In my laundry list of Google Alerts, I had a bit of a doosy show up today. The finale to the Michigan/Iowa game was a side story in Business Week's particle on Are Sportswriters Really Necessary.
Below are the opening lines of three stories written about a recent college baseball game. Two are from schools' sports information departments. The other was produced by software that takes box scores and spits out news articles. Which one was done by machine?
a) "The University of Michigan baseball team used a four-run fifth inning to salvage the final game in its three-game weekend series with Iowa, winning 7-5 on Saturday afternoon (April 24) at the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home of historic Ray Fisher Stadium."
b) "Michigan held off Iowa for a 7-5 win on Saturday. The Hawkeyes (16-21) were unable to overcome a four-run sixth inning deficit. The Hawkeyes clawed back in the eighth inning, putting up one run."
c) "The Iowa baseball team dropped the finale of a three-game series, 7-5, to Michigan Saturday afternoon. Despite the loss, Iowa won the series having picked up two wins in the twinbill at Ray Fisher Stadium Friday."
So yeah. I was able to pick out which one it was (follow the link to find out yourself). But still. It's crazy to think that with just the stats of the game, an entire release was formulated without spelling errors or human intervening. Crazy.