Phil Mackey, 1500 ESPN reporter, blasts "no accountability" bloggers on Twitter, gets blasted

phil mackey crop.jpg
Mackey picked a fight with local sports bloggers.
Phil Mackey must've woke up on the wrong side of the bed Tuesday morning. What else explains his Twitter bitterness later that evening?

Mackey, who self-describes himself as "that punk-ish kid you hear on [1500 ESPN]," is a Twins reporter and columnist. He actually began his sports journalism career as a blogger, but now thinks the sports blogosphere is a little big for its own britches.

The Mackey vs. blogger beef concerns whether sportswriters who aren't regularly in communication with players, coaches, and front offices can write authoritatively. Bloggers argue that statistical analysis is more important for good sports journalism than the clichés athletes and coaches routinely offer up after games, but Mackey believes that even in the day and age of Sabermetrics there is still something important about having access to sports newsmakers.

Here's the tweet that started the throw-down: An hour later, he followed up with this: He then asserted that having access to players, coaches, and front offices means traditional sports journalists have "a whole new level of accountability." On the other hand, self-publishing bloggers can't fire themselves, meaning, in Mackey's eyes, that there are few consequences when bloggers get something wrong: Understandably, local sports bloggers didn't take Mackey's rant lying down. John Bonnes, baseball blogger at Twins Daily, made the point that nobody would regularly read sports blogs if they didn't provide reliable information: In response, Mackey simply said, "John, that's not true."

Criticism of his blogger-bashing continued to roll in, but Mackey stuck to his guns, at one point tweeting he "question[s] the intelligence of a lot of readers" and at another point making reference to "'dumb' bloggers" in a tweet Mackey says was meant to mimic a phrase used by an NBC sportswriter but that ended up raising the level of vitriol.

With acrimony mounting, Tim Allen, Timberwolves blogger at Canis Hoopus, urged Mackey to cut his losses: A fitting conclusion to the Twitter beef came in the form of a back-and-forth with a Twins fan who vowed to unfollow Mackey for his blogger disparagement. Following the Gopher basketball team's victory over Washington in the semifinals of the NIT tournament last night, Mackey posed this question to his Twitter followers:
Mackey, for what it's worth, said in an e-mail this morning that "if I could go back in time, I would have presented my points with a less condescending tone." Embittered bloggers, meanwhile, are left to stew in their loneliness behind a computer, cut off from access to anything besides stats and pixels.
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11 comments
spoof bonser
spoof bonser

Isn't Phil Mackey basically a blogger with too big a platform?  As far as local baseball analysis, I'd rate his understanding/knowledge only behind Aaron Gleeman, but give me a break.  He is drawing a line in the sand with guys like Jim Souhan on his side, a pompous jerk.

Tom Peppermint
Tom Peppermint

Phil sounds like he's been spending a little too much time with the old crusty sportswriters at 1500.  He's also dead wrong in this instance and I'm glad some of the bloggers are holding him accountable for his misguided rants.  That's irony, right?

mackeysucks
mackeysucks

Dont know if its tongue in cheek, but bloggers aren't all necessarily lonely nerds in the basement. Many are successful and social. Just saying...

Kicktheball Brian Dickerson
Kicktheball Brian Dickerson

first i thought "who the fuck is phil mackey?" now i think "who the fuck cares?"  sorry no offence intended to you morons who waste time worrying about millionaire "ball players" and discussing the intricacies of "coach told me to get the ball and run the ball and hit the ball" 

The Beejer
The Beejer

What the bloggers don't understand is that if there were no reporters, the bloggers would have nothing to opine about since there would be no one doing the actual work.

PJ
PJ

 I've enjoyed Mackey's writings, but sometime in January he wrote a series of articles about the Twins 2012 payroll and came off as an absolute shill for the ownership. If that's what access gets you, I'll take Gleeman's or Bonnes' writings any day. Mackey may be accountable, but I'm not sure about credible...

Souhan chiming in in defense of Mackey was priceless and confirmed all anyone needed to know about where "access" gets a writer.

Ryan E.
Ryan E.

Mackey seems to have changed since when I used to listen to him on KFAN. The whole stirring the pot to get a reaction bit... that's to be expected. But it's also expected to be able to argue your position aptly, and frankly, he's just not good at it.

Dan
Dan

A less condescending tone? Mackey doesn't know how to argue intelligently so he always turns to condescension when he gets frustrated. I knew he would morph into a Souhan at some point. I just didn't realize it would come this early in his career.

Boo
Boo

So, this one guy said to another guy on twitter that this other guy said that this tweet was all like you know...

Joe Stefanson
Joe Stefanson

Don't you guys have editors at City Pages? That's clearly a photo of Fred Durst, not Mackey.

FellowHuman
FellowHuman

"I don't have access" is the new... [catchphrase].

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