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NBC Sports welcomes Joe Posnanski

Feb 22, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

Joe Posnanski

And now it’s my privilege to introduce NBC Sports’ latest addition, even if he’s a man who needs no introduction around here: welcome aboard, Joe Posnanski.

Joe’s track record is well known. He comes to NBC from Sports on Earth. Before that he wrote for Sports Illustrated and before that, for many years, the Kansas City Star. Joe was named National Sportswriter of the year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 2011. He was named best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors twice. He’s the inaugural winner and namesake of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s “Joe Posnanski Award,” given to the top Internet baseball writer of the year. He’s written four books, one of which — The Soul of Baseball — is, in my view, a top-5 all-time baseball book.

Apart from all of that official stuff, I say — and have said, long before I knew he’d be joining me at NBC — that Joe is the best baseball writer around. I know that’s subjective — we all have our favorites — but in my estimation Joe loves the game, understands the game and writes about the game better than any other guy who gets paid to do so, full stop. Along with Rob Neyer and Bill James, Posnanski is one of the biggest single influences on my understanding of baseball and on my writing. Rob and Bill helped me approach baseball analysis in a different way. Posnanski changed the way I thought about the personalities and stories which surround the game. And now Joe’s going to be writing here. So, yes, I’m a little bit giddy.

He’s going to writing all over NBC Sports.com, actually.  He will be doing what he’s always done, covering all sports, and you’ll be able to read all of that work at our main page.  But if you know anything about Joe’s work you know he’s rather baseball-heavy and quite prolific, writing both long columns and blog posts (sometimes long blog posts).  Which will be great for us because that means his work will be showing up here at HardballTalk as well.

Joe’s first column for NBC drops today. It’s about Alex Rodriguez and what he used to be, back before the quarter billion dollar contracts and back before the celebrity. How he got to where he is now and how things could have been different (if, in fact, they ever could have been).

Jose’s first “[Player] is in The Best Shape of His Life” post is TBD, but I assume we have that in his contract.

  1. leez34 - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Joe is the

    • Cereal - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      sex symbol for NBC Sports

    • digbysellers - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      slightly chubbier doppelganger of Calcaterra?

      • bravojawja - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        and less bald?

    • historiophiliac - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      extra sausage.

  2. ptfu - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Welcome aboard, Joe Posnanski! I’m looking forward to reading your work.

  3. heyblueyoustink - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Dear Joe,

    ” You’re short, your bellybutton sticks out too far, and you’re a terrible burden on your poor mother.”

    Signed,

    Things you can expect to see when people don’t agree with you…..or worse.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Also: You have a ridiculous bias against ____________________ (insert Cards, Phillies, Yankees, etc).

      • stlouis1baseball - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        No YOU are in time out.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 22, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        Whatever, Woodpecker.

    • tfbuckfutter - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      I want you to know this actually made me laugh.

      Well done.

    • heyblueyoustink - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      See good ole randy below. Man, it just does not take that long around here.

    • pmcenroe - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      A Ghostbusters quote will always get a thumbs up from me, well done

      • aceshigh11 - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        Not just Ghostbusters…Ghostbusters TWO!

        That’s a big twinkie.

  4. raulduke11 - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Joe Posnanski: Not BSOHL

    • historiophiliac - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      Show your work.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      Hey, round is a shape…one I’m very familiar with.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:07 AM

        But, is he round or rounder? Less round?

  5. randygnyc - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Child rapist apologist. Blechhhh.

    • Kevin S. - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Poz apologized for Sandusky? Where?

    • sportsdrenched - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      I read that book. Because if anyone could have made sense/had a different angle is was JoePos. While I didn’t think it was Joe’s best work, it was far from an apology for Joe Paterno. Try again.

      • jkcalhoun - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Having read that book as well, I have to agree with sportsdrenched.

      • mrfloydpink - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        Hm. The reviews in the NYT, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Huffington Post, and Deadspin all said it was very apologetic. I don’t know, since I certainly won’t be reading/buying the book, but that seems pretty overwhelming to me.

        In any event, Posnanski showed a remarkable lack of integrity and courage in the manner in which he handled the situation. From his immediate response (calling on people to reserve judgment, then going to a Penn State class the NEXT day and making all kinds of asinine statements, then burying his head in the sand for six weeks) to the way in which the actual book project was executed (releasing it early to take advantage of the publicity/interest generated by the scandal, canceling book signings so that Posnanski could avoid hearing anyone who might say something that hurts his feelings, etc.)

        When it comes to this situation, the question I’ve asked a number of times on various blogs, etc.–which no one has ever been able to answer–is this: If it had been Posnanski’s kids that were molested, would he still have handled the project in the way he did? If the answer is ‘no,’ and I assume it is, then why is ok when it’s other peoples’ kids who were molested?

        And when it comes to Posnanski in general, I used to be a big fan, but now I can’t avoid thinking about this question: Has he ever taken a stand on ANYTHING (at least, anything bolder than “I kinda like WAR”)? I realize now that Posnanski is just a better version of Rick Reilly. Or perhaps an even better analogy is to say that he’s the sportswriting version of Steven Spielberg–take uncontroversial ideas/issues and present them in a way that’s pleasant, and digestible, and maybe heartwarming. This essentially amounts to pandering, and it’s why I don’t care for Spielberg’s films and I can’t really get into Posnanski’s writing any more.

        And finally, I am quite surprised that other sports media types I like–Calcaterra, Keith Law, etc.–who seem to have strong convictions, and are generally willing to express them, have given Posnanski a pass. I mean, when you write the post that appears above, isn’t avoiding any mention whatsoever of this very large/well-publicized issue a little like writing a brief bio of RIchard Nixon and overlooking Watergate? Kind of conspicuous by its absence…

      • Ben - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        I dunno, I didn’t keep up with the JoPa or JoePos scandal, but the reviews mentioned do make the book out to be pretty soft. That’s a far cry from apologist or some kind of strange hagiography, but it sounds like it could have punched a lot harder. I’d be curious to here from Joe his thoughts on how he wrote the book–although it does seem from the reviews to largely echo a hobby horse of Craig’s–don’t rush to judgement.

        From the NYTimes:

        “Paterno” is breezy and largely sympathetic. It doesn’t contain (reverse spoiler alert) any especially startling revelations about what Paterno knew and when he knew it. It adds grain and texture to the historical record, though, while mostly skimming the surface of its subject’s life.

        “Paterno” makes a cogent case for absorbing Paterno’s entire legacy, not merely his final sad months. (He died less than three months after he was fired.) Mr. Posnanski quotes these lines from the novel “The Ox-Bow Incident”: “We desire justice. And justice has never been obtained in haste and strong feeling.”

        Fox (blech):
        Posnanski’s fluffy, 400-plus-page opus provides sparse guidance. What it inadvertently does, for the highly careful reader, is expose how a coach and a writer can sacrifice their integrity over time, one compromised decision at a time.

        WSJ:
        It’s odd, given all the stories that Mr. Posnanski tells, how much of the myth he seems to believe. He repeatedly invokes Paterno’s love for the “Aeneid” as a sign of how cultured he was, when most big-city Catholics of his age and aspirations would have known a bit of Virgil. More to the point, the author buys Paterno’s comparison of himself to Aeneas, drawing a causal line between Paterno’s success and the rise of Penn State as an institution. In fact, the university’s rise had to do with enormous Cold War-era military spending. The school didn’t build a nuclear reactor in 1955 because of Joe Paterno. Today the program he built brings in tens of millions of dollars per year; the institution has an annual budget of more than $4 billion. Giving Paterno credit for building the school is like crediting legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach for Boston.

        Just a few snippets I dug up. Others might be more apt.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        I talked some about Posnanski/Paterno before the book came out:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/13/posnanski-and-paterno/

        To the extent I talked about it at all it was because I was interested on that particular day about Posnanski’s situation. I didn’t talk about it in today’s post because it was an introductory post of a new coworker and I don’t think that’s exactly an appropriate time to take a critical tack. I did not read the book because the topic does not interest me and, generally speaking, is outside of HBT’s bailiwick, so I couldn’t say how he treated the topic. The only other thing I really know about it is that the publication date of the book was moved up by the publisher, not by Posnanski.

        That aside — and without specifically relating this to Posnanski — I don’t think anyone’s writing career is perfect. We all have our ups and downs and if indeed the Paterno book was a down for him (again, I didn’t read it) that’s unfortunate but makes him no different than anyone else. It’s foolish to say that discredits Posnanski as a writer and reporter. His work speaks for itself.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        I read the book also, and while it wasn’t an outright apology for JoePa, it wasn’t nearly as honest as it could have been. If I know someone is a pedofile but I don’t say anything about it, I am not necessarily lying, but by not talking about it, I’m also not being completely honest about the subject either.

        I have always liked JoePos’s work because he just has a way with words that I enjoy. I don’t always agree with what he writes, but I agree with him far more than people like Keith Law, mostly because when I read Pos’s work, I feel like I am getting more than just some rows and columns in an Excel Spreadsheet.

        He’s a thought provoking writer, and to me, that made the Paterno book even more disappointing because I was hoping, probably quite naively, that he would delve further into it than he chose to do. So yes, he wasn’t apologetic for Paterno but he certainly didn’t write everything he knew and/or heard either.

      • misterfrump - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        @MrPinkFloyd

        I mean this very sincerely, I fucking *hate it* when people rail off on nonsense like this. Should Posnanski’s book just been titled “Fucking Monster”? Isn’t that inherently a non-objective approach to writing an autobiography of somebody? Which is another thing that needs to be pointed out…he was researching and probably given a lucrative advance to write an autobiography of Paterno when this all went down. Do you really think his publisher was going to say “scrap the project” once Paterno became major news?

        Attempting to understand the complexity of a situation is not the same as condoning it. In fact, we *should* withhold judgement til the facts are in (which they seem to be now, so judge away). But we shouldn’t pretend like the world is filled with cartoon monsters and dumb down our media to cater to those who bask in hating things.

        And to answer this question: ” If it had been Posnanski’s kids that were molested, would he still have handled the project in the way he did? If the answer is ‘no,’ and I assume it is, then why is ok when it’s other peoples’ kids who were molested?”

        They weren’t his kids. There is a reason a jury is not made up of the victim’s families. I want someone reporting on it from an objective place who will calmly sift through the facts. Not someone whose gonna write 200 pages of “what an asshole”. I already know he’s an asshole, I am interested in knowing the situation he was in that helped him to become one.

      • heyblueyoustink - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        “That aside — and without specifically relating this to Posnanski — I don’t think anyone’s writing career is perfect. We all have our ups and downs”

        Craig, are you feeling OK? That *almost sounds like a humble comment”. :-)

      • sportsdrenched - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        I think anyone who reads an author on a regular basis; whether it’s fiction, reporting, blogging, non-fiction, columns can notice when they are off a bit. A while back I found my self in an email excahnge one of my favotite authors and I essentially asked: “What was up with that book?” And he came back and answer honestly that he wasn’t real proud of “that” book, but he had deadline and a contract to meet and thats what happened.

        I was disapointed in the Paterno book because it wasn’t what I was used to seeing from Posonanski. But his body of work is good enough that I was will to give him a pass on tough subject, in a tough situation.

      • paperlions - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        JoePos generally writes positive stories. He’s a story teller, not an investigative reporter. The combination of him and a horrifying negative news story breaking while he was “imbedded” at PSU was never going to produce the kind of in-depth journalism a lot of people seemed to expect or want….and if fairness to Posnanski, that isn’t the book or the kind of book he wanted to write or signed up to write….yes, I realize that we don’t always get what we want….but he was trying to write a particular biographical type of book when the story broke. He probably figured (correctly) that there were dozens to hundreds of reporters covering the Sandusky scandal…and that isn’t what his book was about…and it isn’t what he wanted his book to be about.

        In short, if you want an inspirational story about a head coach, you hire Posnanski for that project….if you want an hard hitting investigative book about a scandal, you don’t.

      • fissels - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        I read the book and I thought it did what Paterno wanted: print the truth. It wasn’t a glowing portrait 100% in Paterno’s favor. It painted a true picture of a good man with flaws, just like all of us. For those that wanted proof that Paterno was somehow culpable in the Sandusky scandal, they were disappointed, hence these posts.

      • mrfloydpink - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        “That aside — and without specifically relating this to Posnanski — I don’t think anyone’s writing career is perfect. We all have our ups and downs…”

        Don’t you think that’s a little glib, Craig? This isn’t one stupid/ill-conceived column written on a deadline, ala Mark Whicker. This isn’t one stupid off-the-cuff remark, ala Al Campanis. He had a lot of time to think about this and get this right. It should have been obvious, from the moment the scandal broke to the moment the book hit the shelves, that it was a big deal.

        “It’s foolish to say that discredits Posnanski as a writer and reporter. His work speaks for itself.”

        I’m not sure I agree. Again, this was a book project that he spent months and months on. I think we can safely say it speaks for Posnanski in a way that something produced in seconds (a quote) or hours (a column) does not.

        And beyond that, it’s true that his work speaks for itself. As I noted, it seems to me that Posnanski basically panders to his audience. The nice way to characterize it is: “Posnanski is a storyteller.” But another way to say the same thing is: “He produces easily digestible pablum.” I mean, do you–does anyone–disagree with my comparison to Spielberg?

        “Should Posnanski’s book just been titled “Fucking Monster”? Isn’t that inherently a non-objective approach to writing an autobiography of somebody?”

        I do not think a hatchet job was necessary, as such. But (1) Joe Posnanski should have kept his mouth shut after asking others not to rush to judgment. He did not. (2) Joe Posnanski should have apologized, or at least said SOMETHING when it became clear how badly he represented himself on that day in the Penn State classroom. He did not. (3) Posnanski should have written a book that did not lead to the use of words like “fluff” and “sympathetic” and “puff piece” in reviews. He did not.

        Let me put it this way: While Craig and I apparently disagree pretty strongly on this subject, at least Craig had the balls to respond to my critical comments. Posnanski, by contrast, seems to do everything within his power to avoid criticism, and to avoid engaging with anyone other than adoring audience members (indeed, it seems to me that the best way to meet Joe Posnanski, if you really want to, is to give him an award. He always seems to find time for that).

        “He was researching and probably given a lucrative advance to write an autobiography of Paterno when this all went down. Do you really think his publisher was going to say “scrap the project” once Paterno became major news?”

        You’re correct–his advance was $750,000. And when all of this went down, both publisher and author had a choice–money or integrity. While I am not surprised that they put money #1, that does not free them from criticism for making the more venal and selfish choice.

      • cur68 - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Reading all of this, I notice a trend: those who’ve ACTUALLY READ Posnanski’s book don’t think its too bad: not his best work, not anything new about the situation that unfolded at PSU, but not terrible or dishonest and just the sort of thing you’d expect this author to write.

        Those who have not read it are largely taking the media’s view of the book. A media which seems to get off on each one being more outraged than the other. Well screw that. I watched the media completely miscall an election for which they had ample data to get it right. They’re supposed to be able be objective about the nuances of a sympathetic autobiography largely written BEFORE this scandal broke? Yeah. Sure they are.

        I could give a shit about college football. I don’t even know who Joe Paterno is/was. It just strikes me that when first hand sources say something isn’t “a child molester enabling apology” then I’ll take them at their word unless I actually read the damn book myself.

        As for the book, well given that the book was pretty much done when all of this broke, I can see how the author of it might not have delved into the facts of the scandal in great detail. He hadn’t time to re-write in any depth since the publisher would have wanted the book out there. Publication while this was all unfolding would maximize sales.

        Ultimately: whatever (insofar as Posnanski’s book goes). Posnanski’s a great baseball writer. He’s not a crime author and I don’t want him to be. I’m glad his work is going to be showing up around here.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        calling on people to reserve judgment, then going to a Penn State class the NEXT day and making all kinds of asinine statements, then burying his head in the sand for six weeks)

        Yeah, that’s not what happened. Again, like you posted last time, the timeline is wrong. I also like how you think he was burying his head in the sand, instead of what, standing there and letting people take pot shots at him because they couldn’t be asked to actually read what Pos wrote?

        What’s so wrong about waiting to make conclusions on a story? The day the accusations came out, all he asked was wait for more information. What’s wrong with that?

        When it comes to this situation, the question I’ve asked a number of times on various blogs, etc.–which no one has ever been able to answer–is this: If it had been Posnanski’s kids that were molested, would he still have handled the project in the way he did? If the answer is ‘no,’ and I assume it is, then why is ok when it’s other peoples’ kids who were molested?

        So much is wrong with this statement that it’s hilarious you think it’s actually valid. If someone touched my son I’d rip his fucking arms off and beat him with them. Do I think that’s a reasonable response for someone to actually do? Hell no, but like Chris Rock said, I understand.

        If you read Pos’s stuff you’d know he was conflicted over the book, especially after more information came to light about how involved Paterno actually was. IIRC he did make some changes to end (Chris F and others can help me out here), but what did you want him to do, scrap it entirely? That’s an extremely noble response, but how many would be able to do that, as well as return whatever seed money he was given when he started writing?

      • mrfloydpink - Feb 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        @churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged:

        I am going to start by observing that my tone has been respectful throughout this discussion. In particular, I have not personally attacked any of the people who disagreed with me. I would suggest you have not given me the same consideration. In any event:

        “Yeah, that’s not what happened. Again, like you posted last time, the timeline is wrong. I also like how you think he was burying his head in the sand, instead of what, standing there and letting people take pot shots at him because they couldn’t be asked to actually read what Pos wrote?”

        You have not explained exactly where my timeline is wrong. There is no question that the story broke, and that Posnanski was in a Penn State class the next day saying things that contradicted his initial response. When you said this the last time, I posted links supporting this chronology. There is also no question that Posnanski dropped off the grid shortly thereafter–a search of his Twitter feed will verify this, he even announced that is what he planned to do.

        And I think anyone with at least a little integrity would have engaged in some way. Do you think that if Keith Law or Jason Whitlock or Craig or TJ Quinn or Rob Neyer or hell, Buster Olney, found themselves in the middle of a controversial situation, they would respond by putting their fingers in their ears? I feel that all of them even if they did not back down, would at least have the balls to defend and explain their positions.

        “What’s so wrong about waiting to make conclusions on a story? The day the accusations came out, all he asked was wait for more information. What’s wrong with that?”

        Nothing is wrong, as long as that’s your honest position. But going to a Penn State class the next day and calling Joe Paterno a scapegoat indicates that it was not how he actually felt. That he was being disingenuous at best, and outright duplicitous at worst.

        “So much is wrong with this statement that it’s hilarious you think it’s actually valid. If someone touched my son I’d rip his fucking arms off and beat him with them. Do I think that’s a reasonable response for someone to actually do? Hell no, but like Chris Rock said, I understand.”

        I fail to see how that responds to my question. What I am trying to say is that Posnanski was able to forgive an awful lot because he was friends with Paterno, while the children who were molested due to Paterno’s actions–or inactions–were just names.

        “If you read Pos’s stuff you’d know he was conflicted over the book, especially after more information came to light about how involved Paterno actually was. IIRC he did make some changes to end (Chris F and others can help me out here), but what did you want him to do, scrap it entirely? That’s an extremely noble response, but how many would be able to do that, as well as return whatever seed money he was given when he started writing?”

        I actually did read his stuff, lots of it and for a very long time, and I only saw a couple of comments from him on this–a couple of SI columns. I saw relatively little evidence of his being conflicted. Yes, there was a bit of perfunctory “this is a tough book to write” stuff, but I didn’t have any sense of a deep moral quandary, or any sort of soul-searching or whatever.

        And I say again, because you seem to have missed it the first time: I would not bet money on people doing the right/noble/ethical thing when this much money is involved. But that doesn’t mean I have to respect them after they chase the money.

        In the end, the fact is this: Joe Posnanski’s “aw shucks” routine–whether it’s genuine or just something of a pretense or perhaps some of both–has built up a great deal of goodwill among his fans, such that many are either willing to dismiss this whole incident entirely, or they are willing to “give him a pass for this one mistake.” But there are also a lot of former fans like me–a minority, but a sizable one–that no longer have much use for the man or what he has to say. To me, as I’ve tried to explain, the issue is not simply this book project. The main issue is that the situation has caused me to see Joe Posnanski as kind of a phony. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

    • unclemosesgreen - Feb 23, 2013 at 6:52 AM

      MRFLOYDPINK – Excuse me if I’m reluctant to take “integrity and courage” lessons from someone who has been slandering Joe Po all over the internet under an assumed name. You variously claim to “work at SI;” to “have worked at SI” and to “know various unnamed people at SI”, all of whom are evidently happy to share office gossip with you. Which gossip you then take 3rd or 4th hand and go running over to the messageboards as fast as your little fingers can take you.

      It’s time for you to come clean about who you are and where you work, or it’s time to shut the fuck up. You’ve been grinding that axe so fucking hard you’re just standing there with the stub of a handle in your hands. It honestly sounds a lot more like jealousy than anything else at this point, like you mantra yourself to sleep at night saying “Joe Posnanski is richer and a better writer than I, but damn it, I like good music and I have my integrity.” Then a single tear wells up, slowly separates itself and falls to the pillow.

  6. Ben - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Glad his work will be cross-posted here–I’m not sure I’ve ever been to nbcsports.com without the hardballtalk prefix.

  7. danielponce - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Way to skirt around the penn scandal even though you had access to joe pa during it. Really great stuff.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Guys are going to kill Joe for his Paterno book, and rightfully so. I still think he should have cancelled the book, but I don’t know enough about the business part of it. What I can say is that it is fair to criticize Joe Pos for his book, but you also have to keep in mind the position he was in because he was more than halfway through the book when all this came out. It’s easy for me to say he should have dropped the book. It’s also easy for me to say he should have said more about the Sandusky scandal in the book. Posnanski chose to write the book the way he wrote it, which showed guts, but it also left him open to well-deserved criticism. He’s a big boy and he landed on his feet here at NBC Sports. Good luck.

  9. sportsdrenched - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    This is excellent news. Nice job NBC.*

    *=This post is geniune and contains no snark or sarcasm

    • 18thstreet - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      I’m a big JoeFan, but does anyone know why he keeps moving from one project to another?

      • mrfloydpink - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        It’s a poorly-kept secret that SI essentially fired him for his handling of the Paterno situation, and how badly that reflected on the publication. Don’t know why he only lasted six months at Sports on Earth…

      • misterfrump - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        “It’s a poorly-kept secret that SI essentially fired him for his handling of the Paterno situation”

        Links please. I literally could not find *anything* that supported this claim.

      • atlrod - Feb 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        By “poorly-kept secret,” I think mrfloydpink means, “a secret so well-kept that there’s no evidence anywhere.” I may be off. I’m a little rusty on my “pious, judgmental commenting snark machine” translations.

  10. sdelmonte - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Welcome aboard, Joe. (Guess I can start ignoring Sports on Earth, since without Joe, it’s a less interesting version of either SBNation or Grantland.)

  11. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Calcaterra/Posnanski cage match…there can be only one. “Two men enter, one man leaves!!”

  12. alexo0 - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Huge props to NBC Sports. They don’t do everything right, but this is a huge coup. Wow.

  13. tmohr - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Joe is a great baseball writer, but his moving from one place to another makes me think his real hero is Matt Stairs, not Buck O’Neil.

  14. protius - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    AUSW

  15. hojo20 - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    JoPo is okay with covering up child molestation.

    • nategearhart - Feb 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      How so?

  16. beerjunkie69 - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    He looks like a douche bag.

  17. mreezybreezy - Feb 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Can’t leave us hanging like that Craig. What are the other 4 books in the top 5?

  18. unclemosesgreen - Feb 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Aaaaand the commenters welcome the best living baseball writer with brass knuckles. Of course they do. Welcome to cage-writing, Joe Po. I want you to make sure you protect yourself at all times. The old internet meme of the blogger living in his grandmother’s sub-basement is over, all the people actually living under their great-grandmother’s sub-basement are really commenters. Like allen227. Or scrock25. Or randygnyc. What I’m saying, Joe, is welcome to the extremely shallow end of the pool.

  19. atlrod - Feb 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Internet Commenting: We’ll tell you why you’re such an incompetent asshole. We know you’ve been wondering.

  20. skipcastaneda - Feb 22, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    He doesn’t tweet back. I have complimented him on his Big Red Machine book on Twitter. Not a tweet saying thanks or a re-tweet.

    • IdahoMariner - Feb 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      …and this is a problem why exactly?

  21. IdahoMariner - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I can’t decide if I care or not whether he is writing for NBC Sports, since I find his work wherever he goes. Joe is an excellent writer, period, and an excellent baseball writer.

    as for the paterno stuff. wow, the vitriol from people who haven’t read the book. I am a former prosecutor, who by the time I quit was pretty done with dealing with child molestation cases. they are the saddest, most infuriating and traumatic for a prosecutor, especially if you have a young child yourself. i am not sympathetic to joe paterno even slightly, and am happy to have him rot in hell. his family with their sad efforts to repair his reputation are just making things worse (please, if you really are planning on getting involved in child abuse prevention, shouldn’t you have done it by now? instead of wasting resources on this weird, sad pr campaign that will change absolutely no one’s minds?)…. but Joe Posnanski remains a favorite writer. am i disappointed that he didn’t nail paterno to the wall? not really. there were plenty of investigative reporters doing that. and he had access to paterno because of the book contract. that kind of access doesn’t continue when you start behaving like an investigative reporter….but keeping that track open, means that we got some insight into how that powerful, single-minded man and his family got that way and how they operate and think. because i think situations like paterno’s are ripe for abuse, breed the kind of thing that happened (if it might hurt the football team, let’s keep it quiet.)(really?because football is more important than even one terrified, screaming child being violated and changed forever? go. to. hell.) and they really need to be carefully dissected to maybe possibly prevent new, similar situations.

    and i am okay with posnanski staying the course a bit, because the view he had was one no one else was going to come close to providing. not someone overtly hostile, and certainly not a member of that self-deluded, ultimately dangerous family. and information and insight always helps. maybe nothing will change, since so many penn state and football fans and football programs seem to want to pretend nothing else could or should have been done by paterno and the people at penn state. but the more information on how a school and a program and a person get to that point, the better. it seems pretty obvious to me that you don’t let a football program overrule your student disciplinary program…but they do. or let a football coach try to intimidate local law enforcement and prosecutors…they do. or elevate a football program and its coaches to such a degree that a high school official tells a parent not to bring allegations, no matter how serious, against them because somehow a football program and a football coach have automatically more credibility and importance than a kid who has been obviously traumatized. but they did. apparently we collectively needed something horrific and dramatic tommake us see the worst such situations can do. posnanski’s book, no matter how it was written or what he said, was not going to repair the damage or fix the program or suddenly get the paternos of this world to see their role in these real-life, non-football, wow-this-ACTUALLY-matters situations….so, i am happy for the insight and information on how these people think and how they got there and how they view the world. point out who we really need to educate, how we can’t ever be complacent or assume that someone in an isolated position of power even looks at the world the way the rest of us do. i don’t feel like pos was an apologist. he just wrote what he saw. i am okay with him not rising to the occasion to do more, particularly when writing what he saw was enough. it didn’t have to be all righteous and condemning to remind us all that even the most benign-seeming people can allow monstrosities to happen..

    • philsieg - Feb 22, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      May i append two brief comments to your excellent post? First, Posnanski was contracted to write a biography, not a slash-and-burn exposé. A biographer, if he is to be considered legitimate, has to strive for balance. those who have actually read the book seem to think that he managed to at least get in that ballpark.

      Second, the Paterno estate will locked up it litigation for years to come. Because Pos had unique access to Joe Paterno and his family in the last year or so of his life, he and his work are likely to be part of those suits. For all the armchair heroes who want him to climb up on his soapbox and noisily take a stand, have you considered how doing so might affect that litigation? The potential of the victims to recover some measure of justice and compensation? Pos and his family?

      • IdahoMariner - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        two extremely good points.

  22. stlouis1baseball - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Can we quit referring to him as JoPo…or JoPos? It sounds ridiculous.
    Further, why does everything have to have a phuqing abbreviation anyway?
    And if it doesn’t have an abbrevation it has some stupid ass nickname.

    Idea! Since Craig and Joe are so tight…
    Let’s start referring to them as Posattera. Or how about Calcananski?

    • js20011041 - Feb 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      I see your pet peeve is abreviations. My pet peeve is people intentionally misspelling words. As in your example, “phuqing.” I don’t understand the purpose behind it. It’s still read as “fucking,” so why not use the real thing or just pick another word?

      • thebadguyswon - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        You both make good points. And by the way, thanks to NBC Sports for letting us use the word “fuck” as liberally as we like.

      • stlouis1baseball - Feb 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        Hahaha! It was really a joke JS. After seeing your reply…it was apparently a bad joke.
        I was trying bring some levity to an article people seemed (based upon the posts) to be really wound up about. Again…bad joke. Bad “phuqing” joke.

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