What sports fans read, watch, and listen to at home often isn’t the real story coming out of the locker room or the front office. George Castle should know: he’s covered baseball in Chicago for decades and witnessed the widening gulf between the media and the teams they’re supposed to cover—and the resulting widespread misinformation about the inner workings of the game. In this book, Castle chronicles from the inside the decline of baseball reporting and shows in clear and practical terms how ill-served today’s sports followers are by those they trust for the straight story.
Charting the path of a veteran sports reporter’s career, Baseball and the Media traces the changes in baseball coverage from the days of the old-time players and scribes to the no-holds-barred (and no facts checked) sports-talk radio of our time. Along the way, Castle introduces readers to the politics of baseball media (does sports journalism actually have its red and blue states?), documents the transformation of athletes from role models to sports-media celebrities, including emblematic characters such as LaTroy Hawkins and Carl Everett, and illuminates the profound changes in the way sports in general—and baseball in particular—are conveyed to its avid consumers, who are the losers in the end.