Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jon Weisman Cuts And Runs Like A Coward

With nine games to go, the Dodgers are playing out this catastrophic armageddon of a season, trying to go through the motions though it looks like we'll run out of time well before our final series with the Giants.

We've lost Ted Lilly. We've lost Chad Billingsley. We've lost Clayton Kershaw. We've lost Matt Kemp. We never found Shane Victorino or Joe Blanton. Sightings of Adrian Gonzalez' bat may be premature. We've lost Hanley Ramirez' bat, and his glove may never have made it over from Miami. We never even got Carl Crawford in the first place.

And now, we've lost Jon Weisman, the Dodgers' longest-tenured blogger and the force behind Dodger Thoughts. Posted Weisman last week, in his farewell message:

Tonight, I’m more clear on what I’m putting aside – including a dream of doing Dodger Thoughts for 50 years or more. To this day, I still have enough arrogance about myself to be surprised that no one has ever wanted to pay me a living wage to do this full-time. But the marketplace spoke, and unless it changes its mind someday, I don’t have the luxury of ignoring it. And I’m tired of doing mediocre work on something that meant so much to me.

Anyone reading this site knows how hard it has been for me to maintain a pretense that the site is still useful in 2012. There have been some decent moments, but mostly, it’s been painful. And it’s not getting any easier. My family and my day job demand bigger and bigger shares of my energy and my sanity. So let’s cut to the chase: I’m designating myself for assignment.

That doesn’t mean I’m never going to post here again – in fact, I can almost promise that I will at some point – but it does mean I’m releasing myself from the daily task of writing about the Dodgers, as well as creating chat threads for every game. Dodger Thoughts has become a burden – the opposite of what it was intended to be – and there are too many other sites that now do what I set out to do more productively. The fact that I’m cutting and running with only two weeks left in the regular season (and a Dodger playoff appearance still very much a possibility) indicates just how much of a burden it has been. For all their problems, I believe in the Dodgers much more right now than I believe in my capacity to write about them. That about says it all.

Yes, times are so bad in 2012, that not even the tonic of new ownership, access to capital, and better future horizons can stimulate Weisman to keep up the fight. We've lost a serious Dodger blogger in this final weeks of the season, and most of the Dodger blogosphere is saddened by his departure.

Phil Gurnee over at TBLA lamented Weisman's retirement. VSIMH had a quick thank you, as well. 6-4-2's Rob McMillin said goodbye. Mike Petriello, video Jayna to Weisman's Zan (I might have that the other way around), is "off on his honeymoon" (so he claims), so he hasn't posted anything yet. Even my brother Orel put together a touching tribute.

But not me. I'm fed up.

Weisman, after years of reading your daily posts, I'd just about had it with your sound logic and rational approach, applied to the emotional rollercoaster integral to the pursuit of following the Dodgers as an ardent fan. But this farewell is just pathetic.

You cite family, let alone this thing called "a full-time job", as intruding upon your time creating thoughtful content and delivering that to readers for free (not to metnion the additional time it takes to monitor and contribute to always-open-for-business comment threads). Yet you found the time to publish a paperback book (and a solid one, at that).

Your family has indulged your stealing away in the middle of vacations and weddings and christenings in order to post breaking Dodgers news. They have to be used to it by now. And your work at Variety clearly knows about your other life (unlike us, who are shielded by pseudonyms), so it's not like you're going to get ratted out at work for scribing a post.

Your outgoing farewell cites the economic cruelty of the free market, yet you alone chose to resist muddying your clean website designs with banner ads and sidebar ads and popup ads and tracking cookies.

You made it burdensome and difficult for us devoted readers to follow you over the last ten years, jumping from the Baseball Toaster to the LA Times to ESPN Los Angeles to your own gig. And each time you moved, you manipulated us readers by tugging on all of our heartstrings, reminding us how delicate and special and wonderfully civil and remarkably erudite that readership community was, as we struggled through suboptimal commenting systems and waves of invading, grammatically clueless trolls.

You made us suffer through all of your lame Clayton Kershaw punny headlines, not to mention scores of posts about entertainment which had nothing whatsoever to do wit the Dodgers. Like there's not enough to stay focused and on-topic.

You wouldn't even allow us to use profanity, even when the Dodgers were playing like a bunch of goddamn bumblefucks. Or using hyperbole, even in those moments when the end of the world was happening. Or being sarcastic, like that was going to make the pain of a Dodgers loss more palatable. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure.

So this is all about you, is it Jon? After inspiring legions of Dodger bloggers to pick up their (virtual) pens, you go take the coward's way out and commit blogging suicide? After years of demonstrating how you bleed Dodger blue (not to mention Cardinal red), when the Dodgers and their fans need you most: you, and you alone, get to pick up your ball and go home?

Buck up, Weisman, and get back to that computer, you lazy wimp. I do hope you're saddled with the burden of guilt for leaving all of us out in the cold, and you feel that pain of remorse every single moment you spend enjoying your family or appropriately dedicating yourself to work. You sniveling, selfish jerk.

Just for this, I hope the Dodgers win it all in 2013.

Godspeed, Jon. And thank you for everything, including your friendship.

14 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

hehe well done, Saxy

*kicks Jon while he's down*

Dusty Baker said...

"waves of invading, grammatically clueless trolls."

We dealt with that and put down any insurrections.

Ñeeebs said...

Yeah Jon! You're a disgrace to all Saticoy Elementary School alumni.

Ñeeebs said...

Such a disgrace we wouldn't even let you finish up there and graduate.

Steve Sax said...

saticoy anagrams to icy oats

rbnlaw said...

We still get to heckle him at the softball tournament, right?

PLAYOFFS (fading)

Ñeeebs said...

Anagram: Say Tico!

Franklin Stubbs said...

*says tico*

Spank Horst said...

*dry humps Saxy*

Jon Weisman said...

Actually, I was one and done at Saticoy but still came away a graduate - sixth grade, baby.

I was slightly frightened but mostly really touched by this piece. Thanks, man.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Slightly frightened is right in our wheelhouse.

Ñeeebs said...

Actually... *cries* is right in our wheelhouse.

DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy said...

"waves of invading, grammatically clueless trolls. "

That was me!

Dusty Baker said...

Heh....Jon touched his piece. Oh wait, I read that wrong.

Seriously, thanks Jon for pioneering. We'll keep flying the Dodger blogger flag!