It’s sort of amazing that over the last week I’ve had four different articles on me over at Salisbury News, with three of them featuring pictures of me at various times over at Perdue Stadium. My friends at Off The Cuff noticed this too (at least the latest incident), and I think I’m now ahead of such Joe Albero enemies as Barrie Tilghman and Wayne Barrall for the month as far as pictures go – hell, I think I’m ahead of most firefighters since the recent fire shots didn’t mention firefighters by name. While I’m flattered to be in such august company and doubly flattered that these pro-Maryland bloggers have noticed this too, I’ll take a few moments and share the real story.
As of just a few days ago, I indeed became a season ticket holder because the company I work for opted not to renew their passes. Fortunately I was able to secure the exact same seat I sat in for the last two seasons when I used the tickets they generously provided for any employee who wanted them…usually I would forgo the fireworks games and such that my cohorts wanted to go to and take the regular old weekday games simply because I like watching baseball. Of course, now I can go to any game I wish and Sunday I actually arrived pretty close to when the gates opened at 1 p.m. Even though it was only 46 degrees out and misty I figured they’d play.
Now, I saw Joe arrive up at the press box level as I was leaving it because I’d walked upstairs to talk with someone – he didn’t see me because we were both heading the same direction and he arrived (or returned) just after the game had been called. I walked down to ask Chris Bitters and confirm a makeup date but he was busy helping with the tarp so I went by the previous answer I’d gotten from another involved employee. (I was told correctly, the makeup game is next Tuesday night beginning at 6:05. They’ll play two 7-inning contests.) And that’s when photofreak Joe struck, unbeknownst to me until I saw the post at noontime yesterday.
You know that Joe might be pretty smart, as somehow he talked somebody with the Shorebirds into giving him press box access. Not too shabby for a blog that is “opinionated only.” So he watches the games for free while I paid for the privilege. But I suppose as a member of the Shorebird Fan Club and pretty loyal patron (in 3+ seasons I’ve made it to about 80-90 games, increasing that number each year) I don’t mind helping out the team and encouraging it to remain here – do you know how many cities would kill to get a minor league baseball team like ours? Anyway, I don’t need a press pass to take my pictures and get the stat copies which help me when I do my Shorebird of the Week so I’ll not begrudge Joe that – if having a press pass makes him feel like a reporter more power to him.
More to the point, I think Joe is looking to corner the local blogging market. Over the last few months what used to be a big four is now a big three because Delmarva Dealings has combined operations with Salisbury News. So G.A. is no longer the target of Joe’s wrath and apparently he’s deemed Bill Duvall to not be a threat anymore, probably because he’s not a BlogNetNews member anyway. It just leaves him and I, and even though my focus is quite a bit different I may be the last threat to his local news blog monopoly. I’m sure he’s seething just a bit when he sees my website and all of my “self-hits” ahead of him in the rankings on some Sundays. I’ll just be content with my usual top 5’s and the occasional number one rank, seems fair to me. I sleep well at night about what I write, even if it is about local music or some other off-the-wall subject he doesn’t care for.
On the other hand, while there have always been a few bloggers out there who called out Joe for some of his more egregious items, their number has grown over the last few months as more and more take issue with his methods and half-truths. To the extent that they are on my side in this fight, I welcome them.
Assuming that Joe continues his coverage of the Shorebirds once the novelty of the new season wears off and other events take precedence in his gathering of news, he and I will be in the same place a lot because I’ll be at most of the games sitting in my usual spot. So I suppose I better dress reasonably and make sure my hair’s combed although typically I have a cap on anyway. But it would be nice that a couple or three times during the season Joe leaves the laptop at home and brings Jennifer and the grandson instead because something tells me the tyke would enjoy seeing Sherman and riding the merry-go-round and playing in the arcade and even watching a little bit of baseball too.
Quit playing reporter and photographer all the time and be a grandparent. Maybe you didn’t care for how I helped to raise my daughter, so show me a better way since someday I’ll be a grandparent too.