Monday, August 18, 2008

The Least Relevant Information Possible, Brought to You by the Washington Post

I'm taking the off day to just share a pet peeve, the Washington Post's series previews.

Before every series, the Post tells us which Nationals hitter has performed the best and the worst against the team that we are about to play. For instance, tomorrow we will probably be reminded that the "Nationals Best" against the Phillies is Austin Kearns and the "Nationals Worst" against them has been Ryan Langerhans.

Considering that Joe Blanton, whom we as a team have never faced ever, will start game one, what possible relevance is there how we've performed against other Phillies pitchers?

Why bother tallying up the results of Austin Kearns's performances against Phillies pitchers going back to his 2 for 5 with a homer as a Red against Kevin Millwood, Dan Plesac, and Jose Mesa in the Great American Small Park in 2003? How can they possibly think it's relevant to tell us Ryan Langerhans stats that include his 0 for 5 as a Brave against Cory Lidle in 2006?

Many times, they have even told us that our "best" or "worst" versus a particular team has been Dmitri Young or Cristian Guzman, even when they are hurt and will not play.

It would be as useful to share with us our performances on calendar dates ending in the number 9 or against pitchers whose names end in the letter "N."

I don't really care too much about this. The climate is warming. We are running out of oil. Almost 23 million people worldwide are infected with HIV. These are big problems. The Post's inability to present relevant data about our local baseball team is not.

But all these other problems are so complicated. This is easy. Why can't my daily paper tell me something, anything, about the upcoming series that is somewhat relevant to something? Is that too much to ask?


Dave Nichols said...

yes, yes it is too much to ask from the local paper, who insist on hiring rookies and interns and Style section reporters to cover the MLB team.

maybe someone on their blog should do an in-depth series preview! i bet that would be well-received. :-)

jimbo's brain fart said...

You do realize that the Washington Post is not producing these series previews themselves, don't you? They're just buying them from some baseball content service, probably the same one that they buy the box scores, standings, league leaders, today's matchup to watch, etc, etc from. All they're doing is shoving the information into the page templates they created years ago, et voila! A two-page baseball section in the midst of their Sports section. No muss, no fuss.

How do we know that the Post is not writing these things themselves? Simple. No byline of a WaPo staff writer, intern or freelancer appears anywhere on them.

Dave Nichols said...

yeah, we know. i think that's his point.

the Post cares so little about providing quality coverage, they put this generic, pre-packaged crap in their paper instead of having someone, you know, spend a half-hour looking things up and providing some real insight, much like this blog does for their previews.

maybe that would be good work for an intern to do, instead of writing game stories.

jimbo's brain fart said...

"maybe that would be good work for an intern to do, instead of writing game stories."

You do know you can't have both. It would be an either-or. You want a preview, or you want a game story?

Steven said...

The Post doesn't have to pay for it. They can get it all for free on

After they fix the previews maybe they can fix the RSS feed and get my delivery guy to stop throwing the paper on my peonies. :)