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"Wanting It" More

Mike SteffanosFriday, March 14, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Link via MetsBlog's Mike Nichols, there was an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer a couple of days ago quoting a Jimmy Rollins interview in Men's Journal magazine:

MJ: Are the Phils still the team to beat in '08?

Rollins: That wasn't a one-year thing. It's still gonna ring true in 2008, and every year I'm with the Phillies. We're going to win; it's gonna come down to who wants it more, and we want to win more than the Mets do. Truthfully, I don't worry about anybody in our division, or anybody in our league for that matter. I'm not worried about getting into the playoffs, because that part is accomplished. We're a playoff team now. Our next goal is to win the World Series.

I have to say that when I read this I had to agree with Mike Nichols that I'm tired of all the talk on this and am looking forward for the games to start. I really didn't think much more of this until some people forwarded the link to me looking for my reaction. One of them was a friend of mine who doesn't even root for the Mets. I imagine this will get some more play as it sells papers and gets fans fired up. If you're interested in my take on it, here goes.

In head to head games last season, one of the things that I found particularly discouraging was that it was pretty obvious that both the Phillies and Braves seemed to want those games more than the Mets. The Mets seemed to bring an attitude that the very fact they were a superior team would win out for them. Frankly, I'd rather root for a mediocre to bad team that brings the intensity with them than a club like the 2007 Mets.

Funny thing, though, both the Phillies and Braves would bring their "A" game when they played the Mets, but both teams repeatedly suffered letdowns against the lesser clubs they should have beat up on. The door was open all year, but it took a collapse on the part of the Mets to finally allow the Phillies to walk through. This doesn't lessen my disappointment with the Mets' strange lethargy all season or take away from Philadelphia's great finish. But when I read pundit after pundit telling me that the Phillies have some huge advantage in this regard, I have to laugh. They could be their own worst enemy at times, too. As can the Braves.

I have a lot of respect for both Atlanta and Philadelphia. I also respect the Nationals, who got more out of less talent than anyone. And I think the Mets have something to prove in bringing and maintaining a level of intensity throughout this season. However, this notion that seems to have swept through the media that the Phillies have some huge edge over the Mets in this regard isn't borne out when you look at last year as a whole.

The 2005 and 2006 Mets did a terrific job of maintaining intensity and focus throughout the season. I made the mistake of thinking this would automatically be the case last year. Those that assume that what the Phillies were able to accomplish in one single month of last season -- repeat, one single month -- will carry over this year are also making a mistake. Every year is different.

Even Emmy Winning Sportscasters Can Be Idiots
Link via two of my favorite blogs, Can't Stop The Bleeding and the Eddie Kranepool Society: Bob Costas as quoted in the Miami Herald on bloggers:

... "But it's one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother's basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they're a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard's column or Bernie Miklasz' column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective."

What bothers Costas -- and he's not alone -- is Internet and talk radio commentary that "confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn't mean I'm insightful or tough and edgy. It means I'm an idiot."

"It's just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school yard bullies, or on men's room walls in gas stations. That doesn't mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but by calling bloggers a name (pathetic get-a-life losers), isn't the only thing Costas is proving is that he himself is an idiot? I'm only going by his own words here.

It amuses me greatly how allegedly intelligent media types like Costas are so completely ignorant of what's going on and so willing to share their ignorance with others. Sure, there are some bloggers ranting and raving from their mother's basements. You also have guys like Jim Rome doing the same mean-spirited things over the air waves. You have Wallace Matthews spewing venom in a major New York paper. Chris "Mad Dog" Russo on WFAN. Etc., etc., etc. But they're okay, because they have "professional accountability." Yeah, sure...

I may occasionally rant in this space when I feel it's appropriate, but I stick my ugly face and full name on everything I write here. I'm accountable to my audience -- which I have built almost entirely by appealing to the logic and intelligence of all of you. On the other hand, there are plenty of media types that have built a career on spewing "a combination of ignorance or invective." I may not speak to millions, but like every blogger I have earned my audience one reader at a time. If I'm not credible, you won't come.

I wish I could personally look Bob Costas in the eye (I'd have to bend over quite far) and tell him to go sc**w himself. On second thought, he's not even worth it. He's better watch out for Kranepool's Steve Keane, though, who promises to "jack his ass up for his lunch money" if he ever runs into Costas walking around mid town.

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 (6)

It will probably happen to most of us. Sadly, it's almost inevitable. There comes a moment when you stop learning, when you stop being willing to learn, when you stop being willing to experience the new and the different. Sadly, Bob Costas passed that moment years ago. Bob Costas, who was once considered fresh and innovative among the stale and the staid, has decided, tacitly or otherwise, that he knows all he needs to know. It's evident in his broadcasting and it's evident in his comments on bloggers, no two of whom are alike, none of whom deserve to be written off as a class based on the perceived shortcomings of any of one us. His attitude should be taken as a warning sign that if we ever shut our minds tight as we age, we will be poorer for it.

Bob Costas lived long ago. Now he's just running out the clock.

So righteous was my indignation that I failed to identify myself as the author of the above comment.

I think the "basement in Albuquerque" comment was mean-spirited, but he is right about the morons who are brave behind a keyboard because they can be. I think he just managed to confuse two issues here and I agree with him about moronic commenters and disagree with his dismissal of the alternate media.

Greg - I knew it was you before you came back with the second comment. I agree completely on Costas. He has truly come full circle as a broadcaster, to his own detriment.
MG - I disagree. I don't think he confused issues at all. I think it's clear from his comments that he lumps bloggers together with those moronic commenters, and does it intentionally.

With any new medium you are going to have to accept the BAD with the good. Years ago only the opinions of a select few were heard. Only musicians signed to major labels were heard. Only Tv Stations with hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment could produce Tv or video.

With the advent of computers, low cost audio and video software, low cost video cameras that have good quality, the internet and blogs. . . . .many more people have acess to express their "art", creativity or opinions than ever before.

With this acess comes a price. Many, many people that probably should not be making music, shooting videos or writing blogs are doing just that. . .. like a kid in mom's basement in arizona. . .BUT we also can discover hidden talent that we most likely would never encounter if the "old guard" had their way. Costas is part of the old guard.

There are bloggers that are way more talented and knowledgable than any kid in his mom's basement and there are plenty of kids in the basement. the great thing is in time nobody pays attention to the bad stuff and the cream rises to the top.

Quality bloggers shouldn't take offense to costas and should not feel like part of the kids in the basement club.

Look at youtube. Some of the funniest stuff I have seen lately I have seen on youtube. . . .I have also seen a bunch of garbage but that comes with any new medium. . .

Actually, I think I'm proud to be in the "kids in the basement club."

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