Paul Sullivan Gave My Imaginary Kid Boner Cancer


For some reason, our good friend PAUL SULLIVAN has been taking an awful beating lately from some blogs you probably don’t read. I don’t like it. I don’t care if you think it’s because I’ve shared a beer with Paul. I don’t care if you think you can beat up me and Paul in a steel cage match. I don’t care if you think your e-dick is bigger than my e-dick. The stuff that is being written about Sullivan is personal and mean, and I’m personally calling out the blogs who are writing this crap.

“But, Kermit,” you might ask. “You’re mean to Carrie Muskat!” How so? I give her grief because she picks godawful questions to answer in the Muskbox, and she dresses like a librarian. From the stories I’ve been told about Carrie, she is a good person, and I have no reason to doubt that, nor have I indicated otherwise in the Muskbox. The same thing with Kaplan. I think a lot of his baseball opinions are nonsensical and borderline insane. I also think he’s orange. But he’s not a jerk. He doesn’t feed Alka-Seltzer tablets just to watch them explode.

It’s one thing to criticize someone’s writing. Hell, it happens to me all the time. From the comments I’ve heard Carrie make about the Muskbox, I think she’s well aware that it’s done in good fun and, if anything, it’s more an indictment of the quality of the questions Carrie receives than it is an insult of her. It’s not meant to be mean-spirited. Writing the Muskbox is a far cry from calling someone I have never met an “asshole.” That’s why articles like this piss me off.

Today started like any other day. I came to work, I started running down my to do list and checking some items off, which is always nice. I had some lunch and checked out my Twitter feed to see what was going on.

And what was going on was the most NEFARIOUS OF DEEDS! Paul Sullivan had the nerve to act just like one of the 20+ million people using Twitter and TWEET HIS THOUGHTS!

Let’s see, something about the NCAA letting every basketball team that exists into the final tournament, the Bears managed to find someone too arrogant to realize that the offensive coordinator position in Chicago is a death trap, some coach with an apparent anger management problem drills one of his own volleyball players in the head with a volleyball during a match (from @JerodMSF at MidwestSportsFans.com), and Joe Mauer is about to sign a deal to stay with the Twins for the rest of his life.

Holy shit, you’ve found something more terrible than reading a Twitter feed. Reading a recap of someone reading a Twitter feed.

Then I saw a tweet from Mr. Paul Sullivan, the Chicago Tribune’s beat writer for the Cubs:

“One idiot gone, one idiot en route. Former leader of Boston’s ’04 “Idiots” signs minor league deal with Cubs. http//bit.ly/9Dbnak”

That seems harmless enough. In 140 characters, I learned that the Cubs signed Kevin Millar, and that Sullivan probably thinks Milton Bradley is an idiot. Any person who followed the Cubs at any point last year and didn’t have a personal vendetta against Sullivan would almost definitely have to agree with him. Milton accused his child’s preschool teacher of racism, he threw a live ball into the bleachers, he refused to talk about an injury which caused him to take himself out of a game early, he said that waiters and waitresses in Chicago called him racial slurs while he was sitting in a restaurant, and he implied that all Cubs fans (or at least the ones who go to games) are racist. Maybe Sullivan had to use “idiot” because “sociopathic fuckstick” didn’t fit into the 140-character limit.

Obviously, the idiot that is en route is Kevin Millar, but the identity of the idiot that is gone was left to our imagination. Of course, the most likely candidates for the identity of the idiot would seem to be departed Cubs: Kevin Gregg, Aaron Miles, Jake Fox, Neal Cotts, Reed Johnson, Rich Harden, or Milton Bradley.

I’m not sure you understand exactly what “most likely” means. Unless you’re trying to throw your hat into the ring as a new contender for most likely recipient of Sullivan’s NEFARIOUS BARB!

I checked out his Twitter feed and looked for references to any of those players. Milton Bradley was referred to nineteen times in the last two months with such phrases as “deadbeat,” “really bad idea,” and “overpriced” peppered into his descriptions. Aaron Miles was mentioned once, two months ago. None of the other departed players was mentioned even in passing, so it seems we have a more than likely target for Sullivan’s name-calling.

Holy shit, is that ever overkill. When you were done with that, did you research why they called the show Lost? Did you fact-check to confirm that, yes, Avatar did, indeed, incorporate some story elements from some other sources? Did you ponder the great mystery of why traffic in Chicago gets more backed up around 5:00 p.m. each day? What were your findings, Columbo?

Still, there was one other possibility, so I thought I should make sure Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune wasn’t engaging in petty name-calling of a player that he covered as an objective sportswriter. I thought some due diligence was required before accusing him of being more of a child than my girlfriend’s three-year old niece.

I cannot WAIT for the payoff of this joke after this elaborate setup!

So, to be sure he wasn’t just being self-deprecating, I tweeted back to him:

“Did you go somewhere? RT @PWSullivan: One idiot gone, one idiot en route.”

Boo.

Within a couple of hours, I noticed that Sullivan’s tweets had disappeared from my feed. I checked and found I had been blocked. I guess Paul didn’t like being mistaken for an idiot despite the fact that he had absolutely no problem at all in publicly calling another person an idiot.

Or maybe he currently has 1,821 followers. And he realizes that if every day all 1,821 followers write him just one childish, snarky comment like you did, he’s going to have one hell of a confusing Twitter feed. But, really, your tweet was cute and totally hilarious. And since you’re a blogger instead of a mainstream media member, it’s totally okay that you insulted him. In fact, it’s “cute”! YOU SURE SHOWED HIM!

Maybe Paul doesn’t understand that there is a difference between being a columnist and a beat writer.

I bet he does. Or I bet he at least has Google. Or I bet he at least realizes that “beat writers” write “columns” that are generally more than 140 characters, and don’t usually appear on Twitter.

Maybe he doesn’t get that a beat writer needs to stay fairly objective.

What is “fairly” objective? If a player is a total dick to Sullivan, is he allowed to fire back? Or is he just supposed to roll over and take it?

Paul Sullivan walks into Lou Piniella’s office. Lou looks up from the Garfield book he is reading and notices Sullivan has a black eye. Milton Bradley lingers in the doorway behind Sullivan.

LOU: What the hell happened to you, Sully?

PAUL: I, uh-

Paul looks behind him at Bradley, who draws a finger across his throat menacingly.

PAUL: I ran into the bat rack a bunch of times, and I didn’t think to protect my face with my hands.

LOU: Yeah, that happens.

Maybe he thought he was free to go off on a rant on one of the players if he so chooses.

Maybe you don’t get what a rant is (HINT: It’s generally slightly longer than the word “idiot.”). Please scroll down to the end of this column for an example.

No, that’s not it. I found an interview SportsNutz.com did with Paul back in 2005 (The interviewer calls himself The Heckler, so its possible there is some copyright infringement with the real Heckler, but that is for another day):

I can’t WAIT until you Tweet something snarky at those STUPID MORONS who are party to the Berne Convention.

[The Heckler]: Does being the beat writer for the team instead of a columnist affect you as far as the questions you ask the players, since you see them everyday?

[Paul Sullivan]: I donít think people understand the difference between a columnist and a beat writer. A beat writer is supposed to be fairly objective. Obviously if I was totally objective it would be pretty boring, but I think most of it is based on the premise of objectivity. A columnist can say whatever he wants. He can go off on a rant against one of the players. Iíve got to deal with the players, so I try to get along with everyone if I can. Itís not always possible, but I think I make an effort.

I wonder when it’s not possible. Maybe when the player is such a fucking sociopath that he makes everyone in the clubhouse miserable. Maybe when the player goes out of his way to make the jobs of the beat writers difficult and miserable. Maybe when the player acts like a petulant six-year-old with a chip on his shoulder from the moment he arrives in Chicago. Maybe when the player has been SUCH an asshole, that even a cantankerous asshole like Lou Piniella finally has to say, “Will you shut up and just fucking go home?”

That’s one hell of an effort you made last year, Paul. I’d hate to see what kind of poisonous bile would get published if you weren’t making such a valiant effort to be objective.

As a wise man (okay, Dolan) once told me, “If you are trying to prove someone is an asshole because he can’t get along with Milton, YOU are the asshole.”

There is one last possible scenario where Paul Sullivan has remained objective and not resorted to petty name-calling.

Is that scenario one in which he has a blog? Because apparently bloggers are allowed to be snarky and pettily name-call.

I looked up the definition of “idiot” and found that there are indeed two accepted definitions:

Holy shit, are you ever a dork.

1. an utterly foolish or senseless person.
2. Psychology. a person of the lowest order in a former classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.

3.


AMIRIGHT?

Accepting the first definition would require that the user of the word would have made some subjective conclusions about the person they are referring to. The second is an objective (though outdated) term reserved for those with extreme mental handicaps and a measured IQ under 25. Maybe Paul has some test results that show that Milton Bradley actually is a severely mentally disabled individual.

Phrasing your argument so that it sounds like a good argument instead of a snarky bitch-fest doesn’t make it a good argument. It just makes you look like an arrogant prick.

That would indeed be news. If it were true. Otherwise, it is libelous. Or he was just being a subjective dickhead and calling someone names disguised as journalism when he knows that person isn’t going to read what he writes.

Ah, journalism. I love reading the Twitter Daily Journal, home of such gems as, “228 this morning. Rock-hard abs. Looking good. I’d fuck myself if I were flexible enough.” Or scribe Devin Hester’s brilliant, “@earlbennett80 hey if you come bring that gear you have on n the pic, I would luv to wear that n the club hahaha” Or, “Man this redbull taste good with hot wings!” I find their comic to be a bit too high-brow, but the regular content is amazing.

I’ll miss his classy words of wisdom.

To clarify, you’re upset over one word that Paul Sullivan used on Twitter. Let me guess, you’re going to start an internet petition over this.

Sigh.

UPDATE

Another fine blogger and fellow Paul Sullivan-blocked tweeter, Wrigleyville23, asked Paul Sullivan’s editor, Mike Kellams about Sullivan’s latest tweet. Specifically, he asked if Kellams felt it was acceptable for a beat writer to refer to the people he covers as idiots.

Okay, now you’re just being bitches. I’m going to call your boss and ask if it’s acceptable for you to be blogging at work. What, exactly, is the point of this? Are you trying to get Sullivan fired? Do you honestly think his editor hasn’t heard complaints about Sullivan in the past? Are you trying to prove you’re more clever than the Cub beat reporter? Are you wearing a tin foil hat right now?

Mr. Kellams did respond via an e-mail to WV23:

You’re a better man than I am, Mr. Kellams.

KELLAMS: I believe a lot of things.
I believe Chicago is a big place with tough people Ė or least I thought we were Ė and this is pretty tame.
I also believe a guy who canít keep track of outs, a guy who was sent home by his GM (who was then applauded for his actions by the playerís former teammates), a guy who checked out early on his rent, might well fit the description.
I also believe readers who donít sign their names yet demand publicly accountability by others might also fit the description.
Not saying. Just saying.
Have a great day, Mr. Ville23. Is that a family name?

Best,
Mike

To sum up: “Milton is an idiot, and you’re a pussy. Have a nice day.” That’s a pretty awesome e-mail. In fact, if one were to have a sense of humor about these sorts of things, one would probably laugh this off.

So, it is OK to insult people as an objective journalist as long as the insult is tame and also, Bradley really is an idiot.

Sullivan specifically said IN THE QUOTE THAT YOU REPOSTED IN YOUR OWN COLUMN that his writing would be pretty boring if he was always objective. His writing would basically be like- Well, like Al Yellon’s minus the racist undertones and pictures of the wall outside of Wrigley Field.

It is also OK to insult people who write under a pseudonym because they are obviously not decent human beings themselves.

People come on here and insult me all the time. Some of them make good points. Many of them are mouth-breathing turds. Who gives a shit?

Well, Mr. Kellam and Mr. Sullivan, my name is Tim McGinnis and I think you are both cheap hacks who are desperately trying to hold onto jobs in a dying medium by being dicks to the players they cover and the few readers they have left.

Sullivan was a “dick” to Milton only after Milton was a dick to him. How was Sullivan a dick to you? You called him an idiot, so he blocked you from his Twitter feed. I’m sure you’re probably a fine person, Tim, and you’re clearly a big Cubs fan if you (1) maintain a blog, and (2) get this worked up over trivial stuff like this. But, from where I stand, you fired an unprovoked attack at Sullivan because you didn’t like what he said about the biggest asshole to ever wear a Cub uniform since Cap Anson. That makes YOU the dick.

You can find me in Aisle 424 on most game days.

“If you’re looking for me, I’ll have the wads of Kleenex shoved in my nostrils to stop the nosebleeds from the high altitude. If that’s not descriptive enough, I’ll yelling angrily about one word that was written on the Twitter account of a beat writer who covers a team who hasn’t won a World Championship in over 100 years, but for whose games I still purchase season tickets! Let’s meet up and get to the bottom of this ‘biggest dick’ debate once and for all!”

You know what makes me so angry about this? It’s quite possible for the mainstream media and the blog world to coexist peacefully. I enjoyed the hell out of meeting Bruce Miles and Paul Sullivan at Kitty O’Shea’s this past month. I liked being on Kaplan’s show with Dolan and Chuck. It’s fun talking baseball with guys who (like it or not, you angry, angry bloggers) have FAR more insight into the team than you ever will. Guys who see these players as people instead of positions and uniform numbers. Guys who have good days and bad days. Guys who will occasionally be up against a deadline and trot out a stinker of a column. Sullivan has. Miles has. God knows Kaplan has.

But I can hardly blame those guys if they never want to come out to meet a bunch of internet people again. I can’t blame Kaplan if he decides not to have another “blogger’s roundtable” discussion. There are too many assholes in the Cubs blogosphere who think they know everything about everything. I have some sobering news for you guys. You’re not going to change the franchise, because no one of organizational importance listens to any of us. And thank God they don’t. If they did, Michael Barrett would still be on this team, and Carlos Zambrano would be traded. Our starting outfielders would be Matt Murton, Felix Pie, and Adam Dunn. Rich Hill would be the number one starter, barely beating out Sean Gallagher in Spring Training. The infield would be anchored at the corners by David Kelton and Brian Dopirak, with Luis Montanez and Eric Patterson turning nifty double plays up the middle.

If you want an audience with the Cubs, go back to journalism school, and try your hardest to take Sullivan’s job from him. Until then, lighten the fuck up. You’re giving those of us who are just doing this for fun a bad name.

I’m quite certain this will lead to some retaliation by the Sullivan haters. The difference between them and me, though, is that I don’t give a rat’s fart what they think. I don’t care if this post causes them to take HJE off their feed readers. I don’t care if I’m accused of being “up Sullivan’s ass” (again). I don’t care if I “sold out,” because I’m making a FORTUNE off this blog. I’m not writing HJE for money, fame, or a career in journalism. I’m doing this for FUN, because hobbies should be FUN. What a novel concept.

Okay, nitpickers. Now that I’ve had my say, go ahead and begin your meticulous search through the HJE archives for your bulletproof evidence that I’m a total hypocrite. I’ve written a shitload of articles on here. You may even find some. Oh, be sure to post a definition of the word “hypocrite” in your response, because that’s always hilarious.

  • JerBear50

    @Gina Strobl – Yes, Hendry does an outstanding job of not letting anyone know who he’s going to spend the offseason over-pursuing and, eventually, over-paying. I mean, who knew we were gonna end up with Marlon Byrd? I mean, besides every single non-retard who follows the Cubs?

  • http://none Gina Strobl

    They knew it, not because of what Sullivan said, or what Hendry said, but because he was the only one left, by the time he was acquired. In the meantime, there was a lot of speculation about all the free-agent outfielders, and Byrd received a lot less public speculation than the rest.

  • djwoody

    Jesus H…I could read War & Peace in less time.

  • oog

    Well, I disagree about Jacob inhabiting Sayid. I think that’s a feint on the part of the writers. We really need explication for who the other apparitions are (vis a vis Jacob and MiB) before we can be sure who’s inhabiting whom etc.

    Tangentially related (or perhaps central to the VERY MYSTERY) is Jacob’s role as the blond guy who shoves The Dude’s face in his toilet and demands to know “Where’s the money Lebowski? Where’s the fucking money shithead?!” Maybe Claire kidnapped herself; you said so yourself, Dude.

  • http://hirejimessian.com Bad Kermit

    @oog – You think the carpet-pissers did this?

  • http://www.timmccarthylaw.com Tim McCarthy

    Paul Sullivan tricked me into attending law school. I wanted to play second base for the White Sox.

  • http://www.chicago-tough.com JDNoce

    Iíve noticed that some bloggers seem to think that Sullivan has an agenda against Carlos Zambrano, too. That, Iíve never seen any evidence of. Carlos does and says some crazy shit sometimes, and all of the writers write about it. This is a guy who was so afraid of an MRI machine that he went missing for five hours one day and the Cubs didnít know where he was. But Iíll bet if you ask Carlos if he thinks Sullivan is out to get him, he wouldnít think so.

    Sorry, Andy. This has happened on multiple times.

    Plus, he’s a beat writer. He’s there to give us the daily happenings of the team. He went out of his way to personally lambast Bradley on a daily basis.

    Does Bradley deserve the crap he gets? Sure as hell does. The fans have every right to boo his ass. However, as a professional journalist to go out of your way to make one person’s life miserable? That’s old Boston sportswriter shit. That’s the shit that people would do to Jim Rice on a daily basis.

    Jerome Holtzman wouldn’t do that shit. Hell, Ken Holtzman wouldn’t. The opinion guys can rip on them, but as a reporter of the team…to go out of your way to rip a guy was so ridiculous.

    Reading his columns became unbearable. I lost all respect for the guy.

    Once again, I hate Milton Bradley. Hate him. But Sullivan’s dealing with the situation was just as childish.