Sportswriters, stop being so angry about bloggers. They exist. They're not going to stop existing anytime soon. Some are good, some are bad -- just like you, sportswriters. Happily, the good (or at least semi-coherent and semi-entertaining) ones will probably get read more than the bad ones because people on the Internet can pick and choose what they want to read. Unhappily, thousands of people can hate a local sportswriter and he'll still probably keep his job for decades on end.
Patrick Reusse, some guy, is shaking his fist and saying that too many damn people have blogs. How is saying it? Through a poorly conceived and shoddily executed dialogue piece
between a fictionalized sportswriter and blogger. And the blogger is (prepare your stomach for a hearty belly laugh) a homeless man. Watch your back, Jonathan Swift!Patrick Reusse: The next blog could be right around the corner
Journalism is getting very crowded in this new age of the blogosphere, with the Internet giving anyone with an opinion and a computer a venue to vent.
Timely!Portly Old Scribe (POS) was waddling down Fifth Street. There was a gentleman coming in the opposite direction. He was pushing a shopping cart filled with various items, including what seemed to be his next day's wardrobe options.
He turned the cart at an angle in front of POS. The scribe started to reach for his wallet, figuring a couple of bucks might cause him to remove the sidewalk blockade.
"No, big man, I ain't looking for a handout," he said. "I recognize your moon face from the newspapers I use as a mattress. I just wanted to introduce myself, and let you know we're going to be colleagues."
Sums it up: guys who write for newspapers are terrified and insulted that Joe Plebeian might dare offer his own opinions on the local sporting club. This is unacceptable. Leave it to the professionals, "bloggers"! You're probably homeless!"Yeah, I'm starting a Twins blog this week for your website," he said. "Homeless Hans' Homerisms, but go ahead ... just call it HHH."
I don't really get this. Half-joke? Why is his name Hans? Is that a "funny" name?
** EDIT **
Dak posits that this is some kind of Hubert H. Humphrey allusion. I'm unmoved.
The scribe was aware that Twins blogs were multiplying on startribune.com like the stallion A.P. Indy, but this revelation led to a request for details.
Here's the thing: as far as I can tell, there are three blogs on startribune.com. One is by the Trib's national baseball reporter
. Another is by their current Twins beat writer
. And the last is by their former beat writer
What a bunch of crazy homeless bums! They'll let anyone write about sports in this new Internetland!
HHH: "I just happened to be the right person in the right place at the right time. I was taking a rest in that little park across from 425 Portland, a guy came out the front door, jaywalked across the street and sat on the park bench.
"We started talking, he asked if I knew anything about the Twins, I said, 'Always read about 'em when I find an old newspaper,' and he signed me up for the blog right there.
"Homeless Hans' Homerisms. Beautiful!"
This guy Patrick Reusse apparently thinks the way you get a blog is to go to the offices of your local newspaper and be offered one by a newspaper reporter. That is not how you start a blog. It's actually much easier than that. You can do it on your own in your own home by going to blogger.com. If you're homeless, you could go to a local library and then go to blogger.com. Should I tell Patrick this or would this just make him write a new, more hilarious piece about a dog becoming a blogger?
Plus, I reject the premise that it's a bad thing for a blogger to be homeless. I would totally read a blog written by a homeless guy. That would be awesome. I'm going to check some homeless blogs out right now.
Okay, I found a couple that might be interesting. Here's one
about a guy in Nashville. Here's another
I didn't examine either of them that closely, but I'm going to go ahead and say that the quality of writing on both meets or exceeds the level of writing done by Patrick Reusse. Even though they're homeless
.POS: "I have a confession to make, Hans. I'm not really into this blog stuff."
HHH: "The problem, oldtimer, is you're stuck in the time warp that thinks New Journalism is synonymous with Tom Wolfe. What we have now is New-Newer-Newest Journalism -- an America with 300 million columnists."
POS: "But that word, blog, what is it?
HHH: "How dumb are you? Everyone knows blog is an acronym for boot licking, obfuscation and grandiosity."
That is so unfunny I bet the guy who wrote it is homeless or something. He doesn't deserve a home if he has one. I bet he eats out of the garbage, stupid homeless guy.POS: "I'm still confused. Exactly what is it that you, Homeless Hans, plans to give fans that they can't get on the several thousand other blogs offering Twins insights?"
HHH: "Glad you asked. Often during the past 20 years, I've seen pedestrians steer clear when they see and hear me on the street corner, muttering.
"What they don't know is what I'm doing is mentally and verbally running the numbers that I use to quantify a hitter's contribution to a ballclub."
POS: "Runs scored, runs batted in, batting average?"
HHH: "I knew those stats were passé before Bill James' first book was a gleam in his publisher's eye. What you get from Hans is an exclusive look at the OBPSPCAL/ CGEHFTxTB/GDP statistic. You'll be able to find the key number for every player on my blog."
As a bonus, Reusse throws in a jab at sabermetrics. Makes perfect sense.
Get your stereotypes straight, dude. People who look at numbers are nerds
. People who are bad at writing are homeless.POS: "Any chance you could enlighten me on how you arrive at the one number that tells us all we need to know about a big-league hitter?"
HHH: "Simple, really. On-base percentage, plus slugging percentage, plus close-and-late average, divided by times you couldn't get 'em home from third, multiplied by total bases, divided by grounded into double plays.
"And get this? OBPSPCAL/CGEHFTxTB/GDP proves Matt LeCroy should be the Twins' starting catcher and not Joe Mauer."
Hey, did you know that by looking at numbers, you can figure out that Matt LeCroy is a crazy lefty masher? It's true. In 2005, he OPS-ed 1.025 against lefties (in 124 AB). In 2004, it was .901 in 90 AB.
The rest of the article is one long, dumb digression about a stadium or something. Here's a message to Patrick Reusse and people like him: you have nothing to worry about if you're good at writing. People enjoy reading stuff that is good, whether it's in a newspaper, on a computer, or on the underside of a Nantucket Nectars cap. You sound sad and out of touch when you complain about people writing in a slightly different format from your own.
In 1455, Patrick Reusse was a monk who copied Bibles longhand complaining about goddamn Gutenberg and his goddamn printing press.
Labels: blogs, homeless people, patrick reusse