Class is now in session for “Grumpy Mike”

October 26, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Last week, I authored a blog in which I put forth my personal belief that people who contribute to the world-wide web on blogs, message boards, etc. should use their real name (and include a real e-mail address) when posting their work.

I reviewed and approved numerous comments from people – some agreeing with me, some not – but one person in particular seemed hell bent on engaging in internet warfare.

So, with no further adieu, class is now in session for the person otherwise known as “Grumpy Mike”.  In the industry, we also jokingly categorize this as “his 15 minutes of fame”.  So I’ll go ahead and appease the old Grumpy one tonight and give him his brief soaking in the proverbial Baltimore sports spotlight.  Right now, a handful of his friends are getting the text (“Drew just beat me up in his blog” — to which his friends probably reply, “Good, you deserve it…”) and reading this too.  

Enjoy your 15 minutes, Mikey.

I only know “Grumpy Mike” as “Grumpy Mike”.  I’m quite certain that’s not HIS (or her) real name.  I can’t imagine his parents gave him that name.  That said, Mike’s evidently ashamed to let anyone in the real world know his true identity, so he posts replies to me at WNST.net as “Grumpy Mike”.  

Here’s Grumpy Mike’s SECOND reaction to last week’s blog.  His first reaction was about as silly and unfounded as the second, so I only included #2 for your review.  Here it is:

 

Nice to dodge the issue of the double standard you apply with anonymity. Again, you seem to have no poblem with anonymity when it serves YOUR purposes using un-named “sources”. These mystery “sources” that are used by YOU in your “reporting” never seem to “man-up” either, so I guess anytime you use un-named sources, it lacks credence too, huh? And you never seem to want to “man-up” when you cite these mysery “soures” either. So it’s okay for them to hide behind their anonymity, and it’s okay for you to be complicit in hiding their identity (assuming these so-called “sources” actually exist), but it’s not okay for people who comment to maintain their anonymity??? Drew, you really do have no room to complain at all when it comes to this issue. period.

 

Class is in session, Mike.  Grab a seat and learn something.

If you can’t tell the difference between “sources” in media stories and people not posting their name to a blog, message board or other internet editorial effort, I’m not sure even a half-smart guy like me can make you understand. 

Stories are printed every single day, in EVERY major newspaper in the country, that include unidentified “sources”.  The reason those people are “unidentified”?  Because they’d jeopardize their position or, perhaps, their life, if their real name became attached to the story.

Mike cites “mystery sources” of mine and wonders why they never surface?  They don’t surface because they’d like to keep their job(s), that’s why.

The source that told a couple of years back that Joe Foss was quitting as the O’s VP was RIGHT and when I reported it, I was right.  I wouldn’t EVER attach a name to that, obviously, or that person would no longer be employed by the Orioles.

The source that told me the Orioles were going back to BALTIMORE on the road jersey was right (which made me right when I reported it).  I wouldn’t ever attach a name to that, either.

The source that told me the Orioles were going to start Chris Tillman in the KC series at the end of last July was right (which made me right when I reported it).  If I threw that person’s name out there with the story, he/she would lose their job, of course.

The source at Owings Mills who told me last July that Samari Rolle wouldn’t play again was right.  I reported that and turned out to be right, of course, because my source was right.  I didn’t attach his/her name to the story.

The source at Owings Mills who told me last week that the team wasn’t going to make any trade deadline deals turned out to be right and I reported it as such and I turned out to be right.  I’m not divulging that source, either. 

But there remains a big difference between “sources” and people writing their real name on the internet.  

Grumpy Mike isn’t losing his job or his livelihood by writing his real name when he replies to WNST.net. 

So why doesn’t he do it?

What’s he afraid of, I wonder?

I don’t care enough to care…I still post Grumpy Mike’s replies – and anyone else using a fake name – because it’s the effort that counts, ultimately.  

It’s just interesting to me that people are afraid to identify themselves to the rest of the world.

What’s the harm?

No one – including Grumpy Mike – has ever come up with a solid reason for chickening out and typing something as obviously fake as “Grumpy Mike” when given the chance to type their real name.

But Grumpy’s silly position that my refusal to “out” my mystery sources is somehow connective to his refusal to identify himself by name is out-of-this-world-unrelated.

In the end, Grumpy will come back with another blog response in which he’ll somehow try and tie the two together — watch and see — but he won’t answer the easiest question of them all.

What are you afraid of?

What scares you so that you can’t use your real name?

Lots of people e-mail me and blog-respond and use their real name.  Last time I checked, nothing bad has happened to the likes of Tim Hudson, John Cobb, Robert Testoni or Joseph Deasel.

They write whatever they want and put forward any opinion they want.  

With their name attached to it for accountability purposes.

Others, like Grumpy Mike, would rather hide behind some kind of moniker.

Like I wrote last week, don’t take it personal.  I’m not going to disown any of you or stop posting your stuff.  I just think it’s silly and amateur’ish, that’s all.

Bush league is a good description, actually.

That’s the end of today’s class session, Grumpy Mike. 

You were a good student.

It pleases me that you learned something.

That’s why I teach you these things — so you can learn.

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