Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I promise to be more careful, too.

Great letter to the editor from the Hampton Roads (VA) Daily Press:

Roy: "Pudge near one-year Astros deal." That was a headline on Page 2 of the Sports section on Tuesday. I read the story twice (for some reason it caught my eye, but I don't care for baseball anymore). For those of us not in the know, what is a "pudge"?

Editor: You probably could have figured out that Pudge was the player signing a deal with the Astros, Ivan Rodriguez. But we shouldn't have made you work quite that hard. We should be careful about using nicknames in headlines (A-Rod probably makes the cut). When we do it, we should clarify in the story (Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez).

A couple of things about this story.
1. This gentle reader, rather than Googling "What is a pudge" or maybe adding "Astros" to that Google search, actually wrote a letter to the editor.

2. I think that, if you're reading Page 2 of the Sports Section, it's fair game.

3. Were there not enough context clues from the story to put it together that maybe "Pudge," despite it being capitalized due to its sentence structure, may be referring to the actual person who signed a one-year deal with the Astros?

Here's a link to the story in question. And here's the lead sentence:

The Houston Astros and catcher Ivan Rodriguez are closing in on a $1.5 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Monday.

Seeing as how journalists generally don't make fat jokes in the headlines, this is high comedy. Thanks, Hampton Roads!