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