Tom Verducci is a good guy and a top-notch writer. When I was learning the ropes as Sports Illustrated’s No. 2 baseball writer back in the day, I’d watch Tom from afar and take mental notes. He is an extremely good writer, but I’d argue what separates Tom from the pack is that he, well, separates himself from the pack. Rarely will you see Tom following the other writers to surround a ballplayer. He’s usually off to the side, waiting his turn or getting background details from a reserve catcher or middle reliever.
In our years together, the only time I ever saw Tom in any sort of heated situation was during the 2000 Subway Series, when a drunk idiot fan tried attacking his laptop. It was a crazy scene, yet Tom was barely fazed. Cool, calm, collected. That’s Tom Verducci.
I’m babbling. Read Tom’s column today about Joe Mauer winning the MVP, and was shocked to see him sort of slam Keizo Konishi, a Kyodo News writer and the only man on the planet not to think Mauer deserved the AL MVP trophy. Tom’s not a slammer. He’s just not. And that’s why what he wrote was so great. When you thrash and thrash and thrash and thrash, as I’m known to do, your voice loses power. Last night, for example, I had the misfortune of catching something called The Wheel House, a show on SNY where some “fantasy expert” named Scott Gramling was barking at me about Mark Sanchez and blah, blah, blah, blah. I couldn’t take him seriously. Can’t take any of those TV babblers seriously.
Verducci doesn’t babble. Or blather.
When he makes a pointed point, it means something.