A Computer’s Coming for My Job

TOWER GROVE — Over the past couple weeks, I’ve spent some time updating the book I wrote on the Cardinals for a new edition that will include the 2011 World Series and Tony La Russa’s retirement. The final update was completed last week from a hotel room in Curacao, which is fitting because some of the previous book was written off the coast of Greece. The book is more well-traveled than it deserves.

The trick with the update was to write something I’ve written dozens of times before — hey, did you hear that the Cardinals came back from 10 1/2 games back in August? No, seriously, it happened! And Game 6, wasn’t that great? — with fresh sentences. I kept stumbling into familiar phrases. Unforgettable. Underachievers. Unexpected. These were verbal blankies that I kept wrapping around my copy because they’re cozy and reliable. I was unable to avoid all of them because there are only so many ways to peel the same onion.

That said, I hope I was able to keep from sounding repetitive. The worst thing to do would be to become so numbed by writing about the events (again) that the emotion, thrill and drama is sucked out of the description. The writer has to remember the reader may be visiting these stories for the first time, and the writer owes that reader the same verve.

Or else, the story will seem … well, robotic.

There’s that word again. Continue reading

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