But I'm not praising the Times. I'm carping. Said the Times story: "Since he gave up baseball, he has been called a quitter and ungrateful and has been accused of wasting an athletic gift of the type coveted by so many men."
Called a quitter by whom?
Was it by anyone who mattered? Did his parents, who'd wanted Cardenas to become a musician, call him a quitter? Did the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, identified by the Times as his "good friend"?
Reporter Ben Strauss doesn't say. I'm sure the story is literally true; I'm sure that in online baseball forums, Cardenas has been denounced, usually anonymously, as an ungrateful quitter. (I bet he's been applauded in the same forums as a marginal big-leaguer who followed his heart.)
But I doubt if I was the only reader annoyed to find extra drama being ginned up gratuitously. The Times practiced one of those little tricks of the writing trade that I hope NYU is teaching Cardenas to avoid.