Friday, August 27, 2004

Rest in Peace

Major newspapers have regular obituary writers, but small-town papers must enlist the efforts of just about every newsroom contributor in chronicling the stories of those who have passed on. At the paper where I worked 10 years ago, the city editor would snatch faxed messages from funeral homes, hold them high over his head, and bark, "Who wants a dead guy?" And one of us would dutifully raise a hand and get to work.

The Phillies' humiliating self-destruction has turned their beat guys into obit writers. Both the Inquirer's Todd Zolecki and the Daily News's Marcus Hayes today launch joyless efforts to chronicle what went wrong and what to expect in 2005. It's about what you'd expect -- free agents-to-be, pressing needs, the likely changes in management and coaching -- and depressing as hell, considering it's not even September yet. About the only surprise in their pieces is that Hayes goes easier on Bowa than he should.

The blogosphere, too, is starting to fill up with opinions on what the Phillies need to do next year. Tom G. at Balls, Sticks, & Stuff, Bill Liming at Phillies Fan, and Dan at PhogLights have all taken thoughtful stabs at it recently; meanwhile, Tom Goodman at Swing and a Miss offers a sobering, if necessary, caveat: "A wholesale housecleaning may well be on tap for the Phillies but they cannot expect to fill all of the holes in one off-season. The first order of business may be to designate a triage officer."



At August 30, 2004 at 8:17 AM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...

I loved the opening paragraph of this post. "Who wants a dead guy?" Meaning no disrespect, I burst out laughing in an empty room.

At August 30, 2004 at 10:03 AM, Blogger gr said...

"who wants a dead guy" - i swear i've heard that line somewhere before. not to say that you're a thief; wasn't it in a newspaper movie? when i worked at the new era in lancaster PA, the obits were overseen by an old woman who was right out of a 50s PSA commercial. she brought more decorum to that job that i would have ever thought possible.


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