Here's what I'm talking about...
...any sports pundit who attempts to argue that Barry Bonds is somehow bad for baseball is verifiably insane. He is simply the most compelling on-field figure in the sport.
Now here's Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports, today, providing a stellar example of what's wrong with so much sportswriting nowadays:
For three days they have clapped and called and cared for BALCO Barry Bonds, the wine and sushi crowds of the San Francisco Giants' SBC Park pretty much eliminating the hope that this could be a new era of baseball fan, where lying, cheating and "flaxseeds" could be significant enough that you'd boo even your own guy.
Read the whole thing, and in case you can't believe your eyes: Yes, he is saying that every fan that does not boo a player implicated in steroid use is either an "imbecile" or should be "ashamed". Fans not meeting Wetzel's standards include Giants fans and Yankees fans. So far, that is. Cardinals fans, be forewarned:
With Mark McGwire set to make a rare public appearance during the Busch Stadium finale in October, St. Louis Cardinals fans will have the chance to show whether all of that "St. Louis is America's best baseball town" is real or just a marketing concept.
He doesn't make it entirely clear how icy McGwire's reception needs to be to satisfy him. Boos from every direction would apparently be great; I'm not sure if polite applause crosses the line.
Wetzel's shite should be read by all aspiring sportswriters as a reminder that over-the-top moralizing is a poor substitute for crisp and original thought, let alone "watching and commenting on sports". For the love of Pete, he thinks the reason that Raffy Palmeiro got a worse fan reception than Bonds and Giambi did (and McGwire will) is that Baltimore's fans are purer:
In Baltimore, the fans were so smart and so strong. They saw a fraud and they called him out, home whites be damned.
At least one town gets it.
ohcomeon. This is all damning stuff: poor style, no actual ideas, etc. But the proof Wetzel is in the wrong line of work is in this sentence:
[Giants fans] waved rubber chickens and only booed when San Diego Padres pitchers looked at this chemical robot built to hit balls into San Francisco Bay and smartly pitched around him.
My emphasis, Wetzel's horseshit. If you want to demonize the use of steroids without any reservations, I think you're an ass, but go ahead. But reflected in Wetzel's excerpt here is a lack of appreciation for the difficulty of hitting a baseball into San Francisco Bay that ought to disqualify would-be baseball pundits.