There was nothing racists in Paul LoDuca’s comments. It was the print media-not LoDuca-that went there. LoDuca’s comments were targeted toward the print media who has delved into every part of his personal life and yes to some of his Spanish speaking teammates who’ve been ducking reporters.
It was the members of the club who speak Latin who were first to come to LoDuca’s defense. See yeterday’s comments by Julio Franco and Jose Valentin. Thanks to Metsblog for these. The Mets players were the ones who cleaned up the media’s mess when they made the inference that LoDuca’s comments were in any way racists.
And on the other side of the story, LoDuca has been targeted by the tabloids and has a right to be upset about it. True enough its not the beat writers who generate the gossip pages, but they should be more understanding when a player is going to be short with employees of a paper that are smearing them.
Lisa Olson refuses to see this today in todays NY Daily News. She does so in a “Dear Paul” letter. She attempts to indicate that it was a little bit of each sides fault:
But if you’re going to criticize us for mistakes both real and imagined, we should have the opportunity to explain our side of the estrangement. Readers, listeners and fans generally don’t give a fig about how we go about our jobs (though many of them dabble in amateur blogging). But based on your emotional interview yesterday, clearly you care about your reputation, just as we care about ours.
Is it fair to say we both have erred? Your transgression first: On your way out of the Shea clubhouse Thursday night, after rain postponed the game between the Mets and St. Louis, a radio reporter asked if you had made a decision to appeal the two-game suspension you incurred following an on-field tantrum last Saturday. You reacted vociferously to the query, so that teammates and reporters couldn’t help but overhear.
“I’ll do this, but you need to start talking to other players,” you said. “It’s the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me.”
If you hadn’t uttered that last sentence, your comments, caught on several tape recorders, still would have been fodder for the chattering class. Adding the final phrase was like tossing dry leaves on a smoldering cigarette. Given the makeup of the Mets – more than half the roster is Latino – your words were ill-advised and newsworthy. Imagine if we hadn’t reported them, and they were leaked nonetheless. Think fans and readers in a city as diverse as New York might have accused the media of ignoring what could be perceived as an incendiary comment?
If you think we’re trying to create, as you claimed yesterday, “dissension in this clubhouse,” you ought to have heard the subsequent grumbling in the press box. Storms had scratched the game stories; reporters from city, suburban and New Jersey news outlets would have been heading home if it weren’t for your odd harangue. And please note: we don’t see the headlines until we pick up the paper in the morning, same as you.
Ok, let me get this straight. So you went with something that was overheard without getting the whole comment. And that meansssss…..errrrrr, taking it out of context. And that was LoDuca’s fault? And oh, yeah, you don’t write the headlines.
And then Olson goes into something else that isn’t the media’s fault:
As for salacious reports about your personal life, not a single sports journalist wants to spend his or her time away from the ballpark stalking you. Like with the headlines, we’re rarely privy to what the news side is doing. You might want to focus your anger on whoever in your circle is tattling on you, sending the media spicy pictures.
So its LoDuca’s “inner circle’s” fault and its “giving” stories to the media? Buuuuuuuuuaaa hahahahahaha. Thats almost too rich for comment.
Making it someone else’s fault twice in one column is clear chutzpah.
Friday’s headline story that the Mets had to deal with yesterday demonstrated that at times the print media comes at sports teams and athletes it covers. Credit Franco, Valentin and now Carlos Delgado for slam dunking the media both debunking the story and coming to the defense of a respected teammate. That sweep was nice, too.
Lisa Olson’s “Dear Paul” angle was snide and does nothing to relieve any tension or increase the level of trust this ball club will have with the people that appear at their lockers with pens and long notepads.
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This post was written by bobsikes on June 30, 2007