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Congratulations to Dejan Kovacevic

For winning twice in the Associated Press Sports Editors' Best Writing of 2008 awards. He placed second among writers at papers with circulations between 100,000 and 250,000 for breaking news, which a source tells me was for his coverage of the Jason Bay trade, and third for "projects," which was for his brilliant series of articles about the Pirates' presence in the Dominican Republic

Writing at as high a level as Kovacevic does, especially given the deadlines he faces and the number of frequent flyer miles he must accumulate, must be difficult and often seem thankless, especially now that there are a bunch of people like me who'll write a scathing post every time he says something vaguely positive about Nyjer Morgan, for example. Also, it's tough to express how much harder it is to write when you know that tens of thousands of people might be reading and when you know that once you file, there's little you can do to change any mistakes you made. Writing for the web and giving opinions are, for the most part, pretty easy. Writing for print and reporting are hard.

It's much easier for me to criticize a piece I think is flawed than to praise a piece I think is good, because when it's good, there's often not much I can add without entering this meta-critical realm where I'm talking about journalism rather than talking about baseball. Saying a journalist is good at his or her job isn't very interesting, but once in a while, it should be said. This blog would be a lot harder to write if Kovacevic weren't around. These awards are well deserved.