Something that stuck out the most to me in all of the Red Sox drama last night was Adrian Gonzalez trying to trash Jeff Passan’s report of the coup he and the Red Sox players reportedly attempted last month:
“I don’t know what you’re talking about … I’ve never seen that guy in our clubhouse before. He doesn’t know what’s going on with us.”
Yes, because the only people who can credibly report on stuff that the players would not want to be made public are the guys who talk to the players every day and get on-the-record quotes for their stories.
Sorry, whether it’s politics, sports, entertainment or whatever, it’s way more likely that reporters working from the outside, cultivating sources who don’t normally provide media quotes, are the ones who are going to get the stories that make the powers-that-be look bad. The White House press corps didn’t break Watergate, after all.
It’s just the nature of the beast. Beat reporters who are in the clubhouse every day have a huge incentive to not piss off the players and coaches on whom they report. It’s totally understandable. It’d present a practical (not an ethical) conflict of interest for any of them to report on such things as the Red Sox coup even if they knew about it.
More basically, that kind of dynamite tends to come from leakers and whisperers. If the leakers and whisperers are players, they’re not likely to leak or whisper to a guy who is in the clubhouse each day because people tend to know which players are tight with which reporters and the risk of being busted is too great. Front office people leaking are not limited by who they talk to in the locker room each day because they’re not, you know, in the locker room.
Anyway, point is this: it’s one thing to say a story is false. It’s another thing to kill the messenger like Gonzalez is trying to do here. It’s a non-denial that rings hollow and weak.