News Columns & Blogs

Game 19: Wingnuts 14, Saltdogs 1

Here’s the link to the box score on the Wingnuts’ 14-1 win over Lincoln on Friday. All the HTML stuff at the top of my page has changed, and I can’t find the hyperlink button anymore. So that’s always fun:

You might open up your newspaper tomorrow and see a whole bunch of quotes in my Wingnuts story. I say might, because maybe not all of you are reading my Wingnuts story. Shame on you. If you do read it, you’ll see a lot of quotes.

I wonder if that gives the impression that I’m not working very hard. Like I couldn’t come up with my own original thoughts and let the quotes supplments the facts. Or maybe you’re the other way — you want to know what all the players and coaches and managers and the grounds crew and the scoreboard operator and the guy selling beer in the right field bleachers thought about the game.

Well, not all of that applies here. I didn’t quote any coaches or managers for Saturday’s story and Lawrence-Dumont Stadium doesn’t have right field bleachers. But you get the idea.

Here’s where I come out on quote-driven stories: Yes, they can be lazy at times. Or at least, the person writing them can be lazy. My rule, usually, is to have no fewer than two paragraphs between quotes. Because I side with the camp that says you’re not working very hard if you have a lot of quotes in your story. You didn’t do your homework. You don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s a generalization — there are obvious exceptions.

I LOVED tonight’s quote-driven story, though. More accurately, I loved the quotes I got. Especially from Lincoln right-hander Donald Furrow, who had some interesting things to say about hitting Jeff Christy with a pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning. I’m not going to give it away here, but it was great stuff. Very glad I ended up talking to him.

So the quotes were awesome. The bench-clearing incident (which you will also read about tomorrow) saved the story, because there are only so many ways you can write that a team got a lot of hits and the other team didn’t get very many hits. I would have been as creative as I possibly could, but there’s not a lot I or Edward R. Murrow (not a writer, but the first name I thought of and a great communicator) or anyone else could do with some fairly lackluster material.

The Wingnuts, essentially, got hosed by all my great quotes. I could have written about their offensive outburst. It made for a good story. They needed a game like this — against a team ahead of them in the standings and a night after getting drubbed 16-4 at Sioux Falls. Stephen Pearson had a great game. So did Ryan Patterson. Pretty much everybody did. Nick Singleton pitched well again — he’s the definite ace of this staff.

But I just couldn’t go with that. I got too darn many good quotes.

You’ll know what I’m talking about when you open the newspaper in the morning.

Up Next: Lincoln at Wichita, Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Starting pitchers: Lincoln, RH Angel Castro (first start of 2010); Wingnuts, RH Adam Cowart (1-1, 5.06 ERA).