Posted By Jeff Fletcher on February 27, 2009 8:22 pm
As you should know by now, one of the nation’s best newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News, printed its final edition today, forced out of business by a bad economy and a world in which so much information is free on the internet. That prompted Dave Cameron of Fangraphs to write how great all of this is for the baseball fan. And he got an atta-boy from Rob Neyer, a highly respected writer who is now a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Cameron writes that it’s good that the baseball media is being whittled down to where there is less room for the professionals and more room for the bloggers.
Much like the open source movement in software, there’s been a revolution in the baseball community. The best content available isn’t being written in books or newspapers, or even behind subscription walls that require payments to access – the best knowledge available is free to everyone who wants it.
I’d like them to do an experiment. For one week, don’t read a single word produced by a member of the hated “mainstream media.” Don’t read anything written by someone who was paid to write it.
I don’t think it would take a week to realize just misguided Cameron’s opinion is. I’ll agree that the best work in “statistical analysis” is done by people working for free on the internet, but that represents a mere sliver of what there is to be written about baseball.
What about, oh, everything else? The features. The news stories. The injury reports. The investigative stories when Dominicans lie about their age. The trade rumors. The steroid stories. I’ll bet if Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci hadn’t written about Ken Caminiti’s steroid use in 2002, we still would not have any steroid testing in the majors.
A media of experienced professionals is vital. If you don’t believe it, go check out one of those blogs and click on some links and see where they take you.
I can tell you one link you will not see on this blog ever again: Fangraphs.