The Write Stuff
Today it is my pleasure to bring you a guest article written by Mike Rutsey of the Sun! He just got back from Florida and I’ve asked him to shed some light on how to write one of those waiting for the season to start already filler pieces that you get dumber reading (present company excepted). Take it away, Mike!
1) Start with how tough it’s been:
It’s been three weeks of hard slogging up and down the west coast of Florida following the Blue Jays.
It’s important to connect with your reader. Canadians apparently have been “hard slogging” through a brutal winter while you’ve been in Florida watching baseball for the last month. Show that you have something in common with your audience with a well-placed piece of pathos.
2) Slide into the Hockey reference:
Is Scott Rolen the Jays answer to Carlo Colaiacovo?
Bit of a no-brainer, but it’s important to do early. Some of the thicker hockey fans may not have clued into what sport you’re covering yet. String them along a little longer. (Actually, this is hardly a tip, it’s required by my contract with the Sun.)
3) Fill Body of article with Regurgitated Crowd Pleasers
Look, what did you think you were getting here? Every time Roy Halladay blinks his eyes this spring it’s reported live from three different angles, in six different papers, over 16 different kinds of media. There’s no news left, and if there was a fistfight (hint: never punch Richard Griffin. His beard is actually made up of quills) would probably break out over who was going to get it.
You could try to wade into to the real tough questions like whether the heart of the offense can rebound, if the extremely young pitching staff is due for a sophomore slump, etc, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Some jackass living in his parent’s basement is going to get snippy with whatever you say and assault you with numbers (possibly via podcast), and the casual fan just wants to hear some guarded springtime optimism. So just check off what everyone is comfortable knowing about the Jays already:
- A.J. is a moron – Check
- Frank Thomas is a slow starter – Check
- Halladay is God – Check
Done! Now you’re ready to get back to the kind of clubhouse that comes at the end of 18, if you know what I mean…
4) Go Out With a BANG.
Which leads to the magic question of how will the Jays do this year? Will they have the right stuff to make it to the post-season? To quote Billy Crystal when he played Miracle Max in that delightful film, The Princess Bride: “It will be a miracle.”
Who are you going to remember at the end of the year- that guy who said 90+ wins like the rest of the mob, or the guy who smacked down a Princess Bride reference outta NOWHERE? Nowhere! Don’t try to act all cool like you saw that coming because I know you were knocked outta your chair and flat on your ass by that one. That’s money. Total zinger of a climax to the article. Baseballbaseballbaseballbaseballbaseball-20yearoldromanticcomedyreference! Boom goes the Dynamite! God I make this look easy.