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Proviso Probe

Monday, June 26, 2006

SPORT/MEDIA, White Sox and Jay Mariotti

I listened to some of yesterday's White Sox game on the radio. The White Sox came back from being down 9-1 to force the game to extra innings. Tadahito Iguchi hit a three-run home run in the seventh and a grand slam in the ninth.

No matter how many runs the White Sox are down, the current team can cover the difference. The hitting in the starting line-up and off the bench is incredible.

And I'll bet when the post-season comes around the starting pitchers will be able to turn-up their games and deliver some great starts.

Yesterday, as I cleaned house in preparation for hosting the writing group I belong to, I listened to sports talk radio. The White Sox had won their last nine games, so naturally the talk was all about White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen calling Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti "a fucking fag".

Guillen shouldn't have used the word "fag". But it seems a little disconnected from reality how we (Americans) attach so much importance to epithets but so little to actual actions. We have national policies in place that have large numbers of Black men in the criminal justice system, but hey, our politicians never say, "nigger".

One of the claims made by the talk show host was that Mariotti couldn't avoid writing about the incident. I mostly disagree.

I was sued for defamation by Emanuel "Chris" Welch, the president fo the District 209 school board, for defamation. My lawyers asked me to minimize writing about the lawsuit to avoid the perception that I was milking it for publicity.

Generally, I don't write about developments in the case, because I'm trying to do the honorable thing.

Mariotti is a professional asshole. Part of his thing is getting under the skin of pro-sports people. Mariotti is clearly milking Guillen's poor word choice for the maximum amount of publicity.

Someone who was really concerned that Guillen become more appreciative of the issues facing gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people would probably want to have a private meeting to discuss things with Guillen. Or arrange for some mutually respected third party to meet with Guillen and increase his awareness.

But the way Mariotti is approaching this shows a certain insensitivity on his part. Mariotti's actions demonstrate indifference to actually increasing awareness. For Mariotti, it's all about Mariotti.

[UPDATE: I should have checked the blogs before writing this entry.
Temple Stark wrote:
Would I enjoy time spent with Guillen? Probably not, but honest words are always preferable to faking outrage. Or faking stupidity. Mariotti, yes, gets paid to have an opinion. And apparently has called Guillen plenty oif names in his column, "Mafia guy" and "gang member" are two that Guillen picked out. And there's nothing wrong with someone calling that opinion a pile of horse manure.

And Deadspin wrote:
Jay Mariotti’s column is reading like a “Penthouse” letter to the men he covers. Yeah, he’s not letting this go away.


  • Mariotti is, by far, the worst 'sports' writer in Chicago, and has been for a number of years. Sun-Times should be ashamed of printing his ineptitude, but instead are likely happy with all the publicity.

    Best thing to do is to just ignore him. Unlike Coulter, he can't really do any harm if people ignore him.

    By Blogger haydesigner in SD, at 7:05 PM, June 26, 2006  

  • I completely agree with haydesigner. Mariotti is ridiculous, as are those who follow him religiously. Also, if you are trying to not speak of your lawsuit, why did you even bring it up? Had you linked it to something maybe it would be understandable. But why just mention it. That is just asking for problems later on. You should play it safe because I'm sure you just want a just resolve to your entire ordeal.

    By Anonymous mariotti is ridiculous, at 11:05 PM, June 27, 2006  

  • Eric Zorn pointed out Mariotti's hypocracy vis a vis nick-naming Frank Thomas "The Big Skirt". He used it in print a dozen or so times, and now he is feigning outrage over being called a fag.

    By Blogger Roy, at 11:22 AM, June 29, 2006  

  • Sorry about not linking to the backstory on Welch v. Nyberg. I assumed most regular Proviso Probe readers knew about it, but if you came in based on searching for "Mariotti" or "Ozzie Guillen" I could see how the post was incomplete.

    Roy, thanks for drawing attention to Zorn's observation that Mariotti is completely full of himself and a blowhard.

    Is it time to organize a campaign to get the Sun-Times to dump Mariotti?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 4:23 PM, June 29, 2006  

  • Don't look at other blogs before writing. It'll mess ya up. I never do. I go with what's in my head and run.

    Write and then you know it's your honest opinion, even if 400,000,000,000 people thought of it first. And if it has a slightly different take, it's a natural take and not forced to be different.

    Not that I had unique angle either, It just seems ridiculous to be so outraged when we all know everyone does it. I write articles and op-eds for a living and I'd be slightly ashamed to blow it out of all proportion.

    I'll read your post again later - and I'll fix my typo you highlighted. :-)

    By Anonymous Temple Stark, at 11:17 AM, July 12, 2006  

  • Petition - Fire Mariotti

    the internet creatures

    By Blogger Internet Creatures, at 9:33 PM, October 26, 2006  

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