As I’ve already said, Spring Training started today. That may or may not set you off, but I’m fired up today. I can’t get enough news, I can’t hear enough glorious predictions, and I can’t wait until I go to Clearwater next month.
In my perusing, I encountered an article from The Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Something’s building in Florida” that discusses the 2004 season. I read every word, needing as much information about the Phillies as I can get.
Initially, I was frustrated by it. The key to good writing is brevity, so I despise writers using “well” when it’s unnecessary. Consider this:
[The Phillies] faded last season, but have added a good deal of pitching and have a reasonable expectation that third baseman David Bell will be better because he is not injured and leftfielder Pat Burrell will be better because… well, because it would be hard for him to be worse.
The writer of the article, Bob Ford, built a great argument, incorporating several of the key issues facing the Phillies this season. But that ending kills all momentum. I dare you to tell me that “…and leftfielder Pat Burrell will be better because it would be hard for him to be worse.” isn’t an improvement to that sentence. If you try to tell me it isn’t, I won’t listen because you’d be wrong.
Even with my statement, many writers today would write “I won’t listen because… well, because you’d be wrong.” I’m not many writers.
At that point, I was concerned, but I’ll take bad writing if it gives me baseball information. I continued reading and came to this:
The Phils will have to get along at shortstop with Jimmy Rollins, who is a wonderful fielder but has operated under the mistaken notion that he is also a power hitter.
You’d have to know something about baseball and the Phillies, but I can only say “Amen”. Jimmy, you weigh a buck-nothing. You have speed. Stop being obtuse and understand your role. It’s valuable to the team. Duh.
The new stadium has a huge modern locker room and a video scoreboard, and there is no outfield wall advertisement for “Lou’s Tattoos,” which is an indication of something or other.
No “Lou’s Tattoos”? Damn, damn, damn. I want tacky local advertisements. How will I enjoy Spring Training if I don’t have the possibility that someone might hit a ball through the eyes of the Hooters owl? Seriously, how? The pain I feel right now is indescribable, so I’ll show you what I’ll be missing.
For his conclusion, Bob Ford wrote the following:
“Welcome back to baseball. Pitchers, catchers and optimism report today.”
I wish I’d written that line.