I want to preface this with a word on accuracy and insight.
I screw things up all the time. Sometimes I post things too quickly. Sometimes I don’t check my facts. It’s rare, but it happens.
So I understand that writers can’t be perfect. But when you’re Ken Rosenthal, you are paid by Fox Sports to be held to a higher standard. A much higher standard.
And in his efforts to drop some insight into the Chicago Cubs’ bench situation, Rosenthal instead dropped the ball. Hard.
The Cubs had considered signing a right-handed hitting infielder earlier in the offseason, but for now they’re content with their four bench players — infielders Aaron Miles and Mike Fontenot and outfielders Micah Hoffpauir and Joey Gathright. Like the Yankees, they would be vulnerable if they lost their third baseman for any length of time. Miles and Fontenot are the backups to Aramis Ramirez .FOX Sports on MSN.
It’s as though Rosenthal was trying to cram as many screw ups into one paragraph as he could.
First of all, the Cubs are not going to carry just four bench players. They’ll have five. And even that leaves them with a shorter bench than teams that manage to carry only 11 pitchers.
Second, Ken, you only named three bench players not four. Yes, you mentioned four names, but for two of them – Fontenot and Miles – one is the starting second baseman.
Third, Lou Piniella has as recently as this week stated the Cubs are still looking for another infielder on the bench.
Fourth, either Reed Johnson or Kosuke Fukudome is part of the bench. Where are they?
Fifth, Micah Hoffpauir and Joey Gathright are not yet locks to make the team.
Thus, you have incorrectly stated that the Cubs will have four bench players (five), incorrectly stated that Fontenot and Miles are a part of that bench (one is), omitted an obvious part of the bench, assumed Micah Hoffpauir and Joey Gathright are making the team, and incorrectly concluded – making it sound like you had a source for the insight, which makes it all the more egregious – that the Cubs will not pursue another bench option.
I like Ken Rosenthal, if for no other reason than he breaks a lot of news. But his analysis has never been great, and has always been surface. Believe me, I get that it’s very hard to have an intimate, working knowledge of all 30 MLB teams – especially the 24th and 25th men on the roster. But if it’s not going to happen for you, then don’t try.
You have to consider your audience. If your audience is a broad base, general baseball fan, then they aren’t going to care about the end of the Chicago Cubs’ bench. If your audience is Cubs fans – particularly the kind of Cubs fans who are nerdy interested enough to scour every article on the ‘net for tiny morsels of Cubs news – then you just can’t make these kinds of mistakes.