The Worst of Sports Journalism

There’s been a lot of terrible sports journalism lately, but the last few days have reeked of it. Craig Calcaterra commented on T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times, who childishly attacked Marcus Thames‘ integrity. Meanwhile, poor sports journalist standby Jon Heyman has been assassinating the character of Luis Castillo on Twitter for the past few days.

From March 18:

Congrats to ollie p for outlasting Luis Castillo. #mets [Link]

not sure castillo gets a job. backup 2b aren’t in demand, even for the minimum. bad pub doesn’t help either. [Link]

its nothing personal on castillo. i just think hes a crummy player now w/ zero range who looks perpetually put off [Link]

March 20:

sorry, there is some human drama involving castillo and ollie.we all know the outcome of duke, i think. [Link]

via @JSalisburyCSN, #phillies signing Luis Castillo. personally, i think valdez/martinez/barfield are better 2b options [Link]

not a bad guy. no power (as u know), zero range (cant run anymore), exudes mopey-ness. other than that, hes great! [Link, was in response to @HowardEskin]

March 21:

#phillies signing of castillo smacks of 2b desperation. theyve said utley will likely miss opener. do they think he misses yr? [Link]

Ok, amaro just told media castillo signed for 10-day look. I feel better about phils. Tho I’d rather view valdez/barfield/martinez [Link]

Luis Castillo has now annoyed 2 managers in 1 spring over his arrival time. and his 10-day tryout is down to 9. #goodjob [Link]

Heyman also responded to several people who called him out on being overtly biased against Castillo. Even then, he couldn’t help but take unwarranted pot shots at the Phillies’ recent acquisition. Among other comments, he reminds readers that he likes Castillo more than his previous managers (which is to say not much), that Castillo has an “off the charts sense of entitlement”, and that he isn’t “so anxious to play”.

Twitter is a great tool for both journalists and fans of sports teams in that they get up-to-the-second sports news and analysis. When Bryce Harper sprained his ankle, fans knew within seconds and even had photographic evidence to boot. However, the downside of Twitter is that the same journalists who provide these important details can also provide their instant, unfiltered analysis.

Additionally, there’s been a Perez Hilton-ization of sports journalism, it seems. Simers and Heyman aren’t the only ones to openly bash and goad players, nor will they be the last. Recall Mandy Housenick’s completely unwarranted roasting of Jayson Werth as another recent example. Is this their attempt at staying relevant in a crowded sea of national writers, local writers, radio shock jocks, and bloggers?

Sadly, there are plenty of sports journalists who are professional, who keep their biases out of their reporting, and who don’t cast a bad light on their colleagues. We are forced to address the trolls like Simers and Heyman while ignoring the larger percentage of good reporters and writers. As long as these trolls have job security, this will always be the case because they will always have a platform to shout over everyone else.

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  1. PestiEsti

    March 22, 2011 01:06 PM

    I’m not a Heyman fan and I love Craig Calcaterra, but how is what Heyman said any different than the type of stuff Craig has said about Jeff Francoeur?

  2. Bender

    March 22, 2011 01:52 PM

    Heyman’s been ripping into Castillo more or less everyday for the past month. I don’t know that you spend that much time on a player unless there’s something personal there. It makes Heyman look childish and unprofessional, even if what he says may be true.

  3. FanSince09

    March 22, 2011 01:55 PM

    Heyman should of just called Castillo an uneducated prick while adjusting his puma hat.

  4. Mike B.

    March 22, 2011 02:46 PM

    Simers has been doing that crap forever; it’s how he gets page views. People get outraged and predictably go to the site to read the article. The guy is a joke as a “journalist,” but an ace at generating page views.

  5. John

    March 22, 2011 11:53 PM

    I love that you continue to point these things out and continue to stay above the fray. I’m not a journalist or a reporter so I can’t speak about that responsibility, but it seems like human decency and respect for other men could take over for some of these people.

  6. awh

    March 23, 2011 09:00 AM

    Bill, I hate to be a party pooper, but who really cares about this TJ Simers, and who really cares what he has to say about Marcus Thames? Thames is a big boy and can take care of himself.

    I don’t care enough to even click on Simers article. Besides, isn’t that rewarding Simers by giving him a “hit”?


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