Boston Magazine – In late July, Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez sent the organization’s top brass a text message to complain about the team’s manager, Bobby Valentine. It was by then clear that the season was lost… That incident, plus several more that reflected poorly on the manager, were revealed in an explosive story published by Yahoo! Sports on August 14. Written by Jeff Passan, the article followed a June report by ESPN’s Buster Olney that called the Red Sox a “splintered group” and described the team’s clubhouse as “toxic.” Whoever was at fault for the chaos that had descended on the team—Valentine, the players, ownership—it was clearly a massive story. Unless, that is, you happened to work as a sportswriter in Boston. While national reporters parachuted in to break a big story—as they’ve been doing with increasing frequency of late—the local press simply missed the boat. In fact, some of the Sox beat writers insisted in the aftermath of the bombshell story that Passan had gotten it all wrong…The Boston sports media, once considered one of the country’s best and most influential press corps, is stumbling toward irrelevance…Boston fans have gotten increasingly used to following the ups and downs of their favorite teams in national outlets rather than local ones. The message to The Lodge is clear: Change, or die the death of utter irrelevance.
I’ve got to hand it to Boston Magazine on this one. For all their fawning puff pieces about how John Henry and his teenage bride are really soulmates and not at all creepy or all their pretentious rubbish about where to find the best Dim Sum in Brookline or whatever, sometimes they hit the nail right on the head, and this is one of those times. The article covers a lot and is too long for any excerpt to do it any justice. But it’s worth your time to read because it’s so spot-on about the sorry state of sports reporting in this town. What was once a proud institution filled with talented, knowledgeable voices like Peter Gammons, Bob Ryan and Mike Reiss is now a shambles. A shadow of its former glory, populated by Jurassic trolls (Shaughnessy), plagiarists (Borges), fabricators (Tomase) and frightened dullards afraid to write about something like the Red Sox mutiny because they’re more interested in lining up their next book deal than telling us what’s actually going on.
And I suppose I should be thanking them for it. Part of the reason Barstool is as huge as we are is because the old media fell asleep at the switch. Anyone with half a brain in their head realized a long time ago all sports coverage in this town is dictated by agendas. Media guys either attack or defend someone based on who they’re tight with. Belichick goes on Show A, so they support him. He doesn’t go on Show B, so they tear him apart every chance they get. This guy announces the Bruins games so to him Jeremy Jacobs can do no wrong, etc. The reason people come to the Stool is because we’re at least honest. We’re fanboys who wear our hearts on our sleeves. That’s our agenda. We don’t carry water for someone because we’re afraid we’ll get shut out of the locker room. And honesty will never become irrelevant. @JerryThornton1
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