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You can't say

So as I’ve noted before, Curt Schilling is answering baseball questions over on the Sons of Sam Horn board. Good for him, I said and say. However, he doesn’t want anyone quoting what he writes there. That is what we in the business call a can of worms. It opened up wide this week.

David Pinto quoted Schilling’s SoSH thoughts over on his blog. The guy who runs SoSH, Eric, told Pinto to take them down in no uncertain terms. Pinto did. Others became upset at SoSH.

Eric then came back and did the right thing in comments:

I do apologize for questioning anyone’s ethics… in hindsight it was foolish to respond so quickly to a request without thinking it through and emailing Pinto beforehand.

In re-reading the “Real Baseball” thread, I see that Schilling didn’t use his typical ‘the following is off the record and intended for sosh readers only’ disclaimer… so yeah — I rushed to judgement and said something I now regret.

I think Eric is the guy who made the first mistake, though, and I’m not entirely sure he fixed it.It’s not so much a matter of being impolite to David Pinto in this case. Rather, he should have set Schilling’s expectations appropriately. Eric’s been around the Internet a while and he should know better than to assume everyone would respect Schilling’s wishes. He should have said, flat out, “You can post here but you can’t expect people to respect your request. Some will, some won’t. I can ask people who don’t to change their mind, but I can’t force anyone to do so.”

Given Eric’s comments — “I see that Schilling didn’t use his typical… disclaimer” — I’m not sure he wouldn’t make demands in a similar case, and he really doesn’t have the right to do that. Requests, sure. Demands… not so much. And it’s important that Schilling understand that.

Ah well. As Jay Jaffe concludes: “I hope that he [Schilling] continues to patronize SoSH, that the results remain in public view, and that some kind of balance between respecting his wishes and remaining true to the spirit of the medium can be struck.” Alternatively, as gwen says: “Seriously folks, anything you put on the web is like posting it to a telephone booth. If you don’t want the public to know, don’t put it there. Period.”

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