Allow me to toot our collective horn here at TYU for a moment. Every so often a mainstream media outlet will pick up on something that’s said here and link to it, as Rob Neyer did earlier this month. But three in one day is pretty exceptional and worth noting. Yesterday Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News and Joe DeLessio of New York Magazine both looked at Mo’s piece alleging censorship on the part of YES, and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports took a quote from my Cashman breakfast recap on Tuesday. Here they are, in order:
It appears Yankees suits did not want Cashman’s answers – void of company spin – to air on YES, even though they would be spread widely across various media platforms.
Further highlighting management sensitivity to “in-house” critiques of the Soriano deal was a report in TYU, a Yankee-centric blog, claiming that critical columns in two YES-affilated blogs (Pinstriped Bible and River Avenue Blues) were censored by YES operatives, perhaps under orders from a voice on high.
Did the YES Network Censor Affiliated Blogs Because of Rafael Soriano Criticism?
The Yankee U makes a pretty compelling case that they did, at least to some degree. In one case, the Yankee U says the YES Network toolbar that appears above the River Avenue Blues website disappeared for a period of time after two of the site’s writers expressed displeasure with the Soriano signing. In another case, the response may have been a bit more extreme.
Via the Yankee U, regarding a post titled “What the Heck Are the Yankees Doing?” on the Pinstriped Bible blog:
Pinstriped Bible is directly affiliated with the YES Network, as the site is designed to look like the YES homepage and is frequently featured on the YES front page. A few hours after being posted, Steve Goldman’s post was suddenly pulled, only to reappear a number of hours later with a new title (Soriano Strengthens the Pen, But Do Dominoes Fall?) and a softened stance. A visit to the page shows the altered title and article, but the URL still contains the original title. I have the original article saved (available upon request), and the primary differences are a few sentences added in support of the deal, as well as the moving of a positive paragraph to the beginning of the article. When asked about the incident, Goldman declined to comment.
None of the bloggers involved offered a comment to the Yankee U, actually, and the site points out that, to the best of their knowledge, the network has not previously censored any of its affiliated blogs. Still, if it is indeed some form of censorship on the part of the Yankees or the YES Network, it revisits a discussion that’s been going for years about what happens when a sports team is affiliated in some way with a reporter, broadcaster, or even an outlet that covers it. (Remember Marv Albert’s departure from MSG in 2004, after a season in which he’d reportedly been told to be less critical of the Lenny Wilkens–era Knicks? This is not an entirely different discussion.)
In the meantime, if the Yankees really want to silence any criticism of the Soriano signing, they’ll have to censor their own general manager.
Context often is lost in the age of Twitter, and when a fan in attendance, Amanda Rykoff, tweeted Cashman’s remarks, the outcry was predictable. Cashman did not say the team planned to move Jeter or was even considering it. But the damage was done.
When Cashman reconstructed the conversation again Thursday, he said, “That was not controversial. It was not Cashman saying, ‘Jeter won’t finish the contract at short. He has to move to center field.’ None of that.”
Those in the audience seemed to understand.
A blogger at theyankeeu.com who attended the breakfast took exception to the “utter garbage being spread around the MSM (mainstream media) about what (Cashman) did say and didn’t say.”
And Cashman said Rykoff, the original tweeter, approached him Wednesday night while he tended bar at Foley’s New York to help raise money for prostate cancer research.
“She couldn’t believe how they took what I said. She apologized to me,” Cashman said.
Once upon a time bloggers were dismissed as lonely voices shouting into the ether, but it’s nice to see that more and more we’re becoming part of the larger conversation. Our readers know we consistently deliver content they can’t find in mainstream outlets and local newspapers, dealing with advanced stats and a fan to fan perspective on the team which MSM outlets tend to shy away from. We occupy our niche and the MSM occupies theirs, but in both cases were just trying to deliver content our readers want. It’s nice to see the two sides peacefully coexisting. Kumbaya, my Lord. Kumbaya.