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View Full Version : Can anyone give me feedback on this baseball piece I wrote?


SephClone89
01-29-2011, 02:20 AM
[Mods, feel free to move this to What's the Score if you see fit. I wasn't sure.]

Hey all,

I'm a junior history major at ISU but I've always had some interest in journalism. My father got his degree in broadcast journalism and while he never fulfilled his dream to be the new Walter Cronkite, he worked in radio for several years and now uses his skills as head of external communications for a large Naperville-based corporation. I could never write for the paper in high school because you had to be in the class, and for some reason just never thought about writing for the paper here. However, after reading the terrible editorial about Cutler that I posted in his thread, plus getting great feedback on a (more politically oriented) letter to the editor that was published the other day.

So I've decided to get a late start and take a crack at it. I figure that if my reliable and high-paying career as a history teacher doesn't work out, I could always have the promising and growing fallback of journalist, or sports journalist.

My application had to include two pieces. I decided to attach the aforementioned political piece and write an additional piece about baseball. I settled on writing about the importance of Albert Pujols' impending(?) free agency. I had an older writer and baseball fan of mine look over it and give me a couple of pointers, and I think it ended up okay.

(Take it easy on me; this was my first piece of sports writing in a decade. The other one was an article about Hideo Nomo's no-hitter in 2001 for a project in the fifth grade. I entitled it "Another no-no for Nomo".)

SephClone89
01-29-2011, 02:21 AM
The Importance of Signing Albert

After the dust settled on the 2010 World Cup, last summer’s sports talk was all about LeBron James. Twitter exploded and on sports radio across the country the same questions could be heard ad naseum. Will he stay? Will he go? Chicago or New York? LeBron’s final decision to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami was an anticlimax to an exciting and exhausting saga.

Ready for round two?

Unless some good Don Draper style sweet-talking happens over the course of the next three weeks, it looks like Major League Baseball’s best player will be testing the market following the 2011 season.


Three-time National League MVP first baseman Albert Pujols will be playing the last year of his 8-year $111 million dollar contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. The word amongst the game’s top insiders is that Pujols, 31, and agent Dan Lozano have set an ultimatum to Cards management: let’s reach a deal before the start of spring training on February 18th, or else we’ll be entertaining other offers come the end of the season. Lozano’s initial proposal is believed to be to the tune of $300 million over 10 years, which would be the largest contract ever given to a player.


To describe Albert Pujols as a “great player” would be an early candidate for understatement of the century. Since he burst onto the major league scene with St. Louis in 2001, the Dominican has been one of the most consistently spectacular and productive right-handed hitters in the modern game. Since his rookie season, Pujols has finished outside of the top three in MVP voting only once.


His statistical achievements are a laundry list. He is by far the leader among active players in most offensive categories. Over the course of his first nine years, Pujols became only the second player in the history of the game to put up nine consecutive seasons of 30 doubles, a .300 batting average, 30 home runs, and 100 runs batted in. The other? Legendary Yankee Lou Gehrig.The Cardinal is no slouch in the field, either, having won two Gold Gloves thus far in his career.


And have I mentioned that he’s never been implicated in any sort of steroid scandal?
This may well be the first time since free agency was implemented in 1977 that we have had the greatest player of the game hit the market at the peak of his powers.


An unfortunate but inevitable reality in modern sports is that money wins out. Year after year, teams like the Yankees and Red Sox snap up the majority of the top free agents to add to already star-studded and payroll-heavy rosters. The romance of a legendary player spending his entire career with one team is largely a thing of the past, especially for teams who play in a smaller market. Pujols can change all of that.


At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious suitor for Pujols’ talents. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox have recently acquired elite first basemen in Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez, respectively. The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are potential candidates. And how’s this for a coup? Pujols to the Cubs, who will have money to spend.


The most obvious destination, however, is still the Cardinals. He is beloved in the city of St. Louis, to the point where an area newspaper humorously suggested renaming Busch Stadium “Pujols Park” in a move to appease the mighty first baseman. St. Louis is one of the few sports cities today in which baseball is still the dominant sport—for sports fans there the Cards are head and shoulders above everything else. The Cardinals are the second most successful club in baseball history. If any town deserves baseball’s greatest player, it’s St. Louis.


A move to New York or Boston or LA or (God forbid) Chicago would be a decision which would radically transform the world of baseball. One needs only to look back to a certain basketball player last summer to see how a money-fueled move can lead to absolute vilification. At this point, Pujols is one of the most universally liked players in the game by his colleagues, writers and fans.


To say that his upcoming free agency decision is a pivotal moment in baseball history may be a small exaggeration.


But it’s only a small one.

Wsoxmike59
01-29-2011, 08:50 AM
Good article, well written SephClone.

I personally know a couple of Cub fans who are salivating at the prospect of the Cubs trying to sign Albert Pujols. They feel once Ricketts takes a few players off the current payroll the Cubs just might be in a position to join in the Albert Pujols Sweepstakes.

tebman
01-29-2011, 09:22 AM
The Importance of Signing Albert

After the dust settled on the 2010 World Cup, last summer’s sports talk was all about LeBron James. Twitter exploded and on sports radio across the country the same questions could be heard ad naseum. Will he stay? Will he go? Chicago or New York? LeBron’s final decision to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami was an anticlimax to an exciting and exhausting saga.

Ready for round two?

Unless some good Don Draper style sweet-talking happens over the course of the next three weeks, it looks like Major League Baseball’s best player will be testing the market following the 2011 season.


Three-time National League MVP first baseman Albert Pujols will be playing the last year of his 8-year $111 million dollar contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. The word amongst the game’s top insiders is that Pujols, 31, and agent Dan Lozano have set an ultimatum to Cards management: let’s reach a deal before the start of spring training on February 18th, or else we’ll be entertaining other offers come the end of the season. Lozano’s initial proposal is believed to be to the tune of $300 million over 10 years, which would be the largest contract ever given to a player.


To describe Albert Pujols as a “great player” would be an early candidate for understatement of the century. Since he burst onto the major league scene with St. Louis in 2001, the Dominican has been one of the most consistently spectacular and productive right-handed hitters in the modern game. Since his rookie season, Pujols has finished outside of the top three in MVP voting only once.


His statistical achievements are a laundry list. He is by far the leader among active players in most offensive categories. Over the course of his first nine years, Pujols became only the second player in the history of the game to put up nine consecutive seasons of 30 doubles, a .300 batting average, 30 home runs, and 100 runs batted in. The other? Legendary Yankee Lou Gehrig.The Cardinal is no slouch in the field, either, having won two Gold Gloves thus far in his career.


And have I mentioned that he’s never been implicated in any sort of steroid scandal?
This may well be the first time since free agency was implemented in 1977 that we have had the greatest player of the game hit the market at the peak of his powers.


An unfortunate but inevitable reality in modern sports is that money wins out. Year after year, teams like the Yankees and Red Sox snap up the majority of the top free agents to add to already star-studded and payroll-heavy rosters. The romance of a legendary player spending his entire career with one team is largely a thing of the past, especially for teams who play in a smaller market. Pujols can change all of that.


At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious suitor for Pujols’ talents. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox have recently acquired elite first basemen in Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez, respectively. The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are potential candidates. And how’s this for a coup? Pujols to the Cubs, who will have money to spend.


The most obvious destination, however, is still the Cardinals. He is beloved in the city of St. Louis, to the point where an area newspaper humorously suggested renaming Busch Stadium “Pujols Park” in a move to appease the mighty first baseman. St. Louis is one of the few sports cities today in which baseball is still the dominant sport—for sports fans there the Cards are head and shoulders above everything else. The Cardinals are the second most successful club in baseball history. If any town deserves baseball’s greatest player, it’s St. Louis.

----> Move bolded paragraph here

A move to New York or Boston or LA or (God forbid) Chicago would be a decision which would radically transform the world of baseball. One needs only to look back to a certain basketball player last summer to see how a money-fueled move can lead to absolute vilification. At this point, Pujols is one of the most universally liked players in the game by his colleagues, writers and fans.


To say that his upcoming free agency decision is a pivotal moment in baseball history may be a small exaggeration.


But it’s only a small one.

Very well done, SC89. The only suggestion I'd make is to move the paragraph dealing with the money reality just ahead of the second-to-last paragraph describing a move to NY, Boston, or LA. It would bring the discussion around full circle.

But that's just a suggestion. It's really a very nice piece. :thumbsup:

SephClone89
01-29-2011, 12:18 PM
Very well done, SC89. The only suggestion I'd make is to move the paragraph dealing with the money reality just ahead of the second-to-last paragraph describing a move to NY, Boston, or LA. It would bring the discussion around full circle.

But that's just a suggestion. It's really a very nice piece. :thumbsup:

Hey, great suggestion! That makes a lot more sense.

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

SephClone89
01-29-2011, 07:19 PM
In my (not so) humble opinion, my piece was better than Phil Rogers':
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/sc-spt-0130-notes-rogers-baseball--20110129,0,5063305.column

:tongue:

tebman
01-29-2011, 08:27 PM
In my (not so) humble opinion, my piece was better than Phil Rogers':
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/sc-spt-0130-notes-rogers-baseball--20110129,0,5063305.column

:tongue:

I agree, in my not-at-all-humble opinion. Rogers is just turning a crank to put out stuff like that. Keep writing, SC89; there's always an audience for thoughtful, well-crafted essays. Those are the ones that last.