Something just occurred to me. I get all of my Mets news, rumors, and opinions from blogs.
I don’t read New York papers, like the Daily News, Newsday, the Record, the Times, etc. anymore. Granted, I don’t live in the Tri-State area anymore, but in the past, I read all of them online, no matter what crazy mid-western city I called home.
Switching exclusively to blogs was an evolutionary process. I started reading “the big one,” Metsblog, a few years ago to supplement the news I got from the mainstream media. Then I started writing my own blog on MLBlogs. Through that process, I started reading everyone else’s Mets blog on MLBlogs. Then all those bloggers branched out and started their own websites. Eventually, it reached the point where all of those blogs covered the Mets from all angles. Post game recaps, opinion pieces (negative and positive), statistical analysis (including sabermetrics), and even interviews with players and management. For example, when the Mets announced changes to Citi Field’s dimensions this week, I got the news, as it happened, from bloggers with inside access.
Blogs also offer something that mainstream sports columnists cannot. Perspectives from true fans who are passionate about their team, and about writing. Most bloggers do what I’m doing right now for little or no money. We do it because we love it. Mainstream sports columnists have crossed the line from doing something they love, to doing a job. Mind you, I’m sure most of them still love what they do, but think about your own job. You might like it, but it comes with baggage – administrative tasks, politics, etc. In the case of sports columnists, they have editors telling them what to write about, how to write it, and what perspective to take. For those who have earned some editorial freedom, they are still expected to write in a certain vein. They may be expected to always take a negative angle, or always take the opposite viewpoint of the majority of the media, and so forth. And they have to write something every day, whether or not there is something to write about. That sounds like work to me.
The mainstream media still has greater access than bloggers to the players and managers. And there are the occasional useful nuggets of information from those sources. But we live in a day and age when players speak in cliches and front offices barely speak.
So when I read a blog post today that criticized columnists from a few NY newspapers, I had no frame of reference. I don’t read those guys anymore. I’m not trying to disparage what they do, but rather acknowledge how far sports blogs, and Mets blogs in particular, have come (grammar and spelling mistakes and all – it comes with the territory).
Check out this post from this very blog. And this one. They’re informative and entertaining. In some ways, they are controversial – not because the authors set out to be controversial, but because of the genuine passion they have for their subject matter.
So before you pick up the morning newspaper, try checking out The Real Dirty first. You may be pleasantly surprised.