Monday, November 2, 2009

Where was that strike zone last night?

Here's a good example of some awful sports writing:
What if I told you the New York Yankees are ruining this World Series?

What if I said that Andy Pettitte has as many hits as Mark Teixeira?

Or that CC Sabathia has as many pitching wins as George Steinbrenner?

And yet, incredibly, the Yankees can close out this thing with a win Monday night. They can make the Philadelphia Phillies the ex-world champions. They can do what few, if any people predicted: beat the Phillies in phive.

That's how good these Yankees are. They improvise. Adapt. Overcome. Talk all you want about their $208 million payroll and their roll call of stars, but the Yankees are winning because of their hearts, not their bank accounts.

One night -- the first night of this World Series -- they were down 1-0. Now they're up 3-1 and on the brink of a long-awaited world title.

"That was sooooo awesome," gushed actress Kate Hudson as she walked toward the Yankees' clubhouse after Sunday evening's 7-4 victory.

Hudson and Alex Rodriguez are an item. But the real love affair is between Yankee fans and A-Rod's two-out, go-ahead RBI double in the top of the ninth off Phillies closer Brad Lidge. It was only his second hit of the series, but like his opposite-field home run of a night earlier, it was a crucial at-bat.

Who cares about Kate Hudson? Why is the girlfriend of one of the players even in this discussion?

How about telling it like it is--last night's game was stolen at home plate. The balls and strikes called last night elicited numerous double-takes from the players. A frustrated Jorge Posada went so far as to jaw about the balls and strikes called on him--and he went right back out there and caught for his own pitcher, no doubt knowing that he might have poisoned last night's relations with the home plate umpire. When catchers are complaining, something is wrong with the balls and strikes.

Fox Sports gets zero assistance and literally no useful analysis from Tim McCarver. Every time a close pitch registered as a strike on the graphic, McCarver was noticeably absent from proclaiming what most of us already knew--the game was called by an umpire who had a very questionable grasp on the strike zone last night.

Has sports writing degenerated this far? No one wants to talk about the game anymore when there are hotties in the stands? I love hotties. A little sports writing about sports now and then would be welcome.

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