Thursday, October 30, 2008

Heresy at the Baseball Bible

Chris Mottram at the Sporting Blog:

I hate Philly. If there were mountains in Charlotte, I'd ascend to the top of them and yell it from their peaks. So forgive me; this is best I can muster: Congrats on finally winning a championship that doesn’t start with the word “arena.” Good for you guys. Your NFL team is still in last place. Phew ... that wasn’t easy. And it was also the last mention of the World Series you’ll find on TSB today*. Based on the TV numbers, you’d rather we write about House or Dancing With the Stars anyway, so this is probably good news to you.
Nothing personal, because I don't know Chris, but I don't understand how someone can land a job as a general sports blogger with a major media company and have such contempt for a championship in a major sport. This is true whether it is real contempt or feigned for comic irony. If you can't muster any enthusiasm, fine, just don't write about it at all.

What makes this worse is that this is not just any general sports blog. It's the Sporting News. True, it's a radically different enterprise than it used to be, but any outlet carrying the DNA of what was once known as The Baseball Bible ought to strive for something a bit better than this.

UPDATE: Chris Mottram emailed me and -- more politely than a lot of people would given what I said about his post -- noted that his wasn't the First or Official word on the Series from The Sporting News, and that Dan Shanoff has a straight-up and comprehensive take on it all here. He's right, and it's worth reading.

That doesn't necessarily change my reaction to Chris's post -- that enters into a whole larger What Are Blogs and What Are They For conversation that I don't think anyone wants to hear and I don't really feel like having myself -- but it does suggest that I was probably overreacting a bit.

UPDATE 2: And now there's a nice piece from Dave Larzelere about the glory of being a Philadelphia fan on this fair fall morn. Note to self: next time I want to slam a whole site over something, wait an hour and see if things get better first.


Ken Dynamo said...

yes, what a terrible thing to say. if your going to crap on philly's achievement, make it meaner and funnier. that was boring.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Agreed. Flat out lame. Lazy. Even irresponsible.

Chris Mottram said...

Oh chill out, man. It was a joke. We've cover the WS at great length, and Shanoff (the post before mine) recapped everything you'd need to know. Despite being part of SN, it is still a blog, and I'm still a blogger, so I bring with me personal biases and such. If you want the straight news, hit up the headlines.

Anonymous said...


Sounds like the SN guy was trying to do a Bill Simmons. It didn't work this time. I don't like Philly that much either, not because of the people but more the location (bad weather, might as well keep driving and go to NY). But winning the WS is always a monumental achievement and has to be approached from that perspective. Anything else rings false.

Kevin said...

I think it's absolutely precious to see a sports guy in freaking Charlotte of all places complain about anything. Outside of the cesspool that is Atlanta, Charlotte has the single biggest front-running, bandwagon-jumping fanbase of any city in the nation. It's a city full of pathetic, soon-to-be-unemployed banking yuppie douchebags who envy Atlanta for all it's nouveu-riche pretension.

Sometime, when you want to see what real sports fans look an act like, go on up to Philly, or even an hour south to Columbia. Hint: they don't show up late and leave early.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Kevin -- I don't know enough to disagree with you on Charlotte, but in his defense, Mottram is a DC guy who has only been in Charlotte for a while by virture of taking the job with The Sporting News.

Richard Dansky said...

I suppose it would be churlish of me to point out the nearby Blue Ridge.

Or, for that matter, the suggestively named King's Mountain.