You can't change it, can't rearrange it

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://castrovince.mlblogs.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

If there’s one thing I can’t tolerate (other than Nickelback), it’s bad grammar. And it’s especially disappointing when it appears on permanent objects that have no hope of being edited.fluid_main.gif

Today, I was standing in the main hallway of the Indians’ Player Development Complex, waiting to interview a coach and perusing the pictures that are hung on the wall. The presentation itself is wonderful. Black-and-white images depicting some of the greatest players and moments in club history are encased in glass are augmented by shades of red. And beneath each photo is an etched-in, written explanation.

This is all well and good, until you take the time to read what’s written below. What caught my eye on this particular day was a photo of members of the 2007 team waiting happily at home plate for Kelly Shoppach to cross after hitting what the caption described as a “three run homerun” against the A’s.

“Three run homerun”? Come on. Even if you want to operate on the faulty premise that “home run” is one word, the least you could do is hyphenate the “three-run” modifier.

And it only got worse when I noticed that on one side of the hallway, Frank Robinson is described as MLB’s first “African-American” manager, while, on the other, Satchel Paige is described as the AL’s first “African American” pitcher. If you’re going to get something wrong, at least get it wrong consistently.

Somebody get me some Wite-Out. (Or as the designer of these displays calls it, “Wite Out.”)

UPDATE: Well, I knew when I wrote about my grammar pet peeve, I was opening myself up to criticism for the typos that sometimes sneak into my copy. And I’d like to say that I do appreciate someone like “shizzo666″ not only reading but reading carefully enough to note the mistakes I let slip by. I’ll admit there are times I could give this material a closer eye, but, unfortunately, the lure of getting a lot of content up here quickly sometimes gets in the way. And of course I’m also appreciative of “losangelesclevelandfan” sticking up for me and echoing my sentiment that, when it comes to the need to closely proofread, a hastily written blog entry is a heck of a lot different than an engraved display hung on the wall for posterity.

What I did not anticipate was people on the Facebook comments section connecting these grammatical miscues to some sort of organizational trend of oversight. That’s a bit of a stretch. This Goodyear facility is top of the line in every sense of the word, and the planning that went behind its layout and its functionality as a place for players to prepare and rehab was meticulous. That’s why the admittedly minor grammar issues stood out to this journalism junkie. And I’d venture to say I’m the only one who has noticed them… and I only noticed them because I stood in that hallway for 20 minutes waiting for a coach to finish his lunch.

Anyway, that’s plenty about that. We now return you to your regularly scheduled baseball blog.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • Russell Branyan arrived to camp today to take the physical exam that would finalize his one-year, $2 million contract. Expect an announcement, one way or another, on Wednesday.
  • Manny Acta can’t (or won’t) say a word about Branyan until the deal is complete. So when his daily media session wrapped up today, Acta told us, “Save some room for tomorrow!”west1.jpg
  • Pitchers and catchers held their first official workout this morning. I suppose the biggest news of the day was Jake Westbrook participating in this workout for the first time in two years. He was pretty excited, and pitching coach Tim Belcher had to encourage him to slow down in his 10-minute bullpen session. “I felt like a standard-bred horse driver trying to pull the reins back,” Belcher said. “But Jake’s a rapid-fire kind of guy. He’s always been that way. Even in 10 minutes today, he probably threw five or six or eight more pitches than anybody else.” And Westbrook felt good doing it. I’ll have more on him in an Indians.com story in a little bit.
  • Jeremy Sowers (left shoulder inflammation) was also up on the mound today. He threw about 25 pitches, mainly fastballs and a few changeups. He said he was pain-free, but he’s frustrated to be at a point in his preparation that he usually reaches in January.
  • You might have read on this blog last fall that Travis Hafner became a daddy in October, when his wife, Amy, gave birth to a son, Blake Lee. I asked Pronk if he’s changing diapers, and he said, “Oh, yeah. The whole nine yards. I do everything but breast-feed.” I’d say that’s a good place to draw the line.
  • As you know (or should know), Lou Marson and Wyatt Toregas are the two candidates for the Tribe’s starting catching duties, with veteran Mike Redmond on-hand to serve as the backup. Acta said the Indians won’t have a situation where one of those young guys splits time with Redmond. Whoever wins the job has the job. “We’re not bringing Mike over here to split time,” Acta said. “He’s not going to get 400 at-bats, by any means.” Marson is the front-runner for the position.
  • Toregas also became a father this offseason. His wife, Holly, gave birth to a son, Alexander, just last week in Akron.
  • Acta continues to talk about potentially using Kerry Wood in four-out save situations.
  • Two guys who stood out to me during this morning’s bullpen sessions were right-hander Jeanmar Gomez and left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz. Gomez, who tossed a perfect game and won Eastern League pitcher of the year honors at Akron last year, has a very compact delivery and good control. “He hides the ball well,” Acta said. “He put himself on the map with the season he had last year.” De La Cruz, meanwhile, looks like a left-handed Carmona, in terms of his size. “He has a nice, clean delivery,” Belcher said. “He gets it downhill.”
  • Belcher said he’s impressed with the way No. 1 Draft pick Alex White, who also threw today, carries himself. “I know he came from a D-1 program [North Carolina],” Belcher said. “But for his first professional camp, he has a good heartbeat and threw under control.”
  • Matt LaPorta was summoned by media relations director Bart Swain today to do an interview and still photo shoot for SportsTime Ohio. Swain told LaPorta to bring his glove for the shoot. “My outfielder’s glove or first baseman’s glove?” LaPorta asked. Great question, Matt. Great question.
  • Tony Graffanino, who played with the Tribe and Triple-A Columbus last season, was at the complex this morning. He’s working for Unlimited Potential Inc., a Christian group that reaches out to baseball players.
  • The kids in the Indians’ farm system aren’t the only kids Mike Sarbaugh is entrusted with in a given year. Sarbaugh, who managed at Double-A Akron last year and will move up to Triple-A Columbus this season, spends his winters working as a substitute teacher at Governor Mifflin Middle School in Shillington, Pa. “I show up every day, and they tell me where to go,” he said. “One day I’m doing French, the next Spanish, the next science.” Sarbaugh, 42, has been in the Indians’ organization as a player, coach or manager since 1990. He was Eastern League manager of the year last season.
  • The official report date for position players is Wednesday. But the only guy who’s not here already is infielder Niuman Romero, who is coming up from Venezuela.

~AC

29 Comments

Is it “arm system” or “Farm System”? lol Second to last point.

AC -

I’ve been enjoying your commentary over the past few days since training has started. Your wit is entertaining and you do a good job of being personable. I’m born and raised in Canton and have been a baseball fan/player/coach since diapers. The Indians have surely shown us ups and downs over the past 12+ years and this brings me to my point –

If the typos on the wall are the most exciting and newsworthy prospect of our 2010 spring training, I think our organization has a little more to worry about than getting the hyphens and citations correct. Unfortunately for us, we’ve got little else to get excited about given our stagnant front office during the off-season so it really does present the question – if we weren’t out negotiating options and securing talent, why aren’t all the spelling and grammatical errors taken care of?

Maybe this is some sort of vicious dichotomy – who knows.

Keep on keepin’ on. I’m enjoying your work.

Thanks.

JT

I hear you AC – I can’t stand bad grammar either. And especially if you’re going to have something engraved for all eternity, isn’t it worth hiring someone who knows decent grammar and spelling to proofread the stuff before it’s etched? The incompetence continues to abound . . .

Hey AC,

I have enjoyed your CastroTurf blog since its inception and think you have done a very nice job covering the Tribe and bringing the fans some good information.
That being said, I wonder how much you read over your own blog entries given your intolerance for bad grammar. I would assume if you are intolerant of bad grammar you probably don’t care for journalists who don’t understand the implications of what they put in print. Please read these statements below, if you recall they are from your blog entry yesterday:

“Chris Gimenez raved about his Venezuelan winter ball experience. He left for Venezuela in November, just eight days after he and his wife, Kelly, were married. “I told my wife [going to winter ball] was our honeymoon,” he said. “She probably loved that. … I was a little worried about here down there, a tall, skinny white girl walking around. But everything went great.”

First, “I was a little worried about HERE down there”….should that not read “I was a little worried about HER down there”? Secondly, did you ask Gimenez anything further about his fears of his “skinny white girl” in Venezuela? That was a very interesting comment to say the least from Gimenez, maybe something that should be followed up on?

I am not trying to be a hater AC, it was something you brought up and thought it would be something worth mentioning.

It kills me that all these people suddenly de-lurk because AC has typos.
For what it’s worth, shizzo666, the error you point out isn’t grammatical, it’s a typo. There’s also a HUGE difference between, as foraker pointed out, the things AC mentioned are supposed to be permanent. AC writes a BLOG, for the love of Pete — the number one priority of a blog is that it goes up quickly and has accurate information.
Heck, for that matter, shizzo666, the fact that you wanted AC to follow up on a quote isn’t an error, either — you just want more information.

Hey LACF,

As I mentioned at the outset, I enjoy the CastroTurf blog and I think AC does a great job. I did NOT say that AC made a grammatical error (please read my post carefully), my general point was checking your work; and while AC made it a very elongated point to point out some grammatical errors, the essence that I got from him was that people should check their work. Maybe I was wrong on that point, if I was then so be it and I apologize for that. On the second point of Gimenez’s quote, yes I would like some more information. Again, that was not the point of my entry, it was the fact that the comment that Gimenez made and that AC posted could be viewed as quite inflammatory. So my point again, was to check your work. Sorry to have gotten you so worked up based on my comments/opinions.

AC,
I’ve been reading your work on the site, the mailbag and the blog since you took over for… Justice B. Hill was it? The quality of what you do is phenomenal. The Indians are my team, but what you give me as a reader is so much more than information about them. I know it can’t last forever, but please know that it’s appreciated. For further discouragement, here’s part of the response we got from a major retail store when we inquired about moving our piano: “Are there very large landing! or are the stairs tuning?” I think it’s time to watch Idiocracy again.

I’d cut AC a little slack for the blog entries. His actual stories for MLB.com rarely have errors. We’re lucky the dude takes time to write pretty detailed and interesting and entries every day, I’m not going to be upset that he doesn’t do more than a cursory spell-check. And come on, everyone knows that Venezuelans feast on tall skinny white women. It’s probably why Gimenez struggled so much in Cleveland last year, he spent all his time worrying about keeping Asdrubal away from his girlfriend.

Housesitter, I like your scam. You say you’ll housesit for someone, and then you steal their piano … Really you should’ve known that you’d have no problem moving the piano yourself if you just drank some Brawndo beforehand. It’s got electrolytes

Wow, I guess there is no room for opinion on this “comment” section. I never made an inflammatory comment towards AC, in fact I think he is one of the better Tribe scribes that we have (which was noted in both of my entries). Sorry to have upset the Castro community, I am glad that his internet bodyguards came to the rescue very quickly. I will leave this alone so as not face any further wrath from the CastroGuards. Serenity now.

Shizzo, there’s plenty of room for opinion in the comments section, and the fact that you’re suggesting otherwise would imply you don’t read the comments very often. The problem, as ST pointed out, is that this is just a blog; AC’s articles are a different matter. He’s informal here, as he has every right to be.
And when did I become multiple people? As near as I can tell, I’m the only one who mentioned your comments. You seem a little thin skinned there, Shizzo.

Just to be clear, I just find it annoying when people only post comments when they have something negative to say, but I suppose that’s the nature of the internet.
ST — your Cabrera joke was hilarious, by the way.

Like LACF said, HILARIOUS, ST.

So you implied that I don’t read the comments section very often, clearly you did not see Savage’s comments about cutting AC some slack on errors. Maybe you need to lighten up a bit and take some of your own advice and read all of the comments. I am not thin skinned by any means and welcome opposing viewpoints, and more so welcome a discussion. I voiced by opinion and explained thereafter and you responded that it was killing you that “people” are de-lurking AC, for the love of Pete chill out.

“Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over IBM versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs.”—-Jack Lynch.

For whatever it’s worth, my take on all this is posted above.

Thanks for the response AC.
As I mentioned in my first few entries, I thoroughly enjoy your blog as well as your formal articles. You cover the Tribe closer and better than any of the “beat” writers for the Cleveland newspapers and your information that is brought to Tribe fans is appreciated. I did not see the Facebook comments so I am not sure what happened there. Surely your blog entries differs from your formal articles and that was not my point. I guess my point got lost once the CastroGuards felt like I made derogatory comments towards your work.
Keeeep up tha goode wokr adn I look frward to moor Tribe news. Before the enforcers come out, that was just a joke.

Shizzo, I implied you don’t read the comments section very often because, if you did, you’d see that we have a wide variety of opinions on here, and regularly engage in fairly lively back and forth about those differing opinions. So for you to de-lurk and suggest that there’s no room for opinion in the comments section of this blog is inaccurate and goes against part of what has made this blog so great.
And it does kill me that people would de-lurk over something like this, as opposed to commenting at any other time about something positive.

And for the sake of my fellow Castronauts, I’m the only one who made any comments about your post, Shizzo.

LACF, not to belabor this point, but you are forcing my hand in essence telling me I am either crazy or lying; savagetruth also referenced my comments. Here it is for you in case I am missing something: “I’d cut AC a little slack for the blog entries. His actual stories for MLB.com rarely have errors. We’re lucky the dude takes time to write pretty detailed and interesting and entries every day, I’m not going to be upset that he doesn’t do more than a cursory spell-check….” So can we put that rest?

This is the first time I have ever posted anything on this site, but I have the read the comment section on numerous (not every) occasions. On other sites that I do regularly post on, I post my opinion both positive and negative; which I will be sure to do on this site as well. Living on one extreme side of life or the other leaves no room to entertain discussion, which is not what I subscribe to. If you have already tagged me as a de-lurking individual, you have already drawn a conclusion in haste, which probably decreases the chance that you can objectively reply to what I have to say. I open to hear what you and others have to say, whether it agrees or opposes my viewpoint.

What is currently happening between LACF and Shizzo reminds me of what my brother and myself do on Facebook. We constantly fight/debate/bicker over grammar, sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, et cetera. Perhaps this is a little different. However, it made me laugh all the same. And folks, remember that pitchers and catchers have reported. There is meaning to our lives once again.

I’d like to add to this an e-mail I recently received. It’s from a tuxedo rental shop (all the particulars are X’d out to protect the guilty) that I contacted in anticipation of my upcoming nuptials, and the results are staggering:

Hello Vince,
I just spoke to you on the phone about your registration. First of all I would like to say congratulations you on your wedding and I want to let you know that we did receive your registration and I did make note that you were looking to change the amount of tuxes to 11 instead of 10 like I said either way you are more than qualified to get a free tuxedo for yourself as well as a second tuxedo free for whoever you would like. Some other information that might be helpful is our tuxedos are currently ranging in price from 49.99-99.99 (that is with the $30 off) we included a pleated cotton shirt vest tie/bow tie and pants you can decided to upgrade your shirt to a microfiber non-pleated shirt if you would like for $5. Our shoe rentals (which are extra) are ranging from $16-$25. I hope this all helped my name is XXXXXXX and I look forward to meeting with you feel free to send me and email at XXXXXX or give me a call in the store at XXXXXX or on my cell at XXXXX if you have any questions or would like to set up a time and date to look some styles over like I said before no appointment is necessary but I would really enjoy working with you personally.

Suffice to say I’ll be looking elsewhere.

ST saying he’d cut AC some slack means he’s an enforcer of some kind? Or that you upset him? I can understanding taking issue with what I said, but ST was completely diplomatic in his response. If you have a problem with what he said, then you are as thin skinned as I suggested earlier.
Shizzo, you ARE a de-lurker. It’s nice that you post on other sites, but here you read the comments (as you stated yourself) but waited until there was something negative to comment on before posting. That’s lurking and de-lurking — and I have no problems with either of those things, just with the fact that it was something negative that brought you out, which I think is unfortunate. Again, though, it’s the nature of the internet.

Yikes!
Comparing his sentence structure to some papers I’ve read recently, he has what it takes to be a run-of-the-mill student in a freshmen history course at most state universities. Contrary to popular belief, punctuation is not optional.

This is utterly childish. LACF, my response was simple to you. You stated NO ONE commented on my post(s). I simply said that savagetruth did. I had no problem with what he said, if I did, I would have addressed him directly. I waive the white flag, pillow fight over; you are correct on every point you made and I am a comment lurker who only likes to post on the negative. AC, my apologies for filling your comment section of the blog entry with this nonsense.

Shizzo, your initial comparison was not really comparing apples to apples. For me a simple typo, especially in a blog, is not a big deal. As far as the Gimenez comment, it sounded like (inferring) that it was said tongue-in-cheek, but that’s just me.
LACF, sounds like Shizzo’s only chance to be in your good graces was to post something positive. I personally don’t care how many comments someone reads before they add their opinion; positive or negative. I hope that person has the ability to discuss both sides.

Now that’s rough. Refusing tuxedo rental due to bad/nonsensical grammar. From the wording in the email I’d have guessed the guy wasn’t a native English speaker. Since people don’t normally speak of an “amount of tuxes” … Personally, I hope the shizzo/LACF battle goes on for another 40 posts. I can tell that neither wants to have the last word.

Sounds like neither LACF or shizzo will rest UNTIL they have the last word. It is hilarious that neither of them really read fullly each others post yet continue to post at each other.

Actually, I do read Shizzo’s posts. At this point, I’m just trying to defend the others, or I suppose ST specifically. I put it as plainly as I can:
CastroGuardS and enforcerS.
I completely concede that my original post was an attack on Shizzo’s original post. I thought it was a silly criticism of AC’s blog. But I’m the only one who attacked Shizzo’s post; ST’s comment simply defended AC.
I’ve got no problems if Shizzo thinks I’m a grade A jerk, but I acted alone; lumping others in with me is inaccurate.
The comment section of AC’s blog has long been a great place for debate and I’d hate to see it written off as anything other than that because of the comments of one poster (in this case, me).

“Personally, I hope the shizzo/LACF battle goes on for another 40 posts.”
Don’t forget that AM and I made a concerted effort to get to 100 comments once before AC blogged again. I think chances are good I can go for at least 40 more!

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