Monday, November 9, 2009

Press Box Blues

Maybe I have a mix of cynicism and jealousy that keeps my ranting index up, but a few too many things popped up recently that were all too annoying and similar in scope, that it just has to be done.
During the this year's World Series, as with every World Series before it, hundreds of newspapers sent a reporter on an all expenses paid trip to one of the most sought after events on the planet. Such accommodations were not enough for some writers, including Philadelphia Inquirer's Frank Fitzpatrick. According to Fitzpatrick, he was too late to get to the usual press box (the Yankee Stadium spread was delectable!), so he had to go to an axillary box in the cold outreaches of new Yankee Stadium, where peons pay mere hundreds of dollars to have the same privilege.
We all would have huddled near the TV monitors for warmth had there been any TV monitors. Apparently it was OK for the cream of the nation's sportswriters to get wet but not for TVs.
Watching the TV and not the live action? Seems you could have done that from home.
Dan Levy then pointed out an irony recently. Murray Chass, who was a longtime sportswriter for the New York Times and currently blogs writes for his personal blog web site, got a press pass even though no one really reads his work anymore. What am I going to do though? The guy was forced out of a job that has no place for him anymore. Also, he fears stats more complicated than batting average, so his writeups could have been done by a robot.
Now that the season is over, general managers meetings and other MLB meetings take up baseball writers' valuable travel budget. Last year, GM meetings were held in Las Vegas and the St. Regis Monarch Resort in Dana Point, Calif. This year? The Airport Hilton in Chicago and the Winter Meetings are in Indianapolis, Ind. It's not so much that MLB is cutting down on expenses than those cities won the bid to host the meetings. But certainly beat writers won't complain about free travel, right? Oops.

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