If you Google “Eric Langill baseball”, you won’t find articles about his professional sports career as the New York Mets bullpen catcher. Instead, you’re likely to find dozens and dozens of hyped up take down pieces about his embarrassing arrest last year in March of 2012.
Apparently our collective digital memories are really good at remembering gossip, and really bad at recording personal achievements of those who occupy the spotlight— especially when it comes to pro athletes. Ultimately, Langill was charged with driving under the influence and property damage, and once the story hit the mainstream press, the snowball of sensationalism began, and this Canadian-born ballplayer’s online reputation was officially ruined.
An initial story from ESPN reported that, “According to the affidavit from the arresting officer, Langill’s white Honda Accord crashed into a concrete fountain in the center of a traffic circle and flipped over at approximately 11:25 p.m. ET Sunday.” The fact that his car flipped over seemed to sound especially juicy because the next newswire that picked up the story, NYDailyNews featured this detail in their headline: “NY Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill flips car, charged with DUI by Florida police according to report.”
While getting busted for a DUI is probably not the best way to kick off your first season with a major league baseball team, you almost can’t help but feel bad for guy. The press has certainly done their absolute best to make sure Langill will forever be remembered as that newbie who tossed back a few too many at the party and crashed into a fountain.
While many would insist that driving drunk is a serious criminal offense that shouldn’t be ignored—let alone condoned by the public, should a slip up like this carry so much weight that leaves a permanent scarlet letter on someone’s career? Is it possible to have such an epic fall from grace, and then turn it around and make people love you again? Maybe. But unfortunately for a bullpen catcher who struggled for years to make it to the major leagues in the first place, and is pigeon-holed as a “career minor-leaguer” that moment will most likely go down as his 15 minutes of fame. To Langill, I offer him some PR advice: Pull some crazy—yet family friendly—stunt so reporters will write about something other than your infamous drunken car flip. Might help clean up those unflattering search results in Google!
What do YOU think? Does Langill deserve to continue to have his reputation ruined for this DUI conviction that took place over a year ago? Do you think there should be an easier way for athletes and celebrities to manage their online reputations?
Author byline: Jessica Ruane is a San Diego blogger who covers sports, crime, and celebrities.
Posted under METS
This post was written by JoeMcDonald on June 6, 2013