This is basically a football thing, but it’s worth reading all the same because it impacts the kind of stuff we do here at HardballTalk.
Mike Wise of the Washington Post tweeted some pure baloney about Ben Roethlisberger today and when he was busted on it, claimed that it was some grand kind of experiment designed to “test the accuracy of social media reporting.” In other words: watch those silly bloggers repeat my lies.
Florio nails it, though: while we do some original reporting of our own, places like PFT and HBT spend the bulk of their time sifting through the sports news of the day, passing it along to you with context, opinion and humor added. As part of that function, we have done our best to figure out which media outlets are reliable and which ones aren’t so you can be as sure that you’re getting good information (or at least as sure as anyone can be of such things).
While I understand that there are some in the traditional media who question the legitimacy of what we in the blogosphere do all day, for one of those outlets to just make stuff up and then have the nerve to turn around point at the blogs for their credulity in passing along the news is simply ridiculous.
Maybe this is all too inside-baseball for most folks, but there’s a larger conversation going on right now about the future of media. The end product of that conversation affects all of us as information consumers. To watch someone at the one of the most respected newspapers in the country pull something like this says a lot about what some people in the traditional media think about the value and seriousness of that conversation.
The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.
It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:
On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:
“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”
Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.
A couple of weeks ago our president wrote one of his more . . . vexing tweets. He was talking about immigration when he whipped out the phrase . . . “Easy D”:
No one was quite sure what he meant by Easy D. Was it the older brother of N.W.A.’s founder? The third sequel to that Emma Stone movie from a few years back? So many questions!
Baseball Twitter had fun with it, though, with a lot of people wondering how they could work it in casually to their commentary:
It wasn’t a scout who did it, but twelve days after that, a player obliged Mr. McCullough:
I have no more idea what Turner was talking about with that than Trump was. We’ll have to wait for the full story in the L.A. Times. But I am going to assume Turner was doing McCullough a solid with that one rather than commenting on the president’s tweet. Either way, I’m glad he made the effort.
And before you ask: yes, it’s a slow news day.