I staggered back to the underground

Mark Wagner knocked in the winning run last night.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Mark Wagner knocked in the winning run last night. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

One of my pet peeves with sports writers (and bloggers and people who claim to be sports fans and comment on sports blogs and articles) is not getting a player’s name right. Drives me crazy. If it’s your job to cover the sport, you should know how to spell the names of the people you’re covering. There are plenty of media guides out there to help with this but if you’re media guide-less how about GOOGLE? Takes no time at all to find out how to spell a player’s name.

I bring this up because I have, on occasion, written criticisms here about not only laziness (such as not finding out the proper spelling of a name) but poor editing on the professional sites. I’m on my own – I’m my own editor. Luckily, you all get right on me whenever I mess up and I appreciate it because, as I think I’ve made clear, nothing drives me crazier in writing than it looking bad. Incorrect spelling, improper use of words (can’t tell you how many times I get an emails saying things like “I don’t think you meant to write “It took four ours to play the game”. For me, most mistakes are really just brain cramps (or a result of writing an entry at 3am!) and I appreciate the editing help. Today I found one such example in someone else’s work and instead of it making me cranky it made me laugh.

See, for all my crankiness about these things, last year I did something for at LEAST half the season that I’m not proud of.  I kept referring to Daniel Bard as “Josh”.  Now last season, Don Orsillo, of all people, admitted on air that didn’t even remember that Josh Bard played for the Red Sox, but I did.  At one time he was Bronson Arroyo’s “personal catcher” on the Reds so when the Sox got him it stuck in my head.  For good, seemingly, since I even almost called Daniel Bard “Josh” to his face.  Now, I know perfectly well the difference between Josh and Daniel Bard but you get a name stuck in your head and it’s tough to shake it.  Which is why it amused me that, in his wrap-up of yesterday’s Sox/Twins game, Ian Browne referred to Denard Span as “Chad Span”.  Google Chad Spann if the name doesn’t ring a bell.  I’m sure more of you haven’t heard of him than have.  Spann spent 6 years in the Red Sox system and never made it to the bigs.   I saw him play in Portland once and in Pawtucket once but that isn’t the point.  The point is, he hasn’t been in the Red Sox organization since 2008, yet he’s still in Ian Browne’s brain.  I know Denard Span is quite a different/better player than Chad but sometimes you can’t help a brain fart.

Of course, I would assume there is some kind of editing on the site, no?  Someone else could have caught this maybe?  On the very few comments left on Browne’s wrap up, he’s being hammered for messing up the name.  Had I not experienced the Josh/Daniel Bard confusion myself, I might have been one of those hammerers.   So cut Browne some slack.  (Quite possibly the last time I write that about a member of the Boston sports media…)

Sox won the first game of the Mayor’s Cup, 2-1, thanks to hits by Dustin Pedroia, Josh Reddick and Mark Wagner.   In two innings, Josh Beckett gave up two hits and a run…but let’s not focus on that just yet.  First game of Spring Training so he’s allowed.

This afternoon, Chad Spann’s buddy Jon Lester will be on the mound to continue the defending of the Cup over at Hammond Stadium.  Today will be the first time Tim Wakefield gets into a game “piggybacking” Lester.  We’ll also get a chance to see Mike Cameron.  Well, wait, “see” isn’t quite right.  The game isn’t being televised nor is it on MLB.tv…Gameday Audio is the only way to get this one (and from the looks of the Red Sox site, we only get the Twins feed).

It’s March 5, folks.  On April 4 we get real, live, televised, baseball.  Hang in there!

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