ChiSox beat writer Scot Gregor (Daily Herald) and Cubs beat writer Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune), in a portion of an interview conducted by Chicago Sports Review’s Vince Galloro :
How much attention do you pay to baseball bloggers and fan message boards?
SG: More and more. Some of the bloggers and fans on message boards know more about baseball and/or their respective team than some of the writers I’ve run across.
PS: None. I never read them. I know some of the other beat writers that read them, but I don’t have the time or the desire. Sometimes people will email me a link to a fan site where someone is drilling me for something I wrote. I’ve learned never to respond. Some of these people are downright nuts. No offense to you, but everyone with a PC and a printer believes they’re a writer. That’s the worst aspect of the Internet Age — everyone has something to say and a blog to say it in.
Do you check on your own, or do you find editors asking you about things published/posted on the Internet by fans?
SG: More on my own.
PS: See above.
How has it changed your job, if at all?
SG: It hasn’t that much. If anything, I think it makes you want to write something that jumps out (like Magglio Ordonez jumping over to Boras) because you can instantly see the reaction.
PS: It hasn’t changed my job at all. I don’t pay attention to what’s written on the Internet. People can say or write anything when they know they wont have to deal with any of the principals (the players, managers, GMs, etc.). It’s easy to trash people when you are anonymous.
What has been the effect in general of Internet baseball writing on your job?
SG: You have to be a lot more thorough and accurate, because there is a lot of information out there, and people are reading it.
PS: I get more annoying e-mails, but that’s about it. I also write a Q and A for the Tribune web site called Ask Paul. I get unbelievably nasty e-mails when I don’t answer their questions the way they want them answered. Many Cubs fans have no sense of humor and believe they can do my job better than me (just like LaTroy). It’s amazing how sensitive they are.
As someone who is completely anonymous, I will concur with Sullivan on one point — it is completely easy to trash someone you’re never likely to encounter. Though it is even easier to tar the entire blogosphere (there, after I swore I’d never use that word) with the same brush.