Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boo-hoo! A Philadelphia sportswriter complains about getting paid to watch baseball

Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Frank Fitzpatrick is waxing indignant over the way he was treated at Yankee Stadium at Game 1. Let's take a look at his piece, Fire Joe Morgan style:
Many of you seem to enjoy getting an inside look at how the media covers a big event like a World Series. Allow me to offer a glimpse into last night's glamorous Game 1 experience.
Um, no. Most fans care to hear about who's in the lineup, and what funny stories you might know about the players. Hearing about what it's like to cover the game, especially when there's a very good chance it will degenerate into self-indulgent whining, isn't really on the list. Most fans think you should be happy because you get paid to watch baseball, and in this economy, it's hard to argue with that opinion.
Rode to stadium with six Inquirer colleagues and a cooler packed with our postgame meal - or, more simply put, with six turkeys and seven turkey sandwiches.
Sure your colleagues are thrilled with this shoutout.
Four hours before Game 1, the main press box resembled the Tokyo subway. Bodies and computers made things impassable. The adjoining work rooms were overflowing too, the precious spots apparently having been claimed at dawn by savvy veteran journalists.

The poor Yankees. How were they know people would be interested in covering a World Series? Having hosted 39 others, there was no way they could possibly have anticipated a crowd.
Maybe if your paper didn't send seven writers, and every other paper didn't send so many writers, and so on and so on, there wouldn't be such a mess. Didn't you guys ever see that Herbal Essences commercial when you were a kid?
Beat a hasty retreat for the auxiliary press box, a lofty, outfield perch where Philadelphia sportswriters were assigned seats and sherpas to get them there.
After rappelling up there, it was quickly apparent that more clothing, binoculars and oxygen would be required. The freezing wind howled like a New York cabbie. The puddles of water that two days of rain had left on our chairs and tables were icing over.
Let's review. First you complained that the main press box was too crowded, and then the auxiliary press box wasn't close enough for your liking. Boo hoo. You also had to deal with the same weather conditions and sight lines that, um, every fan not ensconced in the luxury suites had to put up with. And you expect readers to be on your side about this, why, exactly?
We all would have huddled near the TV monitors for warmth had there been any TV monitors. Apparently it was OK for the cream of the nation's sportswriters to get wet but not for TVs.
If all you want is the TV monitor, and dry, warm, weather conditions, why didn't you just stay home and watch the game from there, like us bloggers? The paper could have saved their money in sending you to the game.

Look, at least I can understand sportswriters griping about deadlines, and rude players, and long hours. But to hear a writer complain about how his seats weren't up to snuff is a bit much.
Far below, set up atop the right-centerfield wall, we could see a pair of NYPD snipers. Had New Yorkers finally tired of the Yankees uber-obnoxious broadcast team of John Sterling and Susan Waldman?
Is this Philly's idea of humor? Sniper jokes about our radio hosts? Good grief.
By game time, the rain and cold climate brought to mind Nome or a Rockies game in October.
Gametime temperature was 52 degrees. Maybe that seems like Alaska or Colorado - to somebody from Florida. Not Philly.
On the field below, we could see Yanks starter CC Sabathia - the only human large enough to be visible - ambling toward the bullpen for warm-ups.
Even up here, in the section formerly known as Pluto, the ground shook.
Gee, a CC fat joke. How edgy of you. Yeah, I can totally understand why you wanted the good seats. A wit like that shouldn't be wasted in the auxiliary press box.

Sorry, I give up. I feel like I'm killing brain cells even recounting this nonsense - you can go here to read the rest of his article; it goes on and on for many more words, with lists, limericks, and more lame jokes.

It's not that this writer was anti-Yankee - heck, I loved the Philly City Paper's look at the Yanks, even though it was mocking them - it's that Fitzpatrick is just like every other whining sportswriter who thinks he should get the best seat in the house. And thinks that fans should care about his troubles. Leave the whining to the trained professionals - us bloggers! Thanks.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Wanda (aka Metschick) said...

You did better than me. I quit around the time he got to auxiliary press box. I hate whining, esp. whining with boring, unoriginal jokes.

Alex said...

I'm a Phillies fan, but I fully support your mocking of this shit column. What a joke!

Fletch Lives said...

I'm by no means the biggest fan of Sterling and Waldman, but any joke about sniping anyone is in poor taste. Also, big old [sic] for the paper...her name is spelled Susyn, not Susan.

Fletch Lives said...

err...Suzyn rather. /blushes

Anonymous said...

Great commentary. Am I right that humor was intended in his "New Yankee Stadium observations"? Something about the Rhodes scholar jab is, um, ironic

StaceGots said...

I sat one row below the auxiliary press box during the ALCS. It wasn't that terrible. He's a jackass.

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