apos It is nothing new to suggest that the level of discourse on the internet — and perhaps off of it, too — lacks much in the way of civility. The precise reasons for this have surely been considered by people more qualified than the present author by methods more rigorous than the present author is likely or willing to employ. Given the ubiquity of internetting aspersion, though, and the frequency with which it’s cast, there is clearly some satisfaction being derived by the casters.
Nor is one free from verbal histrionics even within the otherwise friendly confines of WhatIfSports’ simulated baseball game Hardball Dynasty. Without dwelling upon the particulars of that game at length, it’s sufficient to note that, as part of said game, a human owner can attempt to sign free-agent players by means of a page that looks very much like this (click to embiggen):
What one does is to submit an offer to the player in question using this screen. What one does next is to wait for between zero and four hours. What one does finally is to receive electronic correspondence from either the player or his agent regarding their opinion on the offer in question.
Many of these replies are entirely reasonable in tone. For example, here’s a message from the agent of one player to whom the author has recently extended a contract:
My client has been informed of your lucrative offer. You’re our top choice right now. If things change, I’ll be in touch.
Like old friends, the pair of us.
However, in those instances where either the player or agent or both feel that the human owner’s offer has been something below snuff, the responses can be much more abrasive and/or strange.
For example, here’s a message from free-agent corner-type Alfredo Dali regarding his opinion of the author’s latest proposal:
I asked for Filet Mignon, but your offer is cat food. No thanks.
And here’s another one, from the agent of pitcher Zephyr Clarke, who apparently will not e satisfied with a minor-league contract:
Nice try, but we are going to need some bacon with those eggs. Start cooking up another offer, while my client is still hungry.
Not all rejections involve food metaphors, however. Here’s one, courtesy a leaguemate, from a player who appears to have acquired his entire lexicon from early scripts of TV’s The Fresh Prince of Bel Air:
Your city and team are phat, dawg. You gots to up your offer though so homey ain’t rollin around town in a Yugo.
Noted internet presence Aaron Gleeman received this uncomfortably biographical reply from a coach (with whom it is also necessary to negotiate):
I got two kids in college, and another one I’m always bailing out of jail. I hate to make this about money, and I’m keeping you guys in mind… but I just got a much better offer.
Last is this message from the author’s No. 1 free-agent target, perhaps most disappointing of all — for its starkness, that is, relative to the author’s feelings about said free agent:
Your offer is not even near what other teams are offering.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.