Tuesday, April 19

4/19/05 -- Balki vs. Halladay

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. Jose is getting upset with the Boston Globe. Not only do they keep Dan Shaughnessy on staff, not only do they continue to run Mallard Filmore, not only did they run a story today headlined “Real men exfoliate,” but they confirmed today, that they are completely and utterly without a sense of humor.

As you may recall, Jose sent a quipy email to the Globe Ombudsman asking if they had a policy against reviewing self-published books.
What he got in return was this.

“Sorry, the Globe does not review self published books.”

That’s it. One terse sentence. One terse, boring, unfunny sentence. No shtick, no dialogue, just one crummy sentence that says what it means in the smallest possible number of words. Leave it to journalistic training to crush the fun out of answering email.

If Jose was answering email for the Ombudsman’s office, he could have come up with any number of snappier answers. Consider the following:

Sorry, the Globe does not, as a matter of policy, review the ravings of lunatics, with the noteworthy exception of Bill Lee.

Sorry, the Globe does not review elf published books. (Note: That would be some great typo humor for Lord of the Rings Fans.)

Sorry, the Globe does not review the work of anyone more talented than Dan Shaughnessy, thus our book review consists largely of reviews of the novels of Jackie Collins.

Sorry, the Globe does not respond to the emails of self published auth—I’ve said too much already.

The point is that the Globe should really listen to what Jose says, and take his advice. The fact that they stubbornly cling to the professional standards of the industry is just crazy. It’s like Terry Eurona refusing to take advice from the drunkards on the first base line or Gary Sheffield failing to acknowledge the fans’ insightful observation that “he sucks.” After all, why would we, as fans, be on the sidelines in both baseball and newspaper publishing unless we had such mastery of the subjects that to actually be involved for a living would be no challenge whatsoever? Surely not because we lack aptitude.

But we live in a democratic age, where the awesome power of the “Internet” has given every crank the ability to make his voice heard. So here is what Jose proposes to do. He proposes to organize an email campaign to the Globe Ombudsman asking for a full and public accounting of why they won’t review self-published books. Jose’s goal is NOT to get his book reviewed. All that would accomplish is getting him a bad review. His goal is only to demonstrate his awesome power to annoy. As soon as we are done with the Globe, Jose promises he will organize the Internet email campaign to get Blaine Neal to throw more strikes.

So if you want to modestly inconvenience a major newspaper, send some version of the following note to ombud@globe.com.

Dear ombudsman,

It has recently come to my attention that the Globe, as a matter of policy, does not review self-published books. What’s up with that? At least five people would like to know why, so if you could address it in the Ombudsman column, that would be super.

Your pal,


If the Red Sox have taught us anything, it is that, if they work together, 25 Idiots can accomplish anything. Unfortunately, most of Jose’s readers are not Idiots, so we don’t have much of a chance, but there’s no harm in trying anyway.

For the complete KEYS visit www.wallballsingle.com

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