FLU, Bradford William Davis, Baseball discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast


I'm Meg rally of fangraphs and I am joined today by Bradford William Davis, a return, guest, but now with a new gig, Bradford, how are you? Hey, man, thank you for having me. I am, I'm okay. I'm like a little tired because I've been working a lot and then also I had the great misfortune of well, no great was where I sound so privileged. The great fortune of having a flu shot. I don't want to anti max, you know, this is a reputable podcast. But I am tired. Yeah. I think it might be with a flu shot, you know, I don't know, but I'm definitely a deadly woke up like about 12 minutes ago. Yeah, the flu shot thing can knock you around. I got mine a couple weeks ago and the drag was definitely not as intense as it was post my second COVID vaccine shot, but you do feel it for at least a day where you're dragging a little bit. Right, right exactly, so hopefully I'm still a coherent and useful member of this podcast today. And, you know, again, the science works, vaccines, whatever. Get your shots every second community. Yeah. But also I'm tired and that's what you hope that we hope everyone gets their shots and we hope everyone is granted at least a day to recover from when they get them. So last time that you were on effectively wild, you were working for the daily news and you were in the weeds on baseball pretty much every day, and now you have a new job at insider, which listeners might be familiar with as Business Insider, but it is now on a broader mission. And so we're going to talk playoff baseball in the back half of this episode, but I think it's always interesting for people to kind of understand how the specific job you do in sports writing changes the way that you engage with sports writing because a features writer is really different from a beat writer and all of those folks are really different from the kinds of do different kinds of work than the kind of work we do at fan graphs. And so I thought we could start there and maybe you could just lay out for our listeners. How do you describe your current job when you're telling friends and family what you do? Right, so I usually describe myself as an investigator features writer. So that means generally speaking, longer pieces with a lot of research and digging, define the thing that someone probably doesn't want you to know about. And some people do want you to know about, which is why they often come out. But many people usually people who have power authority, you know, in the area field that's being reported on, don't want you to. So that is that's investigative, you know, reporting and writing. But usually stuff that has some sort of public import or at the very least interest that is kind of what I get to work on now at insider. For people who for like true Bradford heads and family news, you may not be terribly surprised that I'm doing that kind of stuff. Given that a lot of what I did back of the daily news, even as I was a columnist, there are sports columnists. We're very investigative pieces, where, you know, that took a lot of time chipping away and chipping the way chipping away to find something that I believe to be important. Other people will be other people who need to be important as well. But the pace is different, of course. I'm not, you know, I'm not a columnist so it's so it's not my job to serve takes, you know, right for Twitter now. I still do get to express my values clearly, you know, in both just the subjects I choose to cover, but also even how I write about them. You know, but, of course, you know, the position, not the position I'm taking, you know, when I choose to run a story is a little different for insider anyway. So yes, that's me. And then the other thing is that the desk is not a sports specific desk either. There are some investigative sports writers like what comes to mind is that Molly and clancy I want to say, right? Of The Washington Post, she's done all this incredible stuff on we've NWSL. You know, writing for wapo. You know, and you know, and so there are a few of those types of people out there. Not many because of the nature of the industry, kind of crashing and burning. Yeah. The Bailey news at G 7 used to have an investigator reporting desk. And, you know, they disbanded a few years ago because of this bandit is not the right word. They were disbanded by institutions of the news by ownership and management, but yeah, that happened too often, unfortunately, because it's clearly needed. And falling any sports needs of weight. But with all that said, my assignments aren't limited to sports or baseball. Because of my background, they do encourage me to continue pursuing sports things. So I'm still at games a lot, you know? Once I was not a whole lot of institutional knowledge of, you know, I guess, sports media, like, okay, like a local paper. Once I kind of heard, oh, I can go to games again. And go on a field, you know, far more valuable than just being on Zoom calls. These are the pandemic, but vaccinated, you know, writers are allowed to be on field during pregame warm ups, and you get some opportunities, you know, not as frequent as before, but you know for back when you're in locker rooms, but you get some opportunities to still pull people aside and talk to them and, you know, I just, I'm there about a week once or twice a week during the regular season. And I went to know you, I wanted the Red Sox Yankees wildcard game as well because I was close enough. But just kind of showing face, which is like half the job anyway just like showing you a real person that just parachuting in. But yeah, and but yeah, getting this, you know, talk to people and chip away at things and so the baseball story that I had done so far for insider was a result of being able to talk to people in person. Yeah, I wanted to ask you about the wildcard game and kind of getting back back on the field there because I imagine that you're sort of in an interesting spot having transitioned into the role that you did because some of the players who you covered while you were at the daily news, you know, it's like not the first time you've talked to Aaron judge, I imagine, but was the dynamic different at all, having been still present, but less present than you would be if you were there as a regular columnist on a baseball beat? Yeah, you know, one of the cool things is that I've been able as I've been kind of reintroducing myself, right? To these players and coaches and everything. One of the things I've been able to tell them is, hey, listen, you know, I'm not here to write about why you blew the platoon advantage. Against Baltimore. Something like that. And like, you know, questions that are of course important within the sense of this game that we all respect and love, hence, you know, doing a podcast on it. Yeah. But like, you know, but are certainly things that you can imagine them not always enjoying having to talk about, right? Right. But basically just that I have bigger fish to fry. Yeah. And so, you know, just in that reintroduction, just let me know listen. You know, I am someone who cares a lot about certain things or issues within the game. And I hope to be able to talk to you about that, you know? I'm willing to do things fully off the record in the off season, you know, like I don't wanna bother you while you're fighting for your wives and the playoffs or on dependent race or whatever. But we can, you know, but I don't need a quote right now, you know? I mean, you know, we can chop it up in December, you know. When things are when things are chiller for you. That's been a pretty nice advantage, honestly, you know? I'm not having to not having the same kind of incentive to just kind of deliver headlines every single day, you know? Right. And show the value of writing good thorough. You know, pieces, you know, that help people think and understand things better, which is not to say that you can't do that quickly either to be correct. But it has been an advantage I've been able to use rhetorically when talking to the two athletes and people in the field. So far, it's actually led to strengthening sourcing, you know, in a way that wasn't happening as quickly course and you know in the brief time that I was in locker rooms at 2019 because that's another thing that just started..

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