Thursday, April 21, 2011

This is not a review

Joe Posnanski writes for Sports Illustrated, and I have never much liked Sports Illustrated. Posanaski also wrote "The Machine," a book about the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. I remember that team: Rose, Bench, Griffey (Sr.), Davey Concepcion, Tony Perez, George Foster, and Little Joe Morgan. Wow. A fun team to watch. But the book was kind of boring. I think some killjoy editor got a little heavy-handed. Posnanski's earlier book, "The Soul of Baseball," is much better.

Posanaski also writes a blog that is just about the best thing going on the Internet. I count myself among his faithful readers. His writing is the prime attraction, of course, and it helps to like baseball, but what's also remarkable is the comment section.

Most comments on most blogs and Internet news sites are ridiculous. They're mean, stupid, pointless, not worth reading. But Posnanski's commenters are by and large clever, smart, polite, funny, insightful, reasonable. How come?

Well, the comments are moderated, for one thing. And many (but not all) commenters aren't anonymous, which raises the level of civility. But I think it's mostly because Mr. Posnanski sets a good example. He's not a blowhard. He's modest about his own knowledge and skill. His biases are clear but he is always willing to acknowledge -- even empathise with -- other points of view.

Refreshing.

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