MetsBlog: Price of Success

You know you’ve hit the big time when newspaper reporters are making snide remarks about your blog.

One of the columnists (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) in the Daily News recently penned this:

“Is Matt Cerrone’s entertaining and informative (One Team, One Million GM’s) losing some edge – and independence?

Prior to the start of the season, Cerrone joined forces with the Mets and SportsNet New York in a deal to have appear on SNY’s Web site. This was followed by a lot of yap-flapping out of Metsville (and MetsBlog) about MetsBlog being able to continue doing its thing.

On Thursday, MetsBlog posted a YouTube video of Joe Smith going mouth-to-mouth (“You ain’t s— … I’m in the big leagues you idiot”) with Cubs fans. Spies say when a Mets official was made aware of the video’s presence, he had it immediately pulled off MetsBlog.

For MetsBlog, and its fans, that’s called livin’ in a corporate world.”

Clearly, this passage was written by someone who is (a) misinformed; (b) misleading to his readers; and (c) probably fearing for his survival.

Because here’s the thing: MLB doesn’t allow anyone to post more than two minutes of video, and no one is allowed to keep video content “live” on their site for more than 72 hours. In addition, MLB reserves the right to demand that any graphical content — be it a video, picture, logo, whatever — be removed from any website from any reason (or no reason). A credentialed newspaper writer should know these rules — after all, he has to abide by them as well.

Even though that video (which is still on youTube, by the way) was shot by a fan, MLB still owns it because it was filmed inside of an MLB stadium. Crazy, I know, but that’s how the laws are interpreted — even in a publicly funded stadium, the events inside are considered private, and therefore subject to the policies of whatever monopoly … er, company … owns the event’s rights.

So when this Daily News columnist irresponsibly infers that either SNY or a Mets official — and not Matt Cerrone — controls MetsBlog, he’s twisting the truth to make a blogger look bad. In reality, Matt — and me, and the Daily News, and anyone with a blogger account, for that matter — are subject MLB’s demands in regard to its content. Theoretically, if I photoshop a picture of Moises Alou onto a milk carton, and someone from MLB doesn’t like it, they can demand that I remove it. Luckily, MetsToday doesn’t attract enough traffic to matter to MLB (for now) — however that is not the case for MetsBlog. MLB is well aware of the most popular baseball blog in America, and as a result monitors it to make sure Matt’s following the rules. Oh, and if they see something they don’t like, guess what? It has to come down. That’s not “… called livin’ in the corporate world,” as the Daily News writer suggests — it’s abiding by the law so your site doesn’t get shut down.

I know, I know, this is supposed to be a blog about the Mets, not about a pissing match between newspaper writers and bloggers. But being part of the blogosphere, this snide remark on the Daily News site gets my goat. There are too many “professional” writers taking pot shots at us “unprofessionals” — from discounting our knowledge, opinions, and sources to slamming us as “pamphleteers“. Not all journalists are against us, of course — only the ones who feel threatened. And I don’t mind reading criticism when it’s fair and based on facts. But when a news writer makes suppositions and insinuations by misrepresenting the facts … well, that’s just … “unprofessional”.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude April 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm
    I hope Matt from Metsblog reads your excellent analysis and puts a link to it on his site so the MILLIONS of readers and bloggers that visit his site can learn the truth in the matter. Then we’ll see how many people trust this so called “informed” writer from the Daily News – whose name I would have outed but I can’t find the article. Damn it.
  2. whatdatmean April 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm
    good stuff joe….always good for providing solid info.
    they should be leaving matty alone! he does a very good job over there[much like here]!!!
    good nugget about the MLB laws…wish that pompus arse can get those facts straight and leave the bloggers to themselves.

    then again…it is the daily news…what else do you expect!

  3. sincekindergarten April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm
    I’m going to give an analogy here . . . it’s pretty bad, but it says what it needs to.

    As the cow whale said to her calf . . . “It’s when you rise to the top that you get harpooned.”

    Joe, you’re headed there. Keep it up.

  4. Micalpalyn April 29, 2008 at 11:16 am
    to me this shows why GOOD journalism is so important. Bad journalists it seems have no accountability.