How Not to Cover the Marlins
The Marlins three ownership groups deserve the marjority of the blame for the problems with the franchise. Despite two World Series, the team has seen two major fire sales and for a few years fielded terrible teams. But nothing irks me more than reading the hatchet-jobs coming out of the local South Florida media. Today’s useless drivel comes from Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel.
Entitled “Brace for departure of Marlins’ star duo”, this meaningless entry leads off with:
Miguel Cabrera or Dontrelle Willis? Who goes this winter? Who stays? Can we start a pool on whether both will be traded?
Yes, it looks serious this time. And before you raise a voice in protest, understand you don’t have a voice. Nor do I.
It then goes into a stupid anecdote about Bill Murray getting free seats from scalpers. Well, Mr. Hyde, thank you for finally discovering what we’ve known for years — our attendance sucks. As you point out, we’ve drawn more fans this season than we did in the 2003 World Series season. I’m not sure what you are trying to tell us. No one expects the Marlins to average 25,000 fans per game right now with this stadium. That is one of the many reasons (and you may have read about this in your own paper) that the team is trying to get a new ballpark.
Next, Mr. Hyde goes on to suggest that since ticket sales don’t matter, the Marlins don’t care what the fans think and will get rid of players no matter how damaging it is. To be fair, this ownership has invested quite a bit of money in PR, marketing, and community relations. No matter what happens, I do think they care. You are just regurgitating anti-Loria baggage that unfairly stuck to him with the dying franchise in Montreal (note to Expos fans: the franchise died long before Loria, get over it).
But that’s not what gets to me.
What bothers me is that Mr. Hyde is essentially making all this up. He may be 100% right or 100% wrong and it doesn’t matter because he actually doesn’t know. His commentary is speculation at best. In fact, he uses question marks twelve times in this article. This kind of useless writing simply tarnishes people’s reputation and creates a negative aura around the team even though they just completed an enjoyable 3-game sweep of the Cubs who are in the midst of a pennant race. Unlike you or me (I don’t really have that many readers), Mr. Hyde’s voice matters. He has hundreds of thousands of readers who rely on him for news, even if he thinks all he’s giving is opinion. It is his responsibility, just like those covering politics or the war, to actually write responsibly. If you have definite information from reliable sources in the Marlins organization — please tell us. We expect that from you and will praise you for it. But this stuff comes across as facts when it’s not.
I don’t know what will happen to Dontrelle, Miguel, or the Marlins. But neither does Mr. Hyde.