Yesterday CSN Bay Area's Giants beat writer, Andrew Baggarly, reported that San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo and coach Shawon Dunston "exchanged heated words with raised voices, causing Bruce Bochy to emerge from his office to intervene." Fast forward to today, and something weird was happening during pre-game media availability.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Before Bochy spoke, Pagan abruptly cut short a group interview because of the presence of one beat reporter whom he and other players say they will boycott, angry over something he wrote.
You can probably put two and two together, but in case not local Bay Area reporter Steve Berman confirmed that the boycotted reporter is Baggarly:
Apparently the team has decided en masse that they won't speak to any members of the media if Andrew Baggarly is present. Multiple sources have told me his report about an argument in the clubhouse between Sergio Romo and Shawon Dunston precipitated this "boycott."
Baggarly has been on the Giants beat since 2004 for the Oakland Tribune, Bay Area News Group, and finally for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, who he joined in 2012. The Giants not only air games on CSN Bay Area but actually own 30% of the network. We've written previously about ESPN's difficulties navigating being both a rights holder and an independent reporting organization, and this similar situation is even more complicated considering the Giants ownership stake.
Baggarly is generally known as a good reporter and a straight shooter, though he has pissed off the Giants before. In 2012 he asked Melky Cabrera about rumors that he had failed a drug test and would be suspended 50 games. Cabrera denied the rumors and contacted his agent and the MLBPA, both of whom told Cabrera they were untrue. Baggarly later apologized for his questioning, but a couple of weeks later Cabrera was indeed suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone.
The behavior of the Giants players here is petty and strange. If Baggarly's reporting is untrue, the players or a Giants PR staffer should come out and say so. If his reporting is accurate, why is everybody bent out of shape? If they're mad at anybody it should be whoever leaked the news of the argument, not Baggarly.
Neither Baggarly or CSN Bay Area responded to a request for comment.
Update: Baggarly obliquely addressed the boycott in a series of tweets:
Photo via Christian Petersen/Getty