April 5, 2008
BLOG OF SILENCE
By Laurie Sun
. Phil Hughes
. Pat Neshek
. These are baseball players who have taken up blogging in the last year as a supplement to their traditional dealings with the press. But now Jimmy Scott, at times over the past 20 years considered one of the all-time greatest pitchers ever to take the field, is taking his blogging one step further.
"It is with a heavy, angry, and somewhat curious heart that I make an announcement this morning. No, I am not running for president. My announcement is this: Starting today, I will no longer speak directly with the media."
The reasons Scott gives in his 1,999 word blog post for no longer speaking to the media include poor treatment, in the Scott family’s view, of Vanessa Scott by the media, as well as various issues Jimmy’s two daughters had with a pair of anonymous players at a recent charity function in New York City.
“I am doing this because I've had enough. I turn 40 on April 12. I think I'm going through a latent maturity period. We're little boys, the ballplayers you see on TV or the summer ballfield. We get paid insane amounts of money to play a game. Yes, it's a multi-billion dollar business. But for us, it's still the game we played in our backyards when we were boys. We get toys. We get little discipline. We get to yell and swear and use words in the locker room that would kill a presidential bid before the words 'I'm running for president' were even written down. We get to fight. We get to meet women. Lots of them. We get to drink and carouse. We get first class treatment. Bottom line is, we get what we want.
“I'm sick of it.”
More athletes are blogging on their own, but few have done it with the brutal honesty of Jimmy Scott. Readers had a first-hand account of his off-season contract dispute with New York, as well as actual quotes from run-ins he’s had with manager Rick Churches
. He documented daily of his triumph over depression and lethargy after last year’s Tommy John surgery and proved to be an inspiration to Barack Obama during the primaries last February. “We need more Jimmy Scotts,” he said. “Put them all in Washington and then we’ll really make a difference.”
But now that Scott is refusing to speak on camera or the record to the media, he is, in effect, declaring war on the way his sport has been covered over the last 100 years.
He wrote yesterday, “I've been misquoted for 20 years. Or my comments have been misconstrued. I've continuously had my comments taken out of context and wrapped around the agenda of the columnist or beat reporter. Yes, these people work hard and try to do their best. But the media has hurt my wife. They've caught me in a bad mood. I'm not going to address them directly starting today. If they want me, they can read all that I have to say here.”
Needless to say, we’ll be reading, along with the entire sports world.