Testy Copy Editors

Page 1 of 1

Author:  jjmoney62 [ Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  Whither

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Dom Aitro Field sits in a dense, hilly neighborhood, right behind a battered K-4 school where the "Free" in the "Drug Free Zone" sign has been spray-painted over. Still, when the weather's just right, the sunlight and the thick trees circling the field create a shadow that splits the diamond in half, from home to second to center field. The dugouts' peeling aluminum roofs and the wet laundry hanging 15 feet away seem to disappear. Dom Aitro Field becomes the perfect place for baseball.

OK. I'm certainly situated in bucolic New Haven.

On Saturday, Aug. 1, the weather's just right, and Mark Gambardella's New Haven All-Stars are playing in the PONY Baseball North Zone Tournament. It's a double-elimination affair, with the winner going to the Mustang (10 and under) World Series. And, in the bottom of the fourth inning of the tournament's first game, Jericho Scott nods at his catcher, takes a deep breath, and winds up.

Weather's still fine. Eh, what's this? A character is finally introduced?

You remember Jericho, right?

No. Does that mean I can stop reading?

Last year, he became a national sensation — the 9-year-old pitcher banned by his league for being "too good." He also became, in what is always a competitive category, the worst-covered sports story of the year.

Yeah. So? Why do I care about last year's story?

The New Haven Register inaugurated the Jericho Scott era on Aug. 22, 2008, with a story on the controversy surrounding the Liga Juvenil de Baseball de New Haven. The LJB, an independent inner-city league, had told Wilfred Vidro, Jericho's coach, to stop pitching him because he threw too hard and presented "a danger to other kids in the league." When, two games later, Vidro sent Jericho back to mound, the LJB ruled it a forfeit.

Jericho didn't go viral until a few days later, when the sports blogosphere's major players latched on to a Register follow-up about Jericho's parents protesting the LJB decision. Old media and new media — both followed the same pattern, praising Jericho, mocking the LJB, and lamenting the everyone-gets-a-trophy contagion.

OK. I'm all caught up on last year's story. Thanks. Appreciate it. What? There's more?

But there was always more to this story.

A-ha! I was afraid so. Does that mean we can finally start this story?

At that non-game, the parents and players of Jericho's team allegedly chanted "losers" and caused enough commotion that the LJB had to escort the other team off the field. Several people heard Jericho's mother curse and threaten league officials. The LJB claims she said: "This will be the last year. Once the lawyer is done they're gonna eat shit and there ain't gonna be a league next year."

I guess not.

It's important to keep those words in mind when you learn the history of the LJB.

You mean first a little history lesson?

(Note: 2 LONG paragraphs of history here.)

OK. Now can you start the story?

(Nope. Three paragraphs here about the media sensation last year. You all remember the media sensation, right?)

Which brings us back to Jericho on the mound in New Haven, pitching for a spot in the PONY World Series.

Finally! At least we're back to where we started! No ... wait ... not more local color!

Despite the stakes, it's a youth baseball tournament like any other — camping chairs, distracted siblings, maybe 100 spectators in all, with a slight majority for New Haven's opponent, CBC. From a woman who kindly shares her bug spray, I learn that they came from Chesterfield, Va., an eight-hour drive away. It's a more suburban crowd than New Haven's, a sea of khaki shorts, and they like to grumble. "This is a horrible field," says one parent. "How did they get to host this? I mean, really."

Clearly, we're in for a bit of a class war. CBC's kids boast name-brand equipment bags, Space Age batting helmets, and, back home, as another parent proudly informs me, a "baseball complex" recently remodeled for $500,000. New Haven's team, in contrast, is a tough bunch of Italian-, Hispanic-, and African-Americans, and they're representing a city whose Little League barely found enough sponsors to survive. They have . . . well, they have an impressive array of chants.

Nevertheless, by the time Gambardella pulls his ace, New Haven's winning 20-0, and the CBC coach is frothing — literally, I'm afraid — at his players. In comes Jericho.

All right! The kid's back in the game -- and the story. Let's proceed.

Now, I'm no Keith Law, but I can play one online.

Uh ... who? Huh?

(Note: 19 more grafs follow.)

Find out how it all turns out -- if it ever does -- here.

Author:  Tom Berger [ Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Whither

So what you're saying is, in what is always a competitive category, the reporter is making sure this is still the worst-covered sports story of the year. For another year.

Author:  onceahack [ Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Whither

As I scrolled down to see how it all turns out, this parenthetical statement, five grafs from the end, caught my eye:
I won't even waste our time on the call to the cops after Saturday's game
I guess there is a mercy rule in sports "reporting" after all.

Author:  Bumfketeer [ Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Whither

Where was the copy desk when it came to suggesting changes in this massive turd?

Oh. Sorry.

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group