Another great service beat writers provide fans is humanizing the players, telling us about their personalities and their backstories. They make the players more than simply numbers on the field.
Could bloggers provide the same information if given proper access? Yes, certainly. But the more important question is whether they could afford the financial demands of daily access. It would be challenging enough for bloggers just to carve out the necessary eight-hour time slot to use that access at home games. Could they also pay the staggering lodging, travel and food expenses for 81 road games plus spring training?