Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A toe in the water

Murray Chass was at one point one of the top baseball writers in the country, doing ground-breaking work for the New York Times. He really was one of the first reporters to write about the business side of the business, and did it pretty well. Make that very well.

Somewhere along the line, though, he became a little old-fashioned in his approach (in other words, the Bill James revolution didn't interest him, among other things). And he seemed to develop a pro-New York bias. I remember one column in which he practically wrote a playoff preview for the Yankees ... in about June, when the pennant race was still very close and obviously a ways from being decided.

I'm not sure what circumstances led to this, but Chass now is the main author at It just debuted this week, and it's off to a flying start in a manner of speaking. Here's how he starts the introduction:

"This is a site for baseball columns, not for baseball blogs. The proprietor of the site is not a fan of blogs."

OK, well, there goes the target audience. Then there is this little gem:

"Otherwise, this site will most likely appeal primarily to older fans whose interest in good old baseball is largely ignored in this day of young bloggers who know it all, and new- fangled statistics (VORP, for one excuse-me example), which are drowning the game in numbers and making people forget that human beings, not numbers, play the games."

Always good to tell readers how they should be enjoying the game. And finally, there's this little quote:

“I have spent my professional life in the print world, where obscenities don’t see the light of day,” Chass said. “They will remain in the dark here as well. It will be a good test for bloggers and Red Sox fans to see if they can control themselves.”

What was that about a pro-New York (meaning anti-Boston) bias? And does this beg the question, did Chass quote himself in the third person in his own blog?

Yeah, I'll be visiting here a lot.

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