Because of a dust-up involving Page 2, a blogger, and Raul Ibanez, today's mailbag will feature fewer reader questions but longer responses.

I think it's important that people understand my thought process involving the initial column, and that will require more words on my end.

But don't worry - I got and read all of your many, many angry e-mails on the topic. Don't think you were ignored, or that your outrage went unnoticed.

We hope to return to our regularly scheduled frivolity next Sunday. Until then, once more unto the breach. . . .

Why dignify and amplify the comments of a blogger [about Raul Ibanez] by repeating them in your column?  Even if the context of your column is to criticize the blogger, you risk perpetuating the harm. People who get their sports news solely from TV/radio, the papers or newspapers would know nothing of the blogger's speculation without repetition of it in those legitimate media. 

- Jeff
Jeff,

I think you missed the point of my column. You can't ignore anyone anymore. Everyone links to everyone's stuff. Even if I hadn't written about the Midwest Sports Fans post, there were other Web sites/blogs that wrote about it. Hugging Harold Reynolds linked to it and put it on Twitter. The MSF post was already out there, and people were talking about it long before I came along.

And if there are people who only get their news from TV and newspapers, they're quickly dwindling. The lines have blurred between old school media and bloggers. That's why I wrote that all of us - from the biggest traditional media outlets to the smallest blogs - need to be really careful what we say or write because the spotlight shines on everyone now, and far more brightly than in the past. Because of that, stories can get blown out of proportion quicker than ever before. That was the gist of my piece. Some people missed that and also overlooked my defense of Ibanez. I repeat: no one should be accused of taking PEDs without proof, Ibanez included.

I'll cop to joining the conversation and even making it bigger, but I didn't create the controversy. I don't have that much power. Someone said I "spread the blog virus." Truth is, we were already infected.

- Gonzo

I was very disappointed watching Daily News Live when the topic of Raul Ibanez and your piece from Tuesday came up. Paul Domowitch absolutely crucified you and your Inquirer colleagues.  [Michael] Barkann, as well, was chirping away. I had read your piece and went back and re-read it, and it was a fine, professional column.  Don't be bothered by those two.  Like my Dad used to tell me, consider the source. 

- John
John,

I find it hilarious that someone who has a blog would call blogs irrelevant. Does that mean we should ignore whatever Domo and Les Bowen write on Eagletarian? Or does it simply mean we should only pay attention to blogs that are written by people who are in the crippled newspaper industry?

Angelo Cataldi and Mike Missanelli also ripped me on their radio shows. If writing about a blog is such an egregious error, if I committed such an unpardonable sin in telling bloggers to be careful what they write, then why would they discuss it on their shows? Why talk about a topic they deemed unworthy in the first place? Why not ignore my story instead of making it an even bigger issue by bringing it to the attention of countless listeners?

By discussing my story and what the blogger wrote, Domo, Cataldi, Missanelli and others were guilty of the very same crime they accused me of committing. I find that ironic and wildly disingenuous.

Mainstream media members who cling to the idea that we - TV, radio and newspapers - are the only ones who dictate what people pay attention to are kidding themselves. Crying about that or pretending that blogs don't exist won't change anything, and it won't make things the way they were back in 1955, either.

Besides, there's this notion that everyone not writing for a major traditional outlet is an imbecile while everyone who gets paid is automatically brilliant and important. That's a small-minded, fatuous argument.

- Gonzo

You basically pulled an [Ed] Stefanski. You knew how you wanted your [Best Philly Franchise] ratings to come out, so you just fudged your way through the numbers and said "hey look, it's the Phillies."

Example: Flyers title hopes, in the running every year - 7 points. Eagles title hopes, they have a chance to bring home the Lombardi - 9 points.

- Rob
Rob,

I promise I didn't fudge the numbers. The Eagles got more points in the "title hopes" category because they've reached five conference finals under Andy Reid. The Flyers, over that same stretch, haven't. Hence, the Birds got more points.

- Gonzo

That was a real cheap shot at George Strait.  He is probably the top country star right now. Maybe you don't like country, but he has a hell of a fan base. 

- Rich
Rich,

Tried to listen to him one day, but it was hard to hear the music with my fingers in my ears.

 - Gonzo

Actually, Mickey Mouse wears a pair of shorts. Donald Duck, on the other hand. . . .

- Glenn
Glenn,

My mistake. It's so hard to keep track of which cartoons are perverts and which are merely exhibitionists.

- Gonzo

Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813