A this point, I'm not terribly surprised when the editors decide not to post something (as I've mentioned in the past, from friends and my own articles) since there is no rhyme or reason what HuffPo will decide not to publish. And because they pretty much never respond -- and never explain why -- I've yet to find someone who understands the rationale. Assuming there is a rationale.
What did surprise me though was the email I got back from the Blog Team. It read, almost whimsically --
Dear Robert J. Elisberg,
We appreciate you taking the time to submit your most recent post. Before we can move forward, please provide hyperlinks to verify any statistics, figures, factual assertions, medical claims, research mentioned or quotes in the piece.
Thank you very much
Huffington Post blog team
I will admit at this point to staring at the screen for a moment, before shaking my head and rolling my eyes. My first reaction was to write back, "Are you freaking kidding me??!! Medical claims? Factual assertions? It was an article about baseball statistics. Do you seriously think I made them all up, pulled them out of my rear?? If I said that Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, would you like verification on that???"
I opted instead for a slightly less-angry reply, though I was still trying to control my rolling eyes. After all...it was just baseball statistics, there were a LOT of them, and I do this for free -- and have done so on the Huffington Post for almost a decade. having had numerous articles on the homepage of the site. I thought that, among other things, I'd built up at least a little bit of credibility over that time. And while I do understand that political analysis can be something that gets subjective and might require meaningful substantiation...this was baseball stats.
I figured that, at this point, it was a lost cause, but did want to send them at least something.
Dear Blog Team,
Thank you for the note, though it seems auto-generated, since it’s not only a little bewildering, but more to the point asks me to provide information yet has a “No-Reply” return address. I’m writing instead to the separate Blog Team address which I hope is acceptable.
Anyway, in regards to the question asked me, with all due respect – I quoted baseball statistics about home runs, not medical claims. While I understand your request, I’m sure you’ll respect that I don’t get paid enough to research and then write that long article, and then go back and re-research all the individual links to baseball stats. Hopefully, after nine years and 872 articles I’ve written for the Huffington Post, I’ve built up enough credibility for the editors who know me to trust that I’ve gotten the number of home runs and strikeouts correct.
The best I can do somewhat quickly is provide two links –
This lists season-leaders for striking out –
And this is the link I used for each individual player –
Hopefully this will suffice. If not, and you can’t post the article, which I think is pretty interesting, thoughtful and newsworthy, it will be unfortunate, but that’s life.
Robert J. Elisberg
It will not shock you to learn (since it didn't shock me, but a guy can dream...) that I didn't get a reply. Nor did I get a reply when I wrote back to explain and reiterate that those two links I sent actually covered all the statistics I had quoted. Everything came from Baseball-Reference.com. So, as I made clear in my follow-up, I had sent them everything they asked for (even if not as 20 separate links), and everything I sent was 100% accurate.
Over the past week, I've written repeatedly to the editors reiterating the links and that all the information is accurate. The article -- about baseball strikeouts! -- has not only I've yet to be posted, I've yet to get a reply back.
And no, I don't expect do.
Add another strikeout to the list...
Again, for those who missed the earlier, groundbreaking, tear-the-cover-off-the-truth piece about baseball statistics, you can read it here
For those looking for medical claims, you'll have to wait for due diligence to be completed by the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine. I have some controversial claims about the impact of repeated stress disorder on the force of a batter's swing...