The guy who ran the Blogs by Fans network (who will henceforth be known only as "Douche," but I suppose you can figure out his true identity if you know anything about the network) wrote a post on his blog a while back (which I will not link to), in which he called Papelbon a "sissy" for "whining" to the press about his treatment during the All-Star Game Parade. When I wrote about that game in my post, I mentioned that I didn't think Papelbon was a sissy. Douche insisted Papelbon was. In the comments of my post, he continued his assault on Papelbon, and so I linked to an ESPN column written by a guy who had driven Papelbon's truck during the parade, trying to show that maybe it really was as bad as Papelbon made it seem.
Douche's response was that he found it "shocking" that an ESPN employee would be driving the truck, and then have the nerve to write a "BS" column defending Papelbon's "sissy behavior." I thought that was a strange response, so I wrote the ESPN columnist, Michael Philbrick, to ask how he came about getting that job. This is the post I wrote after I got a response to my email (the two comments on the post are the only ones I can find in the cache, which is the only way I could find any piece of this post--explanation on that below):
After [Douche] found it "shocking" that an ESPN employee would be driving Jonathan Papelbon's truck in the All-Star Parade, and then have the audacity to write about it, my first thought was, why is it shocking that a writer is covering an event from a first-hand perspective? After all, isn't that what every blogger does every time he/she goes to a game and writes about his/her experience there? Isn't that what makes my loyal reader Bruce Paine love me so much?
So, I sent off an email to Michael Philbrick, the man who drove the truck and wrote the column, directed him to my post on this issue, and asked him how he happened to find himself in the parade. I assumed that it wasn't because he's friends with Papelbon, but I didn't want to write that until I was certain. Turns out I was right. Philbrick's response:
The MLB PR dept. sought me out to cover the parade by riding with a player. They asked who I would want to ride with – I said someone on the Sox or a Hall of Famer. Papelbon agreed to it (and we barely got to talk, I wrote about the experience of the parade, not the time with Papelbon). Still, none of this matters. If any writer went out there to tell the truth, the piece wouldn’t have been different. It wouldn’t matter if an Astros fan wrote it.
These are the sorts of things fans like to know about, even if there isn't a bit of controversy attached. What's it like to be in the middle of the All-Star Parade? The MLB PR department obviously knew that, and so they pursued writers to tell that side of the story. The unfortunate thing is that the experience was a negative one for a few people. Do you think Philbrick would have just forgotten about writing a column if nothing untoward had happened during the parade? Doubtful. He was there to write the story of what happened, and what happened was a bunch of shenanigans from a small group of Yankee fans.
For the record, if the situation had been reversed, you can bet your ass I would be all over Red Sox fans who did the same thing. There's no justification for the behavior, and to call someone a "sissy" because he reacts in the only way he really can (please tell me you think every Yankee fan wouldn't be all over Papelbon for being a "sissy" if he had gone to the police, as [Douche] had suggested, or if Papelbon had done something about it himself, which was the other suggestion), which is answering questions from the press who saw what was going on and questioned him about it. It certainly doesn't seem as though Papelbon got to Philbrick after the parade and said, "make sure you write all about this, because I'm a sissy who can't handle things myself." And now, for fun, the rest of Philbrick's email:
If he [Douche] wants to be upset, be disgusted at how Papelbon was treated by his fellow fans and how the Daily News covered the story … which caused the WHOLE problem. If all Papelbon said was “I’m the closer, not Mo,” don’t you think the Post, Star Ledger, Newsday and Times would have run with it, too? And yes, if the parade was in Boston the morons up there would boo the Yankees – I still don’t see how that would ever excuse yelling insults at a pregnant woman. Sorry ESPN covers the Red Sox, and sorry they’ve won 2 titles in four years. I believe the Yankees had their fair share of coverage when they weren’t fighting for third place.
My mistake, I can only hope that everyone working for ESPN is a bastion of objectivity like Michael. That's a quality editorial organization they're running there. Although I guess judging the entire organization on one glorified copy editor isn't quite fair. (firstname.lastname@example.org how low on the totem pole do you have to be to get an espn3.com e-mail address?)
And my point is, either the threats were really something that caused fear in Papelbon, and he should've done something about that (police, or otherwise), or they were just riled up idiots taunting him and he should've kept his sissy mouth shut. Either way, he's a sissy.
One more thing. If this was an MLB assignment, why did he write his story for ESPN.com? I would like to congratulate him for getting his work on ESPN's Page 2, though, that's quite a step up from espn3.com.
Posted on: July 21, 2008 5:20 PM
(and I enter from the shadows...)
[Douche], MLB looks for publicity from many MSM media outlets besides MLB.com. Professional organizations like publicity and ESPN is one of the best (at times) to get it from.
Next, ripping on the guy because of his email addy is....I'm not even sure what the word is for it. It's not something that he has control over and I'm fairly certain that the IT guys who gave it to him aren't the one's who decide how high people are on the totem pole.
Finally, are there any Red Sox players that aren't sissy's in your book? I've already heard about Youkilis and Papelbon but I'm guessing there are at least 23 others (not counting the coaching staff) that you call the same.
In my opinion, it doesn't make Papelbon any less of a man to be worried that his wife is scared/worried while she's pregnant. If anything, it makes him a better dude.
Going after the people saying things would have been a)not smart financially for him, b) would have ruined the MLB All-Star Game, C) turned him into Ron Artest/Stephen Jackson, and/or D)been nearly impossible for him to pick out who exactly was doing what.
I understand the whole Yankees/Red Sox deal but come on, relax a little bit.
Posted on: July 21, 2008 6:07 PM
The comments went on from there, with Douche getting more and more harsh and unnecessarily rude, particularly to the ESPN writer who had done nothing but respond to my email. After Douche said the same thing at least three times, I decided I was finished with it. I posted a comment that said I was not interested in him using my blog as a platform. He was welcome to his conspiracy theories about ESPN and the Red Sox, and to his opinions of what a "real man" should be, but he would not be showcasing those opinions on my site any longer. And I wrote that if he tried to post another comment, I would delete it.
Well, he tried. And I deleted it. He tried five times, in fact, to leave the exact same comment, and I deleted it each time. Two hours later, I received this email:
You are the arbiter of what comments appear on your blog, just as I am the arbiter of what blogs appear on my network. I pay for everything involved in this network and dedicate a good deal of my free time to its upkeep.
You wrote two posts essentially attacking a post I wrote, going so far as to interview the writer of a story at ESPN. I have no problem with this at all. It's something that's happened time and time again on the network and I think it leads to a lively debate. In this case, however, you crossed a line when you decided to cut off the debate. You can't open a can of worms like that then cut one of the participants out arbitrarily. To cut me, or anyone for that matter, off halfway through a discussion on a post that was written as an attack on me is unacceptable.
Your account has been disabled, your site has been taken down. I wish you luck if you continue blogging elsewhere. If you do decide to continue blogging, I can provide you with a file containing your archives so you can upload them to your new service.
Interesting how he thought I was "attacking" him initially after his original claims of Papelbon's sissyhood (which started this whole thing), but then thought his comments on my blog were actually just part of a "lively debate" (which they most certainly were not). In the first post, which I cannot show you because it does not exist, I wrote about the All-Star Game in general, and happened to mention that I didn't agree with some people's opinion that Papelbon was a sissy. I did not link to Douche's page, nor did I mention he was the one who said this. In the second post, which you can see above, I merely responded to claims he made on my original post about the ESPN writer. I thought it was only fair to allow the writer to explain the situation, so I got his quotes and reported on them.
Later he let me know that I had tried to "make him look like a fool," which I think really sheds some light on his problem here. I did not try to make him look like a fool. That was never my intention. But because he was proven wrong, he felt like a fool, and acted like the big sore loser that he obviously is. And that's why Beantown West no longer exists.
He did send me the file with all my posts, minus the one about the All-Star Game, and the one I have pasted above (which, again, I could only find by searching Google's cache). I wish I could show you all of this, but, again, it's not in my hands. Douche said this when I asked for those two posts: "If you had them, they'd only tell the story as you wanted it told anyway, so go ahead and fabricate it from scratch if you want to, you'll get essentially the same thing."
Just screams "logical," doesn't it?
I realize this is a very long post, but I just wanted to get it all off my chest before I start anew. If something in here is confusing or not explained properly, please let me know in the comments.