Grumpy Old Man Murray Chass, writing from his non-blog, takes Jayson Stark to task for a practice he claims is common with writers throughout the sportswriting industry:
It is a popular game with baseball writers. It is an easy game to play. All it requires is a telephone; the number of calls is up to the writer/player. An Internet column I came across last week epitomized the practice.
He says he's not going to i.d. the offending writer:
I won’t identify the column, the Web site or the writer because if I did, I would be singling out someone for an industry-wide practice, and that might not be fair. Suffice it to say, however, that the columnist is not a rookie and the Web site for which he writes is not an obscure site. In other words, this is not a piece by someone who doesn’t know any better writing for a site you would stumble across only by accident.
So how do we know that Chass is talking about Stark? Well, because he quotes a passage from the column which exactly matches this September 3 piece by Stark. And the sources identified by Chass, "in order of their appearance," Chass specifies, match up with Stark's column.
Easy enough to figure out.
So either Chass is unfamiliar enough with the interwebs not to realize that one could i.d. the story in question with about 20 seconds worth of effort and a functioning search engine, or he wished to (or didn't care if he did) expose Stark while pretending he wasn't really calling him out personally.
Stark's critical piece on Minaya probably got Chass's attention because Chass covered Minaya and the Mets while he was writing for the New York Times, before going to his current non-blog. And Chass is one of the few writers who has defended Minaya for Minaya's recent public scolding of reporter Adam Rubin during the Tony Bernazard firing press conference.
Is it reasonable to wonder how tight Chass and Minaya are, and whether Chass's swipe at Stark is less about journalistic ethics and more about his displeasure with Minaya getting ripped?