Arcia didn’t need to “watch” what he said in his clubhouse, he needed to hit better than .150 for the series. And the Braves needed to pitch better. And it would’ve helped if they had kept Nick Castellanos from hitting four homers in the last two games. Mintz’s reporting of Arcia’s comments, which he made in a room filled with reporters, might’ve made losing the series tougher to swallow for the Braves and their fans, but it didn’t contribute anything to their losing. And, hoo boy, did it ever make the Phillies’ winning that much more fun to watch.
The somewhat happy ending to the Arcia-Harper brouhaha is that there was pushback from other baseball journalists and fans. Rizzo ended up apologizing to Mintz.
“If we report something they don’t want us to report, they won’t be candid with us anymore, and we won’t get the good stuff--which we also won’t report. We just want to know stuff so we can talk about it in hotel bars and sound cool.”
Being in Philadelphia, and being a massive Phillies fan, I've heard a ton about this for the last week. I'm so in agreement with Parker here. Any team has plenty of time when there are no reporters around to say whatever they want and not have it be recorded or used by those reporters. But when you just finish a dramatic win in the playoffs and there are a small troop of reporters milling about your locker room, maybe have an idea of that and don't spout off bulletin-board material directed at one of the best players in the game, then complain that no one was supposed to hear it. They then bellyached about that rather than showing up for the rest of the series. It was so bad that Arcia started to taunt the Phillies fans during the decisive Game 4 and had to be told to stop a couple times by Acuña. Just weak all around by the Braves in this scenario.
There is precedence here. When Ball Four was published in 1970 it broke the unspoken rule that locker rooms were off limits. For decades before that, reporters travelled with players and generally agreed to leave all the nasty bits out of the paper.
Note from the volunteer copy desk: The photo caption says "rounds second base ant stares down" where I imagine it meant to say "rounds second base and stares down" (granted, I could just be showing my ignorance of baseball and its terminology).