Once again, as I contemplate my life as a Twins fan, I’m left pondering the infinite wisdom of the universe and the theory of relativity. Today, that theory of relativity suggests that no matter how dark a given day may seem in Twins Territory, it’s always far brighter than any given day in Timberwolves Country.
Which brings me to my point, that transcends baseball and the Twins, but seems worthy of the consideration of sports fans everywhere…including both of them who read my work, and the one who doesn’t always hate it.
As I read about the chaos that apparently reigned in the Timberwolves front office, I’m struck by the incredible disconnect between what the fans knew (nothing) and what the reporters knew (apparently everything). As citizens, our government implores us that when see something out of place, we should report it... “if you see something, say something” we’ve been told. We do this, without being paid for it, because it’s our duty to keep each other safe.
Why don’t reporters with access to our favorite teams, seemingly have a similar obligation to say something when they see something? If friendships or their access is so vital to them, that they can’t actually do their jobs by reporting on what they see and know, then what is their purpose? I say this with some hesitancy, as it’s easy to bash the press, and it’s become popular to blame the reporters for the reports, I’m not doing that...at least exactly that...I’m blaming the reporters for failing to report.
It’s not surprising that we humble fans wouldn’t know what is going on day-to-day in the front offices of our favorite franchises. We don’t know what we don’t know when it comes to the day-to-day management of many organizations. Some of us, possibly most of us, don’t even really know what management is doing in our own organizations. We just know there are many administrators doing administrative type tasks. If our organization is functioning well, we don’t really worry about what they are doing as we go on about our business, earning our paychecks and dealing with our own day-to-day management issues in our home and personal lives.
But what surprises me, and perhaps annoys me (it’s early and I haven’t fully come to terms with this analysis yet), is what seems to be the arrogance of some reporters “covering” while not actually covering any of this larger story. “Of course, we knew,” they seem to be saying with regard to the Timberwolves General Manager fiasco.
Doesn’t that suggest that while they knew, they had no intention of sharing that information with the fans? I’m not asking for names, dates, photographs…I’m simply suggesting that if reporters knew that the level of dysfunction in the front office was so great, that a seemingly “overnight” firing of the GM didn’t catch them by surprise…didn’t they have some obligation to let us know?
Shouldn’t reporters….I don’t know…report?
I’m just a guy with a job, who writes every now and then about my passion for baseball. I don’t have any more access to the Twins organization than any of the fans who may be reading this. If I did, and I labeled myself a “reporter,” I think I’d feel obligated to do some reporting. Any of us can speculate about potential trades. Any of us can speculate about potential call-ups, just as any of us can question Rocco’s in-game moves, I mean, we’re all in this together, as fans who want the best for our team, as we enjoy the product we see before us, but if we knew more, shouldn’t we tell more?
If the Twins front office were like the Wolves (and I’m not suggesting it is, and I’d be shocked if it were), I’d expect some reporters with access to let me know about it. After all, given the Wolves track record, it would seem to fit the narrative fairly well, if dysfunction ran far deeper than the players on the floor.
I’m not really angry, as any father might say, I’m disappointed. I feel like genuine sports reporters owe us genuine sports reporting. The good, the bad, the ugly, so long as it’s accurate and fair. I understand that Paul Allen loves his Vikings and isn’t going to jeopardize his career by criticizing the organization in any but the mildest of ways, even with his incredible access. I get that Dan Cole, “the common man” is a gadfly, an entertainer, more than he is a reporter, so when I listen, I anticipate entertainment a couple of thirteen, fourteen times a show, not hard-hitting journalism. As long as I know what to expect, it would seem unfair of me to criticize them for doing what they do.
In contrast, shouldn’t I expect reporters to tell me what they see, what they hear, and what is going on? I mean, I understand the notion that some things are “off the record,” but a level of dysfunction that gets the GM fired without any notice to the fans, while certain reporters report that they “knew it all along,” seems pretty close to journalistic malpractice…whatever that might mean.