Thursday, June 11, 2009

Raul Ibanez, Jerod Morris And Cynicism

I liked Joe Posnanski's take on this Raul Ibanez story. As usual, Joe is thoughtful and measured and earnest (even owning up to a bit of a bias for Ibanez).

Jerod Morris has also been somewhat unfairly turned into something bigger than the situation; aside from the statistical issues that Joe points out Jerod missed, Morris did a fair job.

What's ironic is that it is obvious that Jerod wasn't just trying to get exposure for himself or his blog -- compare this to Rick Reilly showily demanding that Sammy Sosa pee in a cup.

The larger story isn't Ibanez's justifiably strong reaction. Or the tired mainstream-vs-blogger thing.

The larger story is skepticism -- or, more accurately, cynicism -- that pervades baseball these days, from media to fans.

There is good reason for the skepticism -- or even the cynicism, as unfortunate as that is. It feels like "Hmph: Must be juicing" is attached to any player having a decent season.

It isn't limited to bloggers opining -- it happens in traditional media all the time. I am actually surprised that it doesn't happen more regularly.

The fact that people feel like it's a necessary point is pretty sad. Although I see it as a defense mechanism: Who wants to take performances at face value now and feel like a rube later?

Being cynical is easier. Pre-emptively protecting yourself from being hurt, as a fan, is easier. It is hard to know when this era will end.

But cynicism from fans and media alike is, by far, the most damaging byproduct of baseball's Steroid Era.

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Let's give AJ the final word.

No, wait: I liked Rob Neyer's take, too.

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