When I railed on the Daily News’ Spring Training coverage yesterday, most of you who chimed in agreed with my critique of the paper’s over-the-top attention to Spring Training details. Thursday’s game — highlighted by a horrendous pitching effort by Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang — gives us another chance to evaluate how the New York sports media covers March.
Today’s story comes to us via Tyler Kepner of The Times. With a headline “Girardi Says Wang Has Work to Do,” Kepner’s piece explores Wang’s terrible start today in the context of Spring Training.
“His sinker was up, his slider was flat,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “He was in bad counts. They were aggressive, and they weren’t missing. You don’t ever like to get your butt kicked, but it’s a spring training game. We’re trying to get arm strength and we’re trying to get him ready for the season, and we’ve got work to do.”
Wang said he had to work on shortening his stride to the plate. He said his stride was too long because he was trying to throw too hard. “I will fix it quick,” he said…
The pitching coach, Dave Eiland, said: “It’s early, so he’s feeling strong. He was just under some pitches, so they were staying up and he wasn’t getting that late movement on his sinker. He did throw some good changeups. I try to take the positive out of everything. It was a rough day for him, but I think he’ll be O.K. He knows what he needs to do.”
That’s all there is to it. There’s no need to harp on Wang’s previous bad outings or his subpar ALDS appearances. A few quotes from the manager, one from the pitcher and one from the pitching coach all recognizing that Wang is working on getting his mechanics and arm angle where it should be for the season. That is how to cover Spring Training.
The world of New York media is a tough one. Some of the harshest and most popular blogs exist to dissect the media arena in this city. But for sports, be aware of what you read. Spring Training is a time for practice; it’s not a time to be concerned about how some bad outing in Florida stacks up against career experience. Worry in April; worry in May; enjoy it in March.