PDA

View Full Version : Trying to talk to Jay Bruce



westofyou
03-25-2010, 12:58 PM
http://baseballmusings.com/?p=48447

TRYING TO TALK TO JAY BRUCE


Diamond Hoggers (http://www.diamondhoggers.com/2010/03/honestly-shame-on-you.html) tries to interview Jay Bruce, but the Reds slam the door in his face.

I think back to the times I honestly sat and watched this organization when I was sick; I think back to the times that I made the two hour drive from Columbus to watch them just because I love them when we were 17 games out in September when I could have been watching the NFL instead.

I think about the times I talked my girl out of a romantic dinner only to take her to a Reds game and convince her it was a better date, knowing Iíd have to probably hear about it later on. Or how about this past winter when we went to Redsfest for our anniversary gift to eachother. Or about the times I went to the games after working downtown alone instead of going home and going to the gym like I should have.

None of these things make me above any other Reds fan; but Iím shocked at how easily one can be treated.

Itís never a good idea to anger someone who buys pixels by the terabyte.

NJReds
03-25-2010, 01:02 PM
Social media is a challenge. There are a lot of fans with blogs that would love to interview players. The organizations have to draw a line somewhere.

Roy Tucker
03-25-2010, 01:16 PM
Don't have a problem with the Reds turning down the interview request. There are a lot of web sites and blogs out there.

Having said that, Butcher could have handled it better. But also, the Diamond Hogs guy didn't need to get his nose so out of joint.

But such is the way of communicating over the skinny pipe of email. Lots of room for confusion and misundestandings.

dougdirt
03-25-2010, 01:24 PM
I honestly don't know that they are 'big enough' to justify granting them access. On the front page there are 10 posts or so ranging from today to March 15th. Not a single comment left on any of the stories. Perhaps I am wrong, but where are the readers at?

With that said, it seems that baseball does have a much better stiff arm against internet types than other sports do. I do think there is a need for a line to be drawn at some point and I think that I am blessed to be given media access to the minor league teams, I do think there needs to be a control set for giving 'internet types' access.

I think in the coming years we are going to see an interesting transition in sports on how they begin to give access to 'us'. Clearly there are some websites out there with the same readership as newspapers. I am thinking of a place like Red Reporter (www.redreporter.com), who I believe, if they wanted to assign a 'beat' guy, probably could gain access due to their size and relationship with SB Nation and Yahoo Sports. However I think that the smaller guys are going to continue to be shut out like this because they just don't know who you are or what you are going to say.

RBA
03-25-2010, 01:31 PM
Looks like Redszone has a better case than most of these bloggers.

Brutus
03-25-2010, 01:34 PM
I honestly don't know that they are 'big enough' to justify granting them access. On the front page there are 10 posts or so ranging from today to March 15th. Not a single comment left on any of the stories. Perhaps I am wrong, but where are the readers at?

With that said, it seems that baseball does have a much better stiff arm against internet types than other sports do. I do think there is a need for a line to be drawn at some point and I think that I am blessed to be given media access to the minor league teams, I do think there needs to be a control set for giving 'internet types' access.

I think in the coming years we are going to see an interesting transition in sports on how they begin to give access to 'us'. Clearly there are some websites out there with the same readership as newspapers. I am thinking of a place like Red Reporter (www.redreporter.com), who I believe, if they wanted to assign a 'beat' guy, probably could gain access due to their size and relationship with SB Nation and Yahoo Sports. However I think that the smaller guys are going to continue to be shut out like this because they just don't know who you are or what you are going to say.

Agreed with this completely.

As someone that has been faced with similar challenges as that blog, while I can see where he's coming from, I do not at all blame the Reds for the policy. They have to draw the line somewhere. I don't like the shunning of internet sites, and don't think it should be such a hard-and-fast rule, but it's hard to decipher sites with this type of the new media.

He comes across as a bit bitter in his post. He's not the media and the Reds don't owe anything to him. So he's one of the Reds' "biggest fans?" That should be evidence right there the Reds shouldn't cater to his site. He needs to act like media if he wants to be treated like media.

But I do say shame on the Reds for not being more hospitable with the request. Seemed like a pretty crappy explanation.

membengal
03-25-2010, 01:35 PM
I've written for a general sports blog for about seven years now. We preceded Deadspin. We have had some success over the years, and a decent sized readership that ebbs and flows over time. We have received communication from ESPN and SI columnists from time to time, so I know we got read on occasion amongst some media.

And even when we were most active, and posting 10-15 times a day (which we are not now as life has fully intervened and it was always something we were doing for fun), it never crossed my mind to seek media credentials or try to interview players as if this was our fulltime gig. There's a line somewhere in there, and I am not sure I can define it, but I know it when I see it. Reds could have handled that better, but certainly I don't think that kind of blog needs access to Reds players. There is very little upside and a ton of downside from the organization's standpoint. If Bruce says something off-color or slightly controversial, that can get picked up and fired across the nets. Say something boring and no one notices. What's in it for the Reds to allow that kind of access to a smallish blog? Or for Bruce?

I agree that there are new media types who need and might should get better access, but the above mentioned blog does not seem like one of them.

My two cents.

Johnny Footstool
03-25-2010, 01:49 PM
The guy got awfully whiny, awfully quick. Very unprofessional.

SirFelixCat
03-25-2010, 01:53 PM
Looks like Redszone has a better case than most of these bloggers.

Yup and because of the size of Redszone (I think) I was able to get media access to Chatanooga back in...2004? and interview EdE and a couple of other prospects. I think it's in the archives here.

That was definitely an awesome experience and I couldn't have gotten it w/o being a member here.:thumbup:

lollipopcurve
03-25-2010, 02:02 PM
The guy got awfully whiny, awfully quick. Very unprofessional.

Ya think? Told me all I need to know about Diamond Hoggers.

The accusation that the Reds' response to his request constituted "snark" is laughable. It was a formulaic reply that explained why the request was being turned down. Nothing wrong with it at all. Yet, Diamond Hoggers thinks it's got a capital case on its hands. Really absurd.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 02:12 PM
I had no problem setting up this interview with Bronson Arroyo through Butcher, and this was on a day when the Yankees were in town, which made it much more difficult.

I will say the Butcher has a rep of being the toughest team PR guy in the majors, and wasn't thrilled about it, but I did have help in that I started it through one of the beat writers, and Bronson lobbied for it himself (fore obvious reasons).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5C6HQLI6sI

westofyou
03-25-2010, 02:15 PM
A little bird has let me know that the guy is a member of RZ, thus he is one of us and that in turn means he gets some slack fromm me.

Now I don't expect anybody with a wordpress login to get access, but I also expect PR guys to use kid gloves, throw some bones and maybe sign their name on correspondance when working under the title of team PR liason.

yab1112
03-25-2010, 02:24 PM
Maybe Butcher could've been a tad friendlier but I don't think he did anything wrong. He probably gets lots of these requests every day and like lollipop said, it's a formulaic response.

It's ironic that the nature of the bloggers bitter response seems to validate the Reds policy.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 02:26 PM
My two cents is that MLB teams need to be more respectable to the new media. Ignoring this particular case, the internet will be the main source of news and sports in a very short time.

MLB really doesn't get this and needs to be moving much more quickly to accepting this. Which is funny, because they clearly get it on their end, with MLB.tv and the cell phone apps, so they understand that a large chunk of fans are using this new technology to watch and read about games.

Right now the line is that you much be associated with a print/network/cable venture, or with MLB itself in order to get access. Considering that there will be no print ventures in the very near future, MLB must adjust this to include internet only ventures.

Sure, maybe Baseball Hoggers doesn't cut it because of size, or content, but MLB needs to start letting internet only media get more access, since that is where most fans will be getting their info eventually.

Roy Tucker
03-25-2010, 02:27 PM
It could have been handled better by both sides.

But maybe it will effect some changes from the Reds' PR staff. PR guys are supposed to be good at PR no matter what the source.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 02:28 PM
A little bird has let me know that the guy is a member of RZ, thus he is one of us and that in turn means he gets some slack fromm me.

Now I don't expect anybody with a wordpress login to get access, but I also expect PR guys to use kid gloves, throw some bones and maybe sign their name on correspondance when working under the title of team PR liason.

To be honest, Butcher was nicer to this guy than he was to me, much, much nicer. Butcher has a rep for being tough, even to newspaper and TV guys. Getting a Reds interview is considered one of the toughest in the majors.

TRF
03-25-2010, 02:37 PM
Take out the blogs by beat writers, MLB, ctr, and that leaves maybe a dozen. Maybe.

How long would it have taken him to type this instead:

"I understand your frustration, but the Reds primary goal right now is getting players ready for the upcoming season. Without being disrespectful to you or your readers, I have never heard of your blog until today. Perhaps you can make your request again later in the season after we have determined your sites' credibility and viewership."

Or something to that effect. It answers the question, states a policy and questions his credentials without coming off as an ass.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 02:59 PM
Take out the blogs by beat writers, MLB, ctr, and that leaves maybe a dozen. Maybe.

How long would it have taken him to type this instead:

"I understand your frustration, but the Reds primary goal right now is getting players ready for the upcoming season. Without being disrespectful to you or your readers, I have never heard of your blog until today. Perhaps you can make your request again later in the season after we have determined your sites' credibility and viewership."

Or something to that effect. It answers the question, states a policy and questions his credentials without coming off as an ass.

Yep, and it takes around 37 seconds to see how many viewers a blog has using Alexa, and I would hope a MLB team PR office would have something even better.

johngalt
03-25-2010, 03:08 PM
One important point to note here is that Rob Butcher is the team's MEDIA relations director, not PUBLIC relations director.

A lot of people are talking about what a PR staff should or shouldn't say, etc. Butcher is not PR.

westofyou
03-25-2010, 03:13 PM
One important point to note here is that Rob Butcher is the team's MEDIA relations director, not PUBLIC relations director.

A lot of people are talking about what a PR staff should or shouldn't say, etc. Butcher is not PR.

Good point, PR is probably a much nicer animal than media relations, it's probably the nature of the beast however as PR extends into a deeper vein of the public than Media Relations.

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 03:32 PM
Microcosm of MLB's general marketing issues. They just dont' seem willing to engage the fans on their level. I absolutely understand the need vet "media" sources, but you would think teams would be empowered and willing to engage & support their bases in creative ways.

I wonder how much of this was MLB and how much the Reds. Given that other teams have provided a certain level of access to non-sanctioned bloggers (Such as Dave Cameron's Lookout Landing Mariners Blog), I'm guess this is mostly on the Reds. They really don't seem to understand the viral processes of information and opinion flows. Empower your advocates.

Roy Tucker
03-25-2010, 03:40 PM
One important point to note here is that Rob Butcher is the team's MEDIA relations director, not PUBLIC relations director.

A lot of people are talking about what a PR staff should or shouldn't say, etc. Butcher is not PR.


Yes and no.

As an old boss told me, *everyone* is in PR. PR opportunities don't always come in a nice, neat box. I've seen multi-million dollar deals start from a 30 second random elevator pitch.

bucksfan2
03-25-2010, 03:42 PM
Microcosm of MLB's general marketing issues. They just dont' seem willing to engage the fans on their level. I absolutely understand the need vet "media" sources, but you would think teams would be empowered and willing to engage & support their bases in creative ways.

I wonder how much of this was MLB and how much the Reds. Given that other teams have provided a certain level of access to non-sanctioned bloggers (Such as Dave Cameron's Lookout Landing Mariners Blog), I'm guess this is mostly on the Reds. They really don't seem to understand the viral processes of information and opinion flows. Empower your advocates.

I don't know. The Reds have been pretty good at giving a guy like C. Trent access.

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 03:54 PM
I don't know. The Reds have been pretty good at giving a guy like C. Trent access.

Exception that proves the rule in my book. C Trent had an official credential when he was working at the local papers and is still operating in a professional capacity w/ CNati.com. That's very different than "random" blogger asking for access. The Reds would argue that the blogger doesn't have enough skin in the game and that its not worth the risk of what could go wrong and the damage control that could be required.

johngalt
03-25-2010, 04:52 PM
Yes and no.

As an old boss told me, *everyone* is in PR. PR opportunities don't always come in a nice, neat box. I've seen multi-million dollar deals start from a 30 second random elevator pitch.

Yes, but his response wasn't "public." He was just communicating one on one with a person. Sure, it was a "PR opportunity" in a way because he was responding to someone who could influence the public with his blog by the way he talks about the Reds, but his response wasn't meant for public consumption.

Plus Plus
03-25-2010, 05:42 PM
I have absolutely no problem with how Butcher handled this situation, to be honest. He said "no" to the request, and gave a legitimate explanation. I feel that the writer of the request got VERY out of line VERY fast, sending a first reply with an opening line of "wow, really?", comparing their online blog to Yahoo!, and taking pot-shots at the Reds' struggles in the past is inappropriate at best. If I were Rob Butcher, I would have replied identically to how he did. I'm sure reading lines like...


But this is something puzzling to me. I've been one of the 12,000 guys sitting at the games in September when we're 17 games back and nothing to play for.

...really did not make Rob Butcher want to cater to the requests of Diamond Hoggers. I won't expect the Reds to cater to any of their requests in the future. Electronic media is a strange beast, and I think it got the best of DH in this case.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 05:52 PM
I don't know. The Reds have been pretty good at giving a guy like C. Trent access.

They originally denied C.Trent access and he was only granted access when the other beat writers and players stood up for him. At first he was reporting from the stands with tickets he bought, and had no clubhouse access.

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 05:53 PM
I have absolutely no problem with how Butcher handled this situation, to be honest. He said "no" to the request, and gave a legitimate explanation. I feel that the writer of the request got VERY out of line VERY fast, sending a first reply with an opening line of "wow, really?", comparing their online blog to Yahoo!, and taking pot-shots at the Reds' struggles in the past is inappropriate at best. If I were Rob Butcher, I would have replied identically to how he did. I'm sure reading lines like...

...really did not make Rob Butcher want to cater to the requests of Diamond Hoggers. I won't expect the Reds to cater to any of their requests in the future. Electronic media is a strange beast, and I think it got the best of DH in this case.

Perhaps it wasn't the most diplomatic way to go about it, but to his point, shouldn't' the Reds be looking for opportunities to market their product? Are there really that many people who are passionate fans running a blog and asking for interviews?

I absolutely appreciate the need for them to have standards and a good deal of control over the messaging. And its quite possible Rob and his staff (if he has one) don't have the bandwidth to handle all of these types of requests. But he was clearly short in his responses and could have done more to educate DH regarding the limits of the access they are able to provide - or to the proper paths to establishing the necessarily credentials.

This could have been a win-win.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 05:56 PM
Yes and no.

As an old boss told me, *everyone* is in PR. PR opportunities don't always come in a nice, neat box. I've seen multi-million dollar deals start from a 30 second random elevator pitch.

Not only is everyone in PR, but Media Relations is PR's half brother. In fact, most people who want to get into PR, start in Media Relations.

Team Clark
03-25-2010, 06:03 PM
Some things never change....

HumnHilghtFreel
03-25-2010, 06:04 PM
I have zero problem with the way this was handled by the Reds' people.

Plus Plus
03-25-2010, 08:20 PM
Perhaps it wasn't the most diplomatic way to go about it, but to his point, shouldn't' the Reds be looking for opportunities to market their product? Are there really that many people who are passionate fans running a blog and asking for interviews?

I absolutely appreciate the need for them to have standards and a good deal of control over the messaging. And its quite possible Rob and his staff (if he has one) don't have the bandwidth to handle all of these types of requests. But he was clearly short in his responses and could have done more to educate DH regarding the limits of the access they are able to provide - or to the proper paths to establishing the necessarily credentials.

This could have been a win-win.

But the line has to be drawn somewhere, or else people will go to blogspot, fire up a blog in about 40 seconds, and use the blog as a reason that they deserve a chance to interview a Reds player. Not granting a player interview to a blog that does not have press access (or something) doesn't strike me as inappropriate in the least.

And that being said, I have no doubt that DH is a great website and the people who run it are very knowledgeable and passionate (I am unfamiliar with the page). I just don't think those two factors should be what decides if they should be allowed to interview professional players who work for another organization that the managers of DH don't have an "in" with.

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 08:25 PM
But the line has to be drawn somewhere, or else people will go to blogspot, fire up a blog in about 40 seconds, and use the blog as a reason that they deserve a chance to interview a Reds player. Not granting a player interview to a blog that does not have press access (or something) doesn't strike me as inappropriate in the least.

And that being said, I have no doubt that DH is a great website and the people who run it are very knowledgeable and passionate (I am unfamiliar with the page). I just don't think those two factors should be what decides if they should be allowed to interview professional players who work for another organization that the managers of DH don't have an "in" with.

Of course the line has to be drawn somewhere. But from the limited information we have, that line is written in concrete based on press credentials. The Reds could absolutely maintain professional standards while entertaining the possibility that those standards could be met by "amateurs". If I said "inappropriate", I should not have. The better word would have been "short-sighted."

Maybe they considered the request by checking out the blog and assessing it's professionalism. Maybe they asked DH for more evidence of credibility such as other interviews. I don't know. But it appears to have been a formulaic exchange based on an inflexible, preset line which completely eliminates the possibility of a very positive interaction with the most dedicated portion of the fanbase.

While I hope he gets it, I don't believe that DH necessarily deserves the opportunity. I just think the Reds are foolish to have to such strict standards given that they aren't exactly drowning in rabid fans at the moment and that social media can be so influential in generating excitement in niche' markets.

AtomicDumpling
03-25-2010, 09:01 PM
I don't think Diamond Hoggers was entitled to an interview, but it would have been a good move by the Reds to grant him one.

Rob Butcher's response was rude and childish and all but guaranteed to irritate the blogger and make him angry. The blogger was also childish with his response. Poor showing by both of those unprofessional people.

REDblooded
03-25-2010, 09:28 PM
Yup... I agree that this wasn't handled well by either side... The curt response to the reply e-mail by Butcher, and the mud-slinging by going public from Diamond Hoggers... Perhaps a better route by the blog would have been to send an old-fashioned letter to Bruce after getting shot down by the Reds...

johngalt
03-26-2010, 01:25 AM
Rob Butcher's response was rude and childish and all but guaranteed to irritate the blogger and make him angry. The blogger was also childish with his response. Poor showing by both of those unprofessional people.

Exactly what part of Butcher's response was childish? His first reply stated the position on the request and his second reply was brief in an obvious attempt to avoid getting into some extended back and forth argument about it.

Keep in mind that Rob Butcher is also apparently out in Arizona with the team in the midst of Spring Training work and undoubtedly receives plenty of e-mails each day from various places. I doubt he has the time to carefully craft a response to each one that meets some arbitrary minimum length some people seem to expect.

johngalt
03-26-2010, 01:32 AM
But it appears to have been a formulaic exchange based on an inflexible, preset line which completely eliminates the possibility of a very positive interaction with the most dedicated portion of the fanbase.

See, this sentence right here is exactly what this entire discussion comes down to.

It's not really about how to handle new media or adjust to a new era of covering baseball or any other sport. No, it's about a sense of entitlement to have access, to be "inside the gate" so to speak. And deep down people are wanting that and feeling they are deserved that based on their fandom, not based on their place as a member of the media.

That is exactly why it's such a delicate issue for sports teams. You say it eliminates the chance to interact with "the most dedicated portion of the fanbase." What does that have to do with granting media access?

Full Season Ticket Holders pay for 81 home games each year. I think in some respects that could certainly be classified as the most dedicated portion of the fan base. They don't have the right to interview Jay Bruce if they want. They don't have access to the press box or credentials for BP.

This is about MEDIA ACCESS, not about what people may believe they are owed for their fandom. That is an entirely separate issue here.

hebroncougar
03-26-2010, 08:16 AM
I'm sorry, but the blogger acts like the Reds owe him something because he watches them while he was sick, has taken some dates to the ballpark, the fact that he is a fan of the Reds, and he writes a blog. Hey, I posted something about when the Reds signed Chapman on facebook, I've been a diehard since I was born, and named my son after Joe Nuxhall, does that grant me any access to a player for an interview? I don't blame Butcher for his response, as quick as it was. I'd imagine the Reds get tons, upon tons or requests by people who are pretending to be journalists. Heck, how do the Reds know he's not some crackpot? Media credentials are given out for a reason, they are called credentials for a reason. This quote in a comment made by the blogger in a response to someone telling him he shouldn't be all that upset tells me all I need to know:

"So I guess in that respect we are 'special'. We have been Jay's headquarters on the net since he arrived in Cincinnati (and even before).


That implies the blogger deserves a sense of entitlement, I mean, the HQ for Jay Bruce?

lollipopcurve
03-26-2010, 08:34 AM
Rob Butcher's response was rude and childish and all but guaranteed to irritate the blogger and make him angry.

No it wasn't. Not even close. The responses were brief, to the point, factual (in the case of the first) and unemotional. All of the childishness was a function of the blogger feeling he'd been personally wronged.

bucksfan2
03-26-2010, 09:08 AM
I really think in this era of media coverage all teams have to have guidelines for print, internet, and other forms of social media. I don't mean to short change any blogger, especially a Reds blogger who provides good and quality information. The issue that I have is anybody can start up a blog. In a short period of time I could format a blog and get it up and running. I don't think the Reds want to go down a slippery slope of allowing all blogers access to their players. And I don't think the players would like to spend that much time doing so. We often forget that baseball players have lives away from the sport as well.

I do see guidelines of social media changing. Blogs are becoming a part of the everyday sporting life. I am interested to see how CNati operates and how long it last. It is something the Reds can't ignore because of C Trent (who I am told has his baseball writers of America card which is why he was given access.) IMO its a hard business to crack, but it will be cracked and bloggers will be allowed more access as time goes on.

TRF
03-26-2010, 12:40 PM
No it wasn't. Not even close. The responses were brief, to the point, factual (in the case of the first) and unemotional. All of the childishness was a function of the blogger feeling he'd been personally wronged.

I don't disagree with this, but common courtesy states you at least address the guy by name if it was given, and at least sign your correspondence.

I do think the blogger "go his panties in a bunch" so to speak, but Butcher dismissed him as a person as well as a blogger with how he crafted his response.

I'm as brusque as they come, and my bosses cringe when I have to go into a meeting. But even I have more common courtesy than this.

RedsManRick
03-26-2010, 01:00 PM
This is about MEDIA ACCESS, not about what people may believe they are owed for their fandom. That is an entirely separate issue here.

I'm not suggesting that DH is entitled to access. Frankly, given that the Reds are a privately owned company, I don't think that anybody is entitled to access by definition of their position if they don't work for the ballclub. Rather, I think the Reds are in the position to interact with the public in a variety of ways to serve the interests of the club and the sport of baseball. The classic model of doing this has involved strict control of access through pre-approved, credentialed media outlets.

But the world is changing. What's the point of access if not to disseminate information for the purposes of increasing awareness and ultimately driving revenue? It's the thinking by teams that "the media" is some fixed entity entitled to it's role as informational gatekeeper that is fundamentally at issue here. Thanks to technology, information flows more quickly and openly than ever. Amateur reporters (certainly not all, or even a majority, but some) have proven themselves as, if not more, capable than the traditional media.

For any organization seeking to gain favor with the public through access to people in the organization, they would be wise to adapt their policies and approaches to take full advantage of the world as it is rather than holding on to dear life to the way it used to be.

Roy Tucker
03-26-2010, 01:03 PM
I'm not suggesting that DH is entitled to access. Frankly, I don't think that anybody is entitled to access by definition of their position if they don't work for the ballclub. Rather, I think the Reds are in the position to interact with the public in a variety of ways to serve the interests of the club and the sport. The classic model of doing this has involved strict control of access through pre-approved and credentialed media outlets.

More than anything else, I see this as a wasted opportunity by the Reds.

So I ask, what's the point of media access if not to disseminate information for the purposes of increasing awareness and ultimately driving revenue? It's the thinking by teams that "media access" and public relations are two different things that is fundamentally at issue here. The world is changing. Thanks to technology, information flows more quickly and openly than ever. The old school "media" no longer serve as the sole gatekeepers of information in today's society.

For any organization seeking to gain favor with the public, they would be wise to adapt their policies and approaches to take full advantage of the world as it is rather than holding on to dear life to the way it used to be.

Thumbs up to all of what RMR said.

dougdirt
03-26-2010, 01:14 PM
While I agree with what Rick said, I do think that the Reds would be more open to giving out limited access to certain 'internet types'. I just don't think Diamond Hoggers was one of those places.

There just wasn't much for them to gain by saying yes. Again, I have nothing against the site at all, but by the looks of things, there just isn't a following that large over there.

TheNext44
03-26-2010, 02:02 PM
See, this sentence right here is exactly what this entire discussion comes down to.

It's not really about how to handle new media or adjust to a new era of covering baseball or any other sport. No, it's about a sense of entitlement to have access, to be "inside the gate" so to speak. And deep down people are wanting that and feeling they are deserved that based on their fandom, not based on their place as a member of the media.

That is exactly why it's such a delicate issue for sports teams. You say it eliminates the chance to interact with "the most dedicated portion of the fanbase." What does that have to do with granting media access?

Full Season Ticket Holders pay for 81 home games each year. I think in some respects that could certainly be classified as the most dedicated portion of the fan base. They don't have the right to interview Jay Bruce if they want. They don't have access to the press box or credentials for BP.

This is about MEDIA ACCESS, not about what people may believe they are owed for their fandom. That is an entirely separate issue here.

At first, radio news guys were not considered "Media", and television guys were not considered "Media" and then cable guys were not considered "Media." Media is a constant changing term. I actually think that in the not too distant future, that internet news sites will be the main source of info for sports fans.

I think the point is that internet has become a great source for information and reporting, so to give them all blanket treatment and deny them access simply because of the way they deliver their news is just a bad idea.

Bill Peterson, a former Reds beat writer, is now editor in chief of a local online only news website in Austin, Tx. His site is more popular than that local paper down there, and yet he would be denied access to the Reds because of Butcher's refusal to get with the 21st century.

If the Reds want to increase their fanbase, they need to start acknowledging that some internet news sites are Media and grant them access.

CesarGeronimo
03-26-2010, 02:13 PM
At first, radio news guys were not considered "Media", and television guys were not considered "Media" and then cable guys were not considered "Media." Media is a constant changing term. I actually think that in the not too distant future, that internet news sites will be the main source of info for sports fans.

I think the point is that internet has become a great source for information and reporting, so to give them all blanket treatment and deny them access simply because of the way they deliver their news is just a bad idea.

Bill Peterson, a former Reds beat writer, is now editor in chief of a local online only news website in Austin, Tx. His site is more popular than that local paper down there, and yet he would be denied access to the Reds because of Butcher's refusal to get with the 21st century.

If the Reds want to increase their fanbase, they need to start acknowledging that some internet news sites are Media and grant them access.

I absolutely agree with what you're saying here, but the blogger in this situation has done himself and other bloggers a huge disservice with his unprofessional conduct from the first step in this process. Legitimate members of the media would not base their request for an interview on the fact that they are huge fans of the team and player to be covered and can be counted on for highly positive coverage. In doing this, although it is no doubt well intended, the blogger is shouting to the PR guy that he's a fan, not a reporter and not someone who can be expected to behave as a professional. And that's just how it turned out with the tantrum after the refusal of the interview request.

westofyou
03-26-2010, 02:26 PM
I absolutely agree with what you're saying here, but the blogger in this situation has done himself and other bloggers a huge disservice with his unprofessional conduct from the first step in this process. Legitimate members of the media would not base their request for an interview on the fact that they are huge fans of the team and player to be covered and can be counted on for highly positive coverage. In doing this, although it is no doubt well intended, the blogger is shouting to the PR guy that he's a fan, not a reporter and not someone who can be expected to behave as a professional. And that's just how it turned out with the tantrum after the refusal of the interview request.

The only professional in the equation is the guy with Mr. Red on his checks, the other guy is not professional, that's known by the fact that he calls himself a fan and his sole media relationship to the Reds is through blogging. Nothing wrong with that, that's many of our own relationship with the Reds.

Personally I set the bar in this discourse much higher for the Reds than the blogger and that POV won't change anytime soon.

vaticanplum
03-26-2010, 02:32 PM
I kinda see both sides here. I think Butcher was a little curt and that lines up with his reputation. But he probably gets tons of requests like this, many of them with even less credibility and intelligence than this. That can only eat at your day so much.

That said, I think the fact that this was picked up by Baseball Musings and has gone to four pages on the Reds' busiest fan board says something about how media is changing and how little is private in this day and age. I agree with those who are saying that someone in Butcher's position should never take for granted that anything said to anybody will be kept private, and everything he says, for right or wrong, does come back to reflect on the organization. And it's usually not what you say but how you say it. It's just a reality of this kind of media that I think a lot of business have trouble accepting.

edit: I went back and re-read Butcher's responses (skimmed them first yesterday when I was very busy). I stand corrected. I think the Reds lost a lot of opportunities through the media and are behind the times on this, but that isn't the case here. I think Butcher was clear and fine in his responses.

IslandRed
03-26-2010, 02:36 PM
If the Reds want to increase their fanbase, they need to start acknowledging that some internet news sites are Media and grant them access.


I absolutely agree with what you're saying here, but the blogger in this situation has done himself and other bloggers a huge disservice with his unprofessional conduct from the first step in this process.

True. And true.

I'm not going to defend Rob, I don't know him and what I've heard mostly isn't positive. And it probably will be tougher for online-only sources to get access to the Reds than in other places.

But in defense of the traditional media-club relationship, it's not just about the content delivery method. Being part of the so-called traditional media, a person given access to the club is supposed to know and follow the evolved (and often unwritten) rules of engagement, and if he doesn't, there's a company and a boss to complain to and a paycheck at stake. So there's at least a minimum level of expectations and accountability, and institutional trust if not necessarily individual trust. With a blogger who doesn't need the access to do his job and it isn't really a job in the first place, other than pulling his credential, nothing bad is going to happen to him if he gets out of line.

That doesn't mean the inflexible "no" is the right answer either. Just that a person who doesn't work for traditional media has to gain trust as an individual before he'll have a shot at credentials, and it takes considerable time and hard work to get there.

dougdirt
03-26-2010, 02:42 PM
Bill Peterson, a former Reds beat writer, is now editor in chief of a local online only news website in Austin, Tx. His site is more popular than that local paper down there, and yet he would be denied access to the Reds because of Butcher's refusal to get with the 21st century.

If the Reds want to increase their fanbase, they need to start acknowledging that some internet news sites are Media and grant them access.

I don't think this is the case at all. C Trent has media credentials. He is a local online only website. I fully believe if a website is set up and run professionally that the Reds would look into providing them the access they want as long as it would be of a benefit to them.

The question is, how many sites exist out there who cover the Reds on a large enough scale that it would benefit the Reds to give them access? My guess is that its just one at this point - Red Reporter. And to the best of my knowledge, they have not asked for credentials of any kind relating to the site. There are some very good Reds websites out there, but I think that only Red Reporter is bringing in enough readership to actually warrant some kind of access if they were to request it from the Reds and even then I am sure it would be a limited type access at first.

westofyou
03-26-2010, 02:43 PM
The question is, how many sites exist out there who cover the Reds on a large enough scale that it would benefit the Reds to give them access? My guess is that its just one at this point - Red Reporter.

http://redlegnation.com/

dougdirt
03-26-2010, 02:45 PM
http://redlegnation.com/

Oh I love the guys at RLN, but I don't think they are quite the same size as RR is. Maybe the RR community is just more active, but they seem to have a lot more interaction in the community, which to me suggests a larger readership.

With that said RLN is probably the second largest one around that I know of.

KronoRed
03-26-2010, 02:46 PM
Looks like Redszone has a better case than most of these bloggers.

Ugh, let us hope RZ never moves into that area.

AtomicDumpling
03-26-2010, 03:17 PM
All the guy wanted was to email a few questions to Jay Bruce. He wasn't asking for media credentials or access to spring training or the locker room.

Do you really have to be a major media organization for something as simple as that?

It would have been quick and easy to let him send the email over and tell him you'll ask Jay to send a reply. The guy would have been happy with that and no public relations harm would have been done.

But instead Butcher big-leagued him by basically saying "You're just a pee-on. You'll get nothing and like it."

TheNext44
03-26-2010, 03:17 PM
I don't think this is the case at all. C Trent has media credentials. He is a local online only website. I fully believe if a website is set up and run professionally that the Reds would look into providing them the access they want as long as it would be of a benefit to them.

The question is, how many sites exist out there who cover the Reds on a large enough scale that it would benefit the Reds to give them access? My guess is that its just one at this point - Red Reporter. And to the best of my knowledge, they have not asked for credentials of any kind relating to the site. There are some very good Reds websites out there, but I think that only Red Reporter is bringing in enough readership to actually warrant some kind of access if they were to request it from the Reds and even then I am sure it would be a limited type access at first.

As I stated before, Butcher refused to give C Trent credentials when he was with Lot D, and only gave him them when players and other beat writers spoke up for C Trent.

And here is the exact quote from the article, of Butchers response:


We appreciate your interest in Jay and the Reds, but because of the large number of requests we get for phone interviews, we don’t book guests for web sites other than those associated with MLB, its rightholders and our local news organizations.

I also disagree with you point that the decision should be based on numbers. It should be based on the professionalism of the site. Internet numbers are different than TV, radio or print numbers. You only need a small audience to do well. So some sites cater to a very specific audience that will not get that big, but is very loyal and knowledgeable. Your site is a perfect example.

If I were head of media relations, I would grant you access to the Reds simply because it's clear you know what you are talking about, and are very professional. Maybe not clubhouse access at first, but start with email questions, or a phoner, and let you work your way up.

And this brings me to my final point about how poorly Butcher handled this affair. Diamond Hoggers was only asking for an email interview, one where they sent questions for the Reds approval, that they would send to Bruce and have him reply to.

Butcher's response was that they don't do phone interviews for internet media, so it was clear that he didn't read the letter and was just giving a formal reply that he probably sends to every internet request.

CesarGeronimo
03-26-2010, 03:59 PM
All the guy wanted was to email a few questions to Jay Bruce. He wasn't asking for media credentials or access to spring training or the locker room.

Do you really have to be a major media organization for something as simple as that?

It would have been quick and easy to let him send the email over and tell him you'll ask Jay to send a reply. The guy would have been happy with that and no public relations harm would have been done.

But instead Butcher big-leagued him by basically saying "You're just a pee-on. You'll get nothing and like it."

But in a case like this with someone making an interview request based more on being a superfan (albeit one with a blog) than being a member of the media, how can the Reds have any level of trust with the types of questions to be asked or, more importantly, with how the responses will be reported? What recourse is there if the fan/blogger badly misquotes or misconstrues the responses provided by the player (unlike a professional reporter who could be disciplined or fired)? I think bloggers or at least website reporters can get access to Reds players, but they will need to present themselves in a very professional manner and build some trust before it's going to happen. Most pro and big-time college sports teams are extremely and increasingly controlling over access and and interview rules for players and coaches even for professional media (read about the current Urban Meyer blowup for an example). A blogger needs to behave like a paid reporter in making interview requests is he or she is going to have much success with major league baseball teams.

fearofpopvol1
03-26-2010, 04:54 PM
I think email access absolutely should have been granted here. It's not like the guy just setup his site. Even though it may not be as active as other Reds sites, it wasn't just thrown up there yesterday to get access to Reds players. Butcher would have been wise to have accepted the request and inform the guy that these requests won't always be granted (as to not give him the false hope that his requests would regularly be accepted), but to deny this request in spring training? Where there is a lot of downtime? And some email questions? I just don't get it.

Blitz Dorsey
03-26-2010, 05:00 PM
The blogger that wrote to Butcher sounded a bit unprofessional. Did not come across as experienced journalist; rather came across as a fan. If every fan that went to meaningless September games got to interview Reds players upon their request if they happened to have a blog, that would not be a good precedent for the team to start. So, I'm not at all surprised with the way Butcher handled it.

As someone who has been deeply entrenched in the sports media world for quite some time,I can tell you that Butcher could have been a much bigger Richard in this situation. Especially after the kid acted in a juvenile fashion ("Wow, really?") after being initially turned down.

johngalt
03-26-2010, 06:32 PM
Some of you keep saying he was "only asking to e-mail a few questions over" and why wouldn't the Reds allow that.

Don't you think that if they allowed this person to do it and then Diamond Hoggers posted the Q&A and said "We were able to e-mail questions to the Reds for Jay Bruce and here it is!" that the Reds would be flooded with a whole bunch of requests from other Reds bloggers? Or even general sports bloggers?

That's a big floodgate to open up, especially for players who already have numerous demands on their time as it is and for media relations staff who already have plenty of media to deal with as well.

It's not as simple as "he just wanted to ask a few questions."

johngalt
03-26-2010, 06:35 PM
At first, radio news guys were not considered "Media", and television guys were not considered "Media" and then cable guys were not considered "Media." Media is a constant changing term. I actually think that in the not too distant future, that internet news sites will be the main source of info for sports fans.

I think the point is that internet has become a great source for information and reporting, so to give them all blanket treatment and deny them access simply because of the way they deliver their news is just a bad idea.

Bill Peterson, a former Reds beat writer, is now editor in chief of a local online only news website in Austin, Tx. His site is more popular than that local paper down there, and yet he would be denied access to the Reds because of Butcher's refusal to get with the 21st century.

If the Reds want to increase their fanbase, they need to start acknowledging that some internet news sites are Media and grant them access.

You missed the entire point of my post.

My point was that people are saying it's about the Reds not recognizing new media and their place, etc. But in reality, RedsManRick stated what it really was about - some of the bloggers feel they are entitled to access because they see themselves as the most dedicated portion of the fan base. And they're using this "new media" argument to try and justify it.

TheNext44
03-26-2010, 06:47 PM
Some of you keep saying he was "only asking to e-mail a few questions over" and why wouldn't the Reds allow that.

Don't you think that if they allowed this person to do it and then Diamond Hoggers posted the Q&A and said "We were able to e-mail questions to the Reds for Jay Bruce and here it is!" that the Reds would be flooded with a whole bunch of requests from other Reds bloggers? Or even general sports bloggers?

That's a big floodgate to open up, especially for players who already have numerous demands on their time as it is and for media relations staff who already have plenty of media to deal with as well.

It's not as simple as "he just wanted to ask a few questions."

First of all there are maybe only a dozen serious Reds blogs out there, and even fewer ones that post every day and do the work of a real journalist.

Second of all, I am sure that nearly every Reds blog already has sent in an interview request to the Reds, and they will continue to do so. They would be failing in their job as journalists if they did not. The floodgates have been open for awhile.

There is nothing illogical or unethical about Butcher looking at each request and judging them on their merit, and accepting some and rejecting others. That is his job. To determine which requests to accept and which to reject.

I think having a blanket rule of honoring no internet media requests is illogical and unethical, since it judges a request solely on the way in which they broadcast their information, not on the information itself.

johngalt
03-26-2010, 06:57 PM
First of all there are maybe only a dozen serious Reds blogs out there, and even fewer ones that post every day and do the work of a real journalist.

Second of all, I am sure that nearly every Reds blog already has sent in an interview request to the Reds, and they will continue to do so. They would be failing in their job as journalists if they did not. The floodgates have been open for awhile.

There is nothing illogical or unethical about Butcher looking at each request and judging them on their merit, and accepting some and rejecting others. That is his job. To determine which requests to accept and which to reject.

I think having a blanket rule of honoring no internet media requests is illogical and unethical, since it judges a request solely on the way in which they broadcast their information, not on the information itself.

I'm sure some of the blogs do send in requests. I don't doubt that. But I'm sure they're not all sending requests day after day like they would if one of them was granted an interview. Be realistic here. That would absolutely change the equation.

Sure, it's not like blogs sprang up yesterday, but even people like Fay and Sheldon and CTrent have talked this spring about how completely different covering was this year compared to last year. It's fast-paced and no one can get a handle on the evolution of new media. I don't think it's unreasonable for the Reds, MLB or any other entity to take a step back and still be evaluating exactly how they want to handle it. In the meantime, while they are evaluating, it would only make sense to hold the line.

Finally, it's not as if EVERY print new organization or TV news organization gains credentials or access to the players. Many of those are denied access as well or given only limited access.

REDblooded
03-27-2010, 12:31 AM
Here's one thing I can assure you after reading all of this... If the Reds do decide to eventually allow interviews to bloggers in the future, the blog in question here probably won't be one of them...

Roy Tucker
03-27-2010, 09:38 AM
I don't think it's unreasonable for the Reds, MLB or any other entity to take a step back and still be evaluating exactly how they want to handle it. In the meantime, while they are evaluating, it would only make sense to hold the line.


I agree with this.

But I'd hope what transpires between the Reds and the new internet-based blogs, etc. would be a meaningful dialogue to figure out how things will be handled. The blog guy going ballistic and the Reds guy cutting him off at the knees isn't a good way to do this.

Redsfaithful
03-27-2010, 03:43 PM
I built Red Reporter before life got in the way and I handed it over to Joel Luckhaupt, and personally I don't even know why DH wants to talk to Jay Bruce. This is just me but players rarely say much that's terribly interesting.

Front office interviews I can see the desire. Athletics Nation has had some great conversations with Billy Beane.

I do think Red Reporter could get credentials now, but mostly because of the length of time the site has been up (it has to be a well known quantity to the Reds by now) and because of the relationships Joel has made. He's writing a book on the 1990 Reds, etc.

I'm not sure credentials are that big of a deal though, when I was starting out with the site I managed an interview here and there and the increase in readership was negligible. What built the community I think was just being active every day, grinding it out. If DiamondHoggers wants to grow that should be what they focus on.

Although this kerfuffle seems to be getting them attention also, so could be I'm wrong.

Redsfaithful
03-27-2010, 03:46 PM
There should also be some sort of metric the Reds use to deny or grant media access for online sites, and I don't know what that might be, but it does look pretty arbitrary right now. It would serve them well to figure something out, whether it's traffic or something else. That would avoid any future dustups like this, it's a lot easier to just say well you don't meet our guidelines which are X.