Books | Sports

September 2, 2008's Buster Olney Retorts

Bristol's five-tool player opens up on Hall of Fame voting and working with John Kruk.

Michael Gluckstadt

Regular watchers of ESPN's Bottom Line ticker are used to seeing the name Buster Olney sandwiched between the words "'s" and "reports." But there's more to Buster Olney than breaking news on the status of Josh Beckett's tingling elbow. Before jumping ship to ESPN, Olney was a beat reporter with the New York Times, and, before that, with the Baltimore Sun and San Diego Union-Tribune. Now, Olney is a familiar presence on all faces of the ESPN empire—from the magazine to local sports radio, from Baseball Tonight to his own blog.

Having shifted from the printed page to a plethora of platforms, Olney, age 44, embodies the changing face of journalism. Like Alex Rodriguez, he is a five-tool player for a mammoth corporation; unlike A-Rod, he was around for the Yankees championship run, and makes significantly less than $27.5 million a year. In the following interview, which has been edited for clarity, Olney tells Gelf why Bonds and Clemens will never be inducted into the Hall of Fame, how he has so many well-placed sources in baseball, and why they don't talk about VORP on Baseball Tonight. You can hear Olney, along with authors Dave Zirin and Harvey Frommer, read from and talk about their work at Gelf's free Varsity Letters event on Thursday, September 4th, in New York's Lower East Side.

Post a comment

Comment Rules

The following HTML is allowed in comments:
Bold: <b>Text</b>
Italic: <i>Text</i>
<a href="URL">Text</a>


Article by Michael Gluckstadt

Contact this author