The Journal Sentinel and Rickie Weeks

What’s up with the Journal Sentinel and Rickie Weeks?

Rickie Weeks has been terrible this year, it’s certainly a story. I don’t know how big of a story it should be, but it’s a story. It’s not the only story though, the Brewers are struggling with one of the worst starting pitching staffs in baseball, are starting Yunieksy Betancourt and his .261 OBP at 1B, catcher Jonathan Lucroy is struggling mightily and is still batting 5th, Yovani Gallardo has taken a step back with a velocity drop and is bad. You get the picture.

So there are a lot of issues with this team and Rickie is certainly among them, but…there are a lot of issues with this team.

With that in mind, here is a sample of the Journal Sentinel coverage from May 18th to May 21st:

  • 5/21/13 – Brewers lose 3-1, Rickie goes 0-2 with a walk and the only run. What little offense the Brewers managed, it was largely due to Weeks getting on base. The JS runs a picture of Weeks to accompany the game story with this quote: Rickie Weeks tosses his helmet aside after popping out against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Weeks finished 0 for 2 and saw his average dip to .168.
  • 5/20/13 – Blog post: “Ron Roenicke on Rickie Weeks remaining in the lineup”
  • 5/20/13 – Lineup blog post: “Aramis back, Rickie Weeks in lineup”
  • 5/19/13 – Lineup blog post: “Bianchi to get start, but not at 2B”
  • 5/18/13 – Blog post: “Rickie Weeks ‘just working to get better’”
  • 5/18/13 – Lineup blog post title: “Jeff Bianchi starting at second base”
  • 5/18/13 – Notes column headline “Weeks gets another day off”
  • 5/18/13 – Michael Hunt column: “Scooter Gennett has impressed at every level.” An article about a minor league player with a career OPS of .755.

That’s 8 headlines or stories involving Rickie Weeks in 3 days.

Going back to the 13th, Michael Hunt penned a column “With Rickie Weeks, its wait and see” which this caption on the picture: “It is hard to envision the Brewers benching someone who makes $10 million a year like Rickie Weeks”

I’m sure the JS is getting tons of feedback on Weeks, the comments certainly would back this up, and they write accordingly. That’s fine and the need to generate discussion, not just report is a reality in today’s media (See: ESPN and Tebow). However, the intense focus of a single player by the Milwaukee media just seems a bit odd and is getting to weird levels with the focus on Weeks, especially after games when he actually performs well.

I’m a Brewer fan and pay a disproportionate amount of attention to the Brewers vs other teams, so did a quick look around the league at other high-profile players who are struggling:

  • BJ Upton has started the year .153/.245/.243. A quick look at the Atlanta Journal Constitution Braves homepage has 8 blog items, none of them about Upton
  • Ike Davis is off to a .149/.229/.248 start in New York. This has to be bad. The New York Daily News has 10 blog posts on the front page, one of them mentions Ike Davis.
  • Brett Lawrie is hitting .186/.248/.347, there isn’t a mention of him on the Toronto Sun’s Blue Jay page.

Maybe I just caught the sports sections at a good time, and those players are just 3 who I could think of off the top of my head, I realize articles about struggling players happen all the time. It just seems as someone who reads the JS Sports page daily, they are bordering on trolling with their Rickie Weeks coverage.

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