FanPost

Matt Walbeck and media accountability


I'm sure most people here remember the Great Matt Walbeck Scandal (let's just call it Walgate). The Pirates fired Walbeck shortly after he'd won both the Eastern League title and minor league manager of the year. The usual mediots and their pitchfork-wavers went into complete meltdown, spewing conspiracy theories like that's why the internet was invented. (Oh . . . wait . . . it is.)

The first clue that Walbeck wasn't the second coming of Earl Weaver should have been the fact that the best job he could get afterward was managing the Braves' low A affiliate, and he had trouble getting even that one. The Braves only hired him when they had a late opening. And lo and behold, he got fired from that job on July 7, after about three-quarters of a season. The reason the Braves gave -- philosophical differences -- was the exact same reason the Pirates gave, and like the Pirates, the Braves offered no explanation. And I'm guessing the Braves aren't anybody's idea of a dysfunctional organization, especially when it comes to player development. Walbeck hasn't managed in organized ball since. He now runs a baseball academy in Sacramento.

To his credit, Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror did a followup story on Walbeck's second firing, but I don't remember that getting any attention from the rest of the Pirate mediocy. I certainly don't remember anybody, and that includes Giger, acknowledging that maybe they'd gotten the story completely wrong the first time around. It's so easy, when you have a situation where the facts simply aren't, and never will be, fully available to the public, simply to make up whatever crap you want and sell it to conspiracy-hungry internet posters because you know there'll never be any accountability. Walgate is a good reminder what a mistake it is to jump to conclusions when you can't possibly know all the facts. Not that any of us will learn from it.

(TOH to poster Dave Augustine at onlybucs.net.)

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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