This is a problem.
You may notice that the above link takes you to Shannon Drayer’s blog at MyNorthwest.com. Shannon, as many of you I’m sure know, is the Mariners’ longtime beat writer who is more or less employed by the ballclub itself. Currently, she works for 710 ESPN Seattle, flagship radio station for the Mariners. Prior to this, she was on the payroll at KOMO AM 1000, the M’s flagship from 2003 to 2008.
Go ahead and read that post I’ve linked. Take your time. I’ll be here when you’re done.
Finished? That’s what she said.
If you managed to make your way through that entire Josie Slopez lovefest that Drayer just shouted from the rooftops, go ahead and give yourself a high-five. You’re a trooper! Feel good about it! Get excited! Okay, pull it back a bit. That’s too much excitement.
Now before we all weigh in on the ramifications of Drayer’s absolute lack of objectivity in that column (a function of her job, normally), let me start by saying that I never would have read that article if a friend hadn’t brought it to my attention. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t read MyNorthwest.com. I don’t. I’m not a big fan of the M’s propaganda machine, nor am I that crazy about 710 ESPN. Does that make me a bad person? No. Telling a panhandling bum that I’m worse off than he is because I owe people money while he’s just at zero makes me a bad person.
Here’s the rub. About halfway through Drayer’s article, I realized she was up sh*t creek without a paddle. You know that scene towards the beginning of Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise walks into the company office after sending out his “mission statement” and gets a standing ovation from his coworkers? You know which scene I’m talking about. The one that, two scenes later, culminates in Maguire’s firing at the hands of Jay Mohr, aka Bob Sugar. That scene. I pictured that while reading Misperceptions (the title of Drayer’s post, for the unobservant).
Why did you picture that, you ask? Well that’s a great question. Thank you for inquiring. I pictured that because here were all of Drayer’s real emotions put into written word (just like Maguire’s real emotions put into that “mission statement”) and I could see the backlash forthcoming (just like Maguire’s imminent termination after keeping it real). Now I’m not saying that Drayer is going to lose her job, nor should she. But let’s face it. In the field of journalism, you need to have some objectivity if you’re a true professional (like me…winky emoticon). Drayer had none of that whatsoever in her masterpiece. Everything she did goes against journalistic ethics, and I would hope that whoever presides over Miss Perceptions would step in and say something. Anything. Show signs of life, at the very least.
Here’s what Drayer did wrong.
First, she wrote an article professing her love for a ballplayer she is supposed to be covering in unbiased fashion. You can’t do that. Just cannot. It’s clear that she’s a little too close to the team right now, and that’s a problem.
Second, her reason for defending Jose Lopez can be summed up as follows: I love Jose Lopez, so you should too. That’s her argument. Because Shannon Drayer feels this way, you should feel likewise. Really? You don’t have anything better than that. You’re throwing punches like a drunk Screech Powers.
Third, the entire post from start to finish appears to be written in a huff. There’s a great deal of passion evident behind the words, no denying that. Unfortunately, that passion comes at a cost. Look at the writing. Look at the structure. Look at the punctuation. It’s all over the place. This is a professional journalist who put this together. For God’s sake, the phrase “heads upness” was used. Heads upness. My rich text editor won’t even let me type “upness” without giving me the red underline.
Fourth, Drayer cites a decent column by a well-respected ESPN journalist as being the “final straw” that led her to write this abomination of an article. Can’t help but shake your head at that one.
How. How did this happen? Yes, the wheels have fallen off the Mariners season, we all get that. But you don’t see other local beat writers like Geoff Baker, Larry Stone, or Ryan Divish sacrificing their reputations for blog entries like Drayer’s. There needs to be some accountability. I wouldn’t have published what Drayer wrote on these pages, which is saying something because I’ve published almost everything anyone has ever sent me.
Of course, at the end of the day, this is all the fault of Mariners’ ownership, am I right? They’re the ones letting Drayer get away with this garbage reporting. Chuck Armstrong, Howard Juntao Lincoln. Oh yeah, and our owner, Kirby’s Dreamland. We can just put the onus on them. It’s all your fault! Hell yeah.