Toward a Better Journalism

Not long ago, Carson whipped up a wonderful little post that made me nostalgic for the florid sports prose of yesteryear.

For whatever reason, the game stories we read these days lack that certain something that you’ll find when you go spelunking through the archives of some venerable major daily. This isn’t to criticize the poor grunts who have to come up something interesting to say 162 times per year. Hell, give, say, Nabokov a steady diet of Diet Rite, Funyuns and airline liquor and seal him off in a foul-smelling press box for half his life, and the output will suffer.

So what to do? Here’s how we can improve your reading experience, refashion baseball journalism and vastly simplify the lives of our heroic and harried beat writers.

Take, for instance, this — the worst possible game story I can write:

John Montefusco didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday, and he knew it.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Montefusco confessed. “And I knew it.”

Montefusco surrendered six runs in four innings of work, and his Giants fell to the Padres 10-4. “It was clear that (John) Montefusco didn’t have his best stuff,” said manager Joe Altobelli. “And he knew it.”

The loss — 10-4 to the Padres — dropped the Giants to fourth place in the National League West. The Giants hope to avoid the sweep in Wednesday’s series finale, but Ed Halicki, who will start the series finale on Wednesday, must show better stuff than Montefusco showed in Tuesday’s 10-4 loss to the Padres. “John (Montefusco) is a great pitcher,” Halicki said. “But he didn’t have his best stuff in that 10-4 loss to the (San Diego) Padres.”

A loss on Wednesday — even a 10-4 loss, which was the score of Tuesday’s loss — will mean a sweep at the hands of the San Diego Padres. That’s something the Giants hope to avoid. “We hope to avoid the sweep,” Altobelli confided. “Yep. We don’t want to get swept.”

As for Tuesday’s losing pitcher, Montefusco hopes to have better stuff next time out. “Yep,” Montefusco admitted when asked if he hoped to have better stuff next time out.

Tuesday’s 10-4 loss to the San Diego Padres dropped the San Francisco Giants to fourth place in the National League West.

Awful, no? It’s like a Renny Harlin film — it’s so bad that one suspects malice aforethought. It’s also orders of magnitude worse than any actual game story you’ll ever read. But watch what happens when I take this stomach-churning prose and, with the aid of Yahoo! Babel Fish, translate it into French and then back to English:

John Montefusco did not have its best substance Tuesday, and it knew. “I did not have my best substance,” Montefusco admitted. “And I knew. ”

Montefusco returned six races in four turns of beater of work, and its Giants fell in Padres 10-4. “It was clear that (John) Montefusco did not have its best substance,” said the director Joe Altobelli. “And it knew. ”

The loss — 10-4 in Padres — dropped Giants to the fourth place in national west of league. Giants hope to avoid the field in the final of the series of Wednesday, but Ed Halicki, which will begin the final of series Wednesday, must show a better substance than Montefusco shown in loss 10-4 of Tuesday in Padres. “John (Montefusco) is a large jug,” Halicki said. “But it did not have its best substance in this loss 10-4 (San Diego) Padres. ”

A loss Wednesday — even a loss 10-4, which was the points of the loss of Tuesday — field with the hand of San Diego Padres will mean. Field is something that Giants hope to avoid. “We hope to avoid the field,” Altobelli entrusted. “Yes. We do not want to obtain swept. ”

As for the jug losing of Tuesday, Montefusco hopes to have a better substance the nearest time outside. “Yes,” Montefusco admitted when required he hoped to have a better substance the nearest time outside. Loss 10-4 of Tuesday in San Diego Padres dropped San Francisco Giants to the fourth place in national west of league.

Infinitely better, no? Yes, even the laziest, most banal of game stories can be made into a whimsical romp with just a few mouse clicks and an assist from a foreign tongue! Lost in translation? Nope, gained in translation!

Sure, it’s perhaps bad form to refer to a pitcher as “it” no matter how badly he performed, and team morale won’t be helped if the manager goes around saying he hopes to avoid the field altogether. But consider what a wonderful world it would be if great pitchers were forevermore known as “large jugs”?




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Handsome Dayn Perry can be found making love to the reader at CBSSports.com's Eye on Baseball. He is available for all your Twitter needs.


3 Responses to “Toward a Better Journalism”

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  1. Z says:

    Fantastic. This should be used for all forms of writing not just game write ups

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  2. Matt Defalco says:

    Oh WOW I’m crying from laughing so hard while reading this, that was absolutely hilarious! Got here from Perry’s newest article, http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.php/baseball-vs-french-grammar/ and I’m sure as hell glad that I did. This is probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

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  3. Peter says:

    Oh, an excellent post! I have no clue how you were able to say this text..it’d take me weeks. Well worth it though, I’d suspect. Have you considered selling ads on your blog?

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