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Feeling the Love

Mike SteffanosThursday, February 8, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

I received the following email from someone who read my post from earlier today:

calling devaney a "soft tosser" as your continually do in your write up is nonesense. i sat next to a scout in florida for 2 of his starts in 06 and the guy had a gun and devaney was always at 90-91 with his fastball. you make it sound like he throws and 83 mile an hour fastball or something. and look at his strikout ratio. its not incredible but pretty very good. a "soft tosser" would never strike out that many batters. and he's 6'4 220 pounds. that might not mean someone will throw 95 but a guy that size will never be a "soft tosser". you need to do some better research and stop just parroting hearsay

I don't reproduce this here because it's remarkable to get an email critical of something that I wrote -- that happens several times a week -- but because it brings up a couple of good points about all of the previews I wrote.

First and foremost, I hope that I did make it clear that I'm referring to the scouting reports of such sites as Baseball America and Scout.com for information on many of these guys. I'm not sitting in minor league ballparks with a radar gun and a clipboard noting what these young pitchers throw. Wish I could afford to do that, but I can't. I have collected the material from multiple sources and put it together in writing the individual previews. I take no credit for the excellent source material that made these possible. I hope that was clear in each preview.

Secondly, referring to Michael Devaney as a "soft tosser" -- as I did once in the article, not "continuously" -- is just a slang way of saying he doesn't possess a big fastball (scouting reports have him sitting in the high 80s and maxing out at 92, by the way). I wrote positively about Devaney, which our angry correspondent also seemed to miss, and I try to keep it positive when I talk about players here. I'm not looking to put anyone down here, and have respect for the players I write about in this space. Even to make it as far in the minor leagues as Devaney has advanced is overcoming odds that most ballplayers won't.

I hope these two points are obvious to most who read the site. Other than that, I could care less about the negative emails like the one cited above. If I'm having a crappy day I'll send back a snarky reply, but normally they just earn a quick push of the delete button.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (15)

That was Dulvaney's brother emailing you :)

Devaney.. i cant even spell his name...

Mike, I know that grammar should never be used to measure the right or wrong of an argument, but at least your use of the Queen's English made it easier to even read your bit, let alone this poor guy's stuff.

"...as your continually do in your write up is nonesense..." Yikes.

Who were ya'll talking about again?

Mike - give that man his money back. He's obviously an unsatisfied customer.

That makes, I think, two in the last nine months. Better watch it, or else you'll never make a living at this.

Thanks for the support, guys, but I'm fine with the criticism. It's not even close to some of the really nasty email I get. It did remind me of the two points I wanted to make about the scouting reports and the respect I have for all ballplayers.

I've had a lot of new readers here since I started writing the previews, and I've received a lot of really nice emails from this. Some of them have probably given me too much credit for these previews. The negative stuff comes with the territory, like someone reading too much into "soft tosser."

Mike-- don't get rattled with these guys. I think it's apparent to everyone who reads this board regularly, and hopefully to you, that you are a great sportswriter. I speak honestly here-- you are the best that I have read, which includes all major media (newspapers, television and the internet), and the people who send e-mails like this cannot touch you. This guy doesn't even have a second-grade grasp of the English language, let alone a salient point upon which he can hope to structure his argument. Whenever you get these e-mails, keep hitting that delete button. Greatness will always be accompanied by envious haters.

..long time...impressive really..Omar is lurking in the shadows and grabs Burgos, Vargas, Nagoette, Sosa, Schonenweis, and now Park....not a worlds record catch, but not a throw it back in the water either....Peterson will have a bunch of good and still young arms to cultivate...Im heading to PSL on Monday to meet w/the training staff

From that email:
...and he's 6'4 220 pounds. that might not mean someone will throw 95 but a guy that size will never be a "soft tosser".

Two words: Eric Hillman. And he was a Met, too. Brap! You'll never win that Amana self-cleaning range if you keep getting eliminated in the first round, fellow.

Seriously, if it was me instead of you doing all this heavy lifting, I would love to hear from readers who actually had the chance to witness a kid pitcher at Bing or St Luce and could share their knowledge -- as I am sure you would, too, only without the pisspoor attitude.

Thinking....considering the spelling and the grammer, perhaps we should send that email to Strongbad for his reaction. Him likes that sort of thing.

(Y'all know who Strongbad is, don't you?)

dd - When I read snippets of an e-mail like the one described above, I think of the wimpy lispy cadence of Homestar Runner himself..."do some better wee-searrrch and stop pawwotting heeer-saaaaayyyy".

Not sure, but I think the Mets/Strongbad overlap might just contain you and me, dd. And that's tewwwible.

Matt - Trust me, I don't get rattled by this stuff anymore. I get a lot of these. I get more nice ones -- some nicer than I probably deserve, like you calling me "great" -- so why dwell on the stupid ones? It just prodded those 2 points I wanted to make.
n8genius - with Park and Aaron Sele on this staff we would have had a hell of a rotation a few years ago.
dd - If he bothered to see what I was trying to say rather than chew me out for what he thought I said he would have been interesting to hear from.

(Y'all know who Strongbad is, don't you?)
No, but I looked it up and learned something today.

NostraDennis - He sent me a second email with even more misspellings in reply to the one sentence snarky answer he received.

if you want to be a "big time blog writer" with the 8 billion other people on the internet, you should learn to take some advice. your analysis was wrong, why cant you admit it instead of being a wise ass?

So now I must let go of my dreams to become a "big time blog writer". Life is cruel...

This stuff is funny.


The reason I chime in on your site is BECAUSE of your content and the posters. If you descend to the other levels your site would soon resemble the NJ.com of yesteryear with verbal barbs and head-hunting as the discussion content.

I appreciate that, Ed.

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