Today’s hate mail

I get a bit of hate mail from time to time. Not a lot. And even when I do get it, most of it is couched in at least a core of a legitimate complaint. And I usually take it in pretty good cheer.

This one that just came in didn’t really have a core of a legitimate complaint. I mean, there are many factual assertions in there – I do mix it up with readers, my comments section does occasionally get chippy, I have, from time to time, had little pissy battles with various other sports writers and I was, very briefly, considered for a job at ESPN – but this one is just odd.

The things the guy complains of are, if legitimate, old, old news that, if they really bothered him, would have caused him to abandon the site a year or two ago. The reference to NBC’s baseball content pre-me is also weird because there wasn’t any. Really. It was just AP wire stuff.

But you know what? I still kind of love it.  For reasons I can’t explain, this little bit of bile made me kind of happy. Oh well.
The baseball portion of the NBC sports online operation is, and has been, going in the wrong direction for a long time.  The day your Mr. Calcaterra came in full-time, in my opinion, it began its slide.

In a matter of months, the entire tone of this website changed from one of joy to one of contempt, disgust and insults. Mr. Calcaterra, who at one time wrote humorously, apparently now prides himself on finding the lowest common denominator to not only write about, but to solicit as readers. And he has done an admirable job.

Read the comments sections now, vis a vis days past. These days, the comments are – in many cases – from apparent paranoids intent on insulting each other. And in large part, your Mr. Calcaterra is responsible for this. Go back and read any criticism of Mr. Calcaterra. Any minor comment, no matter how insignificant, brings about a vicious attack from your Mr. Calcaterra.

It is obvious that he brings this on himself. One day he describes himself as a “highly-paid, high-powered attorney”, the next day he’s off driving his Honda and regaling readers with tales of his hapless plight as a non-partner associate at some Columbus, Ohio law firm. But don’t
criticize him. That’s not his style. His style is to launch a hate campaign against one of Sports Illustrated’s baseball reporters, for some unspecified reason. I doubt if John Heyman cares, but to readers who originally followed your website to enjoy baseball – it brings up some very dark questions.

I realize Mr. Calcaterra was not considered for the ESPN job, but to take it out on other reporters for no reason is non-sensical.  I do not enjoy reading your website any more.  I do not enjoy reading comments from your – now – pack of ranting paranoids.

In fact, I am out. If you should persuade Mr. Calcaterra to return to his strength – writing humor – you might be able to right the ship, but at this late date, I am afraid that NBC Sports has done themselves in.

Craig Calcaterra

Craig is the author of the daily baseball (and other things) newsletter, Cup of Coffee. He writes about other things at He lives in New Albany, Ohio with his wife, two kids, and many cats.

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