It's official! You've written the worst lede in the history of journalism:
ST. LOUIS – To make a long story short, Chris Young stands 6 feet 10 and is every inch an icicle.
I won't bother putting up anything else from the story, but I will say that it doesn't get much better from that historic low point.
Here's the addendum to Justin's original argument that I wanted to make before things got nutty on here: I think the reason most sports writers suck — particularly columnists — is because they're unwilling to follow some of baseball's most cherished cliches.
Don't try too hard. Let the game come to you. Just keep putting the ball in play. Don't try to hit a home run every time you're at bat.
In other words, it's high time that most sports writers let go of the idea that they're David Foster Wallace. Are there some very talented wordsmiths in the sports writing business? Yes, and most of them work for Sports Illustrated, or hardly write sports at all anymore (Halberstam comes to mind). But the truth is that most sports writers are fairly pedestrian when it comes to the written word, and only put their inadequacies in clearer relief when they try to make poetry out of a player feature or Game 3 commentary.
One of the reasons, I think, that Gammons is so popular both with people in the business and readers is that he's never tried to be something he's not; his talents are as a reporter and cultivator of "inside" sources. His writing has always been workmanlike, and that's fine. You read Gammons to find out shit you didn't already know (usually shit no one else knows), not to swoon over his prose.
I can say the same about Joe Poznanski of the K.C. Star, who many in the business feel is the country's best columnist. Ditto for guys like Bob Ryan and -- pseudo-local writer warning -- Greg Hansen. When there's a real take to be had, these guys adequately provide it. When there's insider-type information to be dispersed, they usually take care of it. And, the rest of the time, we ask them to not insult us by passing off some uninspired horseshit sentence fragments or facile touchy-feely crap as useful contributions to the daily fishwrap.
Also, it always helps when people are not serially wrong, like Jay Mariotti.
Who's the icicle now, Sullivan?