A week or so before this Tuesday's All-Star Game in St. Louis, a small newspaper called the Riverfront Times published a guide to the festivities. It was full of all the usual stuff about where to eat and what to do before and after the game, as well as a map to notable spots in the city's baseball history. It's that map that created a problem for Albert Pujols and other Cardinals players.
In addition to things like Yogi Berra's birthplace, the map published the addresses of Pujols and other current Cardinals players. That brought a call from the team to the paper's editor Tom Finkel, who was told that the paper's credentials for the All-Star Game and the rest of the season had been revoked as a result.
Finkel penned what's billed as an apology on Thursday, but it's hard to see that he's actually sorry after reading him snark about Pujols' performance in the All-Star Game.
Pujols, having been anointed the centerpiece of the 2009 Midsummer Classic and, at least as important, having been tapped as St. Louis' one-man welcoming committee to the baseball-loving world, only narrowly avoids being knocked out in the first round of Monday night's Home Run Derby, then fails to hit the ball beyond the infield on "This Time It Counts" Tuesday.
Well, the man is only human. And considering the burden he was carrying, it's no wonder a distraction like the RFT All-Star Guide might dull his edge.
He sure sounds sorry, doesn't he? Especially helpful is the link he provides to the map for anyone who may have missed it in the free newspaper the first time, because that's the kind of information remorseful people like to send out into the ether.
Finkel goes on to mention how easy it is to find people's addresses via public search records, and helpfully includes links for those as well, and says his intention was to do something akin to the maps of star's homes sold on roadsides in Hollywood.
Just because information may be readily available doesn't mean that newspapers should be in the business of publishing it. It's not that difficult to find instructions for making bombs, joining hate groups or buying any manner of black market goods either. That doesn't make it the job of a newspaper (or blog or magazine or anyone) to make sure that it is published to as wide an audience as possible.
Aim higher, Tom.