Free Rob Bradford from purgatory

August 15th, 2006 → 7:50 pm @

The Eagle-Tribune is an odd paper: they have an aggressively bad website to go along with some aggresively good reporters. Last year, John Tomase did consistently great work covering the Sox; when he got hammered by readers, as he did last June after a story about Manny Ramirez, he was only getting blamed for what people in the Red Sox’s front office had been saying for weeks. (Are full disclosures required for blogs? If so, full disclosure: I like John. He likes Tenacious D and Arrested Development. And he helped out with my book.)

This year, it’s Rob Bradford who’s constantly getting screwed by the Trib. Bradford’s well sourced, both within the Sox and around the league — his book, Chasing Steinbrenner, is proof positive of that. And since taking over the Sox beat last winter when Tomase headed over to the Herald to cover the Patriots, Bradford’s been breaking more than his fair share of stories. He outlined the Coco Crisp deal back in December, about a month before it happened. He got Damon to talk about the Sox’s new center fielder, got Millar to whine on-the-record about the Red Sox’s lack of loyalty, talked to Bill Morgan after the controversy about the non-physical for Beckett, went down to Florida to talk to John Henry in the middle of Theogate, and had news of Theo returning well before it happened. Of course, there’s no reason you’d know any of this; it was often impossible to find stories on the Trib‘s site even if you knew what you were looking for.

Today, the same day Jackie MacMullen has a nice piece about pitchers tipping pitches, Bradford talks to Javy Lopez about whether hitters might be able to predict what’s coming from Josh Beckett. Don’t go to the Trib‘s site for Bradford’s piece; the biggest chunk that’s freely available is posted on Dirt Dogs. The Eagle-Tribune‘s site lets you read exactly seven words.

More than a decade after the Internet became a regular presence in our lives, there are very few newspapers that have their same-day content behind a subscriber wall. There’s the Wall Street Journal, and the Times puts its columnists behind the wall. Oh, and then there are any number of stories in the Eagle-Tribune. Apparently, it’s such a popular paper it has absolutely no need to draw in readers by showing them what it has to offer.

Post Categories: Eagle-Tribune & Rob Bradford