Is The Media Our Messenger?

Let me ask you a question:

Team x wins a game.
They then tie the next 3 games.

Are they unbeaten in 4 or winless in 3? If the lose (not loose) their next game are they on a 4 game losing streak?

The answers depend greatly upon the view of the author. In our great city, there is little question that the majority of the scribes who cover our teams would take the negative, glass is half empty approach to the above scenarios. Their is a common belief that negativity sells. In this town, there is just no doubt about it.

“What Arnie detected as negative questions were enough to send him temporarily off the deep end. “When’s the last time I talked to (the media) about a positive thing about anything that’s going on with this pitching staff?” Arnsberg asked. “Maybe you guys haven’t seen any positive things over the past 6-8 weeks that you wanted to speak on, but every article that I’ve done, every interview that I’ve done is on the negative side and I’d just as soon not do them. But if you want to even it out a little bit, then we’re good to go. Otherwise, I’d just as soon not talk about all of the negative all the time.

That from an excellent piece by Richard Griffin in today’s Star. It may be a Blue Jays piece but the story is applicable to all Toronto teams and press. The bold part is fairly accurate of the coverage we get in this town. Negativity is the approach, and it’s what we get most of the time. Who can blame “Arnie”?

“For Arnsberg it’s like an outsider criticizing a member of his family. The truth is it’s not just the media that were curious. It’s the entire fan base of the Jays that is looking for a Ryan answer. The media are just the messenger.”

Not so fast. Yes we want answers, but there is always more then one way to get that answer. As with the team that ties a few games and then either wins or loses, you can position things in either a positive light or a negative one. I don’t think my messenger is the one which is mostly negative in it’s approach. Part of the problem is that the media is so concerned with not being viewed as fans, as being objective. That doesn’t mean they have to constantly be negative, it’s the approach they generally choose.

“”It’s tough when you try to build that family,” Arnsberg said. “You try to build that bond and, you know, to sit and the only things you get to read (about Ryan) are `Well this is what we’re trying,’ and `We’re going to keep sending him out there.’ When I’m dealing with (the media) it’s always the negative things brought to me.” It’s admirable Arnsberg has his pitchers’ backs, but it’s disconcerting that the reaction comes after an opening week of 5-2, with the team sitting in first place.”

Kudos to Arnsberg for speaking what others in his position probably think every day. Next he will be accused of being anti-media a-la Ron Wilson. It’s not the least big disconcerting at all. What he will learn, unfortunately is that no matter what he says, the sharks will continue to circle, with little to no change in the approach. It says here that they aren’t my messenger. Are they yours?

Read Griffin here


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