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Blue Jays sign-stealing story

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member


    We could speculate on things we have no real answers for in whether or not the Jays are stealing signs, but I'm more interested in the journalistic merits of the story. It seems remarkably flimsy, especially for two of ESPN's more respected reporters. Every turn features a new questionable source, and I've seen several bloggers break down numbers that skew the opposite direction. (For instance, Jose Bautista's road numbers this year are almost equal to his home numbers.)

    The report seems unbalanced, and it doesn't really seem like a story. Interestingly, ESPN.com's homepage does not link to this report as of right now.

    Side note: "Signs of trouble in Toronto" -- beautiful word work from a headline writer.
  2. writingump

    writingump Member

    I'm sure if someone accused the Yankees or Red Sox of stealing signs that ESPN wouldn't have even bothered with a story. Of, if they had, they would have basically said, "Try not to get your signs stolen." Which is basically what this boils down to -- don't make the signs so easy that some guy 400 feet away can pick them up.
  3. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Having realized Toronto still has a baseball team, ESPN has discovered the secret of its long string of third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes since 1993. Well done, ESPN!

  4. JR

    JR Active Member

    Apparently one guy dressed in white was spotted in the same seat game after game. I thought they were called "season ticket holders".

    Ridiculous story.
  5. Boomer7

    Boomer7 Active Member

    Yeah, because when a Boston team was found to have stolen signs in 2007, ESPN really swept that under the rug.
  6. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    What people seem to be overlooking is that sign-stealing --- either through electronic means or otherwise --- is not against the rules. It's far different from using PEDs, or even scuffing the baseball.
  7. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    As the useless story says.
    It also mentions one of those unwritten rules that stealing signs from outside the playing field is considered a no no.
    Baseball sure does have a lot of unwritten rules. I'm a big fan of the unwritten rule that says everyone must hate Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds, and if they ever get in a fight let them kill each other.
  8. writingump

    writingump Member

    Fact of the matter is that ESPN often does lead cheers for the Yankees or Red Sox. But that's another story, I guess.
  9. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I'm with Boom on this one. ESPN would have blown this story up 10 times over, on both its Boston and New York sites, if it had been the Yankees or Red Sox.

    I'm just not sure this is a story at all.
  10. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Get someone to go on the record or dump the story (just another reason why I hate the direction in which journalism is headed). ESPN has egg on its face now, and I thought the Toronto GM handled it well, saying the whole thing was "stupid."
  11. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Girardi did go on the record, which is why the story has legs.
  12. jlee

    jlee Active Member

    Looks like the deadline for an Outside the Lines TV piece was up, and they had to run with something, so they took this one out of the oven half-baked. There's no new information except off the record testimony, some he-said-she-said numbers and a banal response from the MLB.

    Likely enough they were on to something, a larger look at Toronto's reputation in the league perhaps, but it was structured around anonymous characters in a scene that happened with thousands of witnesses:

    [quote author=http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/6837424/baseball-toronto-blue-jays-suspicion-again-stealing-signs-rogers-centre]"Not too easy, is it?"

    From the visitors bullpen at Rogers Centre in Toronto, an American League pitcher screamed at Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista as he took his position late in a game in the spring of 2010.

    "It's not too [f------] easy to hit home runs when you don't know what's coming!"[/quote]

    I mean, come on. These guys wear numbered uniforms for the exact purpose of identifying them during games, and you're going to leave them anonymous in this scenario? Makes me wonder how the reporters got that information, whether they were there or if the scene was described by the anonymous players.

    Lots of holes that should have been sewn shut before this one saw the light of day.
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