I get it. I really do. I know how you sell newspapers. I know how you get blog hits. I know it’s not by writing the same thing as everyone else. That’s why the cover story in Time Magazine is never, “Yup. Sky is Still Blue.” The cover story would be, “Sky Might Not be Blue Forever.” So, I understand how writers get readers by going against the grain. It’s just a little frustrating to read.
The Red Sox had a bad year last year. So, why report that they may have a bad year this year? That’s no fun. So, last winter, let’s write about how they might do better the next year. Of course, signing the best two free agents helped that story along. With that, the Red Sox were anointed the best team in decades. Well, who is going to read another story about that? So, then came the stories that maybe they weren’t improved after all. Their fifth starter is a bit of a question mark. So is their long man in the bullpen. Come read my story, I’m telling you the stuff nobody else will. Then, the best team ever loses a few games to start the season. That led to my favorite type of contrary reporting. The “I’m not ready to call it the end of the season, but the season is over” stories. This is when they brought out the stats on how many teams that started 0-4 or 0-6 won the World Series. The ridiculous misuse of statistics and probability was ignored just for a story. It was pure writing genius, though, the way everyone hedged their bets. They wanted to be the first to write about the doomsday scenario, but didn’t want to be on record as complete idiots when the Sox turned it around. So, they wrote all the stories of how they better turn it around soon, or else. Then, the Sox win three in a row. Suddenly, everyone wants to be the first to say it’s not so bad. After all, last year’s team started 5-9 and was doing just fine before everyone got hurt. It’s crazy.
So, here the Sox sit on their way to the west coast. They have a 5-10 record after 15 games. The team looks to be figuring it out. Some of the key players have stats that don’t look quite so anemic as they did last week. Sometimes, it’s all a mental thing. Sometimes it takes a player like Jed Lowrie taking the focus off of a slump. There’s nothing that suggests to me that this team won’t have a great year. This should be a really fun stretch.
Too bad it’s going to be on the west coast.