Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strasburg a 'Sensational', 'Spectacular' 'Stunner'

Sportswriters need some new terms to describe Stephen Strasburg, says word ref Delia Cabe on Boston.com. "Wunderkind" is overdone when talking about the Nats', well, wunderkind, she opines in her "All the Cliches Fit to Print" essay.

Cabe writes:

Wunderkind. Did you hear about Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg? A wunderkind. Also, some bloggers, a convicted real estate mogul, conductors, musicians, writers, ad infinitum. You’d be surprised how many wunderkinds there are out there.

C'mon, are the baseball pundits out there really that lazy and simple-minded? I mean, Batter Chatter would never fall into the trap of spitting out the same hackneyed terms used by mediocre sportswriters who are biding their time until their Chapt. 11 owner offers them a buyout.

Er, in fact, we did. In a post a few weeks ago about people describing Strasburg's repertoire in video-game terms, we said this:

Today of course marks the Major League debut of wunderkind pitcher Stephen Strasburg, and the MLB Network is capitalizing on the monstrous interest in the Nationals' #1 pick by showing the game tonight...

It seems Strasburg is simply too much of a wunderkind to describe him any other way: his age, his ability, his Germanic surname.

Dictionary.com defines "wunderkind" as "1. a wonder child or child prodigy. 2. a person who succeeds, esp. in business, at a comparatively early age."

Certainly both apply to Strasburg.

Then over to Thesaurus.com (will my children ever know what an actual reference book feels like?), where the suggested synonyms include: brain*, child genius, curiosity, enormity, freak*, genius, intellect, marvel, mastermind, miracle, monster, natural, one in a million, phenomenon, portent, rare bird, rarity, sensation, spectacle, stunner, talent, whiz kid, whiz*, wizard, wonder, wonder child. (The * denotes informal usage.)

We promise to not use wunderkind to describe Strasburg, who turns 22 next month, in these cyber-pages for a period of not less than 18 months--at which point Strasburg may still be a "wunder" (meaning "wonderful," according to Google's German-to-English translation), but most certainly will not be a "kind" (a "child", per Google Translate).

ESPN.com scribe Rick Reilly uses a loose translation of wunderkind in his name for Strasburg, "The Superkid."

Another baseball writer cliche made Delia Cabe's list: embattled. Among the "embattled" folks kicked around in the media these days are BP boss Tony Hayward, of course, Lindsay Lohan, GOP chairman Michael Steele, and Mets skipper Jerry Manuel.

Manuel of course was embattled before the Mets' recent hot streak, though dropping a pair this week in Puerto Rico likely has Jerry back in the 'battle.


[image: Yahoo]

1 comment:

Jon said...

I was a wunderkind once. It was for a short period of time in 1983 during which I owned a Johnny Bench rookie card.