Saturday, June 19, 2004

Golden Moldies

There's an interesting discussion over at Dodger Thoughts regarding Jon Weisman's post about longtime Los Angeles Times baseball writer Ross Newhan accepting a voluntary buyout. Newhan has been with the paper for 37 years, and the vast majority of those commenting on Jon's post seem to feel he has grown stale and petty during that tenure.

The obvious dinosaurs in Philadelphia, the Inky's Bill Lyon and the Daily News's Bill Conlin, continue to write engaging and even occasionally provocative stuff, and neither ever wallows in the kind of mean-spirited, ad-hominem columnizing that seems to drag down so many sports sections today. Both seem to take seriously their status as senior newsroom staffers, and write with a combination of informed opinion and fine prose that belies their years in the field. In fact, it's a couple of Inquirer lightweights, Frank Fitzpatrick and Don McKee, who really ought to be put to pasture for ralphing up curmudgeonly bitchings that reflect only their personal tastes, not any type of legitimate, defensible opinion on, you know, sporting matters. It's the kind of stuff my buddies and I used to bat around our lunch table in high school, only older and less interesting.

Fitzpatrick's awful Morning Bytes column in yesterday's paper, for example, included a typical gratuitous shot at NASCAR and this old-guy chestnut:

Comcast has somehow convinced Larry Bowa to wear a mike and answer questions during games.

Look, if you want pre-packaged, pre-produced, gimmick-riddled, made-for-TV sporting events, tune in for [ESPN's airing of a] hot-dog-eating contest.

But please leave baseball alone.

If I want to hear Larry Bowa, I can watch his postgame news conference, listen to his pregame radio show, or read his comments in the next morning's newspaper. I really don't need a cheap in-game intrusion.

If you can listen closely, you can actually hear Fitzpatrick's body calcifying in his cubicle. Meanwhile, McKee led his Sunday Incites column last week with a piece about the 1953 NFL draft -- yes, more than half a century ago. At a time when newspapers are about as interesting to the average young person as hemorrhoid cream, these guys are pulling their pants up to their armpits, driving 30 in the left lane, and whining about how sports just ain't as good as they used to be. How does that sell papers again?


4 Comments:

At June 20, 2004 at 7:20 AM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

Ya know, this guy is really starting to piss me off. Every week he takes a shot at NASCAR, as if the sport itself has no place on this earth. From his "analysis" of the Pocono 500, it is obvious that he only saw the highlights of the race, and not much else. "Leave baseball alone," he says. Hey Frank, leave NASCAR alone. If you don't like it, fine, but close to 200,000 fans were in attendance in upstate Pennsylvania, and they disagree with you. Ass!

 
At June 20, 2004 at 2:27 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I can't say I'm the world's biggest NASCAR fan -- hell, I'm not even the world's smallest NASCAR fan -- but the cheap shots are just so childish, as if the only person he's interested in impressing is himself.

 
At June 21, 2004 at 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morning Bytes and the awful "From the 700 Level" are just the worst parts of a Sports section that badly needs a new editor. Too many times there are typos in the box scores and standings, making them unreadable. And how about giving the RiverSharks some respect and giving them a half-page of coverage like they do for the new "professional" outdoor lacrosse team?

 
At June 21, 2004 at 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morning Bytes and the awful "From the 700 Level" are just the worst parts of a Sports section that badly needs a new editor. Too many times there are typos in the box scores and standings, making them unreadable. And how about giving the RiverSharks some respect and giving them a half-page of coverage like they do for the new "professional" outdoor lacrosse team?

 

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