February 7, 2016

OUR VIEW: Starling cited for underage drinking

We don’t know many recent high school graduates that haven’t tipped back a bottle or two. And that includes almost every staff member at the Gardner News.
So, it was with reluctance that we chose to run a story about the former Gardner Edgerton High School standout, Bubba Starling, who was cited for underage drinking in Arizona.
People are angry that we decided to run such a story about the local hero. After all, he’s a stellar kid, who can not only field a baseball, but who visits sick children in hospitals and never has a discouraging word for the hundreds of Gardner-Edgerton kids who stop him in the grocery store.
There are two reasons the story made print. First, for better or worse, Starling is now a public figure. It’s a double-edged sword. With it, comes fortune and fame. But, that means people will be watching his every move. We don’t envy Starling’s position and shudder to think what people would report had they been watching our every move when we were his age.
(In fact, we worry how kids today will deal with their Facebook pages in the future. Via social media, the thoughts of every teenager are out on the web for future employers to find.)
Second, every news publication in the Kansas City metropolitan area ran the story – many at the top of the hour and on the front page. When people want to know about Gardner, we hope to be their first stop. We can’t do that if we ignore the stories with ties to our own backyard that we don’t like.
We know there are great things in Starling’s future – not only on the baseball field. We expect him to be above his athletic peers in charitable giving of his time and of his talents. That’s the kid everyone in Gardner knows, and our expectations are just as high.
However, we recognize he’s still young and doing what people his age do. It’s too bad he his growing pains will occur  under the harsh media spotlight. However, like all of the things he’s learned so far, we’re certain this community  will be behind him.


  1. I understand that “celebrity” news sells and you are looking for those page hits and subscriptions (does anyone read print anymore?). Just be sure to do stories on the positive things that he does as well then. Be journalists and write stories instead of pasting AP press releases and filling this web site with opinion pieces like you have been.

    I don’t understand the psychology of everyone judging a kid and his family so harshly for having a beer or 2 or 3 or whatever since he was under the .08 limit and had a designated driver. I can only guess that if you can knock down strangers that are successful it takes away from your own shortcomings.

    I look forward to reading the news in the future about his visits to hospitals and charity work and hopefully see him in Royal Blue soon at the K.

    There has to be enough going on in Gardner and southern JoCo that you don’t ahve to fill space with the random guest opinion pieces and editorials.

  2. Rhonda, I feel sorry for you and your publication that you will never win in this town with some people. I believe you went above and beyond what you needed to do as a news publication with this opinion piece. This story was covered by every media outlet in the Kansas City area, print and television. The Kansas City Royals issued a statement. Like it or not it is a newsworthy item.Nobody in their right mind thinks that this little misstep is going to define Bubba Starling. If anything, it’s fortunate that he learned an important lesson about life in the spotlight with such a minor mistake.

  3. doesn't matter says:

    its not that this article was run, its not that bubba did something wrong. Its the fact that there were four total players in the car and noone can say who the other three were, its just happens that only Bubba’s name was mention and everyone ran with it.

    Sure its news that needs to be reported but lets report the whole news not just the parts we want to report and that should be said to all news media in the area.

    Also, it needs to be said @skeptic that he is right in a way. That this website has been very good about posted opinions and alot of it is in a negative way but i also have to say that they are getting better at posting the positive stuff too. The problem is the negative is in little letters and the negative in bold letters.

    I think it would of been great if the GARDNER news would of done their own research and tried a little bit to do some real work and investigate a little more than post a story that another news source already posted.

  4. doesn't matter says:

    suppose to read postive in small and negative in large

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