As has been discussed previously on these pages, when I’m not not fulfilling my duties as Associate Editor of Sactown Royalty, I am "working" for the state of California. There are myriad reasons why working for the state is a sterling job. Four furlough days a month immediately comes to mind (and yes, I realize we’re all over paid anyway, I read the comments at the Bee, it should be noted my family writes a bulk of those comments) but in close competition is the painfully Catch 22esque bureaucracy I am forced to navigate on an hourly basis. Even if you aren’t in civil service you’re probably all too familiar to that which I’m referring. It’s the sort of painful Colonel Cathcart logic that comes down from Administration and tells you the soda machine in the basement that’s been broken for a decade can’t be fixed because of an outstanding contract or that your reimbursement request for the EconoLodge in Riverside can’t be processed because Econo Lodge is actually two words, not one. Think cover sheets on TPS reports. The point is no one likes a yard duty, or as Michael Scott’s relationships have shown us, only a Dwight Schrute likes a yard duty, and as a consequence I’ve always been a bit uneasy about being this page’s ombudsman, even if that title and task were self appointed.
I bring this all up as a roundabout way of addressing a site-wide issue. There is a fine line, a distinct but elusive discrepancy, between simply offering information and ideas and offering said information and ideas substantively. This is particularly an issue during the time from late-May through early August when our attention is focused on the draft and free agency. The reasons why this is an issue are obvious. During the regular season, when discussing games, playing time, substitution patterns, defense, a writer can point to tangible evidence to prove their point. They could be wrong, but in that case the issue of right or wrong is one of perception. I may think Thompson needs more minutes at small forward, K Fan in Korea may not, but at least we both have an educated opinion. Because so much of the information disseminated leading up to the draft and through the off season is some combination of speculation and speculating on speculation substantive discourse is impossibility.
This can be problematic. This page exists, after all, as a tonic to the other message boards and call in shows with their dozens of inquiries and observations like "Why don’t we just trade Garcia straight up for Devin Harris? New Jersey needs three point shooters!" Or "Geoff Petrie just destroyed this franchise for all eternity by not taking Henk Norel with the second round pick." And 89.9% of the time this blog accomplishes its intentions. However popularity breeds unfamiliarity. Newcomers to STR, while welcome in the warmest of ways, may not always be familiar with the page’s more cerebral tendencies. This doesn’t mean a post has to be as urbane as Section 214’s or exhaustive as Pookey’s, it simply means that as a rule of thumb the readers of this page would prefer something more informative than "HEY GUYS wE shld drft RUBIO!!!! wHat do you think?!?!?!?!" I don’t dispute the fact that post writing isn’t easy. It isn’t. That’s why my mine manifest quarterly. But that doesn’t change the necessity that if writing make sure there is there there.
As a template, reference Aykis 16, who has done an exceedingly good job, particularly lately, of writing pieces that add substance to speculation make sense of the nonsensical.
MÁRGARÉT, áre you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
—Gerard Manley Hopkins