My Argument With Dejan Kovacevic: A Chronicle

As I've said here in the past, I'm not a fan of Twitter. You can only post 140 characters at a time, and when you get into an argument with someone, it's difficult for others to tell what's going on, because it's hard to follow the thread of an argument. Someone can say something ridiculous, and later delete it or just say a whole bunch of other things to bump a bad tweet down the page.

With that, let's discuss the Twitter fight I just had with Dejan Kovacevic. Some of you may be bored by what follows. If that's you, feel free to ignore this. That's why it's not on the front page. I'm going to outline the highlights of what happened in a way that I think makes things most clear, so the important posts are presented in chronological order. If you want to see everything in context, you can visit my Twitter account, Dejan's and Brian McElhinny's and see it for yourself, but I've done my best to highlight the important stuff without bias. The commentary, of course, is my own.

Here's how it began.

I see #meh crowd predictably assails manager but not GM. More groupthink. GMs wise, managers morons. Art Howe juts jaw, looks good in dugout

Um, okay. Essentially, Dejan is saying that "the #meh crowd" bashed Clint Hurdle for last night's misadventures, but not Neal Huntington, who is ultimately responsible for Chad Qualls and Daniel McCutchen being on the roster.

It wasn't obvious to me at that point that Dejan was talking about Bucs Dugout, even though he typically uses the "#meh" hashtag to refer to Bucs Dugout and its commenters. (Because sabermetrics types use the expression "meh" a lot, apparently.) So I just ignored it at first. Then Brian from Raise the Jolly Roger asked who "the meh crowd" was. Brian then wrote this:

I just read a long piece on BD criticizing Hurdle AND NH

Dejan then tweeted back, "Really?" but later deleted it, as he frequently does. You can see why he did it, too, because it quickly looked really ridiculous.

Brian then posted pictures of posts in which both David and I criticized Neal Huntington for adding Chad Qualls and Daniel McCutchen to the team yesterday. (Both played roles in yesterday's loss, obviously.) Here was David's post, which Brian posted a picture of and which was right at the top of Bucs Dugout at the time.

I've also been railing on Neal Huntington's roster construction for awhile now. A lot of people disagreed with me about Neal and Clint's comments regarding September call-ups. It's not September, but I can't help but look at Huntington's comments and wonder if he's at least slightly concerned with "raiding" Indianapolis. It sounds ludicrous, I know, but I really can't come up with another reason he is going with the roster that he is.

Simply put, the Pirates' brain trust is butchering its roster management and bullpen usage right now.

This was Dejan's response to Brian showing him exactly those words.

You saw GM mentioned in the piece? Where? Goes against the narrative.

Um, what? It's right there in front of you. The irony of this "Goes against the narrative" comment is staggering.

Dejan then argued that he hadn't been talking about David's piece -- even though, again, he had responded "Really?" when told there was a long piece on Bucs Dugout (you know, the one right at the top of the page) criticizing Neal Huntington. Then he said this to me:

You want to have real analysis like @DTonPirates wrote? I'm all ears. But following reflexive memes, avoiding GM, that's open pandering.

I truly have no idea what he's talking about there. When the moves to add Qualls and McCutchen were announced, I criticized them. In the game recap, I specifically said, "It's not good to have Qualls and McCutchen on the roster in the first place." I didn't mention Neal Huntington in the recap, primarily because it's a game recap, which tends to focus on the events of the game. That's why the game recap in Kovacevic's own paper doesn't mention Huntington, either. And it doesn't take a Pulitzer Prize winner to figure out who is responsible for Qualls and McCutchen being on the Pirates' roster.

Here's what happened after that.

Charlie Wilmoth ‏@BucsDugout Having someone with 10x more Twitter followers than you openly trolling you is a strange feeling. @Dejan_Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic ‏@Dejan_Kovacevic @BucsDugout Hard time with criticism? I respect blogs, always have engaged, treated them as peers. Criticism comes with that. Not trolling.

Charlie Wilmoth ‏@BucsDugout @Dejan_Kovacevic Criticism and trolling aren't same. Criticism would be if we ACTUALLY didn't criticize NH, as opposed to you just saying so

Dejan Kovacevic ‏@Dejan_Kovacevic @BucsDugout We?

Charlie Wilmoth ‏@BucsDugout @Dejan_Kovacevic We = Bucs Dugout.

@Dejan_Kovacevic Dave isn't afraid of the commenters on there. He wrote a fair piece that didn't pander.

Ah, so that's the crux of it! I didn't criticize Neal Huntington for adding Qualls and McCutchen to the roster (even though I actually did, twice). I just got David Todd to write a piece about it that was right at the top of the front page when all of this went down, because I'm scared of my commenters and I need David to hide behind.

... Because, you know, all the commenters here really loved the decisions to add Qualls and McCutchen. Here are the comments to the game recap. Here are the comments to the thread regarding Qualls and McCutchen being added to the roster. The commenters here were overwhelmingly opposed to those moves. So, uh, I didn't mention those moves, even though I actually did, twice, because my commenters, who overwhelmingly disliked those moves, would have gotten mad at me for criticizing them.

So here's my response:

Also, commenters have ripped NH endlessly for Qualls/DCutch decisions. Not sure why I'd fear criticizing him for that

Here's what Dejan says in return:

@BucsDugout Me neither.

Uh, what? So I said this:

Ok. So, to summarize, BD commenters have been hard on NH for moves, I criticized NH when moves were made, I said in recap Qualls and DCutch shouldn't be on team, my website has article at top criticizing NH for moves. And somehow I'm not criticizing NH b/c I fear wrath of commenters. Is this the argument you're going with?


@BucsDugout Haven't read your commenters in long time now. Since you're asking, piece today fit same pandering meme. Only you'd know why.

So the bit about David not being afraid of commenters was just a non-sequitur, because Dejan now claims to have no idea what our commenters are saying. Beyond that, I had no idea what he was talking about, and told him so.


@BucsDugout Same meme pushed for years when trying to turn me into Joe Morgan, even distorting my work to do it. Always has to be one.

You'll notice this is the first reference to Dejan's work that appears in the entire conversation. It came out of nowhere. So, essentially, he started this fight because he's mad at something I wrote about him weeks or months ago. Probably it's this, in which case he's confusing my having a position on something with trying to turn it into a meme, which is a word I'm not sure Dejan understands.

From there, Dejan went here:

@BucsDugout Rip me all you want. I get it from all over. But distorting or cleverly excerpting things I've written to suit audience is not only pandering but also disingenuous. Same principle applies to piece today. Meme in place, must follow meme.

I've written before I appreciate your writing/dedication. I still do. But don't appreciate having my work portrayed wrongly so you can get a chuckle out of red meat to commenters. No other blogger anywhere has done that, to my knowledge. Just you.

Again, I hadn't mentioned Dejan today before this little Twitter fight, so this is plainly about something that happened a long time ago. I challenged him to give examples, because, although I'm critical of his work, I don't think I ever distort what he says, and I never try to take things out of context. I always provide full links back to his work, and I excerpt not to make him look bad, but to stay within the limits of fair use. He provided no examples, except to point back to my game recap from last night, which, again, had nothing whatsoever to do with him. This is a common occurrence -- he accuses me of misrepresenting him, I ask him to provide examples, he comes up empty. On Twitter, that's no problem. You can do that, and no one will really notice.

I imagine some of you are entertained; I imagine some others (and maybe some of the same people) are wondering why we let ourselves sink so low. It's a fair question. From my perspective, Dejan is one of the biggest sports personalities in Pittsburgh. He has about nine times as many Twitter followers as I do. It's deeply strange for someone in his position to be picking fights with a blogger. When he does -- and this isn't the first time he's done it -- I feel like I almost have to respond, because there are a lot of potential Bucs Dugout readers out there whose opinions about the site will be shaped by the things he says about it.

I leave it to you to decide which side of this conversation made sense and which was driven by bizarre grudges or deep Freudian issues or something. I worry that it's not that easy to tell if you can't see things in order, rather than just seeing stuff from Dejan or from me popping up intermittently in your feed, so here it is.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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