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So-Called Insiders Slanting MLB Labor Coverage Toward The Player Agents They Serve

You know coverage of the MLB lockout is slanted toward the players when an agent is offering praise.

And not just any agent. We’re talking about super agent Scott Boras, who told The Washington Post that coverage of the lockout is “the most accurate coverage, factually, of any labor negotiation I’ve been involved in.’”

Boras has been a big pain in the backside for MLB team owners and executives for decades. He has played a major role in inflated salaries and player movement. He’s rich and comes across as incredibly slimy.

So if he’s happy, well, you can only guess how remarkably favorable coverage of the lockout has been for the players.

Of course, this isn’t just limited to baseball. Insiders in all sports have sold their souls to agents in their desperate quest for Twitter scoops.

Actually, a lot of national sports writers today are represented by the same agencies that represent the players. For instance, ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski is represented by CAA, which lists some of the league’s best and brightest among its clients.

So when an agent says, “jump,” national insiders often ask, “how high?”

As a result, sports writers are no longer actual writers with opinions. At least, not their own opinions. Instead, they walk on eggshells, treading lightly so as to not offend their “sources,” which are always “agents.”

A great example of this came when ESPN insider Jeff Passan went on a podcast and said the owners’ offer to the players is the equivalent of a “shit sandwich.” He later apologized and said that wasn’t really his opinion, but the opinion of a “source.” As in, an agent.

Wojnarowski and others are now even naming agents in their tweets. So insiders have started to identify the very people who are providing the scoops.

Why is this, you ask? The answer is simple. It’s because agents have suddenly decided they too want a piece of the popularity pie.

Meanwhile, team owners basically couldn’t give a hoot about reporters or “insiders.” Half of them don’t even follow along. They’re too worried about their own companies and checkbooks.

This isn’t to say team owners are right and players are wrong. This isn’t taking any sort of side. But that’s what the sports media is supposed to do. Try to be fair, then form opinions on fairness.

That’s not what many of today’s so-called insiders are doing. They’re just playing a game of trying to one-up the other in kissing agents’ butts.

The result has been vanilla stories, written with no soul or personal opinions, and quite frankly, unreliable coverage. The agents have dived head first into the sportswriting world, and now your sports stories are brought to you almost entirely by them.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico is the assistant managing editor-newsdesk at OutKick. He is also the co-founder and senior writer at Hoopswire.com, and has covered the NBA for nearly 20 years, including his time at Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. A native of Akron, Ohio, his writing career began in Wyoming.

2 Comments

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  1. Given the newest rumor that “the shift” was going to be eliminated under the BA made me surmise that the players union was controlled by highly paid pull hiters. I had left out the player representative aspect of it.
    Given this is the latest, I’m wondering with those same hitters are going to get a change where pitchers can only throw one breaking pitch during an at bat.

  2. Sam, I think you may have hit the nerve of the central problem of ALL news in general. I’m sure reporters from all areas of news do the same thing with politicians, political leaders, CEOs, actors, athletes, agents, etc to get the big scoops on stories. This is how problems and crime get covered up instead of reported. If public figures want to leak and spin a story, and know they’ve got some parasite in the media in their pocket more than happy to “smooth the edges” for them, then who needs to pay a PR team anymore? The media IS the PR firm for the powerful. This used to be called “selling your soul to the devil,” by the way. I liken it to a basketball player committing points shaving for a bookie, but far worse.

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