A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, March 28, 2008

E,S,L: Sports Edition

I should've been a sports journalist. Seriously. I know I write better than most of the guys I read at espn.com or sportsline.com. Frankly in most cases it would be difficult to write worse. Possible, but I would have to really work to write that badly.

Mostly I let it roll off my back-- I like what I do and I like that what I do helps people-- but every now and then something truly egregious pops up and I do a literary double-take. Such a moment occurred this morning when I read the following:
Losing one front-line veteran arm was enough, but make it two and then add No. 1 starter Erik Bedard to a live underdog in Seattle.
This gem of a "sentence" is supposed to have something to do with the California Angels' pitching staff. Anybody got the faintest idea what it is supposed to mean? There is of course the fact that this is a fragment, not an actual sentence, but that is pretty common these days. No, I am more concerned with the content in this case.

The first part is comprehensible-- the Angels lost two veteran pitchers to causes mentioned in the previous paragraph. The referencing is weak-- it was not immediately obvious to me that the veteran pitchers mentioned were the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph-- but it isn't too difficult to decipher the phrasing. But what does "...then add No.1 starter Erik Bedard to a live underdog in Seattle" mean? Did we genetically splice a pitcher and a beagle? And why is this bizarre creation living in Seattle when we're talking about a team in southern California?

Mr. Bedard is never mentioned again.

Ah well-- at least we aren't using text messaging abbreviations in newspaper and online content.



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