In newsroom parlance, there’s a little, intangible scale we call the Cheerios test.
I know, if more of us sports writers tested cereal and eschewed eggs and bacon, we wouldn’t be shaped like Cheerios. Humor me. The terminology relates to editorial judgment and propriety, not a balanced diet.
When a story or photo flunks the Cheerios test, it’s too graphic, vulgar or flat-out nauseating to be the first thing that meets your eye when you set down your fork and pick up the front page at the breakfast table.
And when we as a newspaper fail to properly administer the test, we hear about it in from good folks who label us, and I’m paraphrasing here, heartless, blood-thirsty, money-grubbing, godless ghouls.
Well, as someone who collects a paycheck from the old, gray mare, is precluded from penning a letter for the editorial page and thus has painfully little recourse, I’d like to express my disgust at a story that appeared on Page C1 of Monday’s Sun Journal.
Excuse my language here, but the story indicated that the Boston Red Sox are interested in acquiring Alex Rodriguez if he becomes a free agent.
Sorry. I hope my burying the lead gave you ample opportunity to look away. Far be it from me to turn this paper into adult entertainment for the second day in a row.
Maybe curiosity left you with a case of rubber neck after you digested the mug shot of A-Fraud with his trademark, I’m-too-sexy smirk (and thank you, Mr. Editor, for at least resisting the temptation to airbrush a ‘B’ on his hat). If so, you were greeted by the gruesome news that Sox president Larry Lucchino has carried a torch for Mr. Spring Training ever since the first romance was rebuffed in 2003.
Is he quite inebriated? After all these years of benefiting from the revisionist hatred showered upon Johnny Damon, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Tom Gordon, et al, Lucchino should know better than to express such sacrilegious hypocrisy.
It’s like what would have happened to Shoeless Joe if he stepped on the other side of the chalk in “Field of Dreams.” You can’t go back. No man can serve two masters in this rivalry. If you have sold your soul to Steinbrenner, you are neither wanted nor needed.
Not only that, but has anybody else figured out that Pay-Rod is defined by the back of his baseball card and the size of his bank account, not his jewelry?
He is a me-first superhero, who looks mighty nice on your fantasy team. Here in the real world, I would rather hop in a time machine, make a round trip to the 1980s and bring back a third base platoon of Dave Stapleton and Ed Jurak than cast my pearls before Alex Rodriguez.
At least I’d be able to put away my pancakes without a messy incident every day.