I have become increasingly annoyed with the constant citation of “one National/American League scout” as a definitive source in baseball journalism. Major journalists, given how many times they reference such a source, clearly are able to contact many such scouts. As someone who follows baseball, it is clear to me that baseball scouts often wildly disagree on the things that “one National/American League scout” usually is talking about in these pieces. All that a journalist has to do is find one of these scouts that says something that supports his point. He then puts it into his article as “proof” that he is right.
If, in a history class at college, I cite only one historian who agrees with my thesis I fail. This is, I hope, true of every other academic discipline. Why do we let these journalists get away with this? This is actually even worse, because I can’t call up historians and ask them about my topic until one of them agrees with me, which well-connected sports journalists can do. It horrifies me. Really. It results in things like this causing hysteria.