Bill Conlin Could've Been a Helluva Blogger

Bill Conlin Could've Been a Helluva Blogger

As most of you have seen by now, the biggest turkey this weekend has been Bill Conlin, who lashed out against bloggers via e-mail exchanges with Crashburnalley's Bill B. With every exchange, Conlin upped the ante of his invective, finally ending it by naming the Jewish people he knows and reciting the Bill of Rights in defense of his careless-if-not-actually-racist remarks. This of course has only brought about a new day's discourse, such as that of John Braittan from The Progenitor of Severe Gluteal Discomfort, who has an interesting response to Conlin's latest missive. Bill B. has also put together an FAQ regarding some of the questions he's facing in the aftermath, his tone different than in his original e-mails, which were fun but barbed for sure, intended to elicit a response, which he got.

Although I find it continuously interesting, I try to steer clear of  engaging in the Bloggers vs. Print Journalists War that seems to be escalating, because I honestly like print journalism and its personalities quite a bit. As a blogger, I'd have a lot less to talk about without the work they do every day, a fun job that has to be incredibly difficult. Their ability to build relationships and gain access to people and private institutions while remaining objective and interesting commands respect. I couldn't have been happier to hear that the Daily News's subscription base just saw its first annual increase in a decade.

However, I can't with any honesty say I've ever been a big Bill Conlin fan.

Much more after the jump...

Conlin's work fails to reach many readers of my generation, and his pomposity
alienates him from readers of numerous age groups, or at least this has
been my experience. He continues to hold an esteemed professional
position that would seem to disprove this sentiment, so what do I know.
I also love it when I find myself really enjoying one of his columns,
which still happens sometimes (and the theme is that I am occasionally reading him, so he's succeeding there).

But what strikes me as particularly odd in all of this concerns that
which I dislike most about Conlin—that too often he overly injects
himself and his beliefs into his work, straying too far from "just the
facts" reporting and climbing onto stilts to sit at his typewriter.
Some people probably love his work for this exact reason. When I open a
newspaper or visit a site like Philly.com, I'm more of a Todd Zolecki
fan, someone who gets inside the story and shares exactly what's going
on, without a lot of BS and bloviating. Why does this distinction
strike me as odd? Because Zolecki's work rarely if ever leaves me with
the sour taste of someone just spouting their (often negative)
opinions, which, oddly enough, I encounter much more frequently in
blogs. I don't mean any disrespect to blogging in this regard (um,
obviously); strong words and first-person pontification fit the medium
very well. I just find it amusing that Conlin hates something that can
at times closely resemble his own chosen style.

It's easy to understand where Conlin is coming from though. He's an
elder statesman, a man of tradition, and something of a grouch, and
across all professions, guys like him hate change. Tim Panaccio, on the
other hand, has a blog, as does Zolecki,
though they do it very differently than most of us and probably don't
piss Conlin off nearly as much. Blogging has changed the way in which
people get their sports information for better and for worse, but many
bloggers make every effort to credit the mainstream press outlets we
read and learn from on the daily. Enrico emphasized the importance of
this from the day I started posting here.

Guys like Bill Conlin stir things up. Bloggers do as well. I'd never
heard of Crashburnalley before its author crossed paths with Conlin (an
even more memorable entrance than Kramer's back-less tux twirl, Bill
B.). But Conlin should be interested to know that before all this, I
hadn't read or heard a thing about his original article on Jimmy
Rollins either. But I could read their exchanges and the reactions
they've spawned for hours.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin: Adam Morgan is a definite bullpen candidate

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
 
Don’t worry about the role.
 
Just pitch.
 
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
 
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
 
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
 
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
 
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
 
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
 
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
 
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.

There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
 
But for now, it’s just these four.
 
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.

Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
 
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
 
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
 
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
 
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
 
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
 
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
 
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”