the other stuff, time and time again. And that’s what we’re not wanting here anymore.

    It makes sense.

    It’s one thing to say “[Insert Reporter's Name Here]‘s analysis of the Mariners in today’s story is flawed because of X, Y, and Z.” That starts discussion on the particular issue in question, which is always good.

    Saying “[Insert Reporter's Name Here] is not good at analysis, and today’s story is another example of that” puts the focus on the person and not the issue, and I think that’s what the mods are trying to avoid.

  81. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on February 18th, 2009 10:26 am

    Use common sense and you’ll be fine, and err on the side of being conservative.

    . . .and talking about Baker at all is getting dangerously close to the level of steroid conversations, where we just can’t let them happen at all anymore because we know what the endpoint is.

    Jeff – I am not trying to be difficult, and I pride myself on thinking carefully about my comments before I make them. The two statements above seem contradictory to me, though. It looks like on the one hand I can point out a flaw in Baker’s analysis (probably in the context of a post by USSM authors that links to and is critical of one of his articles) and on the other hand it looks like we can’t mention his name at all. I am happy to email offline about this, so as not to enable those who might want to push it.

    And my point is even if the issue is about Baker’s analytical skills there’s no reason to constantly point it out.

    Well, there might be plenty of reasons to mention where the analysis fall short. He’s writing about new topics every day, and the criticism of his approach (or praise of it) is manifested in responses to specific topics that change every day. In looking at a new story on any number of things – a given trade, a story about some controversial topic, an interview of a player who comments on others – we apply what we’ve learned about baseball and either agree or disagree with his take. When the article is linked here and the authors openly disagree with the analysis, is it a reasonable expectation that commenters will not want to follow suit? Cut it off at attacks on Geoff personally, but this site is all about better analysis and that, by necessity, implies comparisons to those who analyze situations differently. Short of not linking to or mentioning Geoff’s work or turning off comments, I am not sure how the authors and mods will get folks to comply without a lot of heartburn.

    Or perhaps it’s just easier for me because the “Good beat writer, bad analysis” argument is at least 2 years old with not much changing in between.

    I don’t get this point. I’ve been commenting on the Times site since Baker started his blog and have been commenting here for several years now. This isn’t an issue of time. The topics change – DH evaluation, roster construction, the value of cheap pick-ups, etc. Lots of things have changed, and frankly, Geoff’s analysis has been pretty good of the new regime’s moves, in my view. I tell him so as often as I agree, and, not surprisingly, I tell him when I think he’s got it wrong. I don’t think he’s been offended by anything I’ve said, and I certainly wouldn’t be any less respectful about the disagreement when mentioning it on this site. So, even with a per se rule at USSM of no Baker talk at all, I will still let Geoff know what I think of his analysis. I am pretty sure he welcomes that, so long as it is respectful dialogue.

  82. Jeff Nye on February 18th, 2009 11:08 am

    I’m not sure why you’re unclear about this, anyway. From Dave’s post:

    That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to expose the flaws in his logic if he proposes trading Gregory Halman for Eric Gagne this summer or that we’re going to give the clubhouse issues the same amount of credence he does, but we’re putting an end to your ability to be openly hostile in our comments section.

    Don’t be “openly hostile” or anything that can be construed that way, and you’ll be fine. If you simply HAVE to talk about Baker’s work, keep it civil, and specific to something he actually said. Don’t speculate about his motives for saying what he says, and don’t take personal potshots at him.

    All of this talk about trying to “figure out where the line is” frankly makes me think you’re trying to figure out just how far you can go before you get squashed, and that’s not a game we’re going to play.

    I will echo, too (without specifically singling anyone out) Dave’s sentiment about comment quality of late. It’s been really, really bad. You guys don’t even see all of the badness, because we catch a lot of it before it gets out into the wild.

    So we’re going to be a little bit more hands-on about we moderate until we see that turn around; if the price of that is people thinking we’re trying to infringe on some inherent right to free speech, well, them’s the breaks.

    In the Griffey thread that Dave refers to, I asked people politely to turn the talk back on topic when the “bash Baker fest” started; several commenters decided to ignore that and keep right on going.

    In retrospect, I should’ve probably gone back and just deleted all of the off-topic posts, but I try not to delete posts whenever possible, preferring to gently nudge conversations back on topic when I see them stray; but that should never be construed as “well, he didn’t REALLY mean that we need to stop talking about this, or he would’ve deleted those posts!”

    We try to be reasonably polite when we make moderation comments in a thread, but we’re not “asking” in the sense that you have a choice in the matter.

    Sorry if I come off like a jerk, but Dave’s right; this needs to come to an end, and if we have to be jerks for a while to make that happen, so be it.

  83. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on February 18th, 2009 11:37 am

    “All of this talk about trying to “figure out where the line is” frankly makes me think you’re trying to figure out just how far you can go before you get squashed, and that’s not a game we’re going to play.”

    I can understand your concern given your point of view as a mod. That said, I am probably the last person that would apply to.

    Your clarification helps. I now know that Baker’s work is not totally off limits to commenters, and I suspect my respectful approach to addressing his views in an on-topic comment are in line with the new rule.

    If you knew more about my background, you’d probably understand why I have such a strong desire to understand the rules and ensure compliance. It’s actually the exact opposite of what you appear to be thinking.

    I am all for cleaning up comments sections. I think you should do whatever you need to do that. I am also all for some jerkiness to get it done. Some of the blogs I have contributed to as an author required me to do just that. I am actually much less tolerant of poor and off-topic comments in those forums, so you won’t see me saying things are getting too tough around here.

  84. Mike Snow on February 18th, 2009 1:37 pm

    If you knew more about my background, you’d probably understand why I have such a strong desire to understand the rules and ensure compliance. It’s actually the exact opposite of what you appear to be thinking.

    I think I understand. As you know, moderation is a balancing act. For me, the fundamental take-home message is primarily that the quality of comments has been out of balance, and this is one type where Dave thinks we could shift that balance.

    I have no problem with the “Geoff Baker is a good reporter but a bad analyst” type of comment, though it’s been said often enough by now to be a little shopworn. I also think his analysis is a bit more of a mixed bag – some things he can analyze quite well, others not so well and those tend to get harped on. And for signal-to-noise ratio if not entertainment value, it’s much more interesting to have cogent critiques of Baker’s analysis than critiques of Baker himself.

  85. Brian Rust on February 18th, 2009 3:58 pm

    I’m sorry, Steve T, but war between USSM and Baker commenters is NOT warranted.

    What’s warranted is for the intelligent commenters to carry on as if the idiot commenters do not exist — by not clicking the “comments” tag over there, and by employing the enhanced moderation techniques over here.

  86. Jeff Nye on February 18th, 2009 4:28 pm

    If we go to war with anyone, it’ll be Lookout Landing.

    That turncoat Graham will have to determine where his true allegiance lies.

  87. unkrusty on February 18th, 2009 7:08 pm

    This post has the feeling of the future about it, and it is a fine future indeed. In order for the Blog-o-shpere to survive, professional decorum is key. You will never turn the non-believers to believers by behaving like a petulant brat.

    Geoff Baker is the “problem” with print journalism the way Ichiro is the “problem” with the M’s. Which is to say not a problem at all. Just get off it, and focus on the stuff that matters.

  88. Mike Snow on February 18th, 2009 7:44 pm

    Incidentally, credit to Baker for doing the right thing as a reporter, owning up to the fact that he got it wrong on Griffey signing with the Braves. It may or may not have been his fault, who knows what exactly his sources told him, or who they were. And yes, the constant anonymous sourcing of things is hugely frustrating at times. But in general, it’s uncalled-for to accuse him of making up factual claims, as people have sometimes done in past comment threads (made-up analysis might be different).

  89. joealb on July 17th, 2010 1:08 pm

    This was before Geoff assured the public the M’s were pursuing Jason Bay. His conisending writing style gets on my nerves….

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