One of the things I used to love about the Sunday before the season started was the wealth of baseball supplements in the newspapers. Sadly, that’s no longer the case, given what’s been going on in the industry over the past several years.
And, as I’ve grown older and more crotchety, I find I’m not interested in the fluffery bestowed upon the local teams. It seems to be more about slide shows and multimedia than substance and thoughtful writing. And the repetition of predictions has gotten a little boring, so I look for new topics that are a bit out of the ordinary. Here are a few I’ve discovered recently from a variety of outlets:
- What Umpires Get Wrong, from the New York Times‘ Sunday Week in Review
- Wrigley Field Turns 100, and Other Milestones Arriving in 2014, also from the Times
- For Opening Day, a Campaign to Love Baseball, ditto.
- Opening Day is the best day, with 24 examples and counting, by Ken Dawidoff, NY Post
(Full preview here; here’s the one from the rival NY Daily News)
- The 18 new beers at Orioles Park, Dan Steinberg, Washington Post
- How much does a ballpark proposal cost?, Cindy Boren, Washington Post
- By the way, the WashPo still does this kind of thing better than most of the competition. The Boston Herald does a pretty good job, too.
- Speaking of slideshows, here’s one from the Detroit Free Press on its local nine and one from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the “All-Time Coolest Cardinals’ Names: An A-to-Z Guide.”
- The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has this data base of every Brewers home run in the Miller Park era.
- Don’t know if it’s fair to include this one from Baseball America, given that its sole function is, well baseball.
You get the idea. Some newspaper don’t provide more than strictly local information. A few keep their goodies hidden behind a pay-wall.
Bit I don’t know if the standard preview capsules are worse than these dewey-eyed essays on the majesty of the national pastime game. And I say that as a lover of the game!
Coming up soon: the annual SI vs. ESPN the Magazine preview showdown.