Game Stories

This isn’t a Red Sox blog, but I am a Red Sox fan. Have been since 1975, so don’t hold the bandwagoneers against me. I don’t write about that that often, though. Enough ink and bits are already spilled about the Old Towne Team. What more can I add? I still watch and listen to the team, albeit not as much as I used to (I’m one of those folks responsible for NESN’s ratings dive.) When I don’t watch or listen, I still want to know what happened. I subscribe to a local suburban paper, but rarely read their game story or the boxscore. (I used to love the scoreboard page when I was 12. I’d absorb it like a sponge with all the boxscores, standings, and transactions. Oh, to find the time to do that today!) I usually read Craig Calcaterra’s “And That Happened.” It’s one or two lines per each major league game, usually, but it gets to the meat of it without the fluff.

Carson Cistulli (Hi, Carson) and other Fangraphers met in NYC over the weekend. I wanted to go, but it was too early in the day for me to make it worth it. I would have had to arise at dawn, drive to New Haven or Stamford, and MetroNorth it in by 9. I stayed up late on Friday and I need my beauty rest. [I was drawing diagrams and contemplating how Jim Bouton might be the center of the universe (more on that, some day.)]

Carson wrote today or last nite about how one of the guest speakers (Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald) has eschewed the traditional game story format. I rarely read the Herald, so I was not aware of this. Here is his story about last nite’s game. Contrast it with the AP report in the Hartford Courant. The Courant used to send a beat writer to Boston, but they don’t do it that often these days. Quite frankly, I find the weekly shopping newspapers more informative these days. Not much difference in style compared to the wire report, as far as I can detect, but Silverman’s piece reads better. It’s a stronger story about how four forgotten pieces of the roster contributed to Boston’s victory.

Yet, I find myself a mite confused. I thought one of the larger complaints by the blogosphere was how mainstream media types try and put storylines into their coverage. I’d be interested in your thoughts. (I’m blegging you!) I suppose I should read more Silverman to compare him and contrast him to other beat writers.



Filed under baseball, beisbol, writing

3 responses to “Game Stories

  1. Jon

    Anyone? Bueller?

  2. Matt Clement of Alexandria


    I can’t speak for the entire baseball nerd-o-sphere, but at least for me, I don’t think that what Silverman’s doing is a problem, and I don’t think I’m being inconsistent.

    What I object to is not narratives – narratives are great. What makes Vin Scully such an incredible gift to humanity is the way he crafts a compelling narrative out of ongoing events as he watches the ballgame with you.

    I think people tend to object to narratives when sportswriters turn to narratives in situations that call for a different kind of analysis. The MVP should be the best, most valuable player, not the player whose story is the best. There’s been a critique from the baseball nerd-o-sphere that MVP arguments shouldn’t be based on narratives. That’s separate from whether game stories or announcing should present compelling narratives.

    • Jon

      Welcome, Matt. Good post. I guess there are different types of stories. The one’s I think most hipper sports fans dislike are the soap opera ones. (For instance, did Mike Lowell snub Tito after hitting a home run last Tuesday.) What I think I did here today was confuse a distaste for that type of talk radio discussion with stories in general.

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