Jesus Ortiz Has a Job to Do

Now, example number 1,637 for why Jesus Ortiz is a lousy journalist -- and I can't believe that I glossed over this earlier.

As I stated in my last post, Ortiz wrote that he's changed his mind about Barry Bonds, and that he's going to vote for Bonds to go into the Hall of Fame. The fun part is this little quote: "This post is about Barry Bonds. I'm writing it because I'm tired of media folks whining about Bonds ruining the sport when we all knew some of the greatest stars - including some Astros - were doing things that weren't exactly legal but yet not banned from baseball. It appears that Bonds is being punished because we in the media weren't able to uncover what was happening under our noses, literally." (emphasis mine).

You see, this is the heart of being a beat writer. You report on the team. You give the fans and readers information on the team. If the team's going good, you tell us why -- Oswalt's got a different grip, Berkman worked on his stance, etc. -- and if the team's going bad, you tell us why -- Lidge has a different grip, Everett's got a new stance, etc. Also, if there's a guy doing drugs, we should know this.

This has long been a problem in Houston sports. Warren Moon was the greatest guy in the world until he left the Oilers, then the stories of his cheating on his wife hit the news. (An aside, there was a guy I knew in law school who used to win lots of money betting on the Oilers. I asked his secret: he used to hang out Rick's. He'd see Moon there on Saturday nights before a game. If Moon was still there at closing time, he figured Moon would be a bit out of it come game time on Sunday, so he'd call his bookie and bet against the Oilers.)

If there was some guy on the Astros doing steroids, and if Ortiz knows this, then Ortiz should tell us. There's been rumors about Astros players for years -- Bagwell's name came up a lot, and Clemens and Pettitte were named in an affidavit last year as steroid users.

But, primarily, Jesus, if you're going to drop a little bomb like this, then back it up. Name the names. That's what a journalist is supposed to do. It's what those guy with the San Francisco Chronicle did. They did some reporting and named names. You just do innuendo.

And I've got to make this the obvious point: in your post, you say that "we all knew" players were doing illegal things, yet you end the quote by saying that Bonds is being punished because the media wasn't able to uncover what was happening under their noses.

If you knew players were doing illegal things, then it wasn't undercover. There was nothing for you to uncover because you'd already uncovered it. You might not have reported it, but you've said that you knew it. The media may be punishing Bonds, but it's not because the media couldn't uncover what was going on, it was because the media failed to report what was going on.

Just like with Ortiz's post. He knows what's going on. He just won't tell us.

And that's why Ortiz is a bad reporter. Because a reporter's supposed to report, supposed to tell us what's going on. And he doesn't. -- John Royal

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