Two pretty compelling stories from the Sports Illustrated 2011 Baseball Preview issue.
Cover story is written by Gary Smith and on the Philadelphia Phillies fabulous four (plus solid fifth) starting pitchers. The collection of talent makes for an interesting topic, but Smith's "The Legion Of Arms" takes a unique approach to the storytelling. Each of the pitchers is labeled as a particular superhero and the piece is written in an over the top comic book style.
It's an entertaining approach and one very befitting the remarkable and somewhat unbelievable rotation talent. Smith is also well-suited to write this type of story as his writing can be somewhat over the top. In short, he tries to pull something new and creative off and... it works. Any author deserves kudos for that.
In same vein of "departure from straight reporting" was another baseball feature from this issue. "It Was All Just A Bad Dream" is penned by Jeff Greenfield and chronicles the fictional events after Steve Bartman didn't interfere with Moises Alou catching that ball in the 2003 NLCS.
Pretty rollicking and entertaining stuff based on the premise that something which happened (the interference which precipitated the Cubs collapse), didn't. Similar to the Smith profile on the Phillies rotation... very original and entertaining writing.