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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Media Comedy
by Hal Vickery

Sometimes the members of the local media are so predictable that it becomes hilarious. Let me illustrate what we mean:

Quick! When a Sox player leaves is traded or leaves via free agency, what can you expect the media to report?

That’s right! “[Former player] rips Sox.”

This time it was Brandon McCarthy telling how he liked the Rangers’ clubhouse a bit more than that of the Sox because he was a young guy and most of the guys in the Sox clubhouse were older and didn’t like the same things he did. So he felt like he didn’t quite fit in.

So what happens next?

“[Sox management person] responds to [former Sox player].”

In this case it was Ozzie Guillen who responded on Mike North’s show on WSCR. We all know that either Ozzie or Kenny Williams is going to defend either a) the team or b) their actions. So it goes….

Of course all good stories (or even mediocre predictable ones) run their course and a new news cycle rolls around. Guillen and McCarthy cleared the air in a phone call last Friday. So that meant the media had to come up with yet another controversy.

And who is more controversial than Ozzie Guillen? Why A.J. Pierzynski of course.

“But A.J. hasn’t done anything controversial this spring!” you protest. Does that stop the media?

No way! Check out this headline from Sunday’s Sun-Times: Pierzynski: The man everyone loves to hate.” This was followed by the sub-headline, “’The untrue story is better than the real story, so you deal with it.'”

Yes, Joe Cowley is at it again. The article begins by discussing Pierzynski’s other career in professional wrestling, how you need bad guys in order to have good guys, etc. But then comes this interesting twist when Cowley asks, “Is he really only talking about wrestling?”

What follows is a description of the incident last summer with Cubs catcher Michael Barrett. It describes how A.J. plunged into Barrett to score, how Pierzynski went for his helmet and was cold cocked by Barrett.

Then we get a rehash of other incidents from the 2005 season and how they have helped Pierzynski’s persona as a wrestler. I guess it could pass as a human interest story, but we all know about Pierzynski’s second career, and that he plays the bad guy part.

If we’re over three years old, we also know that wrestling isn’t real and that there are good guys and bad guys and that Pierzynski’s roll is that of a bad guy.

In other words, once again there is nothing new, except maybe the twist that Pierzynski is like the gang members in West Side Story telling Officer Krupke, “It’s not that I’m bad, I’m misunderstood.”

Now none of this would be worthy of comment except for the fact that, although the Sox won ninety games last year, controversy seems to surround them.

Here’s the final question of your quiz:

“Why?”

That’s right! Because a) it’s been that way for as long as most of the current media types can remember, and b) you can turn out your column in about 15 minutes by filling in all the blanks and go on to important things, like using that pool where you’re staying.

______________________________________________________________________

Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

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