Jan 20, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT
Beyond the Box score has a chart up today tracking which baseball reporters got the most transactions scoops this winter. Ken Rosenthal leads the pack. Jon Heyman is second. You’ll recognize all the other names based on reading “So and so reports …” posts here and elsewhere. It’s a relatively small group of men and women who spend a lot of time on that beat.
I never gave much thought to scoops until I got a couple of random ones myself, and since then I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out what they really mean, if anything. On the one hand it’s kind of thrilling to break news, even if it’s small news like a player signing. People talk about you a bit. You get some clicks. You feel like a big man for a while. On the other hand, the vast, vast majority of baseball fans don’t know and frankly don’t care who got the scoop. They just want to know who’s playing shortstop. I’d guess that there are no more than a couple hundred people in America who can tell you who got what transaction off the top of their head and really care about it, and that may be overestimating.
Having dabbled in scoopdom, I have a much, much greater respect for what the Ken Rosenthals, Jon Heymans and Buster Olenys of the world do for a living. It’s hard. It’s humbling too. But at the end of the day, it’s not always easy to get your arms around exactly what it is you’ve done. Someone who knew something told me about it, and I reported it. I feel like I’ve done good, but what is it? I let the small handful of readers who care about reading things first know about it first. But long gone are the days when a scoop gave you a story for an entire day. Now anything you report — unless you have a ton of exclusive background information — is all subsumed by the tweets and blog posts of others spreading the news within minutes.
But it’s not nothing either. I gained someone’s trust, which came from some combination of previous good work or a personal relationship. Other people trusted me enough to credit me when I reported it. There’s something good there. I’ve only broken a few stories, but each time I did, someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in my page views has said “good work” or has otherwise considered it worthy.
It’s a weird little world. To the extent I’ve talked with other people who work in it — and here I mean the player transaction beat specifically, not general reporting — they kind of agree. I don’t know that I have any answers about what it all means and whether it’s significant. Maybe I would if I had more scoops.
But then we just begin this analysis back at the beginning and start over, don’t we?
- Giants acquire Jake Peavy from Red Sox 33
- Maximum stay on Hall of Fame ballot changed from 15 to 10 years 47
- Jon Lester is willing to return to the Red Sox as a free agent even if they trade him 23
- Jose Abreu is third-fastest in MLB history to reach 30 career home runs 7
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 27
- How’d he do that? Magician Maddux fooled hitters all the way to Hall 23
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 46
- MLBPA files grievance against Astros in regard to draft pick situation 35
- Expert’s Corner: How to troll fans of all 30 teams (200)
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts (163)
- Yankees acquire Chase Headley from Padres (108)
- Who is the next Face of Baseball? (97)
- David Ortiz passes Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list — is he a Hall of Famer? (92)