A while back there were rumblings about Major League Baseball’s policy to only give press credentials to mainstream media outlets. Some people even started a “movement” (which may have already died) to persuade MLB to at least make the decision based on a case-by-case basis in which “legitimate bloggers” (whatever that means) would at least receive some access.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have proven to be very progressive in their thinking (free parking, cheap beer) and in their media relations. A team needs to be if they finish in last place 88% of the time and are coming off another 100-loss season. They will even go so far as to purchase a fan during an auction.
You might remember a couple of months ago, the Devil Rays team president Matthew Silverman actually acquired the rights to “professional” blogger Manny Stiles during an online auction that raised money for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to aid in research and care of pediatric AIDS patients. In doing so, ManRay (his Devil Rays alter-ego) would blog about the Rays all season long.
Well, Silverman and the Rays took it a step further. In addition to giving money to charity and receiving at least 50 blog posts about the Rays, Manny Stiles was invited to the Trop for the recent three game series against the Indians and last night’s game versus the Yankees. Manny was given full press credentials, in an apparent f-you snub to Bud Selig and the powers-that-be.
ManRay’s tour of duty concluded last night with a live game-blog from the press box. He was his usual entertaining self, and somehow managed to comment on the Rays nads, Jeter’s penchant to grab himself, holy cows, and his own fat fingers. He even figured out that Kei Igawa is an acronym (I Give Alot of Walks and A-bombs). All-in-all, a great experience, even though we were too busy drinking to actually comment, but he was lucky to have picked such an entertaining game and an actual Devil Rays victory.
Still, we are going to have to agree with Will Leitch of Deadspin on this one. We can’t understand why any blogger would want full press credentials. Poor Manny had to bite his tongue the entire game as no cheering is allowed in the press box and he could not wear his new #694 Devil Rays jersey. Being on the field before the game could be cool, but we have no desire to see our favorite players naked (although Manny did like conversing about tats) and if we ever tried to “interview” a player or coach, we would probably ask something really stupid like “Which section has the hottest chicks?” or “what is you most embarrassing drunk story?” Let’s hope we are never “legitimate bloggers”. We actually like our day job. Although a media guide would be nice (we were rejected).
Movement starts to encourage baseball to give access to bloggers [Micro Persuasion]
Devil Rays Acquire The Rights For Free Agent Blogger For $535 [Rays Index]
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation [PedAids.org]
Rays-Yankees Running Blog [Armchair GM]
No Cheering In The Pressbox [Deadspin]
Stiles in Tampa – Day 3 [Devil Rays Universe]