Space to fill, time to kill/The Red Line
Time for me to let you in on a little trick of the trade: When events happen correlates to where they go in the newspaper, and has done so since the beginning of time.
The week of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game removes the safety net for sports editors like me. I pray for no rain-outs during All-Star Week because there’s no baseball or other stuff to fall back on if the local schedule is washed out.?Thankfully, the only weather phenomenon in the area this week thus far is stifling humidity and no men’s league softball game has ever been called on account of sweat.
I didn’t watch much of Tuesday’s festivities from Citi Field in Queens. It was church league softball night and there were outs to be made, but more importantly, I’m kind of sour on the whole affair.
My attempts to avoid having to resort to putting the annual Home Run Derby on page 1 were suspended this year (I was out of town), and after the Mariano Rivera lovefest put on Tuesday, I kind of wished I didn’t bother with that either.
I don’t particularly concern myself with the fact that Prince Fielder didn’t get to start for the American League or that Yasiel Puig didn’t get to play for the National League. The concept of the ‘snub’ has been manufactured to fill what little sports talk radio airtime hasn’t already been co-opted by the National Football League. I mean, either you get to play in an exhibition with the best in your field or you get three days off to spend on a lake with your family fishing far from clubhouse interviews and constant travel. Frankly, I think everyone wins there.
The Pro Bowl is an almost universally derided waste of time and jet fuel.
The NBA and NHL All-Star games are now almost entirely free of defense or physical contact.
What makes the “Mid-Summer Classic” classic? And don’t you dare say because it determines homefield advantage for the World Series, because that concept is only marginally less contrived than just having Bud Selig pick a number between one and 10.
It’s because there’s nothing else on TV.
This realization happened upon ESPN executives a few years ago when they moved the ESPY Awards from February to July in 2002. There’s nothing to put on TV, either.
The reaching goes into the inside pages as well. A colleague from far away writes:?”Could we get a ‘Best of Ski Report’ for Friday’s agate page? I’ve already used rodeo leaders, fight calendar and motorsports standings and schedules, and there’s still a day to go before box scores start moving again.”?In the event you want to know what Carlos Pena’s batting average is, it’s right there in Wednesday’s paper if you look hard enough. I considered throwing in some “best of” box scores from throughout the first half of the season just to see who was paying attention.
If your event is taking place in late February, we may have some issues getting staff or space for it. Mid-July is a little more workable.
The news is a living, breathing animal. It just so happens this week, it is taking a short nap.
Brandon Veale can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/redveale.