Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gammonites, preparing to watch Bud Selig enter the Hall, are reconsidering their hypocrisy

A Gray Lady sportswriter says his inky ilk are balking at the superhuman dishonesty of seeing Bud Selig enter the Hall of Fame next year, while Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are still being denied on "ethical" grounds. 

Only a figure with the Voldemort legacy of Selig - a man who once sought to decorate MLB regular season bases with promotional logos for the movie Spider-Man 2 - could make the world reconsider the stunted morality of the steroids era, over which Bud cravenly presided. Reports the Times David Waldstein:


In a sudden and surprising shift of sentiment, the baseball writers who vote to decide who should be inducted into the Hall, and who should not, appear to be backing away from their punitive approach to Bonds and Clemens, and perhaps others as well.

Well, a stopped clock... After 15 years of sanctimonious pimping, these dwarfs of righteousness finally cannot live with the unspeakable reality of Selig's bronze plaque on the wall next to Ruth, Gehrig, Mays and Musial. Let that be the Rug's greatest achievement - after the collusion scandal and the World Baseball Cup: His hypocrisy knocked open the halls of Cooperstown. Once he got in, the barriers fell. Hey, how about enshrining Putin and Trump in 2020!

Well, it's time to consider the SIX REASONS WHY SPORTSWRITERS BECOME TOOLS OF EVIL. (Note: I was a news reporter for 35 years. Some of my best friends wrote sports. With a beer in their hands, they'd second this heartily.) 

1. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT:
In fifth grade, every kid who can write a complete sentence - but who will never hit the curve - wants to someday cover sports. For the rest of their lives, the sportswriter is lashed to that childhood dream, and some never fully escape the playground. They mock players. They give snide nicknames. They glorify the winner and trash the loser. But for all their bluster and bullying in the pulpit, they cringe in the presence of grownups - a.k.a., the owners. They live in fear of Principal Skinner.  

2. THE ONE-STOP SHOP. It's the complexities of life that drive journalists mad. You can never do enough interviews. You can never escape the self-doubt: Did I get it right? But sportswriters work in a staged environment. They watch the game, report the score, track the plays and then interview the contestants, who are trotted out, half-naked, for mandatory sessions. Beat writing becomes a numb, pre-packaged, daily pageant. You're one of those Westworld robots, who relive the same story, over and over. Most sportswriters never knock on a stranger's door to get an interview, or agonize over which source to believe. It's a game. The jock speaks, and the sportswriter writes down the words - "It was a curve, and I hit it," From there, the job is all about being witty. 

3. THE PRESS BOX. If you're writing about school lunch programs, you're basically alone. But sportswriters get sequestered into a makeshift luxury box with a pasta buffet, where they chew the fat with each other for hours. Stat sheets are distributed, coffee is free, the toilets work, and civilians are not allowed. Satan could not design a better Hell. Eventually, everyone - no matter how devoted to old journalism school professors - snaps like a Hershey Bar. They compare notes. They vent about the idiot shortstop, or the manager who hates their guts. They achieve a perfect cynicism. And they write that same story - again and again, Groundhog Day - with a group mind that is impossible to avoid.

4. THE ECONOMIC DISPARITY. The sportswriter enjoys a nice middle class gig, but it's hard work, long nights, road trips and shitty hours. Worst part: They cover athletes who believe alien lizards run the government, who can't write a letter home, and who make $21 million per year... while batting .250. It's not fair, dammit. It's. Not. Fair. It's a class thing. Sometimes, it's a race thing. Sportswriters are just like all of us, but they stare across an economic divide that eventually makes them old and bitter. Thus, every A-Rod story must include a reference to his money... but nobody ever prodded Bud Selig about his take-home pay, (which was $22 million, by the way.)

5. THE FOLLY OF HUMANITY. Keep this in mind: Half the people you meet in life will be of below average intelligence. This explains religion, politics, racism and love. It also explains sportswriters. Nobody cares about an insufferable dolt who collects Thruway tolls for a living, but it's impossible to ignore the idiot columnist who wants your favorite team to re-sign Vernon Wells to a 10-year deal; that kind of stupidity is impossible to ignore.

6. THE ACCESS. The sportswriter needs calls to be returned and press credentials to be approved. That means honoring two sets of bosses - his editors and his sources on the team. In hard news stories, anonymous quotes are almost never allowed, the rare exceptions granted for matters of public interest. Yet sportswriters routinely quote unnamed sources about players, trade rumors, women, lifestyles, speculation - whatever. Google your favorite player. You'll know what I mean. The anonymous quotes might be accurate. Who the hell knows? But as long as nobody's name is attached, the calls will get returned and the credentials will be approved. 

So now they'll vote in Bonds and Clemens, and then maybe McGwire and Sosa, along with the Great Selig. Good for them. Someday, I'm sure they'll feel pressure to add Senator Curt Schilling - whose 216 career wins puts him behind Mickey Lolich, Kenny Rogers, Jerry Reuss and Tim Hudson. Good grief, he whines about sportswriters even more than I do. 

Oh well, it's like the fifth grade pet show: Everybody goes home with a prize. Selig has opened the gates to Hell. Frankly, they all belong together.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

GREAT ARTICLE........ YES, THE DOORS ARE BUSTED OPEN NOW IN THE HALL.......FUNNY THOUGH, PETE ROSE STILL CAN'T GET IN, (AND I DISLIKED ROSE)....... OH YEAH, HE DIDN'T LIVE UP TO THAT "CONDUCT CODE" THEY HAVE SOMEWHERE IN THE SCRIPTURES...... WHAT A F@CKING JOKE.

Anonymous said...

They ought to inscribe on his plaque:

"The only Commissioner in the history of baseball to cancel the World Series"


That single act did more to damage the game than all the steroids taken by all the players combined.

What a statesman!

Alphonso said...

Just an aside; Although it is one of the "golden nugget" requirements for all sports writers, I believe the world would be better off if no interview of a player, manager, or owner ever took place.

In days of yore, people were honest ( even if ignorant ) and told what they believed to be the truth. Now, they are all 100% censored. Every response to every inquiry is vetted and made meaningless.

Personally, I can no longer watch them. They are inane, predictable and a total waste of my time. For example:

Sideline reporter; " Gee, coach, your team gave up three touchdowns on passes of more than 40 yards in that first half. What can you do to prevent that in the second half?"

Coach; We have to tighten up our defense and get after the quarterback."

Reporter ( relieved ); " Thanks for your time, coach."

In other words, one of the primary tenets of current sports journalism is idiotic and can be better accomplished by a robot.

I'm just saying....

Anonymous said...

YES YES YES ALPHONSO.....I CAN'T STAND THE INTERVIEWS.....PRE-GAME, IN-GAME, AND POST GAME....TOTALLY BRAINLESS, "COOKIE CUTTER", "FILLER", BULLSHIT......AND PRESS CONFERENCES AFTER EVERY DAMN GAME IN BASEBALL?....IT'S NUTS!....CAN YOU IMAGINE BILLY MARTIN DRAGGING HIMSELF TO A PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER EVERY GAME, NO LESS A PAINFUL LOSS?....NOW THAT MY FRIENDS, WOULD HAVE BEEN SOMETHING TO SEE........I MUST ADMIT, MY FAVORITE INTERVIEW NOW IS BILL BELICHICK..... YOU KNOW HE BELIEVES WHAT WE BELIEVE, (THAT THESE INTERVIEWS ARE BULLSHIT AND A WASTE OF HIS TIME), AND IT SHOWS...... HE'S HILARIOUS JUST LOOKING DISGUSTED WITH HIS DEADPAN, PALL BEARER LOOK.

Anonymous said...

Might have guessed you would admire the Head Cheater, all-caps - - goes along with certain other people you have professed to admire, outside of BB....cannot abide Bill "Ima Cheat" Bellyache, or his mannerisms, anymore than I can tRUMP and his BS.
Having said that, baseball-wise, you are correct again, sir. LB (no J)

Anonymous said...

anonymous.....IT'S STILL IS SO TOUGH FOR YOU (AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS), TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT A NON POLITICAL BULLSHITTER (TRUMP), OUT-BULLSHITTED A LIFETIME POLITICAL BULLSHITTER (HILLARY)......... TRUMP HASN'T EVEN TAKEN OFFICE YET, BUT HAS ALREADY WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK TO HELP SAVE JOBS IN THIS COUNTRY...AND HOWEVER PEOPLE WANT TO SPIN IT, HE ALREADY HAS SAVED THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN JOBS.....TRUMP ALREADY HAS SHOWN (EVEN BEFORE TAKING OFFICE), THAT HE WILL OUTWORK ANYONE ELSE WHO MAY HAVE BEATEN HIM OUT FOR THE PRESIDENCY....... NO ONE WANTS TO THINK ABOUT HOW HE WON THIS ELECTION.....HOW?....HE OUTWORKED HER....HE FLEW FROM CITY TO CITY TO CITY TO CITY WHEN IT COUNTED MOST......SHE COUNTED ON CONCERTS, CELEBRITIES, AND POLLSTERS .......GO AHEAD, AND BLAME THE RIDICULOUS "RUSSIAN HACKS" THEORY....BLAME THAT......BLAME BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN...BLAME JAYZ....BLAME HUMA.....BLAME WEINER.....BLAME SOMEBODY........THAT'S WHAT THE LEFT DOES.