Friday, January 25, 2008

Above the Fold - Columnists say the darnedest things

Friday is the time on Sprockets when we dance the day on TWFE when we take a tour of the Detroit columnists. They are in //sarcasm on// fine form //sarcasm off// today.

The only columnist active at the Freep is Michael Rosenberg, who says everything the Detroit blogosphere said about the Jose Canseco blackmailing Magglio Ordonez story yesterday. As always, the fishwraps are a day late, and losing money hand over fist...

Naturally, many people forgot that Jose Canseco is a gossip-mongering, media-craving, steroid pusher. But Canseco has done his best to remind us.

Canseco keeps doing what he does best: naming names. And because he was right about McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, he continues to garner more credibility than he deserves.

The truth is that naming names is easy. I can do it myself: Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Henry Chadwick. So what? The hard part is providing evidence.

Canseco and Ordonez were teammates briefly, in 2001, with the Chicago White Sox. Astute chronologists will note that 2001 occurred exactly four years before 2005, when "Juiced" was published.

If Canseco has something on Ordonez, why didn't he mention Ordonez in his first book? Ordonez was a big name then, too.

Rosenberg is an excellent writer, the only columnist at the Freep I enjoy. As his compatriots are the maudlin Little Fella, and the contrary for the sake of being contrary Drew Sharp, that's not saying much, but still...

In reading over his column, Rosenberg covers the exact same points Billfer, Ian, Samara and myself did on Thursday. It felt like I was reading a rehash of day old news that had already been covered, and covered well. Well, to be honest, I was.

Just because a columnist is in print doesn't mean that he is the only person that can intelligently break down a story, and point out the holes and inconsistencies. The blogosphere can do so as well, and do it quicker, as the Tigers bloggers did Thursday.

At the News, Bob Wojnowski finds himself in the same boat as Rosenberg, save for his subject is the Lions. Guess what? Wojo thinks there is no hope when it comes to our Detroit NFL frnachise! Really, Wojo? Well, no shit, Sherlock.

The Lions have no discernible strengths, no obvious plan and no sure stars, although I'll grant linebacker Ernie Sims is a riser. They have nothing they can count on, except for a nice stadium and tragically loyal fans.

The Lions have a clueless owner in William Clay Ford Sr., who continues to employ Millen for reasons that defy logic. Millen is completely culpable yet refuses to resign, unwilling to abandon the disaster he created, like a crazy squatter protecting his rickety shack.

The Lions blogosphere has been saying much the same things well before the season even ended. Wojo's column is nothing more than a laundry list of the same old Lions issues. Old QB, bad drafts, no talent, senile owner, moron GM. On the web Wojo, we've been there, done that, and already wrote the post.

Much to my surprise, the worst columnist in America had a column today, and just like Rosenberg, he rehashes the Canseco brewhaha. For example, Parker closes his column with the following...

Sadly, Canseco now comes off as simply desperate for money, apparently willing to do whatever he can to get some.

So, it now appears as if people were right about him. He never had the game's best interest at heart, just his.

Here's how I closed my Canseco post yesterday...

But he's no hero, as steroids just happened to be the dirt that would allow him to make big money, and keep his name in lights. And that's ALL Canseco cares about, not the good of the game.

Awful similar conclusions, don't you think? I'm not accusing Parker of anything, I'm just showing another example where the blogosphere can be just as capable, if not more so, as the writers in print when it comes to commenting on a story.

Considering Parker brags that he went to the big time and very influential Columbia Journalism School, and I attended a piss ant community college, yet we can come to the same exact conclusions, it doesn't say much for the writers that journalism schools churn out...

In their weekly Behind the Scenes column, Vartan Kupelian and Mike O'Hara break out the same old chestnut we read before EVERY Super Bowl, that current Pistons and former Lions (who's sorely missed) play by play man Mark Champion voices the Disney World Super Bowl commercials.

Champion, the radio play-by-play voice of the Pistons and former Lions' radio announcer, has been the voice of DisneyWorld Super Bowl commercials for the last 21 years.

I know I said it earlier, but I can't help myself. NO SHIT, SHERLOCK! Is there ANYONE in Detroit that doesn't already know this fact about Champion? Christ, I hate it when columnists write down to their readers...

The breakout of asinine columns continues at the Oakland Press, where Pat Caputo writes a glorified advertisement for a new baseball training facility. (Pat also needs to talk to his copy editors, as they missed his typos)

Secontine and business partner Jim Weissenborn have opened the Varsity Shop Training Center in Bloomfield Township.

A converted warehouse on Franklin Road, it is an indoor baseball training facility. Huge. Massive. State-of-theart.

Caputo continues with a piece that is essentially an unpaid (?) endorsement...

This type of facility is the future of baseball. Specialized training. Big indoor facilities in the northern sections of the country. It should help even what has been an unlevel field leading to the majority of elite baseball players coming from the warmer regions of this country.

You have got to be kidding me. A story about a for profit training facility? This is supposed to be an opinion column, correct? It reads more like a late night infomercial! I could see this story in a local section about business openings, but as an opinion piece from your lead columnist? Amazing...Just amazing.

That's "Above the Fold" for Friday, 1-25-08!

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