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The Rays Tank: Debating The State of Journalism

I'm curious: how many people out there like long-form journalism? Or, to think about it another way, how often do you read long-form journalism pieces? Do you seek them out on a daily basis, or is it something you only read when you become aware of a really good one that's out there?

Craig Calcaterra recently went off on a multi-post tangent in response to comments from Frank Deford decrying the current status of journalism. Both articles are thought provoking and well said, so I'd recommend checking them both out. Craig basically argues that while it's all well and good to pine for the good ol' days where "real" journalism -- long-form, investigative pieces -- was respected, supported, and had a large audience, we shouldn't be jumping to the conclusion that A) long-form journalism is dead, or B) that blogs and places like FanGraphs, BPro, HardBall Talk, and Baseball Nation are necessarily bad things for journalism. Those outlets are giving people what they want to read, which at the end of the day, is the heart and soul of journalism.

I personally love long-form journalism, but when I stop and think about what I read on a daily basis, the vast majority of it is not long-form. Mostly, I read blogs and analysis pieces, and keep up with the current news via Twitter and places like Hardball Talk. I'll read long-form pieces when I hear about good ones or if I have an extra amount of time, but I simply don't have the time to exclusively read long pieces. Which is why although it's painful how little many of my favorite writers are paid -- this online writing thing really needs to improve in that regard -- I love the current state of sports writing. There's a place for every fan and every interest, and an almost limitless variety of writing styles and forms.

And while we're talking about the state of the media, let's just all enjoy Mark Cuban absolutely destroying Skip Bayless' soul. Man, I can't watch this thing enough.

  • While listening to NPR on my way into work* yesterday (#NPR4Life!), I heard the story about President Obama making a crack about the Kevin Youkilis trade at a Boston-area fundraiser and subsequently getting booed. Since it was a local event and seemed like such a throwaway story, I figured the story hadn't been picked up by other outlets since it was such a small, silly deal. Boy, was I wrong. Not only did the White House press secretary have to answer questions about the incident, but Mitt Romney chimed in and did his best to throw it in the President's face. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?? Why is this news?
  • Jon Bois does Jon Bois things, this time discussing how to explain baseball to non-baseball fans. And since it's Jon Bois, it's hilarious. He hits the nail on the head too; if someone isn't already a baseball fan by the time they're 10, it can feel like an impossible task to make them like the game.
  • Omar Vizquel has announced that he will retire after this season, and he hopes to come back as a manager or coach. This is Vizquel's 24th season in the majors, and he'll finish his career as the all-time leader in games played at shortstop. He'll also fall just short of 3,000 hits, and will likely be one of those boarderline Hall of Fame candidates that we'll be arguing about in five years' time.