You've probably heard by now about Detroit News writer Chris McCosky's rant against bloggers in general and Detroit Tigers bloggers in particular. It was a sloppily written and poorly researched article filled with inaccuracies and mischaracterization of Detroit sports bloggers. Others have already done a great job recapping his missteps and offering rebuttals:
It was an insulting article and my fellow bloggers have already responded appropriately and eloquently. I don't have much to add to the story although I did send McCosky an e-mail.
My initial response was actually a little more positive than others. This is cetainly not the first attack on bloggers by the mainstream media but it's the most obvious attack on Detroit sports bloggers in particular. Are we really making such an impact that prominent mainstream writers are feeling threatened? Apparently so and this is not a bad thing at all.
Strangely, I see this kind of criticism from the media as a good sign. It means that we are being noticed and are seen as competition. It reminds me off the early days of Bill James, Pete Palmer and other sabermetricians. They were initially ignored but when some fans began to take sabermetrics seriously, the media started to ridicule them. You know, silly remarks like they sit in their pajamas in their basements and crunch numbers all day and they've never watched or played a game. All the typical stuff.
Anyway, such ridicule was the first sign that sabermetricians were seen as a threat to the mainstream. Sabers are still ridiculed by some but they have slowly worked their way into the fabric of the baseball industry and are increasingly being employed by major league teams. Like sabermetrics back in the 1970s and 80s, blogging is a relatively new practice. It takes a while before the mainstream of society becomes comfortable with or even notices such a phenomenon. Harsh criticism and ridicule is often one of the early signs of success. So, perhaps we should be feeling optimism as much as anger.