September 18, 2006

"'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,'"— that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.": In today's column on Red Sox prospect David Murphy, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo says Murphy's recent success is a reminder he has yet to deliver on the draft day hype, unlike 15 other 2003 draftees. One problem among other minor quibbles: 10 out of the 15 were not 2003 draftees. As sports fans get more information online, what is the role of the good ol' sports section?

posted by yerfatma to other at 02:22 PM - 29 comments

Apologies to Mr. Keats, who deserves better.

posted by yerfatma at 02:22 PM on September 18, 2006

An excellent, excellent question. What is the role of sports journals and newspapers in the instant gratification world of the internet? Some would say that they need to copy that which is successful, to be reducing the copy to the same factoid-like level of the internet - or to be a portal to cheap varied articles. Cater to the audience that is going away. Be like the boy! Be like the boy! (We like Roy! We like Roy!) I say, nay (I really do. "Would you like cream cheese on your bagel?" "Nay." "Nay?" ".... Butter would be fine, thanks.") be better than the 'net. Bigger articles, longer stories more in depth and specific coverage to local matters. Be smart, accurate (!) and interesting and the relevance will come back. This is what the NY Times should have done, I feel. But noooooo, they won't listen to my angry letters and phone calls and bomb thre- Hmmmm, I've said too much.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:31 PM on September 18, 2006

I agree. Butter is perfectly fine for bagels.

posted by yerfatma at 02:57 PM on September 18, 2006

While I agree that discussing the role of the sports page in the day of instant scoreboards and dime-a-dozen web punditry is of some interest, it detracts from the conversation to confuse the assclowns at the globe with a real sports page. If you want to discuss 'what is the role of the sports page', use what a sports page could be, not the worst example of what it is. That said, I can't think of any real sports page that I read that doesn't suck. The Miami Herald is a bunch of blowhards; the North Carolina newspapers I used to read let go all their best writers; the Globe is an insult to newsprint; and the Times is behind a paywall, so I don't read them. So what I actually read these days is:

  • ESPN for scoreboards/standings and Simmons (and previously for Neyer before he went paywall)
  • spofi and deadspin for general purpose sports commentary and tomfoolery
  • Duke Basketball Report for Duke/ACC basketball commentary
  • Every Day Should Be Saturday for college football commentary
  • Free Darko for NBA commentary
I think it may well be a sign of my waning interest in the NFL that I have no NFL/Dolphins news source. [And post-preview- Weedy, dead on about what the Times should have done. They've put the stuff anyone can do- punditry- behind the paywall, instead of the stuff no one else can do- deep, in-depth, international and investigative reporting.]

posted by tieguy at 02:58 PM on September 18, 2006

If by dull facts our sportspage must be chain'd, And, like Alexander1, the Boxscore sweet Fetter'd2, in spite of pained hastiness; Let us find out, if we must be constrain'd, The cleats more inter-swoosh-ed and complete To fit the naked foot of prosy; Let us inspect the liar, and weigh the stress Of every word, and see what may be gain'd By jeer industrious, and journalist meat: Misers of mound and syllable, no less Than Costas of his visage, let us be Jealous of good picks in the thirteenth round; So, if we may not let the Muse be free, She will be bound with Garlands3 of her own.4 1. Alexander Cartright, inventor of the boxscore. 2. Not Mike Fetters, who was drafted in 1986. 3. Jon Garland was drafted in 1997. 4. No, I don't know what this poem is trying to say, either. That Keats is one confusing bastard. I will say, though, that it comes as no surprise to me that there is such a thing as "Boston Sports Media Watch."

posted by BullpenPro at 03:13 PM on September 18, 2006

I read the exact same thing recently somewhere Weedy, but I'm blowed if I can remember where. It said, basically, that newspapers were horses and along came the car - the internet - and instead of focusing on what papers did well, they tried to build a faster horse. There's no way the day-late print press can keep up with the net for speed, so they should be concentrating on fuller more in-depth stories that do things the web isn't strong on. But they don't, so I guess they just don't like you, Weedy.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:17 PM on September 18, 2006

It's an interesting subject, I have found that the loser for my news dollar was the USA Today. Although written on something like a third grade level it was the only national newspaper. I read my local paper (rural New Hampshire) for local news and I am almost exclusively internet for any other in-depth news and sports on a national level. I must say Spo-Fi is the source for obscure sports news. After I read the same five stories from about four different outlets I come here to see what else is new.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 03:23 PM on September 18, 2006

Keats! Man, why did I ever think I needed any other websites. I (heart) spofi.

posted by tieguy at 03:24 PM on September 18, 2006

The suckification of the Globe is amplified in its effects by the slavish imitation of soi-disant sportswriters at every small(er) paper in the region. It's enough to make me want to stand up and scream, "Okay, sportskiddies, you got a small dispensation from Strunk and White in the name of more effective writing! When you insist on starting every. Single. (Non-)sentence with a conjunction or a preposition, it's not so goddamn effective any more, is it???" Well, that or invent a drinking game a la the chug boat, but again, it wouldn't really work in a print medium./font>

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:26 PM on September 18, 2006

I think it may well be a sign of my waning interest in the NFL that I have no NFL/Dolphins news source. Not that you could escape NFL news if you tried.

posted by tron7 at 03:38 PM on September 18, 2006

Close on the Baldelli thing. He was only ROY that year. This is somewhere between laugh out loud funny and disgusting. I may not physically hold the newspaper in my hand anymore but what I'm reading better be accurate or I'll be forced to the Seth Mnookin's of the world exclusively. That's all well and good, but what the local newspaper provides is an angle that blogs just don't have, the here and now with player commentary. If all news become second and third hand will we ever really know what happened if we weren't there ourselves. ~~UPDATE~~ Apparently someone at the Globe had the coffee finally kick in. Yerfatma's link now reads:

The '03 draft produced Lastings Milledge, Brandon Wood, Nick Markakis, Chad Cordero, and Rickey Weeks. When one thinks of it in that context, Murphy hasn't measured up, but the journey isn't over.
~~UPDATE of the UPDATE~~ BSMW also has this info too. They also note that Rickie Weeks' name is still misspelled and there's no correction attached.

posted by YukonGold at 03:41 PM on September 18, 2006

tron7: actually, I find it pretty easy to avoid NFL news; I mean, obviously I see links to things, but other than reading the injury feed in my fantasy league, and reading the 'fins box scores every week, I really don't watch/read any NFL news anymore. [NB: I don't watch any sports news on TV anymore; if you mean 'you can't watch TV sports "news" without having to sit through lots of NFL "news"', then yes, I agree, it is hard to avoid.]

posted by tieguy at 03:46 PM on September 18, 2006

Keats! Perfect! I knew anyone who wrote about some guy named Chapman and his Homer would find his work on SpoFi sooner or later. I think I have railed against the general ineptitude of the press, particularly the Globe, many times. The only decent writer they have had recently, Michael Holley, is no longer there. The rest of the staff is so busy auditioning for ESPN jobs that they pay no attention to facts. If Cafardo is confronted about his lack of accuracy, he'll probably blame some intern for faulty research. Trouble is, most of the interns are probably way smarter than any of the staff writers. All of you have it right. Except for good, well written, in-depth articles, print journalism has no place in sports. The question remains, where are the good in-depth articles? Like kyrilmitch, I read my local NH fishwrapper for the local stuff, and ignore the rest. Now that XM and Sirius are around, as well as the various MFL, MLB, NHL, NBA packages on satellite TV, what else do you need? Back to my peak in Dairien.

posted by Howard_T at 03:46 PM on September 18, 2006

I love bloggers who do what they do by linking to newspapers but now think they can do what they do without newspapers. Delicious. My personal hell would be a world of incestuous bloggers stealing lines from each other, trying to make them seem like their own, and pretending like they’re more than computer programmers with too much time on their hands... And no more newspapers. But I suppose I'm a dinosaur.

posted by SummersEve at 05:11 PM on September 18, 2006

Summer's over Wednesday, Eve.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:22 PM on September 18, 2006

If you like Keats' baseball stuff above, you should really read his work, "A Dream, After Reading Gammon's Episode Of Papi And Francona." It's a classic. Newspapers going bigger, longer and more in-depth is a nice idea, but then from what pool do they draw employees? There are few diamonds out there, and an awful lot of rough. How many reporters can you name who write so well you actually want their articles to be longer? Side question: does the "Boston Sports Media Watch" have standings? And if so, has the CHB been mathematically eliminated yet?

posted by BullpenPro at 05:29 PM on September 18, 2006

I would miss trying to figure out which bush the paper has been thrown into, fighting over the sports section, Sunday mornings with the paper and coffee, and what would one line the bird cage with?

posted by mjkredliner at 06:25 PM on September 18, 2006

Newspapers going bigger, longer and more in-depth is a nice idea, but then from what pool do they draw employees? ESPN seems to have done OK by hiring Simmons, and I'm pretty sure the Globe could upgrade their media coverage by hiring the BSMW dude. I'd guess that it isn't too long before most of journalists write for blogs first, prove they can write regularly and create an audience, and then move into more formal and longer-form journalism. Not all of them will succeed, I'm sure, but I'd put down very good money that the success ratio of good bloggers transitioning into good journalists is much higher than, say, good college newspaper writers turning into good journalists.

posted by tieguy at 06:38 PM on September 18, 2006

Cafardo? pwn3d.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 06:55 PM on September 18, 2006

The only decent writer they have had recently, Michael Holley, is no longer there. And then Michael Holley turned into a shithead on talk radio, completely buying into the "You pick one side and I'll take the other" schtick. Has everyone noticed how all of ESPN's new segments for football season are all antagonistic? "Sit or Start" "Shit or Cut Bait", etc. I felt awful for Ron Jaworski, the only good thing on ESPN, as he explained to me Sunday that I should: 1. Start Tatum Bell: project stats (ha!) 65 yds 0 TD 2. Sit Larry Johnson: projected stats 115 yds 1 TD

posted by yerfatma at 07:02 PM on September 18, 2006

Dude. Bill Simmons? His schtick has been played out for years now. It doesn't help that he sits around his house in LA, watching Karate Kid movies all day and playing video games on his treadmill. I loved him at first, but in my opinion he has really lost his edge.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:19 PM on September 18, 2006

I feel so unsatisfied

posted by YukonGold at 11:45 AM on September 19, 2006

Were you hoping for a "Those responsible have been sacked?"

posted by BullpenPro at 12:07 PM on September 19, 2006

I wish those responsible would grow a sack.

posted by yerfatma at 12:47 PM on September 19, 2006

That's all BSMW ever gets out of the Globe. Totally pathetic.

posted by tieguy at 06:02 PM on September 19, 2006

Maybe fact aversion is a New York Times-owned paper thing. Free Jason Blair!

posted by yerfatma at 07:07 AM on September 20, 2006

I can never remember Seth Mnookin's name. If only I could find a good mnemonic device.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:52 AM on September 20, 2006

Give me more of this, Globe.

posted by yerfatma at 01:07 PM on September 21, 2006

yerfatma, I almost posted this one today, but I figured it was too parochial. You are correct in saying that it illustrates one of the good things that the Globe has done. You also must admit that it works a lot better as animation on a web page than it would in print. A point well made for you.

posted by Howard_T at 04:14 PM on September 21, 2006

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