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FIRE OR PROMOTE SPORTS EDITOR?

By Murray Chass

August 12, 2018

Not to belabor the unappetizing issue, but the coincidence is too much to ignore. In last week’s column I wrote about readers’ reaction to the sports coverage of the once worthwhile and important New York Times. Within days, a reader sent me a notice the Times had posted online.

My former employer is seeking a new sports editor.

However, before readers of the Times sports section get excited, they need to know the Times is not booting the current sports editor, Jason Stallman, out the door because he prefers cupstacking to baseball. The newspaper’s editors feel Stallman has done such a good job they are promoting him into a more important job. It shows you what we know.

As the reader who forwarded the online job notice wrote, “By the way, the Times has a job listing for a new sports editor but the online job description continues to emphasize the world wide audience without one word about local sports.”

The Times has become so disdainful of local sports that the downtrodden Mets go uncovered by Times reporters. Even when they play in New York (so there is no travel expense), the Times gives its Mets’ fans reader a vanilla account of the game by the Associated Press.

The Yankees generally still get staff coverage – when they get coverage. On one of the days of the recent four-game series with the Red Sox, the game finished too late for the Times’ biggest press run so there was no mention of the Red Sox-Yankees in that edition. When I covered the Yankees, I had to write a story to cover that particular edition. We didn’t ignore the Yankees as if they didn’t play.

But Stallman obviously has no use for baseball so he sees no need to fill that hole before the game is over.

Baseball coverage, however, as the coverage of any sport, is not just about …

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BASEBALL COVERAGE, ANYONE?

By Murray Chass

August 5, 2018

Is a good sports section of a newspaper in the mind of the reader? I suppose any newspaper section is. But we’re dealing with sports here, specifically baseball, so let’s stick to that.

From readers’ e-mail, I get the idea that many are or were readers of The New York Times sports section but who have become disappointed or disenchanted with it. That’s easy to do these days when baseball has virtually disappeared from the Times. In my view, if you want solid, consistent baseball coverage you have to read Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic website.

The Times? Its Yankees and Mets beat writers do a good job when they’re allowed, but the Times has taken to covering some of the teams’ games, even home games, with Associated Press accounts.

That practice demonstrates a fundamental failure to …

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PINING FOR THE OLD DAYS

By Murray Chass

July 29, 2018

On a shelf somewhere in my house is a can of pine tar. What on earth am I doing with a can of pine tar?

I can explain that more easily than I can explain why, 35 years later, I still have the pine tar. I guess I have kept the can all these years because I tend to keep things. My wife calls it hoarding, but I just don’t like throwing things away. I mean, in this instance, for example, how do I know I won’t wake up tomorrow and discover I need a glob of pine tar?

I have the pine tar because Ken Nigro gave it to me and other baseball reporters who covered the Pine Tar game between the Yankees and the Royals 35 years ago July 24.

The month of July is filled with anniversaries of momentous events in recent Yankees history. For example …

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