Henry Schulman

Giants vs. Dodgers rivalry takes another strange turn (hint: it involves beat writers)

We’ve had some fun with Henry Schulman’s Twitter timeline over the past year or so. Besides covering the San Francisco Giants for the Chronicle, Schulman also plays the role of “cranky beat writer” extremely well. In today’s prim, proper and politically correct media scene, Schulman’s ruminations on politics, airplane infants and noise pollution are not often seen. Not everyone with over 10,000 followers feels comfortable complaining as often as Schulman does, and that’s part of what makes him an interesting follow (and for some people, a target of scorn).

Most high-profile Twitter users don’t let their true feelings known as often as Schulman because the inevitable backlash often isn’t worth it. Take last night, for instance.

That last tweet prompted Jay Jaffe to tell Schulman to “putting a f—— sock in it.” Then Hardball Talk and Deadspin fanned the flames. Schulman explained his reasoning for his tweets about Dodgers fans here, here, here and here.

But you know what happens when Deadspin gets involved: the snark level increases exponentially. That brings us to Dylan Hernandez, who covers the Dodgers beat for the L.A. Times. Schulman and Hernandez have waged friendly Twitter skirmishes for quite some time, to the point where they’ve had to explain to other users that it’s all in good fun. Hernandez will take a photo of Schulman and chide him for what he eats, then Schulman will come back with some retort about Hernandez, often accompanied by this photo of Hernandez sleeping.

Today Hernandez posted a photo of Schulman eating Cold Stone ice cream in the press box, a photo taken from a TV broadcast by a Giants fan blog called Sons of Johnnie LeMaster, whose sole intent on Twitter appears to be garnering attention from certain media personalities. In the past few days they’ve mentioned Marty Lurie, Peter Hartlaub, Brian Murphy, Ray Woodson, Patrick Connor and Hernandez, even sending Woodson two different photos of a Bad News Bears jersey in hopes of a response that never came. But “Sons of Johnnie Le” wasn’t satisfied with Hernandez using the photo, they also needed credit:

Which, thank goodness, Hernandez provided:

I’m sure Sons of Johnnie LeMaster received a boatload of new follows from Dodgers fans. Well done.

Later, Hernandez decided to keep the fun going and rile up Dodgers fans a little more by posting the Deadspin link (Schulman’s been taking a Twitter beating for the past 15 hours or so, and this couldn’t have helped):

Did Schulman bite? You bet:

Here’s Hernandez’s last response … for now:

I’m sure Schulman and Hernandez will iron out their differences, if there even are any (like I said before, they’ve been throwing Twitter barbs at each other for quite some time). However, Schulman might not have liked Hernandez piling on at a time when Schulman’s mentions were blowing up with insults from Dodgers fans. In all, this caps what’s been a pretty wild last few days for Schulman, who got the exclusive (and in this case, the e-word applies) interview with Aubrey Huff that garnered local and national acclaim over the weekend.

Since Schulman’s penchant for offering his opinion on Twitter pretty much created this post, I’m going to put myself out there and state that, as the kids say, I’m on “Team Hank.” Schulman may have gone a little overboard in ripping Dodgers fans, but people need to relax. Is this baseball, or life and death? Isn’t there a place for some personality on Twitter, even from those who aren’t columnists, celebrities or the caretakers of parody accounts?

There are bad Giants fans out there, just like there are bad Dodgers fans. However, last night when the cameras showed a throw to first base, there were two separate beach balls, less than 100 feet apart, bouncing around in the crowd behind Buster Posey and the baserunner. Later, a beach ball fell onto the outfield grass and delayed play for the millionth time at Dodgers Stadium. Let’s face it, late-to-arrive, early-to-leave Dodgers fans are ripe for scrutiny. While some of the fans booing may have been heckling Giants fans in their sections, or the Dodgers’ own bad luck, can we really state with confidence that they weren’t booing Matt Kemp’s effort? And even if Schulman’s wrong, who cares? Don’t follow him. It’s not like he’s purposefully stirring the pot, like Skip Bayless waxing poetic about Tim Tebow or LeBron James.

If there’s anyone who should be booed here, it’s a Giants fan shamelessly trying to get attention from a Dodgers beat writer. Then again, the blog’s namesake once wore the word “BOO” on the back of his jersey, so maybe that’s what they want.


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