Oct 12, 2010

The Wall Street Journal does sports

A couple of months ago, I ventured into the city one Saturday morning to attend a conference on baseball analysis with a friend of mine and his son. There were three or four panels, one of which focused on statistical analysis, specifically regarding baseball, in the media.

One of the more surprising things I learned from that panel, and from a bunch of the folks in the audience, was that The Wall Street Journal* now has one of the most highly-respected sports sections out of any daily newspaper in the nation. I didn't even know they had a sports section, but there it is.

*A quick sidebar here. Previously, among baseball fans in particular, the Kansas City Star's sports section was considered the premier sports section in the nation. With columnists like Jason Whitlock and Joe Posnanski, it was little wonder. Sadly, for the KC Star that is, both of those gentlemen have moved on to greener pastures. Just goes to prove, you don't have to work in LA or Chicago or NYC to matter on the national scene.

A couple of writers from the WSJ were present at the conference and what they said really made a lot of sense. They knew that they weren't going to be the go-to paper for regular sports fans looking for a recap of the previous day's games. So why bother doing the same old thing. They actually do game recaps...because they kinda have to, but it's the other stuff they do that makes them special. And they also were aware enough to know that newspapers as we now know them are a dying breed, and everything is going to go digital one of these days. So their website if fairly comprehensive.

So I've been checking it out recently. A little bit more neo-analysis than some of your standard newspaper reporting. Some fun and compelling human interest stuff as well. Check out the email interview with actor Wiley Wiggins on the physical resemblance from his character in Dazed and Confused to SF Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum. Fun stuff!

photo credit: The Wall Street Journal
I read about baseball a lot. I have many, many blogs in my feed reader specifically for baseball news and stories. I even have a Twitter account (no really, I do), but I mostly use it to follow several baseball writers. So I don't often get around to reading the sports sections of newspapers. Especially hard copies. But I'm finding that I'm headed the Wall Street Journal website more and more these days. It's really much better than I could ever have hoped for.

Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. The Wall Street Journal? Who knew?


RW said...

I don't know what to expect from sports reporting. Take for example the Favre thing. It wouldn't have been reported forty years ago, and there's an argument about whether that silence was better or worse. Do I care if Brett Favre was trying to get into somebody's pants? Not really, except having seen his wife it mystifies me why he'd need to. Because he's on the Vikings I strangely find myself actually glad that he may be a problem to his team, only because I'm a Bear fan, the Vikings are in our division, and I've yet to meet a Viking fan who wasn't a prick.

In a larger sense I should be concerned for the dignity of the women involved, and the wrongness that is sexism, but in the final analysis what's happening there really isn't any of my business. And, according to my belief system, I should be hoping everything turns out right for all concerned.

I'm not sure what I want from sports reporting, and when "reporting" is laced with opinion, who do I disagree with and how is it that a journalism degree allows a non-athlete to tell me what he thinks - and why should I bother to listen to him?

When I was 10 it was much easier. I think I basically don't want to get too deeply involved with who the players are dating and what their hair style should be.

I actually don't give that much of a fuck about their lives or their foibles, or the problems facing the sports press. I'm sure they're both all torn up about mine...

Verdant Earl said...

RW - Gia and I talk about Brett Favre all the time. And when I say "we" I mostly mean her. Even before his latest transgressions, there was the retired/not retired saga that went on for quite a few years. And my opinion about that and about the latest stuff is...I don't care.

I agree with you. 30 years ago we would never hear about any of this. Especially the is he/is he not retired stuff. But now the media has to make a story out of everything so they build it up into something big. All I knew, as a football fan, is that the NFL was more interesting with Brett Favre playing. Whether you were rooting for him or against him, he is a heckuva player. And he throws interceptions really well.

The latest thing...well, I don't really know what to say about that. The egos on these guys that lets them send out emails of their dicks and sexually accost team employees...I don't get it. I've personally known a couple of sports "celebrities" and they were gigantic assholes. I'm sure that's not true about all of them or even the majority of them, but it was for the few I've known. That's why none of these guys are really "heroes" for me, just players. I try to limit myself to enjoying them on the field. Off the field? I don't really care about them off the field.

Unless they are killing dogs.

sybil law said...

Now you can look all edumacated and stuff, reading the Wall Street Journal!
Brett Favre is a douche. Even before this stuff came out.
That's pretty much all I have to say - except I AM going to the Wall Street Journal, now. Thanks!

Mrs. Hall said...

My post list . . it is coming alive!!

#7. baseball something

and there will most certainly be

# 8. baseball or another


#20. brett favre: douchebag or no?


it's alive!! IT'S ALIVE!!!

Mrs. Hall said...

@RW-the favre, le sigh . . . dude seems all spoiled and childish. his actions respond accordingly.

le sigh .

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - He may be a huge douche, neh?

Holly - Your list IS alive! I may eventually get to all of them. Eventually..phew!