Tuesday, February 17, 2009

E: MLB Network Editorial Team

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.



I'm *so* excited for baseball to be back! Who's your team, Proofreader? :)

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

Grammarphile, like you, I am excited about the start of a new baseball season. It's my favorite sport.

My team is the defending World Champion, Phightin' Philadelphia Phillies, also like you. Of course, I'm hoping they three-peat as N.L. East Champs this year (not worried about the bogus Mets), but repeating as World Champs is going to be nearly impossible. That's why they play the games, though!


I, too, hope the Phillies three-peat a NL East Champs this year. Not only do I want this to happen for the Phillies' sake and for the sake of all of their fans, but here's the thing...I'm a Philly native living in the heart of Mets territory in NY. At work, I'm frequently engaged in heated bouts of smack-talk with the Mets fans. Life will be miserable for me if the Mets ever become the NL East Champs again...I'm kind of outnumbered here, and I've talked enough smack that I've got it comin' back to me in spades eventually. As far as I'm concerned, the Phillies need to keep up their NL East Champs streak so I can keep my sanity at work. ;)

I agree--it would be nearly impossible for them to repeat as World Series Champions this year. But you know what else I love about baseball? The fact that anything is possible...and sometimes the teams you don't expect to win are the ones who *do* win. I'm still hoping that we were not only the team to beat in 2008, but that we're still the team to beat in 2009! :)

J. Alfred Proofreader said...

True that, Grammarphile! Despite the loss of Burrell's right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, their starting pitching and bullpen is still strong.

I too derive great pleasure from reveling in the Mets inferiority to the Phils! I'm ready for a great season.

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