uspw_5150558Welcome to seventh grade, folks. I am not even sure where to begin. In fact, I probably shouldn’t begin at all. But when a person of some importance unleashes a personal attack on me, I should at least take a moment to explain my side of the story for the four of you that give a shit.

First of all, I LOVED Dirk Hayhurst’s first book. You can read my comments I wrote about the book in 2011 HERE. I then started reading excerpts from his next book, which will deal with his time in the Rays organization. I entered the excerpts expecting to love this book as well.

However, after enjoying one excerpt, the next two came off as demeaning to Joe Maddon and insulting to the Rays.  And that is saying something, since as most of you know, I am not shy about criticizing Maddon or the team. But in Hayhurst’s own words, he told the Rays he would not write about “inside” stuff, and then blatantly broke that declaration because it wasn’t “legally binding.” Maybe I am just too old fashioned about keeping my word, but that bothered me.

[side note: I have been asked on a few occasions by the Rays to not write something. Even though there was nothing stopping me legally, I honored their requests without hesitation. I am not saying that makes me morally superior (I have written things I regret and RV is not a big fan of this site). I am just saying I practice what I preach.]

Basically, Hayhurst released some “trailers” for his book, just as many producers release trailers long before a movie is finished. These were short excerpts. But they were the excerpts Hayhurst chose to release to tease the final product. Well, I wrote my feelings about a couple of the “trailers” and what they seemed to portray about the direction of the book.  It was no different than expressing feelings about a movie based on the clips the producers wanted us to see ahead of time.

In the end, I don’t believe that I ever passed judgement on Hayhurst. Rather, I just commented on the direction his book appeared to be headed. However, that didn’t stop Hayhurst from attacking me personally.

He wrote a 1,600 word response to my criticisms on his blog. I will admit, I did not read all of it. My first inclination was to look for the direct reference to this blog which came in this segment…

The folks over at some Ray’s blog showed up late to the party in a big huff and I got that reaction I was looking for. Most of it trite, venomous and delusional, but perfect none the less. At least I know someone’s reading…As of now, they’re busy completing a full psychological profile about me in the comments section. You should go check it out. It’s flattering, funny, and Insightful, too. I’m rather enjoying finding out for the first time why I do the things I do. Why I write. Why I’m so damn bitter and unsatisfied. Where my deep anger and animosity comes from. What a bust I was. Why I’m out to get the Rays. Give enough people a comments box and they’ll solve all the world’s problems by suffocating it with their own.

Outside of Hayhurst’s efforts to belittle this website (and those of you that comment), it was curious that he was taking offense to my post and at the same time writing that he “got that reaction [he] was looking for.” And it was curious that it took “some Ray’s blog” to find out “for the first time why [he does] the things [he does].”

I also thought it was interesting that a best-selling author was attempting to belittle my website by refusing to even use its name and made a horrendous grammatical error in doing so. So in his comments section I mentioned that his attempt to insult my blog included a grammar mistake [Ray's]. Not five minutes later I received an email from Mr. Hayhurst…

Thanks for the grammar catch— as far as I can tell, it’s the only useful thing you’ve done with print to date.

I criticized one sentence. He criticized my entire career. I’m not going to lie. That stung. I have always thought of this website as something that was useful (hopefully) but not to be taken very seriously. This has never been my “career.” Rather, it is something I do for fun and something that hopefully makes it easier for you guys to learn about your favorite baseball team. I have, on the other hand, written things elsewhere that I am quite proud of. But in one sentence, a best selling author shit all over that.

I responded with a short email telling him I really loved his first book, and that I had given him the benefit of the doubt after many Rays fans had complained. And I said that I was sad things had ended up here. He then responded in a long-winded email accusing me of making this “personal” and he once again belittled my “little fan site.” Honestly, I am not even sure what half of this means…

Stop. Just stop.
You slammed me in your blog based on supposition and misguided conjecture. I retorted. Then you came at me again. You made this personal, I just gave it back to you.
And what is this crap about “what other people said about you…” Please. Like that’s some kind of proof of my character that I should be spurred to moral atonement. You mean other people who also don’t know me, who also base an opinion of me on what they’ve read through various 140 character dispersals? Obviously they’re excellent judges of character with loads of first hand knowledge… I’m just devastated. 
Think of me what you will. I don’t care. Nor should I. Nor should you. The world loves to talk about how tough it is until it’s gets it’s feelings hurt. Then it screams outrage and broken expectations. You liking my work doesn’t mean you have to like me, or that I have to like you.
For the record, I respect what you’ve done with your little fan site. I hope it prospers for you. But don’t come to me fresh from the pig stye and talk about what should be kept sacred.
We’re done here.

Pig stye? Is he saying my website is pig stye or is he saying my life is a pig stye? Either way, I am not sure I have ever had a conversation with an adult in which they insulted me with “pig stye.” But I digress…

The amazing thing is I never thought about Hayhurst at all. I thought about his book. I didn’t slam him based on “supposition and misguided conjecture.” I criticized a piece of writing that he put on the internet.

But  there you go. Dirk Hayhurst, best selling author. Has a book coming out about the Rays. Hates me. Thinks I have never accomplished anything. Thinks my “little fan site” is a pig stye.

If Hayhurst would have just said “don’t worry, the book is balanced,” I would have passed that along to you guys and promised to give him the benefit of the doubt. Instead, I got a full dose of the “deep anger and animosity” he freely admits to having.

But as I told Hayhurst, he need not worry any further. I am done reading his excerpts. I am done commenting on his book. But hey, I can still be a fan of his wife’s work. She seems cool.

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42 Comments

  1. Greg says:

    I'm sure he'll be back to read what else people are writing about him. He's a publicity whore. He's probably reading this right now and hating himself for it. I also have a doctorate in Marine Science, so I appreciate your technical stuff as well. I think it shows how hard it is to hear anything negative about something one has written. You both seem to be taking this too hard. There was nothing you said that should have set him off. And why you would care about what he thinks is beyond me. A "best-selling writer"...please.

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  2. DRR says:

    I, too, enjoyed his first book and was looking forward to be a "inside look" at the Rays. His behavior here, though, is a really big turn-off. Too bad.

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  3. Brianknowsbest says:

    I hope youre taking this guy too seriousily. This is the best blog in sports.

    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. "
    Winston Churchill

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  4. Don says:

    Haven't read all the good stuff, but I find it a confirmation of what I have said on these sites many times, people (fans) think players, managers, "best selling" authors don't know what is being written about them and their performance(s)
    THEY DO, they don't live in caves,
    Fans/blog sites start posting Pena can't hit, Maddon is over rated, Rays are cheap, Dirk can't write...THEY KNOW.... it believe me

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  5. Dre says:

    "it’s gets it’s feelings hurt"

    Should be: it (speaking about a singular subject: the world) gets its (apostrophe is only used for contraction of it is, not possession) feelings hurt.

    there, now I have contributed too.

    This whole exchange is a bit bothersome to me. As reader of your blog and a follower of his on Twitter, I never would've seen this exchange coming to a head the way it has. You both seem to be well-spoken, educated individuals who are passionate about the subjects you write about. While I don't find it problematic that he corrects your misinterpretation of his writings, I have to agree that a personal attack is unnecessary. All I can surmise is that he is so invested in what he writes, he feels that any variation of what he actually meant is personal. But, then being a professional writer probably isn't the best choice of a secondary profession.

    For what it's worth, Mr. Hayhurst, as a Rays fan I am excited an anxious to see what insight you have to offer about the organization. Whether is factual or your own interpretation, it's more than we tend to get from a usually tight-lipped bunch.

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  6. Larry says:

    I always wanted to read his first book because it seemed to be a respectful and entertaining look into the lives and locker rooms of minor league baseball giving us a true feel for what these players are like on an everyday basis. I also enjoyed following him on twitter and hearing the funny things he said throughout his time with the Rays.
    I just want to ask 2 questions: Would his writing about the Rays be different if he was still with the Rays? and Why tell them you won't right about some things if you never intend on following that?
    You do a great job reporting on the Rays and i also enjoy your articles at Business Insider about other topics including baseball in general. I understand you can ignore people's personal attacks to a point, but even the most stout individual can get their feelings hurt at some point, it's human.
    Anyway, I see a lot of this as taking out his anger about how us, your commenters, reacted to your post on you rather than pointing his anger in the proper direction, the fans of the team he kinda sorta blasted and disrespected.

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  7. Geoff Peterson says:

    Rather than funny and quirky, Hayhurst now strikes me as a blowhard tool. It seems he's now taking himself too seriously as an "artist". Too bad.

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  8. Mr Smith 1980 says:

    @Prof

    As one of your most ardent readers over the past 6 years I can say that I am on your side. I do feel, however, that someone at your station in life need not be reduced to defending yourself or your life's work.
    I know coming from a failed Rays blogger that may not mean much, but I can assure you that what you do here is overwhelmingly informative and well-written.

    @Dick...err...umm... Dirk-

    STFU!
    You sir (and I use the term loosely), are simply trying to parlay your microcosmic career into a successful whistle-blowing career a la Conseco; the one major difference being that he could play baseball at the Major League level.
    Scumbags and social slugs make their living by making others look bad; profiting from the loss/defamation of others. You need to remember that your "writing career" was only given legs due to your moderate celebrity whereas truly talented writers rise from obscurity on their own merits and principles. Principles, you know the things you decided to abandon when your word to the Rays became a "I had my fingers crossed" joke to you.
    Stay classy!

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  9. Mr Smith 1980 says:

    @ Prof...

    p.s. so, I guess when I was talking to RV about interviewing Bartlett a few years ago I shouldn't have used you as a "reference"... oops.

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  10. Ricky C says:

    Hey Dick Hayhurst, none of us care what you think of this site or for that matter what you think of us for coming to this site. On the other hand, you have made yourself to be a jacka$$ so for that congratulations.

    I also have to ask you something. In your response you say " There is one thing, however, that I’d like to make clear: as the writer, I’ll write whatever the hell I want. I may not write it well, but the option on content is still mine." Well how is it ok for you to write what you want but for this blog to not, or for that matter we as fans to write what we want in the comments? I'm not a writer so I don't give a rat's butt about grammar and certainly don't come to a baseball blog looking for grammar lessons.

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  11. Joe D. says:

    Prof, keep doing what youdo, you do a great job blogging about the Rays, and I thoroughly enjoy your dedication to all things Rays!

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  12. Mike M says:

    I for one am happy to wallow in this "Pig Stye". Keep up the good work!

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  13. Sandy Kazmir says:

    Dirk Hayhurst only cares about how many copies of his book he can sell. This "feud" only exists due to the adage "any news is good news." It's sad that he couldn't become a drunk or a coach like most of his brethren that failed at the only thing they've ever been good at, but why turn to real work when you can parlay an ability to read and an abundance of stories into a "job?" Takes a big man to snitch on his friends and an even bigger one to say the disgusting things he's said to you, Cork.

    The best revenge is living well and long after his schtick has grown tiresome to the rest of the world you'll still have this hobby and a worthwhile real career that pays the bills. Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you, Garfoose.

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  14. Rome says:

    Sorry I am late on this subject. I can understand where you, professor, can be lead to your conclusions. But, to be honest; Hayhurst carries the same voice that he has with many of the same characters in his book, like his grandmother.

    Perhaps we should just take Hayhurst's excerpts about the rays with a grain of salt like I do when watching an Oliver Stone film.

    When describing Joe Maddon, it's an insight that I know I will never share. I will never be talented enough to be in a Joe Maddon clubhouse. So, it's an interesting observation but, I do not take Dirk's words as "gospel."

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  15. Josh says:

    What a jackass. It really makes me want to go read his book!

    ...said no one- ever.

    I can't speak for the rest of the readers, but I personally look forward to each "Hangover" after the game and enjoy all of your articles. In NO way should this website be referred to so condescendingly.

    Keep up the great work.

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  16. Bill says:

    I would pay money to have access to your articles and site.

    I have spent my last dime on Dick Hayhurst.

    I am curious about the, "I got the response I wanted" comment. So he wrote a book specifically to get a negative response from Rays fans? We are a lot more important that we thought. Or, is he a lot stupider than he thinks ? Perhaps bit of both.

    Another interesting point was the objection to passing judgement on him because you don't know him. Pot, meet kettle. How many days, exactly, did he play under manager Joe Maddon? Probably less than we spent reading his books.

    Again, I maintain that the first book was enjoyable. I laughed and cried. Too bad he doesn't have comfidence enough in his own writing skills to let that stand on its own. He has to write for a "response I was looking for" instead of writing from his heart. Again, pity.

    Cork - you have my persmission to share my email address with Mr. Hayhurst so that he can send me his grammar corrections to my comment of which he does not care. He seems to write about 1600 words about such things. Hate to see what he would write if he did care.

    But here is the most important bit of irony in all of this. Pay close attention! I would not have known about his first book if not for your "little blog". I would not have purchased it nor would I have recommended it to others. You and you alone exposed him to many Rays fans and indirectly to many others. It sure didn't show up on my Amazon recommendations.

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  17. Alex says:

    What an a**hole. F*ck off Hayhurst. You're just butthurt that you sucked as a pitcher and the Rays didn't use you.

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  18. Bill says:

    I realize this is a bit long. But I decided I'm not going to just blow off Hayhurst without giving him direct feedback. It's just who I am. The below is the email exchange I had with him. I think it confirms who the real man ( I use the term loosely) is read from the bottom up since I copied from email.

    ......................................................................................

    On Feb 7, 2013, at 10:12 AM, Bill Carrick wrote:

    ROFLMAO. I keep forgetting how young an inexperienced you really are. One day you'll realize the value you had in feedback like the below. But it will be too late. The most telling thing in all of this... two years ago I emailed you with praise for your book. Didn't even get so much as a one word thanks in response. Today I sent this and I a got a childish response in 4 minutes.

    On Feb 7, 2013, at 10:01 AM, Dirk Hayhurst wrote:

    zzzzzzzz....

    On Feb 7, 2013, at 2:57 PM, Bill Carrick wrote:

    You probably don't realize it, but RaysIndex is directly responsible for many of your book sales to Rays fans. But the folks who visit there are too smart to fall for your claimed intentional attempt at getting a response to spend further on your writing, unfortunately. It's sad yet predictable that things would go this way.

    You have more writing talent than you give yourself credit for. You don't need such antics. The same is true for your pitching. You had more talent than you realized and didn't let the talent work for you. I've earned the right to pass those judgements, or you gave me the right. You decided to be a public image. You decided to pitch and write. I've purchased tickets to watch you pitch. I've purchased your books. I earned the right to judge.

    If we don't know the real you, then you need to understand the difference, not us. You need to understand that we are judging what you've shown us. If there is a different, better you than we know, then you can either wrap yourself up in that knowledge and be OK that we've only judged what you've shown us, or you can think about what you need to do to show us more. You should be above lashing back at a web site and its followers. But alas, you're not. All you've done is proven us right in our minds. A more classy response might have not only proven us wrong and made us feel like the asses, but it might have even solidified some of our loyalty even more.

    Lance Armstrong recently made me question my own judgment. I was a big fan and wanted to believe in his innocence. I also thought you were a good person. But it seems the excepts that brought tears to my eyes in "The Bullpen Gospels", especially the one about giving the disabled kid the baseball, were probably fictitious or embellished from some experience that was your wife's. No way that same guy stooped to the level of personally insulting a web site owners person and career.

    Once proud to call myself a fan,
    Bill Carrick

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    • Bill says:

      I stand corrected. He responded after this with an email that he apparently did respond with to my praise a couple of years ago. I didn't get it for some reason. Hmm. But of course he only used that to hit me with snarkiness. I so still want to be a fan of the guy who wrote the first book. But it seems he is gone and this nasty, insulting smart ass is all that's left. As he pointed out, this has been very traumatic for me. Going to order a lava flow to help me cope as I sit here on this beach on Maui for a couple of more weeks. Oh the trauma.

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    • Bill says:

      Final post on this. Hayhurst and I had another exchange, that was more real and less emotional. Bottom line, I think he's probably a good guy that does care about the fans' and players' perceptions of him. Otherwise he wouldn't have gotten ticked at Cork's post and our quick responses in the comments. He took the time, albeit after a few nudges from me, to really tell me how felt and where he was coming from. I'm just one middle aged mad who shouldn't mean crap to him, a professional pitcher and published author. That's made me rething my judgment amd to give him a pass enough to read the rest of his stuff on my own and form my own opinion about it - an apology for the personal insults to Cork would help. He didn't quite do that in our emails, but he did acknowledge the value in what Cork does.

      Bottom line - he was man enough to communicate with me and show that one fan mattered. That's rare in this world. I say we leave him in and see if he can close this game out on his own. :)

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  19. Don says:

    Poor Dirk, so much criticism for one day, you probably feel like a St. Pete Politician at a Rays Party, just pre ordered your book, want to see how "bad" you are, want a Ghost writer for a few chapters, I have lots of good stuff, we'll call it.... here you get the "rest of the Story"..... email me c/o any Rays blogsites

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  20. Ricky C says:

    I wondered why on his blog post there was nothing but "love posts" for Hayhurst, but I received my answer. I posted a strong but classy response on his message board and come a few hours later magically it has been deleted. Well delete this Hayhurst

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  21. Chris says:

    This exchange seems out of character for Hayhurst. Worrisome. Just for the record, these are apparently excerpts from his fourth book. The first, Bullpen Gospels, was all minor league. The second, "Out of My League" was mostly AAA and mostly 2008. Since he doesn't arrive with the Rays until 2011, I'd expect a bit about time with Blue Jays and surgery, etc. If he's to fill in the gaps. I think he's got a third book (e-book?) that's the stuff that fell out of the first two. He spent most of 2011 wandering around the stands at the DBAP and trying to get his elbow right. "Out of My League" was supposed to have been published that spring, but didn't come out until late 2011/early 2012. He clearly has no idea of the value of this blog, nor has he spent the time to see the contribution that it has made to appreciating the Rays. Too bad. Makes me worry about what he's going to say about his year with the Durham Bulls.

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  22. JoeRaysFan says:

    Cork, I sincerely hope you didn't take a word of this guy's ego-driven anger seriously. First, who compares a blogger to an author? Apples and oranges. And what kind of douche puts out an excerpt, prays like hell it gets attention, and then gets all fourth-grade girl when somebody doesn't like it? The guy didn't even give you the professional courtesy of naming your site in his link. For me, that says it all.

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  23. Dave L says:

    Cmon everybody. The guy is just trying to make a living as a writer, a craft which he spent at least as much energy as a pitcher.

    We are just collectively way too close to the Rays as fans to be objective i think.

    Slow down.

    I have been accused as nut hugging Maddon and the Rays way as much as anyone but I dont see this guys writing as outside the realm of reality.

    We have to realize as Rays fans we are like a family. If these criticisms are leveled by outsiders we dont give a crap. But then we treat Dirk as if he is one of us. He is not. He was a talented (way more than any of us)baseball player who spent his last frustrating year trying to make the ultimate Mr. Feelgood managers team who has a bunch of young hungry mostly underpaid ballpayers buying into his program.

    This is what it looks like to a failure of the "Rays way".

    Dont get offended by it. All that sunny optimism and atta-boy stuff probably wore thin on a AAAA player facing his baseball mortality.

    The man obviously has more talent going forward as a writer than a ballplayer. He spent a fraction of his playing days, the final ones, with the Rays. We dont need to be his enemy as the Rays community.

    I bet if he sticks with the craft he will mellow with age on his Rays experience.

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    • Brianknowsbest says:

      i think youre missing the point. the qualm most people have is not his writing of the rays, but his reaction to cork. it was uncalled for. Joe says it best "he got all fouthgrade girl".

      Like you said he is just trying to make a living,well so is cork. Cork was doing his job, and hay-worst, got downright insulting.

      Proud to be a rayshead!

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      • Dave L says:

        Go read it. He's is talking about all of us not Cork.

        All of the comments sections of the excerpts are totally blank.

        I am trouble finding any of the insults that he wrote in print.

        Cork can you provide the link? Did he edit them?

        The 1600 word essay was mostly a homage to Maddon that would make me blush.

        The insults were directed at our reaction.

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        • Brianknowsbest says:

          read this. and the email he wrote cork. no just what he wrote in the article.

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          • Dave L says:

            Thats personal correspondence so thats between them and doesn't involve us. He didn't call him out in public. His FU was private and that's his right.

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          • Cork Gaines says:

            I don't have a personal relationship with Mr. Hayhurst. So there is nothing more or less "personal" or "private" about an email conversation than if I was on the field with a microphone in his face.

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          • Chris G. says:

            You realize how ironic your comment is, right? But I am guessing Cork never said he wouldn't write about the "private" conversation.

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  24. Erik says:

    This is petty. The whole thing. You would think two people could have a private disagreement.

    Honestly, you opened the door first, but that's your prerogative. He simply responded in a critical manner to your critique of his writing. No one likes being misunderstood. He also did it in a public forum, so, I guess you were both being childish.

    First time I've ever visited this website, though. So, maybe you'll see more traffic now.

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  25. ChrisStilwell says:

    Before I make any form of judgement either way for the record Rays Index is my favourite Rays blog! I visit on a daily basis I particurlaly like "The Good The Bad and The Telling!" during the season! This is an excellent site I have much to be grateful to Cork Gaines for and would like to take this opportunity to thank him!

    I also admire Dirk Hayhurst really enjoyed his first book (The second is still on my wish list) and visit his site regularly. I have read the aforementioned articles and my "Take on it" is Dirk is an admirer of Joe Maddon OK he doesnt think he is a genius, so what? Reading the number of pieces on his site about Joe you come away with a really positive picture, if you read the pieces all the way through, well at least I did!

    I think that Cork may be a little over sensitive or perhaps hes playing this situation the publicity way, I read the whole piece and my take was that the article on this site wasnt mentioned much more than "in passing" Writers here are far more vitriolic about Mr Hayhurst than he has ever been about the Rays in any of his articles. Dont take my word for it check them out youself on www.dirkhayhurst.com (go to "blog" and then search them on "Cloud tags" on the right hand side).

    Come on guys & gals this is a great site and Dirk Hayhurst is an interesting informative and entertaining writer, theres room in cyberspace for both! Please Cork keep up the good work!

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  26. Dave L says:

    Well for most of my adult life there were players, there were fans and there were journalists.

    Hayhurst is an ex ball player and now he is an author.

    I tend to view you Cork as a journalist. An email is a private conversation like that of a phone call or a letter back in the day. When one makes public those personal insults, slights etc. that may occur in private, it just tends to diminish all parties involved.

    Sports reporters have taken all kinds of crap from the athletes they cover for decades, they never publish it in real time. You only get to read about them decades later when they recall it with a chuckle. If we read everything that was hurled at them it would be endless.

    Ask any beat writer how many atheletes have told them what they write is garbage. It comes with the territory.

    You have to develop a thick skin to that kind of stuff.

    I guess in this TMZ world things are different but I am an old fogey i guess.

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  27. Don says:

    Looks like two (somewhat ) media people slinging mud, neither ducks too well, so settle by he said, (s)he said, who cares..? grow up and write your "stuff" so we can call a spade a spade in your "comment' section

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  28. JIMMY G says:

    Well I think that his age has something to do with his Bravado in his "retort", he's a mere boy in life experience, give him another 20 years to grow up and I think he will see things a bit differently. When you think of the "usual" ex-Pro or "semi-pro" athlete, the thought of being mature in "real" life experience is lacking, and the reaction is probably due to this. These guys are coddled from the age of 10 when the Travel-Ball guys come calling and mom and dad see $ in their heads. Maybe that is why he is a bit of a brat. But also, this BLOG shouldn't care about being criticized this is what you do, be thankful for that.

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  29. Dax says:

    FWIW, I left a comment on his blog page saying that I thought that he was taking himself far too seriously and he deleted it! What a DB.

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  30. Dave says:

    WOW. I was going to give his books a chance, but not now.

    He is a bitter pissed off person. I guess because he didn't make it MLB, but who knows. Maybe he was always like that and THAT is why he didn't make it.

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  31. Brendan says:

    I just had a similar run-in with him just now, though not to your extent. I saw an article he had written had some egregious grammatical errors -- hey, it happens to me, too -- and I put on twitter that he should look up the difference between then and than, and affect and effect. Got me called a troll. And blocked. I proofread for a living and hate to see an "author" be so sloppy. Maybe I wasn't as gentle as I could have been but apparently I'm not the only one he's overreacted to. He's a bit of a sensitive oddball with bad grammar. I'll still listen to the Jays' broadcasts but will steer clear of his books.

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