The Geoff Baker Rigidity Awards

As I wrote this morning, the Jerod Morris/Raul Ibanez incident has made me realize that yes, taking writers to task for making irresponsible, evidence-free steroid allegations is a worthy endeavor. We simply can’t tolerate it, and we should do everything we can to put a stop to it. That’s why, as a continuing service, I will be highlighting similar egregious examples of writers who have leveled the worst, most damaging kind of innuendo a player can suffer.

Except unlike everyone who got bent out of shape over Morris, I’m going to include Genuine Professional Journalists in the public shaming.

I’m calling this feature the Geoff Baker Rigidity Award, after the Seattle Times intrepid writer who noted this morning that the people who hurl this kind of baseless innuendo wouldn’t have passed the “very rigid course” he taught at Concordia University. If you read that piece, you realize that Baker is not a man to be trifled with. People’s lives are on the goddamn line when he’s out in the field, so anyone who wins this award should (a) consider themselves TOLD; and (b) should thank Geoff Baker for saving them from themselves before they go and get someone killed or something.

First up, courtesy of reader Andy H., comes the man who may very well be the highest paid sports journalist out there, which by definition makes him a professional. It’s Rick Reilly who, after retroactively stripping Barry Bonds of his 2004 MVP, goes on to disqualify second place finisher Adrian Beltre from eligibility as well:

We’re throwing out Beltre since, while he denies ever using PEDs, he fell off the face of the planet once baseball put in stricter steroid suspensions in 2005. If he wasn’t cheating, I’m the Queen Mother.

So come on down Rick Reilly and accept the inaugural Geoff Baker Rigidity Award! Because you’ll no doubt be busy getting creamed on national television and raked over the coals in print for the next few days due to your irresponsible allegations, I’ll agree not to make you come here in person to accept it, even if that means you won’t have to look me in the eye.

Got a nominee for the Geoff Baker Rigidity Awards? By all means, my good friends, send it along.*

*Selena Roberts not eligible, as she will soon be receiving a lifetime achievement award.


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bigcatasroma
Guest
bigcatasroma

CC,

I don’t have a specific name, but what about anyone who ever hinted that Sammy Sosa juiced?  Maybe the first one to do so – it had to be that knucklehead Marriotti right?  I never knew why he was thrown onto the fire. 

More to that, Marriotti and the rest of the moral highnesses of ATH – Platschke especially – I can’t stand that dude – have thrown out more names of “cheaters” than Clemente from right field.  Where’s the credibility of “reporters” on shows like that?

Bryan Berry
Guest
Bryan Berry

IIRC, the first person to hint that Sosa juiced was none other than Rick Reilly himself, who challenged him at his locker to take a urine test.

kendynamo
Guest
kendynamo

id also like to give rick reilly the garfield award for not being the the slightest bit entertaining since i was in the second grade.

Aaron Moreno
Guest
Aaron Moreno

I think it was Whitlock a few years back who said Babe Ruth must have been black or mixed-race. It didn’t seem like parody at the time.

Tim Kelly
Guest
Tim Kelly

kendynamo – Fantastic work, touch ‘em all…

Bryan Berry – You recall correctly IIRC…

Bob Timmermann
Guest
Bob Timmermann

So can I consider Geoff Baker less than perfect because he misspelled Jayson Blair’s name in his piece?

Not fact checking the spelling of that name could be considered ironic. Or perhaps just weird. Or funny. I’m not sure.

Michael
Guest
Michael

@bigcatasroma – that was Craig’s point in his NBC article.

Craig, always remember that Rick Reilly hates baseball in the first place, which adds an additional bias to his fact-free claims.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Firstly, does Reily know that the Queen Mother is dead and has been for a few years? So if that’s who he want’s to be, it’s okay with me.

Secondly, can Congress as a whole be nominated for thinking they had a reason to be involved in this while other somewhat trivial issues like governing the country weren’t being taken of?

I mean, they were so bothered by it that they took time off from voting themselves retroactive pay raises for whatever it is they actually do.

SteakDinnerBoom
Guest
SteakDinnerBoom

This has been a discussion topic on the radio here lately in Chicago because of the Sosa retirement. The one thing to remember is that if this is being tied to Hall of Fame voting, its not a court of law innocent until proven guilty mindset. This is the court of public opinion and you can have suspicion without proof.

Craig Calcaterra
Guest
Craig Calcaterra

But the problem, Steak, is that neither Baker nor anyone who has spent the last couple of days excoriating the Ibanez blogger has allowed for that possibility. He is an irresponsible basement dwelling blogger for voicing suspicion without proof, to the point where he was worthy of being shouted down by Ken Rosenthal on TV about it yesterday.

If they’re going to apply that standard to bloggers, they need to apply that standard to professional journalists too, and they have never, ever done that.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Just to be a bit of a nitpicker since we’re talking about ‘rigidity’ and so forth.  He actually taught at Concordia University in Montreal.  University and College have different meanings here in Canada.  Also…wouldn’t want people getting it confused with the institutions named ‘Concordia College’ throughout the world raspberry.

Not trying to take away from the overall point of the article.  Just saying is all.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Yes, Craig, lost in this is the fact that the problem with the Ibanez “story” isn’t the blogger at all – listen, there are 10,000 people blogging on baseball out there, some with pretty wacko theories. The “legitimate” reporters and news services chose to distribute this “story.”

Conflict sells. Editors everywhere urge their reporters to “find the conflict in the story. Maybe it was a silly accusation, but the “legit” media was much more irresponsible for giving it legs.

J.W.
Guest
J.W.
“I give the blogger—I won’t mention his name because I’m reluctant to give him his 15 minutes—credit for going on with Rosenthal. If it was me on the air instead of Rosenthal, I would have torn the blogger to shreds in much the same way. Maybe even worse. I know Rosenthal and spoke to him at the ballpark yesterday after his ESPN appearance with said blogger. When you go on TV and radio a lot, you learn how to destroy people like the inexperienced blogger on-air. It was like that Korean dude pounding on Jose Canseco in Japan the other… Read more »
Jacob
Guest
Jacob

Is anyone else amused that Baker writes the “Mariners Blog” for the Seattle Times?

devil_fingers
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devil_fingers
Ken Rosenthal: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9573384/Hall-of-Fame:-Some-tough-calls-must-be-made “Mark McGwire, the first test case of the Steroid Era, failed to receive more than 23.6 percent of the required 75 percent of the vote in his first three years on the ballot. Maybe McGwire will never approach that figure; I do not vote for him, believing his candidacy is based on power and that his power was artificial to some unknown degree.” ‘believing… His power was artificial to smoe unknown degree.’ That’s not only a baseless admission, it’s a weridly admittedly baseless admission. Unless he means andro, which not only wasn’t banned in baseball at the… Read more »
SteveG
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SteveG

Good thing Morris isn’t a journalist or else he might lose his license. Oh wait…

Hopefully he has learned his lesson and will stick to trying to sell us beer or athlete’s foot remedy like true professional sports journalists do.

mkd
Guest
mkd

Baker is an ass. He spent most of the winter peddling bullshit Ichiro-is-the-problem stories to explain why the Mariners lost 100 games last year. The guy is a menace to reason.

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

How is what this blogger did any different from what the “MSM” did to Bonds before news of his positive tests came out?

How about accusations for Brady Anderson?  Bret Boone?  What have they ever done except post career years?

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

Does Jim Palmer count?  How is this logic any different?
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1760890

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

Bob Nightengale, and I’m done posting

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/bbw/2002-06-05/majors.htm

Capper
Guest
Capper
Nice trash piece……… Seriously people, the “attack journalism” is tired….let it die! Write about interesting, entertaining, informative material that make people want to read your work in the future. The blogosphere has turned into nothing more than high school cliques, with the kids who think they are cool picking on everyone else…….Its simple, don’t point out people you have issues with, or feel superior to……why draw more attention to them….if they are wrong, or just idiots, people will figure that out on their own and stop reading their work. This type of article has really turned me and several others… Read more »
Angelos
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Angelos

{stands}

{applauds}

BRAVO!

Seattle Zen
Guest
Seattle Zen

Craig:

You write:“the Jerod Morris/Raul Ibanez incident has made me realize that yes, taking writers to task for making irresponsible, evidence-free steroid allegations is a worthy endeavor.”

Yet just yesterday you bring attention to a blog that does just that – “Tennis has a Steroid Problem”.

Should you not have taken him to task? His “evidence” are photos of muscles. Pathetic. How about a little consistency?

Jake
Guest
Jake

how the Hell did Rick Reilly get to be the highest-paid sportswriter in America?

this isn’t even as bad as Barry Zito being the highest-paid pitcher of all time.  This would be like Mariah Carey signing a contract to be the highest-paid pitcher of all time.

Craig Calcaterra
Guest
Craig Calcaterra

Zen—fair enough, though to be clear, I wasn’t endorsing the tennis guy’s allegations. Some things, even if we disapprove, are worth linking on a “hey, look at that” basis.

lisa gray
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lisa gray

smile

easy to shred some dude in his momma basement. too bad dude didn’t throw back some of rosenthal’s own “speculations” back at him

Jester's Dad
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Jester's Dad
Good points Devil Fingers, and props to CC for shining a light on MSM’s “baseless accusations”.  As a somewhat frequent listener of sports radio and podcasts, it seems as though print journalists have a strong preference for slander over libel. It’s one thing to suggest something on the air, it’s another thing to put it in writing.  Call my crazy, but I don’t see the distinction in world where everything is available in a digital format. At this point, it’s hard to see rants like Rosenthal’s as anything more than self preservation, and it’s hard to blame him.  Discredit the… Read more »
Michael
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Michael

SeattleZen: Craig was MAKING FUN of the tennis-steroid site. Smart people don’t have to rant to get their point across. smile

Will Young
Guest
Will Young

In a completely different vein from the PED allegations, Jim Souhan, of the Minneapolis Star Tribune once suggested that Joe Mauer completely invented an injury:

“In spring training [Mauer] caused a scare with what was termed a ‘stress reaction.’ I’ve spoken with trainers in other sports who have told me there is no such thing.”

Column here: http://www.startribune.com/sports/11700641.html

Kent Williams
Guest
Kent Williams
Craig: Please don’t quote me as anything but “someone who has spent a lot of time in the Blue Jays press box.” (I’m the founder of Batter’s Box and was probably the first blogger to get daily press passes, though they refrained from giving me a season credential and photo ID.) Baker is more of a narcissist than any of the players he covers. Others on the beat used to joke that the only items on the walls of his apartment were framed photos of himself. And mirrors. All Geoff cares about when writing any article is increasing his own… Read more »
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