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July 29, 2011

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

Cito Culver, Angelo Gumbs, and the Burden of Being a Tourist

by Jason Parks

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I have already convinced myself that Angelo Gumbs is a better prospect than Cito Culver, and it’s only the third inning. Neither player has produced a remarkable result thus far, but the overwhelming feeling brewing in my gut tells me that Gumbs is the player to watch on the field. I shouldn’t listen to my gut; I should focus on the shortstop. Shortstops with true defensive skills are valuable commodities. But Gumbs could be a very good center fielder. He’s currently playing second base, but he could be playing center field. At present, the position is occupied by Mason Williams, who is equally promising (if not more so), but Gumbs could handle the defensive assignment, given his plus-plus athleticism, a strong arm, and instincts. My gut seems more loquacious than normal. My journey to the park might also be playing a role in the stomach discussion. A German tourist might have poisoned me.

I’m in the “scout section” of the park, which is really just another social clique that some happen upon based on their seating assignment, while others only recognize the section from afar. I don’t always want to be in a specific section; I like to bounce around the park, frequently looking for different angles and perspectives. But sitting with the players tasked with charting the game and with your contemporaries in the industry can have its advantages, especially when your gut is chatty and perhaps poisoned.

The game is dragging, and the talent on the field isn’t exactly a plate of chicken fried steak with delicious cream gravy held close enough to tempt but far enough away to limit my accessibility. I continue to take notes and listen to the chatter in my section, but the gameplay doesn’t keep the conversations sharp or focused. The discourse drifts from baseball gossip to the standard hetero-normative observations that tend to occur in this particular world. I feel more uncomfortable with every passing moment. You can’t always wear your ideological preferences on your sleeve, and I elect to remain a silent participant. I turn my attention back to the field, anything to avoid the 80-grade masculinity escaping from the pores of the section. I’m trapped in my own paradox. Was the trip to the park even worth it?

Making the trek from my residence in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to Staten Island is quite an undertaking, especially from a psychological standpoint. It starts becoming hard to breathe when I take the first steps away from my building; I feel inauthentic, as if I’ve left my identity back on my kitchen counter. On the Hipster Highways of Brooklyn I’m often uncomfortable in my surroundings, suffering from the reality that I’m merely another solider of the crown, out to wear the costume of socio-economic motley to benefit from the hipster perspective. This is a privileged dream, as I still feel obliged to consume comfort foods that only exist in my anything-but-fraught reality. I need an iced coffee with French silk creamer and a healthy slice of banana nut bread containing equal parts walnuts and chocolate squares every morning. The iced coffee makes an encore performance a few hours after my first cup. I’m a big part of the problem.  

My face is basically in a paper bag by the time I reach the subway. It’s 3:30 p.m. ET, and I have plotted my course to Manhattan. I need a quick oil change at the local psychoanalytical service station before taking a few subways and a ferry to Staten Island. I’m not off to go a good start. Hopefully I can deposit enough money into my therapist’s account to shift the urban-colonialist guilt I’m feeling onto some familial relationships. My father drank coffee in front of me when I was young. That means something, right? I also assume he enjoyed healthy portions of banana bread, which is basically banana cake, but calling it bread makes it acceptable to eat during the day, whereas eating cake in the daylight hours just makes you sound piggish and lazy. If you told someone you wanted a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast they would probably judge you for it, yet banana bread with a superabundant amount of chocolate squares is labeled “breakfast appropriate” by most consumers and therefore acceptable. Guilt is shifting.

It’s funny how I use baseball as a shield to cover my vitals in this societal comic. I find it stimulating and beautiful, but also a respite from the agony associated with trying to exist as a tourist. Baseball wears many uniforms, but the skeletons underneath the clothes are all the same. In baseball, everybody is pure. When I find the lines of my reality obscured by what I consider to be inauthentic obstacles, I look to baseball as my ballast. On this particular evening, I’m off to re-discover my sanity by testing the very boundaries of it. First pitch is at 7 p.m. ET.

I’m walking away from my therapist’s office building near the Flatiron and over to Seventh Avenue to jump on the 1 train, a playful little subway line that always boasts a clever smell—something between old food, the chemical antidote for the spoils of public urination, and the general stench of indignation. In approximately 10 stops, the 1 line will dump me out near the entrance to the Staten Island Ferry, and if I’m lucky, I’ll catch the 5:15 boat. I’m deep in thought as stops pass and new faces join as old faces disappear. It’s like a moving version of Chat Roulette, complete with awkward stares, dissociative conversation, and the occasional blast of random male genitalia.

I’m deep in thought over my upcoming sojourn to Mexico City, a place I will call home for two weeks per month for the next year; I’m set to play human ping-pong, getting volleyed from my home in New York over the border net into my temporary residence in the Condesa district of D.F., which is a hip area full of European influence, progressive behavior, and a taqueria called “Tacos Gus” that is elite-level delicious. I can’t escape labels.

The point of my trip isn’t to see a fascinating matchup of short-season titans; those don’t really exist. It’s also not to catch a top prospect in the act of doing top prospect-like things, though I’m anxious to watch Cito Culver and Angelo Gumbs in person. The point of my trip is to push myself through the emotional barriers I erect to find happiness at the fields. I’m not what you would call “A guy who enjoys crowds, or the people that form crowds, or the necessary interactions that take place while in those crowds.” But I need to push myself to be more human, and this is as human as it gets.

Whitehall Terminal, the gateway to the ferry itself, encourages a bovine procedure; you often feel more like an animal than a man (so much for the human experience), moving steps at a time in a herded mass of tourists and the indigenous retuning from Manhattan to Staten Island. I negotiate the bovine procedure like an experienced bull, using my pattern-recognition skills (and height) to isolate and exploit sidewalks in the crowded mass. I find myself making first contact with the docked boat, in lockstep [unintentional pun] with a particularly pleasing gaggle of German ladies, headed up the starboard staircase and onto the outer rails, where cameras will click and eyes will widen at the spectacle that is the liquid iconography.

The ferry’s interior is outdated and defeated, with a bus terminal feel and an Overlook hotel design aesthetic. Any moment you expect to see Danny exploring the strangely uninhabited halls on his Big Wheel, or Scatman Crothers creeping some kid out with his communicative smile and pompous swagger over his shinning prowess. *On a side note, would you ever leave your child alone with a stranger who only minutes before performed an awkward “What’s up, Doc?” in your presence, and then followed it up with an invitation for some one-on-one ice cream time with your scared and confused child? I wouldn’t. I don’t have children, so take that into consideration.

The sound of the water slapping the side of the vessel slowly drugs my senses, and after only a few minutes I abandon the fear of the interior and focus my attention on the tourists taking pictures and the locals quietly judging them for doing so. It’s a great window into the lives of those that exist in a postcard. On that ferry, the indigenous representatives of Staten Island don’t really exist at all. They merely form shadowy figures on the periphery in the photographs of others. It’s both unfortunate and amazing. It makes me think about people who live next to EPCOT.

I find my ever-curious German gaggle and join them for a piece of the bench overlooking the water. I drift in and out of thought, hoping to find consciousness and stumble upon a few German smiles, perhaps a friendly conversation about Borussia Dortmund, and if I get really lucky, a more thorough and thought-provoking discussion on socio-economic reconstruction in post-war Deutschland. One of the German girls offers me a piece of candy in what looks like a homemade wrapper. I willingly take it and pop it in my mouth without a moment’s hesitation. It’s licorice or something equally unsavory, and I’m at the mercy of her German kindness. We make small talk and I let my English charm initiate diplomacy, but a wave of nausea throws me off course and I lose my chill. I’m pretty sure she just poisoned me.

The boat slows its roll 25 minutes later, temporarily disrupting my standard equilibrium with its bipolar attention to motion, encouraging yet another bovine procedure, and offering me a parting shot of anxiety. As I depart the vessel, I bid a fond adieu to the German stranger I took candy from, walk through yet another terminal, and exit it on my way to Richmond Country Bank Ballpark, which I can see from the clear doors I’m now passing through, only a few hundred yards up the pier. I could have flown back to Germany with my new friends with less hassle, but I’ve finally arrived at the home of the Staten Island Yankees. It’s time to scout some short-season baseball.

The game finds some momentum after the strike zone expands, which is a common occurrence after hour number two on a warm evening. My internal debate over Culver/Gumbs has chilled, with a muzzled stomach and a better perspective of the events at hand. I note that Angelo Gumbs is the better prospect. I have my reasons. I feel good about the process. I’ve moved to the first-base side of the park, where I’m observing the actions of the infielders and clocking runners down the line. I’m focused yet friendly, chatting with fans (of the team, not of my work), and existing in the world around me. I’m no longer wearing a costume, as I’m just Jason, sitting in the stands, doing my job and enjoying every second of it. This is the purity I was seeking. This is my therapy.

The game concludes and the journey back to Brooklyn takes center stage. From a distance, I see a ferry depart the terminal, and I know my attempt to leave the island will be delayed by an additional 30 minutes, as the frequency of service has slowed its pace. Here I am back in a terminal, grazing and mooing like the rest of the impatient herd, the majority of which possess a foreign tongue, so the moos in question tickle my ears with more distinction.

I’m attempting to return to my home, a place where I’m the foreign tourist standing at the rails taking pictures of Lady Liberty pretending like my family name is on the tablet. I’m a passenger and a participant, but I’m also a guest, and more often than not, I’m a burden. Enthusiasm and animated curiosity aren’t attractive qualities when you are the one standing on the shore, watching the crowded boats arrive.

With the evening sky upon the city, the final moments on the ferry are quite pleasant, with the downtown lights creating yet another postcard scenario, as the eager visitors line the rails to document the illustration. I join them, but only to drink up the environment one last time before heading underground to partake of the hospitality offered by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The trip home is lengthy, but a good environment for decompression, as I use the drone of the subway(s) as my sonic backdrop. On the L train, I’m going over my scouting notes next to a hipster couple engaging in what appears to be a sex act, but could be performance art based on the comfort of public exposure. I’m staring at them like a kid watching late-night Cinemax for the first time. I learn something new each day living in New York.

The experience of travel pushes my focus to the next level, and I become engulfed in my notes when I finally arrive back to my apartment. The time is 11:30 p.m., and I’ve been away from home for over eight hours. I have five pages of notes in addition to the scorecard, which I updated with the fervor of a lazy minimalist. I normally don’t go crazy deep with the observations from one game, especially when I’m focused on position players; I prefer to watch a position player multiple times in multiple situations before offering an opinion. But the theme of the evening was the synthetic prospect battle I created between shortstop Cito Culver and second baseman Angelo Gumbs, and it fueled my desire to take copious notes based on a limited range of field data. Good times.

According to my notes, and I’m pretty sure my eyes still agree, Angelo Gumbs won the day, and therefore, won my admiration and support. It’s a subjective business we are in, whether people openly admit that or not, and I decided to give the nod in my forced battle of infielders to the Yankees’ second-round selection from 2010. Why Gumbs? Well, first of all, I like the way he moves, both in the field and on the bases. That’s not a direct knock on Culver, who is very athletic himself and can handle his position. But Gumbs looks good in a uniform and moves like a guy who looks good in a uniform, and that fact hits my eyes and burns an impression. There is more to scouting than finding impressive statues (insert something clever about sales and blue jeans here___), but in a small sample size, the physical observations form the skeleton of any report, and this is a small sample size report.

Based on the snapshot, Gumbs’ athleticism stands out, as I was able to see a few routine ground-ball executions, and one nice glove-side play where Gumbs was able to flash his first-step quickness and reactions. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that Gumbs wasn’t able to show off the full range of his physical abilities, as I was at the mercy of the balls in play, and Gumbs only touched the ball a handful of times. I would have paid extra to see him take flies in the outfield. His skill set belongs in the vast wilderness of center field.

At the plate, Gumbs looked more comfortable than Culver, with a natural feel for his swing and natural contact ability; it just seemed easy for him to pull the trigger, jump into the zone, and control the bat and barrel the ball with authority. Even the balls he fouled off were quality swings, as he was locked in most of the night. The statistical results of the evening run counter to my claims of quality, but he was putting good wood on the ball; he just wasn’t getting any help from the holes on the field. He also has more power potential than I realized. The kid has juice in the bat.

Coming into the game, I was led to believe that both Culver and Gumbs were raw athletes, equipped with the physical tools for the game but lacking the baseball skills to justify their lofty draft selection by the Yankees. What I discovered (based on a small sample size, of course) were two raw athletes, equipped with the physical tools for the game, both with more baseball skills than I anticipated, both with more game awareness/instincts than I anticipated, and both with more prospect-ness than I anticipated.

 Despite the fact that I anointed Gumbs as the better prospect (based on an arbitrary viewing window), both players more than justified their hype, and I’d welcome the opportunity to scout them again. In preparation for that eventuality, I’ve started brushing up on my German…  

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

adambennett

I want to hear more about the upcoming sojourn in Mexico City. I think that Tacos Gus is good but overrated.

Jul 29, 2011 05:53 AM
rating: 0
 
MichavdB

Great start to my Friday. Thanks

Jul 29, 2011 06:15 AM
rating: 2
 
SaberTJ

Awesome stuff Jason. I love the narrative of your trip.

Jul 29, 2011 06:48 AM
rating: 0
 
Marycontardi

First, great article. Thank you for being so transparent with your anxiety. The window to your day, traveling from Bushwick to Staten Island, and the relaxation baseball brings you is a joy to read.

Secondly, didn't your mother ever tell you not to take candy from strangers?... then again, what fun would be missed if one followed all the directives of our parents?

Jul 29, 2011 08:18 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Thanks. My parents encouraged dangerous behavior like taking candy from strangers, especially German tourists on a moving vessel. They stressed that.

Jul 29, 2011 08:26 AM
 
fandamage

This was excellent.

Jul 29, 2011 08:19 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Years from now, a textbook collection of your BP articles will be used as a baseball-rooted platform to study the inner workings of the human psyche. Good stuff.

Jul 29, 2011 08:36 AM
rating: 0
 
piraino

"The game is dragging, and the talent on the field isn’t exactly a plate of chicken fried steak with delicious cream gravy held close enough to tempt but far enough away to limit my accessibility." Huh?

Jul 29, 2011 08:49 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

The talent on the field didn't exactly produce a Pavlovian response in the same way a delicious chicken fried streak would. It made sense to me.

Jul 29, 2011 08:53 AM
 
ScottyB

As a native Staten Islander, I always loved the ferry. My frinds and I would take it most weekends to have unstructured days exploring Manhattan. Passing the statue of Liberty and then getting the best view of lower Manhattan and the Twin Towers always took my breath away.

Jul 29, 2011 09:19 AM
rating: 1
 
Imperialism32

Jason, is it quicker/easier for an out-of-towner (so assume coming into Penn Station) to get to Staten Island's ballpark, or Brooklyn's?

Jul 29, 2011 09:34 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

That's a good question. Taking the ferry adds an extra step to the trip, but it's relatively painless (assuming, of course, you don't run into attractive strangers willing to give you homemade candy). The train ride to Coney Island is long and boring, but you can take one train and just ride it out. I'll be headed to a Cyclones game tonight. I should time the trip from my apt fo future reference.

Jul 29, 2011 09:42 AM
 
ttt

It will take you about an hour from Penn Station to get to the Cyclones game (N,Q,F,D will get you there). Staten Island is a whole other world...

Jul 29, 2011 12:45 PM
rating: 0
 
Lloyd Cole

I'm running out of ways to say "fantastic". Or "terrific". I'm just glad you're writing. Thanks.

Jul 29, 2011 09:36 AM
rating: 2
 
Lopecci

Great read Jason !! I love how you make a story out of your scouting reports. This, in my opinion, separates the great writers, from the average writers. A story, behind the story. Thanks again, and like MichavdB said above, great start to my Friday as well !!

Jul 29, 2011 09:41 AM
rating: 0
 
whitakk

When were you there? I was at all three games this weekend (vs Tri-City)...only the first was ever really 'dragging' though.

Jul 29, 2011 09:50 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Weeks ago.

Jul 29, 2011 09:58 AM
 
jhardman

Jason, it was a pleasure shaking hands with you last Sunday at Newberg Night and I can't reiterate enough times how much I enjoy your writing. You did just fine in front of that crowd, so you're good at deflecting that anxiety. Keep up the good stuff.

Jul 29, 2011 09:59 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I really appreciate the compliment. It was a pleasure shaking hands with you as well.

Jul 29, 2011 10:01 AM
 
adrock

Great writing. Thanks.

Jul 29, 2011 10:26 AM
rating: 0
 
Peter7899

Jason... it takes me so much time deciphering what you're really saying, that I run out of time/patience halfway through the article and give up. It took me awhile to warm up to Christina's writing, although hers was a a lot less meandering, but hopefully I'll come around on yours too. I know you're writing is supposed to be more of a story than informative, and obviously you're liked. Anyway, cheers.

Jul 29, 2011 11:16 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

My writing often requires a commitment, as I want people to have to think about it and digest it. I'm not a fan of making it easy. I'm a fan of meandering and taking the long way around narratives that could easily be delivered in a straight-line. It's how I write and it's not for everybody. I can certainly understand why people wouldn't want to invest their time in the process.

Jul 29, 2011 11:25 AM
 
Peter7899

A+ for knowing your own style, I can appreciate that. Which authors have had the most influence on your writing?

Jul 29, 2011 11:51 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Good question. I'm not really sure. I enjoy reading DFW, DeLillo, Ellis, Hitchens, Foucault, and Dawkins, just to name a few. I'm sure I "borrow" from them in the process, but I really just write whatever comes into my head. My editors deserve serious raises for dealing with my submissions. I can be a handful.

Jul 29, 2011 12:03 PM
 
CRP13

Jason's writing is like poetry, only it doesn't have a meter, doesn't suck, and often has a point.

Jul 29, 2011 12:02 PM
rating: 6
 
Brock Dahlke

The combination of this article and your comment CRP13 just made my night

Jul 29, 2011 23:34 PM
rating: 0
 
MFBabyFeets

Peter mentioned Christina above - your writing reminds me of Christina's. Not that your styles are similar, but that here on BP, somewhat hidden within the overwhelming universe of baseball writing, exists this fascinating, unique, intelligent and hilarious voice. I love your stories, and look forward to more.

Jul 29, 2011 12:15 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Big compliment. Many thanks.

Jul 29, 2011 12:21 PM
 
greenengineer

I found this unreadable. Don't confuse cleverness with good writing.

Jul 29, 2011 12:34 PM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Thanks fot the advice. I'll remember that the next time I confuse the two.

Jul 29, 2011 12:36 PM
 
Domenik Hixon

One could make the argument that if you "found this unreadable", you should simply *not read it*. Another shining example of 'anonymity + public forum = unwanted (and unwarranted) advice'.

Jason's style is clearly that: a style. If it isn't your choice, don't advantage yourself of the content. Part of the fun of his articles is sifting the verbiage for the baseball content, which is an experience not offered by any of the other content on BP.

Jul 29, 2011 12:50 PM
rating: 1
 
Peter7899

Both Greeny and myself are engineers it looks like. Obviously, our styles of writing and the material we usually read are extremely straightforward. Jason's writing is just a whole lot different, that's all.

As for Domenik's response, another aspect of anonymity+public forum is that guess what? There is a comment section, and not all comments are going to be high fives and back slaps. Pretty sure Jason is a big boy, and doesn't need you to defend him. He gets paid to write and can take the critiques however he likes.

Jul 29, 2011 13:16 PM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I read all forms of criticism, both on the site, on twitter, and even the ones that take the time to send their thoughts to me via email. It's a part of the process and I'm okay with it. I don't have to enjoy the process in order to respect it. If you thought the article sucked: Well, I think you are wrong, but its your opinion and I respect that. If you loved it: Well, there is probably something wrong with you, and I also respect that. It's win-win.

Jul 29, 2011 13:31 PM
 
Shaun P.
(676)

I loved this piece, Jason.

The Yankees fan in me has to ask: what did you think of Mason Williams, or were you only really watching the double play combo?

Jul 29, 2011 14:39 PM
rating: 0
 
cordially
(917)

Where in Bushwick are you? I just moved from Stanhope and Wilson about a year ago. I moved there 4 years ago. It was becoming very slowly gentrified, but I still had to walk quite a ways if I wanted to find a shitty white kid coffee shop. I'd be disappointed to hear if it had become gentrified in the last year.

Jul 29, 2011 16:05 PM
rating: 0
 
adambennett

I find this stuff way more entertaining than Christina's work. I grew tired of her obscure references and smug tone, and I seldom read her pieces the last several years.

Jul 29, 2011 18:38 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I hope I don't come off as smug. That's not the intention. I love Christina, but I don't find our work all that similar.

Jul 29, 2011 22:11 PM
 
adambennett

Your stuff is gonzo, which is pretty much the opposite of smug. I like it a lot. But I still think you should account for what you'll be doing in Mexico and why you think Tacos Gus is better than El Farolito.

Jul 30, 2011 06:49 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

BP will receive several articles about my adventures in D.F., including detailed breakdowns of the taquerias in the district.

Jul 30, 2011 07:24 AM
 
ofMontreal

I feel you hipster. I really feel you. But you're a lucky man, don't forget that. You should propose a bb radio show at Roberta's. There's a lot of sports fans there.

Jul 29, 2011 18:58 PM
rating: 0
 
ofMontreal

Even if you wouldn't think it.

Jul 29, 2011 18:58 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Roberta's? I can't get a table there. I could a year ago, but it's a chore now. The pizza is delicious, but Roberta's has become a scene and scenes get expensive. I live a stop away, so I would rather partake of the Venezuelan place across the street from my residence than negotiate the bridge and tunnel crowd that now populate Roberta's on a given evening.

Jul 29, 2011 22:14 PM
 
Brock Dahlke

Awesome writiing, just awesome

Jul 29, 2011 23:37 PM
rating: 1
 
Mr. Cthulhu

Jason, I know your long-term goal is to end up working for a team. But, I hope you realize how popular your articles are and how hey affect the readers here and consider that when evaluating where you want to be in the long-term.

As someone who hates crowds and has to deal with large groups on a regular basis (and has suffered panic attacks on multiple occasions because of this), I love reading your articles. Either they are great scouting reports, or they are something that I can relate to and identify with. Or, like today, they are both.

And yeah, there is something wrong with me (clearly the panic attacks for one thing) and I am an original 0.9er.

I dread the day we see article wishing you your best in your new scouting position. I hope for your sake it comes quickly, but for baseball fans everywhere I hope that day never comes...but it will.

Jul 30, 2011 00:58 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Very thoughtful response. I appreciate the kind words. Gracias.

Jul 30, 2011 07:25 AM
 
moehk21

Great article Professor but I have to say I find your article more modern-day Dostoyevsky because no matter what you write about you hint at greater meaning and a lot of existentialism. I will always love your writing and I agree with Mr. Cthulhu, I really, really, really hope you don't get a job with a major league team but it seems an inevitability. Good luck out there JP.

Jul 30, 2011 08:46 AM
rating: 0
 
drawbb

I find it hilarious that someone complained about too many obscure references in Christina's column, when nearly every mention of a 15th-century philosopher or previously-unknown general was accompanied by a link that included more information. If I wanted to understand the allusion or learn more, she made it as easy as possible.

Meanwhile, in this article and the comments Jason used the word "hipster" multiple times, an abbreviation "D.F.", and an author "DFW" without a single link explaining what any of those things are. For the second time this week, I read a commenter reference a "0.9er" without an explanation of that as well. Which column hinges more on obscure references exactly?

Jul 31, 2011 10:29 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I didn't realize the word "hipster" required a detailed explanation. As for the other obscure references: It happens. I don't expect people to fully comprehend every reference in every article, especially if those references are a part of BP podcast mythology, like "0.9er." The article doesn't live on the references, and I don't think missing a few will derail the direction of the piece.

Here's my thing: I'm not interested in making the experience easier for the reader, and perhaps that's why I don't consider myself a good writer, or perhaps why I might not have a future in that business. I want the reader to participate in the process, and sometimes that requires work. I have no interest in doing the work for you. In my opinion, the best work is often obscure, to the point where it makes you question what you are reading/looking at. It might even prompt further investigation into a reference or a topic, which would appear to be a more rewarding experience than having that same information hand-delivered to you. That's the way I view art of any kind. If it's not your cup of tea, that's cool. I don't plan on altering my approach.

Jul 31, 2011 11:22 AM
 
Ogremace

I love this - a really impressive article.

Jul 31, 2011 18:29 PM
rating: 0
 
alpo27

I enjoyed this article immensely, however found your vocabulary a bit tedious. It seemed as if you wrote a great article, then went back and used the thesaurus to change any word possible into a larger, more "impressive" word. Believe me, as the son of a former English teacher, I have a great respect for new and inventive ways of saying things. However I felt in this case that the terms used were more yielding than they were vivid. I kept trying to really get into the story; to see myself in your shoes. However, every time I started getting the mental image I was tripped up by a new word or phrase that seemed out of place. It's not that I didn't know what the words meant or that I couldn't follow along, but more that it just made for a bumpy read. What you had to say, on the other hand, made for a tremendous tale and I'm very happy to have stumbled upon your article. Thanks for taking the time to tell us of your adventures! Good luck in future endeavors!

Aug 11, 2011 23:55 PM
rating: 0
 
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