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Pujols' trainer and Deadspin

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moland Spring, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. good point. i hadn't read the deal. only followed it here.
  2. ONE source on a story like this?
  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Again, in the original post, Deadspin cited several sources (of the "we're hearing" variety), but relied on the one it most trusted.

    Since we seem to be having so much trouble with this, here's Deadspin's original post, from last Thursday.

    So ... We've Got Some Affidavit Names

    Everyone’s guessing about who the blacked-out names in the Jason Grimsley report are, and it has been a fun parlor game so far. But we all knew eventually the names would get out. And we’ve been digging around … and some sources have given us some names.

    How reliable are these names? We feel pretty confident in them, but we can’t go 100 percent, since the information is secondhand. We’ll say this: If Bud Selig issuing a press release naming the names is a 10, and picking a player at random out of the Baseball Encyclopedia is a 1, we’re at an 8.

    So. Let’s do it then. Remember: Betting lines are for entertainment purposes only.

    First: The person who told Grimsley about the positive test in 2003. That’s former Royals general manager Allard Baird.

    As many people have guessed, one of the “former players” who were sold out by Grimsley: Sammy Sosa. Our source(s) couldn’t confirm if the other was Rafael Palmeiro.

    Nothing new or exciting about that name. Then it starts to get interesting. We’ve heard amphetamine rumors of Miguel Tejada, but we can’t confirm that. What we can confirm? The doozy.

    Grimsley says that a former employee of [redacted] and personal fitness trainer to several Major League Baseball players once referred him to an amphetamine source. Later, this source — not the trainer — provided him with “amphetamines, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.” This trainer? His name is Chris Mihlfeld, a Kansas City-based “strength and conditioning guru.” (And former Strength And Conditioning Coordinator for the Royals.)

    Does Mihlfeld’s name sound familiar? If it doesn’t, he — and we assure you, this gives us no pleasure to write this — has been Albert Pujols’ personal trainer since before Pujols was drafted by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 draft. We have no confirmation that Pujols’ name is in the affidavit … but Mihlfeld’s is. If you read the document, it doesn’t say the trainer/Mihlfeld supplied all the HGH and what-not; it just says the trainer was the referrer.

    Yeah. Sigh. We just report what we’re told, folks. Ever hope your source is wrong? This is one of those times.

    (UPDATE: OK, we’ve taken our head out of the microwave long enough to update you a bit. Here’s a “diary” Grimsley wrote about his quick recovery from Tommy John surgery. (At MLB.com!) He thanks Mihlfeld for helping him with his recovery.

    We repeat: We are not claiming that Pujols has taken HGH. We are simply pointing out that Milhfeld is reportedly mentioned in the affidavit, and that he has connections to be Grimsley and Pujols. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go back to our silent screams of pain.)

    All the blog does is make mention of the trainer Pujols and Grimsley have in common. It seems to me that any subsequent troubles related to this post occurred when journalists used it as their single source.
  4. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    You're right, and even reading it again it makes quite clear that Mihlfeld wasn't the one allegedly supplying the HGH. He was referring Grimsley to the the guy who supplied it.

    I'm sorry if Whitlock thinks this is a witch hunt. But I think it's perfectly appropriate and newsworthy to report these connections. The link between Bonds and steroids is Greg Anderson. And knowing what we know about Anderson, if a trainer of MLB players is indeed referring people to a steroid/HGH supplier, I think we need to take a look at that.
  5. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    I think Deadspin was taking some semi-educated guesses (just like a lot of us) and trying to get some attention for itself. It's an amusing read at best, irresponsible and damaging at worst. Certainly not journalism. The 'effin stud in Kansas City took a step down in my book for citing the blog and giviing it far more credibility than it warranted.
  6. greenie

    greenie Member

    After, and only after, Thompson did his own reporting. I'm fine with that type of attribution, which I wasn't clear about in the previous post.

    What I'm not OK with is running the story with deadspin as the only source, like a lot of papers might do if a legitimate paper broke the story.
  7. A source of the "we're hearing" variety is commonly known as "gossip."
  8. Almost_Famous

    Almost_Famous Active Member

    In politics, Wonkette has been referenced more than once by legitmate newspapers.
    In entertainment, Gawker, Defamer, etc have, too.

    Finally, it's happening in sports, and expect it to continue to happen. I fought the BLOGS! battle with this board about two years ago, and you just knew it was a matter of time before a sports blog was going to start to have an impact. When i said it, of course, i was villified and pounding into submission by the usual suspects. But you need access! Oh, no, you don't. If a blog felt the urge, why couldn't it have looked up mihlfeld, called him, and asked him? He could hang up the phone if he wanted - that's a no comment. It's not like the guy was that hard to find.

    Maybe in this case they're not correct - but any site/blog that merely drew the connection (including the guy who posted it on SportsJournalists.com hours before it appeared on any blog) between the trainer and Pujols did 'reporting'.

    And I for one don't see how you can have fun on a blog, and break some news. I feel newspapers stopped having fun with sports a long time ago.
  9. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Which is why, FB, a Deadspin post isn't the same as a Washington Post.

    Nor should it be taken as such.

    Is the post about Grimsley and Mihlfeld interesting?


    Would I ever use it in my own repoorting?

    Of course not.
  10. That's good to know. The problem is that the post is out there. If it's wrong, there's no walking it back. And, unfortunately, as A_F demonstrates as he takes his semi-annual victory lap on behalf of BLOGS!, the line is getting dangerously blurred.
  11. Almost_Famous

    Almost_Famous Active Member

    Didn't a chicago blog talk about Wood or Prior having a damaged arm in the preseason?
    And then, if memory serves, didn't a chicago paper denounce the report - rather harshly?

    What happened there? I seem to recall both of them starting the season on the DL.

    Feel free to correct me if im wrong.

    FB - 'dangerously blurred' - it's pretty simple: If a blog takes too many swings and misses, eventually, it becomes a crying wolf situation. People will give up on the blog, dismiss any 'reporting' and stop visiting. End of story.
    Kind of like reporters - except they are yanked off the beat.
  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    That would be Hoops. Credit where due. :)
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