The OC Register plans to “mob” the Angels home opener

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We’re getting to a point in baseball media where some teams barely have any local coverage. There’s a beat guy or two, but press boxes that once teemed with scribes are often empty due to consolidation, newspapers cutting back and the migration of coverage to the internet, where uncredentialed writers ply their trade.

But one newspaper is going to change that. At least for one day. It’s the OC Register, which plans on “mobbing” the Angels’ home opener with what sounds like a barftastic multimedia overload:

On April 6, the Orange County Register will cover the Angels’ Opening Day in Anaheim like no news organization has ever covered a baseball team. We will have more than 100 writers, editors, bloggers, photographers, videographers, graphic artists, designers, advertising representatives, marketing staff members and FANS working together to contribute to the Angels coverage for desktop web, mobile devices, ipad and in print that day (and throughout that weekend) …

… For one 24-hour period beginning April 6, we will unveil (just wait until you see the homepage at OCRegister.com) a massive number of Angels stories, blog posts, tweets, Facebook status updates, photographs and videos produced by journalists who usually cover business, rock n roll, television, movies, cities, police, trends, plastic surgery, celebrity gossip, social issues, Latino issues, travel, human interest, OC Moms, food, theater and, of course, sports … The News Mob is coming.

I can’t wait to hear what the “OC Moms” and plastic surgery writers have to contribute.

OK, despite calling it “barftastic” — it was the first word that came to mind — this actually sounds kind of fun.  It’s the sort of thing that would become overwhelming pretty quickly, but one day of reading and hearing baseball coverage from people who don’t cover baseball is bound to spin out a couple of interesting nuggets.  And would probably help create some interest among those who wouldn’t normally think too much about baseball.

Bryce Harper will not be discussing his impending free agency with the media

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Bryce Harper is entering his walk year and it is widely expected that the Scott Boras client will, indeed, test out free agency next fall rather than engage in any substantial way with the Washington Nationals about a contract extension. There were some “casual conversations” between the parties in the early fall of 2017, but the Nats came away from that, quite reasonably, believing that Harper, who stands to land the largest contract in baseball history, will shop around.

For his part, Harper met the media on his first day of spring training workouts and let everyone know that, no, he does not plan to answer questions about his potential free agency every day between now and November. From MASN:

“Just want to let you guys know I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019, at all,” said Harper. “I’m focused on this year. I’m focused on winning and playing hard, like every single year. So if you guys have any questions about anything after 2018, you can call Scott and he can answer you guys.”

Makes sense. The alternative would be for Harper to give the same canned “I’m only focused on our next game” responses in front of his locker 150 times this summer, and that doesn’t serve anyone.

Thinking back to any other impending free agent’s comments about his free agency, I can’t remember a story along those lines which was worth much of anything. The genre generally consists of headlines which oversell an innocuous or offhand comment from a player as a means of guessing where his head is at with respect to his current team. I can’t think of any story in which a player, during his walk year, said something that concretely and definitively signaled his intensions in free agency one way or the other.

Reporters covering the Nationals who are curious as to how Harper feels about his current team at any given time would be better served just observing and inferring, with particular attention paid to how Harper and his teammates view the Nats’ competitive position as the season goes on, how they react to trades and stuff like that. There’s a lot of guesswork in all of that, but it sure beats trying to get a media savvy player like Harper to admit, after going 1-for-4 against the Phillies, where he plans to spend the next seven to ten years of his professional life.