April 8, 2010

Giving Ortiz A Chance - Being Reactionary Is The Media's Job

Terry Francona:
I'm not trying to be disrespectful but my goodness, it's the third game of the year; it's crazy. The thing I've learned here that's hard is you have to be patient ... Being reactionary in my job, especially here, that has a chance to set off things in a bad chain reaction as opposed to helping.
And "being reactionary" is, when you boil it down, the precise job description of the sports columnist. Something happens - and he reacts, usually in a vacuum, in the heat of the moment. A bad loss = the end in nigh. A blow-out win or two = we're unstoppable.

The columnist's job is not to inform, not to offer perspective or analysis of the situation. If no one reads the column (or clicks on the article link or turns on the radio), the writer is not doing his or her job. They want to - they have to - get your attention. Acting rationally is dull; explaining nuances takes time. In a sound-bite culture, where having a webpage take an extra four seconds to load is exasperating, blurting out something - anything, often more emotional than accurate - is not only easier, it's required.

And speaking of dubious accuracy, check out what John Tomase wrote in this morning's Herald:
[T]he resulting firestorm [over Ortiz's explicative-packed statement Tuesday night] made him a talking point on the radio and TV, and at the very least, betrayed his sensitivity to repeated questions over his struggles, questions that date back to this time last year.
So Tomase claims that Ortiz's outburst "made him a talking point" in the media, and then immediately says repeated questions about his struggles at the plate are 12 months old! Talk about writing in a vacuum. Each thought exists in its own reality, divorced from all other context.

Chad Finn (Globe) notes that April is traditionally Ortiz's
worst month for batting average (.259 career) and on-base percentage (.348) and second-worst (to, of all months, August) for OPS (.855). In 2003, he began the season 0 for 6. In '04, 1 for 6. In '07, 3 for 19. In '08, 0 for 11. Last year? Well, you know. ...

Judging him on seven at-bats? That's not a [giving him a] chance. That's an agenda.
Ortiz is 1-for-11. Mark Teixeiria is 0-for-12. Grady Sizemore is 1-for-9. Alex Rodriguez is 2-for-15. ... Vernon Wells is 5-for-7, with three home runs. And Edgar Renteria is batting .727.


L-girl said...

Great post.

L-girl said...

The real meaning of the word "reactionary," not as Francona is using it here, applies to so much media, too!

Zenslinger said...

Extra Bases has the links for Sox coverage in the day's Globe. One reads, "Dan Shaughnessy has a column about the alarming situation as the Sox fall to 1-2".

You would have to pay me money to read that column. How alarmed can you be? We lost two games, but we were right there in both of them. We missed scoring opportunities, but it's not like the team looks like shit or anything. I'm a bit annoyed we didn't win yesterday, but alarmed? "Alarmed" is, like, fight or flight, y'know.

L-girl said...

the alarming situation as the Sox fall to 1-2

Sounds like an Onion headline!

FenFan said...

Today's columns about the Sox read much like Monday's columns about the Yanks. It's typical of the knee-jerk reaction of the media. It's no surprise to me or anyone else here, I believe.

9casey said...

If you want to read articles that actually speak of truths and support the Red Sox, stick to Chad Finn.

SoSock said...

hahahaha! Hilarious.
ALARMING he says. Oh...my....god
These people kill me.
It's 3 freaking games. It's against a team the pundits say we couldn't compete with and we were one-blown-inning-by-Papelbon away from taking 2 of 3 and could have easily won all 3 with 1 or 2 well placed hits.
True, that was the story way too often last season, so you kinda get the nervous tick, but jumping ship already? Screw 'em.
I'm looking at it the opposite way. I'm thinking that "it's too early to tell, but maybe this offense has a little pop after all".
Allan's last paragraph says it all.......

Bartman said...

Ortiz' batting doesn't worry me; once again being unable to hit the aging Pettitte does.

Michael Holloway said...

Well lets see 1 win and... 2 loses...

Hey that's a .333 winning percentage!

Well I guess all you Sox's fans must be getting ready for October. I don't think the Sox's have had that good a winning percentage in quite a few years. See you in the ALCS!

(Michael Holloway's BaseballBlogs - BBA)