Saturday, August 29, 2009


I know I’m getting old and I know I’m old-fashioned to start with but the continued rise of sports blogging and blabbing is making me ill.

The blabbing part – radio and television commentators spouting their worthless opinions and in radio’s case soliciting even more worthless opinions from listeners with no lives – has been around for a while.

That doesn’t make it any more palatable to sports fans who just want the facts, but you won’t see my car radio tuned to ESPN Radio (1410 locally), The Fan (WFAN-660 New York) or on any of the blabbermouth stations on the Sirius/XM dial. If you’re riding in my Avalanche, you’ll either listen to the Grateful Dead channel, listen to a ballgame, engage in decent conversation or get out and walk.

If you are riding with me, I’ll listen to your views because I only transport people I like. I’ll listen, debate and quite possibly even agree with you, but I don’t think it should become a syndicated show.

Blogging is even worse.

I’ll grant an exception and a sincere apology to anyone who blogs about sports or subjects which he or she has access to the inner sanctum.

For example, there is a writer named Mike Ashmore who blogs extensively in Trenton, N.J., covering the Eastern League’s Thunder. He attends the games, he talks to manager Tony Franklin, he talks to the players and he monitors the Yankees’ minor league system. He has credibility.

But to read the proliferation of trash written by people who seem to think their words have some meaning is laughable and tragic at the same time.

Frustrated fans, some with a modicum of journalistic ability and some who don’t know the different between “their”, “there” and “they’re,” on even more pitifully, “bear”, “bare” and “beer”, are spouting blather about issues they know nothing about. All they know is what’s being spewed by other blabbers or bloggers who know less than they do and accept it as fact.

For instance, pseudo-experts who have no inside access to NFL camps are blabbing about who’s going to be starting quarterback here and who sucks over there. This team has no chance, and this one is going to win the Super Bowl. They don’t know any more than the little old lady in the nursing home who makes her weekly picks based on what colors she likes or where the point of her pencil falls when she peruses America’s Latest Line.

Then there’s the blabber with blinders and a short memory who wants David Ortiz banished to Mars when he’s hitting .190 in April, only to anoint him as a surefire Hall of Famer when he hits a game-winning home run in August.

The Yankees lose on Monday, they suck. They win on Tuesday, fit them for World Series rings. They lose on Wednesday and Brian Cashman is an idiot.

What is it about the new generation of sports fan who just shoots from the hip and inevitably winds up sticking their foot in their mouth to keep it from foaming over with more propaganda? Inevitably, such rabble-rousers make good on a prediction or two, remind the world how smart they are and deflect attention to the hundreds of times they’ve been dead wrong.

It’s kind of like the gambler who goes to the casino, wins and boasts about it. What they neglect to tell you is the previous 10 times they went and lost their paychecks.

Hey, maybe I’m old-fashioned, and I’m not going to argue with anybody who wants to call me stupid or, pushing his intellect to its limit, chooses to make fun of my name like some have done answering this blog.

It isn’t worth my time to trade insults with somebody who couldn’t qualify as the missing link, but I will impart the following advice: if you want to learn about what’s occurring in the sport of your choice, find somebody with credibility and not some fool with a PC, internet access and opinions born in the catacombs of an empty mind.


Nick said...

Hey Ken, your right about all these "insiders". It is the same up in Boston, win once, they are heros, lose once, you demoted to the fourth best team in town.

Ken Lipshez said...

Nick -- I've changed because of what I know about ballplayers. People seem surprised to discover that ballplayers, like factory workers, convenience store clerks and waitresses, get sick, endure the death of loved ones and have feelings.

There was one Rock Cats pitcher who fared badly early in the year. Turns out his dad has cancer. When things improved, the pitcher did better. These aren't robots playing the field in Boston.

Nick said...

I think that's what the media fails to realize. The players are human. I take a look at Double A players and after the season ends they live lives just like you and I.

Ken Lipshez said...

You're right, Nick, and I don't understand it. But this is why I enjoy covering minor league baseball and high school sports. These are areas where I feel you have to treat the young athletes like they're human beings. Big-league writers seem to feel that you pay a guy a lot of money so he's some sort of higher being. Not so. They're human, too, with all the human frailties we all share.