Home > Newspapers, Sports > The MSM: Full of Surprises

The MSM: Full of Surprises

pujols

I don’t know what to make of the sports article in today’s Wall Street Journal, on the Leisure & Arts back page of the Saturday/Sunday Weekend Journal section. Allen Barra, whose biography of Yogi Berra has just appeared, has an article headlined Pujols Is Baseball’s Best. Well, yes. What else is new? I’m always happy to read more about Albert Pujols and his greatness, but this is hardly headline worthy. And yet, after a lead-in about the timeless question of who the best player in baseball, we read the following passage, italics added by me:

[T]he standards for greatness would appear to be simple: The best player in the game at any given time would have to be an outstanding hitter, a good defensive player, and at least a competent base runner.

Who, then, qualifies as the best player in baseball today? The answer might surprise even some dedicated baseball fans, but ask around and the name that pops up the most is 29-year-old Albert Pujols. The Dominican-born St. Louis Cardinal is a quick, intelligent base runner, though never called upon to steal bases. He is a superb first baseman, regarded by many as the best fielder at his position in the major leagues. “First base isn’t the hardest position to play,” says Lou Piniella, manager of the Cardinals’ archrivals, the Chicago Cubs, “but Albert adds an extra dimension. He’s sure-handed, and just about nothing gets by him. And he has very good range for a guy his size.” (He’s 6-foot-3 and about 230 pounds.)

But it is with a bat in his hands that Mr. Pujols excels. “If you define an effective hitter simply in terms of the runs he produces,” says Caleb Peiffer of Baseball Prospectus, “Pujols is just the best in the game — a tremendous power hitter who seldom strikes out. He might be the most consistent player in the game. He draws a lot of walks. He might be the best right-handed hitter in baseball history.”

I don’t doubt that this answer might surprise some casual followers of baseball, but dedicated baseball fans? Who could possibly be surprised. Sure, one can argue the point, but any dedicated baseball fan, if asked to name the three best players, would surely include Pujols, the only debate being who the other two are.

Yet another example of the fecklessness of the mainstream media. Maybe soon we can have a headline announcing another surprise: waterboarding is torture. Oh, wait. Not in the WSJ. But that’s another matter.

Categories: Newspapers, Sports
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