-- I've been meaning to mention this all week but Mike Harrington talking about it in his Inside Baseball column this morning made me think of it again. First a little background: Blogger Jerod Morris writes a post about Raul Ibanez and steroids, reporter reads blog post and runs to Ibanez for a quote, Ibanez gets pissed, the mainstream media goes crazy about bloggers and how irresponsible they are.
Here's the thing. I think the original post is perfectly fine and this guy is getting lambasted for no reason. Considering how much outrage I'd heard about it, once I read it I was surprised to find it pretty thoughtful and even-handed and if I'd read it in a newspaper, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. Morris did a fair amount of statistical analysis which addressed a couple of issues, including Harrington's suggestion that Ibanez moving from a pitcher's park to a hitter's park is responsible for the hot start. The whole post was in fact a response to speculation from a buddy of his. Morris started out defending Ibanez, mildly mentions that certainly PEDs are a possibility and says he'll wait until there's an entire season of numbers before making any kind of final judgment. His main point is that considering the climate of the league today, when a 37-year-old player is having the best season of his career, people are going to question what's going on.
I just don't get that this post was any different than what Howard Bryant did here or Bill Simmons did here. (And yes, Simmons is more or less a fan writing but he's getting paid for it and doing it for the biggest sports source in the world.) How may times a day do the talking heads on ESPN say things like "Players have lost the benefit of the doubt" and "I don't know who to believe anymore" without even thinking? How many baseball writers have written columns or blogs about how they're not voting for Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa or Barry Bonds for the Hall of Fame because of the suspicion that they were on steroids even though none of them ever failed a MLB test?
I'd be very curious to know how many of the people criticizing Morris - including Harrington - went to the trouble of clicking over and reading the original blog post in entirety. I completely understand why Ibanez got defensive when confronted by the reporter in question. I'm glad he did respond so forcefully and I hope he is clean. But to use this post to vilify blogging is ridiculous. I've read things in the newspaper and heard speculations on TV that are more irresponsible.
Which brings us back to Harrington. Either he jumped on the MSM bandwagon and criticized Morris without reading the blog post or he read the blog post and misrepresented it by suggesting it didn't address something it actually did address. Either way, I'm disappointed, especially considering how blog friendly Mike has always been.
Then again, I'm just speculating here which I, as a blogger, am not allowed to do because I should be held to much higher standards than the real journalists of the world. My deepest apologies.
-- I know he's become the whipping boy for a lot of fans but I'm really happy for Sidney Crosby. He came into the NHL at 18 with just ridiculous amounts of pressure on him to save the Penguins and rejuvenate the league. I think he's lived and played under a brighter, more critical glare than anyone else including Alexander Ovechkin. There was a really great shot of him on the bench as the final seconds of Game 7 ticked away, getting ready to spring over the boards with a huge smile on his face, a smile very unlike what we've seen out of him most days because it was genuine and child-like. I'm hoping maybe having that first Cup will help him relax and just be himself a little more. He's certainly earned that. I don't have anything against the Red Wings at all but I think it's always pretty fun to watch a bunch of kids win their first Cup.
-- Mark and I went to Allentown yesterday and as always, really enjoyed ourselves. Between the two of us, our final food tally was onion rings, hand-cut potato chips, fried dough with chocolate sauce, and the most gigantic shaved ice I've ever seen. And then we topped that all off with the first stop on the summer-long pizza crawl, Casa di Pizza. (If you wanna know what we thought, you'll have to stay tuned.) And in the midst of all that, we did actually look at art.
My favorite booth by far was Yardbirds' junkyard sculptures. The guy takes all kinds of metal scraps - screws, sockets, nails, forks, pots, pans, pretty much anything you can think of - and turns them into various animal sculptures. I was in awe at how creative they were and how much personality each piece had. It just amazes me that someone can look at all those scraps and make something so delightful and charming from them.
I really liked this elephant the best but even the smallest one was out of my price range for the day. (I will get one though, oh yes, I will.)
I also really liked the hanging monkeys but I could not for the life of me think of a good place in the house or yard to hang it. I'll have to ponder that and buy one next year.
I ended up taking home this cute little froggy. Despite not being my first choice, it's still totally adorable.
They don't seem to have an official website but I found a lot of examples here if you want to see more. The dogs are especially cute, I think.
-- Now that the hockey season is officially over and we can start talking about things like completely dismantling the current Sabres roster, I'm hoping to start blogging on a more regular basis again. That said, this week will probably be a quiet one as I hunker down for the final stretch run of the school year. There are some posts in progress however so keep checking back.