Mailbox: Shohei Ohtani vs. Babe Ruth? Table that discussion for 20 years
Brian: I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see Rob Oller join the Babe Ruth-Shohei Otani comparison Greek Chorus. Ohtani has had a very good five months of baseball. Babe Ruth played 22 years and slashed .342/.474/.690. His slugging, OPS and OPS+ lead MLB for all time (not to mention an untouchable 183.1 WAR). Those career numbers all exceed Ohtani’s great year. Ruth’s pitching? 94-46, .671 win percentage, 2.28 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. Hardly pedestrian stats. Ohtani is good for baseball and a great story. But we can acknowledge his greatness without comparing him to the GOAT. Table that discussion for 20 more years of a season like this one.
And thanks for resurrecting the Mailbox!
Brent: Those are all good points, and I love when knowledgeable fans like yourself can apply modern metrics to old-time players. Many agree with you, including former major leaguer Kent Mercker, of Dublin, whom Rob quoted in the column saying, "It’s a very valid comparison. I’m not going that far yet, but if he does this for 10 to 15 years?"
Washington Football Team
Hi, Brian: I'm happy to see The Mailbox is back. Best of luck to you as you start your new gig. With Ray the Great still there to advise you, I'm sure you'll do fine. Allow me to be one of the first to submit a letter to the "new Mailbox."
Ever since the NFL's Washington Redskins decided to finally stop offending Native Americans by using that nickname, I've been wondering when they will stop calling themselves "The Washington Football Team" (yawn) and come up with a new moniker. I keep expecting to hear about some sort of contest, asking fans to suggest a new name for the team. So far, nothing.
I have an idea. How about "The Washington Reds?" Sure, there's a Major League Baseball team called the Cincinnati Reds, but there's an MLB team called the Cardinals, while there's also an NFL team called the Cardinals.
Why not "The Washington Reds?"
What do you think?
Mike: My guess is that the WFT will want to get as far away from the old name as possible, just as the Chiefs won't become the Chefs or the Braves turning into Bravos. After all, the WFT never wore Red Stockings. But I'll ask Ray the Great what he thinks.
Ella's mom ruled, too
Editor: You noted Ella Brandewie's genetic predisposition to greatness hailed from her dad, her sister, and her brother but you were remiss in not mentioning her mother, Kelly Dill Brandewie, who was a ferocious field hockey goalie at Bishop Hartley High School.
Patty: Thanks so much for that. I'm sure the talented Brandewie family appreciates it, too.
Box scores, cont.
Editor: I suggested this to Ray, who I think was at least willing to listen in principle. With increasing costs, shrinking sections and earlier deadlines, sports sections of print newspapers have become a joke. ... Based on the tone and content of letters this week I am clearly not alone in my frustrations of being directed to the web for more content. Quite frankly, if I took you up on that offer more frequently I really wouldn’t need a Dispatch at all. I understand the deadline of the print edition can’t change at this point but why not have a later deadline for the electronic edition? It can have all the content of the print edition plus the items too late and still be packaged in the nice easy-to-read newspaper format that doesn’t require a thousand mouse clicks. I really feel you could be the newspaper of the future with that strategy.
Mr. White: Read your response to the two queries in Sunday's mailbag (and, not that it matters to you, but I largely concur), but was then baffled to see the Browns preseason box in Tuesday's paper. If the in-season results are too out of date to run (and with few exceptions, they are), I cannot fathom how (or why) a preseason box would take up valuable space. For what it's worth, I agree that the Crew boxes (which have appeared) and Blue Jackets boxes (which did appear) should and I anticipate OSU football and basketball boxes to appear in season. Although I love the brief reports on the Clippers (Bravo!), I do feel their boxes should also appear. But I see no good reason for out-of-town exhibitions to waste newsprint.
Best wishes in your position.
Editor: Thank you for returning the letters to the editor. You are off to a nice start. However, under your logic on not printing any baseball box scores, because they would be two days old, that logic would dictate not printing two-day-old scores. Sorry, the principle is exactly the same.
Editor: I read with interest your response to two letters on baseball coverage in Sunday’s paper. Unfortunately, your response was predictable. I agree 100% with what those two readers wrote. And I will add that the coverage of high school sports, particularly football, is abysmal. The vast majority of the sports page is not news but commentary. Actually, that is true of the entire paper. The real question is why "Ohio’s Greatest Home Newspaper" (It most certainly is not; see The Plain Dealer) would have a print contract that requires a 4 p.m. print deadline. (By the way, I know what your answer would be.) This is the real question: How many other USA Today newspapers have such an agreement?
Editor: In your answer to Mr. Schwartz on his question regarding baseball coverage you wrote, "The current deadlines for the print editions are in the afternoon, long before the games begin." The former Dispatch owned by the Wolfe family built a state-of-the-art printing facility in Columbus. At that time The Dispatch was capable of covering a Saturday night Ohio State football game in the Sunday paper. Not to mention baseball coverage. When The Dispatch was sold and ultimately became part of the USA Today family, the printing facility was closed and the printing of the paper was moved to Indianapolis, resulting in much earlier deadlines and a loss of timeliness for both news and sports reporting. The new Dispatch owners made a corporate decision to consolidate their printing to save money. Your answer to Mr. Schwartz was factual but fell far short in explaining why today's Dispatch is less timely than the Dispatch of 20 years ago.
Jason, Chris, J, Terry, G: Thanks for your responses and the thought put into them. As I wrote last week, it is a daily discussion among editors to decide what can fit in the newspaper and what can't. The benefit we have is a great website at Dispatch.com that can provide up-to-the-minute reports on news that happens before and after our deadline. It is also a place that has additional content beyond what might be in print. From Ohio State football games, for instance, our writers will produce extra articles and columns that might not show up in print, both because of deadlines and space. And just as we make daily decisions, we try to make smart overall strategic plans. Aside from space considerations (a box score takes far more space than does a one-line score), when it comes to baseball, the teams most often will have played another game by the time the reader sees the previous day's box score in print. So we'd often be a day behind, and that can be unsettling. Our preference is to give articles that lend context to the team's season. I'm sure the discussion will continue, and I'm happy our loyal readers care so much.
Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at email@example.com.