“The idiots are bad, but the smart people who take them seriously might be even more unbearable. … With the people who think LeBron isn’t a real winner, has no heart, will never be MJ, whatever … Why should anyone care what they think? It’s like discussing Obama’s legacy with people who still think he was born in Kenya.” – Grantland’s Andrew Sharp
I’m a big fan of this fellow. I said as much back in October after his “Field Trip to Believeland” article. This time around? Sharp calls out the idiocy in the never-ending LeBron argument. The guy is the best player in the world. Move on, folks. Stop engaging.
“A majority of the reporters interviewed felt that blogging was not ‘real reporting’ and that bloggers hurt the credibility of ‘real reporters,’ the study said — noting that some now feel bloggers have been marginalized because of the popularity of Twitter.” – Nieman Labs’ Joseph Lichterman
That’s just one of many tidbits from the fascinating summary of the University of Texas study on sports journalism and the web. Certainly, I know some long-time sports journalists that aren’t too fond of Twitter and the Deadspins of the world. But things aren’t changing anytime soon, folks.
“Do anonymous sources have any place in journalism? Obviously there’s a difference between listening to anonymous sources and masked whistleblowers and putting into print what they say verbatim. I have nothing against anonymous sources who help guide reporters toward the verifiable — I just draw the line at routinely printing what they say.” – Reuters’ Jack Shafer
Great take on the proliferation of anonymous sources in American journalism. The article focuses on the news sections of The New York Times and Washington Post, but we’re undoubtedly seeing the same process playing out in large waves in sports journalism. Paging Chad Ford, et al.
Indians prospect Tyler Naquin had his 17-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday. During the streak, the 2012 first-round pick out of Texas A&M batted .431/.468/.611. He’s not the most overwhelming physical specimen, but he’s hitting .320 in Double-A in his second full season. He was a surprise low-upside college bat. Maybe he could round out a career as an everyday outfielder … but I’m moderately skeptical still. Reports have always pegged his most likely path as a fourth outfielder.
Earl Bennett was released by the Browns this week. Tough year for Bennetts in Cleveland, ammirite?!
Speaking of releases, Grady Sizemore was DFA’d by the Boston Red Sox. Hate to see Grady go. He was only batting .216/.288/.324 in 205 plate appearances. It’s hard to remember, but Grady’s peak actually was otherworldly. He averaged 6.2 rWAR from 2005-08, averaging a .281/.372/.496 batting line with 41 doubles, 27 homers, and 29 steals. He was a natural. Sucks to see his career wind down like this, yet at least he was able to give it another go this season.
ESPN.com had a feature on the Carneys. Unaware of that last name? Well, it’s Jim Carney, former Akron Beacon Journal writer and his son, Patrick. That son happens to be the drummer for The Black Keys. Neat article on the family’s love of baseball and Northeast Ohio.
According to Baseball-Reference, Indians attendance is down 16% from the first 33 home games last season. That’s kind of a big deal, no? My chart, which excludes Opening Day, looks downright ugly.
The Starters (the guys who used to do The Basketball Jones) interviewed the Miami folks who co-own the Unknwn clothing store with LeBron James. Why is this newsworthy? Shoutout to my childhood friend Jaron Kanfer, one of LeBron’s St. V-M teammates, who is gaining notoriety for the gig.
Kyrie Irving threw out the first pitch at the Indians game on Monday night. He also took batting practice. There were lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of pictures to be taken. Who said he doesn’t love Cleveland, eh?
Likely All-Star (in one way or another) Michael Brantley officially has a mild concussion. The team hopes he will return on Saturday. As I tweeted earlier in the week, Brantley is already closing in on his career high in WAR. He has 3.2 rWAR through 69 games this year; his best so far was 3.4 in 149 games in 2012.
And finally, Mike Trout is sensationally good. Like, best-start-ever-to-a-career good. FanGraphs’ August Fagerstrom had a great article on the best three-year peaks in MLB history. Trout’s first three seasons are projected to finish top in the top eight all-time for position players. That’d be the first non-Barry Bonds three-year stretch of 30+ fWAR in 50 years.