I’m completely fine with the opinion, just admit journalism is dead.
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.