Monday, June 14, 2004

Farewell, Rob

I’d like to echo the recent sentiments of David Cameron at USS Mariner. I’ve been reading Rob Neyer since he was writing a column titled Chin Muzak for some site called ESPNet Sportszone. He changed the way I thought about baseball and helped me realize that 90% of what I’d been reading about the Orioles in the Washington Post was utter drivel. Later, I realized 90% of ESPN.com was also crap.

As of today, Rob will disappear behind the Insider’s iron curtain. Only those who chose to pay the Man $40 a year may pass. It’s a mistake for ESPN. I presume that most of their revenue comes from advertising, which means the more visitors to the site -- Insider subscribers or not -- the more money they get. Well, Neyer was their last writer consistently worth a read and now that he’s gone, they’ve lost my daily click.

As a more upbeat memorial, I’d like to mention my two favorite Neyer columns. The first is not contained in his “complete” archives on the site. It was written in 2000 (I believe) about Lance Berkman, who was absolutely destroying the ball in AAA New Orleans but was unable to get the promotion to the big club he’d earned. (Sound familiar, Twins fans?) Neyer said any team looking for a slugging outfielder could probably pick him up for “a couple sunflower seeds and a bucket of warm spit” (That’s just a paraphrase from memory and if anyone can find the original column, it would be cool). Luckily for Astros fans, it didn’t turn out to be true.

Right after my next favorite column was posted I got an email from Charlie saying “f****** great vitriolic Neyer!!”. It’s about the contract extension the Angels gave Erstad in 2002 and a great read if you’re in an intellectually superior mood.

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