Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Did you really want to go there?

I've never worked as a professional journalist, but I do some writing, different kinds for different audiences, and I've got some conception of the time pressure that can come up. And the stress of the blank page when there's nothing screaming to come out. So the fact that sports writers might resort to cliche columns is somewhat less than shocking. And there's really nothing wrong, in theory, with the whole "what has happened in the last x years, and how would those things have surprised someone from x years ago." Generally pretty lame, but also, in concept, relatively harmless.

But I'd like to think that Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register, if given the chance, would love to have this one back.
It doesn't sound as if Jaycee Dugard got to see a sports page. Box scores were not available to her from June 10, 1991 until Aug. 31 of this year...Dugard was 11 when she was kidnapped and stashed in Phillip Garrido's backyard. She was 29 when she escaped. Penitentiary inmates at least get an hour of TV a day. Dugard was cut off from everything but the elements.
...
•The Red Sox won two World Series, which proves that history is bunk. The White Sox even won one. But not the Cubs.

•Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played but never threatened Vladimir Guerrero's record for most consecutive swings.

•One blessed constant remains: Vin Scully.

•And ballplayers, who always invent the slang no matter what ESPN would have you believe, came up with an expression for a home run that you might appreciate.

Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard.

The sports world is, as some like to say, "life's toy department." To drag that horrific case of child abduction and imprisonment in simply as the anchor for some (let's face it, exceedingly lame) observations is inappropriate at best. I don't know Mark Whicker and I'd hope that this one just "got away from him." But it was in very bad taste.

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