Mike Cormack, over at Sportsnet.ca, has a story up about the changing relationship between the Jays and those of us that blog about them, and he quotes Andrew Stoeten from Drunk Jay Fans, Ian from Blue Jay Hunter and your humble host on the subject.
The Jays seem to be trying to be a little friendlier with us bloggers. I think it is a good thing, not that I want to be invited to the clubhouse or to sit in the press box. I'd like to keep a little distance from the players. I don't really want to know that certain players are great guys or that others punch cats in their spare time. I don't want their personalities to cloud my view. I don't want to be saying stupid things, like suggesting a player would make the team 10 games better because of how great he was in the clubhouse. I don't want to an amateur psychologist, trying to figure out if the players' personalities mesh. I don't care about that stuff, I care about what they do on the field.
And I wouldn't want to be writing pieces about their home life. How great they are to their kids/mothers/dogs. It doesn't interest me and the mainstream guys do those well. Nor do I care about writing about Josh Hamilton being at a bar. It isn't my concern and I wouldn't want to be writing about it. A lot of it seems like piling on or taking too much joy in someone else's troubles.
But then there are things I would like. I'd like the team to understand I'm not the enemy. We do a service for the team and I'd like them to understand that. I'd like to be included in press conferences and phone conferences. Right now, it is a bit hit and miss, sometimes they invite us to things, sometimes they don't. It would be nice if it were more consistent. I'd like them to occasionally make a front office person available for interview to us.
One thing they might try is,if they don't want us bloggers asking questions during press conferences, maybe they could do the odd phone chat for just bloggers. Let a handful of us bloggers ask questions of Alex or Tony LaCava or even Paul Beeston for that matter. Sure we might ask the odd dumb question, but I doubt we'll be worse than the mainstream guys.
It is nice that the Jays are giving bloggers some of their time now. I've joked before about trying to explain to the Jays PR folks who we are and what we do. Now, I know they know us, they ask us about our numbers and how we are doing. It is a step forward.
I know it is tough for the Jays to have to do the research on which blogs are worth their time and which ones aren't. And I know the easiest way for the PR people to get into trouble is by giving me some access and then watching me abuse it. All I can do is try to show that I'm an ok guy, that I'll be fair, that I won't rip the team just for the sake of it.