Mark Zuckerman, the excellent Nationals beat writer recently laid off by The Washington Times, is asking for our help to send him to Viera to cover the Nationals this spring training on his new site, Nats Insider. Mark is generously saying all he needs is a measly $5,000 to cover the team in spring training for six weeks.
But he needs our help to get it done. If you have enough disposable income to pay $7 for a lousy beer at Nationals Park, you have enough to kick in at least $100. Click here to give now and prove that you aren't a lousy cheap bum like Ted Lerner:
Or, check out Mark's post here and give from the link on his page (which is the same).
Nationals fans NEED Mark in Viera. The Nationals are on the verge of becoming the first team in MLB ever to have no independent, full-time reporters covering the team. All the MASN TV and radio guys work for the team. Bill Ladson works for the team. Chico Harlan, god bless him, is going to chew his arm off if the Post doesn't take him off the Nationals beat soon. And it's been reported that the Post won't hire from outside because of budget cuts dictated by corporate higher ups, so we're seriously looking at a season with one WaPo paid intern total covering the team.
For average fans who just want some basic coverage of the team, nevermind an occasional scoop, this is really a crisis situation.
Why did it take a week for anyone to report that Chris Duncan had been signed? Why doesn't anyone at the Post have more than 20 months of perspective on the history of this team? (Boswell doesn't count, since he covers the stadium, not the team.) Why was the Smiley Gonzalez story missed for so long? Why are 90% of the news stories covering the team this winter totally fact-less speculation about how the team is "interested" in this guy or that guy whom we never hear about again?
And it's not just the lack of quality content that we're talking about. With no one covering the team in an independent, professional way, Kasten and Lerner will just keep doing what they're doing--putting out a crappy product and pocketing the revenue-sharing money and the revenue from their taxpayer-funded cash cow stadium. If the Nationals are ever going to get better, we need a watchdog media to keep them honest.
It's time for Nationals fans to stop complaining about the coverage of the team and step up. Mark is basically volunteering to do the incredibly hard work of a full-time beat reporter for below cost. He's a proven professional, and you know you're going to get a quality product (unlike all the other money we as fans spend on the Nationals).
Now, if you're assuming that someone else is going to pay, and Mark's going to do this anyway, you're WRONG. I've spoken to Mark about this, and I promise you, if we don't kick in the $5,000, he's not going, and we're going to be stuck with Hamburgler Ladson and Lame Duck Chico.
But really, just think, if every person who comes to FJB today kicks in JUST TENS DOLLARS, he'll hit his goal today.
But guess what--that's not happening. Because most people ARE cheaper than Ted Lerner. Most people are free-loaders. Don't be one of them. And Mark knows who's given and who hasn't, so all you regular commenters, don't think you can pretend you gave and get away with lying. JayBee, ABM, all y'all... we'll know if you're the deadbeat.
So take a second and donate now. Please. As fans, we desperately want more reporting on this team, and it's clear we're not going to get it unless we step up. Click here now: