I’m not a negative person nor do I enjoy stirring up negativity towards anyone or anything unless I really feel doing so is justified. (I trust my posts here have made that clear.) But there’s something going on in the Cubs blogosphere right now that I think deserves the attention of every knowledgeable Cubs fan.

As I first mentioned here some weeks ago, Tribune beat reporter Paul Sullivan took it upon himself to block several (perhaps many) Cubs fans from his Twitter feed – apparently because we dared take issue with his utterly pathetic and unprofessional handling of the Milton Bradley story from start to finish (though it’s hardly over from Sullivan’s perspective). Those of us who were banned fumed about it momentarily and then moved on. Like I said at the time, it’s not like we can’t get the same or better info from Gordon Wittenmyer or Carrie Muskat. And, honestly, those of us who follow the team closely and have any working knowledge of the game whatsoever know that Bruce Miles is really the only beat reporter this town needs to begin with.

In any case, the Sullivan Problem exploded again yesterday on a couple of other Cubs blogs. First and foremost, see Tim McGinnis’ blog here. He sums up the issue quite well. And, most interestingly of all, a commenter implying close familiarity with Sullivan was kind enough to post several comments in defense of his good buddy. That defense revealed a staggering lack of understanding of the fundamental difference between professional journalism and fan-based blogging, as it included the following question/statement:

Why should newspapers be held to different standards than blogs?

I don’t even know where to begin with this statement. Because professional journalism should mean something? Because it should aspire to the highest levels of truth and objectivity? Because you’re asking us to buy your freaking product?! (Oh, and that product is dying by the way…for a reason.)

I guess we should be flattered that Paul Sullivan is so envious of the freedom bloggers enjoy that he has deigned to join our ranks. There’s just one last step you need to take, Paul: Give up your paycheck and stop calling yourself a journalist. And if your employers at the Tribune are telling you to “write like a blogger,” try to grasp the concept that “being a blogger” doesn’t necessarily require being negative at every opportunity and taking on personal vendettas against Cubs players – no matter how much of a jerk they might be in the clubhouse. Just an FYI.

The cause has also been taken up here on Another Cubs Blog, where mb21 makes several other important points about just where and how Paul Sullivan has gone wrong and essentially poisoned his relationship with the very fans he should trying to impress.

To sum up, I’d just like to reiterate the request I previously made to all Cubs fans: Boycott Paul Sullivan. Don’t buy his newspaper and don’t give his articles or blogposts your hits. And if you follow him on Twitter and have the great fortune of not yet being blocked, unfollow him. It’s really nothing personal, Paul. I have no reason to dislike you other than the exceedingly bad attitude and lack of professionalism you’ve shown in your work. It’s really rather amusing – you sought to ally yourself with the blogosphere with your snark but you’ve only turned us against you.

Here’s a few other stories* (besides the prospective Millar signing covered in Mark’s post) to check out today:

Aaron Miles is back in the NL Central! Woo-hoo! In a rather bizarre trade yesterday, the Reds sent light-hitting speedster Willy Taveras and infielder Adam Rosales to the Oakland A’s for our favorite 2009 punching bag Aaron Miles and that mythical slugger PTBNL. (Oakland GM Billy Beane then almost immediately DFA’d Taveras.) The Reds now have a fairly old infield - with Scott Rolen at third, Orlando Cabrera (also signed yesterday) at shortstop and Brandon Phillips at second. (Cubs killer Joey Votto at first is the lone exception. Er, well, on second thought, Brandon Phillips will be only 29 this year.) An injury to any of those starters could force allow Dusty Baker to give Aaron Miles significant playing time a la Neifi Perez in 2005.

Reed Johnson has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This Bruce Levine article from yesterday states the deal is pending a physical, but the latest word on Twitter is that RJ did, in fact, pass that physical and is now a Dodger. I’d guess most Cubs fans are somewhat sad to see Reed go. He’s one of those players who is virtually impossible to dislike: Plays hard, plays just about anywhere, great facial hair. Unfortunately, his skill set is somewhat limited. He’s effective at the plate mainly against left-handed pitching and, despite some spectacular plays in the field, his only really outstanding defensive position appears to be left field (per UZR, at least). He’s also been nagged by his surgically repaired back and other unlucky injuries (namely, the foul-ball induced broken foot last season). Anyway, Reed should be pleased playing for the team he grew up rooting for. Good luck, RJ!

It’s Groundhog’s Day! You know what that means, right? No, I’m not referring to Punxsutawney Phil nor the great Bill Murray movie. I’m talking about Mark Prior’s annual comeback bid! It’s on, people. Again. (Actually this story is a few days old but, as I mentioned on Twitter, Prior’s agent REALLY should’ve tied this to Groundhog’s Day.)

Lane Tech high school may get a Wrigley Field replica. The Cubs are working with the Chicago Park District to possibly build it. Hey, why not. Between this and the new spring training facility in Mesa, the Cubs should get some kind of construction industry award. Oh, and no word yet on whether Lane Tech will upgrade their boys’ bathrooms to include troughs. C’mon, troughs and high school students – what could go wrong?

*As always, the bolded phrase leading off each paragraph is a hyperlink.

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