This just in: There's been a run on notepads and digital recorders in southern California.
That's because the Orange County Register plans to have 70 of its 100 reporters — yes, that's a seven followed by a zero — covering Friday night's opener between the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals at Angel Stadium. A "news mob," the paper calls it.
As a point of comparison, Wikipedia lists 48 regular members of the White House press corps. Of course, to borrow from a famous Babe Ruth quote, Albert Pujols had a much better 2011 — and makes a lot more money — than the president.
So what exactly does an Angels news mob cover?
A real estate reporter is doing a story about how property values around Angel Stadium have gone up. A business reporter talked to the manufacturer of Angels bobbleheads. A technology reporter interviewed the person who picks the songs and video clips that run during the game. The person who usually covers celebrity gossip filed a story about the 1870s-era baseball cards that are in a Library of Congress collection. One reporter is writing a story about an Angels fan who plans to propose to his girlfriend at the opening-night game.
No word on if columnist Mark Whicker will be assigned to write what victims of famous kidnappings think of the Angels' chances for the postseason, but you have to assume it's in the budget with the OC Register leaving no rock in the Angel Stadium outfield unturned.
Look, as someone who runs a baseball blog that rarely considers any story too small or insignificant, I can't be too judgmental here. The paper is looking to make a splash with its Angels coverage and establish that it will be the go-to news source for a highly-anticipated Halos season. So long as they've got the other "real-life" beats covered, what's wrong with the OC Register rallying its monkey for a big event in its coverage area?
At the same time, the law of diminishing returns is definitely going to be in play here. It'll likely kick in somewhere between the feature on the third-string parking lot attendant and the advice column on ballpark urinal etiquette.
Big BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball