Patrick Reusse: The next blog could be right around the corner

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 27, 2007 - 1:23 PM

Journalism is getting very crowded in this new age of the blogosphere, with the Internet giving anyone with an opinion and a computer a venue to vent.

Portly Old Scribe (POS) was waddling down Fifth Street. There was a gentleman coming in the opposite direction. He was pushing a shopping cart filled with various items, including what seemed to be his next day's wardrobe options.

He turned the cart at an angle in front of POS. The scribe started to reach for his wallet, figuring a couple of bucks might cause him to remove the sidewalk blockade.

"No, big man, I ain't looking for a handout," he said. "I recognize your moon face from the newspapers I use as a mattress. I just wanted to introduce myself, and let you know we're going to be colleagues."

Colleagues?

"Yeah, I'm starting a Twins blog this week for your website," he said. "Homeless Hans' Homerisms, but go ahead ... just call it HHH."

The scribe was aware that Twins blogs were multiplying on startribune.com like the stallion A.P. Indy, but this revelation led to a request for details.

HHH: "I just happened to be the right person in the right place at the right time. I was taking a rest in that little park across from 425 Portland, a guy came out the front door, jaywalked across the street and sat on the park bench.

"We started talking, he asked if I knew anything about the Twins, I said, 'Always read about 'em when I find an old newspaper,' and he signed me up for the blog right there.

"Homeless Hans' Homerisms. Beautiful!"

POS: "I have a confession to make, Hans. I'm not really into this blog stuff."

HHH: "The problem, oldtimer, is you're stuck in the time warp that thinks New Journalism is synonymous with Tom Wolfe. What we have now is New-Newer-Newest Journalism -- an America with 300 million columnists."

POS: "But that word, blog, what is it?

HHH: "How dumb are you? Everyone knows blog is an acronym for boot licking, obfuscation and grandiosity."

POS: "That's a coincidence, Hans. I've had all those moves in my repertoire during a long, distinguished print career."

HHH: "Print! Why ya' even mentioning that word in 2007? You better cannonball into the blog pool, chubby, and pronto ... like in the next 15 minutes."

POS: "I'm still confused. Exactly what is it that you, Homeless Hans, plan to give fans that they can't get on the several thousand other blogs offering Twins insights?"

HHH: "Glad you asked. Often during the past 20 years, I've seen pedestrians steer clear when they see and hear me on the street corner, muttering.

"What they don't know is what I'm doing is mentally and verbally running the numbers that I use to quantify a hitter's contribution to a ballclub."

POS: "Runs scored, runs batted in, batting average?"

HHH: "I knew those stats were passé before Bill James' first book was a gleam in his publisher's eye. What you get from Hans is an exclusive look at the OBPSPCAL/ CGEHFTxTB/GDP statistic. You'll be able to find the key number for every player on my blog."

POS: "Any chance you could enlighten me on how you arrive at the one number that tells us all we need to know about a big-league hitter?"

HHH: "Simple, really. On-base percentage, plus slugging percentage, plus close-and-late average, divided by times you couldn't get 'em home from third, multiplied by total bases, divided by grounded into double plays.

"And get this? OBPSPCAL/CGEHFTxTB/GDP proves Matt LeCroy should be the Twins' starting catcher and not Joe Mauer."

POS: "Any other insights you plan to offer HHH loyalists?"

HHH: "I'm going to rail against the idea of building a new Twins stadium behind the Target Center parking ramps."

POS: "Do you feel those few acres will be too compact for a proper ballpark? Or is it having the facility so close to a garbage burner?"

HHH: "Wrong, and wrong again. For the past decade, on a cool night, I've been hunkering down in the low part of that parking lot and getting my eight hours."

POS: "You sleep on that sacred site, Hans -- on land owned by widows and aging orphans?"

HHH: "It's perfect. You get down in the bottom of that ditch and the wind doesn't get at you at all. [Pause.]

"Now that I think about it, big man, keep cranking out those newspaper columns, because there's nothing ol' Hans finds more comfortable than sleeping on a bundle of Sunday sports sections."

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