Analysis of News Lead from the Santana Story
The New York Times used a unique approach to a lead in the story of the Mets finalizing the Santana contract. This lead contains only part of the "who" keeping the readers in suspense until the second paragraph. There they list who the "best pitcher in baseball" is, Johan Santana. In a way, this is a delayed-identification lead, yet the person does carry a lot of recognition.
They list the "what" which was securing Santana to the Mets contract. However, the "when" and "where" were not listed.
Instead, The New York Times used a more stylistic approach to the lead. The writer leads with flair, focusing not on all the facts, but instead builds the suspense for the reader, making them want to continue reading to find out more. In this way, the lead succeeded.
This article could have used a hard-news lead, however the stylistic choices aided making the story seem more interesting. The New York Times focused on the unusal in this story, which was the fact that it took a long time, even additional time for the Mets to finalize the deal with Santana.
The lead is very detailed in how long it took to finalize the contract and the amount of money received. What is left out is the specific detail of who the contract was with.
Even though this lead does not include everything in the first sentence that the reader wants to know. It gives the reader enough information to continue to the next sentence.