Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is Honesty Truly Best?

**MY NOTE: I started writing this back in early January, and I've never held onto a post this long (at least, not that I remember).  The subject of the post, Steve Hyder, and I have played phone tag, because I really want his thoughts.  As I told him when I reached out to him, I think there is a certain amount of shared experience between us (minimal, but if you know my story, then you'll get it).  I'm going to post this as is, but I still hope to talk with Steve in the future.

In my daily job search quest, one of my stops is always at STAA (Sportscasters Talent Agency of America).  I do a lot of reading there, as well as check out the job listings.  Jon Chelesnik does a good job of pulling together articles of interest (like the one about "The Press Box" by Paul Silverfarb!), as well as driving business for the agency.

Recently I came across an article linked from Boston.com about former Pawtucket Red Sox announcer Steve Hyder.  It should be noted that the PawSox play-by-play job is prestigious in minor league baseball circles, as most of the guys who have worked there have climbed to the majors.   (And yes, I have applied to them before)  Hyder served as the "number 2" voice of the PawSox and never got the top spot with the team.  The most recent hire was 28-year-old Aaron Goldsmith.  Hyder isn't a kid.  Based on his Twitter account, he has two children, and some salt and pepper in his beard.

Therefore, he feels like he hasn't been "valued" by the PawSox.  He feels like he's done his time and earned more.  The quotes he gave in the article were very forthcoming, and I certainly can't fault him for his honesty.  It's refreshing.


On the other hand, one could whip up a lot of criticism here.  "Hey Steve", any of you might say, "be happy for what you have.  Rob Adams/Insert Name Here would die to have your job!"  If you were to say that, of course you would be right.  I would run - NOW - to Pawtucket, headset in hand.

But there's more.  This kind of honesty can sometimes be construed as "career suicide", or detrimental at the very least  A few of the comments on the Boston.com page indicate a certain amount of ungratefulness.

Let's be clear.  I don't know Steve Hyder.  I am not ripping him.  In fact, he would be welcome on "The Press Box" to talk about this.

To be honest, I'm conflicted.  Like I said, I respect and admire his honesty.  On the other hand, it could come off as sour grapes.  Plus, there's the book factor that is mentioned in the article.  That also could be dicey if he wants to work in the biz again.  But hey, can you blame him for feeling overlooked and undervalued?

Yet, has he burned a bridge?

And then, of course, we have the "youngin" factor.  I don't know anything about Aaron Goldsmith at all, so I won't critique*.  There has been, however, a move towards the young bucks because they'll take low-pay (not that I wouldn't).  There is a belief that youth brings a lack of quality broadcasting (lack of experience, etc).  At 28, Goldsmith isn't straight out of college, and I have enough respect for the PawSox to believe that he's good.

*For whatever it's worth, another layer to the story has hit the proverbial fan, because Goldsmith is on his way to joining the Seattle Mariners.


I guess it all comes down to perspective.  Hyder's perspective seems to be that he's tired of the grind and let down because he clearly wanted more.  He wanted to be the lead dog.  He felt he had done his time.  This sounds all too familiar to me.  At the same time, Hyder's departure has broadcasters drooling at the prospect of jumping into his former position.

There are only so many of these jobs.

It's now a question of if his honesty was truly the best policy.

1 comment:

Kenn Tomasch said...

My dad used to say, "Discretion is the better part of valor."

I can understand someone being honked off by this, but it's not always in your best interests to make your feelings known publicly. Doesn't usually end well.