• Green Advice To Jefferson Applies To Blogging?

    Posted by on January 10th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    BaseballThinkFactory.org is a great source for baseball news. And, at times, some of the comments left there are right on the money too.

    For example, today, at BBTF, they’ve linked to a post written by Murray Chass where he takes a shot at some bloggers. In it, Chass wrote:

    When you were in school, did you ever flunk both English and math in the same year? If you did, did you do it publicly, not just for your teacher and your parents to see?

    I have come upon a whole organization that gets a failing grade in English and math. And I am not picking on it because it is an organization of bloggers. But if I didn’t already dislike blogs, this would do it.

    I recently received a news release from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA), a recently formed organization that unabashedly acknowledges that it is copying the Baseball Writers Association (BBWAA). Except it’s for bloggers, not newspaper reporters.

    The error-infested release only reinforces my feeling about blogs and bloggers. It becomes Exhibit A. If a person can’t write basic English correctly and doesn’t know basic math in a sport filled with numbers, what business does he have writing anything for public consumption?

    Seeing this, immediately, I thought of a comment that Dayn Perry left at BBTF the other day. In it, Dayn said:

    I’d really appreciate it if bloggers would retire the FJM approach to engagement.

    For those not aware, “FJM” was a blog “dedicated to analysis and critique of the sports media.” Or, as they shared in their final post at FJM, they were a bunch of guys with a “borderline-sociopathic joy for meticulously criticizing bad sports journalism.”

    And, I have to share that I feel Dayn Perry was dead, solid, perfect with his comment the other day.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand the concept of constructive criticism. But, there’s also the element of “putting someone down” to make yourself feel like you’re in control or more powerful (and perhaps cover up your own insecurities as well) at play here too. And, related, these “put downs” tell you a lot more about the party who’s making the comments than anything else, at least in my opinion.

    Now, as I write this, I cannot help but to think back that – at this blog – I’ve used certain members of the Yankees organization as blogging pincushions at times. And, to be frank, this reflection now has given me pause. Related, going forward, I’m going to think hard when posting some “criticism” and consider the reason why I’m sharing it. Is it warranted or constructive? If not, am I merely posting it in an attempt to make myself feel better by putting someone else down?

    That last question is a good one. And, it’s probably one that every blogger and/or media member should consider when writing about something that someone else wrote.

    Hence, the title of this post: “Green Advice To Jefferson Applies To Blogging?” In 1989, then Yankee Stanley Jefferson was upset about being sent to the minor leagues and was blaming others for his demotion. To this, then Yankees manager Dallas Green said to Jefferson: “Look in the mirror, big boy!”

    Great advice Dallas. Hopefully, someday, those blogosphere will get – and, “retire the FJM approach to engagement” (as Perry suggested).

    Comments on Green Advice To Jefferson Applies To Blogging?

    1. yagottagotomo1
      January 10th, 2010 | 10:38 am

      I think you make an excellent point. Criticizing a viewpoint you disagree with is perfectly fine. The challenge for bloggers is to limit the criticism to the opinion and stay away from making statements/criticisms about the person. Just as an example, I think it is fair to hold the opinion that, say, Ed Wade is a poor GM because he highly overvalues middle relievers. To add on, “and therefore, Ed is clearly an idiot” is the kind of stuff that I think has become too popular (and Im as guilty as anybody) and needs to be curtailed. Then again, there are certain writers who are trying to elicit that sort of reaction (Jeff Pearlman comes to mind), so I’m not certain whether they deserve reasoned, restrained treatment.

    2. jay
      January 10th, 2010 | 11:38 am

      Constructive criticism is great. But a jab to go along with it really hurts your credibility. I don’t sense that Steve does a lot of that here, but I’m all for someone rededicating themselves to make sure that’s not happening, so good on you. Hopefully it sets a good example for other people.

      That said, the anti-blogger sentiment by standard media types hinted at by Chass here reminds me of why I don’t read the typical talking heads anymore. This ‘I’ve made a career of having an opinion in print, and now you think can just show up and have one too?’ attitude is nothing more than a knee jerk from those who recognize that their ill-researched opinions and analysis are going the way of the dinosaur.

    3. Tresh Fan
      January 10th, 2010 | 12:25 pm

      The irony here is that Chass is himself a blogger, albeit one with impressive credentials. I just wanted to advise him of that fact on his website, but murraychass.com doesn’t allow for reader comments. Interesting.

    4. Raf
      January 10th, 2010 | 8:17 pm

      Tresh Fan wrote:

      The irony here is that Chass is himself a blogger, albeit one with impressive credentials. I just wanted to advise him of that fact on his website, but murraychass.com doesn’t allow for reader comments. Interesting.

      I would think it to be a PITA to moderate comments.

    5. Jake1
      January 11th, 2010 | 2:39 pm

      chass may be blogging but hes not a blogger. hes a respected journalist who can actually write and looks to break stories/write features. bloggers just link to stories others write. and after that they throw their 2 cents in like they know whats up. respect guys like chass

    6. January 16th, 2010 | 7:20 am

      […] Green Advice To Jefferson Applies To Blogging? The error-infested release only reinforces my feeling about blogs and bloggers. It becomes Exhibit A. If a person can’t write basic English correctly and doesn’t know basic math in a sport filled with numbers, what business does. […]

    7. March 4th, 2010 | 12:17 am

      […] Kevin Kernan. His suggestion here brought cause for some of the usual FJM Wannabes in the Yankees blogosphere to emerge from their ivory towers – constructed out of their […]

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