August 17, 2003

Reader Mail (Piling On Edition)

I was planning on making last Friday's entry a "Reader Mail" entry, as I often do. Sometime Thursday afternoon though, I became obsessed with commenting on a really bad article by Terence Moore in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, so I devoted Friday's entry to that instead.

So, today you get a rare Monday "Reader Mail" entry, which, I think, is a first on this blog. Instead of using some of the many good emails I got last week prior to Friday's entry, I thought it would be fun to devote today's entire entry to the various emails I got over the weekend in response to my dissection of Terence Moore's article on Friday.

If you missed Friday's entry and/or Terence Moore's article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, you may want to go back and read them before checking out today's entry, since...well, it probably won't make a whole lot of sense to you otherwise.

Putouts: Another superior stat for Andruw (by Terence Moore)

A little put out (by Aaron Gleeman)


Our first email comes to us from "Kirk":

"As a fairly regular reader of the AJC, it comes as no surprise to me that Terrence Moore's article is full of nonsense. He is one of the worst sports columnists that I have ever read. But, I don't think he means to mislead, he's just lazy and incompetent. This is the just the latest example of his "art."

After the Sheffield/Jordan-Perez trade, he wrote a ridiculous column blasting the Braves (not so much for acquiring Sheffield, but for using Jordan as part of the package). Why? Because the Braves lost clubhouse "leadership" and that would hamper "chemistry". He claimed that even his ten-year-old nephew knew that the Braves needed Jordan. Never mind that Jordan was sometimes a bit of a whiner, was fragile, and never was really all that productive even when he was healthy.

His articles are not even worth your time."

I am pretty certain that, prior to last Thursday, I had never read even a single thing written by Terence Moore. Because of that, I was shocked by the amount of people who emailed me to say how sub par they feel Moore is as a sports writer. Apparently I stumbled onto a bit of an issue in Atlanta, without even knowing I was doing so.

I suppose that if I pick a random article by a writer who is not considered a good one, the odds are pretty good that the one article I read is not going to be a good one. Still, there is a chance that I could have chosen one of the rare quality articles the sub par writer wrote, in which case my entire opinion of him would have been different.

I mean, if you watch Neifi Perez play everyday for a whole season, you know he's a bad baseball player. But let's say you only watch him play one time and on that random day he goes 4-4 with a homer and 2 doubles. Your entire opinion of him would be completely different, right? Fortunately, it appears as though I randomly stumbled across a bad article written by a bad writer, so everything is as it should be.

There are thousands of articles written about Major League Baseball every single day of the week and, when I see one that I find fault in, I generally just ignore it. So, in that sense, I guess Kirk is right that Moore's articles are not even worth my time. On the other hand, it is fun to take a particularly bad article and tear it apart every once in a while, right?

As I said on Friday, I used to dissect poor articles much more often in the early days of this blog, but have done so much less often recently. Whether I do it every day of the week or once every three months, ripping apart a bad article appears to be the thing I do that the majority of you enjoy the most. I can understand that, because it really is a whole lot of fun doing it. That said, you guys aren't attempting to begin a career in sports journalism at some point and you're also not the one on the receiving end of any potential hatred that comes from Terence Moore and his friends and family.

Actually, I am sort of surprised that I haven't had any nightmares involving Luis Rivas, Joe Morgan and Phil Rogers (and now Terence Moore) arriving at my house to "have a word with me." I think I am most afraid of Luis, because, in addition to living in Minnesota for at least part of the year, he is the youngest and most physically fit of the bunch (in other words, I think I could take Little Joe and Mr. Rogers).

If this were an anonymous blog, I think I just might pick a new poorly written article every day of the week to dissect. I could do an article from a West-Coast newspaper every Monday, a Southern newspaper on Tuesdays, a Midwestern paper on Wednesdays and an East-Coast paper on Thursdays. And then, of course, Fridays would always be devoted to's fine content.

Actually, that's not a bad idea. If you see a "Mr. X's Baseball Blog" at some point in the future, mum's the word, okay?

Our next email is from "Ned," who expresses similar feelings about the quality of Terence Moore's articles:

"Greetings from Atlanta.

The reason I wrote to you today was to comment on Terence Moore, whose article on Andruw Jones you discussed today. Basically, Terence Moore is an idiot. I am always surprised on the infrequent occasions when he writes something that makes sense, particularly concerning baseball, which is by far my favorite sport. My brother (who lives in Maine) and I write each other almost every day with 80% of the content of our letters concerning baseball. One of my favorite topics is ripping apart Terence Moore's columns, like you did yesterday. Usually, it is like shooting fish in a barrel. You did an excellent job exposing the fallacies in Terence's arguments."

It sounds like everyone loves bashing Terence Moore's articles! Maybe this could be a new craze, like the "Macarena" or something.

One interesting thing that I learned by discussing an article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is that I have a ton of readers living in Atlanta. I can never really get a feel for where most of you guys are from. Obviously a lot of you are living in Minnesota (or did at some point), because of the amount of Twins-related stuff I talk about. But when I write about different teams or cities, I am always surprised by the amount of emails I get from people there. Whether it is Seattle or New York or Boston or Atlanta or wherever - it's always fun to see.

Oh, and by the way, I really don't think Terence Moore is "an idiot." First of all, his actual writing in the article I read wasn't bad at all, it was just the content that was poor. And, to be honest, he has the exact job I aspire to have at some point in my life, so how dumb could he be?

Our next email is from "Ken," who offers a quick opinion on Terence Moore and then provides a little friendly advice:

"I loved your piece on T. Moore; I lived in Atlanta for 5 years and he sucks! I rather enjoy your slash pieces, but as an aspiring journalist, you probably should back off until you get a gig. But if you want to have fun, read the following bit of jingoistic tripe from the KC Star..."

I have to say, I got quite a few emails like this one. People saying how much they enjoy it when I rip articles apart and then adding in that it probably isn't the greatest idea in the world for someone trying to become a sports writer. And then, of course, they tell me about some article they just read that they think deserves to be ripped apart too.

Basically, you guys are like someone who tells an alcoholic how much fun he is when he's drunk and then warns him that it's really something he should stop doing...right before you hand him another drink.

Our next email comes to us from "Brandon":

"Great entry on the Moore column. I hope you're going to email him to at least point out the Cameron/Erstad thing and the Maddux Cy Young thing. I don't know what to call it other than a blatant lie or stunningly irresponsible journalism. This guy makes Joe Morgan look like Jayson Stark."

I'd have to read more of Moore's writing to say for sure, but I find it hard to believe that anyone could make Joe Morgan's attempts at journalism look anything other than Joe Morgan's attempts at journalism.

As for sending Terence Moore an email, all I can say is that you (and the many other people who suggested I do so) have a lot more - let's say "guts" - than I do. Some might say that ripping a guy's writing in a somewhat public forum is pretty "gutsy" and I suppose I would agree, but to do that and then send the guy you ripped an email so he can see just how you ripped him...well, that's a whole different level of "gutsy."

Our last email is from "Greg," who brings up a very scary thought:

"Really liked today's entry - don't know why he would, but let us know if the erstwhile Mr. Moore responds at all."

I am really not against Terence Moore responding in some way to my entry and I would certainly be willing to discuss it with him in whatever way he wanted, but I highly doubt it will happen. That said, I just hope that any response he might have doesn't resemble the horse-head scene in The Godfather.

I'm sure if Rivas, Morgan, Rogers and Moore all put their heads together they could come up with something very devious. Actually, that sounds like a setup to a joke or something - "How many sportswriters and second basemen does it take to..."

I'll let you fill in your own punchlines.

I would, of course, be very interested to know what Moore's response would be if he had a chance to read what I wrote. I suspect it would be very defensive and somewhat angry, and I can't say that I would blame him. Even with my limited audience, which is admittedly nowhere near someone like Moore's, I often receive criticism for things I write and, in most cases, I get defensive and somewhat upset by them. That seems to me like simply a natural reaction.

Of course, no one has devoted a couple thousand words to ripping apart something I have written yet (that I know of), so I can't really say how I would react in that situation, although it'll probably happen at some point.

That's it for today, thanks for stopping by. If you are interested in reading (or re-reading) Friday's entry on Terence Moore's article, you can do so by clicking on the following:

A little put out (by Aaron Gleeman)

I'll be back tomorrow with something that is in no way related to anything having to do with Terence Moore. I promise. Seriously.

Link of the Day:

The Athletic Reporter - "Sports news the way you want it. Completely made up."

Today's picks:

Montreal (Vazquez) -140 over San Francisco (Hermanson)

Total to date: + 1,550

W/L record: 206-209 (1-3 on Friday for -190.)

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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