Friday, January 01, 2010

Farewell to a Sports Section . . . and a Sportswriter.

Generally speaking, the Basketcases are not big fans of the Washington Times. However, when it comes to its Sports Section, we've always thought that the Times has done a very good job. Indeed, our loyal readers know that we've regularly linked to Times stories.

And so it was with great sadness that we heard the reports over the past few days that the Times, suffering from the same economic problems that have beset so many employers -- newspapers in particular -- was about to eliminate its Sports Section and lay off its sportwriters. Indeed today, January 1, 2010, the Times published its last Sports Section, and we here in our nation's capital are the worse for it.

There's a great deal being written right now about what a loss this is for coverage of the Redskins and the other "big" (read: men's) sports. But that's not what the BasketCases will miss. What we'll miss the most is Mike Fratto's writing about the Mystics and about Maryland women's basketball.

The BasketCases read a lot of sports stories. All too often, particularly when it comes to "minor" (read: women's) sports, the journalists assigned to write about teams don't have a very good grasp of or respect for the sport or the team they are covering. Mike Fratto was not one of those writers . . . he absolutely "got" the Mystics. His coverage of women's basketball for the Times, and particularly his coverage of the Mystics, definitely enriched the scope of women's basketball reporting here in the Washington, DC area. The coming WNBA season simply will not be the same without him.

When we first starting reading Mike's reports, we were impressed enough with his writing and his knowledge that we assumed he was an older, seasoned sports reporter. What did we know! Someone pointed him out to us at a game last summer and it turns out that Mike doesn't look old enough to have had a Bar Mitzvah. In other words, Mike is talented . . . and young.

We don't know what's in store for Mike; however, we hope his considerable talent will work to his advantage and help him land on his feet in a job doing what he wants to do. But no matter what the future holds for Mike, the BasketCases want to express our personal thanks for his reporting, wish him all the best, and just say how very sorry we are to lose his coverage.


At 11:51 AM, Anonymous pt said...

Amen. I thought it was a great thing that the Times gave him a Mystics blog, even though he updated it infrequently. It gives women's BB fans even less of a reason to pick up the Times.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger DH said...

Donna here----great seeing you guys at the GW game. Plans for 9 Jan are 0n---we already have made resevations for us BUT I can't find your email!!!! Send me an e-mail at and we can finilize plans AND I have a "few" photos to send you!


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