Craig Calcaterra

astros logo

Former Astros, Giants GM Spec Richardson dies at 93


ATLANTA (AP) Former Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants general manager H.B. “Spec” Richardson has died at the age of 93.

The Muscogee County coroner’s office confirmed Richardson died at his home in Columbus, Georgia on Tuesday due to natural causes.

Richardson was general manager of the Astros from 1967-75 and was the Giants’ GM from 1976-80.

Richardson is remembered for several major trades. In 1971 he traded Joe Morgan, Denis Menke, Jack Billingham and Cesar Geronimo to Cincinnati in exchange for a package of players that included first baseman Lee May. Morgan, Billingham and Geronimo became key players on the Reds’ championship teams.

While with the Giants in 1978, the year he was named MLB’s executive of the year, he acquired pitcher Vida Blue from Oakland for seven players and cash.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is not sending beat reporters to Indians road games

Progressive Field

Or maybe Cleveland’s major daily paper is not sending reporters to all Indians road games. It is saying it will send them to “select” road games. So far, however, it has not sent beat reporters to either Chicago or Tampa Bay, the Tribe’s first two road stops of the year.

That news comes from Cleveland Scene, which pays attention to such things. It also pays close attention to the media company which owns the Plain Dealer and its online outlet, Based on this story and past coverage, it appears to be a cost-cutting move.

I’ve written many, many things questioning why baseball is covered the way it is covered and have suggested that it doesn’t necessarily have to be the way it is (this one last year is probably my most recent thorough handling of the subject). Personally, I’d love to see experiments in how baseball is covered. You obviously can’t get quotes from afar, but are the quotes important? You can obviously see the game better on a TV screen, but can the person you have doing that write a compelling story that contextualizes the game in ways that make reading it worthwhile to those who saw the same game from the same view? Interesting questions, interesting challenges. So interesting that I’d love it if a newspaper or website dared to do something different in this regard with its coverage of baseball games.

But this example is not that. This, it seems, is simply a matter of a newspaper being cheap and hoping no one notices, all the while putting their reporters at a disadvantage compared to the competition. So to that I say pfffft! Either be bold and original or do things the established way. Don’t just cut costs and act like you don’t give a crap. Because if you don’t, why should your readers?

No, that paper is not likely biased against your team

Library of Congress

Nearly every fan has thought, at one time or another, that a reporter or a newspaper or a website is biased against his or her team. What they tend to forget is that their own baseline isn’t “fairness” but “bias in favor of the team I like.” If you love your guys, someone treating them objectively (i.e. criticizing them sometimes) is, to your un-objective mind, bias. It’s why people who watch Fox News think that channel is “fair and balanced.” Indeed, if you lean a certain way and the whole world leans with you, everything does look balanced indeed.

Not even the smartest or most insightful on this topic are above it. Not even someone who, for professional purposes, is supposed to know how the media works. Like, say, a journalism professor. A journalism professor who wrote in to the New York Times to complain about how they cover the Yankees WAY too much and don’t give enough ink to the Mets.

Since a journalism professor’s claim of media bias understandably carries more weight than other people, the Times researched the claim. The results?

. . . we dug in a bit, taking a look at coverage over the past five days since Mr. Robins wrote and Mr. Stallman responded. The results are a fairly close call, but the Mets squeak it out with nine articles over seven for the Yankees.

I think most bias claims would be resolved this way. With very few exceptions, the media doesn’t care about your team and isn’t out to get them. They print what’s newsworthy, what people are generally talking about and, of course, what sells papers. Their dislike of your team doesn’t even rate. Mostly because you’re imagining it.