Yesterday, we took ESPN.com to task for their use of misleading pictures in their story on the Rays failings in the Bay Area…The story blew up over the course of the day. Many were more upset with the content of the story.
We gave Bertman a pass on the content because: a) some of his points were correct on why things have failed in St. Pete. However he was short-sighted in assuming that the entire region is at fault; b) the pictures immediately killed the credibility of whatever was written because at the very least it was lazy, and at worst it looked like ESPN had an agenda; and c) the story is a tired one. And as Rob Neyer correctly stated, “nothing’s going to change in the next year or three. Which means more pieces exactly like this one.” In other words, we are pacing ourselves.
As for the rest of the combatants…
In the middle of last night’s Twitter storm, Bertman first got defensive:
Date irrelevant. Had plenty of 11,000 gates this year as well
So then, why not use one of those pictures? Oh wait, we know! Because 11,000 doesn’t have the dramatic impact of 1,000.
But then, sometime around 9:00 this morning, ESPN.com removed the picture from 2004 and replaced it with highlights of the Rays playing in Milwaukee, which seems logical for a story on Rays attendance. Guess they couldn’t find any dramatic pics from those “11,000 gates” Bertman spoke of.
Rob King, the head of ESPN.com’s digital media, then issued an
apology our bad:
As you suggest, we could/should have selected a more current photo. Our bad. Photo was updated.
Still, the pic from the 2008 Rays practice on ESPN.com’s main MLB page would remain up for at least two more hours before being replaced, which seemed strange. At least the 2004 pic was from, you know, a game.
Later in the day, Bertman broke the Four Letter’s rule of not going on non-ESPN radio shows, when he made a very contentious appearance on WDAE 620 with Steve Duemig. You can listen to the interview here.
Finally, Bertman will be a guest on todays “Baseball Today” podcast with Mark Simon. Simon is a part-time Rays fan (he grew up a Mets fan, and quite frankly nobody can blame him for at least dividing his attention these days), so this topic is certain to come up.