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?
- Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey 43
- Dodgers are already fed up with 6.56 ERA-pitching, excuse-making Mat Latos 43
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 57
- Bryce Harper walks in all four of his plate appearances, scores four runs 24
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game 146
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff 141
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 74
- The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason 53
- Sarah Palin sticks up for Curt Schilling, tells ESPN to “stick to sports” (266)
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game (146)
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff (143)
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired (107)
- David Ortiz tweets his happiness about the Deflategate decision (100)