12/19/12

Mack Ade – Turning Chatter into a Non-Story

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I should probably move on from this. A friend tweeted me that it’s already old news and any attempt to write about it only extends the knowledge of it anyway. Still, blogs are where things like this belong and I need to get this off my chest for the last time.

We all are familiar with Twitter. It’s the 21st century version of a conversation. Well, it seems that now-Mets prospect, Noah Syndergaard, was having a conversation with a friend and commented about his shoes, saying: “nice crocs fag lol”. It’s the kind of thing anyone his age would say as a joke; however, in this case, it was done over the internet.

Instantly Syndergaard became ‘A Person of Interest’ and someone must have advised him to take the tweet down (which he did). Too late. Nothing ever goes away on the internet and nothing seems to be worth ignoring by Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The online story became so viral that the Mets issued a statement that they “were looking into the matter” and eventually had Syndergaard apologize for his tweet during his first telephone press conference with the local news media (that included Martino).

Was this necessary? Is this news worthy, especially as the opening volley between a beat reporter and a new ballplayer? Comments on the NYDN piece range from: “fag doesn't even mean gay any more for younger people. It's far more closely related to "silly" or "weird" to “I was over it before I even finished the article.”

I come from a different era involving all this. My old school thinking believes that certain topics and incidents should be left on the table and unwritten. No one jumped all over the initial signs on illness when George Steinbrenner began to slide downhill. We were shocked at some of the non-sports related things we heard (and saw) about, but our job was to report the sports news, not tell you who bedded down whom the night before, or comments made in the clubhouse. 

Mark Healey, of MHealeySports, wrote today that the “hammering new kid for a dopey tweet and subsequent kid glove treatment of Wilpons makes NY media look small… be nice if the people who cover the Mets made as a big a deal about $63 OD nosebleed tix as they did about some 20-year old's tweet”.

Did you notice the lack of spelling here? See, this isn’t Associated Press language. It’s a tweet. From Twitter. And it’s public, which Syndergaard now realizes is up for grabs, but making your opening story about his description of a pair of shoes instead of last year’s WHIP is just, well, it’s just… gay.

That’s an expression Andy. That’s all it is. It’s not a story and you certainly are better than this.

I asked Martino why he felt it was necessary to turn this into a story, but he didn’t respond.

To my tweet.

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