September 2008

Letter to the Editor(s)

Thumbnail image for writing_letter.jpgOrdinarily, this would be the time I start complaining about the Cardinals’ inevitable decline from post-season contention, or the neck-and-neck battle of the AL Central or better yet: the inherent hypocrisies of the Christian Right.  All of the above warrant extensive coverage, but today, something else has caught my attention and I’d like to share it with you, dear readers.

“Dear Jeff,

Have you seen the Tribune today?  If not, go get one and turn to the front page of the Tempo section.  I read that this morning and swore I’d heard that before.  Then I realized that I read it on your blog a while ago.  Do you remember that?  Can’t seem to find the article now but I know I read it there somewhere.  I work next to the Tribune.  Should I go over there and break someone’s legs?

Oak Park, IL”

Why, thank you, T.J. for having the guile to confront the big whigs who actually get paid to write about baseball.  Thank you too for volunteering some muscle for the good RSBS fight.  It is much appreciated. 

Indeed, I did see the article this morning:
chicago tribune article.jpg
And here’s an excerpt of what I wrote on August 6 of this year:

If You Show Up to a Sox Game in 2008 Wearing an Albert Belle, Ray Durham or Sammy Sosa Jersey, You Are NOT Cool:
Seriously, folks.  Let’s be real.  And
no, a Scott Podsednik jersey is not acceptable
either.  You want a sure thing?  Go for a Hall of Famer or a retired
jersey.  Baines, Fisk, Minoso, Aparicio.  Heck, go for Dye or Jenks
now (in 2008), but buyer beware…

Admittedly, this small blurb in a post with many other small blurbs hardly makes a case for plagiarism.  In fact, the real debate on this topic took place in the comments section, not the post itself.  I should also point out that the nature of the article, while very similar to the tone and theme of my post, did have its own unique spin accompanied by interviews and images independent of mine.  Of course, given that the Tribune has a bigger budget than I — because I don’t have one at all — I am inclined to think that this fun little article is similar to mine only by chance.

However, just to be sure, I did have my army of technocrats go back and check the viewing activity of that post and in doing so they found several hits with long, extended pageviews stemming from an IP address associated with the Tribune building. 


It’s flattering to know that my posts are being read by major media corporations.  I find it uplifting that my work may inspire others to explore similar creative themes.  I enjoy entertaining the idea that my posts may influence paid writers to put food on the table.

At the same time, I also think credit should be given where credit is due.  No, T.J., I don’t think this is a case of plagiarism per se: the general idea of the post has certainly been circulating among the kitchen tables, bars and ballparks of our great nation ever since jerseys became a popular baseball fashion statement. 

But considering the timing of the Trib’s article (compiled by one Michael Pasternak) in accordance with my post, not to mention the myriad suspect hits coming from 435 North Michigan Ave., I gotta go there and send a great big old RSBS Eat it! to the Chicago Tribune.

Maybe Jay Mariotti was right.  Perhaps newspapers are dead.  And in the afterlife, they just peruse the blogosphere stealing story ideas…

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



A Moment of Humility

hurricane gustav.jpgBaseball will go on.  The race for the presidency will go on.  The outlandish diatribes of RSBS that make ’em say “Uh” will go on. 

But today, with Hurricane Gustav making landfall, I’d like to take a step back and remind our brothers and sisters in the Gulf region that they are most definitely in our thoughts, that we’re pulling for them and most importantly we’re here to help.

Politics aside, we all learned an important lesson with Katrina: that the strength of this nation is only as strong as the strength of our people.

While the storm rages and causes devastating damage along the way, our spirit shall remain strong because today we are not merely residents of a cardinal direction.  We are not just midwesterners, northeasterners, southwesterners or southeasterners: we are Americans.

And that means we’ll make it through — together.

For more information on what you can do, please visit the American Red Cross