Friday, August 04, 2006

Will Carroll-speaks to Schmuck 11/22/05--Will, you're wasting your time

  • Will misses the point. The writers must be removed. Your being a supplicant will only delight them.

The Case
2005-11-22 16:00
by Will Carroll

I started to write this to praise Alex Belth. His piece on the death of his friend at Baseball Analysts ranks as one of the top reads this year, perhaps this decade. I often say that good writing makes you think while great writing makes you feel. I'm proud to call Alex a colleague, but honored to call him a friend.

Instead of calling Belth one of the best writers of his generation, something I imagine you already know, I realized that his writing and the rest of the Designated Hitter lineup, put together by Rich Lederer, is not only a great read, but is the best case I've seen for why 'net-based writers deserve recognition.

I've written on more than one occasion, here and at BP, about my desire to have one of those BBWAA cards hanging from my neck someday. I want to go in behind Joe Sheehan, Rob Neyer, Jim Caple, Eric Neel, and the others who blazed the path but I want the card just the same.

I had the chance to meet Jim Caple for the first time at the World Series. Great guy and great writer. It was a meeting that could best be called brief, perhaps in passing. He was grabbing food and was engaged in conversation with Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun ... and incoming President of the BBWAA. I'd been on a couple shows with Schmuck in the wake of the Palmeiro situation, so I had a nice segue into the conversation. Invariably, the conversation came around to net-based writers and Peter was gracious, but like most, doesn't think it will happen.

I know Peter reads BP, so maybe he'll stumble across this -- or maybe I'll send him a link. The awkward case I've tried to make is made brilliantly by the Designated Hitters series. Alex Belth and Eric Neel stand shoulder to shoulder with Bob Klapisch and Kevin Kernan. Even Klapisch, a young buck in the old school, shines given freedom from his format. I'm curious if Rich will continue to get great writing out of good writers, if more will test their metal in his crucible, and whether they'll notice that there are some great writers here, not just good.


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