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"Revenge of the Baseball Gods"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by vandelay, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. vandelay

    vandelay New Member

    Just finished this ESPN piece by Tom Friend. An interesting story for sure, but I thought he was a little tough on Almonte, like he was trying to rub the kid's failure in his face.

    Take the last line:

    "Who'd have predicted it? Seven years later, Matthew Cerda will be the one with the rookie card. And Danny Almonte will be the one with the green card."

    Really? Poking fun at him because he's an immigrant? Because he's trying for permanent residency and can't get it? It just sniffs of a low blow to me.
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Hoooboy, that piece needed an editor. Among other things.

    First of all, what was it? I thought it had some potential as a before-and-after 9/11 piece...i.e. the stuff that captivated us before it no longer did, but now it does. If that makes any sense. There was an interesting piece in there if he wanted to juxtapose 2001 to now, when EVERY FUCKING GAME is televised by ESPN.

    There are two interesting stories to be told about the pitchers. Combined into one, it didn't work.

    But then again, that could have made ESPN look bad. And how about all the subtle ESPN references? A handful of Brent Musberger references (we know, we know: the games were on ESPN). "From Rick Ankiel to Rick Sutcliffe." Really? Of all the pitchers you could have chosen, you chose ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe?

    And I'm SURE it's just a coincidence this piece appears the day before the LLWS final. I'M SURE OF IT.

    Oh and Vandelay is right: A cheap ending and Friend seems all too happy to mock Almonte for his reversal of fortune.

    Ugh. The whole thing makes me feel like I need a bath.
  3. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    9/11 was useful only in the detail that the Almonte story was pushed aside, and forgotten for awhile.
  4. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Agree with you guys, although not sure if he totally meant the ending as a cheap shot. The story says he's close to fulfilling his dream of being a permanent resident, which is the same thing as the green card. I think he's just comparing different kinds of...cards? Ok, it doesn't work.
  5. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I liked it. I think he made the point that Almonte is something of a victim, and not this evil figure. It's just an interesting story about following the path of each kid in the time since.

    I think it could have done without the whole 9/11 thing, because it's not really relevant to the story. All "big stories" fade away, regardless of whether there's a national crisis.
  6. vandelay

    vandelay New Member

    Perhaps he didn't mean it, but that's how it came off, especially when he compared the two at the end. Like living with a green card is a horrendous existence, the very opposite of getting drafted and living your dream.

    I have a real problem with this whole idea of "revenge". Like Cerda's success is somehow at the expense of Almonte's. He doesn't have a clue who Cerda is, Cerda doesn't seem to care that much either. But Friend is nonetheless desperate to tie the stories together, to somehow make Cerda's success a negative for Almonte. It comes off as Friend just prying for another part of the dead horse that hasn't been beaten yet.
  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I thought the 9/11 angle wasn't at all needed. Leave it out. Certainly don't lead with it.

    I thought the ending about the green card, to be honest, was dumb.

    I thought the story idea was great and I thought the reporting was very good.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Almonte was a cheat. Pure and simple. No sympathy from me.

    I do like the 9/11 slant because the entire country was talking about two things before the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. This was one, and thankfully this boy was able to cope with what happened without tv cameras and reporters (sorry everyone) bugging him about being struck out by Almonte.

    Maybe he could have worded it differently, but I like where he was going with it.

    It was also pretty darn good reporting digging all of this up and focusing on the kid who succeeded.

    Oh, the other thing that America forgot about once Sept 11th happened...


  9. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    The Post just ran a 10 or 11 part series on the case last month. It could have been done in 4 or 5 instead, but they did it. Some of it was pretty interesting.
  10. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    I didn't read it that way at all.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I missed that when it ran, and I will enjoy reading it.
  12. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    Almonte was a victim of the enablers around him. He was a kid, what did you expect of him? If you want to blame someone blame the coaches and his Father but to label a kid a cheat for the rest of his life is unfair.
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