Jon Heyman of MLB Network is apparently not a fan of what the Baltimore Orioles are doing. Heyman tweeted late Tuesday night:
Reaction to this commentary was swift and sure; most people felt that this was an unfair take on Heyman’s part. And I agree with that sentiment. I’ll even take it a step further; saying what Heyman said is beneath the dignity of a national reporter.
First and foremost, both the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs have gone through this exact process of late. And both of those organizations won World Series’. (Also worth throwing in that the Orioles’ GM and manager were both respective parts of those two organizations.) Was Heyman complaining about the process then?
And the answer is no. Here’s another point; the Orioles aren’t tanking. They’re undergoing a full rebuild. There’s a big difference. Tanking means you’re all but trying to lose games. Various NBA seasons involving the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics come to mind. The Orioles may only be fielding a lineup which sports an all-star by default, but I feel you’d be hard pressed to argue that the guys on the field at any given time aren’t trying to win games. When you see guys diving around for the ball, running hard, etc, the fact is that they aren’t mailing it in.
And that’s why I say that Heyman’s comments are beneath his position as a national pundit. He’s accusing players and coaches of something that first off isn’t true, but also of something that he couldn’t possibly know. It isn’t for Jon Heyman or anyone else (myself included) to say whether or not the players are playing hard and so forth. But the efforts they put in indicates that they are.
Heyman’s job is to report the news – not become a part of it. But again, I do find it odd that nobody called out other organizations for doing exactly the same thing as what the Orioles are doing now. Apparently it’s just the Orioles.