Journalism may be the first rough draft of history, but who has time to wait for the revision process?
That's how I ultimately come to grips with the occasions where we spend our hours, days and weeks discussing a story that ultimately doesn't matter.
For example, years from now, if we ever recall Felipe Paulino, it'll only be to out-obscure somebody in a game of bar one-upsmanship, like we do now with ... Ken Hill. But there was a time we followed a nascent cutter and an unprecedented amount of changeups with great interest, and we're going to keep doing this kind of thing, which brings to mind a commentary from The Onion:
The truth is, I think constantly about what it would be like to start over again as a teenager who understands the importance of believing in himself, a good night’s sleep, generosity, perseverance, alcohol moderation, well-rounded interests, personal hygiene, and moral courage. Because I still have absolutely no idea about any of those things, and that stuff seems like it would be useful to know at any stage of life, high school or otherwise.
Maybe it’s indulgent and pointless to sit around fantasizing about the youth I could have had. I don’t know. But if it is, there will no doubt come a day 20 years or so down the line when I’ll look back on the man I am at this moment and wish I had known now what I still won’t know then.
But hey, when you're writing live without knowing the actual, full outcome, the risk of dead ends comes with the territory. Sometimes you're Lewis and Clark, and sometimes you're the Donner Party.
Here are five other stories from January and February in which people -- some parties to all parties -- anticipated a much different ending. In one case, though, it's actually a good thing.
- A/V Room: A really early observation about Matt Davidson - Jan. 16
- Service time concerns could stagger White Sox rookie rollout - Feb. 5
Before he slid into the sarlacc pit, Matt Davidson was just hanging out and having an awesome time with a really cool, super-interactive yet laid-back group of guys, taking it easy while we wondered about how the Sox would talk around the service time. Little did we know the Sox's seemingly thin façade turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In another universe, Davidson forges a productive time-share with Conor Gillaspie on the field, and a low-key buddy cop pairing off of it. He doesn't have Moises Sierra's knack for GIFs, but maybe he sings "Have You Never Been Mellow" during karaoke night with a little too much eye contact for Gillaspie's tastes, I don't know.
Instead, Davidson played the way Gillaspie thinks Gillaspie plays, so I guess Conor got the last laugh, if he ever had a first.
- Rick Hahn stokes the Adam Eaton fire - Feb. 7
- Point/Counterpoint: Is Adam Eaton another Nick Swisher? - Feb. 23
The White Sox only won 73 games last year, but it wasn't a lost year, if only because they restored faith in their ability to identify position players who could contribute immediately, and even crush rather high expectations.
This was a refreshing departure from previous years, when the new guys (Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Jeff Keppinger) walked into a room, forgot why they were there, and couldn't figure it out for months. But before we knew how well Adam Eaton (and Jose Abreu) would play, the combination of hype and an effervescent personality led to easy comparisons that people didn't necessarily take as the jokes they were supposed to be.
In this case, here's Eaton telling "MLB Now" about the discussion he had with Hahn after the trade, and even without sound, you can tell the moment where Eaton said Hahn "threw a few cuss words" at him. I still like this GIF.
Before Nate Jones showed up with a butt injury that turned out to be a hip injury that turned to be a back injury that required surgery and a rehab process during which he tore his UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery, he might've been a candidate to close games. It would've been fun to see if the Sox would've tried to avoid getting Jones saves before he entered his arb years, especially if the rest of the bullpen was just as tumultuous, because this post would've been highly relevant. Alas.
Not really, it turns out.
There was a time where Tyler Flowers thought Rule 7.13 might affect him more as a baserunner. After the Sox's misadventures with Rule 7.13 -- peaking with Robin Ventura's dirt-kicking tirade -- I'm pretty sure it left an indelible mark on him as a catcher.