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Friday, June 18, 2010

Jee-SUS and the All-Star Game

My intent was to write this yesterday, before I got hungry after watching Top Chef DC. My other intent was to be less of a bitter old man and only write when I'm happy. Then I realized that, with the way things are going, I'd only be writing every five games.

So I'll just keep being bitter.

The sub-title of this post should be 'An Open Letter to Bob and Rob." I also need to note that I'm not a fan of ripping ol' Bob. Call me clueless but I like the guy. He's very gracious in person and he's a competent broadcaster. The fact that he puts up with cheering and yelling and whooping OVER HIS CALLS without losing his stuff earns him multiple bonus points. If the Nats declared him broadcaster for life, I would not complain.

That said, the two of them do come off sometimes as arrogant snobs with an attitude of "no one - especially those silly bloggers - knows near as much about the Nationals as we do." You can hear the sneers in their comments.

Well, I hope they know an awful lot, perhaps more than anybody. They are paid to talk about the team for hours every day.

They also need to concede others know stuff, too. While I'm at it - they need to actually read what's been written before they rip it on the air.

All this came to mind on Wednesday when they were scoffing at things they read that suggested Stephen Strasburg should be on the National League All-Star team.

They must have access to stuff the rest of us don't have. Perhaps there is something out there that says that. But nothing I've seen has said that, at all. No one is annointing a 2-0 pitcher with 10 days in the major leagues as an all-star.

Several people did write about the topic. Their question was simple and on point: If Jee-SUS continues on his current path, does he deserve consideration? Will MLB want him there to drive ratings, to showcase its next great star? Not "take him now." Rather a "what if?" kind of thing.

If I'm counting correctly, he has five starts left before the All-Star game. Suppose he's 7-0 with 70 strikeouts and an ERA right about where it is now? Or 6-1 with the loss a 2-1 type of thing? Should be be taken under those circumstances? There's some precedent. I believe Dontrelle Willis was the one mentioned.

I don't know where I stand on the issue. I don't know if a guy who makes his debut 35 days before the game should merit consideration. I do know it is a legitimate topic of discussion.

I also know I haven't seen anyone declare him an All-Star yet. If they have, Bob and Rob are right. That's over the top.

Speaking of Jee-SUS, only 61 people voted in the "how many will he win" poll. It fell right about where I thought it would, with most of the votes in the 8-10 range (I picked 10). A total of 27 say 8, another 19 say 10. Seven think he'll be in the 12-14 range and five see him winning five (only three more? really?). On the other end of the spectrum, three think he'll win 15 games.

If he does win 15, that's pretty impressive. I'll post something about rookie of the year, MVP, Cy Young Award winner and ambassador to the United Nations.


NatsJack in Florida said...

If he wins 15, he'll still come in second for the Cy Young behind Hibaldo Jimenez from the Rockies. That guy is a BEAST!

bdrube said...

From a purely selfish standpoint I don't want to see Strasburg make the All Star team since it will mean less innings for the Nats in the second half. If he is 7-0 or 6-1 with 70Ks by then, however, I agree he would deserve it. But let's not raise expectations that high yet. :)

Zimmerman and Clippard would be my choices. Zim is the team's best position player and Clippard was the best pitcher on the roster prior to SS's arrival.

Anonymous said...

There may not have been any self-identified bloggers already asserting that Strasburg is guaranteed to start the ASG, but there certainly were lots of commenters on Kilgore's and Zuckerman's blogs saying that very thing. They were even speculating on which other deserving Nat would lose his chance to be an All Star in order to clear room for Strasburg. It's far more likely that Carpenter and Dibble are reading those comments than it is that they are reading the work of self-identified bloggers such as yourself. And as far as Carp and Dibble are concerned, those commenters are bloggers too. They are people who write on blogs, ergo they are bloggers. Carp and Dibble have no grasp of the nuances of blogging, no understanding of the difference between a blogger and a commenter. And maybe that's because the only real difference is that the bloggers have a fixed web address where they spew their commentary while the commenters flit about from place to place spewing their thoughts. Most of the bloggers and all the commenters are not at the games, they're not working sources, they really have no solid basis underlying what they say. They're really no different than a bunch of fans standing around the bar BSing about the game, except that the bloggers/commenters write their stuff down so it ends up sticking around in places where other people can see it, like Carp and Dibs. And when they see/hear stuff like that, they're liable to comment on it. So instead of saying "I heard some fans saying..." they say "bloggers are saying...". Why? Because to them, you're all bloggers. As opposed to Kilgore, Zuckerman, Goessling, etc, who they consider to be reporters even though much of what they report does end up showing up on blogs. And of course they're going to look down on people who spew opinions but are never out there in the trenches doing actual reporting to stand behind those opinions. Wouldn't you, if you were someone out there following the team around all day, every day have the same opinion of a bunch of random guys who seem to just sit in front of a computer spewing their thoughts?

MikeHarris said...

I do a little more than sit in front of the computer and spew thoughts. I saw 33 games last year live and will see 20 or so this year. I watch almost every game. So do many of my blogging colleagues.

That said, that's what blogs are all about, aren't they? I've never claimed to be anything other than a guy who throws his thoughts and opinions out there for others to see and agree or disagree with. My opinion is no better or no worse than anybody else's. I just don't want it said that I sit here and spew without any observation or thought.

(Oh, I've been in the trenches, too, many times. It's overrated!)

Anonymous said...

"I just don't want it said that I sit here and spew without any observation or thought."

Not saying that. But there's still no way you can avoid being lumped in with the many who are doing just that. It's the nature of the medium you've chosen to express yourself in.

"Oh, I've been in the trenches, too, many times. It's overrated!"

Sure. And I'm sure pretty much everyone who's in the trenches realizes that. However, they're not going to say it publicly until they're out of the trenches, because otherwise they'll lose the respect that comes from being in the trenches. Notice how guys like Zuckerman and Goessling got the rug pulled out from under them but immediately negotiated their way back into the trenches, so that even though they are now nothing but bloggers themselves they carry none of the stigma associated with that? Rightly or wrongly, you guys raising the flag of bloggers rights are always going to be dragged down by your association with random commenters like me, who also are watching all the games - but as fans, not journalists. Once you stop hanging onto the accoutrements of journalism, or even start disparging them in any way, you lose any chance at journalistic cred yourself and become just another member of the great unwashed. Even though you might bathe more frequently and practice better personal hygeine than 99% of people who get labeled as journalists.

MikeHarris said...

Accoutrements! Love that word. You and I may disagree on some things but you've just become one of my favorite commenters.

I am a proud member of the great unwashed and I wear that badge with a smile. Yes, I have the "background" but that's the old days. In this forum, I'm just a spewing fan.

For all my gripes, though, I've never questioned the intelligence of Bob and Rob. Surely they know the difference between a blog post and a comment - if not, I'm disappointed.

I also think Ben and Mark are not lumped in with the rest of the crazies, just because they're online only now and technically bloggers. They are credentialed, they are reporting, they're doing exactly what they did before. Just in an online only forum. Their thoughts, messages, stories, etc., should carry a hell of a lot more weight than a traditional blogger - this one included.

Things have evolved and I think readers are smart enough (most of them) to tell the difference. Certain readers like certain of us bloggers and others like different bloggers. Some may say, well, ol' Mike there has a writing background and goes to a lot of games so I put some faith in what he says. Other say he's as full of crap as they come.

Know what? They're both right.

I should have saved that for a post to pad my totals!