INFORMATION OVERLOAD.

There is such a thing as too much coverage.

I never thought I’d say that, but it’s only the first week of Spring Training and I already have information fatigue. Just like most of you, I am reading everything I can get my hands on, and I’ve resubscribed to everything I had unsubscribed from in the offseason.

I like reading different perspectives. I especially like the blogs the beat reporters kept during Spring Training last year. I felt like the blogs captured the color of what it was like to be down there. I liked hearing writers complain about how boring PSL is, I liked hearing where they went for lunch, I liked getting a feel for what they were doing, even if it was boring.

This year is different.

This year it seems that even more beat writers are down there and that every single one of them have started blogs. While you would think that would be a GOOD thing, I look at the firehose of coverage and think:

Everyone is writing the same thing.

Fair enough, if Jay Horowitz decides that he’s giving everyone access to Carlos Delgado for the day, then everyone’s going to write about Carlos Delgado. If you are down there and you are a beat reporter and everyone else is writing about Carlos Delgado and you decide to write about the security guard at one of the back fields who is from New Jersey and got married the same year the Mets started and used to have season tickets (and I’ll bet anything that guy is still there), your editor is, most probably, going to be on the phone pretty quick asking you why you didn’t write about Carlos Delgado since everyone else did. And, even if your editor is a kind and generous sort, you will post the article on your blog and then have to tolerate 99 comments asking you why you didn’t get to talk to Carlos Delgado that day.

And while you might think, well, can’t they do both, there’s a lot of copy you have to generate, and only so many hours in a day. The practical journalist is going to attend to meat and potatoes.

I never thought I’d get tired of hearing what great shape Duaner Sanchez is in, but at this point…

Okay, so maybe I’m not. But I thought I was for a few seconds there.

You know it’s bad when we’re getting a story like this filed – from David Lennon, who is probably writing the best coverage from PSL these days. I mean, the thought of Pedro dancing to Milli Vanilli (and that a beat reporter would actually meet his dare), but I’m not sure we needed a separate line item about that.

Here’s a sample from my RSS reader, to try to make my point better:

feed

I want to know where “Santana moves right foot” and “Santana moves left foot” are.

[And – really? There’s no snow in Port St. Lucie? What would we do without one of the beat writers letting us know.]

[Okay, I’ll stop being snarky now.]

Now, I could unsubscribe from some of these feeds. But, I like making my own information choices and I don’t need someone to digest them for me (and I don’t want to have to deal with someone else’s filter, either). I just wonder what this adds to the experience, and if there isn’t a better way to do it.

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