A couple of years ago, I read an interview with a sports reporter — can’t remember who — on the topic of objectivity in sports journalism. How does one prevent being a “homer,” and reflecting support for the home team that you cover every day? “You root for the story,” he said. I hadn’t heard the cliche before, but it struck me as a good way of watching sporting events that you have no vested interst in. Which for me, being as a Mets fan, means most postseaon baseball games.
Apparently the baseball hacks weren’t rooting hard enough. In the centenary World Series, they could have had a showdown between baseball’s two cursed teams — the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Boston hasn’t won a World Series since before they sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919, and the Cubs haven’t won a Championship since 1908, or even been to one since 1945. Everyone, except for a handful of contrarians would have loved to watch Game 7 of that contest.
But it all went wrong in the League Championship Series. Instead of The Story, there will be a dull contest between the perenial contenders from the Bronx and the overacheiving Fish from Miami. But at least the collapse of the Cubs was a bit of a story. It even got a mention here in Britain, on the Today programme, no less (RealAudio).
Now I’m forced to deploy my other default baseball principles: “root for the underdog” and “anybody but the Yankees”. Go Fish!