Ignorance has its privileges
Take Gary Thorne, John, Jack Joe or whatever his first name is, Heyman, Karen Vescey, Woody Paige, CHB, Jay Marriotti, Bill Plaschke, and a host of other people that litter the media landscape, and put them all on an island somewhere.
Does anyone stop reading their newspapers? Watching the shows they appear on? The answer to that is no. Instead of using the forums they participate in to do something truly different, change lives, inspire people, you have an entire subset of media whose sole purpose in life is to actually be the news, instead of report it. They have little to no talent at what they do and other than a mastery of the English language their skill sets are non-existent.
Watching Woody Paige or the plastered made up face of Jay Marriotti spew absolutely nothing of merit on sports, day after day, makes it easy to understand how Gary Thorne could say something as stupid, ignorant, and uninformed as he did the other night.
Before last night I’d only known who Gary Thorne was due to becoming a hockey fan and enjoying his calls of the NHL playoffs. I’ve always thought he was an awesome hockey announcer. Can’t say I’ve ever met him though so we certainly don’t know each other.
It was blood. You can choose to believe whatever you need to, but facts are facts. The 25 guys that were in that locker room, the coaches, they all know it. In the end nothing else really matters. The people that need to believe otherwise are people with their own insecurities and issues.
The only problem I have is this. If you look back, from the day of game six in the ALCS, through today, you won’t find a newspaper article, radio or TV interview in which I offered the blood, the sock, the game, any of it, as a topic. I haven’t talked about it since the post game interview room that night.
People have asked and I have answered, but the mileage the media got from the incident is all of their own making. When I walked into the room for the post game interviews and offered up my first response to the questions about the game I basically said that the night was a revelation for me. That my faith in God that evening showed me things I’d never believed.
As I uttered those words I could see pretty much every person in that room roll their eyes and smirk. That’s not what any of them wanted to hear, truth or not. That was not good copy. They needed more and what I didn’t give them, they got themselves.
I won’t belittle the night or the event because on a personal and a team level it was an incredible experience. I never took sole credit nor deserved it for us winning that game, or the series. Without Marks home run or Bronson and Keith doing what they did out of the pen we don’t win that game. Without Derek dealing in game seven, Johnny going deep twice, David’s home run and a host of other people we don’t win the series. What came out of that series from a public perception standpoint was not how we all felt. Was I proud of what I did? Absolutely, but I also never thought for a second that was the sole reason we won.
What I experienced in NY and again in game two of the world series was a deeply religious and deeply personal thing. I’ve never been one to hide how I feel and sharing what I went through was not something I had a problem with. I’ve forsaken my relationship with the Lord far too many times and wasted far too many opportunities to glorify him and what he’s done for me in my life. I also knew the media would have a field day with the comments. Obviously I didn’t care.
That somewhat changed yesterday. My only real problem is not that Gary Thorne said something stupid and ignorant, which he did, but that without a word being uttered by anyone in our clubhouse this somehow became a major news story.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, working in the media is a pretty nice gig. Barring outright plagiarism or committing a crime, you don’t have to be accountable if you don’t want to. You can say what you want when you want and you don’t really have to answer to anyone. You can always tell the bigger culprits by the fact you never see their faces in the clubhouse. Most of them are afraid to show themselves to the subjects they rail on everyday.
So Gary Thorne says that Doug told him the blood was fake. Which even when he’s called out he can’t admit he lied. Doug never told Gary Thorne anything. Gary Thorne overheard something and then misreported what he overheard. Not only did he misreport it, he misinterpreted what he misreported.
Doug is a good friend of mine and I knew the second I saw him that he felt horrible. He didn’t have to. I knew the second I was told what had happened that he didn’t say it. I felt horrible for him feeling bad and told him to forget about it. I also knew that being the friends we are, he wouldn’t. But even after they spoke Gary Thorne still covered his ass by lying about the conversation and twisting it in a way that absolved him from blame. Tito got phone calls all day, I did as well, and some other guys did too. It’s 2007 and this team has got a great thing going. The last thing we need is an idiotic distraction that shouldn’t even exist.
So now you have the actual Doctor that performed the surgery both times, my teammates and coaches all admitting it was real (as they did two years ago), yet people still want to think otherwise. The sock from game two of the world series has been in the hall of fame for 2 years now, anyone at anytime could have tested it if they truly wanted to know. However if they do that, and realize that the blood is real, what happens to the story? I’m still convinced that the sock from game 6 of the ALCS is in someone that works in the Yankee clubhouses home.
Remember this, the surgery was voluntary. If you have the nuts, or the guts, grab an orthopedic surgeon, have them suture your ankle skin down to the tissue covering the bone in your ankle joint, then walk around for 4 hours. After that go find a mound, throw a hundred or so pitches, run over, cover first a few times. When you’re done check that ankle and see if it bleeds. It will. There was less visible blood in game two because we recognized the amount of bleeding from the first game and Doctor Morgan put extra covering to stop the blood from running to the bottom of my shoe as it did the first game.
The other great part of this is knowing that anyone that wrote anything about a ‘conspiracy’ or a ‘plot’ is someone that is so far removed from understanding how physically and mentally challenging it is to play this game at this level you can almost laugh off their stupidity. Not to mention they obviously have shortcomings, bitterness and jealousy in their own lives that should probably get taken care of.
So for one of the first times this blog serves one of the purposes I’d hoped it would if the need arose. The media hacked and spewed their way to a day or two of stories that had zero basis in truth. A story fabricated by the media, for the media. The best part was that instead of having to sit through a litany of interviews to ‘defend’ myself, or my teammates, I got to do that here. As I said earlier, believe what you need to, whatever makes you sleep better at night is probably your best bet.
The saddest part in all of this is the following. Yesterday, as I was warming up for the game, I got to see a young kid, could not have been more than 20, who had served in Iraq. He was being honored by the Orioles and threw out the first pitch. He was a double amputee who’d lost the lower portion of both of his legs serving his country. He refused to use his cane and getting to see him do that was incredible.
Instead of finding this kid and writing a story that truly matters, something that would and could truly inspire people, the media chose to focus on a story that was over two years old and a completely fabricated lie. What a job.
Someone gave me a great idea to end this once and for all. No one will ever need to bring it up again. I’ll wager 1 million dollars to the charity of anyones choice, versus the same amount to ALS. If the blood on the sock is fake, I’ll donate a million dollars to that persons charity, if not they donate that amount to ALS.