Initial Reactions After the Outside the Lines Taping

I just got back from the studio that ESPN sent me to for the taping of Outside the Lines this afternoon. I have not watched it, and could not see either Rosenthal or Gonzalez during the taping — just stared into a camera with a mic on — so I look forward to seeing how everything looks when I go home and watch it.

Update: The video is posted on ESPN.com now. I’ll probably post again later with more thoughts, because after watching it I definitely have a few more things to say. Anyway, here it is:

Here are my initial thoughts and reactions (written before I had a chance to watch it):

Great experience and I appreciate ESPN allowing me to come on and be accountable for and defend my post.

The most consistent reaction I am getting from people who watched it is that they felt like Ken Rosenthal and John Gonzalez were attacking me. I have to admit that it is hard to assess that with the mic in my ear as my only link to what was going on, but I did feel like my post was being unfairly characterized as being more accusatory than it was. I don’t particularly have a problem with this because, well, it is what it is, but that is the reason why I a) kept coming back to the point that I never accused Raul Ibanez of using steroids, only stated that I thought speculation was reasonable; and b) tried to bring the discussion back to the larger issue of why genuine and well-intentioned sports fans like myself would write such a post: the recent history of Major League Baseball that has conditioned us all to suspect the worst.

One point I did want to expound upon further and I’m not sure how well I explained it on the show draws on what Ken Rosenthal said about it being a different era than it was 10 years ago. Your darn right it’s a different era. Whereas before players, teams, and owners had to do more guesswork about how fans were reacting and responding to the stories published by the MSM and the events on the field, blogs give them a direct view into the heartbeat of the group of people who make the games possible: fans.

And guess what? The reality is that whether it be in stadiums, on the radio, in sports bars, in private conversations, on message boards, on Twitter…everywhere…sports fans, and especially baseball fans, are disappointed and frustrated that we can’t trust what we see, and an era has emerged in which everyone is suspected. Guilty until proven innocent may be the burden proof in a court of law, but innocent until proven guilty has become the reality of the sports world with respect to baseball and its fans. I, nor any of my fellow sports fans and bloggers, should apologize for living in a reality created by the players, owners, union, and Major League Baseball. We’re just reacting honestly to what we see.

As I said on the show at the beginning, though I think I stuttered a bit because I was nervous, if Raul Ibanez read only the Philadelphia Inquirer account of my piece, I understand why he’s upset. It characterized my post as calling out Ibanez out for being a steroid user. How ironic is it, then, that I state in my post that my entire goal in writing it was to debunk the steroid spectulation that I’d heard elsewhere?

And even if Raul Ibanez had read my piece, and maybe he has — I don’t know — I would assume that he’d be upset to have his name associated with steroids. My entire point is wondering whether I’m really the person he should upset with.

Update: I do want to make one more point regarding Ibanez. I absolutely applaud him for standing up and addressing the speculation right off the bat. Good for him. And if really is willing to take a test right now and everything else he said, I applaud him even more. It is no guarantee of anything, because we all remember Rafael Palmeiro shaking his finger at Congress, but it is a hell of a lot better than so many guys who have just sat back and said nothing. I’ll say again what I’ve said before: I am rooting for Raul Ibanez, I like him and respect him as a player, and absolutely hope he is clean. I think he misunderstood what I was trying to express in my post, but regardless, I applaud him wholeheartedly for being proactive in responding.

Baseball has had a problem with steroids for a long time, and what’s happened over the last 48 hours is proof that the problem lingers perhaps moreso than we all even thought. But instead of the players or Major League Baseball having to wonder what people are thinking, their most die-hard fans are publishing their thoughts every day in sports blogs. What a tremendous opportunity for the leagues and players to listen to the people who pay for and support their profession.

Get upset that the steroids story won’t go away; I don’t blame you. But I didn’t create the problem and I certainly didn’t start the speculation. Tell me how my post is all that different from the story in Sports Illustrated from earlier this year about Albert Pujols? The story addresses steroid rumors that have circulated about Pujols while stating the plight current baseball stars face because of the inevitable cloud of suspicion that accompanies great on-field production:

But this is not a great time to be the best anything in baseball. Barry Bonds was the best player, and now he is facing federal perjury charges. Roger Clemens was the best pitcher, and every other day another newspaper story takes him down one more notch. Mark McGwire was the best home run hitter, and after telling Congress that he did not want to talk about the past, he has all but disappeared into a Pynchon-like seclusion. Alex Rodriguez was the best player, and now he tentatively admits guilt while A-ROID! headlines splash and fans heckle and a hip injury shuts him down.

This is the uneasy state of the new baseball hero. Albert Pujols knows he cannot prove to people that he has never used steroids. He knows that there will always be doubters.

That article was written by Joe Posnanski, who I’m a big fan of, and by no means am I attacking him. Quite the contrary, I think the piece was great and addressed an issue that most, if not all, baseball fans have either discussed or thought about. I just want people who think I went out on some crazy limb and who accume me of being some whack blogger to understand that even the MSMers are acknowledging the cold, hard reality that Major League baseball faces.

That was my intention as well. I wish that a fresh comment from Raul Ibanez had accompanied my original post, as Posnanski has from Pujols in his article, but the truth is that I did not feel it would be possible for me to get one. So I linked out to the ESPN article in which Ibanez has denied steroid use in the past and was objective as I could possibly be. And I emailed the Phillies after the fact to open up Midwest Sports Fans for him to say anything he wanted in response.

In the end, however, the sad reality of baseball won out; and even for a guy that I wanted to completely exonerate from speculation, I could not honestly bring myself to do it. As I’ve said repeatedly, I personally think Ibanez is clean and I’m making no judgments whatsoever based on 250 ABs. All I’ve ever said is that the speculation was out there — it’s out there for every baseball player — and try as I might, I was not able to provide enough concrete evidence for myself to personally shut the door to the speculation.

Is that wrong? Some people apparently think so. I just look at it as the reality of the situation, and we can either hide from it and pretend it does not exist, as we all did — fans and media — during the 90s and early 00s, or engage in genuine debate about it. Look at the comments to the article. Because I write my piece, plenty of Ibanez fans have come forward with more compelling statistical evidence that I didn’t even think about. If anything, when you combine Ibanez’s strong rebuttal of the mischaracterized notion from the Philadelphia Inquirer that I’d accused him of using, and the great number of defenders who have discussed his character and provided additional statistical reasons for his success, I think more people may now be inclined to believe in his numbers that perhaps were before. Who knows.

The truth is, as I’ve commented on the posts here at MSF, I personally believe in him more now. Not totally — I don’t believe in any baseball player totally — but moreso than when I hit publish on the original article.

So all of the anger in the world can be directed at me. I guess on a certain level I understand it, and I can understand Raul Ibanez erroneously speculating that I’m a 42-year old blogger who lives in my mother’s basement — I guess that if Ibanez is really clean you could say we’re even on speculation that turns out to not quite match reality — but don’t let anger and emotional reactions divert your attention from the main point:

Major League Baseball has reached a point where everyone, including two of its most high character, consistent, and hard working players, are the subject of general speculation by genuine baseball fans about whether or not their numbers are legit — baseball fans who want nothing more than to believe in their heroes whose mighty on-field exploits are a daily obsession for so many of us.

Say what you will about my post, about me, and about bloggers in general. But to me that is the saddest fact of all.

Update: One final thought, as people are calling and texting me about what was said on Around the Horn. Apparently Jay Mariotti, who I’ve been very hard on in the past here on MSF, agreed with me or defended me to some extent. I haven’t seen it, but this is what I’m being told. If so…I’d like to extend my wholehearted appreciation to Jay for the support.



About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.

Comments

  1. James R. says:

    There was no speculation until YOU AND A BUDDY STARTED IT.

    • @James R., you’re kidding right?????

    • @James R., Are really trying to say that only JRod and his buddy thought Ibanez might be on steroids? That is just stupid.

    • seeing as how this is a midwest sports fan’s hangout, I’d like to bring in an east coast (Philadelphia) perspective. I don’t frequent blogs nor does my time spent on this page leave me wanting more – I’ve heard kids on the playground more informed and literate than some of these posters – but I stumbled across the OTL report on ESPN and read the article in the daily news and was intrigued.

      Let me start off by saying that your suspicion was completely legitimate and warranted. Me and other long time Phils fans have been speculating about the same thing since Raul got to 8 HRs, not to mention 20. If we used some media outlet like a blog, one of us would have written about it. Your opponents on OTL talked about the difference between raising the PED issue b/w friends and writing about it. They both seemed pitted against you from the start, beleiving that you wrote about the unthinkable – Ibanez…high character, hard working, blue collar player off to his best season ever but may be using PEDs. Well why wouldn’t you write about that? You’re right in that this is the era of baseball we’re in. We’ve already been fooled by fun loving Manny and teen dream A-Rod so why not raise an eyebrow?

      I think that your title as a ‘blogger’ (if that’s what you consider yourself) was detrimental to your argument (which was legit and well thought out) during your ESPN appearance. Your opponents loved throwing around words like ‘new media’ when talking about your blog while reffering to their work as ‘mainstream’. Shouldn’t a mainstream journalist be writing about the pressing issues in sports i.e. steriods…especially in Ibanezs’ unusual circumstance? Honestly, I feel that Ken and John were being negligant in not speculating about Raul’s legitamacy.
      I think it was obvious that they both looked down on you because you write for a webpage and failed to acknowledge a cohesive argument.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think Raul is clean. Call me a homer, but I really do think Ibanez is off to a hot start without any PEDs. Baseball is a season of streaks and I don’t see much more than 15 more HRs out of him, but hey, kudos, I didn’t expect that much when we signed him.

      I don’t know how this blogging thing works but I’d like to hear some feedback from you, JRod.

  2. John Doe says:

    Jared as a fellow sports reporter (TV) and blogger, I accept your effort on ESPN. Yet your demeanor and appearance on OTL was nothing short of miserable. I’m sure your enjoying your fifteen minutes, but your accusations have landed a huge black eye on our field. As an avid baseball fan I too argue the question of skill versus PED’s in some performances, Yet I keep those out of the public eye and off my blog. One last thing, I want to thank you for showing me how not to conduct my responsibility and my thoughts because you truly made an ass of yourself. Good luck in your future posts, and I hope your irresponsibilty doesn’t cause a ground swell of lunatics posting non-sense.

    Food for thought:
    Ibanez… posted 100 RBI’s last year
    – He’s pretty well protected in the Phillies lineup
    – Ibanez is playing in a hitters park (Citizens Bank)
    – It’s the first time NL pitchers are seeing him
    – and he has a history of being well conditioned (162 games last year)

    • @John Doe, knock it off!!!! Stop being so dramatic about the “huge black eye on our field”. Why are you hiding behind the name JOHN DOE. You people are all HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD FOR YOU that you keep your comments to yourself. That is why you will never be very successful!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @John Doe, you claim to be a writer, and yet you misspelled “nonsense.” (It’s not hyphenated.) So much for your anonymous credibility as an asset to sports journalism…

      • @John Doe, The whole reason why we are in the ‘roid mess we are now is because mainstream media never called anyone out and kept their opinions to themselves. So I believe you are the one that has not lived up to your responsibility.

    • @John Doe, Honestly… Why do we need to be so afraid of saying anything about baseball players? Is that going to make us feel better? Should we just continue ignoring possibilities that some people CHEAT? Should we be so niave to just assume players just worked hard and started belting 60-70 HRs naturally? We’ve done this before and we’ve been let down. Who cares if Raul Ibanez’s feelings are hurt. Deal with it! He has a right to respond to the ‘speculations’ the same as people have the right to make those ‘speculations’. This is AMERICA and this is the ERA we are in and our ‘HEROES’ of baseball have lied to our faces before and undoubtedly, will do it again… So in closing, YES… We will write article, blogs, and whatever because we have been CHEATED and we don’t want it to happen again!

    • @John Doe,

      Wow. You’re a douche. If you want any credibility to what you’re saying, then why don’t you tell him who you are? You make no valid points and it’s clear to all the readers that the only one that’s made ass out of themselves is you. I guess you knew that when you wrote this garbage post and that’s why you hid your name. “Food for thought”, all the crap you wrote were already mentioned in his original blog and were things he actually supported, except for “it’s the first time NL pitchers are seeing him” because that’s a false statement. Idiot.

  3. Jerod, I read your articles every day. You write about some very interesting things. I read this article and NOT FOR ONE MINUTE did I think that you were ‘bashing’ or ‘accusing’ Ibanez of taking steroids. You mentioned something that EVERYONE has been thinking. It is ok to think or speculate about something and whisper quietly, and talk behind backs, but dare to say it in an article??? YOU ARE ALL HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every sports fan has been lied to by some of the biggest names. We have a right to question…………We pay their salaries by attending games, and watching them on television. Why wouldn’t we question it?

  4. John,

    Are you serious? You’re saying he made an ass of himself? I would type a lot more if I didn’t have to leave the house right now, but I will say this: That is ridiculous. YOU should be ashamed of YOURSELF for attacking Jared’s personality. He wrote a column that ignited a national debate… What else could a blogger hope for?

    Jared, great job on OTL. Really impressive.

  5. Honestly, too many bloggers miss the main point and instead focus on what the media is attracting the attention to; Jerod’s article and main purpose was to suggest that in this day and age, we have seen greats like Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod among many, who have denied any use yet been proven to be juiced. A mere speculation about a questionable surge in power for a 37- year old is nowherehe wrong. Not only did he include alternatives to the steroid possibility, but he even supports Ibanez as a player and a person for standing up. Shame on all the people who do not understand this point and attack Jerod personally for stating the same type of stories that several bloggers post each day.

  6. Bottom line Jared, you can’t punish stand up players like Raul Ibanez for the mistakes of others. In a very conniving way, you lead on to the fact that Ibanez is taking steroids. That in itself is just wrong dude. For such a modest, stand-up guy, you can’t put him in the same category as Manny Ramirez who gets run out of towns, Barry Bonds who is hated by half the league, and Roger Clemens who throws bean balls and baseball bats at people. Maybe I should write an article “speculating” whether you really are 42 and blogging in your mothers basement.

    • @Mike, except for the fact Texas doesn’t have basements, and you saw him on TV….

    • @Mike,
      Maybe you should write an article discussing whether or not you’re an ass. There’s a thought. Jerod wrote an article to clear ibanez from the thoughts of speculating fans but because he is not a part of mainstream media his words by the shit-spinning Gonzalez. Philly residents and fans think this guy just does this for his own benefit. You have the balls to defend your article when it’s words were obviously destroyed and formed by a sports writer who’s afraid he might lose access to the clubhouse. Nice work Jerod.

  7. Jerod, I think every one of us has the right to speculate things like that. I don’t see why people could make such a big deal in reaction to your concluding remark. If I were writing about Chinese democratization, I could give hundreds of reasons why I think China may become democratized, yet that doesn’t mean I can’t conclude that China will remain an authoritarian dictatorship in the next ten years. Quite frankly my friend and I have also been skeptical of the performance of Raul!! Ken needs to chill out.

  8. You were great on there. Handled yourself very well. Congrats man.

  9. You said “reasonable to assume and speculate.” It is in no way reasonable to “assume” a player having a career year at 37 is using PED’s. And it is on no way reasonable to speculate in public in a manner that impugns someone’s character and jeopardizes their livelihood.

    Professional journalists carefully consider word choices, codes of ethics, and the consequences of their actions.

    “How exactly could I have been more careful?” For starters, by not writing a story that accuses someone of wrongdoing b/c you “can’t rule it out.” Pedophiles often get jobs that allow them to be near children. You can’t “speculate” a school teacher is molesting students b/c some of their co-workers have been caught at it. Your ‘story’ could have been that b/c some high profile players have used PED’s, when someone like Raul Ibanez has a career year, despite having never tested positive and spoken out publicly against their use, he must deal with fans speculating about his success at the plate.

    You also could have done some actual research. This season, Ibanez has hit 20 HR in 223 AB (55 games), or 11.15 AB/HR. In 2006, from May 27 to July 31 (55 games) he hit 16 HR in 207 AB, or 12.9 AB/HR. Adjusting for Safeco’s park factor in 2006 (.888) raises Ibanez to 18 HR in 207 AB, or 11.5 AB/HR. Now surround him with Utley and Howard. Ibanez is more than capable of hitting at this pace.

    As far as improving or peaking in one’s late 30′s, Hank Aaron hit 47 HR the year he turned 37 at a 10.5 AB/HR clip, his highest single season total. That was 9 more than the previous year (a 24% increase) when he hit 38 in 516 AB, or 13.6 AB/HR.

    In short, your words were poorly chosen, your research was shoddy, and your decision to write the story was unethical. But the main reason a professional journalist would never have run this piece is b/c they’d have felt duty-bound to contact Ibanez for comment before accusing him. They don’t have the luxury of hiding behind their computers.

    • Cracker Jack says:

      @ToddJ,

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

    • @ToddJ, First of all that is a pretty horrible analogy to steroids in baseball, pedophiles as school teachers? Speaking as a parent if I found out that one of my son’s teachers was a pedophile, you’d be damn sure that I was going to wonder about all the rest. And since you are in the mood to attack people, I guess if you didn’t suspect the other teachers that would make you a bad parent. Shame on you. Tsk.Tsk.

      “professional journalists carefully consider word choices, code of ethics, and the consequences of their actions”- the great Todd J. This is laugable coming from a guy that just compared the steroid scandal in baseball to child molestation.

      Ken Rosenthal asked how jerod would feel if someone wrote an article suspecting him of doing steroids? How bush league is that, first of all Jerod doesn’t make millions of dollars hitting a ball with a stick, and if he did he would be open to the speculation that all the other players are. Mr. Rosenthal also went on to add that if this were 10 years ago this wouldn’t be an issue. Well thanks for proving our point exactly 10yrs. ago no one was asking any questions. How did that work out?

      My interpetation of the article by J-Rod is that in baseball today, when you surge or struggle, unjust or not you are open to steroid talks. I must have talked to twelve people in that last week that in conversation will ask, :Do you think Papi was using steroids?” That fact is that it is out there and until baseball finds a way to make sure it is not, people are always going to be suspicious, whether it is just or not. i.e. Watergate scandal.

      Also Todd, you didn’t really compare Hank Aaron to Raul Ibanez? Did you? And for all you people that say what about Raul’s reputation. What about it? I don’t think he will be in Cooperstown, based on stats. I don’t think the Philles stop paying him, and I’m damn sure that charitys will still accept his donations, so I don’t think he has much to worry about. People beleive what they want to beleive, regardless of what other people say, just ask the people who still don’t think Bonds was juicing.

      And has far as getting a comment from Raul Ibanez about the article, 1. Am sure Raul would have taken the call from a “blogger” and 2. I am sure if he was using he would have confessed everything. Seems like a waste of time to me. Not to mention he didn’t even accuse Raul Ibanez of taking steroids, but that in this age known as the “steroid age”, all players are open to debate especially 37-yr. old sluggers having career years. Baseball players lie until their caught red handed, so before you step out and say you beleive someone is clean, think of this the greastest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing everyone that he didn’t exsist. Some don’t even know when to stop lying, just ask Roger Clemens.

      • @Eric L., Thank you for having sanity. The teacher-pedophile argument was a bit ludicrous.

        As MLB anonymous drug testing proved (with I believe a rate of over 5%) prior to the revised polices, a rather large percentage of players were illicitly using PEDs.

        If that same percentage of teachers were regularly getting arrested for pedophilia, you’d best be assured I would be heavily considering home schooling for my children:-P

    • @ToddJ, Maybe you have been living in a cave and missed all of the major stars who have had their “amazing natural feats” crumbled due to evidence of PEDs, but if ANY player in this day and age winds up on pace to hit 47 HR at the age of 37 (an achievement which you had to use ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME to find a comparable example) I am going to be suspicious.

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @ToddJ, since everyone here now assumes that it is reasonable to “assume and speculate” about the use of PED’s in regards to baseball, here’s a SHOCKER for you and everyone else: Henry “HANK” Aaron’s career ended in 1976. Aaron was born in the year 1934, which made him 42 years old at his retirement as baseball’s home run king. His longevity wasn’t unprecedented, but it was very rare.

      Dr. Tom House, a veteran pitcher in the major leagues, said that he used steroids during his eight-year Major League career, though he wasn’t specific about which years. House estimated that “six or seven pitchers on every staff were fiddling with steroids or hGH” while he was playing.

      House says that steroids were rampant in the 1960′s. This comment represents the earliest date that steroids were implicated in baseball.

      So why wasn’t Henry Aaron accused of using PED’s in order to break Babe Ruth’s record? Doesn’t it seem reasonable to “assume and speculate” that Aaron’s career was enhanced and lengthened” by the use of PED’s, since one of Aaron’s contemporaries has admitted to their widespread use during their time in the league?

      I sincerely apologize to a truly wonderful and inspiring player, Henry Aaron, for using his name in this purely speculative fashion. He was truly one of my childhood heros. But I hope that people will understand why it is unfair to speculate about the baseball heroes of today when this problem has clearly existed for over thirty years, and only recently has come to light.

      Barry Bonds left Pittsburgh a long time ago, but he was a wonderfully gifted player who worked very hard to achieve what he did. If he ever had to cheat a little bit in order to heal from the abuse his body took while helping to win division titles for the Pirates, I forgive him. He does not deserve to be the scapegoat for a practice that became commonplace during his FATHER’S era of professional baseball.

  10. I don’t think Ken was just attacking you, he was attacking all bloggers.

    moe.

  11. I think the mainstream guys are just pissed because you can say whatever you want and speak your mind freely without getting fired from your job like they can. That’s why you have a blog and you’re not working for a newspaper. It’s actually pretty sad that a major newspaper is linking to a blog…it should be the other way around…it just goes to show you that the original stories on blogs are actually more entertaining then the trash these guys want you to believe. They obviously don’t understand what blogs truly are because they give the writer a chance to speak their mind freely, which just happens to be our god given right in this country. Plus, you said it’s fair to speculate on anyone who is suddenly having a big season at an old age. At this point, I have to agree…A-Rod, Manny, and god knows who else were all taking this crap…it’s to the point where it’s ridiculous…everyone knows it so I don’t see the problem with saying it’s “fair to speculate” as opposed to outright accusing someone. The only thing I would say is let’s wait and see how many home runs Ibanez finishes with, cause he might only hit something like 14 more the rest of the reason and finish with 34 home runs which wouldn’t be that far out of line with his career numbers considering the factors you mentioned: leaving a pitchers park for a hitter park and moving to a new team with a better lineup.

    • @antone, Nice response… is this a blogger revolution..? it seems we are all on here supporting Jerod…

      So surreal, this whole ordeal has been out of a movie..

  12. …one more thing…I actually think it’s more shoddy journalism that the writer at the Philly Enquirer piggybacked off your blog post for his own story…which really is the big issue here because he made it seem like you’re accusing him so he could have a good story and basically threw gasoline on a small fire and then it exploded into a huge story…the newspapers shouldn’t be paying attention to blogs…this fool just needed a story and ran with it…if he felt like you were doing something “unethical” then he shouldn’t have referenced your blog in the first place

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @antone, on the contrary, it’s about time that a mainstream writer actually paid attention to what the fans are saying, and the writer of this blog is a baseball fan, first and foremost.

      I’m not saying that a newspaper writer actually had anything original to write about, or that a newspaper writer didn’t capitalize on somebody else’s work in order to garner attention for himself. But at least he was reading the opinons of others.

  13. John Doe, good reaction. J-Rod, first off, I can’t believe anybody can even take you serious with that stupid name. I don’t think you actually watch baseball. So what if he’s posting good numbers, look at his swing, look at his work ethic, look at his ballpark, look at the chances he gets batting behind howard, and finally……..watch the game! he has been rediculously consistant throughout the last half of his career! he batted as well as he did, in Seattle and that is one of the biggest parks in the bigs. Thanks for making all bloggers look uneducated with your “I suspect everybody” comeback. If you didn’t want Ibanez to just read the Inquirer maybe you shouldn’t have titled your article what you did. Ken wasn’t hard enough on you. YOU ARE A JOKE

    • @Tom, I love a comment that criticizes Jerod for sullying the field and making all bloggers look “uneducated.” Perhaps you don’t consider spelling one of the measures of education? You might want to look up “ridiculous” and “consistent” in the dictionary. Impressive that you strung them together in a sentence.

    • @Tom, “So what if he’s posting good numbers, look at his swing, look at his work ethic, look at his ballpark, look at the chances he gets batting behind howard, and finally……..watch the game! he has been rediculously consistant throughout the last half of his career! he batted as well as he did, in Seattle and that is one of the biggest parks in the bigs”

      Funny how one can slightly modify the statements you made in favor of Ibanez slightly to make them work for a pitcher and you get Roger Clemens.

      “So what if he’s posting good numbers, look at his form, look at his work ethic, look at his defensive fielders, and finally…watch the game! He has been consistent through the last half of his career!”

      Roger didn’t cheat at all, right? Oh wait…

      Not saying Ibanez is a cheater, just saying that in this day and age of baseball and with what has been allowed to transpire in the past, arguments of “work ethic” and “good swings”, etc. don’t go as far as they used it anymore and for good reason.

      Tom, I appreciate your optimism that modern-day acts are being achieved without any further need for scrutiny, but as a baseball fan that saw just dozens of major individual feats of the 20th century (HR records, MVP awards, consecutive save streaks, etc.) achieved by people united in their usage of PEDs, it is hard to be 100% trusting.

      I understand it stinks for the clean players who have to go through the scrutiny, but baseball (its owners, management, AND players) brought this upon themselves by turning a blind eye for too long and allowing America to become jaded to the legitimacy its accomplishments.

  14. Rosenthal and ESPN are just pissed that you beat them to the punch. Give it a few more weeks and we would’ve seen this all over ESPN. Is Raul Juicing? Is he not?

    They want to blame bloggers for everything because they are getting beat to the story and people have more avenues now to read stories, news, and opinions.

    • @Zach, You’re right on..

    • @Zach,

      Man you are right and I’m listening to the audio of Rosenthal’s comments and I am just drowning in smugness right now. I love how John is approaching it like he’s published word Jesus and lecturing Jared with his holier than thou verbiage.

      • @clif,

        Rosenthal wrote this in his column last year:

        “Yet, fairly or not, Ramirez’s messy divorce with the Red Sox could raise suspicions that the team prefers a certain type of player — unassuming, conformist, white. The current makeup of the team’s roster might create similar notions”

        So he can speculate that a team is racist with no proof and a blogger can’t speculate about PED’s?

        What a tool

        • @Matt from FenwayWest.com, I couldn’t agree with you more. What hypocrisy and “holier than thou” smugness. I really lost a lot of respect in Rosenthal from that interview.

          And the whole idea that people cannot bring ideas, thoughts, or opinions out into the open for discussion? I thought we were in the US, not some repressive dictatorship. Jeez..

        • Coach Clemente says:

          @Matt from FenwayWest.com, you know that a BLOGGER can’t say things like that because he doesn’t have the “credentials” to say something like that…

          Did I just say that?

          Rosenthal’s editor must have been hung over or asleep at his desk that day.

  15. Pringles says:

    Never before has so much been made about so little. A little blog with an insignificant blogger. They need to lay off you guys. Based on a quick scan of the site, you guys are hardly a bunch of aspiring Ring Lardners.

    Had this drivel been spewed by a legitimate, or even well-read, site or paper, perhaps this would warrant news.

    Should athletes respond to every uninformed post by some rank amateur? Seems like a waste of time.

    • @Pringles, granted, an unfortunate consequence of all this is that the author, in effect, gets rewarded for confusing “work ethic” with applying a less than adequate grasp of statistical math and worse analytical skills to an ESPN player page: to denigrate Raul Ibaniez’s work ethic, a man he’s never met.

      That said, when gossip like this gets legs, players like Ibanez need to respond, and forcefully to get everything out in the open. While ignoring it would be taking the “high road,” he risks letting it bounce uncontested around the ‘net, where like “whisper down the lane” it gets embellished. Unfortunately, if enough people repeat false statements enough times, they gain ‘credibility’ and before you know it, it becomes “everyone knows Ibanez is a juicer.”

      Ibanez gets paid well for his performance on the field, and earning potential from product endorsements and public appearances. But he also has opportunities to use his wealth to affect the community by promoting charities and causes about which he cares. Those off-the-field opportunities depend critically on his reputation. The stigma of being incorrectly tagged as an athlete who uses PED’s is way beyond the experience of dabblers in journalism who uncritically fail to consider that beneath the illusion of celebrity lies a very real person.

      And Ibanez has a soon to be 8-yr-old son to think about, who will no doubt be attending school with at least a few children with parents who read blog posts filled with baseless allegations. Most innocent people respond instinctively with outrage to invalid accusations, so they tend to interpret silence as guilt, even when silence is the “smarter” response. Letting gossip fester in an age where Twitter thrives b/c Facebook and MySpace aren’t real-time enough is simply not an option.

      In this unlikely event “JRod” has read this far, I’d recommend this link:

      http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

      Especially:

      “Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.”

      and:

      “Make certain that headlines…[do] not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.”

      • @ToddJ, First of all, it’s a freaking BLOG! Not a news story! Nowhere do I see Jerod stating he is a newswriter. He is a fan who had thoughts through conversations with fellow fans that from what I’ve seen have been shared by FANS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES and put together a very organized and clean article (more detailed than half the stuff I read from “legitimate” sources these days) that made no conclusions; it merely brought up some food for thought and future discussion.

        “Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.”

        I want to know what world you are living in that a major baseball player, or celebrity, or politician is going to set aside the time of day to respond to an article that does not even directly accuse anybody.

        Does that mean nobody can write about them, even on their blogs?

        Should every journalist that ever had a question for former President Bush or current President Obama have their ideas withheld or discredited just because they didn’t return an email or phone call?

        I am sorry but most people do not have that luxury.

        I’m willing to bet Jerod would love nothing more than to hear from Ibanez regarding HIS ACTUAL ARTICLE and not the countless hacks (Gonzalez, Rosenthal, etc.) who took it out of context, but the reality is that just is not going to happen on a regular basis.

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @Pringles, just more evidence that the dynamic has changed. Bands and songwriters no longer need record companies to distribute their intellectual property in this day and age. They can do it themselves electronically. See the parallel?

      By the way, YOU visited an insignificant blog page today. Is it STILL insignificant?

  16. ummm, ok – I am not even a bb fan or follower. HOWEVER, I can read and JROD’s original article in no way, shape or form accusing Ibanez of taking steroids.

    In fact, I think the Philly Journalist just twisted JROD’s words to create a story for himself and since people are lazy as hell they just took the Philly journalist’s word for it. Now it’s just everyone running their mouths and being ignorant attacking JROD for things he never even wrote or said – I watched the ESPN clip and I don’t think that Ken or any of them even read the original article either.

    The whole article JROD wrote is NOT about accusing Ibanez of taking steroids but completely the opposite and then JROD stated that unfortunately in this day and age with how steroids has played a part in baseball there is going to, from now on, inadvertently be a lingering question of “could there be foul play/steroid use”? when an aging player is having a career year.

    • @MCH, nope, what “JRod” wrote was that he started out with the goal of proving Ibanez was not using PED’s, but could not convince himself of that fact. That states directly that “JRod” changed his opinion from “not using PED’s” to “might be using PED’s.”

      Well, that’s not the way the works. This country is founded in part on the principle that no one should EVER have to defend themselves from an accusation of wrongdoing by proving they did nothing wrong. The burden of proof lies with the accuser. And in some cases, making the accusation is in fact a crime. That is why journalism is college degree unto itself. It requires learning the nuances of words, the craft of writing accurately and responsibly, and the ethics needed to gauge where the line lies between serving the public’s interest versus one’s own. Investigative journalists frequently write stories that have the potential to impact a person’s life negatively and irrevocably. Whether or not to publish a story is very serious matter. That’s the point the two sports writers were trying to get “JRod” to understand.

      • J.D. Bolick says:

        @ToddJ, please stop parading around this site like you’re some kind of authority with the legitimacy to denounce Jerrod. Both ESPN and SI have run blog posts or columns raising the specter of PED use with various players, and generally with far less analysis than Morris’ initial post.

        The reality is this:

        #1) The modern era is overrun with examples of steroid use by major league baseball players, many of whom denied such use before being proven guilty.

        #2) Raul Ibanez’s career path is strongly at odds with statistical measures of those who played prior to the steroid era. That alone certainly does not prove that he is using PEDs, but it clearly justifies speculation. More than doubling his career HR/FB% at age 37 absolutely cannot be reasonably explained away simply by a change in ballparks or lineups.

        #3) Jerrod didn’t simply post that Raul Ibanez is using steroids, he simply raised the possibility that he might be, and explored the subject analytically. Not only is that perfectly legitimate, but it’s what sports fans, bloggers, and columnists should be doing. Certain individuals want everyone to stick their heads in the sand until some positive test magically appears, but the reality is that this kind of speculation helped force baseball to clean up its act. Had the mainstream media been more willing to engage in this kind of analysis, then maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so far along. Instead they hid behind (im)plausible deniability until they figured out that they could sell books by making similar accusations (Selena Roberts, etc).

        Lastly, ToddJ, I’d be curious to know if you had this same reaction to Bill Simmons’ column about David Ortiz’s “likely” use of PEDs. My guess is that you didn’t, because I believe that you’re probably a coward who is just looking for a little bit of attention and self-righteous indulgence by jumping in with the hypocrites carrying their torches and pitchforks against a small-time, fairly anonymous blogger. When you start showing this same indignation towards someone with a little more weight behind them, perhaps you’ll appear more sincere and less like some random internet nobody looking for even the tiniest measure of attention.

        • @J.D. Bolick, “I’d be curious to know if you had this same reaction to Bill Simmons’ column about David Ortiz’s “likely” use of PEDs.”

          Thanks for the excellent example of professional journalism vs. wannabe-ism. For the record, I frequently take mainstream journalists to task on ESPN (under a different name) for sloppy work, e.g. when they state that the Phils hitting numbers are inflated due to Citizen’s Bank being a “hitter’s park” or “bandbox,” etc. when as JRod correctly pointed out, it is not. And JRod is to be commended for allowing this discussion to take place despite the criticism — ESPN often removes posts that point to laziness from their writers.

          The main problem here is the growing number of readers like yourself who don’t read critically: someone who reads Simmons’ article and believes he suggested Ortiz used PED’s. He NEVER suggested it, explicitly stated he believes Ortiz was NOT a user, and concluded Ortiz had declined due to age. Simmons’ also stated as much in the title, in which he refers to Ortiz as a “great one,” and expresses sadness about his sub-par season.

          Simmons’ article starts by comparing Ortiz to Superman, and his struggles this season to a moment when Superman loses his powers and is beat up by a mortal. Simmons then points out that Ortiz physically looks the same as always, i.e. suggesting he is NOT smaller b/c he stopped using steroids. Then he states it explicitly:

          “This ISN’T like the Ultimate Warrior returning after the then-WWF’s first steroids scandal with a jarringly smaller physique.” [emphasis added]

          Simmons writes that “fans” began to “whisper” until it became a common topic of conversation. Simmons’ notes that -as a fan- he took part in these conversations with other fans. Simmons does this to draw clearly the distinction between when he is acting as a fan, speculating privately with other fans, and his role as a journalist.

          Simmons the journalist then states definitively that he does NOT believe Ortiz used PEDs and is instead a “beefy slugger” past his prime:

          “Their knees go, they stiffen up, bat speed slows and, in the blink of an eye, they’re done.”

          Simmons goes to great lengths to argue against PEDs causing Ortiz’s downfall, his tone is respectful throughout, he praises Ortiz’s career, treats him with dignity, and conveys personal sadness at watching the struggles of a player he has admired.

        • J.D. Bolick says:

          @ToddJ, when you get to the point that you’re reduced to lying because someone else has thoroughly dismantled you in an argument, that’s probably a good time to tuck your tail, crawl into the nearest cave, and conveniently forget that you ever participated in the debate to begin with.

          You claim that, “The main problem here is the growing number of readers like yourself who don’t read critically: someone who reads Simmons’ article and believes he suggested Ortiz used PED’s. He NEVER suggested it, explicitly stated he believes Ortiz was NOT a user, and concluded Ortiz had declined due to age.

          That statement is false, and not simply a mistake. It is a lie, because you know that I exposed your hypocrisy but couldn’t bring yourself to admit it. Let me quote sections from Bill Simmons to show that he did exactly the same thing Jerrod did in his post:

          From May 9, 2009:
          “And what about Big Papi?” he wonders. “Played for Minnesota, didn’t hit for power, came to the Red Sox, turned into the best slugger in the league, and as soon as they cracked down on steroids, he stopped hitting homers again. And he was friends with all the other Dominican players who were linked to performance-enhancing drugs. What about him?

          Silence. Nobody says anything.

          Finally, my dad steps in: “He had an inside-outside swing at Minnesota, when he came to Boston, we encouraged him to pull the ball, so …”

          “Come on, Gramps!” my son says. “That’s dumb, and you know it.”

          We glance out to the field. Big Papi is one of Boston’s coaches now. After he hit 54 homers in 2006, his career was over within four years. Now he’s just a fat guy in his early 40s coaching first base. You would never guess this is the same guy who carried us in 2004, the guy who fueled the Greatest Comeback Ever, the guy who helped convince an entire fan base that, yes, we could believe.

          &

          “So you won the World Series twice because of Manny and Papi,” my son says, “but they might have been cheating the whole time, and so were some of their teammates? Dad, your whole book was about how you could die in peace because they won in 2004. If they cheated to win, does that make what happened OK?”

          The question hangs in the air. And hangs. And hangs.

          “I don’t know,” I finally answer. “I still haven’t figured that part out. Again, you don’t understand what it was like. Everyone was cheating, so the playing field was kind of even, as weird as that sounds. You can’t imagine how depressing it was to be a Red Sox fan at the time. Things always went wrong. We hadn’t won in 86 years. We were the whipping boy of the Yankees. We always expected the worst to happen, mainly because the worst always did happen. That 2004 title made life easier for everyone. We could just follow the team without all the other negative crap. Does that make sense?”

          Then from the column on June 2nd, 2009 that you referenced:
          “The steroid whispers started quickly. By late April, every conversation I had with a Sox fan seemed to include a “We need to mail Papi some HGH” joke. It was an easy leap for a couple of reasons: First, his power numbers leapt like Obama’s Q rating from 2003 to 2007. Second, he’s Dominican, and more than a few of his brethren — Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada, Guillermo Mota — have been in the center of PED controversies. Third, they sell steroids over the counter in the DR like they’re Bubblicious. And fourth, baseball has reached a depressing point in which power hitters are presumed guilty until proven innocent.

          Contrary to your lie, at no point in that June 2nd column does Bill Simmons says that he doesn’t believe David Ortiz used PEDs. If you persist in repeating that lie, then quote where Simmons says it. You won’t because you can’t, since it didn’t happen. You’re lying because you’re defensive about your own hypocrisy. Simmons does speculate that Ortiz’s precipitous decline may also be due to being older than claimed, but he does not deny PED use. In fact, as you see in the above quote, Simmons actually implies that Ortiz likely did use.

          Moreover, the same thoughtfulness that you praise Simmons for was displayed by Jerrod. What you need to do right now is to shut up, stop prancing around this blog as if you have any room to be judging anyone, and be more careful about where you run your mouth. You never know when you’re going to run into someone like me who is both capable of and interested in obliterating self-righteous windbags such as yourself.

  17. Jerod,
    Don’t defend yourself too much.
    You wrote a great and extremely intellectual piece. If everyone read it, they’d notice that you WEREN’T attacking Ibanez at all, but merely speculating. You actually defended him using evidence and stats; their attacks were the ones that were unwarranted.
    The interview was absolute bullshit. It’s not like these two guys haven’t written incendiary pieces before. Just because one of them is from a national newspaper and one is a famed baseball analyst doesn’t mean they have some kind of power over “just a blogger.”
    Thank you for defending bloggers and yourself.
    Keep up the good work, writing great and intelligent pieces.
    Dylan Sharek

    • @Dylan Sharek, I agree completely. Jerod, Both Ken and John bashed you for basically misunderstanding your piece. Especially Ken; he just seemed to have it in for you. Perhaps a little better reading comprehension would benefvit him.
      Also, big kudos to Jerod for not reacting emotionally, but instead calmly explained that the speculation IS out there.
      Jerod, you have a new fan. Ken, you just lost one.

  18. JROD, you are right on here. Rosenthal is trying to apply rules and “standards” to a medium that neither requires nor demands any. Everyone opts in to reading yours and others blogs, and we don’t need to be responsible. I can say Ken Griffey Jr. is on steroids, and you know what? This is the internet, not the Seattle P.I. Oh wait…

  19. The biggest message that i have gotten from this whole ordeal is that big media does not respect bloggers. The other columnists were out of line in bashing Jerod on OTL.

    Viva la Blogolution!

  20. So, if someone looks at David Ortiz’s performance in 2009 and questions whether he was potentially taking PEDs the last few years, is that so wrong? No. And a ton of blogs have done that, such as this one: http://bit.ly/n0Rm8

    Has Ortiz gotten upset and whined about it? No, so maybe that means Ortiz is guilty and Ibanez is innocent? Talk about Ibanez blowing something out of proportion. Maybe he just has anger management issues from all those PEDs he’s taking this year.

  21. JRod,

    Great segment, my man. As I’ve stated earlier, simply speculating about Ibanez’s guilt or lack thereof, in the Steroid Era is every fan’s right. The fact that fans have the ability to express their view through blogs should be cherished. We’re not professional journalists – nor do we claim to be. Many of us are professional writers, and all are avid baseball fans. Being on TV remotely like that with no media training (something that all three of the other participants most surely had) showed real courage and conviction, and as a PR professional, I can tell you you showed true poise and belief in your opinions, which is all you can ask for. Good for you, and don’t apologize for what you wrote. Look forward to continuing the dialogue offline – you know my email address.

  22. This is really absurd. Your article was perfectly clear and reasonable and I don’t understand why it has been so misunderstood by the “mainstream media”. It’s like they didn’t actually read what you wrote.

  23. Ken Rosenthal is jealous and desperate MSM flack. I thought he was abusive, patronizing, disingenuous, and has earned my permanent contempt. Chilling, frankly.

  24. Brad G. says:

    Good job, Jerrod. You might have made the direct (and almost assuredly accurate) accusation that those jackasses did NOT read your piece and therefore were talking out their asses, but you kept your cool.

    I would have been much less tactful with them, when it became clear their agenda had all to do with desperately promoting themselves and preserving what’s left of their ‘privilege’ as professional sports commentators. Sadly, they revealed poor ethics and even worse analytical skill, though their ability to throw dirt, misrepresentations and to speak from ignorance was pretty impressive (especially the pathetic Mr. Rosenthal).

    Kind of like the zimilarly pathetic ToddJ, who actually asks us to believe that journalists are responsible and ethical. If that were the case, would we still be seeing so many stories promoting moral panics about every scare-of-the-week?? So many hysterical misrepresentations of scientific and medical studies? So many fawning stories about the “right” politicians and so many savagely slanted stories about the “wrong” ones?

    I posit that bloggers, expressing their honest opinions and posting them for anyone to believe or doubt, as they will, are in general more ethical than “professional” journalists who so often seem to be promoting personal, political or publisher agendas.

  25. I think they were attacking you, and it would have been great to see you put them in their place.

    Ken had not read the post and/or was just looking to trash you. He accused you of not being responsible, etc. He was just trying to preach to you.

    John was likely just out to create a story and then criticize you. He slipped up when he said that everyone wants to keep their heads in the sand about the steriod situation. It seems that this is why he doesn’t like the article: he isn’t strong enough to face reality.

    Clearly, you were reporting a FACT: Fans are speculating about players making big leaps. Anyone who thinks you were making an accusation should learn how to read.

  26. Bam-Bam says:

    You handled yourself well on OTL, Jared. They set you under a harsh light–literally, if you look at how bright your setup was compared to that of the other two–and you kept a cool head. I think they expected a blogger to be sloppy, nervous, and unprofessional, but you spoke with more clarity and intelligence than either of the two talking suits who tried to lecture you.

    Maybe cut down on the hand gestures a bit in your next TV appearance, is all–but, again, very well done. I had a knee-jerk reaction against you, without having read your article, when I heard about Ibanez’s comments, but your writing and speaking have turned me into a fan.

  27. I’ve jokingly said the same thing about Jason Bartlett of the Rays in my own blog.

    I read the original article and frankly, I found it well researched based in fact. In the steroid era – that dramatic of a statistical jump is cause for speculation and discussion. While my comments about Bartlett were said in jest, it wouldn’t have surprised me to see it get blown up by ESPN or others in the same way.

    The problem is mainstream media is scared about the blogosphere. They don’t understand it, they are losing readership to it, and they aren’t as free on it. They do whatever they can to denigrate and make the blogger feel less than they are and it ticks them off when something someone wrote on the internet generates nationwide interest that many of these writers have never experienced.

    I had no issue with the article, I thought it was well researched and backed up with simple fact. It is Ibanez burden of proof to prove to explain why his production has jumped at age 37. If he doesn’t like it, he needs to get out of baseball because thanks to his fellow baseball players who cheated – this is the time we are in. Unlike the MSM, bloggers do not lack the courage to ask the question. MSM has to go in and face that athlete after they write their article, we don’t (and I commend Jarred for offering Ibanez a forum to refute the facts), so they’re terrified of their backlash. Some namecalling and threats from Ibanez doesn’t hurt a blogger and the attention affixed to it only enhances his profile. That chaps the backside of the MSM. Bloggers live the 1st amendment, while MSM cannot without receiving significant impediments to their work.

    I hope Raul Ibanez is clean. I hope he’s going through some late, natural metamorphosis in his life that has allowed him to generate better numbers than he has his entire baseball career. I hope he does submit his urine, blood and stool to all kinds of testing to clear his name.

    Jarred just said what we’ve all be thinking. He shouldn’t be chastised for that courage, he should be applauded and the real issue of whether Ibanez is on steroids be addressed. “Should it be discussed” is irrelevant. It is being discussed and it just goes to show you how out of touch with the fan mainstream media is.

    JC De La Torre

  28. Patrick says:

    Hey Jerrod, great post, and i’m glad you aggravated those NESPN fools. I live in philadelphia, and 1. i have never heard of this gonzalez guy until he was talking about you, 2. i looked up Ibanez’s numbers last week after finding out his age and his new found power. i think it’s hilarous that some people are ok to smear in the MSM while others are not, especially by someone not in the club. Today’s media is in such a sad state, as evidenced by Rosenberg’s abrasive attitude towards you. we need to keep control of the issues in the people’s hands, not in the hands of those in control. thanks.

  29. It’s time for newspaper and even TV journalists to realize that hey – this new-fangled internets thing just might stick around. Maybe, just maybe, folks are getting sick of watching the talking heads continuously spout about how the Yankees and Red Sox are so great and maybe they’re starting to tune out.

    Maybe it’s unfair to call out players like, well anyone, who “might be on steroids”. JRod did the right thing – he got his numbers together and drew 3 possible conclusions, one of which has so many ‘maybe’s and ‘perhaps’s to be almost dismissive in nature.

    J – you were attacked and talked down to like two parents telling you they know better. What they actually know if that they have to work harder and harder to justify their paychecks and they’re pissed about it. What they know is that the only difference between us and them is a press pass and 4 years of journalism school that we didn’t have to pay for, yet we have just as many readers.

    Newspapers are as obsolete as a Commodore 64. If you folks are so much better, put out a superior product and take our readers away – problem solved.

  30. Nick Bradley says:

    Speculate all you fucking want, but when you bring someones name into it you’re now walking a different rope. You are accusing someone of using something simply because they have gotten better at what they do. I hope Ibanez and his lawyers take your house, your car, your first born and shut this shitty website down! JRod, you are a joke of a writer. You give anyone associated with the media a bad name! I’m glad your people could see that the real journalists were attacking you on OTL, you fucking deserved it. It is no surprise to me that you and your tremendous brain power couldn’t see it happening. I am the biggest anti-steroid fan out there but this is just disgusting. Facts are what people want to hear, not some middle aged douche bag trying to make a name for himself on a piece of shit website. So sad to see people who have made nothing of their lives try to bring someone that HAS MADE IT down. Jealousy is a tough thing to get past.

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @Nick Bradley, what exactly have you achieved in your life beyond the ability to throw around expletives in a manner that does even the worst Philadelphia fans proud?

      Did you read the same article that I did? Did you only read the Philadelphia reaction to it? Can you read at all?

      Make sure to boo one of your own team’s players for me the next time you go to a Sixer, Flyers, Eagles, or Phillies game. The hothead crybabies in Philly need to cut down on their cholesterol and maybe they won’t be the “fattest city in America” for long enough to lower their self-imposed stress and increase their miserable life expectancies.

      I’m so glad I went to journalism school… It gave me a greater appreciation for muckraking and sensationalism.

      • Nick Bradley says:

        @Coach Clemente, Im no Philly fan, far from it. I just dont see how people can defend someone for calling someone out with nothing to back up what he said besides fantasy baseball numbers. JRod was looking for what he got, exposure at someone anothers expense.

        • Coach Clemente says:

          @Nick Bradley, please accept my apology for lumping you together with all of the foul-mouthed, expletive-spewing, cheesesteak-sucking Philadelphians. But, opinion in reporting is protected by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution and also by subsequent Supreme Court rulings. You may not agree with someone’s opinion, but you cannot stop them from sharing their opinions. In civilized internet communities, it is considered extremely bad form to become vulgar simply because you disagree.

        • Nick Bradley says:

          @Nick Bradley, Im vulgar because I am vulgar. I swear, boo hoo cry about it. Has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing. He is an “I” reported, what attention will this story bring to me. Not trying to shed light on a situation or “clean up” the game but to put a few more duckets in his pocket. Hell he even got his greasy face on ESPN after writing his preposterous accusation. Like I said above, he is a joke of a writer.

        • Coach Clemente says:

          @Nick Bradley, you are obviously incapable of conducting yourself in a conversation or debate without resorting to name-calling, vulgarities, and insults. Your inability to handle simple concepts like contractions and possessives leads me to believe that you are not qualified to be considered a literary critic. I had never read the man’s work before today, but as a former editor, I would consider it worthy of publishing in mainstream mediums. In this particular area, my opinion carries some weight, while yours is simply the rant of a frustrated Ibanez fan. By the way, Ibanez makes some really nice guitars.

  31. What the reporters don’t seem to want to acknowledge — especially the tv “journalists” — is that their jobs depend on access to the very athletes that they cover. They do a story like this and they lose that access. It takes away their ability to be objective. That’s why investigative reporters are the ones that seem to be uncovering much of the truths behind the PED stories. Not those that are, inronically, in the lockerrooms and on the road with the players more frequently.

    • Nick Bradley says:

      @finnbo, This is not investigative journalism, this is defamation of character. Investigative journalists dont wake up one day, look at their fantasy team and say “Wow hes having a GREAT YEAR, I think I’m going to throw him in the steroid basket.” No they spend months, sometimes years piecing together ACTUAL BITS OF EVIDENCE to form an ACTUAL STORY! Like Ibanez said, this is probably some douche writing blogs in his mommy’s basement.

      • @Nick Bradley, I’m not calling the blog investigative journalism in any sense. In fact, we may be saying the same thing. However, baseball reporters, like Rosenthal, who have been covering the sport for years chose to ignore what they were seeing in the lockers of the players. My comment is more a reaction to the cynical nature of Rosenthal’s comments. Those that cover baseball were asleep at the switch and were unwilling to write about what they were seeing in lockerrooms b/c they needed to cover those same players. Rosenthal has been covering baseball for years and, presumeably, “pieceing together actual bits of evidence” on his stories. I’m not sure he’s ever pieced together much though. It’s a little disingenuous to totally discount blogs like this — as Ken seems to do — when those MSM sports reporters are not digging deep enough. Blogs have been responsible for uncovering many breaking stories — in sports and news — that the MSM didn’t catch. Their access to players is what allows them to write their stories. Absent that access, they don’t have a story.

        • Nick Bradley says:

          @finnbo, I agree that everyone looked the other way. But that does not give people like JRod free run to go out and bash people for having a good year. People have brought up Papi and the accusations around him, he has previously been linked to an energy drink in the DR that has banned substances, and they are bringing up the issue now because his numbers are on the decline. Ibanez has a hot start and now all of the sudden people want to throw him under the bus. I have no problem with people that out someone for doing something illegal AS LONG AS THEY HAVE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE. This guy woke up, checked his fantasy team and saw that Ib’s was having a huge start and started ripping him. Whether he meant to or not, it happened. He has still not come out and apologized either, which, in my opinion, would have already been done if he was indeed speculating and not accusing.

  32. Jrod,
    Keep up the good work brother. I watched the OTL story and was dumbfounded by the two minutes of the clip. These guys talk about how great it is that blogs are giving a voice to the fans, and insight into what they are thinking. They follow it up by saying it’s okay for you and your friend to talk about it but it is irresponsible of you to post an article about the same thoughts. That’s crap. That’s the whole point of blogs like yours and you need to keep sticking it to the man!

  33. Jerod,

    So much respect for how you handled yourself in that classless interview. You seem like an intelligent class act, and both your writing and analysis are great. I thought you made Rosenthal look like a headhunter and felt like Gonzalez backed off of his tough stance a bit; you were fair, logical, and unflappable…unbeatable attitude. While I understand Ibanez’s anger and sensitivity on the issue, he obviously didn’t read your article. Furthermore, Raul, if I we didn’t buy tickets, you wouldn’t have a job…don’t expect us to censor our opinions.

    Look, man…chalk me up as another fan of your work. I’d never heard of you before this, but I’m glad I have now. Hope you can parlay these 15 min into a bigger audience.

    -N

  34. Ken Rosenthal is an idiot. I can’t believe the way he talked to you – I thought it was patronizing and disrespectful.

    Jarrod, you didn’t do anything wrong, except acknowledge the fact that you don’t know. Your article provided a smart statistical analysis on a (uncharacteristically) hot player. Of course, his hometown journalist will jump to his defense. Ken, on the other hand, who knows, maybe it’s the Fox thing – but it’s like – stop trying to be a teacher or parent scolding – I think he’s just upset that he can’t really do this analysis himself and just wanted to get on ESPN and get his name out there.

    I know I for one have lost most confidence in him.

  35. Did you mean innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but guilty until/unless proven innocent in the court of public opinion? I think you may have reversed the two.

  36. You “bloggers” need to stop acting like sports writers. Say what you want but don’t take it mainstream. Trying to ruin a guys career so you can become the next big thing.

    Get over yourself, speculation or not, let the tests prove before you start accussing anyone of PED’s. Do not try to create something out of nothing. This is why bloggers do not get the respect of national media.

    Because you are IDIOTS, who try to make something up so it gets national attention. Let the man have a good/great season without someone accusing him of doing something illegal.

    Did you think about this point before you called out Ibanez? He hit 20 hrs a year in one of the biggest parks in MLB, played for the worst team in MLB for almost his whole career. Now, he is playing with power all around him, seeing better pitches, and well hitting in a hitters park. Could that be a reason for the improvement? Or how about the 5-6 trainers he saw a day during Spring Training to keep his body in shape.

    If Ryan Howard played for the Mariners I am sure he wouldn’t put up the same power numbers either.

    Do some research before you make idiot comments and GET A LIFE.

    With disrespect,
    and from

    ALL PHILLIES FANS!!! you hater

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @Jason, ever heard of the 1st Amendment? I think it might have originated in Philadephia.

      Learn to read between the lines.

      • Nick Bradley says:

        @Coach Clemente, hey coach where does public defamation of character fit into that amendment?

        • Coach Clemente says:

          @Nick Bradley, the Supreme Court ruled in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. 418 U.S. 323 (1974), opinions could not be considered defamatory. It is thus permissible to suggest, for instance, that someone is a bad lawyer, but not permissible to falsely declare that the lawyer is ignorant of the law: the former constitutes a statement of values, but the latter is a statement alleging a fact.

  37. Coach Clemente says:

    I think it’s hilarious how Ken Rosenthal suddenly wants to impose standards on the blogging community. Maybe he’s jealous that you guys don’t have editors? The elitism just oozes from guys like that, and their diminishing relevance is a fact that they are into total denial about. Good thing he still has his “self-importance.”

    If anybody was irresponsible in this case, it was the sports editor from the Philadelphia paper, who is obviously DESPERATE to create some buzz that will sell a few more copies of his antiquated medium.

    • Nick Bradley says:

      @Coach Clemente, I think its hilarious that the blogging community DONT HAVE STANDARDS OF THEIR OWN!

      • Coach Clemente says:

        @Nick Bradley, the beauty of the blogging community is that there are no editors, no vice-presidents, no governing bodies, and for the most part, no revenue-providing advertisers that the writers have accountability to. They are free to speak their minds in their own privately-maintained forums without the constraints that are present in more traditional mediums. Are you suggesting that the government needs to set up a new bureau to police the flow of free thought in this country?

        • Nick Bradley says:

          @Coach Clemente, no I am implying that bloggers should have moral standards they live up to, like I dont know, NOT accusing someone of being on drugs with out solid evidence.

      • Coach Clemente says:

        @Nick Bradley, if you want or expect higher ethics, morals, and standards from the blogging community, perhaps you could set a better example yourself. It’s hard to take anyone seriously whose first comments contain a string of expletives that would make a Marine drill sargeant blush.

        In regard to the world of free thought in blog circles, the best editor is the conscience of the writer. If a writer HAS no conscience, perhaps that person’s desire to gain credibility and acceptance in the blogging community and the journalism community at large will temper the things that they write. If they have no desire to increase their readership and acceptance within the community of writers, they will soon become irrelevant to most readers, who will look elsewhere for news, commentary, and opinions.

  38. Cecilio, My mistake that I made 2 typos. Maybe you should pay attention to the content rather than trying to nitpick. Smart guy.

  39. Jim Haley says:

    I applaud you Jared. You handled yourself well in the OTL piece. They were attacking you. Seemed like they hadn’t even read your piece. Keep up the good work. I am a fan of Ibanez and thought you did a good job in your presenting the theme of our article – Crappy actions of the few have consequences for the many higher integrity ballplayers like Raul.

    I personally think that the two other “mainstream” media guys are just fearful of their jobs. As more and more people begin to get their sports content elsewhere their days of pulling in big salaries and having all of the prestige will soon be gone.

    Great job and keep up the good work.

  40. I went to school for journalism and I get where Rosenthal and are coming from by saying that you can’t just go ruining someone’s name, but you did well to defend yourself. It did not seem like they even read the article, specifically Rosenthal.

    There’s definitely reason for speculation in this profession in this day and age, whether it’s fair or not. It’s completely different from speculating if someone beats his wife or not.

    Just like you referenced that SI piece about Pujols, how is your article different from ESPN featuring a blog from Bill Simmons on its homepage a couple weeks ago speculating that maybe David Ortiz lied about his age and is older than he is? It seems like you are allowed to speculate if you are in the mainstream media, but not a small blog.

    Good job.

  41. I didn’t hear anything about Mariotti defending you, but Kornheiser and Wilbon both did on PTI.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/stations/player?context=podcast&id=4249548

    They said they understand why Ibanez would speak out so emotionally defending himself (which I do not think anybody is contesting). They also think it stinks for the individual players who will be suspected, but they state in what I see as FULL-HEARTEDLY defending you view that unfortunately we are in an age where big feats in baseball are hard to believe anymore and that there have been too many former occasions where fans have been asked to believe only to be betrayed down the line.

    I really lost a lot of respect in Rosenthal for his approach in the interview…

    Not taking conversations out of the backrooms about unreal accomplishments and not questioning anything seriously in any form of media is one major cause of the steroids/PED scandal in the first place (thanks for that Rosenthal).

    What is wrong with taking popular conversations in our communities (a number of my friends were wondering what was up with Ibanez’s numbers too WAY before we ever heard of this article) and positing them to online communities for further discussion?

    Anybody who actually read your original article (it doesn’t look like either journalist did) knows you didn’t made any unfounded claims. You merely speculated on rather “out of nowhere numbers”, something that the guys on PTI have said that fans, writers, and even themselves have done on countless occasions. Wilbon said what you said was something they might have said.

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @Jason, Kornheiser and Wilbon are class guys. No surprise there.

      • @Coach Clemente, Haha yeah, I never really followed them too much until this last year, but they have become a regular staple in my sports media viewing. They offer great contrasting views and should one take a stance that later turns out to be wrong on an issue, I’ve actually witnessed them apologize and admit it, which is more than most would do.

        BTW: For those looking to listen to PTI’s support of Jerod, click the link in my first post and go to 6:28

        • @Jason, I want to revise to say “support of Jerod’s views and skepticism”

          I do not get the vibe they actually read the original article either but they at least acknowledge the era we are in and that they have had the same thoughts and approaches to similar situations.

  42. Incredible. I checked out the ESPN video and your original piece from a link on Behren’s page. I can’t say I had any formed opinions of Rosenthal before this, but now I can see he is not so much journalist as talking head – which is me being polite.

    If there is anything to be said for your 15-minutes of fame on ESPN it would be that you appeared to me to be the journalist in the room. The Philly reporter was a journalist caught in that trap of needing to say not-too-negative things about the Phillies players while writing sports in Philadelphia. Rosenthal was just, well, I don’t know what. Any person claiming to cover sports as a journalist who apparently feels he should not ask or print the hard question in what is effectively an opinion piece needs to go back to writing school. Unfortunately, I think the three of you together well represent how we got into (and stayed in) the steroid-era mess and what it will take to get out of it. We have the disillusioned fan who now seeing that reporters and MLB have not done their jobs has the audacity to do actual research and ask hard questions. The Philly reporter recognizes this is news and writes about it, but can’t say too much or he might lose his dream job. And the big time television media talking head feels the appropriate response to hearing that fans question a player’s statistics is to shout the fan down for asking an uncomfortable question. You’ve really questioned Mr. Rosenthal’s journalistic integrity and I would guess that is what he is upset about. He can either look inward and maybe see some less than positive things, or he can yell at you. God forbid he should simply question a player.

    Maybe if more of these guys would have started asking hard questions back when McGwire and Sammy Sosa were launching a baseball a day out of their respective ball parks we could have avoided some of this – but then, no one wanted to be the grown-up at the party. Then again, isn’t it the fan’s job to enjoy the party and the reporter’s job to report the facts? Sorry, that must’ve been taught in some other journalism class.

    A final note regarding Ibanez. He played here in Seattle and he had flashes of incredible power. As you properly point out there have been many apparent good guys who turned out to be juicing. I hope he isn’t using supplements, because he does appear to be one of those good guys. Still, if you waved several million dollars under most people’s noses – especially as they reach the end of their working years – they would at least be tempted to do whatever it took briefly to get it. Which I think was your best point so far – Raul Ibanez is legitimately going to be upset if someone questions his integrity, his commitment to the game, and his numbers. The people he (and every other non-enhancing player) should be upset with are not the fans or to a lesser degree the journalists. Rather he should be upset with the many players who have made decisions that now cause us to doubt every home run he hits. Why have we not seen that angry quote splashed across ESPN?

    Nicely done.

    • Coach Clemente says:

      @Sam Watson, for a great perspective on real sports journalists, and pretenders, read Myron Cope’s autobiography, “Double Yoi.”

  43. I have been discussing this matter with people in my fantasy league for the past month or so and most of the arguments presented in the blog have already been discussed.

    It’s ironic that I used to call Ibanez the little manny, and people used to laugh at me. I would have never thought this kind of issue would rise with Ibanez. One of the main reasons to doubt that Ibanez is cheating is that he just signed his last(probably) lucrative contract, so why in the world would he cheat this season instead of last season? Players usually cheat when they have a contract season coming up and put up one year wonder numbers, not AFTER they already sign a contract. He’s 37 and he has no reason to suddenly cheat. The man got his dough already.

    As for the writer of this blog, you did a real good job in speaking your mind on tv man. I thought those 2 guys were being pretty ridiculously lousy towards you and it almost seemed like they were jealous that you were making news. Is there a law that says bloggers aren’t allowed to speak their mind? I mean, the philly guy talks about how if you press “enter”, you are now speaking to the whole world for a conversation. Last I checked, that’s what blogging was all about. It’s your right to say what you want to say, especially when done reasonably and fairly as you have, which have now been thrown way out of proportion by the “media” guys.

  44. Man, I’m sorry to share a name with someone as lame as this Nick Bradley idiot.

    Dude, you clearly a)did not read Jerod’s piece or b)failed entirely to understand what the analysis really meant. What the hell do you mean, saying he used “fantasy numbers”?? Last I looked fantasy used the players REAL numbers. But you seem to be the kind of guy who just starts yelling if you don’t like facts that are presented to you.

    Me, I’ve studied a little bit of probability theory, and yes, it’s entirely possible Ibanez has just seen 25-40 sweet pitches and he’s been good enough to have parked 20 of them. Even at age 37? Yep. If Jerod made any error at all (and TONS of people, from bloggers to MSM sports “journalists” to sabrmetricians make the same errorneous assumptions), it’s believing a little too strongly in our ability to explain everything through statistical analysis. Randomness is, and always will be, a powerful force throwing off any attempt at perfect analysis.

    Anyway, I close with a few points for Nick the Tard:
    a) Jerod in no way can be accused of “trying for cheap fame at the expense of a hard-working player”. He made a post, as he frequently does, and I very much doubt he had any expectation that it would be any bigger than any other. Your accusations misrepresent what happened. That’s kind of like being a liar, but in your case, it’s most likely the unintentional result of stupidity.

    b) He did not “drag a guy’s name in the mud”, “accuse anyone of being on drugs” or “bash anyone for having a good year”. Did you read the post? Do you know how to read? Do you understand what you read? Clearly, the answer is no, at least to the latter. Loser.

    c) When you don’t know what you are talking about, go easy on the profanity. I could call you things that would make you cry (if you ever learned what they meant), but I refrain because on this blog, the general tone has been pretty damn civil. (With the exception of your lame comments.) Your sleazy contributions would be more acceptable (this IS the internets after all) if you showed any sign of having read the article and thus having something to base your opinions on. But you show no such signs.

    In short, you haven’t shown very well here. Not only has your opinion not carried the day, but you haven’t earned any respect for yourself. To quote my Magic 8 Ball: “Try again later.”

  45. It seems that the people who are attacking Jerod, from their perspective on his stance on the issue, have not read his article. Ken looked very ignorant on OTL and Jerod held his position very well under heavy pressure. Nicely done.

  46. This whole Raul Ibanez thing stinks of Roger Maris.

    It just stinks of Maris.

  47. regular_bob_j says:

    Hey, I can't watch this video and I can't find it anywhere on the internet. Can someone please give me a link? Thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Another sports blogs vs. MSM royal rumble, this time with Ken Rosenthal playing the Buzz Bissinger role. [Midwest Sports Fans] [...]

  2. [...] situation blew up so much so that ESPN had Morris on “Outside the Lines” to get a lesson in journalism from Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John [...]

  3. [...] + Here’s a panel of involved parties in the Raul Ibanez story on “Outside The Lines.” {Midwest Sports Fan.} [...]

  4. [...] appeared on Outside the Lines yesterday evening with the Philadelphia Inquirer writer who “broke” Morris’ story and Major League [...]

  5. [...] Reaction on the Outside The Lines piece from Jerod Morris, the blogger that called out Raul Ibanez for POSSIBLY using steroids. [Midwest Sports Fans] [...]

  6. [...] daily video rotation, right after Jon Minus Nine, and right before Kendra. The clip can be found HERE, and I implore you to pay attention to Rosenthal’s [...]

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