October 10, 2012
The Shot Before the Shot
I named this story “The Shot before the Shot” when I sent it to my editors, although I don’t know if that’s the title under which you’re now reading it. [It is! Ed.] As you may already know, it isn’t my job, or even my right, to entitle what I write. Titles are the domain of editors, not writers. I may call the thing a changeup, but if the editors think the sound of “Gyroball” will sell it better, then “Gyroball” it is.
As a general rule, though, if I do have a suggested title for a piece of writing I submit, most editors I’ve worked with, here at BP and elsewhere, will use it as long as it’s reasonably punchy and apposite. Editors are busy, busy people, happy not to have to be the heir of entitlement.
Honestly, I think “The Shot before the Shot” is only about a 50 title. I had to discard the (punchy, apposite) one I originally had for this piece, “Freese Frame,” because
A) It’s dorky.
“Freese Frame” is the kind of headline you’d choose for a story about David Freese if you had just written a story about David Freese and you had a midnight deadline and it was 11:56:56 p.m.
It’s a shame, not being able to use “Freese Frame,” because this story really should be called “Freese Frame.” The story is built around an image of David Freese in last year’s World Series as he approaches home plate after rounding the bases following his Game Six, extra-inning, walkoff homer to force a decisive seventh game between the Cardinals and Rangers.