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The press is being kicked down the right field line in Anaheim

Dec 14, 2012, 8:06 AM EDT

Angel Stadium Press Box

The affects you almost not at all, but you will hear about it: the Angels are converting the press box in Angel Stadium to luxury seating, which in turn will push writers covering the team to a new press box down the right field line.

Needless to say, writers are not happy about it. Including the guy who will be president of the BBWAA next year:

Apparently this happened at U.S. Cellular Field a couple of years ago — the print media box is now down the right field line there too — and the consensus is that it’s the worst place for writers to cover a game.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer said that after the changes in Chicago, Bud Selig told writers that wouldn’t happen again. Hoynes suggested a BBWAA protest over it. Which, given that the BBWAA’s founding and, according to them, primary purpose, is to ensure reporter access to the ballpark, is probably the only avenue available.

I would expect such a protest to have approximately zero chance of success. Nothing that Bud Selig has done as commissioner suggests that he’s going to stand in the way of teams looking to maximize cash flow. And given that clubs and the league are less dependent upon the sporting press for publicity and information dissemination than they ever have been — and become less dependent upon it every day — what incentive do they have to cater to the ever-shrinking pool of sportswriters covering games from the press box?

In the meantime, know that if you snag some tickets on StubHub, you stand a much better chance of having a better view of things in Anaheim than the reporters do.  And, unlike them, you get to have beer and cheer too.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    The reporters can still watch the game on the TVs in the press box and can watch the replays in comfort.

  2. heyblueyoustink - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Sooo, if I write about baseball, I get to sit in a no charge luxury seat? Where’s that resume of mine at again…. #firstworldproblems

  3. fissels - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Thats too bad. So sad the poor, poor sportswriters have to move.

  4. paperchampsdontwin - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    If I may quote your Jon Daniels story…..Cry me a river, Craig!

  5. Paul White - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    So let’s see….the writers receive free seating, free access to the clubhouse, free access to the field during BP, a free food spread, and are being paid to cover the game. The get to influence millions of fans’ perceptions of each game, play, and player. They are allowed to place their personal stamp on the history of the sport, not only through their coverage but also through their voting for most of the major awards each year, plus the Hall of Fame. In many cases they get those voting privileges for life, long after they’ve stopped actually covering baseball. And some of them…like the aforementioned LaVelle Neal…get to openly flaunt the rules of their own organization by omitting pitchers from MVP ballots and still rise to the highest position in that same organization.

    Seems like a gig most people would gladly do from right field.

    • dtoms - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      How about you go see what it takes to be a beat writer and get back to me.

    • tgthree - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      It’s really easy to take this tack, but I don’t agree with it at all. Given the gravity of responsibilities that you laid out (“influencing millions of fans’ perceptions,” “placing their personal stamp on the history of the sport”), don’t you think they ought to have a good seat in order to ensure they do the best possible job? Maybe they can do that from right field, but let’s carry this out to its logical conclusion. In search of greater profits, teams do away with press boxes entirely and give reporters a room in the clubhouse where they can watch on television. Or worse yet, tell news outlets they have to buy tickets like everyone else. I’m not saying that this would ever happen, but you have to draw the line somewhere. And given your cavalier attitude, I don’t see where that would be.

      Remember that journalists are good for fans. Even if we don’t read their coverage every single day, the team news outlets need to have some competition for fans’ eyeballs. Otherwise, if it’s just the team putting out the news THEY want to put out through their own proprietary outlets, you can say goodbye to rumors, “mystery teams,” innuendo, and basically anything that people on this blog like to read. doesn’t break controversial stories, for obvious reasons. That’s up to the newspapers and other outlets.

      So again, in the specific case of the Angels moving their press box to right field, maybe it’s not a huge deal. But fans ABSOLUTELY should care how the press gets treated, because fans need these reporters, plain and simple.

      Oh, and beat writing is just not “a gig most people would gladly do.” The travel is horrendous, getting to talk to the players every day is almost never the sort of privilege that fans assume it is, and watching baseball for free every night is never as enjoyable when you have to simultaneously try to watch and crank out a 750-word story that’s due ten minutes after the game ends. Frankly, I know several beat writers who end up not liking the teams they cover because it’s a job rather than a pastime. It’s not a bad job, and there are plenty who love doing it. But it’s not nearly as glamorous as some fans think it is.

  6. willclarkgameface - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Newspapers are dead. Who gives a fuck? I can get the same information from a drunk broad on Twitter during the game.

    Cry me a river reporters. Cry me a river.

    And as far as the BBWAA is concerned? They can suck it. Bring your axe somewhere else to grind, like I don’t know….THE INTERNET.

    • yahmule - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      Crowing about the demise of newspapers is like a self-administered intelligence litmus test. Only the most limited intellect considers print media and the internet as some kind of direct competition.

      • a125125125 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

        You don’t consider newspapers to be competing with the internet? Are you a newspaper publisher? Pretty sure those are the only guys that don’t realize that the internet is destroying their business model.

      • indaburg - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        I don’t know about that, yahmule. I can’t think of the last time I read an actual printed newspaper. I read them, but online for free.

      • yahmule - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        The demise of newspapers means the nature of reporting is changing. Some of the changes are positive, such as the immediacy the internet provides, but most of them are not. Immediacy lends itself to a flood of misinformation and the easy propogation of agenda driven or uninformed opinion. When a major event happens now you have to wade through the bullshit and it takes a couple days for the real story to develop anyway.

        Real news agencies also have the resources to investigate stories that would otherwise go unreported. Personally, I like the idea of veteran news professionals like Woodward and Bernstein uncovering scandals that affect everyone. I think it’s just an unfortunate attitude to dance on the grave of the industry as if the internet “won” something or somehow needs to be defended.

        Newspaparers were being forced to make major concessions even before the proliferation of the internet due to the voluntary illiteracy and disconnection from events that has spread throughout the population in recent decades. Their biggest mistake was not charging for their internet content right away, but the most recent generation seems to believe it’s their birthright to have free access to everything online and the industry was afraid of alienating those people.

      • indaburg - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        Investigation and in-depth reporting are so 20th century. I want my news now. In fact, I want my news before it happens. Facts? Those are just mere details.

        And what do you mean, it’s not my birthright to get everything free online? Next you’ll be telling me I didn’t earn my Participation Trophy.

      • yahmule - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM

        I really have no problem with participation trophies. Most kids take them for what they mean and don’t confuse them with MVP awards or first place trophies. I don’t think they’re equivalent to schools doing away with failing grades or other measures designed to protect the feelings of precious little snowflakes. To me, they signify that the kid was part of the team, nothing more and nothing less.

    • indaburg - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      I want to see this drunk-broad-at-the-baseball-game’s Twitter feed. It sounds entertaining.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        I thought about doing a deadmargeschott parody account. 😉

      • indaburg - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        Ha! Do it!

      • The Rabbit - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        Indaburg, It wasn’t a twitter feed, but you participated in the international drinkers-watching-the-playoffs-and-World-Series chats.
        I’d bet it was much more entertaining than a drunk-broad’s Twitter feed would be.

      • indaburg - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        Yeah, good times, good times. :-) It made what would have been an otherwise dull series very interesting.

        Come to think of it, that drunk broad on Twitter? It might have been me.

      • The Rabbit - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        Kiwi’s Black and Tans were very sneaky, but I think the drunk broad was cur.

      • cur68 - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM


  7. tvguy22 - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Oh man, now they have to be snarky from a different spot.

  8. mJankiewicz - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    How dare those greedy owners try to give the best seats in the house to paying customers.

  9. Old Gator - Dec 14, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    I wonder if any spawrtswrightas will hit the foul pole on their way down the street to Burrito King.

  10. historiophiliac - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    OMG, baseball writing is dying!!!!!!

  11. anderswa - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Jesus. Tough crowd. I’m sure everyone would have the same reaction if your boss came to you and said that we’re going to make your job much more difficult to perform because we need to accommodate wealthy people.

    • cosanostra71 - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      I’ve sat in the right field seats at Angels Stadium many a time. They will be able to do their job just fine, the view is great.

  12. bluburt - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Now if they take away the free hot dogs, that would be a true tragedy…

  13. shorttracknews - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    The affects you almost not at all, but you will hear about it:

    That’s umm, a solid first line Craig…

  14. moogro - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Unless you are right near the dugouts, your seat location for evaluating anything is not important. Especially when you have pre-game field access, HD TV, internet, etc. Nothing like commenting on that pitching or batting form from the press box!

  15. gloccamorra - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Wait a minute – if the press box moves to the right field foul pole, so will the Official Scorer. That’s usually one of the sportswriters, engaging in a conflict of interest by assigning hits, errors and earned/unearned runs to players he writes about. Can the job be done from the right field foul pole? We’ll find out.

  16. fm31970 - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Easy solution- the sportswriters can pay for the luxury boxes, and never have to move.

    What do a pair of good binoculars cost…$250 for some nice ones?

    And yes, newspapers are dying a quick death, just like carburetors, video cassette recorders (Betamax, too!), and sending telegrams did. STOP.

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