Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Drama

D.A. reject all over his face
You see no confession, no case
Then my boy started illin',talkin' and tellin'
Son of a bitch-he was a snitch
Drama
Ice-T (the "Power" album, 1988)

I suppose that little lyrical snippet is a bit like the A-Rod/Jeter interviews the last couple of days. Jeter thinks the whole relationship talk is a thing of the past, A-Rod re-opens a can of worms that the Captain dreads. Drama.

I loathe to write about this actually. The drama of the competition is far more interesting to me than the drama of the personalities. I suppose at heart I prefer the Derek Jeter, colorless backdrop to the sport than the alternative. I may be in the minority in that respect, but it's the way I feel. It's not to say that I want all the players to be drab interviews, and never get a peek inside their lives. I think the background of the characters in this vast narrative are part of what makes athletic competition interesting year round. The human drama is the fuel behind the data. I think the part of this plotline that I detest is the soap opera quality of it. It reeks of reality television, which reeks of junior high school pettiness. This is clearly only one man's opinion, but I don't believe I'm on an island here.

Is it surprising to anyone that Jeter isn't A-Rod's biggest fan? Hasn't this been the story since the Esquire article, and since Alex joined Derek on the Yankees? What's new about this story? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The only thing that is new about this story is the reaction that A-Rod had to juvenile prodding conducted by the tabloid press corps. Their standards are so low, and their brand of journalism is so base and puerile, that it's hardly worth reading anymore. That is, unless you love soap operas and baseless speculation. I'll take a short detour on this for a second to make my point.

I used to read the New York Post as a younger man. I liked the layout of the sports section. I liked the idea that guys like Peter Vescey had inside info and were respected enough to be afforded NBC's Studio chair during the NBA pre-game show. Score one for NY. As the years progressed, and I got a stronger sense of the lack of integrity that the entire tabloid displayed across the board, I began to sour on the whole thing. I still read Vescey because he was a little acerbic and he seemed to know something that you and I didn't. I quickly found this to be false as well, and my whole belief system about sports coverage began to crumble. Vescey was no more an insider than I, whatever he wants you to think. Nothing he ever writes in his column ever comes true. The information that his sources feed him about trades in the works and so on are never accurate and are designed to take clever little shots at athletes in an effort to titillate and sell papers. I don't blame him though. It works, and I believed at one time that it was worth my 25 or 50 cents every day.

Bloggers, fortunately, provide an escape from the cycle of pettiness. We aren't out there to sell papers, although "hits" are as important to us as circulation. Yes, you can find a good amount of bubble gum to chew on in the blogosphere as well, and there's nothing wrong with that. The vast majority of what I see from the well respected Yankees blogging community is of top quality, even when it's covering the trivial. The A-Rod story is born of the tabloids, and is sustained by the tabloids, and as a Yankee blogger I have a choice to make. Do I write about this "story"? It's out there and it's being talked about. If I don't write about it, my work is incomplete in telling the story of the 2007 season. If I do write about it, I join the chorus of people keeping the nonsense at the forefront of the conversation. I become a tool of the tabloids in driving their soap opera. You can see what I've chosen here, by the content and length of this post.

The thing is, I hate it. I don't want to write about it. I have a choice, and I've made my choice, butI think this rant is an annoncement of sorts. It's an announcement that Canyon of Heroes will do its best to stay above the fray. I'm waking up to the role that we, as bloggers, have in either replacing or outdoing the tabloids, or helping them do their dirtywork. The A-Rod/Jeter story is a fabrication of the worst kind. Journalism is driving this story instead of covering it. I won't be a part of it, if I can at all help it. Just as Alex and Derek have done, I will refrain from addressing this plotline from here on. It will go on with or without me, but I choose to be the gatekeeper of my own writing in this regard. Drama has a place at COH, but not this kind of artificial drama.

I'm in A-Rod's corner. I'm in Jeter's corner. When the bell rings, we'll all come out swinging together, the players from the batter's box and me from behind my keyboard. Go Yankees.

6 comments:

Tano said...

Amen, brother.
I've always liked your work, now you move to the top of the list.

Bryan said...

Thank You!!

josh said...

Hey Mike, have you seen that the NYT is having CJ Nowitzki do an on going blog entry about his transition to Japanese baseball this year. I thought you might be interested...

http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/greetings-from-japan/#more-175

josh said...

Sorry, make that "Nitkowski"...

Mike Plugh said...

Thanks Josh. I hadn't seen that. I'll look into it.....

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