Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Everything, not just Hunter Pence, has "Energy"

A common issue with espn, sports illustrated, and sports commentary in general is the use of these generalized terms to define a team or player instead of staying grounded in realism. Here is a one of the biggest examples.
"Energy" Most recently this has been most connected with the Hunter Pence trade to the Phillies so I'm going to use him as an example. Columnists have raved about how Pence brings "energy" to the Phillies line-up, what the fuck does that even mean? They describe it as "stealing a base, or beating out a grounder or going first to third, anything extra to excite the team and get things moving." Well why call it energy? With that description why don't you call him "pretty fast". Energy is also used for power hitters for example "The timely home run energizes the team" so now you are just taking actual baseball terms like "power hitter" and "brings speed" and reducing it down to "timely hitter" or "energy". This is just a ploy commentators use to be very generic in describing a player's qualities without really getting into what that player brings to the table. Using the term energy is worse then those worthless terms that at least sound baseball related like "above average bat speed" or "good eye for the ball"
Another thing about "energy" is doesn't that take away from the team? Saying "Hunter Pence will bring energy to a lacking Phillies team" Ok, so you are saying the Phillies just don't give a shit and aren't actually trying? Wow that is harsh but if you are going to say that at least stick to your guns and don't later write about this teams "heart" (thats another term worthy of its own post). But this is the core problem with the term "energy" saying he brings energy because he goes first to third on a single just means he has pretty good speed.
Prince Fielder is horrible at going first to third, no one claims its because he is lacking "energy" its because he is slow.
So in summary next time when you are describing a player please do not use the term "energy" it is just an easy way to sound like you are complimenting him while still saying nothing at all. At least go with something a little above that and say this player has alot of "hustle".

That is it for now, I'll be back iwith more stuff in general and probably more dissections of other common meaningless terms. Here is a preview: "He plays the way the game should be." I hate that phrase.


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