Baseball is a hard business. Only the toughest survive the meat-grinder of a path to the Major Leagues. Stepping on a big-league field is daily proof of a player’s mettle. Excelling on that field shows the kind of talent and determination that few can even imagine.
A baseball season is covered by hardworking journalists who understand the game and the grind, but when the season ends they call in the dogs.
The sorry business of attack-dog journalism is all the rage in New York these days and Mike Lupica of the Daily News is the lead hound. His headline on today’s page 6 column is “$200M for a bunch of bullies who can’t take a punch.”
There was a time when I thought newspapering was honorable, but Red Smith is dead and Jimmy Breslin doesn’t write much anymore.
Lupica’s words are the sorry result of everything that’s wrong with sports journalism today. He barges in at the end to take down a team he seldom sees and knows little about. He’s pocketed millions of dollars by making broad generalizations about men like Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner and Alex Rodriguez, who have the courage to try and build something rather than just pick it apart.
Nasty words may sell a few newspapers, but making Red Smith spin in his grave is a sorry business.