A story on the web site SportsNetwork.com reported that recently signed #1 pick Jon Bachanov was represented by Scott Boras in his negotiations. That led one blogger to criticize Bachanov, claiming that Jon fell in the draft because Boras was his agent and he wound up receiving less money as a result.
The problem with that is it’s not true.
Two sources have already confirmed for me that Bachanov’s agent is the Beverly Hills Sports Council, not Boras.
Here’s a news story in the June 7 issue of the San Diego County paper North County Times which confirms Bachanov was represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council:
Bachanov, who’s represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council, said he’d step into any role the Angels had for him.
I’ve no idea what are the credentials for the person who wrote the original article on SportsNetwork.com, but this is the danger inherent in the proliferation of news outlets on the Internet — which is a main source of information for bloggers. A lot of the folk writing out there simply aren’t trained professional journalists. They’re not held to as high a standard as the reporters at mainstream papers such as the Los Angeles Times and Riverside Press-Enterprise. Baseball America built its reputation on being the trade paper of the baseball industry, so they have to put an extra effort into getting it right by establishing working relationships with the people in the business.
I make no pretense that I’m a professional journalist — I see myself more as an amateur historian — but I do try to get it right.
And that’s what’s wrong with so many of these fan sites. They’re held to no standard, so they try to attract attention with sensationalist articles that have a loose relationship with reality.
Sure, once in a while the mainstream media gets it wrong. They’re human. And occasionally the bloggers scoop the media. But as the saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
Jon is on my wish list for interviews this weekend in Tempe, although I’ve no idea whether he’s available or he’ll even be there. In any case, that’s one big reason why I’ve recorded so many interviews and video over the years, which are available in the FutureAngels.com Audio and Video Galleries. You get to hear it directly from the source, you get to watch with your own two eyes, and so you can make an informed decision on your own without being told by some blogger or unqualified journalist what to think.
My guess is that the SportsNetwork.com writer confused Bachanov with third-round pick Matt Harvey, who really is represented by Scott Boras. I don’t think Bachanov was ever considered to be the cream of the crop in the draft; Baseball America didn’t have him in their mock first-round draft, and their review of him cited both pluses and minuses. So supplemental first-round seems about right to me. And that’s still pretty darn good. I’ll take $550,000, wouldn’t you?
At the same time, I think some of the blame for disinformation lies with the Media Relations departments for the major league organizations and MLB itself. Some are more open to the bloggers than others, and the reality is that we live in a world where more and more people — scratch that, CUSTOMERS — get their news from the Internet, for better or worse.
The Media Relations folk are used to working with the mainstream media, and I think they fear the independence of bloggers and other non-mainstream sites because those people have nothing to lose. So rather than work with them, Media Relations ignores them.
And yet the mainstream media regularly peruse these fan sites looking for any little chestnut they might have overlooked. I know of several journalists who regularly read FutureAngels.com, and occasionally there will be a little dustup because an innocent remark on my site gets interpreted as a “leak” by the Angels. I try to avoid that, because I’m not in the “scoop” business, but it does happen because the Internet is an oracle to the world — and it’s not going away.
Anyway, this is just my own personal rant reminding everyone to question what you read on-line, including here, unless the source has a pretty good track record for getting it right.