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  1. In an article about parsing language, it’s disappointing to see “apropos” misused. It means “regarding” or “concerning,” not “appropriate” or “relevant.”

    Comment by O's Fan — December 6, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  2. *sob*

    Comment by Tim Dierkes — December 6, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  3. Apropos, the usage of “apropos” in this piece was very much apropos, apropos the adjective form of “apropos”.

    Comment by Persona non grata — December 6, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  4. On the other hand, I have a sudden compulsion to read Aubrey/Maturin novels whilst listening to eighteenth-century string quartets.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — December 6, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

  5. But guys, don’t you know? Long words and unnecessary modifiers equal good writing!

    I will let Fire Joe Morgan say it as only they can:

    “If I ever seriously wrote something like [this article], my next move would be to throw on my favorite Sunny Day Real Estate B-Side (I don’t know, maybe “Spade and Parade”) and promptly blow my brains out.”

    Comment by Oscar — December 6, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  6. This notion brings up an interesting question for me. If we’re thinking about the Bolsheviks and their stark break from traditional foreign policy approaches, we should add a fifth possibility for all statements, which is to keep peers in your own organization off balance. They were of course notorious backstabbers. The rhetorical trickery that they took to another level was really a defense mechanism as conducting actual foreign policy that would protect the lives of millions of people was often a logical contradiction from ideology.

    So maybe not to quite the same extreme, but I wonder if some execs talk nonsense in the press also to protect their rear flank. Surely there are people within every org who grab the attention of ownership or those responsible for hiring the GM. I really hope palace intrigue is part of all the rubbish flowing from Dayton Moore’s mouth, meaning he is likely gone very soon.

    Comment by Paul — December 6, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  7. I’ve noticed that the whole point of comment sections on Internet articles is to give an opportunity, for folks who haven’t worked hard to provide free content, to feel good about themselves by tearing down whatever’s offered. Picking at grammar and word choice is an excellent way to do this!

    Comment by Bookbook — December 6, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  8. You play an important role in the process, Tim. (I realize that it is possible that you are not Tim Dierkes, because this is an internet comment thread, but I will respond to you either way.) You gather the whole conversation into a single, easy-to-follow place, and when a deal is consummated, it is very easy to go back and see the entire narrative as you’ve tracked it.

    However, in the middle of the process, it’s very hard to determine which of the bids are bogus and which are legit. And that is by the design of the players.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 6, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

  9. That was a great piece. I miss FJM. Here’s the link.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 6, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

  10. That’s a great point, Paul. I think most baseball organizations are more strictly hierarchical than the Central Committee of the Communist Party, where factions constantly dueled. But there have certainly been baseball putsches and palace intrigues in the past, particularly with the Yankees, where there have always been Steinbrenner people (like Randy Levine) and front office people (like Brian Cashman).

    Of course, it’s obviously easier to intrigue through leaks than through on-the-record quotes. And it’s very likely that many leaks are meant to undercut other people within a given organization. It’s just that undercutting leaks don’t usually concern player acquisition. They’re more likely to be about existing personnel — like the Red Sox chicken and beer story.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 6, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  11. The one thing I don’t see written in the article that I believe would be relevant would be player’s agents trying to muster up interest in their client. For example, the Mariners were linked to Mike Napoli but it was believed that this was to put pressure on Boston to increase their offer.

    Comment by Average_Casey — December 6, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  12. Great piece. Beautifully written, too.

    Comment by ACM — December 6, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

  13. That’s a good point. That certainly happens too. Scott Boras is particularly well known for using any and all means to gin up interest in his clients.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 6, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

  14. You can’t criticize it because it free! And you obviously don’t work hard if all you do is sit around commenting on articles. You probably live in your mom’s basement like all those other internet nerds! Quite simply, no one has any right to have a problem with this piece, no matter how overly verbiose or uninteresting it is. The things managers say to the press aren’t always true? I don’t believe you.

    Comment by Zack — December 6, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

  15. “Are you being sarcastic, dude?”
    “I don’t even know any more.”

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 6, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  16. An article which mentions my two obsessions, baseball and Napoleonic fiction.
    There is most certainly a greater power… and his name is Stephen Maturin.

    Comment by J A B — December 6, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  17. Fresh off of
    ap·ro·pos [ap-ruh-poh]
    3. opportune; pertinent: apropos remarks.

    Comment by swainzy — December 6, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

  18. What about GM’s like AA and Dombrowski who literally say nothing yet also don’t acknowledge rumors? They don’t confirm or deny them, they just let them swirl

    Comment by j6takish — December 6, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

  19. I don’t think that’s right. I’m almost certain that Apropos one of the stage bosses in Double Dragon. Big guy, very strong, use kicks and move vertically to avoid his powerful attacks. :)

    Comment by B N — December 6, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  20. Oh, Dombrowski denies stuff all the time, to the point at which his denials are usually regarded by Tiger fans as a sign of interest. If he ever wants to amuse himself by panicing Tiger fans, let him deny planning to trade Verlander and M. Cabrera to the Yankees for a backup catcher . . .

    Comment by rea — December 7, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  21. Here, from Garner’s Modern American Usage, Third Edition, from the OUP. Apologies for typos, I typed this out for your edification.

    “Apropos (of). Both the long form (apropos of) and the short form (apropos) are generally unnecessary, though they might prove serviceable in informal letters. Apropos of (suggested by the French phrase a propos de) – meaning “with respect to” – is well established in English. Yet the Gallicism apropos may be used as a preposition to mean “concerning.”

    “The word is sometimes misused for appropriate, adj., a mistake usually signaled by the use of to. Apropos for appropriate is a rejected use.”

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — December 7, 2012 @ 10:42 am

  22. Underrated comment B N, if I could, I would do the team high five they used in that awfully good double dragon movie.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — December 7, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  23. Funnily enough, you can watch the entire movie online.

    Comment by Alex Remington — December 7, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  24. don’t you mean panitching Tiger fans?

    Comment by Mike Green — December 7, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

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