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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Low And In The Dirt: Matt Welch On The Times' Sports Coverage

The Times regularly gives up a few column-inches to outsiders for critical review in a column called "Outside The Tent". Today it's Matt Welch's turn, and he immediately goes to work on the likes of Plaschke and Simers:
As every long-suffering sports fan in this town knows all too well, "the Los Angeles media" is unfortunately synonymous with the Sports section of the paper you are holding. Especially its two loud-mouthed, value-subtracting columnists, Plaschke and T.J. Simers.

The two have had it in for DePodesta since his first day on the job. Plaschke greeted the new GM by calling him a "computer nerd," "webmaster," "General Manager.com," "Bill Gates," a "kid who relies on equations" and "speaks in megabytes" … and that was just in his first column. Simers immediately declared that the "Dodgers Come Up Short on New General Manager," and he has spent the time since vacillating between "Google Boy" and "Computer Boy" for a nickname. (The Times' Sports section, apparently, is still produced via typewriter and carrier pigeon.)

A fine column, the likes of which we've been needing to see for some time now. The only thing missing is a plug for Dodger Thoughts, but this unquestionably represents a step forward. Thanks to Repoz from BTF for the note.

that was refreshing to see in the times. but do they actually evaluate the merits of any of these "outside the tent" columns, and implement any of their suggestions?? i highly doubt we're going to see plaschke change his stripes any time soon, let alone the miniscule possibility of him getting canned.

anyway, it was good to see, though it barely scraped the surface of what's wrong. one could write an entire philosophical treatise about what's wrong with plaschke & co., and the times more broadly.
It was a nice effort by Matt, but sports columnists are pretty much going to stay on the job until there are massive layoffs, they retire, or they are caught plagiarizing.
Yeah, we get our one corrective per year, if that. It marks an improvement over 2004...
Pretty ballsy for the Times to publish such a self-critical piece. I doubt it results in any change in the sports writing, but it was fun to read.
Though it's probably not discreet to say so, my first draft *did* mention not just DodgerThoughts but your site, Lederer's, Hardball Times, BTF, and even L.A. Observed. These were deemed to shout-outty, so I fought for at least mentioning Jon ... and I lost. Not complainin', just explainin', etc.

And thanks for the plug!

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