"Williams' career, in contrast [to Babe Ruth's], has been a series of failures except for his averages. He flopped in the only World Series he ever played in (1946) when he batted only .200. He flopped in the playoff game with Cleveland in 1948. He flopped in the final game of the 1949 season with the pennant hinging on the outcome (Yanks 5, Sox 3). He flopped in 1950 when he returned to the lineup after a two-month absence and ruined the morale of a club that seemed pennant-bound under Steve O'Neill. It has always been Williams' records first, the team second, and the Sox non-winning record is proof enough of that."
I should add that Finnegan, clearly the Dan Shaughnessy of his day, published that on the day of Williams' last game. Anyway, I'm sure I don't have to spell it out for you: sounds familiar, doesn't it? Mainstream sports writing doesn't seem to have changed all that much since 1960. Although God only knows what Huck Finnegan would have made of WARP.
Best line in the whole terrific Updike piece, though, is on Williams' refusal to so much as tip his cap to the pleading fans, after hitting a home run in his last-ever at-bat: "The papers said that the other players, and even the umpires on the field, begged him to come out and acknowledge us in some way, but he refused. Gods do not answer letters."