Monday, October 24, 2005

Caple

Remember when Jim Caple was a decent writer? A big Red Sox fan, sort of funny. Maybe the emergence of Bill Simmons (who's funnier, and a bigger fan) set him off, but he's been terrible for a few years now. Anyway, his latest article sort of pissed me off -- I'm getting tired of cheap, unfair shots against Red Sox fans. So I wrote him back.
I just read your article "White Sox, Astros Deserve This". I completely agree with the title, but was surprised to find half the article was spent attacking Red Sox fans. Which is fine -- I'm used to it. But what's imcomprehensible to me is that your complaint is that we obsess about The Curse. "The Curse" was something entirely made up by the sports media, and many of us fans found it ridiculous and or annoying. We saw it for what it was -- something for you guys to write about. But now that "the Curse" is no more, you turn around and attack us for having obsessed about it. Incredible.
Okay, the "half the article" comment was a major exaggeration, but it otherwise feels like a fairly reasonable message overall. I very quickly got this well-thought out, well-typed response:
RIght. It was all us. We're the only ones who focused on the World Series drought. Which is why I got a recent email from someone whose address was sox1918@ aolcomor some such thing.
Wow, defensive much? Anyway I stared at my computer screen for a while trying to figure out what the hell he was trying to say. I finally responded with:
I'm sorry, but you just totally changed the subject -- nowhere in my message did I reference the World Series drought. I made it very clear I was talking about "The Curse". In my opinion, caring about the last year your team Won It All is not the same as obsessing about "The Curse". No, it's just being a fan. On my television at this very moment are a couple very happy White Sox fans holding up a "1917" sign. How is that different than putting a "1918" in an email address?
Then to show I wasn't nearly as pissed off as he was, I lied and said I was a big fan of his writing, etc. Anyway, he chose to ignore that, and the question I posed to him, and instead rattled off this response (which reads more like a schoolyard taunt than anything else):
right. and was it someone in the media who spray-paintedd ''reverse the curse'' on the overpass?
So there you have it. Modern sports writing in a nutshell: 4 numbers in an email address and 4 letters spraypainted onto a sign, and you have all the evidence you need to write an article attacking an entire fanbase.

(In his defense, judging from the typos, he may have been drunk.)

10 comments:

  1. Does he know who spray painted "reverse the curse" on the overpass? I don't know if it was a fan or someone in the media. Perhaps, it was the CHB himself who did it. Nothing better to drum up book sales than some additional attention.

    Its not like we, as Sox fans, used to sit around and discuss "the curse." No we talked about, why the hell can't we win a damn World Series. The only time I ever as a Sox fan discussed "the curse" was when some non Red Sox fan and non baseball fans would ask me whether it was true.

    well just to get him even more pissed off, I just sent him another email on the topic.

    And yes, Simmons is 100 times funnier.

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  2. ...did he ever write back?

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  3. I’ve done a Q&A with Caple and had some email correspondence with them in the past. He’s always been a nice guy to me. I have not read his recent work because for sometime it’s gone down hill. Caple seems to hate the national media’s focus on east coast (ny-bos) baseball. The Sox win brought it to an all-time high with everyone trying to make an extra buck off it. He should be upset at his colleagues in the mainstream media who have for the most part perpetuated the notion of a curse to the casual Sox fans. Not everyone is capable, willing or able to debunk CHB and others so called curse.

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  4. He wrote: It may not have been you, but there were plenty of fans who did. I mean, who painted that Reverse the Curse graffiti anyway? Fox?

    Don't take it personally. Thanks for writing.

    So I wrote back:

    For all I (or you) know, it was Dan Shaugnessy who painted it. Nothing like some publicity to keep those book royalties flowing. Do you really want to base you entire conclusion on the feelings of all Red Sox fan on the actions of one person?

    There may have been "plenty" but it was nothing even close to a majority. I assure you real Red Sox fans did not sit around and "whine about some ridiculous curse." The only time Sox fans would think about it was when Fox shoved it our faces about 16,000 times per broadcast. You should ask you colleague, Bill Simmons. I think he probably has a better handle on Sox fans that most. And I think he would agree with me.

    I'm sure it can be frustrating to have so much national coverage geared toward the Red Sox/Yankees/East Coast (which you of course continue to feed by writing about said Yankees), but please don't try to generalize about Boston fans from 3,000 miles away. If you spent some time with real Fans, you would know better.

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