Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Former Trade Continues Its Sylvia Plath Impersonation

There are a great many things which could be said about Manny Ramirez's suspension for failing a drug test. Serious things, humorous things, even, dare I say it, insightful things. The kind of things that might inspire a consumer to feel that paying money to read them was a good investment of money and time.

"Neener, neener" and "poor fielding and poor baserunning are the mark of poor character," are not two of those things. They are, however, the respective themes of Dan Shaughnessy's column in today's Globe and a piece by baseball writer Jack Curry in the New York Times. The subtext of these two works, namely, that many baseball writers love the game but hate the people who play it for unfortunate psychological reasons we need not go into here, shrieks its message over the top of the two men's prose.

As everyone knows, the survival of the Globe as a business enterprise is hanging by a thread, and the Times is hanging by about four threads. In those circumstances, bylined reporters and columnists have two options. One, get the hell out ASAP for less enjoyable but more stable work. Two, do the very best you can. Drive yourself to help demonstrate WHY your organization's product is a valuable item its customers would miss mightily if it went away.

Business as usual doesn't cut it. Self-importance self-righteousness is to be avoided, except it wasn't. If I worked for either of those two papers (never did, never will, will never regret it), there are a couple of fellow employees who'd be on my Mother's Day shit list.


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