Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Dear Diary: Stop the Noise. Stop the Pyrites. Stop Mediocrity.

I'm writing something here even though I don't have anything well-thought out to say. That's really the problem here. I always wondered how beat writers do it, how they write every day. I suppose that's why beat articles have become so formulaic. How did guys like Hal McCoy churn out great game articles day after day?

I suppose it's because they have to. They don't have full-time jobs that prevent them from churning out articles - it's what they get paid to do. The rest of us have to make time to write, and I'm a slooooooow writer. I don't have a linear brain; I can't write from the beginning of an article to end. I've tried outlines, but the truth is I can't write them. Half the time I only have a vague idea of what I want to say - basically I have a point I want to make and have to figure out how to get there. The thing is, I want every word to be right, and that's just not the nature of blogs, at least those that are written every day. I'm also not very disciplined. I envy the rare writer who can put something together every day that isn't gibberish or rehashed ideas from somewhere else. The longest lasting blogs have often survived because they took on multiple writers. I never wanted to do that. My blog was like a story, each post with a different chapter, and having someone else participate on my blog or joining someone else's wasn't what I wanted.

I was looking up baseball blogs that I used to read back when I read blogs, before social media destroyed our collective attention span and our individual ones, too. I knew what to expect and was disappointed to find I was right, that many of them are dead. This one barely breathes. I've tried to revive it many times and wonder how I ever had the time to create something every day. Then the weird thought occurs to me about how I seemed to be more enthusiastic about the 2006 Reds than I am about the current team. I don't think that's true, but what is true is that I don't participate in online activity at the same rate as I did back then. Of course, the internet is completely different now, not just the tools you can use but the people, too. Back at the peak of personal blogs, the people who wrote them had intelligent things to say. Now the loudmouths tend to get in the way of intelligent discourse. I guess you can say the great unwashed masses discovered the internet.

Whatever. The tools changed everything, killing much long-form writing. 140 characters rule now. For whatever reason, everyone thinks his opinion is equal to others. Morons tell players how to play. Idiots tell scientists about science. Ignorami tell doctors how to doctor. And college students think they know more than professionals. Hello? You're in college. You're there because you DON'T know things.

The Reds won today. I don't really doubt they're going to the playoffs. But after winning the division for two of the last three years, it's hard to accept anything else. And I'm sitting here glued to the scoreboard, wondering why the useless Marlins can't score a run to tie it. At least the Taint Louis Dreadbirds are losing.

Since Pittsburgh may now be worthy of a nickname, and Pittifulsburgh isn't accurate, I've taken to calling them the Pyrites. Pyrite is a rock that is also known as Fools Gold. I think it's appropriate. Pyrite fans think their team is going to win the World Series. They aren't. The team is not as good as their record. Pitching is good, offense is weak. Fools Gold. Fake gold. Another possibility is Vampirates. Blood suckers. But vampires are too well liked in today's American culture. I like the Pyrites. I think I'll stick with it.

I don't want a Wild Card. Even if we get into the playoffs that way, it will be disappointing. We play the Pyrites six more times and Taint Louis seven more times, so the Reds' destiny is up to them.

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