Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Thou Shalt Not Steal!

Look! A photo I did not take! Let's give credit where it is due: Photo taken by Kelly O'Connor @ sittingstill.smugmug.com and used with permission. See how easy that was?

So today is the day!  The day when pitchers and catchers are expected to report to Fort Myers (which, loosely translated, means they have to let the team know they’re in town since they don’t get down to business, really, until Tuesday).  We’ve waited for this day since October and it is here.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be happy about yet another milestone on the way to Opening Day!

I thought it a good time to bring up one of my greatest pet peeves.  It’s gone beyond being a peeve and it as become a genuine concern.  I’ve beaten folks over the head with my rants on this before and here I go again…stealing off the Internet.

A couple of months ago, my friend Kelly O’Connor discovered that a contributor to Wikipedia had gone through her photos, used one for just about each Red Sox player and posted them on Wikipedia without crediting Kelly as the photographer.  That would have been bad enough, but this same person gave herself the photographer’s credit and gave permission for anyone to use the photos anywhere they wanted.  I think you have to be some kind of major league ass to do something like that.  But she was an anonymous major league ass.  She was a nobody who made herself feel better by taking credit for someone else’s work.  It was a lousy thing to do. It was also difficult to blame an actual person since we never found out who this person really was.  Fortunately for Kelly, Wikipedia eventually responded to her, deleted the photos and banned the user (when, really, what Kelly was looking for was her fair credit and a retraction of giving away the rights.  Something that was too late anyway since other sites had seen the photos and used them thinking they had the legal right to do so).

When I first started blogging I lifted photos all the time.  Initially, it didn’t occur to me that something I saw online needed to be credited back.  My ignorance stuns me now, but it was there.  If I used a photo where the photographer was specifically pointed out, I’d write somewhere in the post where I got it from.  But I was just as likely to Google a player’s name, find a photo already with no credit and use it again.  At the time, I didn’t even realized people were reading the blog.  As soon as I started to be aware of my audience, I started to realize that I shouldn’t be taking something and passing it off as mine (I never took credit for any photo that wasn’t mine but by using a photo and not crediting someone you are, basically, doing just that).  So now it feels like life’s work to educate those online about not stealing someone’s photographs.

Last night, Kelly showed me the Flickr page of another talented sports photographer.  Her handle is slidingsideways and she shoots both the Red Sox and the Bruins.  Hockey fans, especially, should check out her work because it’s pretty damned good.  So good, in fact, that folks over at NESN have been lifting some of her photos and not giving her credit.

NESN? Seriously?  NESN doesn’t have an official photographer who covers the sports that NESN airs nightly? NESN can’t afford to have a subscription to Getty Images?  NESN has to go trolling for photos on Flickr?  Not much surprises me any more, but this certainly did.  (Since being made aware that the photographer was not happy with their use of her photos without any credit, one article now has a different photo and another has a credit at the end of the piece.  Yes, NESN chose to pull a photo rather than just caption it with the photographer’s name.)

When I was at WEEI.com, I never found out where they got the photos they used but I do know that I never used Getty Images officially (hell, I had to bring up the subject of photos and giving credit to Rob Bradford during our first meeting).  I used Kelly’s photos and Kelly signed an agreement with them to give them permission for me to use them.  Something we had to push for in order to protect Kelly’s interests.  She didn’t get paid for them but she got credit.  Recently, I was invited to contribute to another website. I wrote a handful of pieces for them but ultimately decided I didn’t have the time to spend there and appreciatively bailed out.  This site is new and is trying to make money to become a contender and I respect that, but they too make it a habit of getting their pictures from Flickr without giving any credit.  It’s a practice I’m completely uncomfortable with and everyone else should be as well.

Most people who post their photos online are thrilled when someone expresses an interest in using their photos.  Everyone wants their work appreciated.  And most of the photographers I know don’t even expect payment for someone to use their work…they just want the proper credit (and a heads up…it helps if you ask for permission to use the photo…it’s the professional thing to do).  If you credit a photographer (but giving a link to where you found their work!) you’re helping them gain an audience.  It doesn’t cost you anything and since you’re using their photos it helps you both.

WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT FOR EVEN MAINSTREAM SITES TO UNDERSTAND?

Today marks a day that we start to see photos flooding out of Fort Myers.  I love looking at the photos of the guys getting back to work…the professional and the amateur photos.  So if you have a blog, or just like to post photos on your Twitter or Facebook feed, please remember to give the photographer proper credit.  It’s the least we can do for the people sharing their work with us.

February 13, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , | 11 Comments

Snowy Thursday

From March 2006/One of my favorite of Kelly's Spring Training Photos from the archives

Truck Day will be upon us in two week’s time.

Because of this fact, I should be more inspired to write about baseball but listening to the plows go by my house and watching the snow pile up in feet around me is making it difficult to get inspired about the boys of summer.

If you, like me, are in need of friendly reminders that it will not always be white and cold outside and some day SOON there will be baseball played in Boston again, you might want to go to Kelly O’Connor’s SmugMug site where she has not only all of her photos from 2010, but ALL of her photos.  Kelly has spent the better part of this snowy month updating her archives so folks don’t have to switch back and forth from her new site to the sittingstill site to see her wonderful photographs.  The best part?  Now her site is entirely searchable!  You can search by keywords (including player’s names or phrases like “don’t touch his head” and, one of my favorites,  “j.d. does so smile“), you can comment on the photos and vote for your favorites as well.

It’s a great way to spend a snowy day when you’re longing for green grass and baseball!

January 27, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , | 3 Comments

Got arrested for inciting a peaceful riot

Now if you're going to lift a photo I screengrabbed of Kyle Snyder - why not pick THIS one?

Now if you're going to lift a photo I screen grabbed of Kyle Snyder - why not pick THIS one?

You know what makes me weary?  People taking credit, even if it’s in a  passive way (that is to say they don’t directly take the credit but they don’t ever GIVE the credit to the person deserving of it) for something that isn’t theirs.  In the blogging world this happens a lot.  Not as much as it used to but it’s still out there in various forms. (There was a time when there was a woman blogging about the Red Sox and she liberally “borrowed” actual entries or passages from entries of a handful of popular Sox bloggers and tried to pass them off as her own.  The Red Sox blogosphere came down hard and this woman was harassed into having to write her own stuff or stop writing altogether.)

Writers take their work seriously, even if what they write isn’t that serious.  And it makes sense.  I can tell you that even for a quick paragraph or two here it takes me a while to get what I want out.  I put a lot of thought and work into whatever I write.  Most people do.  But writing isn’t the only important part of most blogs –  (I know a lot of you know what’s coming next) – photographs are a huge part of what makes many blogs successful.  (I say many because there are plenty of blogs that don’t use photos and just report what they want to report but there are MORE blogs that use photos as well as words to illustrate their point.)

It seems a lot of people are under the impression that if you can find it in a Google search it’s yours to use.  I’m not here to even try to discuss the legalities of using the work of other people without giving credit.  Let’s just focus on the integrity of someone willing to pass off someone else’s work as their own.

But first, here’s the obligatory, “This is going to be a long one, folks” warning.

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March 9, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , | 2 Comments

It's funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word

Three straight days of too much fun coupled with a cold to beat the band has left me wiped. So, for now, let me wish everyone a happy Memorial Day and offer my thanks to the men and women who have given their lives for our country – and to those still out there risking their lives for all of us.

I took some decent shots yesterday and put them up on Picasa (see below). Enjoy!

And don’t forget – Sox on NESN at 2pm today!

Mets at Sox

May 25, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | | Leave a comment

She made the gang sing this song

Citi Field. Taken, as all the photos here are, by me.

This weekend has flown by and in a few hours the event we’ve been clamoring for will be upon us: Opening Day at Fenway (and all around MLB)!

A happy Justin Masterson.

Being at Citi Field absolutely made me realize how much I missed baseball. It was also my first real taste of Mets fans and I have to say that, on the whole, I really enjoyed them. I was a little surprised that they were booing Oliver Perez in the first inning of an exhibition game on Saturday but the other side of that showed itself the night before when they went wild for both JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez. When, suddenly, all the Mets fans left at Citi Field on Friday night stood up, I had no idea what was coming. Then KellyO pointed out the bullpen door opening and K-Rod running out. The reaction of the fans gave me chills. It was special to be able to witness their first sighting of him in a Mets uniform (in the new park!).

Mr. Met – packing heat.

So many random things happened this weekend. A (seemingly) homeless man passed us at South Station before we left on Friday and muttered “Red Sox!” at us. Mind you, neither of us had any Sox gear on at the time. (It came full circle when I was crossing the street in New York to get to Penn Station and a man walked by me and yelled “Yankees!” in my ear.) We were constantly being reminded to “watch the gap” when getting on and off the trains. Amtrak (and the LIRR) is quite serious about this. Sadly, I watched the gap all weekend long and nothing seemed to happen. False advertising if you ask me.

I was disappointed that Kyle Snyder didn’t make the trip but am hopeful that he was still in Florida. Because, really, if he wasn’t going to be able to play at the new park this weekend, at least he could be enjoying nice weather while some of his new teammates froze their butts off.

Julio Lugo taking autograph requests.

Julio Lugo seems to be trying his best to keep up a positive front. On Friday night, from clear across the park, we noticed someone in the Red Sox dugout tossing baseballs to the fans. Turns out it was Lugo, taking baseballs from the fans and signing them. He then started tossing gum to the kids behind the dugout (at one point motioning for the bucket of gum!). On Saturday, he was out there signing autographs again and chatting up pretty much everyone he came upon. It was like Sean Casey all over again!

Watching Jed Lowrie hit a grand slam – even in an exhibition game – is possibly one of the coolest things I’ve witnessed on a road trip! Everyone on the team seemed to be pretty jacked up for him. There was a small part of me that felt sorry for Perez but mostly I was just really happy to see the team doing well. A split was fine with me.

Jon Lester? Not so impressive this weekend. Daisuke Matsuzaka? He was just fabulous wasn’t he? He just oozed confidence as well – especially when he fielded the two balls that he did. Ice water in his veins, I’m telling you. Also, David Ortiz looks to be in tip-top shape. It’s always tough to tell how his weight is with the way he wears his uniforms but I’ll tell you this: watching him run from first to third in one smooth motion with no chugging along or huffing and puffing once he passed second was very telling. I can’t remember ever seeing him run the bases so effortlessly and it impressed me greatly.

Daisuke Matsuzaka explaining that the bases loaded thing was all part of his plan.

Because of technology issues on Saturday, I was without the use of my cell phone. This caused issues where I was supposed to meet up with Metsgrrl and finally get to say “hello” (Metsgrrl is now in Cincinnati for the Mets/Reds games this week!) It also caused me to miss some stellar texting from friends. I feel the need to defend Citi Field and the Mets by saying if it wasn’t for the insane winds, there would have been no garbage on the fields on Saturday. The park is spotless (well, except for a couple of sketchy bathrooms) and I really enjoyed it so I hated the idea that the game airing nationally was the one where there was trash blowing all about. (Did MLBN get Papi holding on to Alex Cora’s pocket at third base and stuffing it full of garbage? Papi was the most diligent of the players, really wanting to get the trash gone!)

I know I’ve missed things to touch upon so I’ll send you here and here to see the rest of the better photos I took this weekend. I’m using a new camera and still playing with settings and such, so the pictures won’t be professional grade but I like them!

To celebrate the beginning of the season, here is my favorite version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Hope everyone enjoys the day!

April 6, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | Leave a comment

I see your face every time I dream. On every page, every magazine.

The only 2009 Photo Day photo I’ve found that I like. (When is Photo Day for the Mets?) Photo taken by Chris Graythen /Getty Images. I try not to use these photos but am making an exception today. I promise I won’t make a habit of it!

According to Chris Forsberg over at boston.com, today is photo day for the Red Sox. I love photo day. Not only is that the day they take the still photos that will be used for the year (I’m a sucker for racing to redsox.com when they put up the new headshots every year) but it’s also when they record the videos you see on the scoreboard during the game. (“And in the nine-spot, there is NO SMOKING at Fenway Park“). I love that stuff. Every year I think about writing to the Red Sox to see if I can get a copy of those videos somehow. I think it would make for interesting viewing. But I’ve never gotten off my butt and done it so I don’t imagine I will this year either.

I wonder how long taking all the photos and shooting the videos runs them? Forsberg writes that the media doesn’t have the same access this morning as they usually do…and he also writes that the Sox will take the field at 9am for their “normal” practice session. So what time do they make the players show up to do all this, 7am? That would suck the fun right out of it for me.

Quick note on Kyle Snyder…still no updates but the Mets have announced their pitchers for next week and on Tuesday he’ll throw two innings in an intrasquad game and then on Thursday he’ll be one of 7 pitchers going against the Marlins. Sending PVs Kyle’s way that he pitches well and stays healthy.

I had considered writing about the schadenfreude that is A*Rod right now. And, don’t get me wrong, it’s at the point where I’m now enjoying the unraveling going on here. After that performance the other day, he deserves all the bad that falls upon him. (But, hey, the fans are still supporting him. The same fans who can boo Jeter for going through a bad spell are bringing signs to Spring Training games showing Slappy how much they love him.) The problem is, you can’t just glance over the stories about A*Rod and this trainer without looking at the other names of the players attached to him. Granted, training with the guy and having him secretly travel around with you are two VERY different situations. But I’m not going to just bury my head in the sand and not acknowledge that the Papi (and Pedro) connection bothers me, because it does. A lot. Papi is doing a lot of denying right now. And with no proof of anything but their working out together, I’ll take him at his word. That doesn’t mean I’m not uneasy about the whole thing.

Vice President of Red Sox Nation, Rob Crawford was quoted by Newsday for the story I linked:

We could take it if any other Red Sox players were on the [2003 list of 104 players who failed the survey test]. But if David Ortiz was on it, that would suck all of the wind out of us.”

I understand this guy won his title by a vote, but in this case he certainly doesn’t speak for me. If I saw Pedro’s name on that list, or Bill Mueller’s , or Kevin Millar’s, or Mike Timlin’s, or Trot Nixon’s or Jason Varitek’s or probably just about any other guy from that 2003 team, even (especially?) Manny’s, I’d be devastated. It would be a sucker-punch to the gut. You can’t say “Oh steroids is bad” in one breathe and then say “But it’s okay if SOME of my guys were doing it” in the next. And, with all due respect to Papi, Mr. Crawford is sadly mistaken if he thinks Papi’s usage would be a bigger disappointment than Pedro’s. His return to Fenway with the Mets is proof that the Nation still adores him. Personally, outing Pedro as a steroid user would be a much more difficult story to deal with than outing Papi. Here’s hoping the only guy from the 2003 team to test positive was Jeremy Giambi. 🙂 (Though, I’m not holding out much hope for that.)

Hope everyone gets to enjoy a quiet, uneventful Sunday. Those are my favorite kinds!

February 22, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , | Leave a comment

More Baseball to Come

I gladly admit that I only bought the ticket for yesterday’s game in the hopes that there was a rain out and I 1) got a double header today or 2) got the game pushed to May or some other time when the weather was, hopefully, better.

Then on Friday night I had another allergic reaction in the stands. (Legal Seafood is evil and trying to kill me.) I felt lousy all night and into Saturday morning and then spent my trip into town hoping it would begin to pour and I would be able to just kick back at An Tua Nua’s with my SG gang and drink the poisons out of my system.

But no. God, the Fates, Karma, whatever you believe in, had something different planned. It started with a phone call saying “It’s gorgeous out! We’re going to the game!!!” and ended with me soaked, happy, sober and dead tired. Not a horrible way to end the day. (I love me a good get-together where I can get drunk and reckless, but I also enjoyed waking up this morning not feeling like ass.)

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April 13, 2008 Posted by | Photos, Rain Delays | , , , , , | 3 Comments

“It looks like a prison photo”

Why do the photographers for MLB hate the players so?

ph_136780.jpgph_424825.jpgph_452657.jpgph_506606.jpg

Meanwhile, I think Mike Timlin has a photo of himself in an attic somewhere:

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(And, the one of Youk I left off because I didn’t want to scare the children.)

March 9, 2008 Posted by | Players | , , , , , , , | 14 Comments