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Monday Morning Mets Newsstand

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The Mets have touched base with the representation for Paul Lo Duca and a meeting if likely to happen in the near future. Lo Duca is not the Mets' first choice (that would be a certain catcher whose name rhymes with Tostada), but they could certainly do worse than Paulie for another year so they are wise to keep their options open. They will also be in touch with Ramon Castro's and Yorvit Torrealba's people, though the latter has never struck me as anything special.

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Curt Schilling is a free agent, and Jim Baumbach of Newsday thinks he would be a good fit. Setting aside the fact that Schilling is a Type A free agent and that signing him would likely cost the Mets their first round pick next June, there are a lot of reasons that a Schilling/Mets union makes sense.

  1. He is only looking for a one-year deal. These are the low-risk, high-reward contracts the Mets should be looking to make. Much like Moises Alou's deal, the Mets have a lot to gain and little to lose by bringing in Schill for one year
  2. He doesn't throw 95 anymore, but he still has incredible command of the strike zone. He walked just 23 batters in 151 innings last year, a 1.37 BB/9 mark.
  3. He would benefit greatly from a switch to the National League, where the average ERA last year was 4.71, compared to 4.91 in the American League.
  4. He would benefit greatly from moving from Fenway to Shea, where his extreme flyball tendencies would be a strength instead of a weakness.
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This past Saturday, some of baseball's best young players from the Virginia area put on a homerun derby at Chesapeake's Grassfield High School. The participants were David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Justin Upton, B.J. Upton, Michael Cuddyer and Mark Reynolds. We've Got Heart was there and provides a full recap of the multi-round event that saw 3,000 attendees show up -- many Mets fans -- to cheer on their favorite local heroes.

Hampton Roads has a nice video diary of the derby. Wright lost in the finals to Michael Cuddyer, the second straight homerun derby in which Wright has played the part of the bridesmaid.

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Another day, another member of the mainstream media lashes out against bloggers and ultimately makes himself look foolish in the process. This time it's Chris McCosky, a beat reporter for the Detroit News, who still doesn't get it.

Journalism employs trained professionals. We actually have to go to school for this stuff. We take our jobs seriously. There are rules and standards that we are beholden to. There are ethics involved. We actually talk to, in person, the people we write about. If we rip somebody in an article, you best be sure most of us will confront that person the next day and take whatever medicine we need to take.

With blogging and Web sites, it seems the hard work, standards, accountability, courage all of that is bypassed. Who needs to study this stuff, or attend games, or conduct interviews when you can just sit in your basement and clack out whatever comes through your head, right? If I rip somebody, or if I get something wrong, who cares? Nobody will see me.

A lot of times these bloggers use the work of legitimate reporters. They will lift facts and segments of stories and cut and paste them onto their blog. Rarely, if ever, though, do they bother to credit the source.

They will write something like, "I am hearing the Pistons are going to start Antonio McDyess this year." Well, wonder where you "heard" that. It was reported in the darn newspaper. Yet, the same blogger will go out of their way to ridicule the source they stole from.

Ian of SBN Tigers site Bless You Boys provides a cogent, intelligent rebuttal. McCosky is missing a few key bits of information, the discovery of which required the rudimentary tools of research that were clearly never covered in his college journalism classes. Bloggers and the MSM are not enemies and are not competing for the same eyeballs. They provide two distinct services to (in this case) the sports-reading community that complement each other and help to provide an array of coverage that neither could accomplish on its own.

I read mainstream media columns and I also read blogs. I tend not to read blogs that simply rehash that which the MSM columns already provided, but gravitate towards those that provide unique insights or a granularity of detail not found elsewhere.

It's time for writers like Chris McCosky to come out from under their rocks, to stop being afraid of bloggers, and to embrace the medium and its adopters as an alternative medium and source of information. There is no reason that bloggers and mainstream writers can not co-exist and form relationships that are not only mutually beneficial, but also provide the best information possible to the readers of their respective works.