Updated May 22, 2014 - 12:00 pm
Welcome to the club, Peter Gammons
Before you read further, let me admit my bias. I can't stand the Baseball Writers Association of America. I don't have a problem with the individual members; I have a problem that baseball still acknowledges its existence. It is the BBWAA that votes on membership into the Hall of Fame. Very few writers still exist that aren't already a TV talking-head, radio personality or angling to be one in the future. By their actions, MLB and the Hall of Fame are saying that a BBWAA member is magically higher on the baseball IQ scale than a Greg Schulte, who has watched 150 baseball games a year for over 15 years.
I bring this up after reading a tweet from Peter Gammons. I admit, I'm bitter. I grew up watching him on SportsCenter. I would actually record on the VHS whenever his Diamond Notes segment was scheduled. I thought his insight was brilliant. I thought he was the pinnacle of baseball media. That's why I'm bitter because in one tweet, I can see that he stabbed all journalistic integrity he owned in the heart.
Noone defined the LaRussa/Towers roles before Tony was hired. That's about all you need to know. Got a Dunkin Donuts better run, top down— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) May 22, 2014
Peter Gammons is completely entitled to his opinion. Twitter is a great bastion of being exposed to different opinions and viewpoints. However, those aren't the words of a baseball journalist. Those words can only come from a media hack.
A journalist would have talked to Tony La Russa before hitting send. Would La Russa --who could have his choice of almost any role in any organization that doesn't already employ Dusty Baker --- have left his MLB job for an undefined role? Even if Gammons hates the D-backs, I would think he understands his standing in the game. If you respect Gammons, his comment gives instant credibility to the thought that the D-backs are run by unorganized buffoons.
I'm not trying to influence your opinion on the Diamondbacks, the way they run the organization or the La Russa/Towers dynamic. This blog isn't about the Diamondbacks. It's about my frustration with anything that causes me to see through someone that I respected.
I am asking a legendary baseball journalist to act like one. If you're going to say a local Dunkin Donuts is better run than an MLB team, shouldn't you talk to Towers, Derrick Hall and La Russa, who are the subject matters of your tweet? I can guarantee you he didn't. If Peter Gammons wants to accept his days as a journalist are over and he's a respected baseball guy giving opinions, I accept that, but he's more than blurred the line between journalist and opinionated insider.
The BBWAA does not exist for the reasons it once did. Now it's just a club of people pretending to be journalists while hoping to use the organization's clout once they get on TV and radio. A journalist would investigate and report. A knowledgeable insider would hear and react. If Peter Gammons is going to join my club, it's time he lets me into his.
Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug & Wolf