Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Even Sinking Ships Need Captains

L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke wins an award:
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times won the sports column writing category for the third time in four years, highlighting final judging results announced Tuesday in the 2007 Associated Press Sports Editors contest. Plaschke has won the top columnist category back to back years and has placed in the top 10 eight of the past nine years.

I'm sure Mr. Plaschke is a nice fellow, but if this award stands for anything, it stands for just how far the standards of print journalism have fallen. Plaschke does one thing well, and that's the occasional tear-jerker column about, I dunno, swimmers with rickets or something. The majority of his opinion work consists of columns with those single-sentence paragraphs refreshingly clear of coherence or insight. And often fact. As our friend Voros puts it in this BTF thread:
This is the guy that claimed one year that competitive balance was so bad,
only five or six teams had a realistic shot at the playoffs at the start of the
season. This was long after the number of teams who make the playoffs were up to

So, sure, congratulations are in order. The same kind of congratulations newly-crowned Roman emperors received in the mid-to-late fifth century.


Anonymous said...

I can't lie...I'm a sucker for those tear jerkers

Roger Moore said...

Ugh. This is the guy who made it his mission in life to ride Paul DePodesta out of town on a rail. He's an ignorant jerk who's proud of his ignorance. If he's the best columnist in the country, newspaper sports reporting is dead.

Ironic Goat said...

I'd give it to Joe Posnanski, but I probably do not read enough nationally to have a good opinion. Who would you pick, Shyster?

Craig Calcaterra said...

I probably don't read enough people to have an informed opinion either (I see a lot of Plaschke and Mariotti etc. because their inanity often gets linked on websites I frequent).

Tim Marchman is excellent. Alan Barra. It's been a while since I read him, but I used to like Boswell when I lived in DC. Posnanski of course, and even though he's not necessarily a wonderful writer per se, I like Jason Whitlock because he just honestly doesn't seem to care what people think, which is admirable.

Really, though? I read so much more online-only stuff than I do newspaper guys that I'm actually laughing more at the existence of this award than the quality of the guy who won it.

Ironic Goat said...

Bos is great! The Washington Post gets two columnists for the price of one!

Reading mostly online stuff does make it hard for me as well. I can say Plachke is hopefully a bad choice.

If it came to best internet baseball writer, who would you say then? I would still say Posnanski, for the way he can tell a story and the way he admits what he does not know.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Internet baseball writers I like in no particular order: David Pinto, Posnanski (his blog alone is worth it), Neyer, Dayn Perry, Maury Brown, Keith Law, Tim Dierkes (MLB Trade Rumors), Rich Lederer, most of the Hardball Times' guys, now that he has a website I guess Bill James counts. I don't read as many team-specific blogs, but I like Mac Thomason's Braves Journal, Geoff Young's Ducksnorts', Chris Needham's Capitol Punishment, and Cameron and Zumsteg's USS Mariner.

Anonymous said...

finding out b.p. got an award any award has just made me very mad....maybe the world is coming to an end?

Richard Dansky said...

This has the feeling of a big "screw you" from the old-school BBWAA-type crowd to those newfangled blog kids who make Plaschke a punching bag. The story reads much better if you imagine Bill P. shouting at those damn kids to stop blogging on his lawn.