Friday, May 9, 2008

Lugo's Blowup

Steve Buckley reports on Julio Lugo's frustration with all of the questioning about his error in Wednesday night's game. Actually, that didn't bother him so much, it was the questioning about other errors in addition to that one that did:
“It was a soft-hit ground ball and I thought I had a chance to go to second,” Lugo said, softly but clearly. “I was a little overaggressive. Instead of getting one out, I was trying to get the lead runner and I bobbled the ball.”

In Lugo’s opinion, nothing more need be asked. Yet we asked anyway, with one writer posing a question that was intended to connect what happened last night in Detroit with what happened last month in Toronto, when Lugo committed three errors in one game. And for those of you keeping score at home, the shortstop has committed 10 errors in 33 games played.

Lugo’s response to the question: “You’ve seen it.”

He then walked out of the clubhouse, down the hall, up a flight of stairs and into a parking garage. It was there, in the garage, that Lugo wanted to know what a May game in Detroit has to do with an April game in Toronto.

“I don’t care, but sometimes it would be nice to say something positive,” he said. “But all the time it’s negative things, you know? Sometimes, you know, people should say something that’s positive. But every time it’s something negative . . . bring it up, bring it up, bring it up. Why?

“I understand you (the media) are going to write whatever you want . . . but I come here every day and bust my ass . . . if things don’t work out sometimes, that’s the way it’s going to be. You understand? But sometimes you bring up the same things . . . You get tired of that.”

Buckley's take -- which is probably the right one -- is basically that Lugo knew what Boston was all about when he signed there. He knew that he was coming to a place where the media never forgets a mistake. He knew that when you're a goat in Boston, you're a goat in technicolor. There are expectations in that town that are different that Tampa or Houston and, of course, the press has the right to ask about whatever it wants.

Still, I empathize with Lugo. Whether or not he should know it going in and whether or not reporters have a right to ask whatever they want, I fail to understand the necessity for that line of questioning. What is he possibly going to say about making an error that is all that insightful? It's not like there was some premeditated tactical decision which led to his mistakes, he basically just screwed up. He knows it. The reporters know it. The fans know it. What else is there to add on a primary source reporting basis?

The story, it would seem, about Lugo's errors is one for the columnists and opinion guys -- what to do about shortstop -- not one for the beat guys.


Anonymous said...

Given the reputation of the Boston media, does that make it okay? Is there no way that Buckley and Shank can come up with something that doesn't quite wreak of loud mouth drunk at the bar? Knowing that Lugo wasn't a Gold Glover going in, what did they expect? The Boston madia gets a pass for being what they are, but he doesn't?

tadthebad said...

Anon, you're absolutely right. The Boston media, which I am very familiar with, believes it has the right to proddle and poke any athlete it wants information from. It expects tremendous respect for its "work", but the Boston media provides little respect in return. When its tactics or motives are questioned, it responds with the tired line about "This is Boston...blah, blah, blah...what do you expect? knew coming here it was a tough media town...blah, blah, blah..." which is no explanation at all. Generally it is the columnists who try to out-do eachother with ridiculous lines of questioning. Most of the beat guys are not as interested in beating up the players they cover. "Look at me, I'm a tough Boston columnist and I'm not afraid to attack one of the team's lesser players...but don't worry, I'll also continue to give Ortiz a free pass. Youk, too...that guy's a grinder." The funniest thing is many of these columnists believe they reflect the collective voice of the fans...self-serving, arrogant a-holes. Bob Ryan is great, the rest are suspect.

Anonymous said...

Boston media aside, such questions are simply lazy journalism. Maybe journalists have never been particularly insightful or clever, but what is the point of continually asking questions that you already know have no answer?