Baseball in Black & White: Newspaper Sportswriters on Reporting the National Pastime

>>Matt Barton: Hi, my
name is Matt Barton. I’m the curator of
recorded sound for the Library of Congress. Most of the time though I’m
usually down in Culpeper, Virginia in this building
that you see here. But I provided a bit of help to the baseball exhibit
that’s currently on I think through next season. Through next June, perhaps. You have ample opportunities
to see it. Anyway, I helped them out
with a few audio clips, and I begged them, please, please let me come
to the big city. And they said OK. So, here we are and this
particular event here in the Whitall is
sponsored by the Serial and Government Publication
division. And who is responsible for
collecting and providing access to seriously published,
serially, and seriously published
materials and government documents? And for baseball research
the most important research materials in the SGPD
collection are newspapers and baseball periodicals. Newspapers are one of the baseball researchers’
chief sources for accounts of major league, minor
league, collegiate, and local baseball games
and related events. The division’s newspapers and current periodical
reading room provides access to newspapers from around
the U.S. and the world. Through original
issues, microfilm, and numerous newspaper databases
that make electronic searching for newspaper content possible. SGPD collections also include
pulp fiction and comic books, which contain baseball and
other sports related materials. The newspaper and current
periodical reading room is located in room 133 of the Madison Building
right across the street. And I recommend it, I’m a
pretty good customer there when I’m in town. And as I say, I’m with
the recorded sound section which is part of the
motion picture broadcasting and recorded sound
section and we have over 3.5 million recordings
in that collection. And a large component
of it is broadcast. And I thought it
would be fun just to bring three very brief
clips of noted sports writers from broadcasts going back
to the 1930s, just to kind of set the stage and
show off our collections. So, moving right along. There we go. Grantland Rice was born in 1880 and was a pioneer
and a sports writer. This is from 1935 he had his
own radio show at that time and he later had one in the 1940s called Grantland
Rice’s Sports Stories. And as you’ll hear, he seems
a bit stiff and that’s not because he lacks skill as a
speaker, its because in radio at that time the networks were
scared to death of two things. One was running over
and the other was that somebody would say
something they shouldn’t say. So, radio was very
tightly scripted, and I think its quite
obvious that he’s reading from a script even though he
may have written it himself. And he tries to be casual,
but it’s a little awkward. But here we go.>>Ford, anyone who can explain
the Cardinals can explain the Einstein theory, the income
tax, why men get bald, how to cure a cold, and the
mystery of life in general. One answer is that they
play just about as well as they feel like playing. They’re much better
when coming from behind. They found themselves nine
games back of the John’s and then won sixteen of
the next seventeen starts to take the lead for
about, just about two hours. They have been hitting
the bumps ever since. They still have a great
ball club whenever they feel like hustling hard
enough to win. But they are not front runners.>>Would you like to make
a prediction at this point about the national
league race Grant?>>I’ll be honest and say
Ford that I would not. Too many crazy turns
have already taken place. Whoever figured a month ago that the Cubs would
get any such pace. They’ve been crawling up
the league for a month.>>Matt Barton: Ok. We’ll move ahead
about twenty years to a slightly more relaxed
period of radio broadcasting. Here’s the great
columnist Red Smith. I don’t know how
well you can read that at the top of his column. This is a column from ’63
and it’s headed “The writers who lost all those
games for Nat’s.” He’s writing about
the Nats of the 1960s who were not a great ball club. But he’s sounding off on
something that I don’t know, you all must have dealt
with at some time or other, the management of
the club objecting to the negative coverage they
were getting from the press. So, but that’s not the
subject of this clip. Its, the subject is Connie
Mack at a game that Smith saw, where two men wound
up on third base.>>The A’s started making
a perfunctory argument for a double play. Got nowhere until Connie Mack
stuck his nose out of the dugout and waggled a finger and Joe Rue
came running in, because Connie of course couldn’t go on the
field not being in uniform. And Connie said to him,
don’t you think Mr. Grieve, Willie Grieve was not
any of the four umpires, don’t you think Mr. Grieve,
that the minute that man went out into third base, Boudreau
had passed him on the baseline, and so was automatically out and
of course that man was tagged out in left field, so
it’s a double play. Joe Rue said thank you sir. And there were ten
thousand people in the park, and it tickled me that
Connie was the only man who could call a play right and the umpire’s name
wrong in the same sentence.>>Matt Barton: And finally,
from 1963 an interview by Studs Terkel of Eliot Asinof
a sports writer best remembered for writing Eight Men Out. He wrote several other
books on sports and he was in fact had been a minor
league ball player himself. So, here’s a comment, he reads
a brief portion of the book and he makes a comment towards
the end of this interview.>>As the impact of
the confession sank in the American people were
first shocked and then sickened. There was hardly a major
newspaper that didn’t cry out its condemnation
and despair. Henceforth the ballplayers
involved were called the Black Sox, but the scandal was
a lot more than a betrayal of a set of ball games. Even more than of
the sport itself, it was a crushing blow
at America’s pride. Now, when you have faith in
something and its betrayed, then you are less apt to
believe anything else. Believe in anything else. And people started thinking that if you could fix
the world series then by gosh you could fix anything. And pretty soon a
cynicism developed that everything was fixed. And if everything was
fixed, then let’s see if we can fix something too. And once you feel that, then
the whole breakdown starts and I mean if a man lies,
then you’re less apt to believe him a second time.>>Matt Barton: And we’ll
return to the bucolic setting where I work every day. Alright. So, time to introduce
our panelists and like the pros that they are they
sat down in the order of the introductions here from
right to left, so, you know. I didn’t tell them to do that. First of all, we
have Chelsea Janes who is the Washington
Post beat writer for the Washington
National at the Nationals, and she has covered the
team since the fall of 2014. Before working for the Post,
she interned at USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle
and covered the San Diego Padres as an associate reporter
for Ms. Janes has an undergraduate
degree from Yale University and a Master’s in Communications
from Stanford University. Jon Meoli covers the Orioles
for The Baltimore Sun. A Connecticut native
and a graduate of Loyola University Maryland
he joined the Sun in April 2014 after nearly three
years covering news for the Towson Times. When he’s not writing
about baseball, Mr. Meoli coaches the undefeated
Loyola University Maryland women’s club hockey team.>>Jon Meoli: They’re going to
be really happy to hear that.>>Matt Barton: Do you
want me to read it again? And Greg Swatek covers sports
for the Frederick News Post and in this position writes about the Frederick Keys a farm
club for the Baltimore Orioles. He has worked at the
Pittsburgh Tribune Review and covered sports for the
Hannover, PA Evening Sun. Mr. Swatek attended the
Robert E. Morris University in Moon Township,
Pennsylvania and has a degree in communications
and media production. Welcome to the Whitall Pavilion
at the Library of Congress. [ Applause ] So, we’re going to
have, you know, as free ranging a discussion
you know, as time permits. And we’ll have some time for
questions towards the end. I thought we could start
by each of you talking about you know, just your day. Obviously, the baseball
season is over, though there still are
baseball stories to cover so it may be good to talk about
the contrast between, you know, the thick of the season and
you know, the offseason. Anyone care to kick it off?>>Chelsea Janes: Sure.>>Jon Meoli: You worked
most recently it seems.>>Chelsea Janes: Yeah,
well the difference between the offseason, for
me, and the regular season is that during the season there’s
a lot of time at the park and not necessarily
a lot of action, but you know where everyone is. In the offseason
there’s a lot of action that you don’t know is
happening and no one around to talk about it. So, you just sit
and panic basically. I actually just got back a
couple hours ago from California where the GM meetings were held. And those in the winter
meetings are like the highlights of the offseason,
and basically consist of just widespread
professional loitering. Like everyone just stands
around and we try to get people to tell us things they
don’t want to tell us, or they try to get
us to write things that we know are probably
helping their cause but no one else is. So, its-one of the questions
people ask the most is like what do you do
when the season’s over? And its mostly sleep
and just panic that you’re missing
something, so, especially when Bryce
Harper is a free agent.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, I guess
just to elaborate on that. We didn’t go out
to the GM meetings, but mostly because the Orioles
don’t have a GM or manager or mostly scouting staff,
or a coaching staff. So, that’s kind of what
my day’s been like. It’s been, every day is
kind of wondering whether that day’s going to be the
day that they make the hire and set off the chain of events
that’s going to, you know, allow things to start happening
again I guess I should say. But this has been a process,
at least personally for me, this last month has
been really quiet. The Orioles are keeping
it quiet on purpose. So, its not really getting
out to the national writers who keep, I know,
keep me up at night. And whenever my phone buzzes
with an alert from one of them you just pray
that its about one of the other twenty-nine
teams and not yours. So, it’s been relatively quiet. Its been, you know, not stress
free, but a lot less stressful than I expected it would be. But Chelsea pretty
much nailed it with the season versus
offseason. Its like this season your
day is dictated by, you know, you’re getting to the park
around 3:00 and you’re going through the same set of
circumstances and then all of a sudden its over and
you go into this other mode. This offseason mode where
you’re trying to catch up but also not get left behind. Catch up on the sleep but
also not get left behind on, you know, the professional
aspect of it, so. It’s a unique balance,
definitely.>>Greg Swatek: And covering
the Frederick Keys I get to wait for the Orioles to do something
and as Jon just alluded to, not much is happening
right now, so. The cool think about
my job is I get to cover these guys
before they’re big stars. They’re much more
accessible, they’re much more, they’re not as leery or as
tired of media coverage, so its much easier to talk
to them in my job than it is for Chelsea and for Jon to talk
and interview these guys too. You get some pretty cool stories
when they haven’t had all that media exposure, so. It’s what I enjoy about my job.>>Matt Barton: You though,
you cover a pretty broad beat, you know, not just baseball.>>Greg Swatek: Yeah, I
cover college basketball, I cover some high school stuff. I cover just features in
general that we have to write. So, my job’s a little more
broad than just baseball.>>Matt Barton: Yeah. Do you find though covering
an A team that you know, maybe you’re a little
better positioned for the kind of scuttlebutt or? Just you know, like oh, they’re
looking for a left hander or they need a right-handed
hitter? You know, the rumors, those
kind of things, reach you?>>Greg Swatek: They do
sometimes when you’re in the clubhouse before the
games people are talking. And again, the media attention
is much less where I am. So, some people are more
willing to open up and talk than they are in a
Major League clubhouse where people are
much more guarded.>>Matt Barton: So, let’s go
from the immediate offseason to the beginning of the season. What is that like
for a reporter?>>Chelsea Janes: A
shock to the system. Yeah, it’s a-spring
training is fun. I think its not quite as
accessible as you know, you’ve probably experience. But I think it’s, everyone’s
like a little calmer and you know, no one’s
totally stressed out yet, they’re in Florida or Arizona. So, I think everyone sort of
eases in together you know, and its, you know it
becomes everyday right away. So, I think everyone
sort of deals with that, oh my goodness, here we go. But you get in the rhythm
and everyone’s pretty calm because they haven’t, you
know, they’re still going to hit five hundred and hit
sixty home runs and win, you know, one hundred
and twenty games. So, it’s a fun experience
and you really get to know the players
and coaches in a way that you don’t during
the season, when they, at least in my experience, kind
of shut it down and are just on the edge of their seats
and biting their nails.>>Jon Meoli: And you
know, you asked about kind of the daily schedule that we go
through, I don’t know how it is with the nationals,
but at spring training with the Orioles our time
with the players is from eight to nine in the morning and that
runs kind of completely counter to everything that happens
the rest of the season. Its kind of a relic of I guess
the old days when they wanted to run around and break a
sweat for an hour or two and then go get in thirty-six at whatever golf course was
nearest to their facility. They still do that, they pretty
much only play eighteen now, because golf is a
little more expensive. But so, it goes kind
of in cycles. You have the mornings and
then the afternoon games. And then it’s something like
you said, a shock to the system when all of a sudden you go
from six, seven weeks in Florida with one o’clock games. And you know, eating
dinner at your condo or your house or your hotel. To seven o’clock night games
and the last week in March in New York City, its just,
you know, temperature wise, you know, work environment
wise, its completely different, so its like you said,
a real jolt.>>Greg Swatek: And I sit at
work jealous of people like Jon and Chelsea because while I’m
freezing up here in Maryland, they’re down in Florida for six
weeks covering spring training, so. So, the minor league
season kicks up, I mean the rosters
aren’t really set until spring training is over. So, we don’t even know who’s
going to be on the team until like a week
before the season. So, it’s kind of
hard to do a lot of prework not knowing
who’s even on the team before
the season starts.>>Matt Barton: Do you find, and
getting back to spring training for a moment, you
mentioned like, you know, one o’clock games and all
of that, I mean-Do you find, is there still kind of a
romance about spring training? I mean, for people my
age, and I’ll tell you that I’m fifty-seven,
so I remember when day games were the rule and
night games were the exception. It does seem at times like
yeah, that’s baseball there, playing in the sun,
you know, all of that. Is that still a, that
mystique still around?>>Chelsea Janes: I think so. Its, I think that its lost
on the players a little bit, who are either thinking
why are we playing so many spring training
games or why are these games at one o’clock when our bodies
then suddenly have to be trained to play at seven for six months. So, I think its lost on them. But it is a really neat like
fan environment and a lot of the people down there are
just very relaxed or very like, in the know about what’s
happening, because they get it. So, it’s a cool baseball
experience definitely.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, one of
the first times I ever went down to spring training
was, I was still in college and I was working for
a website that did like minor league
stuff for the Red Sox. [Inaudible] basically cover
the prospect before anyone had really heard of him and the
site sent a couple people down to spring training
every year and it was always cool to me. I mean this is like, as nerdy
as it gets, but just going down there and it
being you know, going from Baltimore
in March to Ft. Meyers in March. And then there’s
hundreds of people spread out across the minor league
complex just playing catch and taking BP and you know,
its not so much like that at the major league camp,
because these guys are kind of jaded and you know,
they’re there for so long and they’re basically
just over it. But, when you get that many
people in one small place and all still have that thing that gets lost once
you’ve made it, everyone’s still
trying to make it. That’s what’s cool. That always gets me and
whenever I get back down there, I try to remember that, because
I haven’t been doing this for long, but I’m sure you
know, I could get to that point where I lose that too.>>Matt Barton: And,
what’s the beginning of a minor season like?>>Greg Swatek: Its
cold, usually. The weather’s probably in the
upper 40s and stuff like that. And there’s an air
of excitement. I mean, people come out to
the park because they want to see the young prospects, the people they’ve been
reading about all spring. So, they want to see who the
next great players are going to be.>>Matt Barton: And, I mean, in the time that you’ve been
covering baseball, I mean, could each of you talk
about what are, you know, some of the really great moments
that you’ve been around for? Have covered, have
written about. I know these have not been the
certainly the greatest times for the local teams, although
the Orioles were doing well just a couple of years ago.>>Jon Meoli: At one point.>>Matt Barton: The old,
I mean the good old days.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, I’ll start. One of the things
that stands out to me, I wasn’t on the beat
then, but I was working on the Sun sports staff when
they had the empty stadium game up there in Baltimore
a couple of years ago. Nothing will ever
be as interesting and surreal and bizarre as that. And what always strikes me
when I think about that game, honestly, is you know, there
were more media at that than there were at opening day
that year at Cameron Yards. You know, people came from out
of town, basically everyone. Once they heard it was
happening, national media wanted to come up, everyone
wanted to be there. It was a packed press box and those were pretty much the
only people in the stadium. And there was a chuckle when
they announced the attendance, as they do every game, and they
said today’s attendance is zero. And some people with the team,
you know, got mad about that because of everything that it
represented with what was going on in the city and just you
know, the economic impact that it had on the
team, and just kind of the baseball impact. And you realize that that game,
which got national attention, was, meant a lot more
than just a baseball game. In Baltimore and to the people
who are there working it and the people who
are playing it. I mean the people who were
playing it I don’t think wanted anything to do with
it at that point. Chris Hale gave up like five
runs in the first inning, he was just like,
I’m out of here. Let’s get on a plane
and go home. But it was just something
that I’ll never forget, and I hope never, obviously,
never has to happen again.>>Greg Swatek: I got
to cover a no hitter. A minor league no-hitter. So, wasn’t thrown by a Keys
pitcher, it was Henry Owen who is a big, tall, lanky, 6’7, left hander in the
Red Sox organization. He pitched for the
Salem Red Sox and he got through six no hit innings. And in the minor leagues its
interesting, because it’s about developing the players. Like the pitchers are on
a very strict pitch count, so even if they’re pitching
great and throwing a no hitter that doesn’t guarantee that they’re going
to stay in the game. So, so Henry Owen’s
worked six innings and then three relievers came in and maintained a
no hitter for him. So, it was a really
cool thing to get to cover a no hitter even
though it wasn’t my team that was doing the no hitting.>>Jon Meoli: So, I was
actually at that game.>>Greg Swatek: Were you?>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, I was there. And I asked him after, I was
like, you ever done that before? And this is like a
California, like big, tall, blonde hair, like
California bro. I was like you ever
had a no hitter before? He’s like yeah, I threw a few
every year in high school. So., I think we thought it
was a bigger deal than him.>>Matt Barton: Right.>>Chelsea Janes:
Yeah, I, it’s hard to, I feel like I’ve been
lucky to see most of the stuff that I’ve seen. But the home run derby
was really cool this year. And I went in very
cynical, honestly. I sort of had seen Bryce Harper
become a little jaded about it and not really want to
talk about it and it felt like he felt he had to do
it, because he had, you know, kind of said so a
couple years ago. Oh, if its at home I’ll do it. And I felt like he felt forced. And then as the night, and he didn’t even take
batting practice on the field, like it was like, I’ve
got to get through this. And then as the night went on
you sort of saw him realize that this meant a
lot to him, too. You know, it meant
a lot to everyone, but I think he sort
of came back to life. Because he’s changed a lot,
even in the last four years. I think this contract
has weighed on him. So, it was cool to just
see him kind of explode and like actually just
relax and have fun again. So, it sounds corny, but
that was kind of cool, because its been a little
hard to watch Bryce sort of get consumed by all this. I mean, he’s always been
in the middle of it. But I think the contract’s
weighed on him a lot. And it was fun to just see kind
of old Bryce who doesn’t care and knows he’s better than
everyone just kind of go out there and enjoy that.>>Greg Swatek: Another
cool thing for me covering the Keys
was Branden Kline who’s from Frederick. He was drafted by the Orioles
in the second round in 2012, I want to say, out of the
University of Virginia. And he was the opening
day starter I think in 2013 for the Keys. So, here’s a kid that I covered
in high school now pitching in his home town, which is
rare in the minor leagues, and pitching professionally. So, it was cool to see that
evolution from high school. I covered him in college at
Virginia and now he’s pitching in his home town for the
Keys, so that was cool.>>Matt Barton: It sounds
like, I’m starting to hear, I’m hearing the writer
voices here, but I’m starting to hear the fan voices. You know, the following,
getting interested in a player, following them.>>Greg Swatek: We are
fans, we just can’t cheer in the press box and
stuff like that, so.>>Matt Barton: Yeah, I mean its like people ask me what’s
your favorite recording. And its like, well, all of them.>>Greg Swatek: Right, exactly. Who’s your favorite child? And stuff like that.>>Matt Barton: Exactly. So, you all travel with
the teams I guess then?>>Greg Swatek: I do
occasionally, not full time, no.>>Matt Barton: How is-what’s
a road trip like for you? Quite a strain I imagine?>>Chelsea Janes:
Its an experience. So, like, we don’t
fly on the team plane. The T.V. people do but
we’re not on that level. Which I think is good,
that would be a lot of time with a lot of the same people. But no, it’s really interesting. I think one of the
kind of major things in a baseball clubhouse is like,
you know, your credibility. And if you’re there on the
road and at home, you know, you’re kind of going
through it with them. Like they know you stayed up
until whatever time to hit that red eye or you’re up
at six and you see them across the country the next day. So, there’s a lot of
credibility that comes with it and you sort of, you know, get
to see them in strange elements. You know, normally you’re
not running into them on the street here, but you get
in the Starbucks line in X city and you kind of say, you
know, you do the like hey, I don’t see you, but I see you. So, it’s really cool and
I’ve been in a Chipotle line with a nationals
player while someone in that line was
wearing his jersey and didn’t realize he was there. So, I kind of like, was
like, and he was like. So it was, its like,
its stuff like that where you realize how cool it
is that you know these people on this level that
you almost take for granted seeing
them in that setting. But I don’t want
to call it bonding, but there’s a certain
shared experience that comes with being on those road trips. Though they are long and usually
by the end of them I have to sign off twitter because
I’m tired and cranky, so.>>Jon Meoli: You mentioned
the shared experience. Its interesting now to see,
you know, as players put out like everything, they
do on all their social media that you’re doing the same
things most of the time? Like you’re going to a
certain city that has you know, in Cleveland they’re all
riding around on those scooters that are everywhere and going to
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And you know, you run
into players you know at like the Negro Leagues
Museum, stuff like that. But the biggest difference
in terms of work environment at home versus road, the road
has a lot more going with it. You know I live ten minutes away
from Camden Yards so I can get to the park at three o’clock,
leave my house at you know, 2:45 and there’s no,
none of the extra stuff. But there’s a lot
more people around. It seems a lot more intense. The road, I don’t know how
it is with the nationals, but we don’t really travel with
a lot of Orioles writers so, you’re really, if everyone
allows it and you know, kind of stays in, if we all stay
in our own lane and don’t like, you know, overlap on
what we’re trying to do. Or you know, get into the petty
grievances that can develop in a baseball beat, you can
kind of just get your work done and be a little more relaxed
during the game on the road. It’s just all the ancillaries,
the early morning wake ups, the travel, the hotels, that
can get a little bit of a grind.>>Chelsea Janes: And an
interesting, oh sorry->>Matt Barton: No,
go ahead Chelsea.>>Chelsea Janes: And just on
that point, the players often at least for us hide at home, because there’s more
cameras, there’s more people. So, they’re in the training
room when they’re you know, they’re taking their
time with their food where you can’t talk to them. So, a lot of them are more
willing to be out there on the road and at
their locker just because there’s fewer
writers and no T.V. cameras. And the writers that
are there they know, because they’re with
them every day.>>Jon Meoli: And
its just as simple as they don’t know
where to hide there.>>Chelsea Janes: That’s
true, also true, also true.>>Greg Swatek: Its interesting, because in the minor leagues
its mostly small towns. They don’t have major
airports to fly into. They don’t have extensive
restaurant selection. So, it’s mostly small towns, you’re on a bus most
of the time. The players are on a bus. Some of the trips
are really long. I think from Frederick to Myrtle
Beach it’s a ten-hour bus ride. And you’re getting it at like
six or seven in the morning, so->>Matt Barton: And this
is the Carolina League?>>Greg Swatek: Yeah, the
Carolina League, right.>>Matt Barton: Is Frederick
the northern edge of that?>>Greg Swatek: They are on
the northern edge of it, yeah. So, its just a lot of small
town traveling and bus rides. You don’t know where your
next meal is going to, where you’re going to go to
eat, and stuff like that. So, it is interesting
traveling in the minor leagues.>>Matt Barton: Yeah. What are, what’s a game
day like at home though? If you have day or evening. I imagine with a day game
you’ve got less time to prepare.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah so, I guess
a typical night home game for the Orioles we would
get access to the players from 3:10 to 4:00 o’clock. And you know, they’re
arriving at that time. Some of them are already there. But they’re mostly trickling in
and eating, doing all, you know, the early, early work. We would get, have
the manager’s press. When Buck Showalter
was the manager, I don’t know how the
new guy might do it, we would have the manager’s
press conference around four. So, then we would basically
get 4:30, 4:45 if we wanted to go out, you know,
try to get people on the field during
batting practice. And then its basically
just writing. You know that 5:00 to 7:00
range is just writing. This is going to be my fourth
season covering the team and the fourth different
way we’re going to cover the game basically. So, we would have,
we basically made it, so we have a pregame story and our full notebook
all before the game and then you write
about the game after. So basically, just adding
an element because of when our paper goes to
print and deadlines. Making sure that
everything, you know, people who are subscribing,
regardless of the deadline, get everything that’s
accounted for. But basically, you spend most of
that pregame time just writing. And then you kind of
decompress and the game starts, and you start back up around
fifth, sixth, seventh inning, depending on how its going. So, I think that, you know,
even five, ten years ago that pregame time might
have been more down time. Now it’s almost when I
do the bulk of my work. I don’t know how it is for you.>>Chelsea Janes: Oh
yeah, very similar. Its also funny, you know,
the routine is so entrenched that you know, night games, you know we get there the same
time the players get there at the same time. So that, you know, I
know who I’ll see walking in if I’m five minutes
later than usual. Because everyone’s just so,
you know, on their routine. And then when you have a
day game after a night game, you know, you’re kind of
wiping stuff out of your eyes, trying to like get your coffee,
and you know, you run into them at Starbucks because
they’re just, they’re doing the same thing. And its just so funny. Like the rhythm is just so set that you know exactly
who’s going to be where, who’s going to walk
in late, you know, so it’s the writing
rhythm is very similar to I think what they
go through in that its just every
single day to the point that you don’t have
to think about it. And if there’s like a 3:05 start
everyone’s like oh my gosh, when do I get to the park,
you know you text people. Remember its 3:05 you know,
because your body is just so geared toward one, and
four, and seven, and any change to that absolutely
messes with everyone.>>Greg Swatek: Yeah, in the minor leagues the
clubhouse availability window might not be quite as long, but I’d say the one difference
is everyone’s willing to talk. I mean if you want to talk to
someone you can go up to them and they’re willing
to talk to you. Whereas Chelsea and John
probably deal with folks that are hiding in
the training room, that don’t want to
talk that day. So again, just the
access is much better in the minor league level. And just the process of
working a game, I mean, some people don’t realize
it, most editors want stories like as soon as the, within
five minutes of the game ending. Well, I’m sure Jon and Chelsea
have horror stories about this. But if there’s a dramatic
change in the bottom of the ninth inning and you’re
wrapping up your entire story on deadline and rewriting
your entire story on deadline, it can get tricky sometimes.>>Matt Barton: Yeah, that
actually reminds me of a story that Chelsea wrote in August when the Nats had played just a
beautiful game against the Cubs. Went into the- [ Laughter ] Oh, you remember it too? Ok. I mean, so I can just
imagine, you know, the entire, the tone, the arc, everything
had to change because it ended with a grand slam from the Cubs.>>Chelsea Janes: And right
before that I was watching that, and I turned to the other
writers and they’re freaking out and they’re rewriting
and I’m like look. There are about sixty
thousand different things that could happen and only one
of them ends this right now. And it happened. And I like admitted that
to everyone involved later, but yeah, there are
times, you just don’t know. One, I think it was
four years ago, Max Scherzer threw a no
hitter in the second game of the double header,
in the rain, the day before the
last day of the season, when I think there had
been a choking before that? Or maybe to come? And then Matt Williams was going
get fired and we all knew it. So, it was like this crazy week where you’re thinking we can’t
deal with one more thing. And it gets to be the fifth
inning and I’m like no Max, this would be great,
but I just can’t today. And so, we’re in like, you know,
it’s the sixth inning, I’m like, its not going to, he’s
not going to do it. He’s not going to do it. And that’s a terrible attitude
but it never happens, right? He does that all the time. And I’m like you
wouldn’t do this to me. So, he gets through the seventh
I’m like oh my gosh here we go. And so, you know, I send
the story, its like frantic, its probably not very good. Max is extremely happy, he has
some drinks before he comes to the press conference and Saturday the
deadlines are earlier. So, I’m sitting in this press
conference with you know, very happy and well-hydrated Max
Scherzer who’s taking his time. And I get a text from my
editor that said call me now. So, you know, I finally get
out of there, I’m like hey, we just finished up, its
going to be awhile and he’s like no its going
to be ten minutes. And I said no, I’m
still downstairs. He’s like, you’re giving
me this in ten minutes. And it had been truly a terrible
story the first time around. You know, it was rushed
and unexpected, so. But so, I ran upstairs and
probably swore at everyone in my way and tried to give
him something in ten minutes and I like, I cannot read that
story because I’m so afraid of what it actually
looked like at the end. But it was pretty funny. I told Max about that later. And he’s like yeah, if you’d
told me I would’ve taken longer, so.>>Greg Swatek: The
nice thing is we do get to rewrite the story
for later editions and for the website too, so
it’s a better finished product by the time the process is over. But that first draft can
be pretty rough sometimes.>>Matt Barton: So, there’s
the, there are the games where everything
changes at the very end. But also, Jon you wrote a
piece the last day, you know, Buck Showalter’s last
day managing the Orioles. Very good piece,
very interesting, if you want to look
it up online. And you must have known
that was coming though.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it was actually one
of those awkward things. You know, he didn’t want
to talk about it at all, that whole leading up to it. And after he didn’t want to
talk about it, and it was one of the more bizarre moments
I’ve ever been a part of. Like after we got all
the players, you know, Adam Jones talked about how nice
it was, everyone cheered him, they basically made the
whole day about him. And that was what
Buck Showalter wanted. He wanted to be that [inaudible] and all the time he
gave to the Orioles. But some of the writers
wanted to like, go into Buck’s office
and say goodbye. But like, because no one really
knew what was going to happen and like, it might have,
you know, everyone kind of expected what
was going to happen, but nobody knew for sure. So, we’re all waiting, you
know, this is a Sunday. A 3 o’clock game. Like, everyone has, everyone
wants to just get out of there, they played one hundred
and sixty-two games. So, we all just kind of went
in there and nobody actually like started the conversation. So, we were kind of
just like standing there for like ten seconds and
he’s like, he just said like, my wife tells me
I’m not good at this and I’m going to
keep it that way. And then he shook
everyone’s hands and but then we just
started talking about, like as if you would talk
about, like oh he was going to be back the next like. Like oh, wonder what we’re
going to do with this guy on the roster and like this
guy’s got to come off the DL. And it kind of showed just the,
you can get lost in the day to day thoughts of baseball
and the beat and covering it and managing it and
coaching it and playing it. And even when you’re doing
something that’s basically designed to you know,
acknowledge that that rhythm is about to change completely
you can still fall back into it, like that. And no one really stopped it. And no one really minded. So that was kind of the
most interesting part of that day to me.>>Matt Barton: I read a
piece though that you wrote after the last game
of Keys this season. And although I think
they finished fourth in the Carolina League?>>Greg Swatek: Yeah.>>Matt Barton: Yeah, not
a banner season, you know. Although they did better towards
the end than at the beginning and its striking
for its optimism. It was about everything the
team seemed to have going for it towards the end. Strong pitching, and->>Greg Swatek: Well, yeah, a lot of the best Orioles
pitching prospects played for the Keys this year. Alex Wells who was played
in the future’s game. You have Zac Lowther, a lot of
good left-handed pitching too. So, the minor leagues
is where the hope and the optimism reside,
because the future is bright for everyone. At the time we don’t know how
its going to play out yet, so the narrative is still
in its very early stages.>>Matt Barton: So,
we’ve talked a lot about players and managers. What’s your relationship
like with fans?>>Greg Swatek: Good question.>>Matt Barton: I imagine
there’s a, you get a range of reactions to what you write.>>Greg Swatek: Me? Not so much as Jon and Chelsea,
but its mostly positive. But people often say can
you ask so and so this? Or can you ask so and so that? Or why did this happen? You get a lot of questions
that people want you to answer.>>Chelsea Janes: 95% of what
we hear from fans is I think on point and very positive. Because of how I think a
lot of our brains work, people really remember
the negative emails or the angry tweets and when
we’re frazzles or, you know, have kind of been through
a lot with the team or it’s a bad stretch it
gets really hard to look at social media and stuff. Just because its like, I’m not,
I did not lose that game, right? I am not going to
tell him to try this. But that I think obscures the
reality of it, which at least in D.C. there’s been just like
a lot of very informed fans and a lot of, I’ve
gotten a lot of emails that are hey, why
is this this way? And I’m like that is,
I don’t know, you know. So by and large really good
and its also really fun because those are, just
like anything else, those are people you
see every day too. Right? The season
ticket holders, they’re at spring
training, you know? They can, you know, I’ve seen
some of those people every day for four years, you know. And it’s a lot of
fun and there’s like a vocal section below the
press box that yells at us. And that’s amazing, especially
when its like rain delays and there’s no one there
and you can hear them, and I think it brings me life. So, its really cool to see those
people because they see the ups and downs, they get it, and
its kind of fun to have people that are there every
day that care. And its amazing how much they
care without having to care. You know, because
even with having to care every day
sometimes its hard. Sometimes its hard to get in the
weeds and think of new things. But the energy people
have for it is awesome.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, I was kind
of chuckling just that you know, because just like Chelsea
said you’re going to hear just as many positive things as
you are things the other way. But I was laughing because
I feel like my inbox, my email fills up like every
time I write even one word about Chris Davis. And its like people
who are like, why doesn’t he go
to an eye-doctor? And like, why doesn’t he like
hold his bat on his shoulder? And why don’t they try this? And why don’t they try that? And why don’t you ask
like if they bench him? And you know its interesting. People are passionate,
you know, that’s what. You can have a complicated
relationship with feedback like that, but at
the end of the day, that’s why we’re doing this. You know, we might like to think
that we’re doing this because, you know, it beats like,
you know, a regular job. And it beats, you know,
its beats the alternative. But we’re doing this to kind
of communicate these things. So, I always have
to kind of remember that you might not be
able to phrase things in the way that the fans want. Like, you know, why doesn’t
Buck bench that block head? You can’t say that,
but you have to realize that these are the questions
that people are asking, and you can’t wholly
ignore them.>>Greg Swatek: And
its interesting too, because you go online and you
see there are all these comments on your stories and then you
always take a deep breath before you click on the
comments, because its like, is it going to be good? Is it going to be bad? Is it going to be about me? Is it going to be
about the team? So, it’s always interesting
what people weigh in with on the comments section, so.>>Chelsea Janes: You’re
bold to look at the comments.>>Greg Swatek: I’m going
to learn to stop one day.>>Jon Meoli: We
turned ours off. There’re no more comments on the Baltimore Sun
website, it’s a beautiful day.>>Chelsea Janes: Yeah,
we had to tell my mom to stop reading the comments. She was very upset.>>Matt Barton: So, here we are
in the immediate post season and I imagine when you meet with fans they often ask
for your predictions. And so that’s what
I’m going to do. And you know, you shouldn’t feel
the least bit of pressure just because this is going to go
into the permanent collection at the library of congress. And forty years from now
people will be evaluating your predictions, but->>Greg Swatek: Chelsea’s
going to have to carry this, because Jon and I don’t even
know what our teams are going to look like next year, so
its kind of hard to predict.>>Chelsea Janes: What is there
to predict with a national team? What is there to ask about? I don’t know. Predictions about the season? Oh no.>>Matt Barton: Well, you
know, I guess just look ahead. You don’t have to predict
the won lost record or where they’re going
to finish, just you know, what the-What are
the teams facing? What do you, you know,
what are they working on now for next season?>>Greg Swatek: Will Bryce
Harper be national next year?>>Chelsea Janes: I can
honestly say I have been asked that question more
than a thousand times. More than probably
fifty times this week. And my answer has
changed almost every day. I think like since we,
and I hate predictions, I liked hearing him
say, you know, I would not like to
give a prediction. Because I never want to, and we have to do media
predictions every year. And you know, they post
them after the season, they always look
absolutely terrible, and I can’t, I just can’t do it. But, with Bryce I’ve
been trying to do it for three years, I feel like. And, will he be national
next year? No is my prediction. I don’t, yeah, no. And I think I’ve said
that more often than not. But I’ve also hedged
a lot, but no. I’ll go out on a
limb for posterity and say St. Louis Cardinals.>>Matt Barton: Ok.>>Jon Meoli: That’s a good one.>>Matt Barton: By the way,
in case anybody is wondering, in 1935 it was the Cubs
who got the pendant and not the Cardinals, so.>>Jon Meoli: I was laughing at
like somebody on sports radio like questioning athletes”
effort ninety years ago too. That’s kind of how it goes,
not a lot has changed. In terms of prediction
for the Orioles, its going to be a rough couple
of years as they kind of figure out how to, I mean rebuild
is the word, but they have to modernize pretty much
everything in the organization. They took money from every facet
to build a major league roster that they thought could contend and they made the
playoffs twice. And you know, if Buck
Showalter had used Zac Britton in the wildcard game two
years ago, three years ago, they might have made
a run there. And if they didn’t run
into the rails in 2014, they might have made a run
there, but it didn’t work out. So, they’re, it’s going
to be a lean few years, but I’m interested to see
how much of what’s worked around the game in the last
decade or so is applied here. And how much it works under
this sized market circumstances.>>Matt Barton: I mean,
its almost as though, I was living in, I’m from the
Boston area, but I was living in D.C. when the Nats arrived. And it’s almost like, you
know, as old a franchise as the Orioles are, you
know, they’re kind of, you know, starting from zero. Starting, you know, reinventing
the wheel for the team.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah,
and I was looking at it when the Astros were in town
the last week of the season. You know, they’re a
team that’s held up. They basically tore it down
to the studs and made a lot of high draft picks and
invested a tun of money in their farm system
and analytics. And there was only
one player who was on their last team before they
really decided they were going to do all of that, who was even
around for the world series and that was Jose Altuve, one
of the best players of baseball. Like, all these guys that we’re
seeing the Orioles are bringing in and saying oh,
is this person going to be here through the rebuild? Its like, they might
be here for it, but if they’re any good
they’re going to get traded and they’re going to get
players who are better than them for the future. So, we’re talking about, you
know, as Greg was talking about, waves and waves of players
who aren’t even going to get to experience winning baseball
if things go as planned.>>Greg Swatek: And
the cool thing for me with the Orioles is I get to
see a lot of these players that they’re playing for and
a lot of this young talent.>>Matt Barton: Is that
something that people talk about though with the Keys? You know, to succeed
they must be.>>Greg Swatek: They do, yeah. Its like, who are the
stars going to be? Yeah. Its interesting watching
their fans after the game and what players they gravitate
to, because you can sort of tell who they’re interested in and who they think the next
big player’s going to be. Depending on who they approach
and what, who they want to sign their baseball cards and their baseballs
and stuff like that.>>Matt Barton: Yeah, we’ve
heard a bit about the superfans for the O’s and the Nat’s. Do the Keys have a
kind of superfan too?>>Greg Swatek: They do. They do, there are fans that
have been going to games there for thirty, forty, even
in some cases fifty years. So, and its cool seeing a lot
of the same ushers and a lot of the same people just
working around the ball park. It’s a cool small-town vibe. So.>>Matt Barton: Ok, well we’re
getting, you know as they used to say in radio, the
little clock on the wall. Well this is my little
clock on the wall. So, we’re coming down to
about ten minutes here and I think maybe we could
open it up for questions. But just don’t ask, sorry. Oh yes, we need a mic runner. Just don’t ask them
to make predictions. I made that mistake for you. Who’s first? Let’s start to the far
left, my far left over here.>>Hi, obviously since
like Grantland Rice and the old days sports
writing in general has changed. Any broad comments
about the scope of that? From like, can Rosenthal
cite the Athletic, which is behind a paywall,
versus like ESPNation, which isn’t, versus the
Dailies which you work at. And just your thoughts
on you know, how a fan necessarily
reads about their team.>>Greg Swatek: Its just
much more instantaneous. I mean, you’re kind of glued to
your phone all the time waiting for things to happen or
you’re on the phone trying to break news and
stuff like that. Its just a much more 24/7
world that we live in. That’s the biggest
difference to me, so.>>Jon Meoli: I think that
through all those things, the keys that I think
distinguish, you know, some of the, I guess legacy
media and the newer stuff, and even you know something like
the Athletic is, it really comes down to access and presentation. So, if you’re writing
for a website off of the game broadcast
that the people who are reading it off of. You know, you might have good
insights but its hard for people to necessarily connect with that
in a way and say oh, this is, you know, written
authoritatively. Versus if you do have that
access, I think it still needs to be presented in a way
people want to enjoy it. You know, I know that you have
to like, we have to source stuff and we have to cite
it appropriately and our papers have
standards, but you still want to write things and present
them in a way that people enjoy. You know, I don’t, like,
I hate reading things that are bogged down, you know. It might make it feel like
this person has sources, because they say it
in every sentence, like, its not a fun read. Its not a fun, you know, reading
experience and its probably not as fun of a writing experience. So, I like to make it, I like to
try to remember that, you know, I guess it boils
down to you guys want to read what I want to write. Or write what I want to read. And I try to use the access
and you know, the privilege that we have of covering
it to make it so that people feel
that way too.>>Chelsea Janes: Yeah, I
think also something, you know, a lot of the blogs, you know, don’t get the same
access at Nationals Park. Which is fine, but some
of them are very diligent and would know more than some
people that do get sent there. But, what’s really, I guess
interesting about the dynamic is that there are a lot
of sources online. Or you know, trusted people that don’t have the same
accountability standards as, you know, some of the, like as
you phrased it, legacy media. So, you know, if a rumor gets
thrown out there, you know, we have to chase it and say no when we already know
that its not true. But it’s a response
we have to make. There’s an awkward and
uncomfortable shutting down of other people’s
reporting that happens, and it shouldn’t get there,
because there’s no reason to have wrong things, but you
know I could never just kind of say I heard X thing
if I wasn’t 100% sure. Even when I am 100% sure I’m
terrified that I’m wrong. So, its really interesting
how kind of they set the agenda
sometimes. But, yeah its, like you said,
it just makes it more, I think. A lot of responding to things
and Ken Rosenthal just, you know, I don’t know how
that guy sleeps, but yeah. People like him push
everybody else. And he’s incredible,
he’s a great person and deserves every scoop he
gets because he works so hard. But he sort of forces
all of us to follow suit in a way that I think is good.>>Matt Barton: Where’s the? Oh, there we go.>>Thank you. Chelsea you just recently
broke a story, two days ago, about the offer that the
Nats extended to Harper and I’m wondering for each
of you, like so you got that information from a source. And I’m wondering how each of you cultivates the
relationships you have with your sources over
the course of the seasons to make those types of stories?>>Chelsea Janes: I think
I did it really slowly. I wouldn’t even say
that I, I don’t feel like I’ve cultivated
enough sources. But its, I remember when
I first came on the beat, I was very demoralized because
no one would tell me inside information right
away, you know. And then eventually I
sort of realized, well, they’re probably not going
to do that by me, you know, asking them a lot of
questions or you know, kind of getting in their face. Its if I’m there and I
don’t bother them every day. If I’m there and I kind of can
talk to them about other things. That they realize I’m not
just here to you know, mine them for information that will help me
Tweet something first. So, it was a lot of long
game for me, and patience. And just building trust, truly. You know having someone slip and say something they shouldn’t
have said or tell me something and then say hey,
that’s off the record. You know, and say Ok, but
I’m going to come back to it. You know, and just kind of
making sure I’m trustworthy. So, yeah that took, I had
the number for awhile and had to confirm it, and so its
still even hard with sources, because you never want to take
one person’s word from it, especially with contracts. Right? Because both sides
have an incentive to lie. So, while I trust a lot of the
people, I talk to regularly that one was, it was
a stressful night. Because I needed somebody
to tell me I was right. I didn’t want someone
else to get it first. I figured it was right, but you
can never have enough sources that know what’s happening. And it’s a long process.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, I
guess just to add a little, it is a long game
more than you think. And I think everyone that gets
into this line of work has that feeling at the
beginning where you’re like how do all these people
know all these things? And why don’t I? And it takes building that
trust and it takes you know, doing the kind of work
that its not just, you realize that your
communication with these people who are going to talk to you
aren’t just the phone calls and the texts and you know,
walking you to your trailer, you know outside the clubhouse. Its what you put out
there on a daily basis. I think that’s what I’ve
learned, especially recently, is that people know who’s
writing what and they know where its coming from
and if you’re able to communicate what you know
and how you know it in a way that might also give
some deniability to whoever’s saying it,
that makes a big difference.>>Greg Swatek: I would
just add, it starts often with just an informal
conversation about everyday life. Hey, how’s it going? Or what’d you do this week? Or just little small
steps you take lead to bigger relationships and could provide some
valuable information for you down the road. You just have to be patient. It doesn’t all happen every
day or when you want it to happen necessarily. But if you take that time to build the relationship
it will be there for you when you need it.>>Matt Barton: Ok, we’re
running short on time. I know we have at least
two more questions. Where’s the microphone? There was someone in the back,
so you did you have a question? Ok, so you and then you sir.>>Thank you. Bryce Harper announced I
guess before the beginning of last season he wasn’t
going to talk about contracts at all and he pulled it off. And of course, if a
politician tried that or a press secretary
it would never work. The editors would demand
that he or she be harassed with the same kinds
of questions. How did you feel about that? Were you resentful that
he drove the agenda? Were you relieved that
you weren’t going to have to badger him all the time? I mean how did that work? How did you feel?>>Chelsea Janes: I, I know
why that was a big deal, but I think for me it didn’t
change the reality much. Bryce had dodged those
questions for a long time. So, it was sort of like saying,
you know, we weren’t going to hear Bryce say oh,
I’m focused on right now, you know, sixty thousand times. So, but it was off-putting
because he said you know, I’ll walk out of the room. Its like, Bryce you don’t,
its ok, you know, we’re not, no one’s trying to catch you. You know, if you
don’t want to talk about it, we’ll respect that. But it was, like you
say, a strange dynamic because our job is to
ask him over and over. But I think if we hadn’t,
you know, if it were sort of a lesser guy who
hadn’t been in the center of that for a long time. You know, who hadn’t said
I’m focused on right now, I’m a national right now, for so long then maybe it
would kind of terrify me more. But I think in that case I knew, I could have told you
Bryce Harper’s word for word answer to
that question. But it, you know, we
kind of knew that, but visiting media didn’t. So, it was funny to watch New
York Reporters and stuff come in and try to get him to answer. Like someone went at it,
you know they got creative. You know, somebody’s
asking him, you know, you like your beard huh? Because the Yankees
don’t allow facial hair. And he was like, what? And then he figured it
out and he was like, no. But it was really
awkward in a way that was greatly amusing to me. So, but it was a
strange dynamic for sure. And then you started to
notice him slipping at the end of the year though, too. You know, and he, it was
almost like he was kind of slowly breaking into
answering those questions more. But I remember the day that was
declared I was like alright, well I guess I just will
say Bryce Harper declined to comment. You know.>>Thank you.>>Jon Meoli: So, we kind of
had, I don’t want to- We kind of had the opposite of that in
Baltimore with Manny Machado who welcomed that attention
and those questions often and, in every city, that we went to. They went to New York
the first weekend of the season happened there. When they went to Los Angeles to
play the angels at the beginning of May, it was right when
whichever Seager they have, Corey Seager got hurt. So, the Dodgers were
off that day so all of L.A. media was
there asking Manny and that one he played
like he had no idea. But then it happened again
in Chicago at the White Sox when the Cubs had an off day. So, all of Chicago media was
there and Manny showed up in like a $2000 Gucci
sweater and wore sunglasses for the interview and was
talking about how he might like to play in Chicago. And it happened again
in Philadelphia. It pretty much happened
everywhere where there’s a lot of free agent, you know, there’s
a lot of free agent money. So, it’s interesting to see,
and I think our columnist wrote at the same time, you know, look
what’s happening down there. Bryce Harper just said
he’s not going to do it and he hasn’t done it
and its not a circus. But on the flip side for
me, like the first day of every road trip can be a
little hectic, and if you know that Manny Machado’s going to
get asked if he wants to play for the Cubs next year right
when he walks in the door, that’s an easy story
to just kind of run with it and say thank you.>>Greg Swatek: And people
always want to talk to me, so I don’t know what Jon and
Chelsea are talking about, so.>>Matt Barton: Ok, one more. Ok we’re here, sir you
get the walk off question.>>Thank you. I got here about a half hour
late, I got stuck in traffic on Route 50 as I’m coming
in from the airport. So, this question
may have been asked or may have been
discussed already. Being sports writers
now for big newspapers, or in your case in Frederick->>Greg Swatek: We like to think
of ourselves as big city, so.>>What is the, normally
what would be the projection of what your ambition would
be as to what you aspire to? You know, in light of the
fact that newspapers have so much economic pressure that they’ve probably cut
back employment [inaudible]. Like [inaudible] newspaper
in Ohio is not published for home delivery every
day of the week its only like four days a week not
including the weekends. That’s the number one question. The other one is, being
a Cleveland Indian fan in my generation, people from
[inaudible] Ohio just want to live long enough to see the
Indians win the world series. And unfortunately,
I think the window of opportunity is closed shut. Their best chance was in 2017. This leads up to the
Ubaldo Jimenez crisis.>>Chelsea Janes: Naturally.>>Jon Meoli: Three
walk off questions. You can’t have three walk off
home runs, you only get one.>>That was the worst
starting pitcher that the Indians ever got, and he disappointed
everybody every time. It took the Indians two years to
get him to where he could pitch up to his Colorado
Rockies potential. And the question
I have is what was in Showalter’s mind
not bringing in Britton in the playoff game
against Toronto. Ubaldo, as soon as he brought
in Ubaldo I shut off the T.V.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, yeah. I guess we’ll go backwards. What was in his mind? I think he really thought
that that game was going to go on forever and he just
had to save Zac Britton. I think that’s part
of the, you know, end. When you think about that game, you could have watched
the playoff that year without people mentioning that
and people started bringing in their best relievers
in the fourth inning and that’s how playoff
baseball is right now. So, I’m sure there’s going
to be a book somewhere or a T.V. special retrospective where the Orioles
are taking credit for how playoff baseball
is played for the rest of our lives.>>Chelsea Janes: Ironically.>>Jon Meoli: Yeah, they didn’t
mean to, but they did it.>>Did Showalter ever
explain what his reason was? Or he never?>>Jon Meoli: No,
he never really got around to the nuts and bolts. I think he just kind of was
riding with the-he’s the closer and we weren’t, you
don’t use your closer in a tie game on the road. That was as good as we got. In terms of– ?>>Matt Barton: The
future of newspapers?>>Greg Swatek: I’ll
take a stab at that one. I think the good thing for all of us is I think what we do is
translatable to other mediums. Like we could write for a
website, we could report for another media outlet.>>Matt Barton: Or you
could do a podcast.>>Greg Swatek: Right,
that isn’t a print outlet. I think our job’s
translate to other mediums. So, if newspapers die,
and I hope they don’t, but if they die tomorrow, I still think we could
find similar lines of work doing what we do now.>>Matt Barton: Anyone
else want to?>>Greg Swatek: What
was the second question? Oh, ok.>>Chelsea Janes:
Its interesting, because you know obviously
the Post is very lucky to have had sort of the influx
of Jeff Bezos’ money and with that has come the opportunity
to try to figure out how to make this work for outlets that don’t have Jeff
Bezos’ money. And it’s just been
interesting to see the evolution and I think the, you’re
exactly right that you know, there’s now a lot of ways
to go at this, right? You know, podcasts, I
wouldn’t have listened to podcasts a couple of
years ago and now I get a lot of information from them. I learn a lot. And you know, video stuff is
important and even social media, you know using that
in a more creative way that reaches people
and draws them in. So, but what I think is really
interesting is I’ve noticed that a lot of the things that the post has tried are
not original ideas, right? Its people that have
had to kind of scrap and make it work you know
drive that new agenda. You know, podcasts and blogs and
the instantaneous kind of stuff. But people are making it work and I think you know the
Athletic’s been really good for sports writing. Increased competition
a lot of the time, but that’s thirty plus more
jobs for baseball writers that we’re them at small papers,
that now get a chance to do kind of whatever they want. And I think it’s, that’s
a really good product, so its changing but like people
are kind of finding a way.>>Greg Swatek: The demand
for the information is there. I mean I think it will
be there going forward, it’s just the format in which
you receive the information, that’s what’s changing.>>Matt Barton: Alright,
well I think we have to bring this to an end now. So, please, wonderful hand. Thank you all for coming. Please visit the baseball
exhibit if you haven’t already and if you don’t have one
already go across the street and get yourself a reader’s card
from the Library of Congress. That is your key to the kingdom. Thank you.

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