Wednesday, October 3, 2007

dear mlb.com: please don't hire writers who suck at their jobs

honestly. picture this: you're an executive assistant junior vice president for major league baseball. one of your (very limited) responsibilities in this position includes managing the league's official website. wouldn't one of your first moves be hiring an editor who actually knows the difference between good and terrible writing? evidently, whoever is filling this imaginary vice president post in real life failed to make such a hiring. because no editor with half a brain would allow articles like this one by barry bloom onto a major entertainment corporation's site. we're really facing a double fisted attack of bad journalism- shitty analysis and overall clunky writing. let me show you what i mean. this guy could benefit from coherency lessons given by woody paige.

Ten good reasons to watch postseason
From Yanks to broken curses, playoffs sure to bring excitement


oh good. you say the yankees made the playoffs? when did this happen!?!?! do they have any newsworthy players on their team?

It's that time again when all the formulas for postseason matchups have come to an end.

aaaand... the crap begins. what does it mean to "end" a formula? we have subject/verb disagreement problems already.

The playoffs are starting, baby, and from Wednesday's opening of three first-round series to a possible Game 7 conclusion of the World Series on Nov. 1, we'll have nearly a month of non-stop thrill-a-minute Major League Baseball action.

Not that there's anything wrong with it. The month of September was incredible, with nearly half the 30 teams in the Majors still in the hunt on Labor Day.

remember what i said about clunky writing? here's a great example. the sentence "not that there's anything wrong with it" is referring to baseball in the month of september, as in, hey, october is great but let's not sell september short. but this is so poorly written that when i first read that sentence i thought it was a continuation of the previous paragraph. as in " get ready for some non stop thrill a minute baseball action... not that there's anything wrong with that!" come on, barry. organize your sentences/paragraphs like you actually make a living as a professional writer.

Heading into the final weekend, seven National League teams were still standing. After Monday's one-game Wild Card playoff game at Coors Field, only the Mets, Brewers and Padres didn't make the dance.

With all this as the background, this could be the best rock 'em, sock 'em postseason in history. And here are 10 good reasons to watch. Hold on to your caps.

i'm not sure what the list of top ten "rock 'em, sock 'em" postseasons looks like. not that i want to overhype the whole yankees/red sox thing, but i assume 2004 is probably on there. 1997 as well? maybe 1991? whoops, no time to think! better hold on to my cap as we go through ten (eight, for the purposes of this posting) atrociously explained reasons to watch the 2007 playoffs.

1. The Yankees are the only American League team returning from last year's postseason.

that's right, here you have it, folks. the number one reason this year's postseason is going to be great: THE YANKEES ARE INVOLVED! thank goodness. what would we have done without them?

And having the Yankees around is always a good thing. They're the team that everyone loves to hate, except Yankees fans world-wide who now share the passion of their principal owner, George Steinbrenner, the self-acclaimed "Boss."

what an absolutely god awful run-on/incomprehensible sentence. the average american 6th grader would be able to identify that as poor writing. furthermore, did steinbrenner really give himself that nickname? i'm not saying i know that's false, i'm saying i'm skeptical.

You know, 26 World Series titles are never enough. And the last one came over the Mets in 2000, shudder the consequences.

shudder the consequences? what the hell are you talking about? shudder the consequences isn't even a real figure of speech. are you saying it's bad for the mets to lose to their crosstown counterpart? or that it's bad that the yankees haven't won a title since 2000? if i as a reasonably discerning and intelligent reader need to ask these questions, you have failed abysmally in your role as a writer.

2. The Commissioner has been crowing about parity for years, and now he's got it. The demise of the defending champion Cardinals cements the fact that there won't be a repeat World Series winner again this fall. It hasn't happened since the Yanks won three straight from 1998-2000. Since then, Arizona, the Angels, Florida, Boston, the White Sox and Cards have won in succession. Bless revenue sharing.

now here's a place where i really have a problem with bloom's analysis. bless revenue sharing? what the hell are you talking about? true, no one has repeated as champ since 2000. great. cute. yay underdogs. but the playing field in terms of player acquisition in baseball is still horrendously uneven. look at payroll distributions across the league's 30 teams. when good free agents become available, let's be honest- there's really only 10 or so teams that are going to be able to sign them. and now teams that try to build from within instead of through free agency are beginning to face increasingly exorbitant contract demands by prime draft picks, making going after premium talent in that way much more difficult. let's just say the gap in player acquisition capability between the yankees and baseball's bottom feeders is a whole lot larger than between the new england patriots and football's bottom feeders. (and yes, i know the NFL has a salary cap, thanks. the point still stands. baseball is certainly not rife with parity.)

3. Any postseason that includes the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox and Phillies has to be a good one.

why? because these teams are older and play in bigger media markets than other teams?

These are storied franchises with storylines to spare.

i think you mean, "these are storied franchises with media friendly storylines to spare."

The Phillies haven't even been to the playoffs since the 1993 World Series. And we all remember how that one ended. Right, Mitch Williams? The franchise of 10,000 losses has won once, 1980 against the Royals in the World Series plagued by George Brett's hemorrhoids. There's enough collective angst here to fill a Boston teapot.

what? what the fuck? where does a boston teapot and "angst" fit into this whole thing? boston (obviously, famously) won it all in 2004. they're really not that angsty anymore. the yankees might have angst issues but it has nothing to do with lack of recent success (and by recent, i mean the last 15 years... spare me the dramatics about how they haven't won a title in a whopping 7 years). the phillies haven't won it all in 27 years, but that's not THAT bad. the cubs and their fans obviously have tons of angst due to their extended championship drought, but that's not what you chose to highlight in this bullet point, was it barry? get a clue.

5. This has got to be the year that the Billy Goat curse goes away, don't you think?

the cubs are maybe the 2nd best playoff team in the NL. maybe. they would be sizable underdogs in a world series against any of the AL playoff teams, if they even get there. there are many good reasons they had the fewest wins out of all 8 playoff teams. but the real problem here isn't this sketchy, "hey, why not?" analysis. it's the way barry decides to end his paragraph.

After all, the Red Sox broke their drought by whacking the Cardinals in 2004, and the White Sox followed suit by sweeping the Astros in 2005. Both hadn't won since just after the first World War. The two numbers to keep in mind are 1908 and 1945 -- the last time Cubbies won and the last time they played in the World Series. Fair is fair.

fair is fair? what the fuck does that even mean in this context? i can't even guess. it looks completely thrown in. like if you were hanging out with a friend who suddenly said "hey, i'm hungry. i think i'm going to make a sandwich. fair is fair."

6. The Tribe is suffering from its own mini-curse, having last won in 1948, the second-longest drought behind the Cubs. At least it's been to the World Series three times since then -- 1954, 1995 and 1997, losing on the last pitch of the latter to the Marlins in Game 7. Props to Bill Veeck for breaking the color line and putting Larry Doby and Satchel Page on the 1948 team that defeated the Boston Braves. For that alone, the Indians deserve better.

if you're really into karma and all that crap, they got what they "deserved." they won the world series that year. you just said so yourself. or are you really saying they should win another world series for something progressive they did 60 years ago that already won them a world series?

7. This edition of the Diamondbacks is reminiscent of the posse that was chasing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. No matter what they did, they couldn't shake them, forcing Butch to constantly turn to his partner asking, "Who are these guys?"

you have antecedent problems in that sentence, barry. big antecedent problems. and besides that, where the hell is this going?

Well, the rest of the baseball world is about to find out. They can't hit, they wear Sedona Red now and their closer sprints out of the bullpen at Chase Field to the soulful strains of a rap tune called, "Big Papa." All they do is win.

you also have "incredibly awkward reference problems." so the diamondbacks are like the posse chasing butch cassidy and the sundance kid... because butch and sundance don't know who they (the dbacks) are? also, i love "all they do is win." one of my favorite nonsensical sports cliches. i'm pretty sure they do other things. like lose occasionally. and go through all the other things baseball teams do, like practice, go to team meetings, and attend the occasional charity event.

8. The Curse of the Bambino is behind them, but the Red Sox can't seem to shake the cursed Yankees.

why not? because boston has won a world series more recently? because they just won their first division title over the yankees in like 10 years?

They came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the 2004 AL Championship Series. They just won their first AL East title since 1995.

excuse me, 12 years. but go on, tell me why the red sox can't shake the yankees.

But they didn't make the playoffs last year, and this year they've spent a whole lot of money on Japanese pitchers just to get back. Can the world take another Yankees-Red Sox ALCS? You bet. We'll let you know in a week.

thanks so much for not answering the question. i think what you were actually getting at is the fact that baseball fans nationwide "can't seem to shake an insufferable amount of yankees/red sox media analysis day in, day out, and from every conceivable and forced angle." yeah. that sounds about right.

10. Baseball in November. You can't get enough of it. Game 4 of the 2001 World Series between the Yanks and D-backs was a seminal one in the history of postseason play. It began on Oct. 31 and as the game spun into extra innings, the clock above the Yankee Stadium scoreboard struck midnight, sending baseball into November for the first time ever. Derek Jeter hit the homer in the bottom of the 10th to win it, and he was dubbed "Mr. November" by the New York tabloids. Who will be Mr. November this year?

the only way baseball gets played in november this year is if the world series goes 7 games (hasn't happened since 2002) or if it goes to a game 6 which then goes past midnight. in that case, rather than a new "mr. november" being crowned, i'm pretty sure that regardless of which two teams were involved in the series we'd just be treated to a 2001 jeter montage to remind viewers nationwide that there will only ever be one "mr. november." and of course, let's not forget that jeter will forever also be forever remembered as "mr. clutch", "the captain", and "the sexiest goddamn human being ever to wear a baseball uniform." thanks ESPN.

that's all for this horrible column. thanks, barry bloom. you almost talked me out of watching the baseball postseason. asshole.

8 comments:

Chris W said...

and since when is a teapot the universal measurement for "what a lot of angst could fill."

i picture angst as a sort of yellow-green urine/bile liquid

Matthew said...

I really enjoyed when all 10 reasons left my Rockies out entirely. Despite one of the greatest runs in history, obviously, their story is less compelling than the Yankees?

Jarrett said...

Reason 11 for this guy to watch the playoffs: Red, white, and blue bunting everywhere. Talk about parity! Every team has patriotic bunting hanging up!

pnoles said...

Oh my God. That made me want to vomit. Fair is fair.

Jeff said...

Chris i had the same thought - is a Boston teapot big? Sounds small to me. Why not pick, say, Boston Harbor? Or maybe....just reaching...something in Philadelphia?

Dan said...

Under reason number six he says that the Indians lost the 1997 World Series to the Marlins on the last pitch. How can you lose a baseball game and not have it be on the last pitch? The game would have to be lost before it was over. I get what he is saying but it is still wrong.

Larry said...

You know mlb.com probably doesn't get as many daily hit as giants such as firejaymariotti.com does so give the little guys a break.

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