February 21, 2003

Since The News Corp. purchased the L.A. Dodgers back in 1998, fans have had to swallow boneheaded trades, classless midnight firings of long-time personnel, front office policy that seems to be dictated more toward appeasing the sensitivities of white sportswriters than winning games, and of course, zero playoff appearances. Murdoch's thugs have traded away a certain Hall-of-Famer (Piazza) because they didn't like his contract demands, then signed a lesser player (K. Brown) for more money than what Piazza was demanding. They treated the player obtained for Piazza, Gary Sheffield, with contempt, even though the numbers he put up were, by and large, better than Piazza's, and he played with greater commitment and intensity.

All of that was well and good, since Murdoch has been trying to dump the team for the last year, so at least there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Just when it seemed Dodger fans might be able to breathe a little easier, Fox has apparently decided to drop yet another turd in our chili. The team's greatest pitcher, and arguably the greatest southpaw in the history of baseball, Sandy Koufax, has disassociated himself from the team because the N.Y. Post, a newspaper that holds the distinction of being the least redeeming and least profitable of all of Rupert the Mad's holdings, published an item in its gossip column claiming that the female writer of a best-selling biography of a Hall of Fame baseball player had to agree not to mention rumors of his homosexuality. Although Koufax wasn't named in the article, it was clear the allusion was to him; there just weren't that many best-selling bios written by female authors about closeted Hall of Fame players that were published in the past year.

Good for Sandy. The most disreputable form of journalism is the blind gossip item; there is no accountability for the writer, and the information usually turns out to be wrong (or significantly out of context) anyways. If you're going to out someone, than do so, straightforwardly. As you might recall, it was the N.Y. Post that spent the better part of last summer trying to spread rumors about the sexual preferences of Mssrs. Piazza and Alomar. Before Fox manages to do further damage by alluding to Jackie Robinson's "bizarre" fetish for cats, or to Duke Snider's "interesting" friendship with Don Newcombe, lets just hope they get out of baseball altogether.

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