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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Fay Vincent: What Happened to the Great Sports Writer?

THEY WENT THAT-A-WAY!

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There was a time when the New York Times was a carefully edited and well written newspaper. But here is a sentence I noticed the other day in a Times baseball news story: “Rivera, as he often does, did not allow a base runner.” What? Just pause a minute and try to parse that one. Maybe Yogi Berra wrote that line. Or maybe the person—I will not name him—who wrote that stunner cannot write or even think. Yogi once said, “No one goes to that restaurant anymore. It’s too crowded.” But Yogi never wrote for the Times.

One wonders whether any one read the Rivera line before the paper let it be published. What has happened to the ancient role of the copy editor?

...To me, an old man, there are few things as lovely as a finely written essay. I follow closely what the luminous Joseph Epstein writes and from time to time I make a habit of rereading the essays of E.B. White. His step son Roger Angell is a worthy heir to that genius in the New Yorker but one has to look diligently in the sports pages for the successors to Smith and Povich. Tom Boswell at the Washington Post and George Vecsey at the Times are among the very few who seem to care about how they write as much as about what they write. When I find a well-crafted sentence or the use of just the perfect word I want to applaud. I just wish there were a few copy editors who cared about our lovely language.

Repoz Posted: August 07, 2011 at 10:26 AM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, media

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   1. I Am Not a Number Posted: August 07, 2011 at 12:02 PM (#3894580)
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
   2. Bob Evans Posted: August 07, 2011 at 12:10 PM (#3894581)
It's a bit clunky, but at least I knew what the writer meant without re-reading it.
   3. Jack Keefe Posted: August 07, 2011 at 01:14 PM (#3894593)
Say Al they are ragging on Faye Vincent but he is right. Hey Al that would be a good handle on Primer. Alice Faye Vincent. Get it Al.

Anyway where was I. No Al it is a home truth. In the days when my great Grandad Jack Keefe Sr played for the Chi. Sox there was real Wriders. Ring Lardner was 1 and he could put pep into a sentence Al he crated my Great Grandad. Then there was Bozeman Bulger and William O. McGeehan and they could describe you a ballgame into their Remingtons whilst downing a Wimpy Burger and putting a double sawbuck on the quinella at Aqueduck. Why in the day Al there was Grantland Rice. Do you know what Rice did, every day he would watch a ball game and write a pome in Latin and translate it out of the Latin into Elginaic Couplets whatever the Hell that is. I would like to see todays Wriders do that all they can do like Murry Chaste is PRINT CAPITAL LETTERS MR PRESIDENT. Or worst is the bloggers who write stuff like First Inning, I'm Tired, Second Inning Whats at the Conscession Stand you know what Who Cares Al. And do not even get me started on people who post on Primer like Ray Diaperna who never heard a Broad Cast and Jolly Old St Nick who always says if you use Stereos you must be in the Hall of Merrit. Al you do not even need to reed this stuff you can make it up in your Head. Also they do not always use good spelling like Meat Wad and the Base Ball Chick. But I like the Chick Al because she is Femail and she does not like the Houston Astros. Nobody in Baseball likes the Houston Astros though do not tell Mr Williams or he will trade me there for a box of Balls.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 07, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3894595)
One wonders whether any one read the Rivera line before the paper let it be published. What has happened to the ancient role of the copy editor?

"Anyone" is one word.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#3894612)
agree w/ fay, writing has becom last art 2many have 4gotten
   6. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: August 07, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3894615)
What happened to the great sports writer? The same thing that happened to all budding journalists: they went to journalism school and yet they somehow never learned how to write.
   7. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3894641)
Angell wasn't really a sportswriter in the same sense that these other guys were. He was more of an outsider, or what fra paolo calls a guerilla sportswriter. There are plenty of us bloggers like that. Maybe Vincent doesn't venture beyond the newspapers.
   8. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 07, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#3894662)
Fay Vincent: What Happened to the Great Sports Writer?

Nothing.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: August 07, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3894663)
Check out that link and Posnanski's piece on Carl Lewis (who is running for NJ state Senate in November, btw, if he passes court muster re residency). Would Vincent say that sucked?

He is a curmudgeon.
   10. The District Attorney Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3894668)
Rivera, as he often does not, did not allow a base runner.
   11. KingKaufman Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3894673)
Good jeebus, does Fay Vincent not have anything constructive to do? There must be a local soup kitchen he could volunteer at.

First of all, the line he cites may have been in the print New York Times, but I doubt it. It was a Reuters wire story. If he saw it in the Times, it was probably in an early edition, holding space for the staff-written gamer. If he saw it online, which is how I'd bet, it was doing the same thing. Here is the NYTimes story of that game.

Second, the idea that one sentence -- and it was the second to last sentence in an 800-word deadline game story -- proves anything about the decline of sportswriting is absurd. As if, even in the times when sportswriting giants trod the earth, whenever that was, an awkward sentence couldn't have gotten through to the paper.

Third, this: "one has to look diligently in the sports pages for the successors to Smith and Povich." One had to look pretty damn diligently in the sports pages of 1960 to find Smith and Povich. They were great, but it's not like the sports pages were teeming with guys like that. What Vincent is saying is, "In the old days, we had two great sportswriters. Today, we have one awkward sentence. Alas for sportswriting!"

Fourth: We are in a golden age of sportswriting. I'll see Vincent's two great sportswriters of the Wonderful Bygone Days, let him add Jimmy Cannon and Jim Murray and whoever else he wants, and I can raise him with a giant pile of terrific writers. And all of them easy to find, unlike in Vincent's preferred era, when you had to happen to live in a town with a newspaper that ran one of the few greats.

Fifth: Vincent laments the loss of "the great sportswriter" by saying that copy editing has gone to pot. Well, that's an issue. Things don't get copy edited as much or as carefully as in the old days. So there are a lot of cosmetic blemishes that make it into "print" that didn't in the old days. This is hardly an indictment of sportswriters, per se. It's kind of a shame, and I hope the pendulum swings back the other way at some point, but the trade-off is worth it a thousand times over.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#3894680)
Spot on, King. Other than the point about copy editing, the only way that sportswriting hasn't advanced since the prime years of Smith and Povich is that nothing has really been able to replace the classic print version of The Sporting News for an easy one-stop weekly take on the world of baseball. That's truly a tragic loss, but in all other respects today's writing and analysis beats the old guys hands down. There were plenty of exceptions, and I'm certainly not trying to knock the best of the old timers, but in general what's available now compared to what was available then is like comparing the diet of resident of France to the diet of a resident of French Guiana.
   13. Repoz Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3894681)
First of all, the line he cites may have been in the print New York Times, but I doubt it. It was a Reuters wire story. If he saw it in the Times, it was probably in an early edition, holding space for the staff-written gamer. If he saw it online, which is how I'd bet, it was doing the same thing. Here is the NYTimes story of that game.

King, I thought the “Rivera, as he often does, did not allow a base runner.” line was Sam Borden's. Which would further tie-in the Fay Vincent/Murray Chass anti-NY Times kick they've been on...(Borden's front page New York Times article on Adam Dunn is prolly the ultima-pissed off point here with Chass)

Chass pumped up Vincent again today in his latest non-bloggg..."I posed that question to Fay Vincent, the former baseball commissioner and the most moral man I know. He provided a good answer, as he usually does."

Stink...
   14. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3894687)
I thought Chass was a labor guy, not a management guy. Then again, the owners weren't all that fond of Vincent.
   15. KingKaufman Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3894691)
Not Borden. Ray Stubblebine of Reuters. If you search Ray Stubblebine/Reuters C.C. Sabathia had a perfect game through 5.2 innings when rain forced a delay. (the first sentence of the Reuters piece that has the Rivera line at the end), you'll get a NY Times result, but if you click, you get taken to the Borden column. So the Reuters piece was literally holding space for Borden. They just poured Borden's column into the same URL, which is pretty cheesy web practice by the NY Times, by the way.
   16. Greg K Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3894692)
I posed that question to Fay Vincent, the former baseball commissioner and the most moral man I know

Here's a fun game. Best guesses on how your friends or loved ones would complete the following sentence.

"He/She is the most __________ man/woman I know"
   17. Repoz Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3894697)
So the Reuters piece was literally holding space for Borden. They just poured Borden's column into the same URL, which is pretty cheesy web practice by the NY Times, by the way.

Gotcha. High cheese, indeed.
   18. Jay Z Posted: August 07, 2011 at 05:59 PM (#3894705)
Spot on, King. Other than the point about copy editing, the only way that sportswriting hasn't advanced since the prime years of Smith and Povich is that nothing has really been able to replace the classic print version of The Sporting News for an easy one-stop weekly take on the world of baseball. That's truly a tragic loss, but in all other respects today's writing and analysis beats the old guys hands down. There were plenty of exceptions, and I'm certainly not trying to knock the best of the old timers, but in general what's available now compared to what was available then is like comparing the diet of resident of France to the diet of a resident of French Guiana.


Joe Falls and Dick Young were classic?
   19. ray james Posted: August 07, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3894721)
So, if we were copy editors, how would we express that thought?

My stab:

Rivera, as is often the case, did not allow a baserunner.


or:

As is his norm, Rivera did not allow a baserunner.


or:

Once again, Rivera allowed no baserunners.

Or:

It was the best of times for Rivera, as he nullified the possibility of an opponent score by allowing nary a basepath exponent.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2011 at 06:56 PM (#3894732)

So, if we were copy editors, how would we express that thought?


Chass: RIVERA THWARTS ANTI-OBESITY PROGRAM BY FAILING TO ALLOW BASERUNNERS, MR. PRESIDENT
   21. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 07, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#3894737)
Rivera pitched a perfect ninth, as usual.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 07, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3894741)
Spot on, King. Other than the point about copy editing, the only way that sportswriting hasn't advanced since the prime years of Smith and Povich is that nothing has really been able to replace the classic print version of The Sporting News for an easy one-stop weekly take on the world of baseball.

Joe Falls and Dick Young were classic?


Point taken, but I wasn't exactly thinking of those two when I referred to the "classic print version of The Sporting News". What I meant by that was that TSN in its prime (up through about 1962) was an unsurpassed one-stop printed source of baseball news, gossip, cartoons, analysis**, history***, interviews****, and statistics*****. No single source like that exists today, nor could it.

**Leonard Koppett (who came along a bit later) wasn't particularly literary, but for overall insight, historical perspective and analytical value he left every other writer of his day in the dust.

***One example out of many: Every All-Star game would bring forth a small avalanche of features on the history of the host team, and every World Series week would feature long articles on past World Series that the two teams had been in.

****If anyone ever were to take the time and trouble to collect them, an anthology of those Sporting News interviews would rival Lawrence Ritter's The Glory of Their Times for historic interest, if for no other reason than the fact that by the time Ritter conducted his interviews, many of TSN's former interview subjects were long gone to Valhalla.

*****Box scores and long descriptive summaries of every Major League game; box scores of every exhibition game; box scores for all the AAA and AA leagues; and weekly statistics for every Major League player and minor league leaders. Given the lack of computers, it was as close to BB-Reference as was humanly possible, and it was basically the vision of one amazing individual.
   23. Jack Keefe Posted: August 07, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3894744)
Hey that must have been that game last week that Riveria got into against us Sox. I was there Al. I can write a pome about it like Grantland Rice.

The outlook was not rosy when he took the mound in Chi.
The Sox were about to score some runs off that Riviera guy.
But Rios grounded out like some sap choking on his stogie
And then another grounder from the bat of A. Pierogi.
With David Beckham at the plate the Chi. Sox came to grief,
They would not get to play the 10th behind Reliefer Keefe.
He did not hit 1 on the ground or even in the air. A
0-2 pitch made him swing and miss. I hate that Riviera.
   24. Zach Posted: August 07, 2011 at 07:28 PM (#3894751)
So, if we were copy editors, how would we express that thought?

Gosh Mr. Sulzberger, it sure was nice of you to give me old man Jenkins' office after he left! Only what do you mean, correct the copy? Doesn't spellcheck do that automatically?
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 07, 2011 at 07:30 PM (#3894755)
The outlook was not rosy when he took the mound in Chi.
The Sox were about to score some runs off that Riviera guy.
But Rios grounded out like some sap choking on his stogie
And then another grounder from the bat of A. Pierogi.
With David Beckham at the plate the Chi. Sox came to grief,
They would not get to play the 10th behind Reliefer Keefe.
He did not hit 1 on the ground or even in the air. A
0-2 pitch made him swing and miss. I hate that Riviera.


We really do need a 5th Fireside Book of Baseball, if only to preserve the Keefester for printed posterity. That was one of the best ones yet.
   26. Accent Shallow Posted: August 07, 2011 at 07:49 PM (#3894772)
It was the best of times for Rivera, as he nullified the possibility of an opponent score by allowing nary a basepath exponent.

How about: it was the best of times for Rivera; it was the blurst of times for the ChiSox, as they failed to reach base in the ninth.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: August 07, 2011 at 11:11 PM (#3894842)
Fourth: We are in a golden age of sportswriting.


Is that true?
   28. smileyy Posted: August 08, 2011 at 12:10 AM (#3894865)
Yes. Well, from a total volume of quality material perspective. I'd even wager that the average overall quality has gone up too, along with the tremendous overall volume of writing.

The good articles from the past probably stand out because there were so few of them. I think we'd all throw ourselves out the window if we had to go back to sports coverage of the 1980s, let alone before.
   29. smileyy Posted: August 08, 2011 at 12:11 AM (#3894867)
Also, someone missed the perfect opportunity to work in a good "as is his wont" when talking about Rivera.
   30. 'Spos stares out the window, waits for spring Posted: August 08, 2011 at 12:26 AM (#3894877)
They would not get to play the 10th behind Reliefer Keefe.
He did not hit 1 on the ground or even in the air. A
0-2 pitch made him swing and miss. I hate that Riviera.


That was one of the best ones yet.


There's a better one? I find that hard to imagine.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 08, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3894891)
It was up there, but to cite one of Keefe's efforts as his definite "best" is hard to do when there are so many contenders. Although I will say this: His riff on Ring Lardner is the best parody of a writing style I've seen since I first read Wolcott Gibbs's famous New Yorker sendup of TIME magazine, and believe me, that's as high a compliment as I can think of.

EDIT: That Gibbs parody I mentioned above is behind the New Yorker paywall, but this blog from a few years back suggests its power to incite:

Wolcott Gibbs's skewering of Henry Luce in 1936 heightened the rivalry between The New Yorker and the Time-Life empire, a rivalry that had started with a long, nasty, and well-informed piece on [editor Harold] Ross and The New Yorker in Fortune by one of Ross's earliest colleagues, Ralph Ingersoll. Gibbs's Profile, which enjoyed Luce's cooperation, made a buffoon of its subject and, even more effectively, undermined "Timespeak," the queerly stentorian, neologism-studden artificial language of his magazines. (In Gibbs's devastating summary, "Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.") Leaning heavily on the reporting of his colleague John Bainbridge, Gibbs subjected Luce to a reportorial strip search, detailing his income, the decor of his colossal apartment, his odd habits in the office, his taste for pompous middlebrow journalism, and his megalomania. The Profile ended with a stunning flourish: ". . . Certainly to be taken with seriousness is Luce at thirty-eight, his fellowman already informed up to his ears, his future plans impossible to contemplate. Where it all will end, knows God!"

When Luce was shown the galleys he was furious and demanded a meeting with Ross.

"There's not a single kind word about me in the whole Profile," Luce complained to Ross at the late-night summit.

"That's what you get for being a baby tycoon," Ross replied, showing his command of Timespeak.

"Goddamnit, Ross, this whole ####### piece is ma ... ma ... malicious, and you know it!"

Ross hesitated. Finally, he said, "You've put your finger on it, Luce. I believe in malice."


Of course Keefe's intent is the farthest thing from malicious, but his ability to capture the essence of his parody subject is every bit as perfect.
   32. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 08, 2011 at 01:47 AM (#3894973)
There was a time when the New York Times was a carefully edited and well written newspaper.

Funniest damn thing I've read all week.
   33. Buzzkill Posted: August 08, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3895020)
I like Posnanski.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:11 AM (#3895252)
So, if we were copy editors, how would we express that thought

Rivera, the snappy-dressing, god-fearing, no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners Latin pill-tosser, befuddled the hapless trio of batsmen Guillen, the indefatigable Sox skipper, sent meandering to the dish. The three clueless gents flailed and flopped as if nobody had ever chucked the rawhide in their general direction leading one disgruntled observer to note that at least the 1919 White Sox were paid good money to be intentionally inept rather than naturally so.
   35. Dan Evensen Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:05 AM (#3895281)
What I meant by that was that TSN in its prime (up through about 1962) was an unsurpassed one-stop printed source of baseball news, gossip, cartoons, analysis**, history***, interviews****, and statistics*****. No single source like that exists today, nor could it.

Agreed, as always. Seriously -- nothing in the modern world of baseball journalism comes even close to what the Sporting News was between about 1946 and 1962. Those who disagree really need to get Paper of Record subscriptions and check out the years in question.

Andy didn't mention the Opening Day issues, which would rehash all the great (and now forgotten) stories of Opening Days of yore. Do they still do the parade in Cincinnati?

If I weren't toiling away at the Consulate here in Shenyang, China, I'd be doing research on Mr. Spink. As I see it, he's responsible for our modern perception of baseball -- particularly when the modern era begins and what stories it is defined by.

Posnanski is great, though.
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 08, 2011 at 11:19 AM (#3895282)
If I weren't toiling away at the Consulate here in Shenyang, China, I'd be doing research on Mr. Spink. As I see it, he's responsible for our modern perception of baseball -- particularly when the modern era begins and what stories it is defined by.

It's amazing how someone can be far and away the most influential publisher in baseball history, have a Hall of Fame award named after him, and still be completely unknown to 95% of baseball fans and probably to at least 80% of the people who post on this "Thinking Fan"'s site. Even given the decline of newspapers and a fading appreciation of the role they once played in the development of our culture and our institutions, it's still incomprehensible that Spink still hasn't had a real biography written on him.
   37. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 08, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3895302)
It's amazing how someone can be far and away the most influential publisher in baseball history, have a Hall of Fame award named after him, and still be completely unknown to 95% of baseball fans and probably to at least 80% of the people who post on this "Thinking Fan"'s site.

Until at least 1982, TSN did a 500-750 word report by the local beat writer on every team, punctuated by a 100 or so word collection of tidbits. The tidbits all had titles based on the team name (none of which, unfortunately, are coming to mind). Plus, as noted, it had all the box scores from the four majors, complete with 50 word summaries, and feature stories.

Sports Illustrated is still a decent read, but doesn't approach what it was in its 1970-1990 heyday, with long-form stories on big games/events and even longer-form features. The tone was exactly what you want it to be: informed, thorough, wary of hero worship but compelled by elite athletes' talent, essentially free of snark.(**) A story like Ron Fimrite's on the 1981 NFC Championship game exists nowhere in modern sports journalism, providing the reader with new details, and a chance to relive the drama more deliberately. The recaps on the various dot coms don't approach it, and their 12-24 hour shelf lives are commensurate with their quality.

Vincent's primarly thesis, not perfectly expressed, is that sports journalism today isn't what it was when the primary mediums were SI/TSN/Inside Sports/Sport Magazine/local sports page/NYT sports page/local TV sports. That thesis is true.(***)

(**) Nothing against snark, but snark as the primary motif of commentary is devolutionary.

(***) I'm finally getting to Simmons's The Book on Basketball. I'm in the tank so deep for 1973-85 NBA that Pol Pot's reminiscences on the matter would make me smile, but Simmons just wears you out with the hyperbole, the not-really-funny-and-really-clicheish "I'm white, but I love the NBA so I'm really black" and bubblegum stuff like the Clippers offering two kilos for Brian Taylor and David Thompson snorting the foul line. Simmons is probably the leading sports commentator of this era; Vincent really need say no more.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 08, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3895336)
Until at least 1982, TSN did a 500-750 word report by the local beat writer on every team, punctuated by a 100 or so word collection of tidbits. The tidbits all had titles based on the team name (none of which, unfortunately, are coming to mind).

From 1957:

Redbird Chirps
Yankee Doodles
Tepee Talk (Braves)
Red Roundup
Capital Close-Ups
Sox Shorts**
A's Atoms
Oil For the Lamps of Flatbush
Giant Glints
Pirate Scoreboard
Cub Cutups
Phillie Fodder
Bird Bunts / Bird Seed
Tiger Tales
Tribe Tidbits (Indians)

** Not much originality there; used by both Bosox and Chisox.

Vincent's primarly thesis, not perfectly expressed, is that sports journalism today isn't what it was when the primary mediums were SI/TSN/Inside Sports/Sport Magazine/local sports page/NYT sports page/local TV sports. That thesis is true.(***)

I'd say today's problem is twofold.

---Even though the writing is easily available with a click of your mouse, knowing where to find it can be daunting for an outsider. After a dozen years of being online, I'm still discovering new information websites every day. By contrast, in previous decades you could find the best writing with a ten second scan of the sports section of your local newsstand.

---And then there's internet spam**, which is easy to avoid with a little willpower, but which also tend to crowd out the good. To an extent you can see this even on BTF, with its endless stream of pinata posts that seem to be necessary to attract visitors. The upside of this is obvious: Everyone gets a say. The downside is equally obvious: Too many people offer little more than snark, which can drive away intelligent or nuanced commentary.

On balance I'd say that it's a big improvement, because it's so much easier for new information to be "published" and misinformation to be corrected. And for people with infinite time on their hands it's like having an unlimited use card to a good university library. But let's not kid ourselves: There's still a lot more to know that what you can possibly find by googling.

**meaning websites that contribute nothing but random opinions with little or no insight and no original content
   39. andrewberg Posted: August 08, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3895371)
meaning websites that contribute nothing but random opinions with little or no insight and no original content


The problem goes beyond a lack of original content. I am constantly annoyed by writers (and sportscasters) who seem to be trying to impersonate a sports writer. They use words, phrases, and column structure in whatever way is most commonly done so as to preemptively rebut any claims that they are not actually sports writers. It drives me absolutely crazy to hear or read a gross misrepresentation of the facts in order to fit them into a conveniently packaged story in one of the few forms that the author knows.

My girlfriend has a relative who converses in the same way. I think he only knows seven or eight phrases, so a wildly disproportionate number of things are described as "epic, "best ____ ever," or some similarly non-descriptive hyperbole. I guess it's true that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
   40. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 08, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3895377)
As Dave Barry's "Mr. Language Person" would suggest:

As so often transpires, Rivera allowed no baserunners.
   41. ray james Posted: August 08, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#3895433)
** Not much originality there; used by both Bosox and Chisox.


In the 60's, Boston was "Bosox Bunts". Can't remember what Chicago was but it was different.
   42. Jack Keefe Posted: August 08, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3895445)
Boston was "Bosox Bunts". Can't remember what Chicago was but it was different

Hey I see what you did here. I worked that out for my self and boy did I blush Al. If any 1 spells out that kind of filth I will come over and punch them in the Schnozz.
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#3895462)
No need to worry, Jack, it was actually "Chisox Chokes".
   44. smileyy Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3895469)
Jack, I'm confused as to what "Shunts" have to do with baseball, or how that makes you blush. Is that a Chicago-ism I never heard in my years there?
   45. Morty Causa Posted: August 09, 2011 at 07:09 AM (#3896096)
Nice Tribute to Woolcot Gibbs

I was once very interested in humorists and comic writers that came of age between the two world wars, especially those that were of the New Yorker school, or were precursors to it. Gibbs was an excellent parodist. A terrible movie reviewer (he was contemptuous of movies). Too bad.

It doesn't seem as if a clear record has been kept of who among the mainstays (Gibbs, Thurber, and White) during the magazine's golden age did what when it came to filling up the various departments and sundry anonymous parts of the magazine.

Gibbs, however, did play a large role in establishing and maintaining the style and tone of the magazine during those formative years. Here are rules he laid out as editor:

Gibbs's Rules As Editor

Here are tributes by Thurber and White:

http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2003/03/392011-thurber-tonight-about-wolcott.html

Maybe he doesn't like anything, but he can do anything.— Harold Ross
   46. Morty Causa Posted: August 09, 2011 at 07:10 AM (#3896097)
From that last link's home page (see footnote 10), just because it's both funny and telling about Thurber:

When Thurber divorced his first wife, he lived in a hotel. Every morning he would put on a white shirt, and every evening he would throw it on the floor of his closet. When he ran out of white shirts, he would have a bell boy buy him a dozen more. When there were so many white shirts on the floor of his closet that he could no longer close the door, he would move to another room.

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