Boston morning talk show host Rich Shertenlieb committed the most horrendous of sins Tuesday, something we should tar and feather him for. Something so ridiculous he should have all future press passes stripped away.
His crime? He opened a Bobby Valentine pregame media session with a real question. He asked:
“Obviously it’s been a tough year for the fans of the Red Sox and if you had to make your case to those fans as to why you should remain the manager of the Red Sox next year, what would you say to them?” (Boston Magazine)
Oh. My. God. Media members were apoplectic.
CBS Boston noted, “Pretty harmless questions, right? Wrong! Some writers didn’t care for Rich’s line of questioning and couldn’t believe that he asked those questions to start the press conference off.”
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times wrote:
“The pregame news conference Tuesday began not with the standard talk about injuries and the lineup, but with a breathless demand from a radio reporter that Valentine tell fans why he should still be manager.”
Breathless demand? Shertenlieb asked a question. No demands were made.
Valentine was a little more measured than the New York Times. He responded, “I feel bad for those fans. I don’t have to make a case to them, though. I’ve suffered with them.”
If Bobby V can handle the question, why can’t the media? Because it’s not the question at all—just the person asking it.
There may be two things going on in the minds of journalists. One, how dare a radio host consider himself a legitimate member of the media? Two, he’s gonna mess up our gig.
Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com wrote:
“Radio talk-show hosts don’t typically show up for pregame sessions, but Valentine presented WEEI’s Glenn Ordway with a gift sound bite last week, so perhaps ‘EEI’s rivals were looking for the same. If so, they probably went away disappointed.”
They weren’t looking for a gift sound bite. They were looking for an answer. Per CBS Boston: “Toucher & Rich decided that they would be the voice of the fans and ask the questions that aren’t getting asked. The guys contacted the Sox and got a press pass so Rich could attend the Bobby Valentine press conference and ask the manager your question.”
I really can’t decipher the diarrhea spilling out of Edes’ mouth. Maybe you can help me. Did he think asking the question was a stunt?
Perhaps Edes forgot Toucher and Rich aren’t hurting for listeners. They don’t need stunts to pull in ratings. They asked a question, it’s as simple as that. Or Perhaps Edes thinks of himself as the Harvard of sports writing and Toucher and Rich a poor little state school.
Toucher and Rich: we salute you here at Baseball Jerks. Keep asking the questions and fighting the good fight.
No Jerk of the Day today, just a few guys we’re rooting for.