Maybe they'll revive the Jester

The only time I read the Times magazine anymore is when I'm at my parents' on a Sunday morning and have nothing else to read. As others have noted, the Q&A is usually a train wreck, and of course William Safire is William Safire. I don't understand how the Ethicist feature, essentially a weekly exercise in snark, has as many fans as it does–unless you're in it for the snark. The food column is often only tangentially about food, and the recipes are never practical, certainly not in comparison to those in the Wednesday food section, which I usually enjoy. (The only consistent redeeming feature of the food column is that Amanda Hesser no longer writes it. That is a huge win.)

But anyway, the Times has launched a new sports magazine, Play. I don't know whether it's weekly, or what. I do know that the one feature of the Times magazine that I do like, the Freakonomics column, has been moved to Play this week.

I haven't read through that much more of Play, but one column I did read was Hot Topic. I guess the column is meant to be a screed on a controversial issue, and this week it's about the amphetamine ban in baseball. The bulk of the column is devoted to anecdotes from players about how prevalent amphetamines are, with no mention their side effects. The author, Michael Sokolove, then makes the point(?) that
Major leaguers are big boys, and well paid. To take my family to a game costs me about $200. I care if the players cheat, and I'd put steroids in that category. But otherwise, I'd just as soon that they have what they need to put on a good show.

That's the type of reasoning I'd expect to see displayed on a t-shirt purchased at Hot Topic, not in a leading newspaper's sports magazine.


  1. I liked Play, and felt the feature on Duke's head coach (not even this trained professional will attempt his name) was actually a pretty good read.

    On the other hand, I'm getting worried about Michael Lewis. First he does that Texas Tech piece where he tries to portray Mike Leach as the Billy Beane of college football (neglecting to mention that Tech spends more money than any D-I school on football). Then this piece about a so-called hero. He's gone all objective on us.


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