How the Media Handles the New Guy

Breaking news at Red Sox spring training: A snake appears to have sneaked into the locker room. This is probably not the kind of news you would expect to hear about this Major League baseball team, but that is what Sports Illustrated reported this past Monday.

There are few things that are funnier than 200 pound professional athletes jumping on chairs or tables because of a reptile, but the true Red Sox fan would still wonder; What else happened at spring training on that day?

The author of the short SI piece was labeled as “Extra Mustard” to show that this was one of their many “bizarre and hilarious stories”. The sources of the news was the following tweet from Pete Abraham, the Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Globe.

While SI was “busy” covering the amusing stories, Abraham was in Fort Meyers covering every movement of the Sox, but more specifically baseball related movement: Joe Kelly’s sore muscles, the Red Sox losing to the Blue Jays, how well Mookie has been playing, and of course how the new guy from Arizona was holding up. From the starting rotation to the early season cuts, there are updates at least once a day. The articles range from analyzing an individual player to looking at the team as a unit.

On the first day of spring training Abraham reported the results of the Red Sox match-up versus the Minnesota Twins. This report was brief and included the score, strengths and weaknesses of the Sox, injured players, and the next game. A longer article followed in the same section and from that day on he has posted multiple articles from different perspectives. There are some days where there was no articles at all, but Abraham has been consistent with giving the general Red Sox fan all the information they need.

The wonderful thing about journalism in this age of digital media is that content can be distributed to anywhere; You can find Abraham on twitter in addition to his publications on the Globe site. His reporting is not limited to print, but can include social media, radio, and even television.

When someone searches for “Red Sox Spring Training” online they will most likely read the articles in the order of which publisher names sound familiar. For this most recent search those names might include: MLB.com, Sports Illustrated, CBS Boston, NESN, the Boston Globe,and maybe the Herald. All of these sources have some kind of coverage, but the Globe, Herald, and even NESN.com have individuals who primarily focus on the Red Sox.

My initial theory was that bigger companies like SI and ESPN would only cover the attention grabbing stories, but this is not the case. Even though SI did just write that 100 word post, ESPN does in fact, have a blogger that has been covering the Sox on a daily basis. The only other extensive coverage you can find on these teams will be from the local news outlets. Even though the team is currently in Florida, the only time another local outlets will pick up the story is if their local team is playing. Overall, smaller news outlets are able to give more material since their range of focus tends to be a little smaller.

I know you only read through this whole post to know what’s really going on at spring training so I won’t delay any further. According to Abraham, Wade Miley safely secure the reptile and transported it back to its natural habitat.

The new pitcher saved the day, but due to his performance at spring training the Red Sox fans are not yet impressed.

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