A Diamond in the Rough


This being the time of year when literally nothing is happening in the world of the Padres except for a few minor moves and preparations for Spring Training, I get a little lonely. I couldn’t care less about the world of the Chargers this season or last season, and more importantly I couldn’t care if they stayed or left. In fact if they did leave, I’d probably be able to watch them on TV more regularly. The NBA doesn’t matter yet, College Basketball is just beginning to take shape, and College Football is in its most futile phase: Bowl Season. In fact, the one sport that could hold my attention right now, the NHL, is doing everything it can to ensure that it loses the few fans it already had.

If you don’t have a whole lot of interest in the NFL then this time of year might as well be a black hole; A sucking, destructive mass of nothing that swallows everything in its path and leaves you all but a spec on the timeline of history. I know how it is to be a Baseball “writer” during these days, and unless you’re working for a big market team that’s spending a good amount of money then you are bored. This is not to say that I don’t agree with what the Padres are doing this off-season, cause I do. Josh Byrnes is being smart, and for those who feel like we missed the boat on some players – you might be right, but you also might be wrong. I like playing those 50/50 odds a little safer than in years past. Working for a Baseball specific blog or site or paper can be very trying in January and February, even exhausting or tedious. However, there are times in which you find a gem of a story – a diamond in the rough, so to speak. You dig and dig looking for something, an interesting quote, minor story or tiny a bit of news that could possibly lead you to work up an article about something of interest. You want to grab your audience and guide them through a thrill ride of words and thoughts and facts that spits your reader out the other end and makes them a different person, with a whole new outlook (And maybe a whole new family. Writing can be powerful). During this time of year these gems are hard to find, and even harder to write about. Which, is why I have to tip my hat to Corey Brock over at padres.com for writing an article that might possibly be the most uninteresting story of all-time. Even the headline will make you think you’re about to begin reading something that you will learn absolutely nothing from. Something that might in fact make you dumber, and that in a hundred years would never affect how you look at anyone mentioned in said article. It’s a story so useless that you would hang up on your Mother if she started telling you about it. Even if you were related to the people involved you would hate it. It’s not even ‘filler’ – it’s ‘filler’ for the ‘filler’, and here is the headline:

“Brach’s underdog story an inspiration to girlfriend”

This is of course referencing Padres relief pitcher, Brad Brach, and his singer/songwriter girlfriend. Not his wife, not his fiancé, just his girlfriend. And, once you begin reading it you realize there’s really no inspiration anywhere in it. It’s essentially about two people who kiss a lot and probably sleep in the same bed together sometimes; and those two people decided to choose two of the hardest professions in the history of mankind to be successful at. One of them has pretty much made it, and the other is still working hard and giving it her all! It’s ridiculous and even more ridiculous that somebody, somewhere said, “Sure, let’s do a story about that!”

Just thinkin’ ’bout my lady. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

However, here’s why I consider it a gem: Because Corey Brock nails it! He crushes the story. He basically took a dog turd and made it a brick of gold. He took what should have been a rough draft to an outline of the worst episode of “Jersey Shore” and turned it into Cormac McCarthy. Going through it, I could not figure out why I kept reading on and on, but I did. I didn’t care about the people involved, or their self-imposed struggles, and I didn’t find anything remotely interesting about how they met. I couldn’t locate any value in the story whatsoever, but Brock had me glued. His rhetoric and prose were flawless, and the length was just enough without feeling like he needed to flog the long dead horse that was the initial pitch. He not only committed to the story, but also committed to trying to make you believe in the romanticism of this seemingly uninteresting couple.

This why I tip my hat to Corey Brock and his career in this business we call “blogging”. I’ve always enjoyed his posts when they’re about anything of substance, but now I enjoy his posts about nothing even more. In this time of non-interesting events happening in the life of Padres fans it’s nice to know that a story about inspiration, that’s completely devoid of any, can actually provide it to someone looking.

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