Pat Jordan, himself a former Braves farmhand, has a story today in the online magazine Slate about his (unsuccessful) quest to do a profile story for The New York Times about Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, and what stories like it mean about the relationship between players, fans and the media:
Writers and fans alike no longer get to know the object of their affections in a way they did years ago. Athletes see us as their adversar! ies, not as allies in their achievements. They are as much celebrities as rock stars and Hollywood actors are. They live insular lives behind a wall of publicists, agents, and lawyers. They don't interact with fans or writers. They mingle only with other celebrities at Vegas boxing matches, South Beach nightclubs, and celebrity golf events, all behind red-velvet VIP ropes. We can only gawk at them as if at an exotic, endangered species at a zoo.