View Full Version : Article: Access and Accountability

Nick Nelson
04-03-2012, 11:08 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?391-Access-and-Accountability

04-03-2012, 11:34 AM
The horse is dead, stop beating it already.

04-03-2012, 11:44 AM
As a consumer of content from both sides, I just wanted to say "thanks" for giving me the option.

Good take Nick.

Nick Nelson
04-03-2012, 11:58 AM
The horse is dead, stop beating it already.

I have written about this subject zero times before.

04-03-2012, 12:14 PM
Nice take Nick.

Ultima Ratio
04-03-2012, 12:24 PM
Nice piece here Nick. Well done!

04-03-2012, 12:33 PM

I think the point is that it has been covered by others to death, I just finished listening to the G&G podcast and they droned on about it for a few minutes at the end. To those of us with no dog in this fight it is becoming a bit of a bad reality show, the Real Housewives of the Twins Blogosphere. I would beat that most of us read you, Gleeman, Bonnes, Stohs and company quite a bit. But we also read LEN3, JC, Ben and Rhett. We probably listen to a bit of Sports radio. I find all this interesting, even Mackey's Wrestling obsession, Bonnes beer choices and Gleemans travel phobia. I draw the line at hair pulling though. All involved find a house, lock the doors for a week while the Twins are on the road, send Reusse and Shooter to cover them if you must, turn on the cameras and have it out. Drink Nordeast, eat chicken and ribs, talk sabermetrics or not, discuss the intelligence of most of us commenters, trash Gardy or not, exchange some really great Mauer stories if any exist, compare Punto versus Nishi versus Butera as a internet topic and not as player, Drink some more Nordeast have some more Chicken and have TK throw the losers out the back door wrapped in a Houston Jiminez jersey.

You know I would watch that. But then again we are a easily amused species and I reflect that. Heck I would watch what would happen with Reusse and Shooter on the road too.

04-03-2012, 12:34 PM
I think this is a good summary of the issue. And honestly, sometimes I think the blogger's analysis tend to be more negative than necessary but I do appreciate that they are fans along with the rest of us. I don't feel that the writers have that same appreciation of the game/team.

I always find it disappointing to find out that the ones who have access and develop friendships with some of the players, coaches, etc. end up not really being big fans. I envy their access so I guess I don't relate as much to them because I can't imagine that scenario.

Nick Nelson
04-03-2012, 01:12 PM
I think the point is that it has been covered by others to death, I just finished listening to the G&G podcast and they droned on about it for a few minutes at the end. To those of us with no dog in this fight it is becoming a bit of a bad reality show, the Real Housewives of the Twins Blogosphere.

I went back-and-forth on whether I should write anything on the topic, for the reasons you mention here. In the end, I felt like I could add a unique perspective because I'm someone who's seen the issue from both sides over the years, and I think it's a compelling story in the local media scene. I'm not really attacking the "other side" here (I don't see much need for battle lines to be drawn, personally). Rather, I'm just pointing out that there's plenty of room for both forms of content and that chastising bloggers for writing without inside access is misguided at best.

Ultimately, credentialing a bunch of independent writers would create more redundancy in coverage while also undoubtedly pissing off most of the beat reporters trying to do their jobs in an already sometimes overcrowded setting. Frankly, I feel like some of the people complaining would only be happy if bloggers went away completely, and whose interests would that serve other than their own? Certainly not those of the readers.

04-03-2012, 01:12 PM
Accountability is such a stupid word. It doesn't mean anything. Sure it has a definition, but it's such a slippery one as to mean nothing. It's main function is to shift responsibility to someone else. For example, to be held 'accountable' means that someone else takes responsibility for your action/words, via reprimand or termination or whatever. A blogger essentially takes all responsibility for her/his own actions because they don't have a parent publication or anything.

I think the debate got an interesting counterpoint when John Heyman ran a complete nonsense story and then refused any responsibility for his lack of fact checking. He laughed at the critics, telling them to get over it, more or less.

John is going off the deep end, but isn't that what people like for him to do?

Shane Wahl
04-03-2012, 01:38 PM
God, I hate it when someone essentially says "you shouldn't write that" or "you shouldn't write about this anymore." If you have nothing to say about the content of something . . . ignore.

04-03-2012, 01:42 PM
My only argument would be that having media members in the clubhouse is hardly quintessential. I say that because I don't consume any of that media yet I am somehow able to follow the Twins.

04-03-2012, 01:59 PM
But you do consume the media secondhand. The bloggers distill it for you.

04-03-2012, 02:17 PM
I'm a huge Twins fan and scour the web looking for good info on them. Now with Twins Daily, I don't have to scour anymore, because there's tons of good stuff here. Great site.

Agree with Curt - I stay away from the "mainstream" media, because I don't find much insight there. Honestly, I had heard of Phil Mackey before this, but only vaguely and didn't even know he is considered a Twins media expert. Souhan is, well, he's Souhan and I'm still trying to figure out how he has a job. In my opinion the only "maintstream" media member who covers the Twins and is worth reading is Joe C.

But there are a lot of bad bloggers as well. You have to love their passion and dedication, but that doesn't mean they write well. I personally have no time for Gleeman, I'm still trying to figure out what he brings that everyone likes so much. But that's just a personal opinion, one that I know most on this site probably disagree with.

I will say that reading pieces which are informed by statistical analysis certainly resonates more with me than hearing what Gardy had to say after a win or a loss.

04-03-2012, 02:19 PM
@mattsaari - I'm not sure which bloggers you're referring to. Most of the good pieces on this site cover subjects I don't see anywhere on the mainmedia. Take Parker's piece about Doumit's walk rates. Who in the mainmedia wrote about this, that Parker is just "distilling"? Let's see some examples if you're going to make those kinds of categorical statements.

Boom Boom
04-03-2012, 02:25 PM
Even if you have access to the team, you're still only privy to the information that they want you to have. And many beat writers don't say what they really think for fear of having doors closed on them. In many ways I find the "official" beat stories to be lacking in depth and insight.

04-03-2012, 02:55 PM
Souhan seems to rewrite the same dozen or so articles every season. I read and subscribed to Mackey on Twitter for a while last season. I grew very tired of his immaturity - He argues like my 15 year old son. I like LEN3 and Joe C, they seem to know what they are talking about, but I still do not get the insight that I get from Seth, Nick, Gleeman, etc. Most Strib articles are written for the casual fan/reader. I really enjoy the new Twins Daily site. Except for a couple perpetually negative contributors - it is always a pleasure to read.

04-03-2012, 02:59 PM
Yo CJ! I didn't say the bloggers only distilled info. Their blogs often do just that, essentially meaning that you are getting the mainstream coverage secondhand by coming here, in addition to the blogger input. Here's an example: http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?380-Twins-Set-Rotation. John took JoeC's info and expounded on it.

Lucky: Mackey is no fun to listen to or follow on Twitter, agreed. I like his articles, but man, the Brotastic radio persona has got to go.

04-03-2012, 03:48 PM
I have written about this subject zero times before.

Doesn't mean it hasn't been covered a million times by Twins bloggers on this site and elsewhere. Nothing new is there - we get it, you all disagree. Stop beating the dead horse.

04-03-2012, 04:05 PM
Thanks for the post Nick.

Just listening to G&G and it occurred to me the challenge that Twins daily and bloggers will certainly face.

If a blogger is more in the role of analyzing than reporting then they need something (often data) to analyze. Unlike reporting, that is difficult to on a daily basis. There is not a lot of data gathered in a given day or week or even month. A blogger's solid analysis of depth at a position or roster composition or other decisions the Twins have made can't realistically be altered by a week or month of data. If it can, it probably wasn't that sound.

The challenge is to keep the analysis sound and grounded in data. It will be the challenge of the bloggers at Twins "Daily". If the content of the analysis is unsound in order to keep volume and interest up, the site and bloggers lose credibility. If the content is not refreshed enough, it will be more difficult to generate interest.

04-03-2012, 05:50 PM
I'm glad you decided to write on the subject, Nick. Thoughtful and reasoned, as always.

I also commend you for taking the high road. I would have been tempted to offer a far less dignified response. The stuff he said was childish, illogical, insulting, and flat out wrong.

It's pretty ironic to me for him to complain about bloggers not being accountable for getting things wrong like he is. Seems to me he got this one pretty wrong, but I doubt he'll face consequences for it. (At least none beyond the same ones that bloggers face - a loss of credibility after a bunch of other people point out how wrong you are.)

04-03-2012, 11:26 PM
ChuckkJay and luckylager - I couldn't agree more with your opinions of Souhan, Mackey, and Pelissero (Vikings). Those three on ESPN 1500 are unlistenable. Souhan has never had an original thought in his life and does rewrite the same articles over and over again. Mackey and Pelissero are immature and have a sense of entitlement in their attitudes. They feel that their opinions are never wrong because they are paid to cover the local sports teams. They haven't been around long enough to be arrogant and as opinionated as they are. Once they have been around as long as Reusse they can get away with acting they way they do now. Joe C. is the only "beat writer" I read consistently. LENIII is ok at times, but he is too close to the players and won't say anything negative about them to avoid being ignored by them. I could care less what Gardy's thought process was why he pinch hit Revere for Plouffe. I would rather read what bloggers have to say.

Cris E
04-04-2012, 09:36 AM
There are two aspects to covering a team: reporting facts and providing analysis of them. And there are two kinds of facts as well, those that come from seeing events and looking at the record and those private events that are only known by the people involved.

Anyone can do analysis based on the facts. The quality will vary depending on the talent of the writer, how much time is devoted to research or thought, and the quality of the facts being considered. But in general it takes no special access to form an opinion and spew it out there. And these days a lot of the fact reporting happens on its own as MLB churns out game reports and stats on the internet for free. So the only realm left that requires access is the behind the scenes stuff that pros like Mackey dig out.

I know I'm in MN, not Florida. I'm in my car or office, not the clubhouse. I talk to the idiots sitting around me, not Terry Ryan or players or TK. I form all sorts of stupid opinions based on, well not a heck of a lot, honestly. But that's what people have been doing for decades out in the bleachers or down at the bar because that's what we're supposed to do. Players and reporters and others in the know have been ignoring us for a hundred years. But now, through the power and majesty of the glorious internet, my water cooler-grade opinion is available to the entire world and is harder for folks to ignore.

I'm sympathetic to Mackey's complaints, I guess, but honestly, people in the game have been putting up with this stuff for ages. It isn't new and it isn't fair and it isn't any different from what players have said forever about columnists who couldn't possibly know the true story etc etc etc. There's no accountability and we couldn't know and, well, shut up and do your job Phil. It's how things work no matter how frustrating you find it. Move on.

04-04-2012, 01:22 PM
Good read. Thanks, Nick.
Not sure why people read this looking for your opinion yet get upset when you write your opinion. It's not as if he tricked you guys and titled this "Jeff Gray challenges Scott Baker for roster spot" or "Mauer requests trade after Butera demotion". You knew what it was about. Don't like it, don't click on it.

04-04-2012, 01:41 PM
As a consumer of content from both sides, I just wanted to say "thanks" for giving me the option.

I'll second that. While there is value in hearing from those with access, there is also value in hearing from those who can speak plainly without worrying about jeopardizing that access.