Today, my newspaper's Sports section displays a lack of much-needed apostrophes. I read just two articles, one on basketball and one on baseball.
Basketball headline: Suns door all but closed to D'Antoni
Baseball headline: Diamondbacks relievers getting job done
Within these articles: Suns management
Diamondbacks starter Randy Johnson
In all of these cases, I believe there should be an apostrophe at the end: Suns' door, Diamondbacks' relievers, etc. The question here is if "Suns" and "Diamondbacks" are nouns or adjectives. In the sentence "The Diamondbacks won," Diamondbacks is a noun. In the sentence "The Diamondbacks' win was expected," it is an adjective. Therefore, you need an apostrophe. One way I use to check my apostrophes is to temporarily use an "of": "management of the Suns" (Suns' management). "Pet of the teacher" (teacher's pet).
It can't be a coincidence that the writers left out so many apostrophes. Perhaps they're doing it on purpose. I'm going to ask the editor of the Sports section why. If he answers, I'll let you know his response.
A few hours later...
Well, the Sports editor was kind enough to answer. It's AP style not to use an apostrophe in a phrase like "the Diamondbacks reliever." Doesn't mean I like it, though.
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