Widgets Magazine

Pro Quality?

Written By on 14th February, 2013

Update below.

The internet is a vast double edged sword. A medium which has the capability to topple governments is also a culture for incredible stupidity. The latest entrant into the hastening race to the bottom, Wonko or Sean D of Gaslamp Ball. But, before I discuss his ridiculous post, a little history.

At the age of eighteen Karsten Whitson was drafted ninth overall by the San Diego Padres in the 2010 Rule 4 Draft. Negotiations soured and Winston spurned the Padres and a $2,000,000 offer to attend the University of Florida. Fast forward to today, Whitson, yesterday a projected first round selection in the 2013 draft, has announced today he will miss his Junior year following a shoulder procedure.

The appropriate reaction to the news that a 21-year-old’s career is in jeopardy after rejecting a sum of money that would have secured his future is difficult to articulate, but it isn’t this:

That leaves us Padres fans with some nice schadenfreude….I would say that as a fan we can smugly think that the Padres dodged a bullet or we can smirk at Whitson and say, “Look what happens when you mess with the Padres.” Something like that. Normal schadenfreude stuff. Or you could just go on about your day. Counting the days left until opening day. As for me, I’ve always hated him.

Now, Sean isn’t explicitly dancing on Whitson’s grave, but his tone is clear. As the title tweeted out by the site suggests – Karsten Whitson Schadenfreude – He’s hurt. We’re not. – Sean is happy Whitson is injured.

I’m restraining myself from turning this quick blurb into a rant because anyone of average intelligence can see Sean is a mere shock-jock. But, I thought we were better than this. Bloggers have been ridiculed for years and Vox Media, the owners of SB Nation and Gaslamp Ball, has played a major role in internet writers gaining credibility. But, pieces like these dent the viability of their claim that their bloggers are intelligent, respectful, or in their words, pro quality.

When told his article was eliciting an angry response on Twitter, Sean’s response:


Stay classy, San Diego.

Update: The post has been removed. It’s hard to give the editors credit, as evidenced above, they tweeted to Sean that his post was receiving negative feedback, thus they were aware of both the content, the response  and chose to do nothing. But, miraculously two hours later they determining the piece was in poor taste or you know, they heard Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein were ripping them to shreds. The site finally tweeted:





I’m generally happy with the response, but would advocate the editors implement some quality control procedures. The post stayed up two hours too long.

Update 2 Sean speaks.

Sean goes onto add that the piece was mostly informational, and it was. But the rest of the context speaks for itself. His tone, the title, the SEO heading, and the paragraph quoted are a far cry from “reporting from a Padres slant.”

JD Sussman
JD Sussman
About JD Sussman

JD is a co-founder of Bullpen Banter and muses about prospects, sabermetrics, and often intermingles law and baseball in his work. In addition to managing the site, JD is awaiting admission to the New York Bar. Additionally, he sporadically contributes a prospect column toFangraphs. Be wise and follow him on Twitter. He can be reached via e-mail at jdsussman@bullpenbanter.com.


2 Comments on "Pro Quality?"

  1. Profile Photo
    Chuck February 15, 2013 at 7:59 am -

    As Jayson Stark once said,

    “The best thing about the internet is it gives a voice to people who otherwise wouldn’t have one; the worst thing about the internet is it gives a voice to people who otherwise shouldn’t have one.”

    The “pro quality” writers at sites such as SB Nation and other multi-function sites like Bleacher Report are the various sub managers, like John Sickels and Rob Neyer and Mike Rosenbaum.

    The rest are hacks.

    As someone who makes a small side income off internet writing, this article doesn’t surprise me at all, nor does the fact SBNation allowed it to be published. This is a business built on site views and word of mouth, and if a “controversial” article increases that, then so be it.

    The kid wrote an ill-advised post, got sent to bed without dessert, and will be back writing today.

    Did anyone really expect a different result?

  2. Profile Photo
    Steve Z February 17, 2013 at 7:40 am -

    Of course, professional writers do not produce hack work nonsense, biased reports and out-and-out junk. Sean D can only wish or dream that he is like Thomas Friedman, charles krauthammer, Bill Kristol or Max Boot. But he’s not like them at all.