Rob Neyer once alienated a colleague by commenting on his story instead of addressing him directly:
Without meaning to, over the years I'd annoyed most of my other colleagues ... and nearly all of them with reputations as incredibly nice guys. So I figured it must be me. I hastily e-mailed this particular colleague to apologize.
His response: "Rob, no problem at all. I just thought the comments section was for them, not for us."
This isn't the place to enumerate the differences, for most of my career anyway, between me and the great majority of baseball writers in the mainstream media. They did finally let me into the Baseball Writers Association of America a few years ago, which I appreciated, plus (did I mention this?) they really are a bunch of really nice guys. And I'm not making value judgments here.
One difference, though, is that I've never thought of myself as a member of us rather than them.
I've been reading Rob Neyer for 15 years, since he started at ESPN. If he's not the most influential baseball writer not named Gammons or James, he's close. Today he's moving to SBNation from ESPN, where he lays out the "First Principles"
Nobody's got a monopoly on good writing, or the facts. If you can come up with one or the other or (ideally) both, you're in the club. That's one of the First Principles.
Another First Principle is that there shouldn't be any sacred cows. Not here. If Derek Jeter's not playing well, we have to point that out because it's our job. If we know reasonable people who think Albert Pujols might be a year or three older than we've been told, we have to point that out. If people we like personally have written things that don't make sense ... Well, it gets tricky but we're not doing our jobs if we let it slide.