Friday, September 12, 2008

This headline is awesome for all the wrong reasons.



Oh, what a difference one tiny apostrophe makes in a headline...



Because I read about baseball a lot, I know that Billy Wagner--a former Phillies closer whom most Phillies fans now loathe--is upset that his career with the Mets is over. He's had Tommy John surgery, and by the time he's recovered from his surgery, his contract with the Mets will be up. (And who even knows if anyone will want to take an older, sorta douchebaggy, just-recovered-from-surgery closer and add him to their team at the end of the 2009 season?) So I get that he's lamenting the fact that he's not gonna be playing baseball with the Mets any longer. And as much as I dislike Wagner's jackass attitude toward his teammates and his trash-talking ways, I do feel sorry for him. Admittedly, he's a quality closer, even if he's a trash-talkin' jerkface (or, as Pat "the Bat" Burrell very simply stated, he's a "rat"), and I hate to see anyone who's good at what they do and who loves what they do no longer be able to do what they do anymore.



Then again, as a die-hard Phillies fan, I can't help feeling a perverse sense of amusement at this misapostrophized headline. If it would have said "Wagner said Mets career is over," it would have accurately described what the article was about. The word Mets would be modifying the word career, and that career belongs to Wagner, so it accurately describes how Wagner feels that his own career with the Mets is over. But what the headline actually says is "Wagner said Mets' career is over," which drastically changes the meaning. The apostrophe makes the word Mets possessive, and in this headline, it then appears that the Mets themselves--not Billy Wagner--possess the career in question. Therefore, in this headline, with its bad, bad apostrophe present, it looks like Wagner is lamenting the Mets' career being over.



...And do I ever hope that'll prove to be an accurate statement by the time the regular season ends. The Phillies are currently 3 games behind those dastardly Mets, but don't fret--the season's not over yet. (Plus, does anyone else fondly remember 2007, when the Phils came back from a far greater deficit than just 3 games and actually won the NL East title? Granted they were on a hot streak then, and they're slumping now, but regardless, they've proven that this can be done.)



That's right, Mets--your season has come, as you say, but now it's gone, dammit, because your career is over--so says your own closer (well, in conjunction with whatever writer misapostrophized the headline). I firmly believe "career" is a euphemism for "season." And on that note, I hope like hell that I'll be seeing the Phillies engaging in something like this again at the end of this year's regular season...




* Hat tip to LAUREN for her help with this post!

2 comments:

Maureen said...

Growing up in Wildwood Crest, NJ, I just want to say, Go Phillies!!! Somehow, by choice or by the volume of Philly people coming to the beach every summer growing up, we were brought up on a strict Philadelphia sport team diet...Eagles, Phillies, Flyers. With 4 kids, I don't have all that much time to watch sports, but in my heart, I am a true Philadelphia fan. (I hope my grammar passes your strict test...I would not want to screw around with a Philly girl;.)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Hey, Maureen! It's nice to meet another Philly sports fan. I love Philly sports, too...except for hockey (somehow I got to be a Devils fan...so I'm not so fond of the Flyers!). I hope you enjoy the Phillies-related posts here...I tend to do a lot of 'em! :) And don't worry, your grammar is just fine!