I'm not trying to be disrespectful but my goodness, it's the third game of the year; it's crazy. The thing I've learned here that's hard is you have to be patient ... Being reactionary in my job, especially here, that has a chance to set off things in a bad chain reaction as opposed to helping.And "being reactionary" is, when you boil it down, the precise job description of the sports columnist. Something happens - and he reacts, usually in a vacuum, in the heat of the moment. A bad loss = the end in nigh. A blow-out win or two = we're unstoppable.
The columnist's job is not to inform, not to offer perspective or analysis of the situation. If no one reads the column (or clicks on the article link or turns on the radio), the writer is not doing his or her job. They want to - they have to - get your attention. Acting rationally is dull; explaining nuances takes time. In a sound-bite culture, where having a webpage take an extra four seconds to load is exasperating, blurting out something - anything, often more emotional than accurate - is not only easier, it's required.
And speaking of dubious accuracy, check out what John Tomase wrote in this morning's Herald:
[T]he resulting firestorm [over Ortiz's explicative-packed statement Tuesday night] made him a talking point on the radio and TV, and at the very least, betrayed his sensitivity to repeated questions over his struggles, questions that date back to this time last year.So Tomase claims that Ortiz's outburst "made him a talking point" in the media, and then immediately says repeated questions about his struggles at the plate are 12 months old! Talk about writing in a vacuum. Each thought exists in its own reality, divorced from all other context.
Chad Finn (Globe) notes that April is traditionally Ortiz's
worst month for batting average (.259 career) and on-base percentage (.348) and second-worst (to, of all months, August) for OPS (.855). In 2003, he began the season 0 for 6. In '04, 1 for 6. In '07, 3 for 19. In '08, 0 for 11. Last year? Well, you know. ...Ortiz is 1-for-11. Mark Teixeiria is 0-for-12. Grady Sizemore is 1-for-9. Alex Rodriguez is 2-for-15. ... Vernon Wells is 5-for-7, with three home runs. And Edgar Renteria is batting .727.
Judging him on seven at-bats? That's not a [giving him a] chance. That's an agenda.