Ah, yes. The crack of the bat. The familiar smell of leather gloves, fresh cut grass and Red Man chewing tobacco. Spring Training is upon us. This time of year MLB players practice fielding hundreds of ground balls (stay down on the ball; don't let it play you!) in the quest to minimize errors during the regular season. Meanwhile, the editors of the newly-launched MLB Network Web site apparently engage in no sort of similar preparations, having begun the pre-season with a huge error.
As you can see, highlighted in the above and below screen shots, MLB Network Web editors have been running a poll on its home page that asks people to vote on which of Baseball's most hallowed records is least likely to be broken. It's a classic debate. The problem is Cy Young, MLB's all-time winningest pitcher, didn't win 551 games. He "only" won 511 games as the MLB online record book confirms along with several other credible Internet sources. What? Any baseball writer worth his salt knows the number 511 goes hand-in-hand with Cy Young.
So, how does the MLB Network screw up one of baseball's most well-known records? In an e-mail message a spokesperson for the MLB Network wrote only, "Thanks for sending the note and pointing this out to us." So, the Proofreader is forced to assume the root of the error is an undesirable quality both on the baseball field and behind a keyboard: butter fingers. As of approximately 4 p.m. the error has been corrected.
Also, if, like the Proofreader, you really want to nit-pick, to maintain a continuity of style, the copy should read "Cy Young's"; all of the other names in the poll are possessive. Overall, as far as printed errors go, this is tantamount to the 1986 World Series, Game Six Bill Buckner error. Such an easy play...ohhh, right through the legs.