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 MetsBlog.com (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 MetsBlog.com 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”.