Thursday, April 12, 2007

Two People Who Really Piss Me Of Right Now

1) writer, John Donovan: The guy did a peace on how Oliver Perez might have been successfully reclaimed and was going to be a key to the Mets future, actually mirroring thoughts that I had had myself. It was about two pages of glowing reports on Perez’s potential. There is a weird, unnatural joy in reading about how your favorite athletes are really very good. Reading this one, I was torn between being extremely gratified, since I have always liked Perez, and the strong feeling that putting this thing on the web a matter of hours before Perez’s next start was just jinxing the hell out of him. Perhaps, I should be grateful, since Donovan’s piece allowed me to enjoy a last couple of Perez-positive hours, before Ollie lost all concept of a ‘strike-zone’ and walked in the decisive runs in last night’s loss. A baseball fan is offered myriad instances of just how little connection there is between what is written on the web, and how well anyone actually does (and, of course, one bad start does not qualify Perez for permanent bum status, and hopefully Donovan will be proved right yet) - but the temptation, at least when they write things that you want to hear, is to go along with it. Reading Donovan’s bit on Perez was like dating a pathological liar with amazing tits: the depth of the desire to believe outweighs all instincts towards rational thought. And when, as they generally are, the ridiculous expectations are cruelly dashed, it hurts.

2) Whoever re-designed Gameday: following the game on Gameday is a little bit like drinking your own urine to avoid dieing of thirst: it will work, at least in the short term, but it is a situation that you don’t ever want to be in in the first place. At least the old Gameday got you accurate information and updated itself in a more or less coherent fashion. The current version looks a lot better: instead of the primary colors and sharp lines of old Gameday, this one has lots of shading and bubbles that make it look like it might be how they catch games on the Starship Enterprise. However, all the different aspects are rarely in agreement with each other: the graphic of the diamond will show runners on first and second, and the list of the at-bats in the corner will tell you that only one man came to the plate so far that inning; comparing the list of at-bats, to the line-up, and then checking the person who they are showing as hitting at the time, will reveal a batter or two that simply cannot be accounted for, at least until they re-appear after an update, leaving you to wonder if you are losing your mind. The old Gameday wasn’t flashy- and it forced you to realize that there was far more to the game than just a vaguely animated box-score, and to desperately wish that you were hearing it on the radio, but it got the job done. The update has essentially sacrificed coherence and brevity for a visual style that people three years from now will find repulsive. The fact that, as a culture, we routinely make that same decision is the reason our grandchildren will probably grow up speaking Chinese.

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