Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Joe Posnanski Ruins Everything With Beautiful, Beautiful Prose

By The Common Man

Damn you, Joe Posnanski

You make it so damn hard to write about baseball when you're so damn good at it.  Seriously, if you could clone JoePos and let him and the clones follow each of the 30 teams, the rest of us would just have to retire.  Because this is one of my favorite paragraphs of all time:

"But … what light? It’s not like Lee figured out one or two things. He was inventing a whole different kind of pitching. What other lefty could come at you with five pitches, all commanded, all controlled? Who else could be a little bit of Glavine AND a little bit of Maddux? It was startling, not because Lee had become a great pitcher — that always seemed possible — but because he had become THIS KIND of great pitcher. He walked just 34 batters all year. He gave up the fewest home runs per nine innings in the league. He led the league in ERA. He was preposterously good in a whole new way. He had become a power pitcher AND a finesse pitcher. And hitters were dizzy."

And then he follows it with this one in the same damn article:

"Eric Clapton has said that music can be condensed to a single note, if that note is played with the right sincerity. Cliff Lee stood on the mound with an 0-2 count against Brett Gardner and he could have thrown an infinite variety of pitches. He could have thrown his change-up away, his cutter in, his curveball down, his fastball up, his slider (which he rarely throws anymore) down and in, and he could have mixed and matched any of those pitches and those locations. It wouldn’t really matter. He now had Brett Gardner as captivated and spellbound as everyone else. He could do pretty much anything, as long as he did with sincerity."

And who else can structure an article around describing each of thirteen individual strikeouts, and make each one of them feel distinct and fresh?  And who even thinks to do that?

Damn it, Joe!  Give everybody else a chance, will ya?

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