soft hands.


In this new version of "Get the good guy," the Red Sox are blameless. One player, Trot Nixon, ignited the game with negative comments about Rodriguez last week and a torrent of teammates have followed. But the teammates' comments have not been unsolicited. They were at the urging of reporters eager to inflame the game to incendiary levels. They were all but handed a script.

Athletes have long accused reporters of creating stories, and, sadly, this is one of those instances. It has become one of the most distasteful instances I have witnessed in 45 years of covering baseball.

It's not enough that Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox' chief executive, calls the Yankees the Evil Empire or that John Henry, the principal owner, criticizes the Yankees for spending ungodly amounts of money on their payroll. Or that the Red Sox players verbally attacked Rodriguez for slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's hand in the league championship series.

These were not invented situations. But the current pile-on-A-Rod is different. Every player who spoke with reporters last week was asked what they thought of Rodriguez, whether they agreed with what Nixon said. Extended the invitation, some players replied with negative comments, but most of what they said in response to the invitations was far less severe than the resulting articles reflected. [new york times]

edit: i don't think anyone who opened their mouth is wholly blameless. still, i'm with murray in the belief that this is an icky display of the sports media's penchant for choosing a petty topic and creating a soap opera out of it.
11:10 PM :: ::
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