Everyone has to have a nemesis, whether they’re a super-hero or not. Mine is Filip Bondy.
To start with, let me say that I do not wish physical harm on Mr. Bondy. I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice man in real life. I think he has a very cool sounding name and I don’t want him to get hit by a car. Nor do I want him to get lost in a Chilean mine. I do, however, wish that he would put this whole journalist charade to an end.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Filip Bondy is a sports writer for The New York Daily News. I first became aware of him just before the start of the recent ALCS when I read this little gem of an article.
The gist of the article, if you don’t feel like reading it, is that Bondy feels very confidently that the Yankees will always trounce the lowly Rangers because they’re the Yankees and they have all those retired numbers and all those trophies and such.
He suggests that it isn’t even a fair fight and that Bud Selig should just spare the Rangers the embarrassment and give the Yanks the American League Championship before a single pitch is thrown. It’s a lot of sensationalist drivel, to be honest.
At reading the article, I let my frustration boil over and decided to e-mail Mr. Bondy with my thoughts on his fine work.
I sent him the following:
I am a Texas Rangers fan and I have been for as long as I have been aware of the game of baseball. I wanted to inform you that your recent article (which compared the Yankees’ franchise history to the Rangers’ franchise history) is garbage. It doesn’t bring any reality shattering revelations to light. It merely states the obvious.
What exactly is the sense in pointing out something that everyone is already aware of? Is this somehow considered news? As far as I can tell, it’s just stating a fact. The Yankees win a lot and the Rangers lose a lot.
I basically just summed up your article in 11 words.
Your writing style is abrasive and sensationalist. It suggests that the Yankees will win based entirely on the fact that they have won before. I know they won last year, and that’s not worth nothing, but citing the glory of yesteryear isn’t exactly credible analysis of a series happening now. Will Babe Ruth be playing in the series? Will Lou Gehrig or Reggie Jackson be making an appearance? Will Whitey Ford be pitching in Game 1 instead of CC Sabathia?
As a fan of the Texas Rangers, I find it insulting that you’ve adopted the attitude that my team is somehow wasting your time. Would the Rays have been a more worthy opponent? Or are the Red Sox the only franchise allowed to take a beating at the hands of your beloved Bombers? Maybe the American League should be dissolved altogether. The Yankees can just rest up for 5 months before finally taking on the National League champs in the World Series.
Maybe it’s my own fault. Maybe when I was 8-years-old I picked the wrong team. How dare I root for anyone not wearing pinstripes, right? How dare I go to the Ballpark in Arlington with my dad to watch Pudge Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez play. How dare I wait 17 years for this time, when the Rangers have a chance to win it all.
I know the Yankees are considered a superior team, and they should be (with all that money they’re spending), but you’ve still got to play the games. Nothing is written in stone. No one has won anything yet. If the Rangers go out there and play their hardest and they still lose, then I will still love them. There’s always next season, after all.
I’m sure you probably won’t read this or pay it any mind, since I’m just some guy from Texas and you’re all the way up there in big, important New York City, but I’d like to know two things: 1) Are you actually a journalist? 2) Did someone actually pay you to write your so-called article?
I will admit that my e-mail may have been more biting than I meant it to be, but I was a little riled up. Not only at his barbed comments, but at his smarmy attitude and failed attempt at satire. It bothered me not that he was stating his opinion, but that he was stating it as fact.
I don’t understand this tendency of sports journalists that look down on bloggers, but then act exactly like them. It’s all opinion now and every statement is dripping with bias. The old saying ‘no cheering in the press box’ seems to have lost all meaning, but I’m not sure exactly when.
There’s supposed to be a difference between me and Filip Bondy, but it seems like the only difference is that he gets paid to write about his favorite team(s). I certainly wouldn’t suggest that either of us is noble for doing what we do. We’re both just fans.
But it’s unfair for me to attack just one man, because it’s a bigger problem than that. I once heard Dan Shaughnessy suggest that the 2004 Red Sox might be the greatest team not just in baseball history, but in all of sports history. That dog will never hunt, Mr. Shaughnessy.
I think that sports journalism is in a bad way. News cycles and blogs have changed the landscape. There are either a lot less qualified journalists or a lot more hobbyists that get get paid journalist salaries. It just doesn’t seem right that I understand the concept so clearly, but that the people in the middle of it so miss the point.
If you’re interested, Bondy did respond to my e-mail and, to his credit, he didn’t seem to take anything personally.
This was his response:
It was a lighthearted piece, not to be taken seriously. Sorry you were not amused. Of course the Yanks can lose. They have AJ Burnett starting Game 4, for goodness sake!