Journalism Should Look for More Unsung Heroes

Nats unsung hero Michael A. Taylor.

After the Washington Nationals comeback win against the L0s Angeles Dodgers in the National League playoffs, I posted this on Facebook:

“When the Nats terrific playoff win against the LADodgers ended after midnight, I got up at 630 wondering if the Post’s sports section would have the dreaded the-game-ended-too-late message. What the Post delivered was a great game story and pictures plus very good columns by Tom Boswell and Barry Svrluga. Newspapers still can be wonderful.”

The Post’s Barry Svrluga came back today pointing out that there were five unsung heroes in the Nationals playoff series wins. Two of them—Stephen Strasberg and Patrick Corbin—are high-profile starting pitchers who came in as relief pitchers when needed. Another was relief pitcher Tanner Rainey; he’s had a tough rookie year but came through like a veteran. The fourth was Nats manager Dave Martinez, who had a very rocky start of the year but settled in to be a winner.

The most interesting pick was substitute center fielder Michael A. Taylor; he’s bounced back and forth this year between the major and minor leagues. He played in this series only because regular center fielder Victor Robles was injured.

Svrluga wrote, “Robles probably will come back against the Cardinals, perhaps even in game one. But the three starts Taylor made — in which he went 4 for 12 with a walk and played flawless defense — served as a reminder of what the Nats have in him.”

What Svrluga was doing in today’s story was looking for the good qualities in people; I think that’s why every morning I first turn to the Post’s sports section. While the paper’s front section, the A section, is full of negative news—the kind of news that dominates the Internet—sports often features people like Michael A. Taylor.

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