Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Burying the Lede

Dr. Phil reports this on his blog:

SAN DIEGO -- Someone surprising is rooting for Barry Bonds in his quest to break Hank Aaron.

"I hope he does it, just not here,'' Greg Maddux said on Friday night. "I've been pulling for him the last few weeks or so, but not the next two days.''

Why would Maddux, seemingly as straight of an arrow as there has been in the major leagues in the contemporary era, pull for Bonds? Aren't they the alpha and omega of modern players?

"I've always admired and respected how he's played,'' Maddux said. "He's always played hard, for the most part. He's definitely been very good in the outfield, way above average; he's run the bases good, played the game right. How do you not root for that? I do. I don't care about all that other stuff. I appreciate what he's done on the field.''

Maddux, 41, came to the big leagues with the Cubs late in the 1986 season, which was also the first for Bonds in Pittsburgh.

"I just respect what he's done the last 20 years,'' Maddux said. "I've watched him, played against him for 20 years, and even though we were never teammates I can still respect what he does on the field.''

Dr. Phil mentions Maddux’ “surprising” comments in his story about Bonds’ record-tying homer. Except for his print story, you have to read through 923 words to get to that point.

On the other hand, Dr. Phil made several mentions of Hank Aaron and Baron Budhausen’s ambivalence towards Bonds in those 900-odd words. And, of course, he recapped the steroids allegations we all know so well.

“Surprising” comments? In today’s journamalism, those are buried at the end of a 1,200 word report. Scripts calculated to please? Those are put right in the lead graf.

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