Friday, October 19, 2012

Ida know

Who is the mysterious poltergeist who's always following a sports columnist into the clubhouse? He was there after the rain delay:

Max Scherzer stood in the Tigers' locker room, looking all-too refreshed. He was supposed to pitch Game 4 on Wednesday night at Comerica Park. Now he was pulling on a sweatshirt. His dream deferred, he was going home -- even though he was yet to see a raindrop.

"Have you ever been rained out of a game when it didn't rain?" someone asked him.

It isn't the first time we've seen the little fella in the playoffs:

"Had you ever witnessed a pitcher kiss the ball before?" someone asked first baseman Prince Fielder about the toss from Alburquerque to end the top of the ninth. (10/8)

Or this season:

"What does it mean to be in first place?" someone asked Porcello. (7/21)

And he's not just a baseball fan:

"How do you always turn it on in the playoffs?" someone asked Franzen after the 4-2 victory. (4/11/2011)

"Why that play?" someone asked Stafford. (10/31/2010)

When someone asked Robinson if he knew his numbers, he said "No, I do not ... I'm a team player." (9/11/2010)

"What did you tell your team going into overtime?" someone asked Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio when the wild affair finally ended. (10/3/2009)

"If you could use one word to describe what happened today," somebody asked Williams, "what would it be?" (10/6/2008)

"In all the time you've played with Homer, have you ever heard him called for having his rear end in the crease?" someone asked Henrik Zetterberg after the 3-1 defeat that sends this series back to Detroit for Game 5 Saturday -- instead of sending the Wings to the Stanley Cup Finals. (5/15/2008)

"How are you guys looking so poised and not scared?" someone asked LeBron James, after another excellent performance, 32 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. (5/18/2006)

 "Did you even watch the playoffs last year?" someone asked Olausson, in the upbeat Red Wings locker room, after his goal won Game 3 and gave the Wings a precious 2-1 series lead. (5/23/2002)

 "What was said in the locker room when this ended?" someone asked Brendan Shanahan, after the Wings lost a lead, then lost the game, 3-2, in overtime, to fall in a desperate 3-1 hole in this Western Conference semifinal. (5/4/2000)

Who is asking all those mysterious questions? Inquiring minds want to ... no, actually not.


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

"Someone" is a bit awkward, but I think actually identifying the sportswriters would be too much information. Perhaps they could just say "one reporter"?

12:51 PM, October 20, 2012  
Anonymous Ed Latham said...

You can often write completely around it with impersonal formations like 'When asked if he knew his numbers...', or simply by posing the question directly in the text in the third person:

Does he know his numbers? "No, I do not ... I'm a team player."

That would certainly be the preference in British journalism, which would find so much authorial effacement artificial, to say the least.

It took me years of reading American sportswriting before I realised that 'When a writer asked' actually means 'When I asked'. I always had visions of gangs of reporters clustered cinematically around lockers at the end of the games, in the fashion of a black-and-white biopic about Lou Gehrig, pushing back the brims of their hats to mop their brows and making careful notes of each others' questions and answers.

6:48 PM, October 20, 2012  

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