Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Words Matter - Cards See Red in Cincinnati

I love baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals are my team and have been since I was a kid. In 1964 my older sister Kathleen and I skipped school, with our parents' permission, and went with some of her friends to the seventh game of the World Series. We camped out overnight to get $2 bleacher tickets at Sportsman Park, where Bob Gibson and the Cardinals beat the New York Yankees. After the game I joined the throng of crazy-brave fans who scaled down the bleacher wall to celebrate on the field, while Kathleen stood at the foot of the wall holding our blanket, telling me to be careful and not get hurt. (I didn't.)

Flash forward to this week: On Monday, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was quoted in the media that he "hated" the St. Louis Cardinals and called them "whiny *itches." Last night when he came up to bat in the bottom of the first inning of the second game in the Cards-Reds series battle for first place, Phillips tapped the shin guards of St. Louis Cardinals all-star catcher Yadier Molina. Molina would have none of it.

According news reports, Molina told Phillips "I'm not your *itch." Phillips took off his batting helmet; Molina took off his catcher's mask, and the brawl began, emptying both clubs' benches. Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto retaliated by kicking players with his cleats during the mele. Both managers, Tony LaRussa and Dusty Baker, were ejected from the game. In Molina's first at bat he followed up his words with action by hitting a home run. The Cardinals went on to win 8-4.

As writers, we know how words are more than just empty talk. Words matter, and good writing shows rather than tells. Reds player Brandon Phillips was a lot of talk and no action. Last night Yadier Molina was more than talk. Like a good writer, Molina showed that words are important. He also showed sometimes actions speak louder than words.

11 comments:

  1. Donna-that was BRILLIANT how you tied that baseball brouhaha into writing! :-)

    Also liked your brilliant comment about the book giveaway over at my blog. I used it in a tweet!

    P.S. Do you mind if I invite your readers over to comment for the giveaway of The Quick and the Thread? It's really a fun read!

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  2. Hey Cathy,
    Thanks for your kind words.

    Hey Readers,
    Hop on over to Cathy C Hall of Fame for a chance to win a cool mystery book.

    Donna

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  3. Donna---

    I am bored by sports, although if I had to pick one to watch, it would be baseball, because it's slow-paced enough for me to follow and I understand the rules (more or less).

    However, your piece kept my interest, and the connection to writing was great. (Do you like the writer Rick Reilly? He is the one writer--who writes about sports-- who I always enjoy.)

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  4. Ah, sounds like more was hot at the old ballgame than just the weather! Nicely done piece.

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  5. Actions (like winning the game!!) speak louder than than "B" word.

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  6. Hey Donna, I love this! You've done an awesome piece of sports writing here! Maybe you've missed your calling! Get on out there with the rest of those guys/gals! I thought of you last night as I watched the game, because I was sure you, too, were glued to your TV! Did you see today's game? I had forgotten it was a day game and turned it on just in time to see Colby Rasmus hit the Grand Slam! Whoopee!! Go Cards! Hey, want to see about getting tickets to the game in September when the Reds come to town?? I'll go with ya!!

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  7. Hi Sue,
    Thanks for the compliment. I'm not familiar with Rick Riley's work. Maybe I should check it out.
    Donna

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  8. Hi Claudia,
    Maybe it was the heat.

    Hi Camille,
    That is so true.
    Donna

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  9. Hi Becky,
    It was an exciting game today. Colby's home run was awesome!
    Donna

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  10. In the words of Mike Shannon, "Ya gotta love it!" Grand slam for the Writer's Hall of Fame, Donna!

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  11. Hi Debbie,
    Thanks so much. That means a lot coming from you--a trailblazer for women sportswriters.
    Donna

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