Baseball On My Brain

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Deville…

I was intrigued by this article in Thursday’s New York Times. Richard Sandomit explores the perception that Mets manager Willie Randolph feels that Sports Net New York (SNY) creates a negative impression of him via their camerawork.

You can read the article and ponder it for yourself – my point in raising the issue is two fold — how much we learn from what the media tells us, and how it has become impossible for a player, manager, or club executive to make any kind of comment without it being over-analyzed and written about by story-hungry media.

Nobody really knows if the remarks Randolph made were intended to be off-the-record as he asserted to WFAN this week. Randolph ideally should know better…anything you say to anyone has the possibility of being on-the-record, let alone when it’s a member of the media, let alone in New York City and surrounding areas. As Sandomir reminds us, “there are shows…that salivate for issues like Randolph’s complaints…” and Willie made the mistake of throwing those hungry dogs a juicy steak.

The second part though is the point Randolph was trying to make — how much is public opinion shaped by the picture painted by the media? My guess is probably quite a bit.

Is the manager of your favorite club fiery and animated, or is he subdued and stoic? And what does that mean to you? Does it matter when they’re winning? Is it overvalued when they’re losing?

And why are we so hungry for this kind of information? Or are we? Does a certain segment of the media just think we’re hungry? Or do we act hungry because that’s what the media is dangling in front of us, even though we have no appetite for it?

Either way, it’s an interesting story to think about, and the tangential aspects make it that much more thought provoking.


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