Friday, August 8, 2008

An All-Out War on the Red Sox

I have a bone to pick with the Red Sox.

It was bad enough when they still had Manny, someone who knew baseball was just a game, and wanted to take it easy and let it all hang out.

Now they have boring, straight-laced Jason Bay, whose arrival signified the final nail in the coffin of the “Cowboy Up” Red Sox we loved in 2004.

Unlike Manny, Bay gives 110% on every play. But Manny has way more entertainment value, and he understands that the game is supposed to be a fun.

Now that he's gone, there's nothing to distract me from the horrible writing, reporting, and play-by-play calling that you have to put up with as a sports fan.

The Clichés drive me stark raving mad. In my own writing, I avoid them like the plague. I don't want my readers to become bored to tears, after all. But even I occasionally fall asleep at the wheel and allow some to slip through the cracks.

At least I'm not Bangor Daily News columnist Gary Thorne, who recently described the Manny situation as a “saga.”

Please. We already had the Brett Favre “saga” and before that, the Terrell Owens “saga” and the Barry Bonds “saga.” Let's leave the “sagas” for daytime TV, shall we?

Those who write for newspapers often fall prey to clichés because we work under pressure, day in and day out. At crunch time, when you have to pull out all the stops, the trite, convenient phrases readily work their way to your fingertips.

And then we wonder why newspaper circulation continues to spiral down the tubes. Before long, print journalism will have gone the way of the dodo.

A new approach to writing would come as a breath of fresh air to the newspaper industry. More time to devote to the craft of storytelling, rather than the mechanical pursuit of information, would seal the deal. A newspaper that can deliver the flavor of life to your doorstep is worth its weight in gold.

Unless you're reading a complete rag with no integrity, like the Portland Phoenix or the New York Post, your newspaper is probably reluctant to take a walk on the wild side. Eventually, they will wake up and smell the coffee, or they will pay the piper. Take your pick.

But newspapers are not alone in this farce. I'd like to put the hammer down on NESN every time I hear Don Orsillo declare that a pitcher “is in the midst of a meeting with himself.” Why not just say that he's “meeting with himself,” or, even better, that he's “leaving the mound for a short break,” or that he's “secretly plotting the destruction of the human race.” ANYTHING different would be wonderful.

And if a batter “goes down by way of the K” one more time, it will be the last straw for me.

It just dawned on me that we ought to have a hard and fast rule against clichés in the media.

What, you think I'm out in left field? You nay-sayers out there can just talk to the hand. Anything is possible, and, as you know, stranger things have happened.

It would be fun to try to watch Boston broadcasters and sportswriters come up with stuff to keep me from drifting off into la-la land for a change.

(There. That's enough ranting and raving for today. I hope I got it out of my system.)

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