Back in the day, way back when that other FJM blog (the one that copied our name and stole our idea) was still active, they occasionally wrote posts picking on small-time sportswriters. Really small-time. Like, they'd pick on the guy who writes the sports section, entertainment section, and police blotter for the North Platte Plains Journal. I always thought that was kind of pointless; sure, those writers had really stupid things to say about sports, but it's not like anyone ever read their garbage. It kind of had the feel of a literary critic ripping apart entries from a middle school short story contest.
But you know what? Fuck that. If they can steal our ideas, we can steal theirs. Last week I stumbled into this piece by some dude from the Enid (Oklahoma) News and Eagle. And that dude, Dave Ruthenberg, has some really great and valid points to make about interleague play. So lean back in your porch swing, take a sip of homemade iced tea, and enjoy some small town sportswriting from a guy who really isn't too sure about this whole Facebook Twitter thing.
In the normal scheme of things, Tuesday’s 5-2 victory by the Florida Marlins over the Los Angeles Angels would garner nary a notice other than a mention on that ubiquitous lower-screen ESPN crawl on your television.
Well your first problem is that you're watching ESPN and expecting any kind of baseball coverage at all. TONIGHT ON SPORTSCENTER- JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR WHAT CAM NEWTON HAD TO SAY ABOUT BEING COMPARED TO MIKE VICK IN A TWEET FROM LEBRON.
Certainly, the fact the Marlins and Angels were playing an interleague game bore little or no interest to most fans.
Whereas most Marlins games get coverage like the first moon landing.
Interleague play, once an intriguing an idea before the explosion of cable and satellite TV brought nearly every team from the American League and National League into our homes, has run its tired course.
Baseball has been shown on national TV since 1965. I understand that MLB Extra Innings is a little different than a single game being broadcast nationally once a week on ABC, but it's not like the only option for following games when interleague was conceptualized was to sit around your family's vacuum tube radio and hope you could pick up the Senators/Redstockings game.
Interleague play was a new idea in 1997,
All ideas are new ideas when people first have them. That is the essence of an idea.
but has quickly grown old and needs to put out to pasture. Be honest, does anybody care that the Detroit Tigers are playing the Colorado Rockies or that the Washington Nationals are playing the Seattle Mariners?
Does anyone care when the Tigers play the Mariners and the Rockies play the Nationals? Pointing out that unpopular teams play interleague games is not a reason to can it. Although I have to agree with the author's implied premise: baseball certainly would be more interesting if the AL consisted of only the Red Sox and Yankees and the NL consisted of only the Dodgers and Phillies. Geez, that would be so exciting that it might even be worth reconsidering this whole “let's shelve interleague” thing. Yankees-Phillies! Can you imagine?
Sure, there were a couple of intriguing matchups such as St. Louis and Kansas City
Yeah, a good 40% of Missouri was riveted to that one. THAT'S the one you pick?
or the Cubs versus the Mets.
Not to mention that White Sox/Rangers interleague series from a few weeks back!
But even those games have lost their luster in the middle of a baseball season that is sorely lacking intrigue or excitement.
You know what would help baseball regain its status as America's favorite sport? If it had more football in it.
So why would a game involving the Florida Marlins, who entered Tuesday with an 11-game losing streak, matter to anyone? Jack McKeon.
Hey, one of the league's least-followed teams hired an 80 year old dude to manage. NOW we'll see some intrigue and excitement.
/waits for Jack McKeon to say something racist or pee himself during a press conference
While baseball needs to retire interleague play, it is a little ironic
I don't want to be a grammar dick, but it's ironical.
that a manager long ago thought to have been put out to pasture, became, at least for now, baseball’s most interesting story.
So ironical. I guess in Dave's world, interleague play = boring, Jack McKeon = interesting. Geez, where does the fact that the Pirates just signed a contract with a new hot dog bun provider for PNC Parkfit on this scale? Can it even fit or do we have to acknowledge that some things are so incredible that they simply can't be categorized?
The 80-year-old McKeon was brought out of retirement to take over as interim manager of the woeful Marlins after Edwin Rodriguez stepped down as their manager. Rodriguez compiled a record of 78-85 since taking over one year ago but things were heading downhill swiftly but when the Marlins named McKeon, most observers snickered.
Editorial standards at the News and Eagle aren't what they used to be.
But really, an 80-year-old manager? McKeon is old-school and offers no apologies.
Unlike Manny Acta, who simply will not stop fucking apologizing for his age. It's really awkward, actually.
“Why should experience get penalized?” McKeon said after he took on the job.
Is there a more predictable way for an 80 year old in a young persons' industry to respond to a question about their age? I'm certain that there isn't. Eat your heart out, Ted Stevens. WELL I TELL YOU WHAT I DON'T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT THE INTERNET ROBOT MACHINES BUT I KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT DOUBLE SWITCHES
but outside of that I don’t have any problem disciplining my kids – or these players.”
So McKeon will not be telling Hanley Ramirez to get his lazy fucking ass in gear via tweet or status message. Gotcha.
You have to admire straight-forward talk like that.
No you don't. You have to either 1) shrug it off as a stupid cliché or 2) nod along cautiously because you're also 80 and have no idea what Facebook and Twitter are.
Not being familiar with today’s so-called social media may be an advantage. How many games have been won via Twitter or Facebook?
Exactly 273, but who's counting? Yeah, I have to admit that the other FJM was onto something w/r/t these small time sportswriters. I might have to start checking in with Dave from Enid regularly. This guy rules.