By: Holly Horning
Spin (definition): “A form of propaganda achieved through providing an interpretation of an event to persuade public opinion in favor or against a certain organization or public figure. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the fact, “spin” often implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics.”
I live in Washington, DC – home of the world’s largest concentration of people who spin for a living. However, it’s not just politicians, lobbyists and campaign strategists who practice this. “Spin doctors” exist in every industry, including the sport we all love – baseball. We hear the propaganda every day – from team and MLB spokespeople to the media to the agents. Each has their own goal whether it is to reassure fans of a winning season (and enhance ticket sales), raise their media profile (so they may sell their publications or get that TV show) or help their client garner the best contract (and make a tidy commission).
As an image consultant, I’ve spent 20 years analyzing the connection between perception and authenticity. Call me jaded, but I always take a guarded view of any declaration made by someone who has something to gain. So leery that I even travel with a pair of waders. Italian-made, of course. So who better to call out the perennial offenders who are so transparent in trying to craft their public perception?
If Kurt can play Commissioner of Baseball for two days, then I can also live out my fantasy and offer my list of spinners who need to finally ‘fess up.
Brad Ausmus – Admitting that he made managerial mistakes as a rookie manager, esp. with the BP.
Scott Boras – Overstating that many of his clients did not receive multiple contract offers.
Dave Dombrowski – Confessing that assembling a BP has been a real challenge for him.
ESPN – Admitting that their East Coast-centricity and viewership is what drives their bias of the Midwest.
Brian Kenny – Agreeing that Miguel Cabrera’s two MVP Awards over Mike Trout were solidly correct.
Keith Law – Humbly acknowledging that he uses controversy over criteria to gain media recognition.
Max Scherzer – Confessing that money took precedence over everything else in contract negotiations.
MLB players – Stating that they love their team and really want to stay when their contracts are up.
MLB teams – Declaring something other than being in “win now mode” or “posed for a successful season.”
Sabermetricians – Admitting that they don’t have a clue how the “replacement level player” is selected in determining WAR.
OK, that was wonderfully cathartic for me. How about you?