Today on Outside the Lines, ESPN investigative reporter and Discovery Channel survival expert TJ Quinn will have an exclusive interview with Porter Fischer, the former Biogenesis employee responsible for leaking the extent of baseball's next great PED scandal.
Maybe you see this as just another chapter in a steroid saga you don't want to hear about, but I can't help but think Outside the Lines, Quinn, and ESPN aren't getting enough credit for being willing to dive deep into a story that brings a torrent of negative publicity upon one of its rights partners.
As I discussed on yesterday's podcast with Steve Lepore, one of the major criticisms of ESPN in the past year has been their throwing of journalism and original reporting to the side in favor of obnoxious debate and anything that involves the select few of Tim Tebow, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and anybody who plays for the Yankees, Cowboys, Heat, or Lakers. ESPN also faces criticism for conflicts of interest between their reporting arms and their business arms that have to maintain relationships with leagues, conferences, and entire sports. They've also been slammed for banishing the Sunday edition of OTL to a horrible timeslot (8 AM on ESPN2) in favor of a Colin Cowherd football show that guarantees to not be as hard hitting.
So now we have OTL leading the reporting into a major sports scandal, one that certainly is a black mark for one of its business partners… and we want them to go away.
The groupthink on this basically goes like this – A) We don't care about steroids, B) We just want to enjoy baseball in peace and don't care who or who isn't cheating and/or C) Quit trying to scare us about scary drugs.
Yes, sports columnists frothing at the mouth with anger, vindictiveness, and self-rigtheousness drive some of that steroid fatigue in fans, yes you can criticize MLB and the leaks and what have you, but I don't think that's really fair to the reporters like Quinn and Outside the Lines.
The debate and opinion and columns about A-Rod may be obnxious, but his impending suspension and dealings with Biogenesis is a news story worth pursuing. OTL should continue their work here regardless of its popularity.
It doesn't strike me as fair that ESPN has been chided for its lack of journalism and conflicts of interest and then when they produce in that area, we say thanks but no thanks.