Sometimes the anonymity of the Internet creates a false sense of importance.
Unfortunately for me, it also creates a false sense of unimportance.
As some of you know, I occasionally also write parody news pieces for The Cubs Brickyard. It isn’t the passion project that Bleacher Nation is, and it therefore gets a whole lot less of my attention. It also has a fraction of the readership of BN – I mostly do it for myself. It’s fun.
For those reasons, I’ve always thought of The Cubs Brickyard as pretty unimportant. I write articles from time to time, but assumed that they were swallowed into the abyss of the Internet almost immediately as soon as I pressed “publish.” That kind of assumption leads to a potentially dangerous feeling of invulnerability when writing parody pieces. “Hey, man, if nobody’s reading it, who cares what I say?”
Well, apparently Fernando Perez cares. And he’s right. I dropped the ball.
This week I wrote a parody piece about Perez, the outfielder the Cubs acquired in the Matt Garza deal, suggesting that the trade surprisingly converted him from someone who would have to come to the Cubs Convention as an attendee into someone who could come as a player.
Implicit in the satire was a dig aimed at Perez (namely, that he’s insignificant as a ballplayer when compared to Matt Garza), and some of the “jokes” in the article were a bit off-color. And Perez called me on it in his Tumblr. Like, hard.
Did Perez misread the article a bit? Yes. Was his reaction a little over the top? Yes. But was he wrong? I’d love to say yes, but I’m not sure that he was.
I took a shot at him because he was just some random outfielder thrown into “the Matt Garza trade,” and didn’t think twice about it. I should have. I’m not saying that Perez’s feelings were hurt (that would involve an assumption about Perez’s reaction that I’m not willing to make), and I recognize that most of his fisking of the article was directed at its lack of humor and typos. But still, I feel bad. When I put something out there with my name on it – yes, even my faux name – it should be up to a certain standard. And then the damn thing gets picked up by Deadspin? What happens if all 15 of your minutes are people ripping on you? Do they still count?
So, I want to apologize to Fernando. The article sucked, and you were the vehicle by which the sucky article was written.
I’d also like to apologize to any readers who thought the article sucked. Unfortunately, it happens.
The article was clearly not one of my better offerings. Setting aside the typos and misuse of “attendant,” it wasn’t terribly funny. I think I’ve had a few winners over the years, but I recognize that you’re only as good as your worst article. And so, for the poor quality, I’d like to apologize.
Finally, one more nod to Fernando Perez: you’re a Cub now, and that makes me a fan. I have absolutely no illusions that I could do what you do, and by no means do I intend to come off as the stereotypical sour blogger (in his mother’s basement, and all that). It’s easy for me to take shots. I get that.
I hope you succeed as a Cub. I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope you keep your sense of humor about you. I found your YouTube video about minimum salary ballplayers to be quite hilarious. And, er, sorry about the “not a guy you’d make a move to get” stuff. I’m officially rooting for you to make the 25-man roster.
Oh, and Fernando: I’d never take a shot about being in a musical. I once played the Scarecrow in a high school production of The Wizard of Oz. It was great.
UPDATE: Fernando says there’s no hard feelings, which I appreciate. His counter-apology is unnecessary, but accepted.
I think he’s still got the wrong impression of me – both as a person and a writer – but (cliche alert) we only get one chance to make a first impression. I bombed mine with Fernando, and probably quite a few prospective readers. All I can do is try harder next time. And spell “heroes” correctly.