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AP, Ben Walker and the Yankees' advance scouting report

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by cake in the rain, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. cake in the rain

    cake in the rain Active Member

    I searched and couldn''t find a thread on this...

    Anybody know if there's more to the story?

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have contacted Major League Baseball about an Associated Press reporter who discovered their advance scouting report on the New York Yankees in the dugout yesterday and put its contents on the wire. "I am furious," one Diamondbacks executive said. "That is theft." Said GM Josh Byrnes: "It's disappointing, the inclination to print it rather than return it. But, it is what it is."

  2. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    I saw that float across the wire the other night... I thought it was an interesting quick read, but I was immediately curious how the Diamondbacks would feel about its publication...
  3. LemMan

    LemMan Member

    I saw that, too. Never saw anything like it on the wire, and I can't blame the D-Backs for being upset. I wonder what would have happened had it hit the wire during the series instead of afterward.
  4. Central-KY-Kid

    Central-KY-Kid Well-Known Member

    Was this scouting report so large and bulky it was impossible to lock in the coaches' office?

    If you don't want something in the dugout written about ... then don't have it in the dugout in the first place with a reporter in sight.
  5. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    When I was on the Blue Jays beat, during a swing through Minnesota, I walked into the Twins locker room and taped on the wall -- in an area where the press was allowed -- was a scouting report on Kelvim Escobar, that night's starting pitcher for the Jays.

    I took down all the information and used it heavily for my game story, because, as it happens, the scouting report was bang on, particularly about Escobar's failings. (He lost that night.)

    No one said anything about it. But what could they say? If you don't want reporters reading it, put it up in the trainer's room -- or take it down before we can go into the locker room.

    If Ben Walker found it lying open in the dugout, or if it was just a sheet of paper sitting there, and he copied down the information and relayed it to his readers -- I don't see anything wrong with that. He's allowed to be there. Someone with Arizona should have been more careful.

    Now, if he opened a book that was closed, or if he took it back up to the press box with him, that's a no-no, I'd say. I'm only thinking that's a possibility because of the "theft" line.

    Without knowing the circumstances, it's hard to judge.

    But again, if it was there for all to see, fair game, I'd say. (And I've done, too.)
  6. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

    It did strike me as pretty odd to move an entire story on a scouting report he found. He could have just used it as solid background information for his stories.
  7. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    That's what I would've done, used it for my story. But in Ben Walker's case, I'm sure he just published it for novelty's sake. Ah well, it wasn't exactly like publishing an NFL playbook.
  8. champ

    champ New Member

    Work at an AZ paper out of the Phoenix area, saw it on the wire and ran it as a breakout with the gamer.
    I thought it was interetsing the AP sent it across, but also found it an interesting read.
    Anyway, if Walker saw the report and copied it down he's fine. If he took the report from the dugout or clubhouse, even if the game was long over, that's wrong.
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    The information contained in the scouting report is basically someone's intellectual property. In that context, I don't think it makes a difference if you copy down the information or take it with you.

    Let's say Ben Walker is working on a big expose. The notebook with all his research falls out of his pocket and gets left behind in the press box. OK, Ben should have been more careful. But does a competing news organization now have the right (legal? ethical?) to publish all the information in that notebook?

    My guess is Terry Taylor would be screaming much louder than the Diamondbacks are right now.
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    There is just pure speculation on what actually happened. A lot of what-ifs. I'm very confident the story/scouting report wasn't placed on the wire without going through a stringent vetting process within AP.
  11. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member


    He found it on the floor of the dugout, abandoned there for the custodian. There's a principle in our laws that essentially says anything abandoned as trash is free for the taking, which I believe applies in this case.

    Hey, D-Backs --- don't want somebody reading your stuff? Fine. Take care of it or run it through a shredder. Mr. Walker gave you nothing to whine about.
  12. Leave the playbook lying around, and I'm publishing that, too.
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