Monday, June 06, 2005

The facts, spin and Major League Baseball

Much has been made of late about indisputable reality, spin and the increasingly weird world we live in now; a world in which, say, the Vice President can look at the indisputable reality of a massive upswing in violence and death in a Middle Eastern land and see a rebellion in "its last throes."

Now comes Major League Baseball, which, on its website, offers its own alternate reality. Let's say you lack satellite TV, are a lifelong Phillies fan and live in New York. Your only access to the game is the excellent up-to-the second reporting available on its site.

That's not the issue. But when the game ends, they offer a "wrap," in which two different writers, apparently employed by Major League Baseball, offer their own different versions of the game. It's not clear to me how long they've been doing it, but it's fascinating. Let's take today's game. The Phillies, after getting blitzed for five runs in the first inning, rallied in the ninth, but ultimately fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 10-8. In the alternate realities of, you get the Phillies version: Team fights back valiantly, but winds up defeated. Shows that the team is a plucky fighter. The Diamondbacks version? Home team jumps out to big lead and valiantly holds on against Phillies onslaught, sealing important victory.

Why would baseball offer such a service? Were there complaints from fans that a single write-up produced a biased version? Is it cheaper than running wire copy? It would be interesting to know...

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:07 PM

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