Monday, February 26, 2007

EBAY Charity Auction Status Report

From MySpace Blog Post:

Current mood: definitely other
Category: definitely other Blogging

So far, there's been over 2000 hits and bids over $450!!!

I've been contacted by a couple of media outlets and have sent e-mail communications on my own to just about every media/journalism personality I respect and/or enjoy (as well as anyone else's address I could locate)

So far the response around the internet has ranged from curiosity to "that's interesting" to "it's for a good cause".

But, it seems there are a few points I need to clarify:

1. "Sounds like crap to me! Doesn't have a favorite team? That's IMPOSSIBLE!"

Yes, it's true. I have never really had a "favorite" team. I really just love baseball. As a youth I pursued the dream of playing professionally and probably would have come a lot closer if I would have had my wacky head screwed on straight, or had someone around me to keep me in line (no easy task, for sure).

As I pursued the dream of playing professionally I had decided (quite easily) that I wanted to play for whatever organization wanted me to play for them. It didn't matter to me if I played for my "hometown team" or the team with the prettiest colors. I wanted to play baseball for the color green in any town - and I could easily move to do it.

I went to college for Sports Administration in hopes of being a General Manager of a baseball team one day. Which one? I didn't care! I could make the team my own...

Alas, I never did play or General Manage professionally (so don't look for me on, unless you want to read the interview of the founder)

So simply enough, I have liked many organizations over the years, and more specifically many players. I was a huge baseball card collector and focused the majority of my obsession on collecting Wally Joyner cards in 1986 and '87 even to the point I considered myself a California Angels fan. And by "fan" I mean I bought a nice Angels T-shirt.

By 1991, I turned my attention from card collecting to girls, sold most of my baseball cards (not my Joyners) stopped collecting altogether and bought/fixed up my first car (a bad-assed, babe magnet Chevette... OK, maybe "bad-assed, babe magnet" is not the word I'm looking for) with the proceeds. When Joyner left the Angels in 1992 for the Royals I bought a Royals hat which was stolen a week later and that was that for my "fanship".

Since then the only team in Sports I have dedicated myself to has been the Phoenix Suns (they don't play baseball or at least not very well, I'd suspect) especially when Amare got drafted and started to develop. Then I went all-in when Mike D'Antoni became head coach and made the Suns the funnest team in sports to watch..

Now, I did try to collect fitted MLB baseball hats during the mid 90's; even had about 20 different teams at one point, but the hats I chose were based on the appeal of the logo or I liked a particular player on that team. Maybe it was just a fashion choice based on color coordination. Most times, I just bought hats that would fit my 7 3/4 inch noggin!

2. "Stiles says he doesn't care which team he writes about...yeah, right!"

When I play baseball video games I have such a tough time deciding which team I will play with that I close my eyes, push the buttons and select randomly which team I will use. Some games I have played so many times that I used EVERY franchise at one point or another. I truly, honestly could cover any team and be perfectly fine with it (Yes, even though I am a self-proclaimed Yankee Basher, I could easily write about the Yankees and LOVE it)

Since I've had kids, I don't really play many video games anymore.

3. "There seems to be a little confusion about what kind of articles Stiles will be writing about his new team."

Short answer - I don't know yet!

Short, but longer than the first short answer - I don't know because WHO will win the bid and WHO will their team choice be? It won't be traditional news coverage, I don't care much for gossip/innuendo (unless it's blatently preposterous or if I started it) and it won't be boring. I have one main credo in life - "if you're not having fun, what are you having?" I aim to make it fun.

I will use creativity, imagination, even blatent childishness, oddities and trivialities, weirdness, Simpsons references ad nauseum, sarcasm (what does that mean anymore?) and random stuff you just simply won't get from anyone else.

Ultimately, if you're the auction winner, I'm writing the blog primarily for the two biggest fans of your team - Myself and YOU!!! As winner, you will be a PART of this effort, not just a bystander! ALL THIS and you don't have to do anything other than outbid everyone else and make your **tax-deductible** (may not apply in ALL situations - "I am NOT a tax professional") charitable contribution to a non-profit organization to help benefit children with AIDS as well as funding research, education and treatment.

AGAIN, this contribution will be in YOUR name, not mine!

I'll stir in persistance, audacity, shenaningans, tomfoolery and perhaps even a smudgeon of journalistic credibility to accomplish the task.

Keep in mind - as myopic and crazed as a fanatic I might become (I might set my thermostat to gametime conditions or even get a tattoo), it WON'T prevent me from speaking my mind or commenting on the glaring truths and perceptions I might attain. So while I may be a blithering fool of a fan with disproportionate hopes and dreams I won't be a slobbering, love-fest, candycoating, info-regurgitating idiot either!

D. "Stiles already writes a bunch of self-depricating garbage on with relatively little topical focus.He's all over the place!"

I wanted to cover baseball this year from an angle DIFFERENT than a general league overview. It's too much to try to cover 30 teams without just plain generalizing. If I focus on one baseball team this year, with a megamyopic, diehard fan's focus, I can continue to write about all the other garbage I write about already! Up for a little Noodling, anyone? (the name Manny Stiles is supposed to imply I will write about MORE than just one topic)

5. "Fifty articles is a TON!"

Actually, no it isn't. It's 6 articles a month over the course of a season... Among my 'manny' talents is the ability to talk incessantly. I don't suffer from writer's block - in fact I suffer from not having enough time to write all that I want to! I'm sure many people consider me a chronic sufferer of editor's block!

6. "OK, I see through the charitible cause; I know this is a 'scam' of sorts."

No, and Yes! It's not a scam because I really do want to write (right) a wrong. I am still pissed about how my brother's passing (and life for that matter) was handled. I HAD to do something. Nothing against the fine people at the American Cancer Society, but they shouldn't have recieved donations in my brother's memory since he died from AIDS. So the Libra in me wants to balance the scales, if you will... or tip them heavily in favor of AIDS research.

I absolutely LOVE to talk about things that make people uncomfortable. If you embrace your fears, most times you learn to unbind the strings of ignorance. I want to have people discuss AIDS instead of shunning it. I strongly feel this way.

And of course, it IS a "scam"! Although "scheme" would seem more politically correct. I'm not a politician so "scam" it is!!! I want to eventually get paid as a writer and (NOTE - if you're associated with my current employer, please skip ahead and go to point #VII) leave my job as a stockbroker. Nice job that it is and all, but I hate the chipping away my soul to sit at a desk and make people more money than I'll ever make for myself. I have ridden the safe, comfortable route long enough. I get 10,000 times the amount of joy over hitting the "post" button after writing an article than ANYTHING I do at "work".

I want to live off of my hyperness, creativity and imagination. I've acted like a guy working for a financial institution long enough, and still haven't recieved that Oscar I've earned... I want to work for my enjoyment.Yes, I live outside the proverbial "box", didn't go to school for journalism, I make up my own freeky confustications and tend to say things to purposely frustrate, confuse and generally piss people off with inflamatory remarks just for fun and I tend to use punctuation incorrectly!!!, create run-on sentences like it's my purpose in life and have a general dislike for abiding to what the rules of grammar are or where my prepositions end up at. Consider the 50 articles part of my resume!

VII - "It's all about Manny, what an egotistical prick he is! He just wants attention on himself."

It's true, it's all horribly true!!! I talk about myself alot - but in this case, it helps explain some things... I have a strong personality and it brushes some people wrong to begin with (especially without a good sarcasm font) until they get to know me. But my angle IS me. It's the only angle I know and I know it well! Truth is, I am a complexly simple character. The shamelessly irrepressible ego is there, but I am very grounded in reality. Actually it works like this, I am a giver. I truly care about people. I want them to have fun like I do! Because I like me so much, I want to share me with you!!!

Now... I am a self-admitted "whack job". I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, I delight from ADHD (as opposed to "suffering") and I talk about myself not only in the first, second and third person I also talk about myself in the plural... because that's what it's like inside my head!

Read through my work, I make it clear. I don't see the world in the same light as everyone else. I was born a contrarian and it has served me well, now I want to be contrary to my contrarian baseball fanship tendencies, all while benefitting LOTS of people... my dreamy, lofty, hopefully prospective writing career, - "All Sports, All You" (who gave me a legitimate reading audience - psst... ANYONE can join that site), to Dave Pinto at who picked up on this early on and helped kick start the bidding, to, who called me "one blogger (and a good one at that)" - that was touching! Also to Dayn Perry who jumped in with an autographed copy of his book Winners to HELP the ultimate cause -

Finally - "How is Manny going to top this?"

I guess we'll just have to wait and see!!!

Seriously, if you have ANY questions - e-mail me

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'll be a fan of YOUR MLB team for CHARITY

My name is Manny Stiles. Amongst my "manny" pursuits, I am a pseudo-celebrity sports blogger. I am offering to highest bidder: For the Major League Baseball Team of YOUR choice, I will give my complete fanship including Manny Stiles' unique journalistic coverage on a blog and also featured on sports-wiki site

I will write 50 articles throughout the season covering the team of your choice from the end of this Auction until Nov 1st. 99% of the proceeds will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation , the other 1% will go to a logo emblazoned item for my personal use to PROVE my dedication as a fan of my new team!

From one of my archives - Here is a sample of the writing "stiles" you can semi-imagine will come forth.

WHY would I do this? I am tired of people making fun of me for not having a favorite team. They call me "Bandwagon jumper", "ManWagon", or even "ManWags" for short. I have liked a bunch of different teams through the years, but have never had my "own" baseball team to follow for a whole season. The truth is, I root for baseball! I root for almost every team at one point or another (if the Yankees played a team of Aliens in a game for Earth's freedom, then I might even root for the Yankees, too). I want to follow a team for the whole season, cover them journalistically in my own unique, quirky manners and if they win the World Series, I'll get a tattoo of their logo (just kidding, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities). I just needed a very random way of picking the team to follow!

ALL Major League Baseball teams are eligible (Yes, even the Royals, Devil Rays or *gulp* the Yankees). I will present an average of over 6 articles a month concerning the team of choice through the entire season. Meaty articles with wit, irony, blatent subliminal sarcasm and shenanigans galore!!! I will try my best to get interviews, the freshest of the fresh material and inside information. Who knows what could happen this season? I want to stretch my capabilities as a writer, creative artist and enjoy true fanship for a sure-to-be magical baseball season!

In reality, I am doing this for personal reasons. Long, stupid story short- My brother died due to complications of AIDS in September and yesterday (Feb 22nd) would have been his birthday. I did not find out he even had AIDS until he was already buried. His death and funeral was under pretenses that he had died from lymphoma. Requests were made that donations were to benefit the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers, etc. People in my family were so ashamed that my brother had AIDS, they kept it a secret. It absolutely astonishes me that (then in 2006) we could not "talk" about someone having a disease like AIDS. I fear that if we cannot "talk" about a disease like AIDS, HOW will we ever overcome it?

I chose to benefit as the recipient charity because of their reputability. They are easy to deal with and have been very helpful with this charity auction. But also because my brother liked kids, I like kids and kids don't typically acquire AIDS through their own dangerous lifestyle choices. People can't make judgements about innocent children like that. It seems that many people carry a stigma with how AIDS can be acquired, so they don't talk about such means as homosexuality or needle drug usage. As the case with my brother who was NOT a wholesome person, definitely one who was at high risk and not to be confused with a saint... but no matter who or how or why; how can we make progress on topics we don't discuss? There is one topic that needs to be addressed - AIDS is a disease that NEEDS to go away.

More at and HERE on ArmchairGM

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