BASEBALL BIGWIGS BECOMING BELIEVERS OF BLOGGERS: SEATTLE WEEKLY presents yet one more example of how sports bloggers are getting taken more seriously in the pro sports community:
Last June, Seattle baseball fan Dave Cameron wrote in his U.S.S. MARINER blog an open letter to Mariner pitching coach Rafael Chaves. In the post, Cameron advised Chaves to let 21-year-old phenom Felix Hernandez throw more breaking balls in the early innings.
A few days later, Hernandez gave up no runs and only two hits after eight innings of work in a victory over the Oakland A’s. After the game, ‘King Felix’ recognized the online help he was given: “On the Internet, they say when I throw a lot of fastballs in the first inning, they score a lot of runs. I tried to mix all my pitches in the first inning.”
But it wasn’t just a stab-in-the-dark suggestion by Cameron. Months of analysis and a detailed explanation in his blog seemed to convince Chaves that he wasn’t just reading the ramblings of a loudmouth bleacher bum guzzling down his sixth $8 beer.
Geoff Baker, Mariners beat writer for the SEATTLE TIMES, sees a bright future for the sports blogosphere.
“I think [blogs] will be read by players, the front office, and coaches. I think they’ll be paying a lot more attention than they were, say, two years ago.”
But not all baseball bigwigs see the value of fan-based blogs. Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa thinks twice about getting advice from fans’ web pages.
“If that’s true, then the [Mariners] pitching coach isn’t doing his job. I think blogs are things that are fun, and I love that people are interested in the game. But I don’t take ‘em seriously.”
Yeah, La Russa didn’t need any internet help in leading his squad to their current 50-54 record.