The Times goofed on Ethier
What in the world was the L.A. Times thinking?
Andre Ethier, the National League leader in batting average, home runs and RBIs and baseball’s MVP of the young season, suffers a fractured finger on his right hand that takes him out of the lineup, and it doesn’t even merit a major headline in the Sunday newspaper?
Turns out, it isn’t even the angle on the game story that appears on page eight. The regular beat writer was off, and Jim Peltz, the back-up beat writer, is a solid professional who does a good job. But this isn’t a writing mistake as much as an editing mistake.
Where were the guys on the desk when this broke? It happened in batting practice, so it wasn’t a deadline thing. There was plenty of time to make a judgment on the story.
Somebody just made the wrong one. It is difficult to believe that this story came in on the Times computers and one or more editors read it, and somebody didn’t say: “Hey, wait a minute. The Dodgers’ best player just broke his finger and could be out indefinitely. Shouldn’t that be higher up in the story? Shouldn’t that be a major headline on page one, not a small mention five paragraphs into the story on page eight?”
As a former longtime newspaperman myself, I don’t make it a habit to criticize other newspapers, especially ones I worked at briefly. I wrote the Angels blog for the Times last year.
But this is a mistake that is difficult to overlook. Ethier has been more like Andre The Giant for the Dodgers so far. He is having a breakthrough season, one that could make him the newest superstar in town.
The club has been on a hot streak much like his recently, and at the very least, this injury takes much of the wind out of their billowing blue sails.
Finger injuries can be tricky. This apparently involves his pinkie, but he already has admitted it was affecting the way he holds the bat. So even if they try to cushion it or something, the fracture could be an ongoing problem.
Either way, this is a major story. I know the Lakers are the only thing that is supposed to matter right now, but never underestimate L.A.’s love affair with the Dodgers. It runs strong and deep, with a history and tradition that surpasses even that of Kobe and the guys.
Journalistically, for the Times to practically ignore a story of this magnitude involving the Dodgers’ biggest star is almost unconscionable.
— Steve Bisheff