OTC: If The Media Covered The Media Like They Cover Athletes, Oh What A Different World This Would Be

“Randy Covitz could’ve used a different approach, asking Moustakas if he was ready, but there was a time when younger players understood they had to earn veteran status that comes with service time.”
Dave Stewart, Metro Sports anchor, in Comments section of the Randy Covitz OTC
GH: Stewart took the time to post his comments regarding the discussion about Danny Parkins’ portrayal of what went on in the Royals locker room between Moustakas and Covitz – and all the opinions that many of us have offered on the topic. His comments were so pointed I wanted to highlight them in a column and disagree with them one by one. What are friends for? Read on.

“I like Moustakas’ game a lot, he seems like a good kid, but he might wanna settle down before challenging a respected writer who will most likely outlast almost every other media member in the clubhouse that night, or tomorrow night, or the night after that.”
Dave Stewart, Metro Sports anchor, in Comments section of the Randy Covitz OTC
GH: Why should Moustakas’ age be a negative in this scenario and Covitz’s age an excuse? Moustakas is a big league ball player who had just showered and deserved some time to dress before being approached. Covitz fumbled his opportunity to interview Moose not once but twice. It’s not an age thing. It’s a respect thing. And the person guilty of showing little or no respect was Covitz.

“There was a time when most guys were comfortable doing interviews with a towel over their shoulders and around the middle. There was also a two-way respect factor, understanding when a guy was available, ‘good to go’.”
Dave Stewart, Metro Sports anchor, in Comments section of the Randy Covitz OTC
GH: Stewart sounded like just another old media guy wishing it was still 1985. It ain’t. Get over it. The media’s job is to get the interview. Whether or not the athlete or coach is an ass is immaterial to your audience. Covitz’s readers suffered because he was too clumsy and impatient to do his job well. 

“Tony Gonzalez, late ’90′s, was legendary for having to be completely groomed before he’d speak after a game. His rule, we accepted it, and dealt with it. Marcus Allen wouldn’t do an interview after practice till he was showered with every hair in place which meant he rarely did mid-week interviews. I figured there was a trap door in the shower. He never returned.”
Dave Stewart, Metro Sports anchor, in Comments section of the Randy Covitz OTC
GH: The media loves to paint athletes as prima donnas who make their job difficult. How about looking at this from Tony Gonzalez’s side or Marcus Allen’s side? Stewart and his camera guy are waiting to shoot video of him in the locker room and they will control every aspect of that video. The lighting, the sound quality, the snippets they choose to air and those they choose not to air. So why wouldn’t they be concerned about how they look on camera? Why would they be eager to grant an interview where they have zero control over the content? When I post a column criticizing Covitz for his actions in the workplace, some members of the media are quick to defend him. But I rarely here from the media who things athletes or coaches are unfairly critiqued by the media. 

“As for baseball writers being irrelevant, that statement couldn’t be more wrong. They remain a powerful media force. The writers alone will dominate the main press box at the 83rd All-Star Game with the traditional electronic media in makeshift press areas down the line. It may be like what we had in Toronto, 1985, for the ALCS which is why we snuck into the unlocked suites, high above left field.”
Dave Stewart, Metro Sports anchor, in Comments section of the Randy Covitz OTC
GH: Baseball writers are relevant in their own circle of other baseball writers. Where they sit at the All-Star game means nothing to their relevance in the media or to baseball’s audience. Is there any industry outside the media who overvalues their incestuous awards more than writers and broadcasters?

“There’s something to be said for longevity and like it or not, Randy has that going for him. Winning the Joe McGuff Journalist of the Year Award is a rare thing and an honor he deserved.”
Dave Stewart, Metro Sports anchor, in Comments section of the Randy Covitz OTC
GH: Longevity is not a reason to hand out an award. The media has never understood that premise. It’s the quality of work you do, not the length of time you are allowed to do it. If the media covered the media like they do athletes, oh what a different world this would be. 

“The 50,000-seat stadiums should all get together and then let the 80,000-seat stadiums butt heads against each other.”
Soren Petro, on how college football should reconfigure the schools so that the like-size stadium schools play each other, 810 AM
GH: Petro had this conversation with Blair Kerkhoff and I can’t tell you how much I wish college football would adapt this premise. There is nothing more aggravating in the sport than the big schools scheduling patsy to pad their win total and force their loyal fans to overpay for crap football.

“When you go to a football game, there really can’t be any more than 50,000 good seats at a football game. I’ve never understood this argument that our stadium is this size. It really doesn’t matter.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Isn’t it interesting how the perspective of what is the “correct” number of seats in a football stadium depends on how many seats are in your school’s stadium? When I go to North Kansas City’s high school stadium, I quickly determine which are the bad seats and which are not – and that place can’t seat more than 2,000. It’s not the number of seats, Kev, it’s the number of dollars.

“If you watch enough Little League Baseball, you can actually spot what a big leaguer is doing wrong.”
Kevin Kietzman, who was discussing Eric Hosmer’s early-season slump, 810 AM
GH: I am beginning to believe that the Smoke and Fire on KK’s show might be the most informative segment he does all week. 

“If you can win in Manhattan, clearly you can win anywhere.”
Scott Van Pelt, on Frank Martin’s move to South Carolina, ESPN
GH: Van Pelt needs to add Manhattan to his hoops travels. There are a LOT of gyms easier to win at than the Purple Octagon. 

“Myers will hit if he’s in Omaha too long…. But won’t if they push him too fast. That being said, I think he will be up sooner than later.”
Soren Petro, @theprogramkc, Twitter
GH: How can you push a baseball player “too fast?” This isn’t deep sea diving. It’s baseball! A simple game made ridiculously complex by an industry that refuses to see itself for what it is – incredibly inept at their chosen professions. Why do you think there are 50 rounds in the MLB draft when there are only 25 roster spots on each team? The NBA has TWO rounds for 13 roster positions. The NFL has seven rounds for a 53-man roster. Why does MLB need 50 rounds? Because they have absolutely no idea what they hell they are doing. None. When a prospect does become a star, I chalk it up more to blind luck than any expertise. 

and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

40 Responses to OTC: If The Media Covered The Media Like They Cover Athletes, Oh What A Different World This Would Be

  1. KK is an idiot says:

    I stopped listening to KK a year ago. He hates the college team I support so I stopped listening. Maybe the Smoke & Fire segment is about smoking the weed KK.

  2. Ryan says:

    Mlb has decreased to 40 rounds.

  3. The Word says:

    The Greg Hall tradition of bashing people in the media more successful them you.

    • MUC says:

      It is not about someone being more successful. It is about having some sort of accountability. These guys think they can get on the radio and just throw a bunch of crap against the wall and see what sticks. Greg just has the ability to do what some of us always wanted to do. Call them out. If you don’t like what he is doing why the hell are you reading it?

      • The Word says:

        I like the rants of a “possibly deluded individual.”

        http://deadspin.com/5592824/the-mysterious-trouble-with-jason-whitlock

      • Taxee says:

        This! Wouldn’t it be cool if these guys consistent bad predictions of games, drafts, etc., resulted in them being “demoted” to a sports station in Fargo, Duluth, Laredo, etc?

        • The Word says:

          They do largely get demoted. Ask Greg, there’s a reason why he’s a media critic and not a member of the media.

          He wasn’t very good at it. So he got demoted and he no longer in the media.

  4. Pablo_Montenegro says:

    Nice column as usual, but way offbase on the MLB draft VS other leagues. True, NFL has 53 spots and NBA 13, but MLB has many more than that. There’s no minor league that the NFL or NBA are drafting for. MLB has a couple of A teams, a AA team & AAA, not to mention major league. So, there’s many more roster spots to fill in MLB than any of the other sports.

  5. Merle Tagladucci says:

    I’m glad Doug Stewart is on vacation and not around to see his dad getting put on front street like this.

  6. Smartman says:

    Could not disagree more. Moose was acting like a diva and Covitz, perhaps, a bit cranky. In the RESPECT category age trumps success. Maybe some day, your kids will tell you to go fuck yourself Greg instead of saying, that’s great advice dad, I’ll give that some consideration. I have made an offering to a voodoo doctor in Haiti, recommended by Sean Penn, Moose is in deep shit.

    • SquirrelMan says:

      I don’t see how Moose wanting to get dressed before answering questions is acting like a diva. The other media members were waiting for him to dress, why couldn’t Covitz do the same thing?

      Being older does not automatically deserve respect. I will respect anyone, regardless of age, until they give me a reason not to.

  7. miket. says:

    smartman… i second your offering.

  8. Herb says:

    Some of you act like a bunch of Randy Covitzes.

  9. The Fake Ned says:

    My biggest issue with some folks I’ve met in the media is the egos. The reasons that Greg’s blog is so popular (and mine, to whatever degree) is that there is an elitist attitude among many. Knock those guys folks down a peg.

    Clear example with the Moustakas event that some of these guys think there’s an expectation that is frankly silly. You can wait 10 minutes for an interview. Whether you’re a writer or not.

    At the end of the day, being a writer is no different than being a blogger, or a ditch digger or a software guy. We’re all just pricks trying to get through the day. Let the man put his pants on for God sakes.

    • Smartman says:

      Let’s reframe the situation. Maybe if Randy said, ” Hey, Moose, I’ve got ten minutes if you wanna make the print edition.”. Clearly, communication could have been better between the two.

      Secondly, the Royals PR staff should make sure the players know the cutoff times for the print guys and demand that the players be mindful and respectful of that. It’s not like they are dodging live fire, mortar rounds and IED’s in Afghanistan. They play baseball, and not very well.

      I agree that respect is earned and not given, but I always defer to an elder until they give me more than sufficient reason not to.

      • Mikey V says:

        Let’s also not forget that print is pretty much dead. The guy just wanted to take a few minutes after the damn game. BIG DEAL!!!

  10. omar epps says:

    Covitz has this old school mentality that he needs to hurry back so he can scratch out 18 inches of a gamer so it can make the second deadline. Problem is, no one is reading a “gamer” no matter when it comes out.
    It’s simply a transition in what people are reading. No longer do people need to wait until the next morning or even the 10 p.m news to find out if the Royals won.
    And before we start blowing people who win the Joe McGuff award, they gave that to Jack Harry for God’s sake.

  11. Joe Blow says:

    Quotes from the players really are overrated, to begin with, since they never really say anything. But Moustakas has always seemed to have that diva attitude. I remember the story in the Star from last year about how, when a teammate in the low minor leagues complained about a coaches decision, Moustakas grabbed him and threw him up against the wall. This was supposed to show his “leadership”, but to me showed him to feel entitlement well beyond what he had earned. Not everyone was a #2 pick, a multi-million dollar bonus baby, and in the ultra-competitive minor leagues, not every player has a step up on the competition just because of where they were drafted. So if that player privately felt the coaches were hurting his chances, it’s his right to do so.

    As long as things are going well, Moustakas may feel like he can be the big man on campus he’s always been up to this point and fuck with other people just because he can, and it will be tolerated. Just wait until things aren’t going as well, or some younger player is pushing him out of a job and no one really wants quotes from him anymore, and see if he still thinks it’s funny to treat people like shit..

  12. shecky says:

    After reading OTC for several years, it’s clear that the only thing Greg knows less about than good radio is the best way to develop young talent.

    Did he really just write “When a prospect does become a star, I chalk it up more to blind luck than any expertise”? I’m sure in Hall’s screwed-up mind, the only reason he wasn’t successfull in sports media was bad luck.

  13. Joe says:

    Is the Covitz v. Moose story the only sports topic worth discussing in KC right now? Pathetic. JH

  14. Larry Mondello says:

    Simple question….would pretty boy Dave Stewart do a live Metro Sports sportcast from his bathroom in a towel or just after waking up? Hell no!!! Back off and let the athletes take their time. Half of the athletes are pricks because media types aggravate the hell out of them. I am with Moose on this one.

  15. Blackjack says:

    Jeez Greg, someone piss in your cornflakes this morning? Is there anything anyone in the media says anymore that you agree with?

    KK’s show lasts 4 hours. Petro’s show lasts 4 hours. Listen long enough and you are bound to hear something said that is disagreeable, or downright silly. It is easy to sit back and cherry-pick the questionable media quotes. Everyone says dumb stuff in their lives every day.

    • marge says:

      I agree 100%. It is very easy for Greg Hall or anybody commenting to moan and complain about the sports talk guys. They aren’t going to talk about things that all people want to hear about all the time. If you don’t like what is being discussed, turn the channel!

  16. Ron says:

    The source of this big news story is Danny Parkins. Greg believes this story is a good example of a good job by Parkins by tellling it to his audience. It sounds to me like a non-story. Covitz is on a deadline. Petro, Parkins, Bukaty and all bloggers in the world are not on a deadline. Parkins has all night. So does Soren and Bukaty. They don’t give a whoop if Moustakis eats a five course meal and takes a crap before he speaks to the media. Covitz doesn’t have that luxury. Greg thinks print media deadlines are irrelevant. They are not to the print media or those who still get their newspapers in the driveway every morning. Covitz can’t stand around with his thumb up his butt al night like Petro, Parkins and Bukaty. I’m not sure why Greg can’t understand this. But, it sure does show he’s got an axe to grind with the Covitz for some reason. Covitz did nothing wrong by being exasperated because he couldn’t get a quote or two in time from Moustakis. The fact that Parkins and Greg both think this is an example of a prima dona reporter tells everyone a lot about their maturity and judgment, or lack thereof.

  17. Splitlog Quindaro says:

    Times have changed enough to where we do not allow smoking in bars but we allow reporters to approach people at their workplace shower while they are getting dressed? I think it is an invasion of privacy. The teams can control the media contact…. It is surprising it does not happen more.

    • Joe Blow says:

      You’d be surprised how many baseball players don’t give a shit about conducting an interview completely nude. Some of them actually seem to prefer it..

  18. John Landsberg says:

    http://www.bottomlinecom.com/covitz-moustakas-much-ado-about-nothing/

    • B says:

      “It’s funny that those most critical with my “clumsy” approach in deadline settings have never walked in my shoes.”

      How is that any different from Covitz criticizing Yost or any of the Royals players? Randy has a caught a bit of the Jack Harry hypocrisy disease.

  19. PucKChaser says:

    Stewart mentions Allen wanting to be completely dressed and groomed. Greg Hill – opposite- more like Lady Godiva. Come to think of it – pass blocked like her, too.

  20. Scott Simon says:

    Why would actualities mean anything to a radio hack? They’re just going to spout their opinion later so why are they wasting the time? Jock sniffing?

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