Yankees SP Masahiro Tanaka was hit in the head with a line drive and taken to the hospital on Saturday.
Nobody likes this part of the job. Reporting on injuries and providing readers with the material they need (videos, photos, details, etc.) to further learn about what happened isn’t what any journalist likes to do, but it’s a reality and a necessary evil in this field.
So when New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was hit in the head with a line drive that came off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton, you knew the moment someone got a hand on that video it’d be everywhere. Fans had their July 4 celebration interrupted to learn about the terrible news.
Shortly after that, Yankees players expressed disapproval of the coverage.
However, they should be pointing the finger at the very organization they work for. There’s no question we can empathize with their frustration, but the reason this video became so widespread so quickly was because of the YES Network, which the Yankees own. Was it the network’s fault? No, but that’s simply the reality of the situation.
Did journalists and beat reporters record other videos? Definitely. But the main clip came from the network the organization owns and operates. After that, it’s the journalists’ job to let everyone know what’s going on as the proceeding moments unfold. Is Tanaka going to be OK? Can he move under his own power? A clip of that will surely help tell the full story.
However, Aaron Judge voiced his primary displeasure with follow-up videos that were zooming in on Tanaka, which is certainly something we can agree isn’t in good taste and shouldn’t be done. The man is writhing in pain and suffering, we don’t need to see him going through it extensively.
Do other videos managed to get released in the event the YES Network didn’t have one readily available? Sure, but that’s not what happened. The players have every right to be upset with this, but they need to direct their blame to the proper source.
We’re totally confident the organization would side with the players here, especially with all that’s going on right now. This is already a sensitive time for everyone in the league given the heightened tensions after the botched negotiations as well as the overall uncertainty surrounding baseball right now because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The faster the Yankees acknowledge this was their doing and address what the players had to say, the faster we can move on from this ugly situation.