Thursday, October 24, 2019

"Cautionary Warning For Writers"

(Note:  I was going through the recycling bin searching for a discarded article, when it occurred to me I could find it on-line.  I love the Internet.  It keeps you out of the garbage.  When you remember it’s there.)

To be filed for aspiring opinion writers under:

“Don’t do it like this.”

The Dodgers had been bounced from the playoffs.  Even earlier than the last two seasons when they weren’t bounced till they lost the World Series.  I’m kind of glad they went out earlier.  I don’t know if I could handle a third Series bouncing.

Everyone’s bummed when it’s abruptly over, especially after a Dodger 106-win season, which gave hope, but then ultimate despair.  Not “ultimate”, like it was the worst despair you could ever imagine but after a long season it is ultimate enough.

So here comes this L.A. Times sports columnist, chronicling the “Post Mortem”, which is not really a “mortem”, but feels like a “mortem” to long-suffering Dodgers fans.  (No World Series love since 1988.)

Now remember the headline for this piece, which you can’t because I haven’t mentioned it to you yet but now I will.

“Dodgers must be bold in acquiring players necessary to win World Series”

Awright!   We’re licking our wounds.  Looking for answers.  Let’s ride!

Slow down, cowboy.

In a kind of conceptual “curve ball” the columnist covers the bases – I know, but they fit – concerning how the Dodgers and other contending teams handle the issue of risk-taking.

A “Compendium of ‘Bold’”, if you will, and how these cases ultimately panned out.

For example,

In 2016, the Cubs gave up a budding superstar – do I need to do names?


… gave up a budding superstar to acquire a player who helped them win their first World Series Championship in 108 years.

That worked out well.

Two years later, however, the player the Cubs let go is now a postseason standout,
and the playoff-deprived Cubbies are watching at home.

So I guess, “Great news – ‘What do you expect it’s the Cubs’ news.”

Speaking against risk-taking...

There was this available relief pitcher the Dodgers wanted but were unable to land, who was later arrested on sexual assault charges.

So “Phew!”  (Sub-Section:  “Risk-taking can be risky.  And occasionally ugly.”

Then there’s the Dodgers, retaining their team-owned “prospects”, many of who became All-Stars, but not winning the World Series.

As opposed to the Houston Astros, giving up three Top-Ten “prospects” for one “game-changing” pitcher, and winning it all.

The writer imagines this range of risk-taking alternatives, including the Dodgers going “half-in” on a middle-expensive “free agent.”

None of that pertains this story.

Which I am somewhat sorry I made you slog through.

I have this rule.  It is unfair to criticize a writer for not writing what you wanted them to write.

I am breaking that rule.

Because this is just too much.

What we have here is a column about “risk-taking”, ending with

“… to win, the Dodgers will have to do something new.  They will have to be bold.”

Without a single mention of what they should do!

A guy’s writing about “Bold”? 

Show me some “Bold!”

Instead, a thirsty guy goes, “Water!”, and we get a lecture on drainage.

I mean, a “General Survey on Risk-Taking” is swell.

But how about some risk-taking ideas?

You know, because I frequently do it myself, I thought the writer had run out of time with his preambling “build-up” and would be back next with the actual goods.

But you know what?

The next day, the writer’d simply moved on.

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