I Really Don't Dislike the Times but....

I'm really not trying to pile on the Times but kudos to Rays Index for pointing out the Times snafu the other week (and by snafu I mean a misstep off the side of the Sunshine Skyway level mistake).

Seems the Times withheld last Wednesday's edition from the Rays game. Typically the Times distributes copies of the paper during Rays games. What was so special about last Wednesday's paper? It featured a story on Elijah Dukes threatening his wife. Oh, and did I mention the Times and the Rays have a business relationship which could possibly lead to a conflict of interest for the Times?

Anyway, denials, coverups and further shenanigans ensue so go check out RI for all the info.

EDIT: Tommy at the Sticks was 1st with this story. Wow, I really have been away from the Sticks for awhile if I missed this.

And as long as I'm throwing out love to friends of the BBB I recommend checking out the Fanhome message boards, which is run by John from the knowledgable BoltsMag.


Do the Local Beat Writers Read Blogs?

I have always wondered how much beat writers read the fan blogs of the teams they cover, not so much out of personal vanity (although that plays into it) but out of curiosity. There should be a clear and dividing line between the inksheets and blogs, the inksheets are responsible for reporting the news while blogs express opinion and unsubstantiated rumors, such as the fact that CADILLAC WILLIAMS IS THE ILLIGITIMATE LOVE CHILD OF OJ SIMPSON AND BAT BOY!!!

It appears that Stephen Holder of the St Pete Times reads blogs based on the first paragraph of his latest report from Bucs practice....
We try not to dwell too much on what's happening in practices this time of year because, well, it's May for crying out loud. But for what it's worth, we did get a rare chance to sit on Thursday's workout at Raymond James Stadium and picked up a few tidbits.
I mention this because last week I called out Holder for his lack of reporting regarding Larry Coyer, the new Bucs d-line coach (see below). Additionally, the much more superbly written BucStats had the same complaint of the local inksheets, which amounted to Give Us Coverage or Give Us Death (for the purposes of hyperbole this claim may be exaggerated).

So to recap, Holder is called out for his lack of reportinig by two blogs, to which Holder responds by defending his lack of coverage in the first sentence. But to make this situation all the more entertaining to me Holder actually gives us an interesting report from Bucs practice. So I assume I should apologize to Holder for my rush to judgement, my hat is off for your latest report.

Holder has all kinds of juicy tidbits from practice but to me the juiciest tidbit is that Anthony Davis is starting at left guard while Dan Buenning recovers from injury. For those who have been keeping track Gruden and company drafted a guard early in the second round, Arron Sears, to play the left guard position. I'm not going so far as to criticize Gruden and company for drafting Sears, for now, but what is the point of drafting somebody in the second round if you don't expect them to start?


I paid 35 cents for this?

Perhaps it's just me, but I can't stand the local inksheets coverage of the Bucs. Despite the fact that there are ostensibly three major newspapers which cover the Bucs (Tribune, Times and Orlando Sentinel) all three have relatively little to write about the Bucs. Perhaps I have been spoiled by the Washington Post but the columns put forth by the local inksheets leave a lot to be desired. Exhibit A, this column yesterday by Stephen Holder from the Times.

I was looking forward to this column when the Times dropped the teaser on Friday they would be publishing an inside look at the new defensive line coach, Larry Coyer. Silly me, I assumed it would actually be an inside look at the Buccaneer organization. Instead we were left with ten short paragraphs (which were mostly one sentence long) which told us nothing we did not already know. Just about the only interesting tid bit in the entire column were three shorts sentences at the very end which mention Maurcie Stovall appears to be the anti-Michael Clayton, i.e. Stovall has a work ethic.

By comparison, just look at the first paragrpah from a Washington Post column on the disconnect between Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs and water sprinkler Sean Taylor...
Listen to Joe Gibbs talk about losing "contact" with Sean Taylor and Shawn Springs. "All of a sudden we lost contact," he said of Springs. As for Taylor, "I've had no contact whatsoever." It sounds as though Gibbs is mission control and Taylor and Springs are space modules. Contact is something you make via antenna while transiting Mercury, or looking for compelling evidence of water on Mars. It's not reassuring when the Redskins' coach uses it to describe his relationship with two starters.
Now THAT is an inside look at a franchise. And the thing is the Times should have an easier time getting access to One Buc Place than the Post does to the Skins. For those who unaware of local DC politics, Dan Snyder (owner of the 'Skins) despises the Post ever since the newspaper; 1) criticized the way the team is being run and, 2) ran a story about how Snyder attempted to bribe park officials to allow him to cut down protected trees on his property. Snyder even went so far as to start his own 'Skins radio network to control the information about his team.

Sure, one could always turn to the fanzine Pewter Report for Bucs information, but who wants to pay a $40 subscription fee?

So in the end I am left lacking when it comes to Bucs coverage. Which is a shame because this offseason has the makings of one the more interesting offseasons in recent history. A quarterback battle. A head coach on the hot seat. An influx on new talent on the defense. Even a story about redemption (Stevens) which two bit columnists devour like it was popcorn shrimp at a free buffet.

(SIDE NOTE: I honestly have no idea how much the Times costs now, i.e. if it's 25 or 35 cents.)


And my pain and humiliation continues...

When I made the bet with Scott a month ago I thought picking Calvin Johnson was a lead pipe lock, but time makes fools of us all, especially me. So go check out my humiliation over at BucStats.

And seriously, the Bucs practice facility will always be One Buc Place.