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Pray for your local beat writer for they have to endure some horrible, horrible cliches

May 26, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

Image (1) Bull-Durham-baseball_l.jpg for post 4053

I thank my lucky stars that my job description does not include “talking to baseball players after the game to get their insight.”  Because, if they actually have some insight, it’s buried under mountains and mountains of cliche.

You think you know this already because of that scene in “Bull Durham,” but the problem is way, way worse.  To see this, read Emma Span’s wonderful/awful research piece over at Baseball Prospectus today.  In it she compiles actual postgame quotes that made actual news reports over the last two weeks and puts them altogether into one giant blob of non-informative blather.

And think about this: for all of the quotes that were used in stories, how many were not used because the reporter who gathered them found them to not be at all insightful.  These are the best of the quotes!

So do me a favor: next time you’re on Twitter interacting with your team’s beat writer, take it easy on him or her. Because until newspaper editors decide to eschew the standard game story and change the marching orders of the people they have covering the teams, they’ll have to wade through this muck every day.  The horror. The horror.

  1. yankeesfanlen - May 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    The most intelligent sounding, thoughtful, and non-redundant baseball interview is Curtis Granderson.

    • spindervish - May 26, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      You know, I hear people say this about him all the time, but when he did a stint on Baseball Tonight a couple years back, I was thoroughly unimpressed. And he uses the phrase “go ‘head” unnecessarily and waaaay too often. As in: “You know, you just gotta go ‘head and go out there and play hard and go ‘head and try to get it done.” Bugged me to no end.

      • yankeesfanlen - May 26, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Obviously a couple of years ago, before we taught him his manners.

  2. halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Question from beat writer to manager: “So, what does you’re team need to do to start winning again.”

    Manager responds to question: “Well, I think we need to take it one game at a time.”

  3. rebarratige - May 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    OT: The man who fell down the stairwell at Coors Field has died.

  4. hughhansen - May 26, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    So, it sucks for the press to have to talk to the players after every game, it sucks for the players to have to face the press after every game and it sucks for the people that read the games stories…

    That’s an oversimplification, but still.

    • hughhansen - May 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      I should add that I find the stuff the players say before the game to be often interesting (as it’s relayed by the broadcasters/sideline reporters during the game), so we should keep that.

  5. bigxrob - May 26, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    And when the players (Fuentes) or owner (Wilpon) actually say what they want, there is an uproar and people have to apologize.

  6. dexterismyhero - May 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    they need to have Chris Johnson from the Titans football team give interviews to everyone. That could be a show all in itself.

  7. yankeesgameday - May 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Reporters need to simply ask better questions and actually use follow up questions to get a player to apply a little critical thought to the situation they are being asked to comment upon. Cliched answers making it into beat writer stories are from laziness on the writer front and the barely graduated high school players, many of whom are foreign born and attended only baseball academies since they were young, who aren’t prone to self reflection or insight.

    • yankeesgameday - May 26, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      For all of you giving this a thumbs down, what part don’t you agree with? That baseball is populated by a vast majority of people with barely a high school education since they tend to get drafted at the end of their senior year?

      That more and more Latin players are from third world countries whose talent alone sends them to baseball only camps where Education is an after thought and English is a second language?

      Do you disagree with the thought that asking these groups of players to come up with insight is asking too much because they’ve never been asked to do a whole lot of critical thinking I’m their lives?

      Or do you think beat writers don’t neeed to follow up their question with another in order to get the player to think passed their original cliche? Composing a question and its follow up is as much the writer’s job as watching the game and writing the summary.

      So for all the random thumbs down folks out there, could you take a minute to explain what is so wrong with thinking this is a closed ended system where writer and player just keep contributing to making each other look bad and that the power to change it lies with the writers themselves through a little extra effort?

      • yankeesfanlen - May 26, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Don’t worry about the no votes, I get them too from misguided Yankee haters. And what do I do? Compose twisted limericks, employ the Royal “We” when talking about the Universe?
        Partake of nicknames like Beep-beep, Grumpy, and THE FAT TOAD to boost our team enthusiasm?
        At least I don’t wear a pink cap. Dese guys pull your chain sometimes.Fuggettaboutit!

  8. umrguy42 - May 26, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Think about that for a while.” :p

  9. fearlessleader - May 26, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Along the very same lines:

    http://ablogoftheirown.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/rainy-days-and-mondays/

  10. stackers1 - May 26, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Everyone can’t be Ozzie Guillen. He’s really very amusing to a non White Sox fan.

    • Old Gator - May 26, 2011 at 5:35 PM

      Yes, and if I were a pro-vivisectionist cosmetics industry laboratory slave, I’d remove the rudimentary vocal centers of an Orang-Utan’s brain and find whatever it said after it emerged from anaesthesia just as amusing.

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