It's not personal. It's professional. In a book, “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Colorado Rockies Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box,” that Post-Dispatch columnist Benjamin Hochman co-wrote this past year, the general manager of the Colorado Rockies had this to say about baseball writers:
“The reality is – and this is going to sound petty and bad — if you just objectively look at the people who are evaluating us every day, you know they’ve never come close to doing this job and all the work that goes into it. And most of them, probably 99 percent of them, they’ve never even led anything in their lives. They’ve been self-interested beat writers who have worked for themselves and they have a job to do every day. I had the good fortune of seeing that for a long time before taking this job. So I knew not to put a whole lot of time and energy into what they think about me. It’d be like if I went to a hospital every day and wrote a blog about the job done by one of the surgeons and the things he screwed up. That’s crazy. I know nothing about brain surgery, nor have I ever even worked on the path to become a brain surgeon. That’s what goes on in this industry and other sports industries.”
It's not for me to offer all of the details on fellow beat writers, but I'll suggest that he has taken ZERO time to get to know any of them. I know of several baseball writers who quietly lead charities, work with orphanages, champion foster care. Completely selfless people. I know of another who has helped organize and stock a library -- in India. I know several who have been leaders in an industry, including the first female president of the BBWAA, and she knows a thing or two hundred about leading.
His comment, a veiled attempt to position him as the smartest person in the press conference, reveals a profound ignorance.
I feel it's important to point that out. I am a fan of many of my colleagues, and I hope that he has apologized to a few of them.
And that includes how the job works. We wouldn't go to hospital and write about a brain surgeon and his surgery without talking to the brain surgeon. That's the job. Sure, baseball writers might be critical of a GM, might use good old fashioned reporting to point out how much money that GM has spent and how few division titles have been returned on that investment, but we also will talk to the GM about the decisions he's made. We would ask the brain surgeon about his expertise, and I bet the brain surgeon wouldn't be condescending.