Memo to Pirates Front Office: Bloggers Exist

Read Part II here:

"Internet bloggers will be allowed to cover the criminal trial of former White House staffer Lewis "Scooter" Libby alongside reporters from traditional media outlets, a court spokesman said Thursday.

"Bloggers are part of the media landscape and if we were to ignore bloggers, we would be ignoring reality," said Sheldon Snook, a spokesman for the U.S. District Court in Washington." (emphasis added)

Each MLB team has a different stand on bloggers. Where the Royals openly allow a lot more freedom, the Pirates refuse to acknowledge blogs even exist.

I guess that’s understandable since the team is owned by a couple of old school newspaper families. And hey, I do wear out the Pirates front office here at times, don’t I?

But lets face some facts.. while reporters might understand the Scopes Trial, some baseball reporters don’t understand the game of baseball.

I emailed the Pirates front office awhile back and asked:

"First let me say that it has always been very difficult to gain any information from the Pirates organization as a blogger. I respect that. After all, we aren’t journalists so we shouldn’t have the same access. I have been trying to provide a healthier mix of org-friendly optimism along with the negative fan yarn that goes along with 14 losing years of baseball at the blog.

"However, when available information falls significantly short of our thirst for knowledge, that leaves bloggers in a position to have to work a bit harder, or perhaps better said – a bit differently, in order to gather information. Cutting corners is what I hope to end with this email..

"I propose the Pirates consider opening the communication’s door a wee bit more to bloggers. After all, we aren’t supplied positive media releases, we don’t have access to the GM, and we don’t have any access to the players. Without a positive flow of information, and watching our team lose 85 – 90 games every year, it is hard not to dish out negative yarn.

"So I am hoping Bucco Blog can forge a relationship with the Pirates for some communication out of the organization. I’m not asking for press credentials or anything like that. But it would be nice if the organization stood behind us a little just as we stand behind them a little. Lay out some basic ground rules and let’s give it a try. Perhaps include us in media releases..  include us in team releases.. allow us to ask a hard question or two."

The response I received was as one would expect:

"I appreciate your concern over gathering news like regular beat writers, but in reality you are not a member of the media. Therefore you will not be getting any press credentials to gain access to the clubhouse or restricted areas." (emphasis added)

Of course, I never asked for press credentials nor did I ask for access to the clubhouse. I didn’t even want media access. I simply asked for access to the team’s communication cycle via email. In other words, put me on your list. Yet, I was denied even that simple privilege.

Ok.. no big deal. I have still broken stories before traditional media has. I just have to work harder. My sources are getting better and better, my contact list is getting thicker and thicker, and one day soon I’ll be pumping out articles like the Washington Post.

Without being the Washington Post.

There is one advantage to being a blogger and that’s everything I write is an opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. Bloggers don’t rely on ‘the truth’ like newspapers do – we simply post our opinions like an editorial you might read in the newspaper. And that is something many blog readers fail to remember sometimes.

So I understand and respect the Pirates position refusing to grant bloggers any type of access. I really do. Besides, they have been kind enough to answer any questions I throw at them.

Except any question I ask Dave Littlefield, that is.

However, if the United States District Court in our nations capital is opening its doors to professional bloggers, maybe it’s time teams like the Pirates stopped "ignoring reality" and started to work with bloggers too?

Not opening up the clubhouse..  not allowing traditional access. Just simple, basic, communication like releases. Maybe 10 hard questions from Jake to Dave each month? Or maybe 10 questions to one player a month? Or here’s one question for Ogden Nutting.

Yeah, I know.. I’ll get the same spin every other beat reporter gets. The only difference is, beat reporters can lose their job or suite at PNC for asking questions that are too hard. All I can lose is a wee bit of access so why not just be honest and ask what the fans really want to know?

Believe me, I would ask them.

I guess that’s why I won’t get the access too. hehe  Well, that’s ok. As I said, I don’t blame them. The way things are going for the Pirates these days I wouldn’t want to be in Dave’s shoes trying to answer questions from Joliet Jake either.

I suppose I should get a job at a newspaper instead. Anyone need a beat reporter where I can learn to write some "truth"?