Thursday March 03, 2011
Email of the Day
Remember how we both dislike “arguably” as a meaningless cliche? Well, Dave Anderson raised it to new heights yesterday in his tribute to Duke Snider. The Duke, he said, was “arguably a better fielder than Mays or Mantle.” Say what? Well, I guess you could argue that. You could also argue that I'm a better tennis player than Roger Federer.
To make it even better, there was a listing of the trio's lifetime accomplishments accompanying his column. One of Willie's was “4-time All-Star.” Someone omitted the 2 in front of the 4. How could a mistake of that magnitude get by the copy desk?
P.. S. Hope Patricia's feeling better.
Wow. Anderson uses “arguably” twice in that article. That's arguably the worst use of arguably since journalists began to overuse arguably—which I pin to about 1993.
The “4-time All Star” thing turns out to be a little fuzzy. Here's the infographic as it appears online:
My first thought: “Jesus, they didn't even fix it. It still says ”Four-time All-Star. And wait! They forgot his MVP award in 1965! WTF?“ Then I saw the heading ”WHILE IN NEW YORK,“ paused, and shook my head. Why limit things in that manner? Because if it doesn't happen in New York it doesn't happen? Because the infographic was put together by a Mickey Mantle fan, and Mickey looks better in this one? Or because the Duke seems more on par with Willie Mays in this one?
The worst part? The Times STILL got it wrong. Mays didn't go to the All-Star Game as the rookie-of-the-year in 1951, then he served in the military for the next two years. But starting in 1954 he went to the All-Star Game every year he played, including twice from 1959 to 1962, when they played the All-Star Game twice, for a record 24 times. In other words, Mays went four times as a New York Giant, 18 times as a San Francisco Giant, and two times as a New York Met. So Mays was actually a SIX-time All Star ”while in New York."
And R.I.P., Duke.