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Monday, June 15, 2009

Jeff Pearlman: Mike Lupica

YIKES! Pearlman or Lupica?!  This might be your toughest decision since Spillane-Coonan!

The other day, while appearing on a panel at Blogs with Balls, I committed an act that I go out of my way to never, ever do: I ripped another journalist.

...The writer I bashed was Mike Lupica of the Daily News here in New York. Lupica is slammed quite often—usually on sportsjournalists.com, usually anonymously. At Blogs with Balls, my take wasn’t anonymous. It probably should have been, but it wasn’t.

Anyhow, my problem with Lupica is no different than my problem with many athletes: The sheer, galling arrogance.

...Hence, when I see a guy like Lupica doing the Jesus two-step; when I hear him dogging editors; bemoaning fellow writers; complaining about not getting this or that; well, it irks the hell out of me. It really does. I know of too many people—good people—who have been at the receiving end of a Lupica rant. I also hate the need too many of my writing peers have to become celebs. I watch Lupica, and I see a man who yearns to be recognized. We all have egos, but, well, yeah.

This doesn’t mean he’s necessarily a bad guy at heart. And, at his best, Lupica’s certainly a talented scribe. But perspective is a funny thing. Once lost, it’s awfully hard to retain. One day, when Mike Lupica no longer has a job … when ESPN stops calling and the Daily News folds, I believe he’ll find it.

Until then—wake up, bud. Wake up.

Repoz Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:08 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, online, special topics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Original SJ Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3220211)
Its sort of like the Spanish Civil War, Nazis on one side, Communists on the other.
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3220218)
Once lost, it’s awfully hard to retain.
Things that are lost are impossible to retain.
   3. tribefan Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3220220)
I hate to break it to Lupica (and too many others), but what we do for a living isn’t all that tough. In fact, it’s a friggin’ gift. People pay to read our work and hear our opinions.
well... not as many are paying as their used to be, Jeff.
   4. Halofan Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3220224)
Lupica is the kind of guy who will notice that Pearlman did not capitalize "bud" and know that was a slight as well.
   5. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:50 PM (#3220236)
Its sort of like the Spanish Civil War, Nazis on one side, Communists on the other.


Yeah.
   6. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:53 PM (#3220238)
Its sort of like the Spanish Civil War, Nazis on one side, Communists on the other.

In that case, you could at least root for the country's people and history to be saved.

In this campaign, they can't possibly bomb each other enough.
   7. GregD Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:54 PM (#3220241)
I'm really glad that Pearlman never, ever rips another journalist and that, when he slips, he makes sure to stop as soon as possible. Otherwise, he might have to lose his own sense of self-righteousness, and then what would he have left?
   8. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:58 PM (#3220244)
I don't have much opinion on Pearlman though my impression is he's kind of a dick. But I loathe Lupica. His articles are unreadable, and these days about half the Daily News is Lupica articles. Not only does he share his knowledge on sports, but now he blesses the masses with his opinions on politics, movies, whatever.
   9. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: June 15, 2009 at 08:59 PM (#3220246)
Iran, Iraq. Iraq, Iran.
   10. Lassus Posted: June 15, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3220249)
I've always loved this game.

I'll take the fork in the eye.
   11. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3220254)
Its sort of like the Spanish Civil War, Nazis on one side, Communists on the other.


Nah, more like the Communists and the wannabe Communists (POUM).
   12. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 09:04 PM (#3220255)
Its sort of like the Spanish Civil War, Nazis on one side, Communists on the other.
Yes, but it's sort of like the Spanish Civil War in which the Nazis are accusing the Communists of being too fascist.

my problem with Lupica is no different than my problem with many athletes: The sheer, galling arrogance.

On a scale of 1-10, the chutzpah there is at 175.
   13. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3220284)
A few Lupicaisms from his most recent column. Folks, you can't just get content like this anywhere.

...and Girardi decided to call for Mo Rivera, even though Rivera in a tie game generally does about as well as the rest of Girardi’s relievers.

Girardi panicked and went to Mo the night after he stayed too long with CC Sabathia at Fenway Thursday night, when the Yankees actually had a late-inning lead and actually had a chance to get a game off the Red Sox, who continue to look like a better operation than the Yankees in just about all significant ways, from the people in charge to a professional bunch of hitters who don’t think winning baseball involves swinging for the fences.

...

I like soccer as much as the next guy — modesty forbids telling what kind of powerhouse my team of fourth-grade girls was this season — but how seriously can I take the whole thing when a team can spend a fortune on a guy named Kaka?

...

And I absolutely love Plaxico Burress’ case getting pushed back to September being treated by his lawyer like Brown vs. Board of Education.

...

Is it just me, or is the design for Bruce Ratner’s new Nets arena starting to look more and more like a White Castle?

...

You know what I do when I hear somebody talking about food at the local ballparks, or I see a picture of some guy slicing up a slab of beef?

I switch the channel.

...

When Mark Teixeira was talking to the Red Sox, he actually assured them at one point that Scott Boras, his agent, would never ever in a million years negotiate through the media.

Oh no.

Because that would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

...

The Sacramento Kings are my team now.

...

Nick Swisher ran the bases at Fenway Park this past week like some guy who had jumped out of the stands.
   14. Leroy Kincaid Posted: June 15, 2009 at 09:43 PM (#3220293)
Which side is Orwell on?
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:06 PM (#3220308)
I like soccer as much as the next guy — modesty forbids telling what kind of powerhouse my team of fourth-grade girls was this season — but how seriously can I take the whole thing when a team can spend a fortune on a guy named Kaka?


that is worth it alone. C'mon it's soccer outside of Curling there isn't an easier sport to make fun of than soccer.
   16. Harris Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:17 PM (#3220321)
My first exposure to Lupica was on The Sports Reporters probably about 10 years ago (lucky for me I've only had to deal with him for 10 years, right?). I thought he was an arrogant annoying person then, and I thought "Why is this guy here? He's not a talking head, he's a screaming head, who's really not adding anything."

Still don't like him, and turn the channel if ever he comes on.
   17. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:26 PM (#3220328)
Which side is Orwell on?


Hopefully we are on his side.

Orwell fought with the POUM, but was by his own account murky on the ideology. It took the Spanish Civil War to turn Orwell into an anti-Stalinist. It took another war and the successful expansion of the Soviet empire for him to make reluctant peace with western democracy.
   18. virginiasteve Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:29 PM (#3220335)
Hence, when I see a guy like Lupica doing the Jesus two-step


What exactly is the Jesus two-step? Seriously.
   19. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:37 PM (#3220343)
I think these are Lupicaisms as well:

If you only see one film the rest of your life it should be "Mickey Blue Eyes".

When it comes to window blinds, vertical blinds are terrific, but so are horizontal blinds.

Has anybody ever died of a heart attack? I mean, really?

I don't care what anyone says, in my book, Ted Kaczynski is not the Unabomber.

Sudden thought: When did sugar diabetes become plain old diabetes?

Of all of the figures of the 20th Century one of the greatest has to be Robert Urich.

I have no tolerance, gang, for anyone who commits arson.

World Series prediction, it will be the Diamondbacks in 4.

The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the equator.

I don't ever remember seeing a Mormon, not once, not ever.

Is it just me, or is anyone else sick and tired of Nelson Mandela?

Here's the dirty truth, gang, Poland spring water does not come from Poland.

I interviewed Chile's imprisoned dictator General Pinochet last week, and take it from me, guys, this fella has a terrific laugh.

Does anybody remember baseball cards?

Between Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Andrew, nothing beats Hurricane Hugo.

My wish for the new millennium is that we see a lot more of John Larroquette
.

Family update, folks: Holding my baby son, Chance King makes me realize how much more I love him than my other children.
   20. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:52 PM (#3220353)
"He is a liar because that's what liars do: they lie."

"Now we see how unprepared this team was for big games all along. Now we see, because if they can lose one big game, they can lose them all."

"He can tell us that everything is ok, but we know better. Because if everything were ok, it would not be not ok."
   21. UCCF Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3220354)
Don't forget these:

It's October... and we all know what THAT means

I really miss the Cowsills - that mini-skirted mom sure was sexy

I'd kill for a dreamsicle right now

I don't know about you, but I think Sharon Gless should be on TV every night

If I had my druthers, there would be no more hunger

I tell you, nothing beats that missionary position
   22. Repoz Posted: June 15, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3220359)
Jeff has taken the post down...

I bring this up because, a few minutes ago, I went on sportsjournalists.com (a site I enjoy for the industry buzz) and read this, RE: my Lupica post:

Two questions:
When is the last time anyone here bashed Lupica? It seems we’ve just ignored him for the past year or so.
Is this what you call the pot calling the kettle black? I mean, Pearlman calling out anyone for arrogance is ####### hysterical to me.

I admit, my skin is thin. Too thin, without any question. But this sort of stuff hurts—especially from peers. I handle writing criticisms pretty well. Whether I like them or not, they’re fair game, especially if I’m gonna rip athletes for their performances. But I’m a little stung whenever I read this kind of thing. I’m the first to admit that, back in my Tennessean and Sports Illustrated days, I was waaaay too cocky. I look back with tremendous humiliation. I actually thought being a writer gave me the right to strut; that a picture in the newspaper or a byline in a magazine had any real-world bearing. Of all the things I’ve experienced in my career, the best came in 1995, when Catherine Mayhew, a Tennessean managing editor, demoted me to the late-nights cops beat and said, “Learn to get things right.” It was a slap in the face—much needed.

But, as with most people, time brings perspective. As I sit here in Cosi, sipping from an iced coffee, writing for a living, I have much more respect and admiration for the 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds making $6.50 per hour, putting themselves through college, busting their asses, than I do for my daily endeavors. Sportswriting is fun and joyful and, occasionally, important. But the lasting impact is, at best, minimal. Fifty years from now, nobody’s reading my books or looking back at my articles. I’m well aware of that. With rare exception, we’ll all be forgotten with time. That’s OK, I reckon.

I’m babbling, because I’m a bit hurt. Do I have an ego? Sure. I still enjoy seeing my byline; still like seeing my books on shelves; etc … etc. I probably Google my name too often, and I long for the day when I’m walking on a beach and I spot someone with something I’ve written. What can I say? I’m human.

If I’ve been arrogant or dismissive to anyone reading this blog, I truly apologize. Maybe, in the act of jabbing Mike Lupica, I’ve actually become Mike Lupica.

If so, it’s not the way I want to live. I took the Lupica post down.
.
   23. Neil Kinnock...Lord Palmerston! (Orinoco) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 11:03 PM (#3220361)
This is getting more delicious than I thought.
   24. rr Posted: June 15, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3220364)
from: littlebbittybadass@yahoo.com

to: fainaruwadasb!tch@gmail.com

Jeff,

Hits are down. You bash me and I'll bash you back; let's see if we can get some Neyer/Dibble action going. Call me "arrogant" or something and the get all the blog-losers telling us what fukcs we are.

Thanks,

Mike

Note: blog-losers is not meant to bag on people here. Just what I think Lupica'd say.
   25. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 15, 2009 at 11:11 PM (#3220367)
It's October... and we all know what THAT means

I really miss the Cowsills - that mini-skirted mom sure was sexy

I'd kill for a dreamsicle right now

I don't know about you, but I think Sharon Gless should be on TV every night

If I had my druthers, there would be no more hunger

I tell you, nothing beats that missionary position



Hank's thoughts?
   26. UCCF Posted: June 15, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3220369)
Hank's thoughts.

I referenced the Larry Sanders show at a game night last week, and I drew blank stares from the 9 other people in the room. I've never felt so old. Just because they're all in their late 20s doesn't mean they shouldn't be familiar with one of the great TV comedies of the 90s.
   27. AndrewJ Posted: June 15, 2009 at 11:25 PM (#3220376)
Another one of Hank's thoughts (this was obviously pre-August 1997):

"If I could, I'd tell Charles and Diana to just hang in there."
   28. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: June 15, 2009 at 11:27 PM (#3220377)
Once lost, it’s awfully hard to retain


I did not know Mr. Pearlman was a fan of Neil Gaiman's Lucifer.
   29. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: June 16, 2009 at 01:57 AM (#3220446)
I was actually quoting from Norm MacDonald's Larry King parody on snl, but, yes, the Larry Sanders Show might be the best comedy ever.
   30. baudib Posted: June 16, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3220451)
RR, hilarious, but Lupica certainly doesn't write to create controversy on the blogosphere.
   31. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 16, 2009 at 02:25 AM (#3220460)
The communist forces in the Spanish Civil War were the good guys, no holds barred. Many Americans were among them.
   32. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 16, 2009 at 02:37 AM (#3220465)
Fifty <strike>years</strike>minutes from now, nobody’s reading my books or looking back at my articles.
FIFH.
   33. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 16, 2009 at 02:37 AM (#3220466)
The communist forces in the Spanish Civil War were the good guys, no holds barred. Many Americans were among them.
Yeah; communist Americans.
   34. flournoy Posted: June 16, 2009 at 03:06 AM (#3220481)
Of all the things I’ve experienced in my career, the best came in 1995, when Catherine Mayhew, a Tennessean managing editor, demoted me to the late-nights cops beat and said, “Learn to get things right.” It was a slap in the face—much needed.


So he followed up that bit of sage advice by getting things wrong for fourteen more years and counting.
   35. Northpaw Posted: June 16, 2009 at 05:23 AM (#3220551)
So until you can get your all-important baseball facts straight, we're going to put you on this meaningless police beat.

Explains a lot about newspapers.
   36. Bhaakon Posted: June 16, 2009 at 09:12 AM (#3220589)
The communist forces in the Spanish Civil War were the good guys, no holds barred. Many Americans were among them.


The Communists are always the good guys, unless they win. Reds sell out so fast and hard that they make Scott Boras blush.
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 16, 2009 at 10:27 AM (#3220594)
Lupica completely redeemed himself recently, when he quipped that the "A.J." in "A.J. Burnett" might stand for "A Joke."

How can so much wit be packed into such a tiny body?
   38. Jeff K. Posted: June 16, 2009 at 10:56 AM (#3220598)
Yeah; communist Americans.

Is that a choice when you're bubbling in for the SAT?

"Mom, are we Communists or Baptists?"
   39. tribefan Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:55 AM (#3220607)
If I’ve been arrogant or dismissive to anyone reading this blog, I truly apologize. Maybe, in the act of jabbing Mike Lupica, I’ve actually become Mike Lupica.

If so, it’s not the way I want to live. I took the Lupica post down..
Translation: Sports Illustrated called me and said, "take the ####### Lupica post down if you'd like to continue writing for us #######."
   40. baudib Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:59 AM (#3220609)
So until you can get your all-important baseball facts straight, we're going to put you on this meaningless police beat.

Explains a lot about newspapers.


Unfortunately, this is how it works at most newspapers. A couple of the places I have worked have been the exception, including where I am now...but most reporters turn their nose up at covering the police beat. Young reporters get stuck on the beat until they can get something "more important." Whereas just about everyone would kill to be a baseball reporter.

I've always considered it one of the most important beats but at most places, they don't want to fill the paper with crime stories because they're "low-rent" and don't reflect "our readers." More importantly, it's not what advertisers want to see. And most editors sure as hell don't want to deal with some sort of police corruption story.

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