WASHINGTON — What exactly makes someone a sports team insider? One caller to 106.7 The Fan claims that all you have to do is read the stories written by beat reporters and columnists to know everything that they do.
Thom Loverro, a journalist since 1977 and D.C. sports insider since 1992, joined Chad Dukes vs. The World on Tuesday and got into it over this point with Chris from Olney.
“I wanted to point out that Dusty Baker was hired to take the Nationals over the hump, through the playoffs and get to the World Series,” Chris explained with confidence. “He really wasn’t in charge of getting the Nationals to the playoffs.
“He was hired to get them to the World Series. That’s what he was hired to do.”
How does Chris know this to be true? He reads things.
“That’s not my narrative. That’s the narrative. That’s the narrative going around the entire Washington metropolitan area,” Chris lamented. “I’m getting information from the same people that you’re getting information from…because it’s through you! If you’re talking to these people and writing about them, and other people are talking to them and writing about them, and I’m reading this information and digesting it, then I’m getting the information through the media, from your sources.
“That’s your job.”
Gotcha, Thom! So where did Chris in Olney read that Baker was hired to get the Nats to the World Series? Hmmm…
“In multiple different…different publications. I’m happy to go online–I’m sorry, I’m sorry I don’t have the information at the ready,” Chris stuttered, as Loverro made dismissive noises. “I can’t access the information and y’know, send it to you. My true apologies. I have two hands on the wheel and I’m driving, listening to the Montgomery County Police…um…y’know…not driving with hands-free, y’know? So I don’t have the information right now.
“But I’d love to sit down with you, face-to-face, and have this conversation and ‘reference these sources.'”
Loverro chuckled and replied, “I don’t think I’m going to be sitting down with you, face-to-face.”
So, who has it right? An award-winning journalist who has access to talk to members of the Nationals’ front office, or a fan who reads and cooks his own meatloaf? The two debated over one another.
Thom: “Were you there in the interview process? They didn’t even make the playoffs–”
Chris: “–well, now you’re just being condescending–”
Thom: “–you’re serving up–”
Chris: “–I’m trying to have an intelligent conversation–”
Thom: “–you’re serving up the ball and I can only hit it. My point is, they didn’t even make the playoffs the year before he was hired, they were a team in turmoil, and he changed all that. Got them to the playoffs, took the favored Dodgers to five games in a Division Series with no Stephen Strasburg, no Wilson Ramos, and you say that isn’t what he was hired for?”
Thom: “You’re wrong.”
Listen to the call in its entirety: