Results tagged ‘ Chicago Tribune ’

The Filibuster

This week saw the introduction of instant reply — a
technocratic advance many still consider blasphemy — in Major League
Baseball.  Currently, the only calls
deemed debatable are homerun calls.  But now that the surface has been cracked, is it not only a matter of time before
we are reviewing foul balls down the line, close plays at first and dare I say
the strike zone?  Where does one draw the
line and how will this impact the overall game?


— Jeff



Ah yes, the ol’ slippery slope argument. If we do “x,” then “y” and “z” must follow. It’s an argument politicians have used for years to hold out against reforming everything from farm subsidies to gun ownership. But, the fact of the matter is that the argument holds no water.

Beyond that, however, is an even more important distinction when it comes to instant replay. The use of replay for this one small area of the game is a huge improvement over the old system.

Just this past week, replay was used to uphold an Alex Rodriguez home run and the game neither came to a screeching halt nor did the ghosts of long dead major leaguers suddenly come flying out of the ground to right some injustice that had been done to their memory. Replay equals innovation and evolution in the game.

In the old system, a bunch of middle aged men who saw the ball’s path from 300 feet away would get together and debate what had happened. Often, they got it wrong. So now, instead of paying the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would be necessary to put extra umps in the outfield, MLB came up with a suitable alternative.

No one who truly calls their self a baseball fan wants to see the abolition of the umpire. The call at home plate in a swirl of dust and dirt is as much a part of the game as the wooden bat and pinetar covered batting helmet.

But instant replay adds to the game. And in fact, in honor of its resounding success during its first week of use, I’d like to see it applied in other places where it’s never been seen before.

For instance, I’d like to see an instant replay of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention the other evening. Maybe then we can discover how someone who’s views so clearly fall outside the mainstream (creationism taught side by side with evolution?) has become an overnight media darling.

Or perhaps we could find out via replay how the Chicago Tribune came to print a story that so closely resembled my colleague Mr. Lung’s recent post.

No matter what, instant replay is here to stay along with the DH and All-Star Games that have way too much of an impact on October baseball. Instant replay, though, that’s change we can believe in.


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.