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MLB Network credibility under question after not renewing Rosenthal deal

The perception that MLB Network by not renewing its deal with Ken Rosenthal “punished a well-liked and well-respected reporter for a fair critique of a widely despised authority figure" in MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is “damaging to the network’s credibility,” according to Dan Gartland of SI.com. League-owned media outlets are a “valuable resource” for fans. Silencing critical voices "calls into question the integrity" of the outlet. Fans "should be able to feel like the information they are consuming is different from North Korean state media." No one is expecting Rosenthal to be "allowed to bash Manfred" on MLB Network, but it is "refreshing when league-owned media outlets publish less-than-flattering stories.” MLB Net still has plenty of “talented, credible reporters” on its payroll, but it is “worse off” with Rosenthal gone (SI.com, 1/4).

COSTS OF THE TRUTH
: In Boston, Chad Finn writes perhaps the real sympathies should be directed at the hard-working reporters who remain at MLB Network, because the decision to dump Rosenthal did their reputations no favors." MLB execs, particularly original network President & CEO Tony Petitti, "have insisted since the beginning that they want MLB Network to be editorially credible and they would not interfere with the journalistic duties of the correspondents." Then, because the commissioner "cannot accept that criticism comes with his job," the network goes and dumps the “popular and respected Rosenthal for what were accurate rebukes." Though the perception is "not fair," Manfred’s actions "implicitly suggest that the reporters who remain are in lockstep with how the commissioner’s office wants the league covered." At the very least, they "now know what the consequences are for being critical of the boss." There is now a "cost for telling the whole truth." Challenge him "at your own risk" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/5).

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