Friday, February 11, 2011

Re-BORTing with a Word on Steve Melewski

BORT (aka Baltimore Orioles Round Table) was originally designed to be a forum for a few Orioles bloggers and preeminent posters from a smattering of message boards.  As quickly as the solid gold idea was created, it came crashing down.  The platform was just not very conducive to everyone who was interested in taking part.  The interest probably was a bit too directed toward increasing traffic on our home pages as opposed to making genuinely interesting content on the BORT site.  So, after a couple years . . . why do we, or maybe just I, wish to re-BORT.

For me, the idea arose one year ago and has been festering since.  Then, an upstart and prominent Orioles prospect website was caught in a brew-ha-ha about blatantly plagiarizing professional prospect sites.  It was a typical story of a teenager who wanted to have more pull than he had the ability to do so.  Often with upstarts we see a craving to be important instead of organically growing.  It truly does take a lot of effort and loads of criticism to be a decent writer (I do not consider myself a decent writer).  Anyway, the aforementioned plagiatizing blogger repeatedly refused that he was doing such a thing when his site was completely borrowing from PG Crosschecker and other sites the would be unfamiliar to the common fan, but stick out like sore thumbs for many of us.  He even was selling all of this borrowed information as a book.  After a bit of a tedious runaround, he realized he had no avenue other than owning up and writing about how much he learned from the experience.  Apologies mean nothing to me (well, almost nothing).  What means something is how people change their behavior.  I consider that blogger reformed.  He now runs a relatively solid and popular website that is a great repository for information about Orioles prospects.  He does very little analysis because he is not well trained for that, yet.  He does provide lots of interview, focused information from Orioles prospects, pictures, and videos.  It is a blog that was needed within our loose group of blogs.  Again, though, it was tedious to get this change to occur.  A few of us joke how much effort it took to get this guy to act responsibly and how the large sites, like Jonathan Mayo and PG Crosschecker, did not care.  I thought then that a website that operated as a meta-filter reviewing and pointing toward other articles would have nipped this one in the bud.

However, a site just bent on a Puritan righteousness of how awful we are and our writing, but oh how we love our Orioles did not seem like a particularly fun concept.  What does seem like a fun concept however is a site that not only questions what some people write, but also praises what others write.  It is in this new incarnation that I suggest BORT now becomes a place where daily we try to highlight certain Oriole centric articles by bloggers ranging from Orioles Post to Baltimore Sports and Life to the School of Roch to Peter The Schmuck Stops Here.  Our ideas may not be grand or interesting, but hopefully this little experiment will work out.  Also, with great hope, we will hold our own articles on pillars and thrash them with equal measure.  To add more, the goal here is really to add discussion and to be more engaging as a community.  I hope this is not taken to be merely mean-spirited.

After the jump, a word on today's feature: Steve Melewski's Blog entry over as MASN.