Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols’ mishandling of a relay throw by John Jay in the 9th inning of last night’s World Series Game Two allowed Texas’ Elvis Andrus to take second base after his single moved Ian Kinsler to third. A pair of sacrifice flies later, Texas had taken a 2-1 lead and hung on in the home 9th for a series-tying victory, circumstances Pujols wasn’t available to discuss afterwards. That rush to the parking lot strikes Yahoo’s Jeff Passan as a tad gutless. “St. Louis manager Tony La Russa empowers Pujols to do what he pleases, right or wrong,” raged Passan, “even if it’s the equivalent of ordering the lobster-stuffed filet and sticking the minimum-wage worker with the bill. He will face no discipline. He never does.”
It’s all a little too much for The Score’s Dustin Parkes, who asks, “would any real human being lose a wink of sleep without a post game quote from Albert Pujols?” Other than Jeff Passan, presumably.
Are sports fans today not savvy enough to get by without the cliche riddled musings of a professional athlete following a game? What exactly was Passan going to discover by speaking with what likely would’ve been a distraught Pujols? That he was, I don’t know, upset about the loss?
I’m not suggesting that media access should be curbed. I’m just questioning the ridiculous dependence on athlete quotes for game summaries. In the age of media training for players, what insights are ever gathered from this dated process? I would hazard a guess that the only time the vast majority of readers take note of a quote is when the athlete reacts like a bear that’s been poked with a stick once too often. In these instances though, the media themselves are the catalyst for the response.
It’s as though a template was formed long ago, and reporters and editors continue to complete it to the point of dependence on the no-brainer items with which they fill that template. All the while, they’re completely ignoring how uninformative the quotes that they’re collecting actually are. At some point, quotes from baseball players stopped being about attempting to support an idea proposed by the writer, and became an easy way to fill column space.