Phillies Manager Is Going To War With The Media | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The last week in May was an interesting one for those in the Philadelphia sports media. After all, their Major League Baseball team had their manager explain he would not be sharing details about in-game decisions and player availability anymore. So my question is: Can not giving media info really work for Joe Girardi and Major League Baseball?
After his team’s 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins Thursday, Phillies manager Joe Girardi arrived at the postgame press conference and informed the media of his new approach:
“Just so you guys know: We’re going to approach this different.” And when asked about certain in-game moves he made, Girardi continued by telling the media, “Just a manager’s decision.”
Girardi, who was in trouble earlier in the week when he admitted he tried to deceive the Marlins by lying about an injury to Bryce Harper through the media, also said Thursday, “I’ve talked to people in our organization.… I’m not going to share anything – who’s available, who’s not available – because I think it’s somewhat unfair to us. Just like if you were to do something, you’re not going to necessarily share it with a rival reporter. So that’s the way we’re going to handle it. Just a manager’s decision.”
Let’s explain why Major League Baseball won’t allow Girardi and the Phillies to have a media blackout of important information. MONEY.
Partnerships with gaming companies now require teams to post their lineups hours before first pitch, therefore there is zero chance that commissioner Rob Manfred won’t be on the phone with members of the Phillies front office to explain to them why their proclamation will not be tolerated.
Sports can never let an injury report be a black-market commodity to be bought and sold to gamblers, and others who might want to make a profile from having information others are willing to pay for. I don’t expect it will reach June before the Phillies are required to share injury information with the media on a daily basis.
I do think, however, that Girardi’s attempt to stonewall the media by not telling him why he did or didn’t do something during a game will be an interesting battle for him to fight. Perhaps it has been too many years of having talk show hosts second guess him on the radio, or he no longer feels the fans, via the media, deserve to know what he was thinking when he made a good or bad decision; but either way, not talking to the media is a big “F-You” to the fans. This, too, will likely be a topic of conversation with Manfred in the coming days, and something that may not last too long, even if the Phillies manager needs to speak a lot without saying much and take the heat for not being forthcoming with the media.
The fight will be over how much detail a manger needs to share with the press, a fight 29 other people in Major League Baseball will be watching closely. For me, if a Major League manager isn’t willing to explain his decisions, regardless of if they were made by him or by an organization, then he shouldn’t be the person answering the questions.
I can remember the New York Mets once announcing they would no longer provide a pitch count for their starting pitchers after taking heat for having Dwight Gooden throw too long in a game he was struggling in. The arrogance to think that those in the press box can’t count is a lesson that reminds people that picking a fight with the media rarely works.
Joe Girardi can be mad at the media all he wants, but dealing with them is still part of his and every other Major League manager’s job. If things are too difficult for him to handle, perhaps the game has past him by, because everyone’s thought process is up for second guessing in sports, even someone who gets all his answers out of three-ring binder and hasn’t had an original in-game thought since he was a player. Sit down and get comfortable Mr. Girardi, because you should be talking the sports media very soon.
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Phillies Manager Is Going To War With The Media | TooAthletic.com
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