Monday, June 13, 2011

Small "conservative" newspaper scoops can "keep 'em honest"; how our heroes can have clay feet

Washington DC struggled to get its own major league baseball team back in 33 years, and it certainly has borne its share of injuries and bad luck. In 2011, it has a minor league lineup, about to get better when Ryan Zimmerman returns, and apparently almost World Series pitching.

But the club’s players and management have been involved in some questionable or "bad appearing" behavior. There is the Marquis “suspension”, which may be unjust. There was the unprofessional rainout call in May for the convenience of the pitching rotation, when there was threatening weather but no actual storm.

But the most serious problem could be accusations surfacing about veteran pitcher Livan Hernandez, as a possible “straw buyer” for a drug ring in Puerto Rico.  The team and MLB have been able to play it down, hoping it will go away – after all, there is a long way to an actual indictment against Livan himself, let alone a conviction. But upstart conservative newspapers like The Washington Times see their opportunity to make a splash.  Monday, The Washington Times ran a major scoop by Nathan Fenno (and others), link here.   

There was a Parker Brother’s board game in the 50s called “Star Reporter”, and TWT seems to remember how it was played.  You make the effort to go to the source of the original stories.  Okay, that’s what the small newspapers in Nevada and Colorado are claiming they’re defending in the copyright trolling cases. 
None of this sounds good for the Nationals or for MLB, which has had to deal with bigger problems, like PED’s that make all its recent records suspect. It’s a shame, too. Young people really need to see athletes and other performers set good examples for character.  I know that I hate to be disappointed by people.  

The Washington Times appears to be resetting itself again, lowering its newsstand price to a reasonable level, and covering more local news and sports again, with a little less preoccupation with ideology. The strategy may well pay off.  I wish the paper would restore its Oct. 12, 2005 editorial "Suffocating the First Amendment" online, or write a new version of it.  The paper knows it was tangentially involved in a major incident in the FCPS school syste, then. 

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