On Tuesday this week, I couldn't find out from my local paper, the Chicago Tribune, what happened in the Chicago Cubs Monday game against the Florida Marlins. It was a small thing, this irritant, and then again not so small, because it happens more days than not.

"Jones blasts HR, does same to fans," blared the headline, followed by this opening:

After hitting the game-winning, three-run home run against the Florida Marlins on Monday night at Wrigley Field, Jacque Jones unleashed some pent-up anger over the rough treatment he has received in his first month as a Cub.

Then two paragraphs on Jones's anger, followed by one paragraph on the game. Then five more paragraphs about Jones's tirade. Then finally we get back to the game for five paragraphs, before ending with two paragraphs about Jones.

And those near-miraculous five paragraphs about the game? Well, three and a half were about the antics of pitcher Carlos Zambrano, i.e., his breaking a bat over his knee after striking out.

We read that the Florida Marlins "outhustled, outpitched, and outsmarted the Cubs" for several innings. But no examples of what that actually looked like in crucial situations. No description of a moment when the Marlins hustled, pitched, or played smart. The key inning was the eighth, but the inning, on which the ball game turned apparently, is given a grand total of 12 words: "Matt Murton's two-run single tied it, and Jones's homer sealed the deal."

No description of who got on base ahead of Murton or how they got in scoring position. No idea which pitcher faced them. No comments from pitchers or catchers or batters about what pitch was hit or where the ball went. And don't even think about finding ...

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Play Ball
From 2005 to 2007, "Play Ball" examined the relationship of sports and faith: sports is important precisely because it is a form of play, that is, a manifestation of the Sabbath. Contributors included Mark Galli, Collin Hansen, Mark Moring, and others.
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