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Jon Morosi and the Problem With National Baseball Media

Never trust a national reporter on the Guardians

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Guardians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

I didn’t know “If it didn’t come from Woj, don’t believe it” extended to baseball too, but here we are. To be fair to Morosi this is more of a commentary on national level sports media than it is just him.

Yesterday Guardians twitter was set ablaze after this gem dropped:

Jon Morosi proves once again that he’s just making it up as he goes. Any Cleveland fan reading this will immediately recognize how patently absurd this idea is. Beyond the fact that José Ramirez negotiated a full no-trade clause into his contract to ensure that he’d remain in Cleveland for the rest of his career, he took a massive discount relative to his market value. Again, doing so because he wanted to stay in Cleveland above anything else.

Even if by some unforeseen circumstance Ramirez was willing to waive his trade clause, and Seattle was one of the teams he’d be willing to waive it for the chances of this happening are still virtually zero. Cleveland has just begun to rebuild it’s attendance after multiple years of downward trends, the number one narrative amongst Guardians fans is that the “Dolans are cheap” and “We just trade away every star player,” there is simply no way that any team would ever offer enough to make a Ramirez trade enticing enough before the front office is willing to risk that backlash.

Which brings me to my main point. I knew all that, you knew all that, our beat reporters knew all that, every Guardians blogger and podcaster knew that. How in the world did a national reporter with MLB Network not know that? Now Morosi frequently brings things up with his only source being his wild imagination, but this problem extends far beyond him into all national baseball reporters.

Simply put, national reporters are asked to be “an inch deep and a mile wide” in their knowledge, they have to know a little bit about a lot of things. On top of that, baseball beyond any other sport primarily pushes it’s largest markets at the national level. So the national reporters tend to have a disproportionately deep (relative to other teams) knowledge of the goings on with the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Astros, etc. and minimal knowledge of anything but the biggest names on the other teams.

If I’m being honest, I get it. I don’t have intimate knowledge of what’s going on with the Rockies day to day, I’m not particularly plugged into the Pirates, etc. I couldn’t imagine trying to stay on top of all 30 teams at even half of the level that I stay plugged into the Guards. But that’s exactly the problem with the national reporters covering anything but the biggest markets, they don’t know. It’s not a “oh they just have no respect for Cleveland” thing like the average local radio caller might say, it’s more that they only have 24 hours in a day, and 90% of what they’re asked to do is talk about the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, Angels, etc.

Until the national reporters are incentivized to cover the small market teams there’s no reason to pay them much mind when they talk about the Guardians. Quite simply, it’s rare that they’re offering an opinion better thought out than one a dedicated CTC writer, and rare that they have anything more sourced about Cleveland than any of our beat reporters.

Which brings me to the most important point, the beat reporters. The Guardians have been blessed with some spectacular beat reporters, particularly Zack Meisel and Mandy Bell. Both of them are two of the best in the business when it comes to presenting accurate and reliable information about the team they cover, quite frankly until Mandy has something I don’t usually pay other people much mind. Meisel offers a fantastic blend of reporting and analysis in his covering of the Guardians. Both of them are super plugged into the Guardians front office and have a deep, intimate knowledge of what’s going on throughout the organization on a day to day level. That’s something the national reporters simply can’t do.

We’re about to jump into a wild offseason that’s going to have rumor after rumor about managerial candidates, potential trades, free agent signings, etc. so it’s important to consider the source when you read about those rumors. Embrace your beat reporters, often times you’ll find they’re the first to be breaking stories about the Guardians, and that they’re the first with info about trades, injuries, signings, etc. We have plenty of fantastic ones, and I’d much rather see us give them our clicks and attention than any of these national level guys.