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February 11, 2011

Span and Sain and Pray for Rain

Slash Lines

by Emma Span

[Ed. Note: We alert you to the fact that this article deals with an adult theme that may offend a few of our readers.]

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the maxim that if you can imagine it, there’s porn about it on the Internet. That’s no joke. It was only a few years ago that I first learned of fan fiction, when a friend explained that one of his coworkers not only contributed to, but ran, an extensive website entirely dedicated to fan-written stories about the characters from the animated series Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. The stories that turned sexual—yes, stories about cartoon chipmunks that turn sexual—were called slash fiction, named for the typographic symbol in the "Kirk/Spock" liaisons that launched the genre in the 1970s.

Naturally, this prompted my friends and I to go online and see if there was any kind of subject, anything at all, and that did not have something pornographic written about it and posted on the Internet. The answer: not really, no. We couldn’t find anything pairing Jay Leno with bandleader Kevin Eubanks, but that was about it.

What we did discover was a trove of imagined romance and sex between baseball players, on multiple websites. I thought that over the years I’d seen most of the dark corners of sports fandom, but as it turns out, I still was not fully prepared for baseball fan fiction. If you've thought about it at all, you might expect to find quite a few tales of Jeter and A-Rod, and those are certainly there. But I was less braced for just how prominently players like, for example, Doug Mirabelli feature. You just do not ever expect to encounter the phrase, to quote one story, “Doug Mirabelli’s huge, unlubed…”

Well—Doug Mirabelli’s huge, unlubed anything, really. Let’s leave it at that.

Equally unexpected were the following slash fiction subjects, which I found on sites like “The Boys of Summer” and the “Baseball Fanfiction Archive”: Kyle Farnsworth and Pudge Rodriguez; Jason Varitek and Nomar Garciaparra; Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff; Bubba Crosby and Chuck Knoblauch (posted in November 2010, so someone was thinking about this one for a while); and Melky Cabrera cheating with, of all people, Jaret Wright:

Jaret licked the cheekbone closest to him. “Melky?”

“Yes?”

“I ... I don’t ...”

“Yes.”

“What about Robinson?”

One LiveJournal user has for months been posting a now 12-part epic containing 70 chapters, in the form of IM conversations detailing the forbidden love between Ian Kinsler and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. From chapter 45:

Me[Saltalamacchia]:but ian
you love baseball that much and work so hard at it
and even if we dont count the baseball
how much you love it and how hard you work at it is still you
and if it wasnt baseball itd be something else
thats what you are

ikan3030:thats why i need you salty
because when you love me its like i exist and even if i broke down and couldnt play anymore thered still be something in me that mattered to someone

I did not read far enough to discover how, or whether, imaginary Kinsler dealt with his imaginary beloved’s trade to Boston; one can only hope he finds a connection with imaginary Chris McGuiness.

I came across a story about Kyle Farnsworth and Vance Wilson, but it was labeled with a warning: “people who are squeamish about bloodplay, knives, severely disturbed mental states and semi-non-con (but only semi!) should not touch this with a 20 foot stick.” As that would include me—not to mention that, as a Yankees fan, I’m just squeamish about Kyle Farnsworth in general—I didn’t, and am grateful for the heads-up. Even in the name of scientific research for a column to advance baseball knowledge, I have my limits.

To be clear, this isn’t so squirm-inducingly uncomfortable because it’s about gay sex. MLB’s homophobia is pronounced, and the last thing I want is to reinforce it in any way. No, it’s because real people have been repurposed and fitted into other people’s fantasies—extremely personal fantasies—in a spectacularly odd way. It’s harmless enough. (Except in the unlikely event that, say, Vance Wilson Googled himself particularly thoroughly one day… yikes. The moral of the story, as always: do not Google yourself.) And obviously, people can write whatever they want, especially about public figures. But it still seems sort of presumptuous, to me, to use real people in your “bloodplay” fantasies anywhere outside of the safe confines of your own head. It’s not exactly wrong so much as it’s rude. Do whatever you want with Spock and Kirk; they’re imaginary to begin with. Once you rope actual humans into it, it feels like some kind of line’s being crossed.

Many writers seem aware of that, and post disclaimers like this one from the Cabrera/Wright story: "The boys own themselves. I like to play—but I always put them back nicely." I’m not sure what that accomplishes, other than legal cover, since no one was likely to take one of these stories as nonfiction reporting. And really, slash fiction tells us absolutely nothing about any of the players mentioned—and tells us way, way more than we wanted to know about the authors. Some stranger’s highly intimate fantasy about Bronson Arroyo does not feel like anything you should be able to stumble across online. But then, in a lot of ways, we all look at baseball players like characters in a daily soap opera, and maybe these stories are just taking that to its illogical conclusion.

Anyway, that’s where the discomfort comes from, I think, but also the humor, especially in the rather surprising choice of subjects. I just can’t say “Bubba Crosby slash Chuck Knoblauch” with a straight face. And for better or worse, it’s certainly it’s a testament to the diversity of baseball fans. For everyone who thinks Derek Jeter is dreamy, someone’s imagination is sparked by Eric Hinske, and in some ways that’s actually reassuring. I guess it takes all kinds, even the kind who imagines and then describes Kevin Millar having a drunken threesome with Keith Foulke and Jason Varitek, an image that, given the option, I would have preferred not to have introduced into my skull.

I think we each have our own individual worst nightmare about what someone might find on our web browsers. I had to revise and update my personal worst the other night, when a friend came over while I was researching this column, and went to use my computer—then immediately asked what the hell I’d been looking at.

“Nothing. Just open a new window.” But my friend was already reading:

When he got to Pedroia's pants, Derek teased him by slowly unzipping him...

“It’s for work!”

Then Derek found out how big the little man underneath him really was.

There’s no coming back from that one. Let someone catch you with Dustin Pedroia slash fic open on Firefox, and now matter how eloquently you explain the questing and curious nature of sabermetrics, they will look at you oddly for the rest of the night, if not the rest of your life. And here’s yet another sentence I could never have imagined myself writing two weeks ago, but: Thank goodness it wasn’t the Vance Wilson/Kyle Farnsworth story.

Emma Span has written for the Village Voice, the New York Press, Slate, and The Daily, writes regularly for Bronx Banter, and is the author of 90% of the Game Is Half Mental: And Other Tales From the Edge of Baseball Fandom, published by Villard in 2010. She lives in Brooklyn.

Emma Span is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Emma's other articles. You can contact Emma by clicking here

Related Content:  Fiction,  Kyle Farnsworth

336 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

dianagram

Welcome aboard Emma! A worthy addition to the BP fold.

Now, just wondering, did you happen to come across any BP writer fan fic? :-)

Feb 11, 2011 05:18 AM
rating: 13
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Good lord, don't give anyone ideas.

Feb 11, 2011 09:23 AM
 
SC

...and Steven leaned over to Kevin and whispered gently in his ear, "I'll be your velo whore anytime."

Feb 11, 2011 10:35 AM
rating: 22
 
dianagram

"What are you drinking?"

"Whatever you are having ..."

Feb 11, 2011 10:48 AM
rating: 7
 
Matt Kory

"I'm a .9er"

"Well, I'm a 10 incher."

Please minus that.

Feb 11, 2011 14:12 PM
rating: 4
 
Richard Bergstrom

Psst, wanna see my PECOTA?

Feb 12, 2011 08:47 AM
rating: 2
 
dianagram

Suddenly, from out of the shadows, Jason appeared with a copy of BP2011. In a fit of rage, he struck Kevin with the weighty tome . . .

Feb 11, 2011 11:16 AM
rating: 2
 
Matt

Don't forget Rule 35.

Feb 11, 2011 10:54 AM
rating: 3
 
touchstone033

I can't wait until you write about, you know, baseball.

Feb 11, 2011 05:41 AM
rating: 5
 
pikapp383

I was deeply offended by this article.

That is, the link to tvtropes.org with no warning right there in the first sentence.

Feb 11, 2011 06:02 AM
rating: 4
 
JHaugJr
(332)
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

This dreck marks an unimaginable low for this website.

Feb 11, 2011 06:15 AM
rating: -19
 
dwinning

Lighten up, Francis.

Feb 11, 2011 06:23 AM
rating: 14
 
CRP13

This is complete trash. I expected better from a semi-well-known writer, and I really expected better from Baseball Prospectus.

Publishing this was a complete lapse in judgment, and I'm really disappointed.

What the HELL is the point of even researching this subject, much less thinking we want to read about it??

Feb 11, 2011 06:45 AM
rating: 1
 
dianagram

Oh come now .... not every BP article is deep in the heart of advanced metrics. Jim Baker (previously) and Ken Funck (now) often go "outside the lines" to provide some whimsical topic.

I've known Emma, and read her work, for a few years now. She knows her baseball, writes quite well, and is adroit with a quip. If this article didn't meet your standards, I ask you to give her another shot. I'm quite sure there is something of her fertile imagination that might work for you.

Feb 11, 2011 07:04 AM
rating: 8
 
CRP13

I don't see the point in "minusing" me for my opinion on this. The article doesn't OFFEND me from some moral standpoint, but I do find it completely tasteless, pointless, and completely out of character for this site.

I also understand why some people think it's funny - I just don't agree that this is the place for it. To clarify, I have no objection with Emma's writing, but rather the fact that somebody felt the need to present this topic at all. Does it add any value? I say no. Does it run the risk of offending a significant portion of BP's readership? You can't honestly say that it doesn't, and the comments here bear that out (and probably will for the rest of today and parts of tomorrow).

Given that risk, I don't understand why the editorial staff thought this article was worth it. I'm really disappointed that Emma's debut wasn't on a topic that most of us pay to read about, rather than a pop-cultury look at baseball smut.

Feb 11, 2011 07:41 AM
rating: 11
 
Marc Normandin

I want to point out two things--I agree on the "minusing" issue, and I bumped you back up, because I think the discussion is interesting, if nothing else. It's not like you attacked Emma here.

Second, the article ran free, so no one had to pay to read something they may have ended up disliking strongly.

Feb 11, 2011 07:48 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

Of course before I posted my comment, someone dropped you back down. I tried.

Feb 11, 2011 07:48 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

It's the thought that counts, man!

I'm looking forward to reading more of Emma's work...on different subjects. :)

Feb 11, 2011 07:51 AM
rating: 1
 
fawcettb

yeah, really, can we get rid of that electronic nanny device? It should be available only to BP staff, and they should have to identify themselves when they deploy it.

Feb 13, 2011 07:30 AM
rating: -2
 
PeterBNYC
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Ms. Span will come in time to regret her extremely injudicious choice of subject matter for what appears to be her first piece on BP. (I regret it already.)

But what on earth does her loopy subject matter have to do with why I am laying out good money for a BP Premium sub? What are you people thinking? I suggest the new Editor discover fast what new editors always have to discover- that adult supervision (which is really what you are paid for) is still required.

Feb 11, 2011 08:46 AM
rating: -4
 
misterjohnny
(925)

I agree completely with your assessment. I wish I had that 5 minutes of my life back that I wasted on this column. And the 1 minute for commenting on it.

Feb 11, 2011 13:14 PM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

For my part, I like tangents. Christina Kahrl's "whodunit" about the Mets in a Transaction Analysis awhile ago was a classic one, not to mention her history references.

The thing is, I like the variety of choices in who/what I can read here.

Feb 12, 2011 08:51 AM
rating: 2
 
Marc Normandin

I thought it was a funny exploration into what is inarguably one of baseball's oddest subcultures created by fans. And I would think that whether I worked here or not :-p

This kind of stuff exists for everything you can think of--video games characters, movie characters, or as Emma said, TV characters. But those are all fake--what makes the baseball player slash fic inherently creepy is that these are real people, and they have been twisted to become characters. The main focus of the piece is that creepiness; it's not like it's a glorification of the, uh, genre.

Feb 11, 2011 07:04 AM
rating: 0
 
Patrick

I agree. It's a humorous reminder that baseball players are people, something that sabermetric analysts are just as often guilty of forgetting. There sometimes isn't that much difference between this kind of stuff and the obsession that comes with playing fantasy ball.

Feb 11, 2011 07:09 AM
rating: 4
 
BurrRutledge

I knew two people who wrote an extensive collection of "fan fic" on Hockey Players back in the mid-eighties. Not for print - just wrote the stuff. Not exactly 'slash' genre, however, since the player's adventures were heterosexual. Think "romance novel" kind of stuff.

Feb 11, 2011 08:00 AM
rating: -1
 
Paul Andrew Burnett

" . . . one of baseball's oddest subcultures created by fans . . ."

One of? This must be THE absolute, definitive, no-question-about-it oddest baseball subculture to which I've ever been exposed.

Feb 11, 2011 12:43 PM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

Your mileage may vary, but since day 1, Baseball Prospectus' content has aimed beyond simply being about the digits to the right of the decimal. Not everyone has to love everything, and clearly you don't love this. But judging by the early returns, there are plenty of readers who did appreciate that one of our writers came out of left field to take on such a strange topic - one that's even older than BP and older than the internet.

For those of you who did enjoy this, you can hear Emma's spoken word version from last week's Varsity Letters 5th Anniversary event, where it received a raucous reception:

http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2011/02/10/step-right-up-is-this-thing-on/

Feb 11, 2011 07:36 AM
 
CRP13

Jay, please see my reply to dianagram above. I'm no statistician, and most of Colin and Matt's stuff is way over my poor engineering head. One of my favorite writers is Ken, who brings a skewed angle to this site, and I'm excited about the Weizenball or wahtever it is, for the sheer fun-ness of it all.

I just think this one completely crosses the line and I'm surprised the editorial staff doesn't recognize that a large portion of your readership will agree with me.

Feb 11, 2011 07:44 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

Point taken, but I'm quite certain you're going to find that the Steve Goldman administration isn't going to be afraid to try some daring stuff now and again that may reach different audiences than the core statheads. As I said before, not everyone's going to love everything. But all of us feel quite confident that our subscribers will get their money's worth by finding quite a lot to love.

Feb 11, 2011 07:57 AM
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

In point of fact, there were discussions that anticipated much of what has been said here, pro and con. That done, there is not an editor on the staff who doesn't stand behind a decision to publish, and there is not an editor on the staff who doesn't stand behind what has been published.

Feb 11, 2011 08:47 AM
 
CRP13

That doesn't surprise me, and solidarity is to be applauded. I'm just surprised that the decision to publish was made at all. I hesitate to ask, but would this article have been even considered if it had been written by an unknown author? Unfair question, perhaps, but I can't help but wonder.

Feb 11, 2011 08:56 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

What Christina said. Of course, if you object to an article, we do want to hear about it--after all, we aim to please, not to offend, and we're not seeking to drive any of our readers away. That said, Emma is a talented writer whose work I enjoy, and she turned in what I found to be a tremendously entertaining piece. Fortunately, I've come across plenty of comments to "plus" in this here thread, which suggests that I'm not the only one to have gotten something out of her column and makes me glad that we found room for it among the vast array of voices and perspectives to have graced BP's pages.

Feb 11, 2011 14:04 PM
 
brandetd
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Of course not. But then there isn't a strong history of BP having a culture where it's editorial staff ever admitted being wrong.

This article completely ambushes BP's readership from a content standpoint and unfortunately the content itself is serves no purpose.

That was the first and last thing from Emma Span that I'm going to risk reading and now I have to be suspicious of any new BP content.

Jeeps. And I'd just been lured back by the new authors... I'm scared to read them now-apparently they strongly support the new direction Spann's pornography points to...

Feb 12, 2011 08:33 AM
rating: -4
 
ackbar

Read the PECOTA threads from last year if your fetish is BP apologies.

On the other hand, this is the funniest use of "ambush" in any context, ever.

Feb 12, 2011 10:09 AM
rating: 4
 
Joe D.

Brandetd and ackbar, how dare you use a word like "ambush." I find it offensive. Please be more careful next time.

And I just inadvertently flagged one of my own comments for moderation, which somehow -- given the kerfuffle over the article -- seems about right.



Feb 12, 2011 20:01 PM
rating: 0
 
evo34

"Discussions" implies that there was some back-and-forth. If it was truly unanimous, what exactly were the discussions about?

Perhaps the pros and cons of publishing non-baseball commentary?

Pros: Mildly amusing half of your subscribers in a forgettable way.

Cons: Irritating/pissing off the other half in a memorable way.

Feb 15, 2011 23:03 PM
rating: 3
 
ninetofive

Hilarious!

Feb 11, 2011 06:59 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

I loved the piece, Emma. I just hope that you find this end result worth it all. There's a lot that can't be unseen...

Feb 11, 2011 07:05 AM
 
dwinning

If you don't like the subject matter, fine, don't read it. You could easily tell from the lead-in on the front page that the article was quirky and risque. And if that was too subtle for you, the first line of the article was even more clear.

This was a FUNNY, lighthearted article about a segment of baseball fandom that few knew existed. It never purported to be anything else. Many people come to BP for the analysis, but the personality of the writers is what makes this a great place. As soon as BP starts choking out writing that is edgy or controversial, it loses what makes it great. VORP was edgy and controversial. Ease up.

Feb 11, 2011 07:06 AM
rating: 23
 
One Flap Down

I have to say that when I subscribed to BP for fantasy baseball information, this isn't exactly what I had in mind.

Just tell me that there isn't any slash fic devoted to Don Mossi.

Feb 11, 2011 07:20 AM
rating: 27
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

WIN

Feb 11, 2011 07:28 AM
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Did you click the link to Rule 34? It practically guarantees that there is some Don Mossi slash out there somewhere (not that I'm going to look for it!).

Feb 11, 2011 07:30 AM
 
Noel Steere
(965)

"Oh, Zane! Zane!"

Feb 12, 2011 00:46 AM
rating: 0
 
One Flap Down

By the way, I wonder where this book by my nicknamed namesake would fit into the picture here:

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5015/364/1600/leonardnovel.jpg

Feb 11, 2011 07:32 AM
rating: 0
 
Ben Solow

Sadly, one wonders if Dustin Pedroia's "laser show" and "rocket show" catchphrases were used in the Derek (Jeter? Lowe?)/Pedroia story.

Feb 11, 2011 07:37 AM
rating: 0
 
sfastatsprof

Respectfully, I'd like to add a "thumbs down" to this type of article appearing on BP. I fully understand that others saw the humor in it, but with so many articles to read and so many competing sites that carry baseball information - I can't help but place Emma Span's name at the back of the queue for a while. Again, respectfully - I don't believe you can really afford to come out of the chute as a new writer at a place like BP and split your audience without some of us ignoring your writing for a while - the competition is too stiff to believe otherwise.

Feb 11, 2011 08:11 AM
rating: 17
 
Ben Solow

I don't really understand why the second part of your comment implies the first part. It's fine if you don't care to read Emma's work, but is it going to drive you away from BP? There are a lot of sites that post things that I don't find interesting, but it doesn't prevent me from reading the things that I do find interesting on those same sites.

Feb 11, 2011 08:22 AM
rating: 7
 
sfastatsprof

Oh, it won't drive me away from BP..it'd take a lot to do that. I was just stating that I have a choice as to which articles and authors I read on BP, THT, BTF, Fangraphs and other sites I visit daily. Since the competition is stiff and there are many articles available to read each day, all I need is one really extreme turn off (in my opinion) to force an author to the back of the queue. I suspect I'll read Emma's work again, but she did nothing today to make me interested in reading her contributions at BP in the near future. In summary, it was a poor move for a new author at as well-known place as BP.

Feb 11, 2011 17:04 PM
rating: 0
 
Ben Solow

That's definitely reasonable...but on the other hand, I would question why you really care if BP publishes this type of article. It's not going to change your behavior at all; whether Emma regrets it as a first article or article for this site in general (I certainly hope she doesn't on both counts) is irrelevant to whether the material is appropriate for publishing at BP.

Feb 11, 2011 18:35 PM
rating: 2
 
Cory Schwartz

Great double-entendre

Feb 13, 2011 11:19 AM
rating: 1
 
Nate W.

Welcome Emma. I received your book as a gift a few months ago and enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm excited you will be writing for BP.
Great Article too!

Feb 11, 2011 08:18 AM
rating: 3
 
Emma Span

I've rarely managed to upset so many people before breakfast!

No offense taken on my end; the column was intended to be funny, and I hope most people find it to be, but it's okay that it's not everyone's cup of tea. sfastatsprof, there are indeed a ton of great baseball writers out there, both at BP and elsewhere; of course you should read the ones you like.

Feb 11, 2011 08:20 AM
rating: 27
 
sfastatsprof

Emma, I appreciate your response to my post directly. I hope you'll read my other reply right above this one. I intend at some point to read your work again. But when you take the chance that you did by writing an article that dances near the fence... you are sure to push some people over. I most certainly will NOT be so narrow as to exclude you permanently from my reading, but the article alienated me temporarily from your writing and hence, it will be harder in the future for me to be won over to your talents. Finally and respectfully, I consider your topic a very poor choice for your introductory piece at BP.

Feb 11, 2011 17:12 PM
rating: -1
 
bumphadley

Would there be nearly so much negativity if the article had been about women writing heterosexual fantasy porn about baseball players? If anything, I would bet that such an article would be a matter of indifference.

Feb 11, 2011 08:44 AM
rating: 1
 
PeterBNYC

You would be wrong.

Feb 11, 2011 08:50 AM
rating: 3
 
bumphadley

Ok, now I'm convinced.

Feb 11, 2011 08:54 AM
rating: 1
 
CRP13

Logic prevails again!

Feb 11, 2011 08:56 AM
rating: -1
 
PeterBNYC

I steadfastly refuse to get the point. This is a baseball performance analysis site. That's why I come here and why I pay for it. If the comments from editors whom I thought would be more responsible characters are indicative of where you are heading, you will soon be able to count me out. It's the Pizza Parlor Rule- the store that provides me food poisoning, however nice guys they are and however unintentional, never gets another chance.

Feb 11, 2011 09:01 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Curious - which editor comments are you referring to? I think they've been pretty good about answering those of us that disagree with the decision, without being petty, aggressive, or defensive.

We can disagree without it going beyond that. Just because you and I think this article crosses the line doesn't mean there's a systemic problem around here.

Feb 11, 2011 09:05 AM
rating: 6
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

This is a baseball site. Performance analysis may be our main area of content, but it is not, and has never been, our only one.

Feb 11, 2011 09:38 AM
 
Karl T

Why can't I give Jay Jaffe comments a "minus"?

I am not remotely offended by it but I have no desire to read this kind of thing at my baseball information website of choice. Keep publishing this kind of garbage and I will move on.

Feb 11, 2011 10:03 AM
rating: -3
 
dwinning

If you have no desire to read something, I have the solution: don't read it. It's fast, it's easy, it's free! Everyone wins!

Feb 11, 2011 10:23 AM
rating: 17
 
Rick C.

You know what I don't click on? Stuff about hardcore performance analysis. I already gradated, and I sucked at math, and sometimes those articles are like doing that all over again.


There are many different people here that enjoy different. I not only laughed (Somebody asked "What purpose did this serve?" It served the purpose of making people laugh. Which is easily one of the top few things people should do every day), I also thought the article was well written and thought provoking.

Feb 12, 2011 17:55 PM
rating: 4
 
brandetd

Since pornography has now been added, are there any plans for gambling and prescription drugs?

Feb 12, 2011 08:38 AM
rating: 1
 
Patrick

Gambling and drugs (prescription and non) have been, and always will be, a bigger part of baseball for much longer than internet fan fiction. Baseball Prospectus has run numerous articles about both. Were you outraged?

Feb 12, 2011 09:51 AM
rating: 5
 
brandetd
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Thats fine and good but obviously not what was implied. When do we get to place bets and buy prescription drugs from BP?

Oh and by the way, in the context of your strawman, guess what? They 9previsou articles about PEDS and gambling) actually were about baseball. Are you seriously equating discussion about the impact of PEDS on performance on a baseball content-driven site with musing about homophobic fantasies?

Feb 12, 2011 09:57 AM
rating: -4
 
Patrick

I wasn't setting up a strawman argument, because I didn't see the article as being pornographic. It was about an unusual way baseball fandom manifests itself in a time when nearly everything can be shared online. It may have made allusions to sexually explicit material and certainly contained innuendo, but Ms. Span did not write anything pornographic. There aren't even links to the stories she discusses, so it's not like you can say BP is giving you access in any way to pornographic content.

I said nothing about PEDS. However, I remember an article discussing the rise in medical waivers amongst MLB players for the use of Adderol after the ban on amphetamines went into effect.

And this was probably just a Freudian slip on your part, but none of the fantasies Ms. Span researched seemed homophobic. Quite the contrary, actually.

Feb 12, 2011 10:27 AM
rating: 8
 
Noel Steere
(965)

So you equate an article about gay porn involving baseball players to having gay sex with baseball players?

All I want to know is: Did you at least get his autograph?

Feb 12, 2011 14:08 PM
rating: 2
 
evo34

Oh, my fault. Sorry for not loving articles *about* gay porn. Or not thinking it's an awesome use of limited resources by BP...

Feb 15, 2011 22:38 PM
rating: 1
 
Joe D.

Damn skippy. And if you people start forcing me to listen to "She-Bop," Tipper and I are out of here.

-- Al

Feb 12, 2011 20:07 PM
rating: -1
 
davelamb

Can you explain to me how this article "poisoned the pizza" for you? Has the baseball performance analysis you come to this site for been degraded in some way?

Feb 11, 2011 09:43 AM
rating: 14
 
One Flap Down

Where was this comment on the Ferris Bueller piece? There wasn't any performance analysis there.

Feb 11, 2011 09:56 AM
rating: 21
 
schlicht

But Peter ... you're still here, thus violating the Pizza Parlor Rule

Feb 12, 2011 12:34 PM
rating: 0
 
Isaac Dix

How can you prove it was the pizza parlor? Food-borne illnesses can show up sometimes 3 days after consumption. Also, most people eat pizza with their hands and few wash them before they eat and even if they do it only takes a microscopic amount of norovirus that they might have missed while washing to make you violently ill.

Feb 12, 2011 15:31 PM
rating: 2
 
CRP13

I already said it doesn't offend me. What I said was it's tasteless and pointless. There's no basis for your speculation.

Feb 11, 2011 08:53 AM
rating: 0
 
bumphadley

You find it tasteless and pointless because you don't find the joke amusing. Jokes often are tasteless and pointless.

Do you often post comments on Internet humor pieces that you don't find funny?

Feb 11, 2011 08:58 AM
rating: 8
 
Emma Span

Ha. I think this is my favorite comment.

Feb 11, 2011 09:26 AM
rating: 10
 
Emma Span

"I already said it doesn't offend me. What I said was it's tasteless and pointless," that is. Oh, if THAT's all that's bothering you...

Feb 11, 2011 09:28 AM
rating: 8
 
CRP13

I've noticed most people are black-or-white types. I'm a "gray area" guy. I appreciate what the article has to offer, while questioning the decision to publish it here. The "slay the dragon!" comments in this thread bother me more than anything you wrote in the article.

Meanwhile, I am glad you're contributing to the site, and look forward to more.

Feb 11, 2011 10:14 AM
rating: -1
 
Emma Span

Well, thanks! And I certainly can't argue with "tasteless."

Feb 11, 2011 10:31 AM
rating: 0
 
DDriesen

I don't think Kinsler found salty tasteless, but then again I didn't click on the link...

Feb 11, 2011 11:37 AM
rating: 15
 
Rick C.

If there is not one single person out there who does not find a piece of humor tasteless... then it wasn't very funny.


This article however, was possibly the best thing I have ever read on this site, and I applaud you and all the people who run this thing for publishing it.

Feb 12, 2011 17:04 PM
rating: 7
 
eighteen
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

That's right, imply that everyone who didn't care for the article is homophobic.

You must be a Democrat.

Feb 11, 2011 10:54 AM
rating: -69
 
Matt Kory

Currently at -20. Not enough. Minus!

Feb 11, 2011 14:13 PM
rating: 6
 
Justin Miller

-69 now. That seems fitting for this article.

Feb 13, 2011 19:15 PM
rating: 4
 
touchstone033

bump: you may be right. Who knows? Given the trend of the site lately, we may have a chance to see.

I understand the business and editorial decision to run the article. Heck, it was one of the featured articles on Ballbug the day it ran and no doubt introduced a lot of readers to the site. Still, the creep of "fun" and irrelevant "color" commentary reminds me of the dumbing down of ESPN.com, which seems to be the trend for websites that want to increase readership and revenue. Hopefully BP doesn't go down that path, but if it does, I'm sure a lot of the original readership will find the next BP...

Feb 14, 2011 08:54 AM
rating: 3
 
yadenr

Since we seem to be voting, I will go thumbs up. I enjoy BP for writing that explores and questions the tropes of [life] baseball, and this qualifies. It is well written and funny to boot, so good coffee-time at the computer before the drudgery of work sets in. Thanks.

Feb 11, 2011 09:07 AM
rating: 3
 
NYYanks826

Hmmm...

Albert Pujols article, transaction analysis, a couple of fantasy articles, article on fictional gay sex among baseball players.

Just your average Friday at Baseball Prospectus.

Welcome aboard, Emma!

Feb 11, 2011 09:08 AM
rating: 23
 
Deadheadbrewer

I enjoy reading about baseball, no matter what the angle, so I actually read this article all the way through. I thought it presented a well-written and enjoyable take on baseball fans that I NEVER would have imagined existed. It's nice to sometimes see something other than a 1500-word analysis on Sabathia's pinky toe angle on the rubber during May games when the temperature is below 70 degrees F.

Thanks, Ms. Span--

Feb 11, 2011 09:09 AM
rating: 6
 
HeavyHitter

I completely agree. It was interesting to learn of a baseball subculture I never knew existed. Writers love to find something to poke fun at and Emma struck a rich vein here. (Not that I would want regular updates; this is a one-and-gone type of subject.)

Feb 11, 2011 10:41 AM
rating: 5
 
perforatededge54

Hilarious. There isn't anything in the fine print that says every article has to revolve around numbers.

Feb 11, 2011 09:12 AM
rating: 4
 
Shankweather

I could really get into some baseball fan fiction, if it was a story about Cubs management making one brilliant move after another.

Feb 11, 2011 09:13 AM
rating: 14
 
Matt Kory

That seems more unrealistic than some of the situations in the article.

Feb 11, 2011 10:24 AM
rating: 10
 
Pat Folz

Leon Lee wandered down to the local ballpark one lonely Gwangju night in search of something special, and found a man standing alone on the diamond with a massive sack of balls swinging a huge, unlubed bat – Hee-Seop Choi! And at once Lee was overcome with realization and regret, for why hadn’t he (or anyone else in baseball) ever noticed it before? Pine tar! Choi never used enough pine tar on his bat! Lee whipped it out right then and there (his cell phone, that is!) and dialed up his old friend Jim Hendry…

Hendry signed Choi to a one-year, $500k deal for 2011. Choi was called up on May 6 to replace the struggling Carlos Pena (who was later dealt to the Yankees for Manny Banuelos, after Mark Teixeira’s sudden retirement to pursue a career in lawn bowling) and batted .286 with 43 homers (good for a .409 OBP) over the final five months, adding another 6 dingers in the post-season including a 9th-inning grand slam in Game 7 of the World Series to defeat the Yankees and win the Cubs’ first championship since 1906.

Feb 11, 2011 10:51 AM
rating: 11
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

Hee-Seop Choi with a .286 batting average, a .409 OBP and 43 homers? Damn it, man, you almost pulled off a first for BP: triple-slash fiction!

Feb 11, 2011 12:17 PM
 
perforatededge54

I also wonder which line this article is crossing. Where is the line, what does it represent and who put it there?

Feb 11, 2011 09:14 AM
rating: 5
 
bflaff1

Thanks, BP. That was a fun diversion. Too bad about the controversy.

Maybe this will spark anti-fan fic porn, where Jaret tells Melky, "Melky, bro! Let's work on our fielding and take batting practice." Balance things out a bit.

Feb 11, 2011 09:20 AM
rating: 4
 
Tommy Bennett

Buried in all this is the fact that the name of your new column is absolutely brilliant.

Feb 11, 2011 09:33 AM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

Since I can't plus you, I'll just say here here!

Feb 11, 2011 10:25 AM
rating: 5
 
Emma Span

Thanks Tommy. I've been wanting to use that for years but none of my editors at other publications would let me, because they thought no one would get it. Not an issue at BP.

Feb 11, 2011 10:35 AM
rating: 6
 
frampton
(870)

I have to admit that I like the notion that decisions whether or not to publish material that clearly won't be everyone's cup of tea lean toward publication. As has been pointed out, it's easy enough to click back to the main page, where there is plenty of analytical material for any subscriber. I wouldn't want to think that something that would amuse me, or challenge me in a different way, was written and then nixed because it might possibly offend someone, or be considered tasteless by someone.

Maybe it's because I *like* "tasteless" humor; I loved National Lampoon, too.

Feb 11, 2011 09:40 AM
rating: 10
 
PeterBNYC

Interesting- this piece is now preceded by an "Adult Content" warning, which I don't believe was there to begin with? I don't think you have begun to hear yet the comments from dads who see what the kids have been looking at since late afternoon? I sure hope I'm wrong. One crummy editorial decision should not harm the BP brand.

I'm resigning from this debate.

Feb 11, 2011 10:18 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It wasn't there to begin with, but it is not there because of the comments. It was meant to be there from the start. We don't shy away from adult subject matter, but we do like to give a heads up, like we do for the podcast.

Feb 11, 2011 10:36 AM
 
TangoTiger

Actually, you DID AND DO have a "NSFW" tag on the home page in the teaser. I think if that had carried over to the main article, that would have helped (somewhat, though presumably someone will always say it's not enough). Then again, probably many readers might not even know what NSFW even means.

Feb 11, 2011 12:20 PM
rating: 2
 
Jobert

Or they opened a direct link from a different source.

Feb 11, 2011 12:28 PM
rating: 0
 
BurrRutledge

I admit that I saw NSFW in the teaser and thought it was another baseball acronym that I don't know.

Feb 11, 2011 12:58 PM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

It's an acronym for our cutting edge stat, Non Sacrifice Fly-based Wins.

Feb 11, 2011 14:55 PM
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Let me know when you come across some Eddie Gaedel/Jon Rauch slash fic. The world needs to see those two together.

Excellent article.

Feb 11, 2011 09:48 AM
 
Noel Steere
(965)

+ Many

Let's just hope they don't get matching tatoos.

Feb 12, 2011 00:57 AM
rating: 0
 
Jobert

Do GMs ever get involved? A Michael Young/Jon Daniels piece could help them work through their issues.

Feb 11, 2011 09:52 AM
rating: 7
 
steve.k

Gee whiz. This is a lot of ado about nothing so much. If you couldn't figure out to stop reading within 10 seconds...Some free advice - if this was too tasteless for you, please do not look for Zap Comix from the 60's.

Feb 11, 2011 09:59 AM
rating: 6
 
ruben398

Funny stuff, I certainly didn't mind. Shoot, even had a disclaimer. It is a common criticism of the United States that American's are far too easily offended by "adult" subject matter.

Glad to have you along, Emma. Variety from the standard top 10 minor leaguers and how PECOTA is a little better than everything else is nice.

Feb 11, 2011 10:05 AM
rating: 11
 
ruben398

"American's are far too easily offended"

Also a criticism that Americans are uneducated. Don't know why I have that urge to 's when I pluralize nouns...

Feb 11, 2011 10:07 AM
rating: 3
 
Brian Kopec

I know more American's who are over-educated than under-educated.

And I don't think folks are complaining that they are offended. I think they are complaining that the article doesn't belong on the site.

I really couldn't care either way.

Feb 11, 2011 13:25 PM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

I meant to put "American's" in quotes to make a point about the misplaced possessive.

But I'm obviously one of the under-educated ones. Lol!

Feb 11, 2011 13:26 PM
rating: 0
 
Patrick

Over-educated? Is that even possible?

Feb 11, 2011 15:22 PM
rating: 0
 
Tommy Bennett

Indubitably.

Feb 11, 2011 15:59 PM
rating: 0
 
Randy Brown
(189)

"Over-educated? Is that even possible?"

Fo shizzle, Patrick. None other than the Doggfather himself taught me, "Study long, study wrong."

Feb 11, 2011 18:41 PM
rating: 2
 
Matt Kory

If nothing else I think this demonstrates the futility of the plus/minus comments system.

Feb 11, 2011 10:22 AM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

I've wondered why there can't be separate counts for + and -.

Feb 11, 2011 10:27 AM
rating: 11
 
hegglund

This piece is brilliant--great job, Emma.

I love that BP thinks of itself as a crunchy statistical core surrounded by the gooey, nougaty culture of the game. That's what I'm paying for.

Feb 11, 2011 10:35 AM
rating: 14
 
Pat Folz

Thoroughly agree, the article was hilarious and fascinating.

I will always support decisions to publish oddball stuff like this, even if it forces me to remember that something exists that I had tried desperately, desperately to forget.

Feb 11, 2011 11:16 AM
rating: 7
 
FastballVelociraptor

Not interested in this and also don't like how BP staff are not subject to their comments being +'d and -'d

Feb 11, 2011 17:02 PM
rating: -1
 
graignettles

Great idea for BP: Why not have + or - availability next to the author's name (all authors, not just this one) for instant feedback on the value of the article to the readership? You will be able to tell quickly how well received an article is. Lots of minuses = this may not be working for our readership. Just a thought.

Feb 12, 2011 03:59 AM
rating: 2
 
NYYanks826

Let's face it. The only baseball-related fan fiction out there should involve Sal Fasano. After all, he is already rocking the true porn-star 'stache.

Feb 11, 2011 11:16 AM
rating: 8
 
JasonC23
(97)

Fasano slash Pavano? Dare we dream?

Feb 11, 2011 11:20 AM
rating: 7
 
NYYanks826

'Stache slash! Love it!

Feb 11, 2011 11:21 AM
rating: 4
 
andyfoy

Can Axford join?

Feb 11, 2011 13:22 PM
rating: 2
 
Noel Steere
(965)

And of course, the Furries have to show up and ruin everything.

Feb 12, 2011 01:00 AM
rating: 12
 
christopherchu

BP has been one of my favorite sites for a long time. I love the writers and the content. Ms. Span seems like a talented writer from this first article, and I should be excited to read what she has to say, but the specific topic of this article is very disappointing to me.

I realize that other readers may not share my morality, and that's fine; I have no desire to impose my beliefs on others. That's the great thing about baseball... it's a beautiful, neutral common ground in cultural discourse, something that we can all share and enjoy and discuss, regardless of our beliefs on other topics. I loved reading a site like BP that could bring all of us together.

Now, I feel like I have to choose between my beliefs and my love of baseball. Yes, some readers can make the argument that I simply don't have to click on the articles I object to, and they may have a point. I just wanted to express the sentiment that I was able to feel, for a long time, that BP was a "safe" place on the internet where I did not have to put up my guard. I'm sad that I can't feel that way any longer.

Unfortunately, I work in the non-profit sector in a developing country, so I don't have a lot of disposable income. For a long time, BP was a little splurge I made room in my yearly budget for (I don't pay for any other internet content). I'm sure I'll be ridiculed for this, but I feel like I may have to reconsider my BP renewal this year.

All this said, however, I appreciate the honest effort Emma Span has spent on writing this article. I may not agree with the topic choice, but I can read her love for baseball in her words. You have talent, and I wish you the best.

Feb 11, 2011 11:28 AM
rating: 2
 
Mr. Cthulhu

Christopher, I'm not going to ridicule you, but I'll say this: This fiction exists, if the subject matter offends you that is fine. As you say it is your morality and you don't need to defend that. But, you shouldn't blame BP for bringing to light the fact that this stuff exists. Had Emma posted an entire graphic slash fiction story she wrote I would understand where you are coming from. But, all she did was bring to light a sub-culture that already existed. Would you really be better off pretending that this area of baseball fans did not exist? I understand you may not have wanted to know about it, but at that point you're just pulling the wool over your eyes regarding what really goes on in the world. You don't have to like it, but you have to accept that it exists.

Feb 11, 2011 12:03 PM
rating: 16
 
Matt

I think this article is particularly relevant to some of the current discussion about how personality narratives are created and attached to players, particularly in the case of Michael Young, the ultimate team player. We all like to use our imagination to some degree or another. Some of it gets labeled as fiction. Some of it gets labeled as reporting.

Feb 11, 2011 11:51 AM
rating: 14
 
VDracul

Nothing against porn, but what precisely does this have to do with baseball analysis? Unless PECOTA uses penis size as part of its projections, can we stick to baseball analysis?

Feb 11, 2011 12:06 PM
rating: -3
 
dianagram

what do you think the P in VORP really stands for?

Feb 11, 2011 12:25 PM
rating: 41
 
TangoTiger

Comment of the year as far as I'm concerned!

Feb 11, 2011 12:35 PM
rating: 5
 
Behemoth

The ancient Greeks thought their soldiers fought better if they had a homosexual relationship with one of their comrades, so maybe there is a legitimate analysis question here.

Feb 11, 2011 12:40 PM
rating: 5
 
Matt

I hear Colin went in and single-handedly raised the level of replacement.

Feb 11, 2011 14:54 PM
rating: 4
 
VDracul

Dianagram I love it! Value over replacement penis...I may have to steal that for my female friends with their boy problems.

Feb 11, 2011 12:30 PM
rating: 2
 
DDriesen

I hate to ask, but what is Replacement Value going to be set at? Is PECOTA set for comps? Personally, I would love for my top 3 to be Milton Berle, John Holmes and Nick "the Dick" from "Bachelor Party" (dating myself with that reference). Dare to dream...

By the way, there are just a treasure troves of untapped jokes here, but I am not going go there. Like wanting to lead the league in DP's. Whoops, I went and did it.

Feb 11, 2011 14:17 PM
rating: 0
 
Behemoth

More articles like this please. If you don't like it, don't read it. If you're still really bothered, then don't renew your subscription. Maybe next time, just put "Don't click here if you are easily offended." as the link, and we can avoid most of the moaning.

Feb 11, 2011 12:38 PM
rating: 1
 
awayish

excellent.

Feb 11, 2011 12:42 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Almost as many comments as the PECOTA release (not really, but way, way closer than most articles here). Well done, Span!

Feb 11, 2011 13:19 PM
rating: 1
 
Tynan

Thumbs up. Thanks for hilarious start to my day!

Feb 11, 2011 13:28 PM
rating: 3
 
ostrowj1

I don't want to contribute to the "I hate this article" stack, I just think it is important to realize why people some of the BP readers have the negative reaction that they have. I understand that I do not have to read the article. I am sure there are plenty of things out on the internets that I would be bothered reading. For me anyway, this is not a satisfying response. This is not a random website. This is a place where I have spent a lot of time. I know it is silly, but I feel that in some way I am a part of BP, and I think a lot of readers feel the same. It isn't that the material is offensive per se, but that it is published on a website that I identify with. I am all for pushing the envelope and appreciate the effort. Personally, I think it went a little too far, but I appreciate the comments left by the BP staff. I guess my main point, mostly for the community, is not to dismiss the negative comments as people just being prudes. Maybe people's disappointment is
not rational, but that doesn't mean that there isn't reason for it.

Feb 11, 2011 13:38 PM
rating: 9
 
CRP13

THIS.

Exactly my sentiments. I have as perverse a sense of humor as any, but this article was like my wife slapping me in the face with a wet trout as soon as I came home from work with flowers.

If that made sense to you, you know what I mean.

Feb 11, 2011 15:13 PM
rating: -2
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

I know exactly what you mean! It's time to watch the monty Python Fish Slapping Dance video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCwLirQS2-o

Feb 11, 2011 15:33 PM
 
CRP13

YES. That's more like it.

Feb 11, 2011 16:23 PM
rating: -1
 
kjgilber

+100

I could not articulate what I didn't like about the column until I read this. I am not a prude. I am not a religious conservative. I am a long time subscriber, and this just doesn't fit with my idea of BP at all, and it can't help but make me wonder about the direction of the site. Christina, Kevin, and Jay are my favorite writers by far, and I would pay my subscription for their work alone. I suppose this doesn't make sense, because I know I don't have to click on anything I don't want to read, but to me an article like this lessens the experience.

Feb 12, 2011 22:39 PM
rating: 6
 
Jamie

"I know it is silly, but I feel that in some way I am a part of BP, and I think a lot of readers feel the same."

I agree with this sentiment, but I feel it is a community of people with a sense of humor. I am really surprised by the negative comments and strong reactions to this piece. It was an excellent and funny article. Keep up the good work Emma.

"Maybe people's disappointment is
not rational, but that doesn't mean that there isn't reason for it."

If someone's disappointment is irrational by definition it means they don't have a reason for it.

Feb 13, 2011 17:29 PM
rating: 3
 
amazin_mess

Really, BP? Really?

REALLY?

Feb 11, 2011 13:40 PM
rating: 1
 
amazin_mess

I am still in shock that this was published on this website. If this is any indicator of the direction Prospectus is heading, I'm spending that money on Joe Sheehan's blog, where they talk about actual baseball.

Feb 11, 2011 13:47 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

Yeah, because they never talk about actual baseball here. By my calculations, only 99.9999% of the articles BP has ever published have been about actual baseball. Unacceptable!

Feb 11, 2011 14:18 PM
rating: 10
 
amazin_mess
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

I'd never thought there would come a day BP would publish something about gay fantasy porn. It's garbage and something you'd expect to find at Deadspin.

Feb 11, 2011 14:24 PM
rating: -21
 
alangreene

In a really cranky, bitter voice, where everything sucks, but yeah, where they talk about baseball!

Feb 14, 2011 19:04 PM
rating: 0
 
thegeneral13

I honestly thought the NSFW warning was a joke. That seemed far more likely than BP actually publishing NSFW content. Oops.

Feb 11, 2011 13:54 PM
rating: 8
 
thegeneral13

And by the way, how many unpalatable articles should one be expected to identify as such and skip in search of the reason they came to the website in the first place? Surely it's more than one, but the cost of irrelevant or objectionable content isn't zero, so I don't think the "just don't read it if you don't like it" argument holds water.

Feb 11, 2011 14:07 PM
rating: 0
 
Juris

Preseason Locker Room Conversation, Sarasota FL, March 2, 2011

C: "Mine's bigger."

M: "VORP's not everything, ya know.

C: "Yeah but if ya got it, flaunt it, that's what I say."

M: "Whatever rocks your boat I guess. I get turned on by a great slashline."

C: "There ya go. But don't start bragging about your PECOTA. They effed up your comps, and you know it."

M: "True enough, but being a PECOTA hero draws a lot of fans."

C: "Sure. But your PECOTA makes you look overlarge -- like one of those male ballet dancers with his pants stuffed with a towel. We'll see soon enough what you've really got."

Feb 11, 2011 14:57 PM
rating: 1
 
Behemoth

Given this, I find it shocking that the article above refers to a Prince Albert.

Feb 11, 2011 15:23 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

It's probably worth pointing out that whether you liked this piece or not, none of you paid money to read it - it was out in front of the paywall, free to anyone who stopped by.

In this instance, what your subscription has bought you is the right to comment in this thread. Some of you who've done so have registered your dissent, and it's been duly noted, as has the appreciation of those who enjoyed the piece.

Feb 11, 2011 15:37 PM
 
TangoTiger

Jay, I'm not sure how a subscriber is supposed to know if an article is behind the pay wall or not. I'm also not sure that because the article is available to everyone means that the subscriber has less "rights" in terms of voicing their opinion.

I recognize the general sentiment of those offended that this article was an enormous change of pace, and completely unexpected in terms of, well, everything!

A South Park / Jackass type of alert at the beginning would have certainly gone a long way. Then again, who knew?! Even the Jackass notice likely didn't occur on the very first episode.

Feb 11, 2011 16:58 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

The little BP logos in front of an article title on the home page or in the Recently At Baseball Prospectus, More From [Date] and More By [Author] sections denote Premium subscriber-only content. The blue-boxed F logo denotes Fantasy and Premium subscriber-only content. If there's no logo in front - as is the case on several of today's offerings, it's in front of the pay wall.

Feb 11, 2011 17:49 PM
 
TangoTiger

Jay:

I don't always notice on the home page if there's a logo. And even if I do, once I click on the article, I won't remember if there's a logo there or not.

If a reader's rights are somehow different for an article that is premium or free, then make it more clear on the article itself. Why not a logo on the article itself, rather than the page prior? Why not at the end of the article, saying "this page available for all and not part of your subscription".

Unless you do that, then BPro should not expect a subscriber to respond differently in the comments section based on whether the article was free or not.

Feb 12, 2011 06:22 AM
rating: -1
 
Matt Kory

There's a giant obvious logo next to the article on the home page. You really need more than that?

Feb 12, 2011 14:01 PM
rating: 1
 
TangoTiger

Just to be clear, I'm not speaking for myself. I personally have no opinion on the article.

There are plenty of people that get here from their Google Reader. They won't see any indication that it's free or not.

Feb 12, 2011 17:58 PM
rating: 0
 
Dan

Tom, you're the only person asserting that "a reader's rights are somehow different for an article that is premium or free."

Jay said no such thing. A subscriber has the right to both read and comment on any article. For a subscriber, there is no difference in rights based on whether the article is in front of or behind the pay wall.

Feb 12, 2011 15:01 PM
rating: 1
 
TangoTiger

If that's the case, then I don't understand the point of Jay saying:

"It's probably worth pointing out that whether you liked this piece or not, none of you paid money to read it - it was out in front of the paywall, free to anyone who stopped by."

I don't see why it was worth pointing out at all other than to tell us to have a different standard.

Feb 12, 2011 18:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Pat Folz

I took it as merely reminding anyone who might actually be seriously reconsidering their BP subscription that this article wasn't something they paid for the privilege of reading. Essentially it headed off any "I paid for THIS???" type criticism (not that I noticed any).

Feb 12, 2011 20:06 PM
rating: 1
 
ofMontreal

As long as we're counting votes: 2 thumbs up Emma. Really interesting stuff.

Nice to see the whole community out (on both sides).

Feb 11, 2011 16:06 PM
rating: 2
 
Paul Andrew Burnett

Given the nature of the article, I think it worth clarifying that you probably should a comma between "up" and "Emma," correct?

Feb 11, 2011 16:39 PM
rating: 34
 
amazin_mess
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

That's good. Because the next time I read trash like this, I expect BP to pay us.

Feb 11, 2011 16:11 PM
rating: -18
 
bquine

I loved this. Absolutely hilarious. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more articles of a similar outlandish tenor and humor. Then again, I did once toy with the notion of trolling the Boston Red Sox usenet group with Rod Beck/Rich Garces slash fic back in the day...

Feb 11, 2011 16:28 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Ken Funck
BP staff

I've been a BP subscriber for many years, and this is the first article that I felt compelled to read out loud to my wife, knowing she'd enjoy it as much as I did (with a little bit of coaching as to who Jarrod Saltalamacchia is). Well done, Emma.

Feb 11, 2011 17:02 PM
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I will also add that my girlfriend has never read I thing I've written on this site -- but she read this.

Feb 11, 2011 17:50 PM
 
BillWW

Baseball intersects with culture in myriad ways, does it not, objectors? I was thoroughly amused even though I've encountered this (pulsing, purple) vein of fandom before.

Feb 11, 2011 17:05 PM
rating: 0
 
Behemoth

But the world is a much better place if we just pretend it doesn't.

Feb 11, 2011 17:10 PM
rating: 1
 
amazin_mess

I've subcribed for 8 years. I've watched this site lose legends like Will Carroll, Joe Sheehan, Nate Silver and Gary Hackabay. It just seems to this subscriber, one lone opinion, that the BP is heading in a new direction, one I'm not sure I want to be a part of. From these comment sections to articles like this - it all seems "beneath" what BP used to be about.

I'm sure Emma is a terrific writer, and the responsiblity for the article is on the editorial staff, but I really never expected to see something like this here.

Feb 11, 2011 17:09 PM
rating: -1
 
Behemoth

It's one article. You don't like it, fine, but this seems a bit of an over-reaction.

Feb 11, 2011 17:12 PM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Mike Fast
BP staff

I won't begrudge anyone their opinion on Emma's article, and I appreciate the decorum with which people have discussed their feelings about it.

But as far as BP's new direction, don't think for a minute that it doesn't involve a heavy emphasis on good sabermetric analysis of the game. Jeremy Greenhouse, Dan Turkenkopf, Sky Kalkman--these guys are all heavyweight names in the saber field, and deservedly so. Hopefully, I and the other regular stats writers will also continue to produce content that will advance the thinking in the field as well as being enjoyable to read.

Feb 11, 2011 17:54 PM
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Absolutely. We're not heading in some new direction. Far from it, in fact. What we are doing is getting bigger, and exploring new avenues, some of them more light-hearted, but the core of hard care analysis is actually bigger than ever, and we are producing 3-5x the content we did three years ago and not charging a penny more.

Feb 11, 2011 17:59 PM
 
dianagram

Hurrah!

Feb 11, 2011 18:59 PM
rating: 3
 
John Douglass

I'm not questioning direction, but I can see how some subscribers would Perhaps Ms. Span ought to have spent a few months writing about baseball and building trust with the readers before asking that we indulge her in a flight of fancy that has, really, nothing to do with baseball. And let's be honest: this piece is not about baseball culture, it's about fan-fiction culture. We'll indulge the writers we like, but when you have a newbie write a, well, a...a....a just....jeez Kevin a piece that's not terrible, but it's so out of place on this site it's worthless to most of the readership, you can't be too surprised when a portion the readership questions direction.

Feb 13, 2011 11:59 AM
rating: 3
 
Matt Kory

If you leave, can I have your number?

Feb 11, 2011 18:18 PM
rating: 6
 
Noel Steere
(965)

You four and five-digiters are so adorable.

Feb 12, 2011 01:59 AM
rating: 7
 
HeavyHitter

Will Carroll and Joe Sheehan are legends only in their own minds.

Feb 12, 2011 09:17 AM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

Just standing there, minding my own business...

Feb 14, 2011 13:43 PM
 
delasky

I'm a new subscriber and have been fairly happy with the content on BP so far. Then I read this article. Now I am finally, completley convinced that my subscription was money well spent. Fantastic article, taking a quirky look at the far edges of fandom and relating it back to the mainstream.

So thanks to Emma and the Editors!

Feb 11, 2011 18:05 PM
rating: 9
 
amazin_mess

It will take more than this to make me leave.

Mr. Met slash Philly Phanatic would do it though.

Feb 11, 2011 18:42 PM
rating: 7
 
Noel Steere
(965)

First off, I'm really impressed with the new blood that's been introduced to us over the last couple of weeks.

Second: What, no "The Machine"?

Third: I think there's some interesting stuff to discuss from this article. For one, I respectfully disagree with Emma about the source of discomfort (at least among het males): It is because it's two dudes, Major Leaguers, no less! That's not meant as a judgement; just not my bag. I think Emma's aware of that, because she presented it as: "Wow! There is some freaky shit out there! Amirite?"

The reason Emma actually gave, that the stories are about actual people, just doesn't hold water. Tons of porn stories are written about actual people, it's just that they're usually celebrities, particularly ones who have sex appeal. It's when the stories are about people who are not known for being sexy that it starts to feel weird.

Think about what that means: If your fantasies don't fit a societally imposed type, you're considered an outcast.

Feb 12, 2011 01:31 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

THIS. This is the kind of discussion that I felt this article should/would provoke. Where do you draw the boundaries of fandom and hero worship? Why is it on one level acceptable to say, "I'll always love Famous Shortstop even if he hits .239," but not okay to really, y'know, LOVE him, or fantasize about it? Who is to say which way of acting with the game is the right one? I pose these as rhetorical questions--I don't claim to have the answers. There is nothing salacious here, but a question of philosophy raised by the game, in the same way it has raised so many issues that extend beyond the lines over the years.

Feb 12, 2011 01:47 AM
 
thegeneral13

That's what you think this is about? "Fandom?" Sheesh. I'd love to hear your spin on 2 girls 1 cup.

Feb 12, 2011 03:39 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Oh god, that's all this conversation needed...that reference. I found it interesting discussion, and now I want to throw up. Jerk.

Feb 12, 2011 06:11 AM
rating: -4
 
brandetd

Yes! THIS! Baseball has been desperately needing an in depth exploration of how its fringe fans portray major league players in their graphic, imagined sexual trists.

Kudos for leading on this issue BP. Keep breaking new ground!

Feb 12, 2011 18:37 PM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Neil deMause
BP staff

Something that just occurred to me: Is there reality show fanfic? That seems like it would be a direct comp for baseball fanfic in terms of being about real people, but without the "we don't think about them that way" aspect. I wonder if 1) it exists and 2) people would have the same reaction to it.

(Now I'm too scared to actually Google "Tom Colicchio/Anthony Bourdain"...)

Feb 12, 2011 06:59 AM
 
Patrick

I'm glad somebody finally said this. The only reason this article will probably break the 200-comment barrier is because of the homosexuality. Honestly, I doubt this would have caused this much controversy if it were about players having sex with women.

Athletes are celebrities and generally have a lot of sex appeal. They are young, rich, and usually have impressive physiques. Does it really surprise anybody that people would write fan fiction - straight and gay - about them? The choice of players is often strange and it's unfortunate that fictional stories about real people are being put in public, but this is what fandom is for some people.

I still remember the day when a gay friend I had told me about his crush on Jason Varitek. Thankfully, I'm open-minded enough to see that it's no different from me finding Misty May sexy.

Feb 12, 2011 09:46 AM
rating: 1
 
Patrick

Also, I'd much rather having this stuff floating around the internet than the creepy Harry Potter fan fiction I've seen. At least baseball players are legal adults.

Feb 12, 2011 09:53 AM
rating: 2
 
CRP13

"Honestly, I doubt this would have caused this much controversy if it were about players having sex with women."

For my part, you are utterly wrong.

Feb 12, 2011 12:28 PM
rating: 3
 
Patrick

I didn't say individuals wouldn't take issue with it, but the level of controversy would likely have been much lower. Sure, you and a few others may have found it too off-topic and inappropriate for BP. I just don't think you'd see as many comments threatening to swear off BP because they've turned into a gay porn site.

Feb 12, 2011 13:52 PM
rating: 2
 
igreen01

And I'm a sufficiently open-minded heterosexual not to begrudge you your thing for Misty May

Feb 12, 2011 22:16 PM
rating: 1
 
graignettles

How about BP getting Joe Queenan to guest column every once in awhile? Irreverent, sarcastic and sardonic, and certainly not everyone's cup-o-tea, Joe has written about baseball and certainly has enough "street cred" to compete with the writings of Miss Span in the not-stat-based-baseball topic section of the site.

As a big fan of CK's writings (both her style and her oh-so-witty use of non-baseball references in baseball articles) I can appreciate a good non-statgeek interjection or divergence from topic. But a whole article that is off-the-wall? Yeesh. How Greenwhich Village/unshaven female armpits this article is. Like the Mapplethorpe crucifix photos, I think this article was written to shock for shock's sake. In that regard it worked. As an interesting baseball topic? It fell flat - in my humble opinion.

Feb 12, 2011 03:53 AM
rating: -1
 
yanksgood

I don't give a rats butt if you don't believe me, but i had decided not to renew my BP subscription this year. This article reinforces that decision of mine.

Not because it offends me, I would have found it mildly interesting on another non baseball site, but it has absolutely nothing to do with baseball and its sole purpose was sensationalism. "Hey, look it me, I am emma, please read me in the future you never know what I will say. "

Feb 12, 2011 04:44 AM
rating: 2
 
thejewishkidsk

I've been a subscriber since the day it became a pay site. I'm definitely done!

Feb 12, 2011 10:11 AM
rating: -2
 
Matt Kory

Bye!

Feb 12, 2011 14:10 PM
rating: 2
 
Noel Steere
(965)

I've never been sure about the salience of having an ID number next to each user's name; it can lead to newbies being denigrated simply for being new.

But rendering user #57831's statement that they've "been a subscriber since the day it became a pay site" the complete and utter bullshit that it so obviously is makes the ID system so very, very worthwhile.

Feb 12, 2011 14:43 PM
rating: 14
 
SimplyFalco

That, or he registers a new username with each subscription.

Feb 15, 2011 09:58 AM
rating: 1
 
BurrRutledge

I'd ask for your subscriber number, but it's not palindromic.

Feb 13, 2011 12:49 PM
rating: 3
 
yanksgood

I just want BP to go back to the days when I wanted to read each article the moment it was posted. This doesn’t help.

Feb 12, 2011 05:09 AM
rating: 3
 
craigburley

You want to be young again? Good luck with that, let us know if you succeed.

Feb 12, 2011 06:50 AM
rating: 1
 
yanksgood

No, there are other sites that I read immediately and often.

Feb 12, 2011 07:52 AM
rating: 1
 
Matt Kory

Like that one that posts the stories about Jeter and Posada getting it on?

Feb 12, 2011 14:11 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Interesting how the overwhelming majority find this kind of article to be enjoyably irreverent, and a small,but vocal minority are absolutely offended, and/or disappointed in BP. Not that there is ever anything wrong about being in the abject minority (I think many of us often are, in one way or another), but sometimes it can be instructive to stop and consider why we are in the minority on a given point.

Feb 12, 2011 06:29 AM
rating: 7
 
CRP13

R.A., you're only seeing what you want to see. If it were a vocal minority, then my comments above would all be so "minused" that they'd never see the light of day. As it is, most are approaching double digit "pluses".

I know from experience (as do you) that all it takes is to say one thing slightly against the author to get the hell "minused" out of you. Since that didn't happen, I think it's pretty clear evidence that a large portion of BP's readership found issues with this article, one way or another.

Feb 12, 2011 12:31 PM
rating: -2
 
BP staff member Jay Jaffe
BP staff

CRP13, without trying to estimate what percentage of our readership was or wasn't offended, I'd just like to point out an observation - pertaining not only to this thread but to controversial topics on this site in general - that it's not a contrary opinion which leads to comments being "minused" so much as it is a shrill tone and a lack of substance to those comments.

There are those here who have complained about the article while adding very little to the discussion other than name-calling, and there are those who have voiced their concerns while engaging in a reasonable dialogue. The consensus appears to be that your comments fall into the latter camp, which is why comments such as (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?type=2&articleid=12920#76534) have received substantially positive ratings. Disagreeing without being disagreeable is a useful skill.

Feb 12, 2011 12:58 PM
 
CRP13

Jay, I don't agree, though I wish I did. I try to keep a rational tone when I disagree with an article (or somebody posting), yet whenever I go against the prevailing wind, I invariably get slammed. I do regret the "trash" remark in my very first post up top and would take it back if I could. With that in mind almost since I clicked submit, I've paid attention to my tone since.

But I don't normally throw verbiage that harsh around, and I've noticed that tone doesn't matter - if you aren't in the majority you usually get panned. That's just the nature of message boards and +/- systems, I think.

Long and short, what you describe has just not been my experience here for the past 2+ years.

Feb 12, 2011 14:05 PM
rating: 0
 
JosephC

Tone *does* matter in my experience, but you don't generally get positive votes for having an unpopular opinion respectfully argued - you just don't get negative votes.

Insofar as your comments have gotten positive votes on this topic, I'd agree that it means that a significant number of people agree with you and are fairly passionate about it. (I don't, but that's irrelevant.)

Feb 12, 2011 14:26 PM
rating: 0
 
TangoTiger

I agree that minuses are reserved not only for tone, but if the reader simply disagrees with the comment. Ideally, enough people will disagree with this assessment by giving me a minus, and thereby proving my point!

Feb 12, 2011 18:03 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

What am I seeing and what do I want to see? I am seeing a few readers (some frequent commenters, others less so) who are very upset by this article. I see many, many others who loved it.
Having been minused on more than a few occasions, I have stopped caring, beyond telling the BP denizens that the current plus/minus system is poorly thought out/executed. I will, on occasion, click there myself, plussing really interesting thoughts that add to the discussion and minusing some that are (in my mind) trolling. I have yet to minus anything in this thread, FWIW.
So my question remains - why are the objectors so upset? This article was not pornography in any sense. No more than a "traditional" BP article is actual baseball. BP is about baseball. Baseball, is, has been, and hopefully always will be, larger than just a game. Baseball is a reflection of society. Every important event in North American society from the US Civil War to today has been reflected in baseball. Sometimes society precedes the game (drugs) and sometimes the reverse is true (race). So here we have an article discussing the preponderance of a certain type of fandom that is pornographic in nature. Ms. Span is writing about something related to the game and related to society at large, reminding us that no element of society is safe from the all-encompassing clutches of baseball. How is that controversial? She didn't write the pornography (I assume), nor, as another commenter pointed out, link directly to any of it, thereby giving them more web-hits.

What if David Laurila interviewed Billy Bean. Not that one, the other one. Any such interview would have to touch upon being a homosexual in the clubhouse, would it not? Baseball, like most sports, is notoriously homophobic. I recently heard a funny story about an outspoken gay-bashing former MLB semi-star and how he tried to tap a lesbian. Now I hate homophobic jokes, but jokes about homophobes, on the other hand....

Feb 12, 2011 14:00 PM
rating: 6
 
CRP13

All very good points, and if you graze my comments you'll see that none of my objections were over the homosexual innuendos in the article. So I really can't answer that part.

"beyond telling the BP denizens that the current plus/minus system is poorly thought out/executed"

Yes.

I will say that there is (in my mind) a huge chasm of difference between interviewing a knowledgeable person about the subject of sexuality in the clubhouse and exploring smutty homosexual fanfic by nobodies on the internet. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other, because it becomes a question of context. The former adds an insight into the workings of a baseball clubhouse. The latter provides what value? I can't see any.

Feb 12, 2011 14:12 PM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

Fair enough. I'm not accusing you of anything in particular. You must have noticed, though, that most of the other bashers were more explicit in their objections. (I am choosing my words carefully). How about a general post about the plethora of baseball blogging that is changing the way we read the game? Outside of a few pieces by Christina Kahrl, and one or two by Bradford Doolittle, when was the last time you read a good game story?

Feb 12, 2011 14:17 PM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Gotcha. Know what's funny? Since I answered you last, someone has gone back and "minused" every single one of my posts in this thread.

I think you have some good points, and I agree (as I did above) that some people posting here are going way overboard or crossing the line even more than I feel the article did.

So, I've made my points and don't really have more to add. This is my last post unless somebody has something new/interesting to offer.

Feb 12, 2011 14:28 PM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

One person minusing every comment in a thread happens on occasion.

Welcome to the club.

Feb 12, 2011 23:48 PM
rating: 1
 
craigburley

Loved the article; funny and offbeat and

I should never have read the comments. One forgets how churlish and uncharitable people can be when they are unstable enough to make public comments. But if I hadn't I'd have missed amazin_mess's suggestion of his bridge to far: Phanatic slash. Genius.

One of BP's hallmarks is its irreverence. Long may it continue. There is too much po-faced seriousness in baseball.

Feb 12, 2011 06:48 AM
rating: 4
 
craigburley

Oops. Should have said "funny and offbeat and interesting."

Feb 12, 2011 06:49 AM
rating: 0
 
TangoTiger

Actually, I thought that an intentional dramatic pause. It read much better that way. Giving us your director's cut is similar to getting the alien to shoot at Han Solo first. Ya killed it Craig!

Feb 12, 2011 07:20 AM
rating: 5
 
amazin_mess

My only hope with a Mr. Met/Phanatic slash is that Mr. Met would be on top.

Feb 14, 2011 08:56 AM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

A few years ago, I wrote quite often for a fantasy sports stock site called ProTrade where you basically invested in players from MLB, NBA, etc. The thing I liked about that site was that I could write stock projection pieces in one post and in another, go complete comedy or satire. Suffice it to say, the comedy got stuff got great feedback. One of the pieces I did was a "morning after" between Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez and Madonna right after A-Rod's steroid admission. It wasn't outright explicit (though it had tons of innuendo). Nonetheless, though it had nothing to do with ProTrade, stock valuation or even reality, people loved it.

I guess what I'm also saying is that BaseballProspectus is a site for people who love baseball. So I don't mind it when people do some research or some humor away from the mainstream (assuming it's well done).

In any event, I like variety. No, I don't like every article on this site, but I'd rather there be a lot of authors and articles to choose from than just my personal cup of tea.

Feb 12, 2011 08:59 AM
rating: 0
 
ScottyB

Unfortunately, BP will look at the number of comments and conclude that bad articles like this one will drive traffic to their site and, therefore, publish more of it.

Feb 12, 2011 09:22 AM
rating: 0
 
ScottyB

Yes, this comment of mine was so inappropriate it had to be minused by other readers. Geez.

I am a big BP fan and a long-time subscriber. I like a lot of the articles and authors here and look forward to reading many of the new authors. I happened not to like this article, and did the only thing I could do to alert the editors that I didn't like it- by making a mild criticism in the comments section. One should be able to do so without being minused or being called a closet case.

Feb 12, 2011 14:15 PM
rating: 0
 
Yatchisin
(487)

I was sad that it was still a week till pitchers and catchers would report. This article cheered me, then, as I realize in some way they already had.

Feb 12, 2011 09:38 AM
rating: 3
 
thejewishkidsk
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

This is pathetic. Once again, "Where have you gone Gary Huckabay"?

Feb 12, 2011 09:59 AM
rating: -10
 
Emma Span

Regardless of your thoughts on the column, the plan is for me to write every other week; no one is eliminating BP's traditional baseball analysis to make room for this, so all the "this isn't why I read, I'm unsubscribing!" wailing seems melodramatic and unnecessary. Although, I'm not going to lie, pretty entertaining.

Feb 12, 2011 10:48 AM
rating: 12
 
ostrowj1

Unfortunately you cannot expect consumers to voice their displeasure in the most professional way possible. I think it is reasonable, however, to expect professionals to respond to criticism in a professional manner. Maybe it is the tone of some of the comments that are fueling the unnecessary melodrama?

Feb 12, 2011 13:44 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

And this is why many people won't read your articles. If it's "entertaining" that people end up unsubscribing, may be you should think about why you write.

Feb 12, 2011 10:56 AM
rating: -13
 
perforatededge54

Yes Emma, why is it that your write anyway? Can't you tell literary scholars such as amazin_mess have deemed your work unimportant and unworthy of their time? What is it, exactly, that you are failing to see here? Why haven't you hung up your pen and taken your non-extant talents elsewhere? I AM A SUBSCRIBER, I DEMAND ANSWERS!

Feb 12, 2011 11:04 AM
rating: 14
 
brooksp

Loved it! Funny and who knew such stuff was going on out there in cyberspace?

To those outraged by BP having "sunk so low" while at the same time claiming their disgust had nothing to do with the fact the article focused on funny stuff about hot man-on-man action there can be no other response than "the lady doth protest too much!"

Feb 12, 2011 10:57 AM
rating: 3
 
amazin_mess

Why exactly do those that didn't like it have to be labeled?

Do we have to like gay porn?

Feb 12, 2011 11:08 AM
rating: -3
 
Matt Kory

Is it possible you could just, you know, be quiet if you don't have anything useful to say?

Feb 12, 2011 14:17 PM
rating: 0
 
Drew

No, but it would be helpful if more people in the BP community (to say nothing of the US) weren't "offended" by what others do in the privacy of their own home.

Feb 13, 2011 22:40 PM
rating: 0
 
thejewishkidsk
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Emma is "so funney and irreverent." She's never upset so many people before breakfast. Wow! You are so full of yourself. I know how to solve any financial problems I may have. I'd like to buy you for what you're worth, and sell you for what you THINK you're worth.

Feb 12, 2011 11:16 AM
rating: -11
 
Emma Span

Why so angry? Like I said, it's going to be one fairly short column, every other week. Even if you feel compelled to read it for some reason - and I don't see why you would - it seems unlikely to have a huge impact on your life. I think BP, to say nothing of the internet, is big enough for all of us.

Feb 12, 2011 11:59 AM
rating: 9
 
VDracul

As funny as gay porn may be, I just don't want it on BP. I can always find porn on the internet, I can't always find good baseball analysis. Had there been some or anything about the game in here, I might have liked it.
I don't need anyone to tell me how obsessed fans can be. I should think the mascot groupies were the best evidence of that. Celebrity stalkers help flesh out the nuttiness. Hmm nuttiness might be the wrong word with this article...

Feb 12, 2011 11:21 AM
rating: 0
 
VDracul

By the way, a suggestion for BP: can we get a message sent to our emails when someone responds to our posts? Egotists like me who always want the last word would appreciate that opportunity.

Feb 12, 2011 11:23 AM
rating: 3
 
mkapellas

Well done, Emma. You're nobody until amazin_mess says you're nobody.

Feb 12, 2011 11:51 AM
rating: 9
 
amazin_mess
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

I never said she was nobody, idiot.

Feb 12, 2011 12:37 PM
rating: -12
 
mkapellas

It's a figure of speech.
I used to think amazin_mess was kinda clever. Now I'm convinced it's a typo.

Feb 12, 2011 13:12 PM
rating: -3
 
Richard Bergstrom

I spent a month trying to convince amazin mess of the error of his ways... then I downloaded Bejeweled to my iPod.

Feb 12, 2011 13:32 PM
rating: 3
 
lmarighi

One mistake after another!
8]

Feb 12, 2011 15:02 PM
rating: 2
 
thejewishkidsk
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Enough of this! It's on to one of MANY great baseball web sites. Like FanGraph. And you're right Jay, I will not have had to pay for it. (Check out their Spring Training get together. It sounds reminiscent of the BP "Pizza Feeds."

Feb 12, 2011 12:08 PM
rating: -7
 
amazin_mess
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Fangraphs is better....and no gay porn either.

Feb 12, 2011 12:39 PM
rating: -6
 
mrdannyg

These posts are pretty funny. Fangraphs probably has more articles that are tangental to baseball than any other major site. Hell, they have a whole Notgraphs section.

And before you say that the notgraphs section is clearly identified, and can be avoided, I'll remind you that this article was indicated as NSFW, and you can easily avoid all future articles by this writer if you were so horribly bothered by this.

Feb 12, 2011 12:58 PM
rating: 6
 
Joe D.

"Enough of this! It's on to one of MANY great baseball web sites. Like FanGraph."

Be careful over there...there's this guy named Carson Cistulli and he often goes off on tangents that have nothing whatsoever to do with baseball. And he doesn't warn you when it's about to happen!

I once read an article of his where he invented a new word -- "obnoxiating" -- and then he spent a paragraph talking about it.

Haven't been to Fangraphs since.

You see I'm the kind of guy...well, let's put it this way: Even if I thoroughly enjoy nearly all of what a place of business has to offer, I will cease to go there if they offer something I do not enjoy.

...and that's why I haven't purchased anything from anybody in over five years. I'm proud of that, though I'm awfully hungry now. And bored. And lonely.

Feb 12, 2011 20:37 PM
rating: 14
 
Mr. Cthulhu

I didn't realize how irrational saber minded readers could be. Anyone saying they have to fear the new authors or the content from BP after reading this article is making a huge leap in logic. Do you really think the content of the site is going to radically shift towards fan fiction or pornography? This was one article. About one sub set of fans that have a bizarre way of expressing themselves. If you're too irrational to realize that, maybe you should wander over to an ESPN article and discuss how awesome Ryan Howard's RBI totals are.

Emma, this was excellent and I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

Feb 12, 2011 12:37 PM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

The trick is being a BP subscriber doesn't make you saberminded...

Feb 12, 2011 13:33 PM
rating: -1
 
leites

Emma - Enjoyed the article, thanks!

For everyone else on this thread, offended or not, some good news: just got an e-mail from Amazon that they've shipped BP 2011!

Feb 12, 2011 13:34 PM
rating: 0
 
carlbrownson

Wow! It's ridiculous to say that you're going to avoid BP because they published an article you didn't like. If you don't want to read these in the future, don't. If you feel like you have to banish BP from your life now, then I suspect, despite all protests to the contrary, that you really are homophobic. People don't protest like this when they don't like some sabermetric idea. Certainly something explains the drastic overreactions. Homophobia would.

Regardless, I thought it was a funny article. Nice job, Emma Span.

Feb 12, 2011 13:43 PM
rating: -2
 
Matt Kory

Let me see if I can sum up the objections.

"I've subscribed for blah blah blah and I've never my life blah blah blah this is gay porn blah blah blah I'm afraid of Emma Span blah blah blah you're a stupid dummy butt."

Apologies for the lack of typos.

Feb 12, 2011 14:25 PM
rating: -2
 
CRP13

Please exclude me from those types. It hurts my feelings.

Feb 12, 2011 14:30 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

You are hereby excluded. Apologies if I hurt your feelings.

Feb 12, 2011 14:50 PM
rating: 1
 
Noel Steere
(965)

Yes, matty, CRP13 has clearly stated that he isn't a homophobe: He's a concern troll.

Feb 12, 2011 15:31 PM
rating: 1
 
Ben H.

I've never really posted comments here, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents. I wasn't offended or irritated by this article at all, though I was a bit surprised that the editors of BP felt comfortable with this level of adult content. This is not a criticism and I actually applaud the comfort with which BP has embraced more expressive and occasionally explicit (i.e. the uncensored nature of the podcast) outlets for content. Bravo for not being afraid to unleash your creative outlets.

With that said, I found the article to be rather lackluster. It seemed as if Ms. Span, who I'm sure is an excellent writer, basked too much in the shock value of slash fiction without really looking at the psychology of what this type of fiction means in the fan/player relationship. It was mentioned, yes, but it did not receive ample treatment and therefore seemed incomplete. That's just constructive criticism from a lowly unpublished grad student, so take it for what it's worth. I look forward to checking on what you do in the future.

Feb 12, 2011 14:30 PM
rating: 8
 
Rowen Bell

I suspect that most of the negative commenters (a) dislike on moral grounds the existence of slash fanfic on the internet, and (b) dislike anything that reminds them that slash fanfic may exist on the internet.

I find it hard to believe that anyone on the internet would be ignorant of the existence of slash fanfic on the internet; and as such I tend to find most of the complaints about this article overblown.

Having said that: It had not really occured to me that there would be a substantial market for baseball slash fanfic, and I think Ben H. has made the best comment here -- namely, that the article missed an opportunity to explore the psychological issue of why baseball slash fanfic might exist.

I'm a diehard baseball fan; but I know almost nothing about baseball players. I would not recognize 98% of baseball players if I were standing next to them at a bus stop. I don't generally know how tall they are, what they look like, where they're from, what they like to do, or even (sometimes) their race. I view players as a manifestation of their skills & accomplishments; I generally forget to view them as people, too.

Looking at baseball through that lens, it hadn't occurred to me that one could develop fantasies of this nature about baseball players -- as opposed to fantasies about entertainers, or fictional characters, where the personalities and physical characteristics of the individuals are much better known.

For that reason, I thought the article was illuminating, but that it could have explored this issue further.

Feb 13, 2011 10:22 AM
rating: -2
 
JosephC

I think it's a less-explored area of baseball-in-society that was interesting to read about. I would have liked it more if there was a little more background (do baseball players attract more of this than football players, or politicians? Latin players more than white players, or vice versa? Could Ms. Span have tried to interview an author about the community and how readers respond to this writing?).

Nevertheless, I'm glad BP isn't letting itself be pigeonholed, glad for the diversity and quality of the new blood, and *very* glad that so many authors & editors have shown up here to defend the decision to publish. That, more than this particular article, led me to renew my subscription just now.

(But yes, don't shrink from the heavy numbers! Go Colin and Matt! I know you won't, just couldn't post this without adding that in.)

Feb 12, 2011 14:36 PM
rating: 2
 
VDracul

I love how every argument online always ends in mindless insults.

Feb 12, 2011 14:43 PM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

Only online arguments end that way?

Feb 12, 2011 14:49 PM
rating: 2
 
dianagram

If I invoke Hitler, will this conversation stop?

Feb 12, 2011 14:56 PM
rating: 7
 
Ben H.

Is that your final solution? (cringes)

Feb 12, 2011 15:03 PM
rating: 10
 
dianagram

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

Feb 12, 2011 15:16 PM
rating: 1
 
saucyjack88

Well over two hundred comments and counting. I'd say that this article did what it was meant to do, what I imagine EVERY article published on this site is supposed to do, and that is create dialogue and discussion. Bravo.

Feb 12, 2011 15:05 PM
rating: -2
 
touchstone033

Sort of misleading, eh? It's not like the discussion here was productive in any way. But, yeah, the editors will assume the article was a success b/c of the # of comments. Oh well.

Feb 14, 2011 09:00 AM
rating: 3
 
vtadave

I guess I'll add my 2 cents, just because everyone else seems to have.

Article is far from my cup of tea, and it's something that I'm utterly disappointed that BP decided to publish. I certainly GET the notion that things need to be shaken up occasionally, but THIS trash?

That said, no reason to get my panties in a twist and say that I'm not going to renew. I'll probably check out Emma's next piece, but I don't come here for stuff like this anyway. KG, "On the Beat" (where is it btw?), Marc, CK, and a host of new and intersting talents. THAT is what will keep renewing my subscription to be as big a no-brainer as Frank McCourt silencing his doubters by signing Albert Pujols to a 10-year $300 million deal in December 2011.

Feb 12, 2011 15:05 PM
rating: 3
 
Randy Brown
(189)

The only two people that Frank McCourt is going to pay $300 million over the next 10 years are his divorce lawyer and his ex-wife.

Feb 13, 2011 10:59 AM
rating: 2
 
ScottyB

Excellent post vtadave.

There are plenty of non-hypocritical non-homophobic BP readers who didn't like this article, but are not furious about it or anything. Your post captures this sentiment well.

Feb 13, 2011 11:53 AM
rating: 5
 
brandetd

BP has jumped the shark. Aaay! (one self aggrandizing thumb up and one thumb poking its readership in the eye)

Feb 12, 2011 16:25 PM
rating: -1
 
anderson721

Well, nothing in here will help my fantasy team....I think.... but I was entertained and will have something to talk about at the draft. Put me down in the "thumbs up" column

Feb 12, 2011 16:45 PM
rating: 2
 
yadenr

It will help someone's fantasy team...

Feb 14, 2011 20:52 PM
rating: 3
 
Sal T

It's just an article. What's to cancel a subscription over. Was it my cup of tea? Perhaps not but I did learn something new. Thanks Emma and welcome to BP.

Feb 12, 2011 17:37 PM
rating: 1
 
VDracul

@ RA Wagman: I perhaps am too optimistic in thinking that intelligent people could have different views and discuss it maturely. Are we no better than our hapless politicians?

Feb 12, 2011 18:19 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

I forget who said it and am most likely misquoting it, but (ahem), in a democracy, citizens get the leaders they deserve. In other words, our (American and Canadian) politicians are what they are, because we keep voting for them.

Feb 12, 2011 20:19 PM
rating: 1
 
Joe D.

Well, as long as half the free world is giving their opinion on this, I might as well chime in.

I think the article was hilarious and informative. Thank you, Emma.

Feb 12, 2011 19:49 PM
rating: -1
 
hokie94

So what exactly was NSFW.....i mean when i see that I want porn....and boobies!! If you thought this article was porn.... well I would say your imagination was working overtime..... Great article about a well quite obscure section of fandom. BRAVO!!!

Feb 12, 2011 19:50 PM
rating: 1
 
surveyzas
(119)

BP staff: dating back to the comment thread that erupted on the State of the Prospectus leading into 2010, there was talk of how the content had become less "fun" (a sentiment i wholeheartedly agreed with at the time.) since then, we've seen more light-hearted work from some newer and older voices alike, though i've wondered at times whether you heard what we claimed to be missing, some fourteen months ago.

Emma's piece is literally the first bit i've read since that discussion that has fully reassured me, y'all were listening back then.

GREAT article, Emma - can't wait to see what you do next!

Feb 12, 2011 20:29 PM
rating: 1
 
NYYanks826

Can we all just agree that, regardless of whether you like this article or think it's in good/bad taste, that at least it provoked perhaps the greatest comment thread in the short history of BP comments?

Feb 12, 2011 21:36 PM
rating: 6
 
Richard Bergstrom

Eh... most of the arguments here (What is this doing on a BP site? The +/- system sucks, etc.) are a bit of a rehash. It's a good comment thread, but I'd probably nominate Joe Sheenan putting a suspended Manny Ramirez on his All-Star ballot instead... and there were some neat commentary threads during BP Idol.

And I know I'm missing a few of em.

Feb 12, 2011 23:44 PM
rating: 3
 
dpratola

First, the article... I found it mildly amusing, but mostly... meh. But I've had the good fortune to read some of Emma's work in the past, and it's been fantastic, and I'm thrilled that BP has added her. I'll be looking for her byline. (And I share the suspicion of others above who think that some substantial amount of the negative reaction to this article is driven by homophobia.)

As to the larger subject, I too want to salute BP for not shying away from... what is it called?... "adult content?" Not just here, but, as someone else noted, on the podcast as well. Maybe 'cause I'm an adult. Maybe 'cause I have found the word "fuck" to be one of the most useful words in the English language. Maybe 'cause if it isn't hate speech, I just don't understand the concern. As my wife once liked to say about these tempests in teapots, "Darfur, people!"

I find it a bit quaint that BP feels it necessary to give warnings of such "adult content." So be it, I suppose, but please continue to resist any impulse to further censor such material.

Feb 12, 2011 21:56 PM
rating: 7
 
rfhp

I find the Dan Johnson and Kila Ka'aihue projections just as surprising as you do.

Wait, what's that? This is an article about what?

Just figured that if there were over 200 comments from BP readers, it had to be something about PECOTA: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12924

Feb 13, 2011 09:52 AM
rating: 1
 
mkdelucas

My guess is that people are freaked by the homosexuality.

Feb 13, 2011 10:23 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

My uncle was gay. The homosexuality isn't the issue for me. Its the fact that this topic was introduced to this site. Despite what some of the BP writers contend, this site is heading in new directions. Most I have enjoyed. This I found objectionable simply because it has nothing to do with the everyday baseball fan.

Feb 13, 2011 10:56 AM
rating: 4
 
TangoTiger

This post seemed reasonable enough to me. I see already two minuses, and then I saw the poster's name. I think the "minusing" system is a terrible system, acting as both "disagree" and as "disagreeable".

Change the +/- to:
+ Worthwhile reading
- Worthless reading (Pollution)

In neither case do you need to agree or disagree with the point being made.

Feb 13, 2011 13:00 PM
rating: 0
 
ostrowj1

I think there are many reasons to think that as a whole, BP readers are more open minded with regard to homosexuality than most internet forums. I am not naive enough to believe it doesn't exist here, but it seems crazy to assume that the real reason people are offended is homophobia.

I assume that with enough googling, one could probably find a lot of home videos involving baseball players. Does that deserve an article? I bet it could be funny! I don't remember any articles on BP about A-Rod and Madonna, or whatever night life Jeter is / was living. Maybe we need a TMZ edition of BP. If the stories discussed were true, this article would be pointless gossip. The fact that they are made up doesn't make it any better. Yes, one can have a worthwhile adult conversation about the why slash fiction exists, but I didn't see any effort in that regard in this particular article, just pointing and giggling.

Feb 13, 2011 14:43 PM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

This--along with all the other "homophobe suspicions" like it--is the most cop-out response in this thread. Don't like what somebody is saying? Attack them! Attack! No evidence here backs up your statement except A) there is some homosexual innuendos in the article, and B) people don't like it.

Is it possible that MAYBE those of us that dislike this article AREN'T homophobes? Maybe we either don't like the article itself? Maybe we think this adds no value? Maybe we think the risk factor of publishing it puts BP in a bad light? Maybe we just think it sucks (I don't)? Give me a break. Stop applying labels, or at least provide some evidence for your default gut-reaction response.

Buncha close-minded...label-applying...adjective-defying.....

I just don't have the words for how ridiculous it sounds to make a sweeping claim that everybody opposed to this article is a homophobe. I didn't vote for Obama. I guess I'm a racist too. Charged, tried, GUILTY. Jeez.

Feb 13, 2011 15:34 PM
rating: 6
 
dpratola

"I just don't have the words for how ridiculous it sounds to make a sweeping claim that everybody opposed to this article is a homophobe."

Straw man... no one made this claim.

Feb 13, 2011 22:13 PM
rating: -1
 
Cory Schwartz

Long-time BPro reader and fan. I didn't like this piece, not because I'm offended by it (I'm not) or I'm homophobic (I'm not) or because I have anything against Emma (I don't).

My problem with this is that I'm not sure how it really relates to baseball AT ALL... it doesn't have to be PECOTA or number-crunching or Kevin's scouting reports or Steve's historical lessons, but in my recollection everything published on this site has in some way had a baseball-centric theme to it. On that standard I think this falls short. Change the names of players to those of your favorite movie stars, and it's the same article but without any baseball-relevant discussion.

That said, I think there was an attempt at that in this article, but it was buried in the middle, well past the point where it got lost due to the NSFW shock factor:

"MLB's homophobia is pronounced, and the last thing I want is to reinforce it in any way. No, it's because real people have been repurposed and fitted into other people's fantasies—extremely personal fantasies—in a spectacularly odd way."

So, if this article was meant as an examination of homophobia in baseball, or in pro sports in general, or how homophobia affects locker room culture or coverage of the game, then that's a thought-provoking topic worthy of this site. My dislike of this piece is not in the choice content, but in the failed execution of the attempt at a thoughtful examination and discussion of the topic.

This won't make me stop reading BPro, and it won't make me not read Emma again. We don't like things, we can always change the channel, so to speak... there's more than enough good programming here to keep me around. I just hope that the next attempt at a topic like this doesn't so badly miss the mark.



Feb 13, 2011 11:38 AM
rating: 15
 
touchstone033

Well said.

Feb 14, 2011 08:57 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

LOL....trust me Tiger, I don't care. Once a post is gray-barred, more people read it anyway. It was a reasonable post. But the rule on the comment threads is simple, disagree with the majority or disagree with BP authors and you will be minused.

Feb 13, 2011 13:05 PM
rating: 1
 
Guancous

I'm only commenting to see what my subscriber number is.

Feb 13, 2011 13:06 PM
rating: 6
 
R.A.Wagman

But what do you really think?

Feb 13, 2011 13:28 PM
rating: 0
 
Dan W.

Listen, Span, nice column and all, but here's what I want to know: You play a fine center field, but is your OBP going to rebound this year? Or was 2009 just a BABIP-driven fluke?

(Can't believe no one else has asked this yet, btw. What were the first 275 comments about?)

Feb 13, 2011 13:50 PM
rating: 8
 
CRP13

Holy dang...it took 300ish comments. But this is the best one in the thread. Well-played.

Feb 13, 2011 15:36 PM
rating: 0
 
JParks

Not even that entertaining. If this is the type of work we can expect from Ms. Span, this is a very disappointing hire for BP. Waste of a roster spot.

Feb 13, 2011 15:23 PM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I thought I was the only JParks in the world. Damn.

Feb 14, 2011 10:26 AM
 
gilgamesh

Wow... this many comments for this fluff? That would be the definition of way too much time on your hands.

Feb 13, 2011 15:27 PM
rating: 0
 
braden23

I'm not offended, just not the baseball insight I am looking for. I skimmed this article, and that is becoming a much higher percentage here than I wish.

Feb 13, 2011 16:44 PM
rating: 4
 
fgreenagel2

Most comments ever on BP?

Feb 13, 2011 18:05 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Which means we'll get getting another dose. Might I suggest a tryst between Bud Selig and Pete Rose?

Feb 13, 2011 18:44 PM
rating: 1
 
drmagoo

Count me in the list of people who were more amused than offended. Is this an article I expected to read on BP? No. But baseball is about a lot more than statistics, and so is this site - there's always (since I've been reading) been a bunch of articles about the history and culture of the sport. Dishonesty and deliberate ignorance offend me, this doesn't.

Feb 13, 2011 20:06 PM
rating: 2
 
ChinMusic

I read almost every article on this site and can say that for my taste, the entertaining and useful content of the site has been in a free-fall since the departure of Joe and Will. This article was the giant "thud" of it finally hitting the bottom. I sincerely hope that at least a fraction of the new talent being brought in can begin to distinguish themselves as must-read baseball writers. The internet if full of people writing about baseball but very few can convey a combination of intelligence, information and entertainment. My wish is that BP's leadership will search for these individuals and focus on quality, not quantity. I look forward to the season starting and see what the new writers can do with something to work with.

Feb 13, 2011 20:11 PM
rating: 6
 
evo34

Well said. As far as I can tell (and I am about as liberal as one can get), this is BP's cry for help.

Feb 15, 2011 22:46 PM
rating: 1
 
JParks
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Went and read a few of Ms. Span's other posts, on her blog, Slate, and on some other blogs. Pretty pedestrian stuff. Having a hard time understanding why the current Prospectus administration thought she would be able to make a contribution. Just another obnoxious New York City liberal as far as I could tell. At least she apparently has good taste in dogs - although being a fellow owner of a not-so-bright Labrador retriever will not be enough to get me to read any more of her columns.

Feb 13, 2011 20:23 PM
rating: -9
 
Richard Bergstrom

Accusing her of East Coast bias already? Was it the Varitek and Nomar exploits or the Mirabelli fetish?

Feb 13, 2011 21:20 PM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

Actually, now that I look at it, everyone she listed besides Ian Kinsler played in the AL East or NL East.

Feb 13, 2011 21:22 PM
rating: 0
 
Adrian

Were you to ask me what sort of article I would find most unlikely to grace the "pages" of BP, I think MLB slash fiction would be near the top of the list.

Which isn't to say I'm offended or bothered by it - nor am I particularly enthused by it - it was just kind of a surprise - "wait, did I see that right?"

What I am enthused to see is that BP is willing to try things that are different. It may not always be to everyone's cup of tea, but the intentional and definite direction BP seems to be taking recently in bringing in fresh voices and new perspectives is a definite plus in my book.

So long as you believe that you already know it all, you'll never know anything. I first came here many years ago from an old Rob Neyer link and the newness of the ideas is what kept me on. I'm glad to see that that approach hasn't changed, even if it does take different forms.

Feb 13, 2011 20:46 PM
rating: 5
 
RONCA2955

Looks like Prospectus is following the lines of ESPN the Magazine, Sporting News and others. The glitz and glitter attract a different audience. Maybe the new audience is more appealing than those of us who have supported Prospectus for years. Well, I guess we can look forward to the centerfolds and swim suit editions.

Feb 13, 2011 21:15 PM
rating: 3
 
Drew
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

While everyone has the right to like or dislike what they want, I find it hard to believe that anyone "offended" by this article wasn't offended because of the homosexual references.

Feb 13, 2011 22:51 PM
rating: -6
 
CRP13

Tell yourself whatever you want, you're still wrong.

Feb 14, 2011 06:33 AM
rating: 6
 
Matt Kory

I can't believe this is still going on. Don't any of you people eat?

Feb 13, 2011 22:56 PM
rating: -2
 
samkparker

This is enough to make me cancel my subscription to BP, which I will do right after I post this comment (I'll keep buying the annual though!) A small and irrelevant act of defiance against the mainstream-ization of porn and the continuing erosion of traditional social norms.

It's probably not a bad business move for BP though, considering that their readership skews younger, and there is so much more competition out there than there used to be. The people for whom this damages the BP brand like me are likely to be in a small minority. Pop culture as a whole has become so juvenile and saturated in sex that few people even notice anymore.

Feb 14, 2011 03:48 AM
rating: 4
 
amazin_mess
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

I agree with you and there's definitely more of this cuming. I mean coming.

Feb 14, 2011 08:50 AM
rating: -5
 
Richard Bergstrom

Under that rationale, do you stop reading ESPN because they post about Brett Favre sending naked pictures around, or CNN/MSNBC/Fox for talking about the latest sex tape (at best) or the newest exploits of Snooki (at worst)?

Heck I love traditional social norms... in a lot of ways, I think it would be great to go back to the days where dates were chaperoned and you had to ask the parent's permission before taking a significant other on a date. Back when you had to get to know someone through chatting and not at a bar or a resume/profile dating site ad.

But I also like freedom of speech, which means in the meantime, I have to skim over or skip things I don't like in order to read the things I do like.

Feb 14, 2011 09:56 AM
rating: -3
 
touchstone033

Why invoke "free speech"? As far as I saw, no one suggested Span be hauled off to jail for the article.

Feb 14, 2011 12:00 PM
rating: 3
 
bbienk01

No but many people criticized BP for publishing this article. As a private company, BP has the right to censor itself without violating the First Amendment, but I'm glad they made a decision that promotes free expression rather than censoring it.

If you didn't like the story, fine. I have some difficulty understanding how the story itself (as opposed to the fan fiction pieces) could be considered offensive -- it seems analogous to finding a story about war offensive because you are a pacifist -- but to each his own.

But as others already said, you don't have to read anything you don't want to read. Some people have rejected this argument without explaining why it isn't compelling. But it seems to answer every criticism. Nobody is forcing you to read anything. Yet some of the critics would have liked BP to have denied its readers the opportunity to read a story they enjoyed.

Given that either outcome would have angered some of BP's readership, isn't it good that they chose to publish? After all, everyone offended had the incredibly simple solution of just not reading the story.

Feb 14, 2011 19:03 PM
rating: 0
 
thegeneral13

I answered this above. Irrelevant articles are a tax on those who don't wish to read them, as they can't be identified and skipped with zero cost. One article is a negligible tax, but the proliferation of content on this site has brought a lot of dubious material and the tax is mounting. In my view this has been going on for about a year now (BP Idol, half-baked statistical articles, etc.) and has culminated with Emma's piece above. What you are seeing in the comments section is a boiling over for many who feel the same way. I've seen similar sentiments expressed in other articles over the past year, but they seem to have coalesced over this article since it is so far removed from what BP has traditionally produced. So the outright dismissal of those who object as being homophobes is largely misplaced in my view - the "trend" that people are talking about goes far beyond this article or the topic of homosexuality - that's just so simple-minded of an explanation that I have a hard time believing so many commenters subscribe to it.

FOr my purposes, I have time to read maybe one or two BP articles per day, and with those constraints I am disappointed to waste time reading even 1/3 of an article like this before realizing I don't care about it, b/c I could have spent my time on something much more interesting. So why am I wasting time commenting here if I am so time constrained? First, because I value what BP is and could be enough to invest some time into expressing my opinion. And second, because I'm in India and can't sleep due to jet lag. :-)

On the constructive side, I think BP desperately needs to improve its interface if it is going to publish this much content. The interface is just terrible. I sometimes see an article that looks interesting but don't have time to read it that day. With all the new content, much of which I don't care about, the article I want to read gets pushed down the page and I never end up reading it. I just feel like I am missing good stuff b/c there is too much stuff I don't care about to wade through. In that sense 3 valuable articlas are worth more to me than the very same 3 articles plus 10 I don't care about, even though I'm getting "more." If there was a better layout or easier navigation to articles by specific authors, or filtering so I can just never even see articles written by certain authors (not going to be rude and call anyone out here), that would be tremendous. If I could have skipped this article outright I would not be here commenting on it, after all.

Just my honest thoughts. I don't know how the complaints here are being interpreted by BP staff, but I feel like they are being mischaracterized and dismissed too quickly by many commenters and thought it might help to share my views in a a little more detail.

Feb 15, 2011 10:49 AM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Mike Fast
BP staff

We appreciate your input, especially when you take the time to lay out your thoughts carefully like this. The need for a new interface is recognized, and that is in the works.

Feb 15, 2011 11:35 AM
 
bbienk01

This is a very fair position. To the extent that people did not like this article because they found it inappropriate or offensive -- which is the position taken by many many people in the comments, though certainly not everyone who had a negative view of this article -- my point above stands.

I think the amount of vitriol aimed at this article in particular shows that there is more than just people like you who find this article to be irrelevant. Some of it was indisputably because of homophobia (there are several comments that explicitly describe the article as inappropriate because it is about gay sex), though its obviously not fair to paint a majority of the criticism as homophobic.

There is a cost to reading part of an article that you find to be irrelevant, boring, or whatever. But everyone has a different view of what is relevant/interesting (for me, I tend to skip the fantasy articles and some of the heavier statistical articles). Not to minimize the real cost of reading something you didn't want to read, but I think my point stands that the cost is much greater to others who would have wanted to read the article that would not be available had it not been published.

Feb 15, 2011 18:34 PM
rating: 0
 
evo34

Or...just keep non-baseball articles off the site -- and yes, politics aside, this is a non-baseball article. Saves countless subscribers time, and presumable saves some resources for BP.

Feb 15, 2011 22:42 PM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

One can protest an article containing references to sex (gay or not) without being a homophobe. "Homophobe" is a word that is thrown around almost as irresponsibly as "racist".

From an online dictionary, homophobe is defined as, "a person who fears or hates homosexuals and homosexuality."

One can object to reading about this type of material without fearing or hating homosexuals. There are plenty of people (most people, I would think, though you wouldn't know it by reading internet message boards) who are disapproving of or disgusted by heterosexual content and pornography who are not "heterophobes."

The use of the term homophobe in this context is extremely misplaced and irresponsible, and it's unfair to those of us object to this article.

Feb 16, 2011 06:46 AM
rating: 2
 
amazin_mess

It's a convenient cop-out for those that disagreed with those that didn't like the article.

Feb 16, 2011 07:31 AM
rating: 2
 
CRP13

Agreed. I'm accused of making "straw man" arguments. Well, I say that labeling dissenters as homphobes is a "cowardly lion" argument.

They don't use logic to defend their position. They just insult people and try to put them on the defensive by giving them an unearned label that carries extreme negative connotations. You see this a lot on political talk shows, and it's so obvious when you look for it. Well, I won't play that game.

Feb 16, 2011 15:50 PM
rating: 0
 
bbienk01

"One can protest an article containing references to sex (gay or not) without being a homophobe."

Well, obviously. I do wish you'd responded to what I wrote, rather than making this straw man argument. It would be irresponsible and unfair to accuse anyone who objected to the article as homophobic, but that doesn't seem to be what anyone did. It appears that you've chosen to be offended by something I didn't write. Oh well.

Feb 16, 2011 14:02 PM
rating: 0
 
ostrowj1

I read "Some of it was indisputably because of homophobia (there are several comments that explicitly describe the article as inappropriate because it is about gay sex), though its obviously not fair to paint a majority of the criticism as homophobic." in a way similar to CRP. Specifically, the reason that "evidence of homophobia is indisputable" is that there are several comments that "explicitly describe the article as inappropriate because it is about gay sex".

Would CRP argument be a "straw man" (personally I hate this phrase being thrown around almost as much as I hate the "I have been a subscriber for 10 years and am going to cancel my subscription" garbage) if he said "many" rather than "one"?

Feb 16, 2011 14:54 PM
rating: 1
 
CRP13

Wow, you totally misunderstood me, so I'll chose not to be annoyed. I wasn't contradicting you, I was building on what you said (though I agree with ostrojw1....my first read-through of your post led me to believe you were making EXACTLY that claim).

Read through the comments, the term homophobe appears at least 20 times, and in most cases it's somebody insisting that those of us who object to this article are homophobic. I certainly never said in my post that YOU were the one doing the name-calling, if you reread what I wrote.

So...yeah.

Feb 16, 2011 15:45 PM
rating: 0
 
bbienk01

Sorry my last comment was rude and due to frustration. I should have gone by my initial instinct and not posted without taking a deep breath. Sorry about that.

I did think that there were a comment or two in this thread that I read to be homophobic, but not the vast majority. I think its fair to read the small minority of comments that focused on the offensiveness of an article on "gay sex" to be homophobic, but I certainly shouldn't have said "indisputably," and I agree that its an unfair conversation-stopper to try to paint people who didn't like the article as homophobic.

Anyway, I'm done posting and apologize again for the rudeness.

Feb 16, 2011 16:06 PM
rating: 1
 
PeterBNYC

I have revisited this thread because I think its subject matter is important to the future of BP, something in which I think I have an interest. The judicious and pointed contribution of bbienk01 covers well any remaining thoughts I had.

Feb 16, 2011 10:45 AM
rating: 0
 
spinkate

This is an amazing act of openmindedness samkparker. One article you don't like and you're done. seems rational.

Feb 14, 2011 04:52 AM
rating: 0
 
alangreene

I thought it was an entertaining and actually informative article (I honestly had no idea).

For those who disliked it ... there were plenty of disclaimers and you could tell what it was going to be about from sentence two. Why did you keep reading? Why did you comment?

Personally, I have no interest in many of the articles on this site (I maybe even start reading half), but I simply don't read them. If it became a trend, okay, I see simply complaining that you'd like more interesting content, but really, does anything think this is more than a one time thing?



Feb 14, 2011 18:43 PM
rating: 1
 
alangreene

If anything, I'm more annoyed that it was YET another article that centered significantly on the Yankees. I'm a Padres fan with no interest in the Yankees -- why no Chase Headley/Will Venable stories?

Feb 14, 2011 19:08 PM
rating: 4
 
CRP13

They added the disclaimers way after it was posted.

Feb 15, 2011 09:02 AM
rating: 1
 
jlefty

This one time, I played in a fantasy baseball league named "A-Rod in my Pujols".

Feb 15, 2011 06:21 AM
rating: 0
 
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