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March 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Though it is said there are no absolutes in life, I’m pretty sure this is one: I don’t know everything. I used to have a favorite line I coined for just myself. It went like this: There are entire buildings devoted to all the things I don’t know. They are called libraries.

The Internet has made the library a bit less trafficked. Though many have adapted, DVD loans are always up. AND most also let you access the net there too. When I am homeless, I intend to spend a lot of time at the library. I have no faith in the Tyler Perry Plan and/or I’ll need the net to check how my SAG & AFTRA residuals are flowing, until I can buy my own island.

But that’s not why I’m here today. Today, I’d like to point out to readers of blogs a salient fact. Web logs are like columns. In the olden days, when newspapers & magazines meant something, having a column was something a writer earned. Sure, maybe they were getting it on with the editor. Maybe they actually went to Journalism School ( really a department in a college or university ). They spent their days & nights, doing scut work, getting a beat, and pounding it for years, while eating as many free press buffets as possible. One day, they write something that gets them noticed. If it happens a few more dozen times, if sales went up & you were[deleted] the editor, you probably got a column. Or fired, because they refused to give you more money. I was a Journalism major. I quit it.

Columns express the point of view & opinion of that writer and are set on or near the editorial section, that’s why they are called Op/Ed. Some people who read columnists & blogs don’t understand that distinction. While no one suggests any writer ever has carte blanche—editors still edit—columnists are not reporters. They don’t need to have facts or quotes. They may choose to use them to avoid libel suits—a good practice. Hey! even the NY Times had a reporter ( or 2 ) fabricating stories. Those were purportedly fact based. Had he or she been a columnist, it wouldn’t have been the same ethical issue. I’m not erudite or knowledgeable enough to do a full tutorial on journalism fine print, but readers do need to know the difference.

Yes–some bloggers are in the business of disseminating facts. They can also be reporters. For example Rick Reilly is a columnist, Selina Roberts is a hack, erm, reporter cum author. If I were working for say, Sports Illustrious or ISPN, I can’t say Manny Ramirez is a poophead. Mostly. Here I can. This is because Manny isn’t going to find me & knock me down. This is for a few reasons—one: though I am old, I don’t have any game tickets he needs. Two: he can’t read. See! that’s probably not true ( cough-yes it is ). But I don’t have to answer to anyone when I’m a jerk. Kind of like Manny! Again, not nice. Peter Gammons can get away with some stuff now because he is in the Hall of Fame & 2 years ago his brain blew up & he recovered. That aside, as a guitarist, he’s meh. But as a rule Pete won’t stoop to name calling. Yes, because he has integrity. And he doesn’t need a lawsuit after all those hospital bills.

So, if some blogger disses your team or your school or your mama, they might not fact check it. Well, maybe not your mama. Don’t expect the person to have three verifiable sources. Or even a source. Unless Mountain Dew Voltage ( I like it ) counts. Meanwhile I heard this awesome rumor about Tyler Perry & Dame Edith. I’d like to tell you, but I am waiting on 12 solid ( albeit fluid ) sources. When I get back from WalMart with my 12 pack, you’ll be the first to know. That’s if it’s still on sale.

The Santanic Verses*

January 15, 2008 2 comments

Johan Santana is still a Minnesota Twin. If he were a biological twin, it might help matters. Or just double the dubious pleasure and pain, surrounding the question of what team he’ll be pitching for in the 2008 MLB season. Not to mention all the words employed to discuss it ad nauseum. It should be pointed out Jose Canseco has a twin. So, as always the caveat: results may vary. . ..

Oh, which handsome suitor will attract the fair Minnesota GM Bill Smith ( is that his real name or is he hoping to maintain anonymity, if it goes bad?) and win his handshake on a blockbuster deal? Will it be the New York Yankees? Hmmm every other day they are like Al Pacino in Godfather lll—they try to get out. But they get pulled back in. The Yankees seem more like Silvio Dante’s ( The Sopranos ) impression of Al; funny and scary at the same time.

What about the Redolent Sox of Boston? I sure hope not. Though at this point, frankly Scarlet Ho-s, I don’t give a darn. The move would out those loads as the real once and future Evil Empire. It would also make it even sweeter to beat them down again; Mr. Santana’s stats at Fenway are improving, though historically, not all that awesome. Damn, I might’ve just messed with Karma. Oofah.

OR, now coming out of left field, landing on 3rd, the New York Mets. If any organization knows Yankee Envy, other than the Bostons, it’s the NYY crosstown cousins. BTW has anyone ever told the Mets ownership, that when they chose Dodger Blue & the orange to honor the late lamented NY Giants, for their team colors, neither of those teams wore pinstripes ( Mets have a pinstriped uni )? that team was/is the Yankees. They’re the team who stayed in New York City. Based on recent performance, if the Yankees had moved to California, they’d be about 11 pennants lighter, because they cannot win for losing out there!

Anyhow, the Mets really need Santana, especially after their unprecedented meltdown last season. They may yet get him too. But the Twins are reluctant to make a deal which would make them look weak to their fans. They have the right to ask for a lot, but they are dragging their heels like a guy who has to go to a chick flick.With his wife and mother in law. AND he pathetically keeps trying to get his wife to sweeten the deal— you know how. You also know how it ends. So, in hopes of ending this stale stalemate, I propose the following solution:

The NYY, BRS & Mets make a joint offer. They each give the Twins 4 guaranteed-can’t miss young players( that’s a joke son ) w/less than 2 seasons of MLB service, making them very attractive to Twins owner, Ebeneezer Pohlad ( 12 players for 1 ). Then, the 3 teams can share the use of Santana. Naturally he can’t pitch v. himself, so they’ll need an arcane, rotating formula, which Boston’s Bill ‘ sabermetrician ‘ James can develop, in the same unbiased way ( coughing fit ) George Mitchell did his steroid investigation.

The Twins will of course need 3-6 more months to consider if the offer is a good one, or until their brains thaw. It’s awfully cold in Minnesota, this time of year. . ..

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* US Copyright law does not allow copyright for titles. However, if I see any hacks copping this one, as they did with Santana Clause, I’ll come back and name names. So note the date January 15, 2008. Caveata ides illegitimi!

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