A-Rod, “Reporting” and Journalistic Ineptitude

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We can only speculate as to the look on Michael Kay’s face as he sat down to his customary breakfast of a chicken parm smoothie and a hot, percolating pot of Postum and received the news that Alex Rodriguez had another hip injury and would miss a chunk of the 2013 season. It would be understandable if Kay spat out his Postum and chicken parm in one gloppy, colorful, repulsive mess when reading that A-Rod had again torn the same hip that was surgically repaired in 2009. This exercise in professional reporting and journalistic excellence was exemplified by Joel Sherman as he said the following on Twitter:

Hear exclusively Alex Rodriguez was playing with re-tear in surgically repaired hip Likely going for another surgery ‪#Yankees

Rodriguez was dealing with hip re-tear during playoffs, tried to play thru. Explains why really couldn’t use lower half in swing ‪#Yankees

“Exclusively.” Exclusively wrong maybe.

Then the re-tweets began by the reporters who were jumping on a story clearly before it had been verified as Jon Heyman, Jack Curry, Ken Davidoff and the rest of the experts put forth the inaccurate report that A-Rod re-tore the same hip (his right). The stories haven’t even been spiritually correct as you can see in this Yahoo posting as Ken Rosenthal is quoted as saying:

A-Rod’s injury occurred during the postseason and that he was experiencing pain so severe that he spent a night in the emergency room following one of the ALDS games.

It’s the left hip now and no one knew about it until last month when it was diagnosed. A-Rod did complain about a twinge in the surgically repaired right hip in the playoffs, went to the hospital and had an MRI which revealed nothing. The story is fluid which, to translate, means nobody knows anything. They’re reporting information as it comes in and relying on sources that don’t know what’s going on either.

They could try to cover their own behinds by saying that when they said, “re-tear,” they were referring to another tear and didn’t mean that he’d torn the same hip, but of course that would be an outright lie. You can read the tweets and re-tweets of Sherman here. It’s a who’s who of ineptitude and crying wolf.

I have no idea who Sherman was quoting and whether he misheard and misunderstood what they said; if they told him the wrong thing and he ran with it. What I’d like to know is when this is going to end with those who are supposed to be dispensing the news rushing to be the first to deliver the story and getting it completely wrong!!! Then their reporting brethren report the same wrong story!!!!

Clearly Sherman, the leader of the hack brigade, learned nothing from his news that the Yankees had acquired Cliff Lee in July of 2010 when they had not acquired Cliff Lee.

Getting the truth is meaningless today and that’s not being a reporter, it’s being a pop-up ad and/or spammer. Unfortunately there are never any consequences for these repeated, infrastructural gaffes.

As for the Yankees, they’re a team that was already on shaky ground when it came to contending for their one and only objective every single year—a championship—and now they not only have to find a right fielder and a catcher, but they need to figure out what they’re going to do about third base. I wrote about the host of Yankees issues earlier today and also explained why they’re adhering so rigidly to the $189 million by 2014 mandate.

For the future, given the way the A-Rod contract has gone down the tubes, how does this affect the Yankees negotiations with Robinson Cano after the 2013 season? It’s Yankees policy not to give a player a contract extension before it’s absolutely necessary. This is a George Steinbrenner tactic that they never bothered to change no matter who the player is. It’s going to cost them a great deal more money than if they copied the Rays’ strategy and tried to sign their players to reasonable deals before it got to this point. But with A-Rod breaking down entirely at age 37, are the Yankees going to give Cano the $200+ million he and Scott Boras are sure to ask for? Could they dare to play chicken with Cano and let him get onto the market with the risk that another team—the Dodgers?—would give him more money than the Yankees?

It’s reasonable to be hesitant with the contracts the type A-Rod signed and what Cano will ask for becoming a universally losing proposition, will the Yankees draw a line that they won’t cross or will they repeat the risks of the past?

There’s no solution out there given the payroll mandates, age, lack of prospects on the farm, and now the injuries. In short, it’s a new disaster for the Yankees except, unlike the past, they don’t have the capacity to toss money at it to cover it up.


4 thoughts on “A-Rod, “Reporting” and Journalistic Ineptitude

  1. It’s a me-me-me now-now-now world. Hack reporting is not immune from the perils. In related news, I think this is a good dose of what the Halos are gonna experience later on in the AP contract.

    1. I don’t see Pujols breaking down like this, but he might actually be older than what he says he is.
      What I really want to see is how this affects teams that consider signing Josh Hamilton and Robinson Cano as they’re past 30 and want 10-year deals. Do they hold firm or do they give in? Do they look at A-Rod and say “wait,” or do they pay up?

  2. Four months ago, I would have thought that for all the ink split and drama about to be created for narrative purposes, the Yankees would eventually belly up to the bar and absorb another onerous contract to keep Robinson Cano a “True Yankee Great” (TM).

    Now, I’m not so sure, and I’m not sure the guy’s worth it. Jeter has been the exception to the middle-infielder rule; most of these sorts of guys whether it’s A-Rod, Ripken or Robbie Alomar wilt very very quickly. Cano may be one of the best offensive 2nd basemen ever; but there is no guarantee he will have a Joe Morgan or Derek Jeter-like third decade. The Yankees, or any team that signs him for the big bucks will have to be either inveterate gamblers or in a “win-now/pay later” window. A team like the Yankees won’t be able to do that sort of stuff until A-Rod, Tex, and CC come off the books in what seems like the 22nd century now.

    And yes, A-Rod is Hankenstein’s monster; but Cashman is starting to look very foolish with both his inability to facilitate a decent farm system and the poor big free agent contracts/trades of his own. When is the heat going to turn on him?

    1. The problem is that they’ll be coming off, at best, a substandard year and face the prospect of losing Rivera and Pettitte, have a contentious negotiation ahead with Jeter if he rejects his 2014 option, and also need to deal with Cano. If they let Cano leave, that’s pretty much admitting a rebuild. They’ll never, ever admit a rebuild until they’ve experienced a string of losing seasons by continuing to do business the way they have over the past decade-and-a-half. They’ll pay Cano. They have no choice. And odds are that by the middle-end of the deal, it’ll be seen as a retrospective disaster just as A-Rod is now.

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