Thursday, May 08, 2008


The Sox spit the bit against the Tigers...well, Julio Lugo did, and to some extent, so too did Papelbon. While the lion's share of the blame rests with Lugo's error, Pap's cannot be held blameless. Lugo's error was not responsible for the men on base who crossed the plate. Pap's was.

By the same token, maybe the Sox get out of Detroit with a 9-8 win instead of a 10-9 loss if Lugo doesn't screw up at a crucial moment.


Former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh is turning over eight tapes. None, reportedly, are a taping of the Rams practice before the 2001 Super Bowl.

The most interesting item that came up was the denial issued by Walsh's lawyer -

"Mr. Walsh has never claimed to have a tape of the walkthrough," Levy told The New York Times. "Mr. Walsh has never been the source of any of the media speculation about such a tape. Mr. Walsh was not the source for the Feb. 2 Boston Herald article."
From the Herald -
“Mr. Walsh has never been the source of any of the media speculation about such a tape,” Levy added. “Mr. Walsh was not the source for the Feb. 2 Boston Herald article.”
He might not have been the original source, but he didn't, until now, deny having a tape of the walk through. And he certainly fueled the story with intimations that he knew more than what was previously disclosed and that he had evidence in his possession that was damning to the Patriots.

This raises any one of a number of potential questions -
  • Does said tape really exist?
  • If so, who has it?
  • Why did Walsh wait until now to issue the denial?
  • Did Walsh really tape a Rams practice (the lawyer didn't actually deny that)?
  • If he did and claims in his meeting with Roger Goodell, without the evidence of said taping, what is Goodell's recourse? What's Walsh's credibility?
  • Where do the Patriots go from here (in regards to the Herald story)?
  • What is the Herald's recourse in regards to their "unnamed source"?
Let's face it, here are some of the scenarios that could still play themselves out -
  • The Patriots, fearing the report was indeed accurate, rattles their sabers and then let's the story die out.
  • The Kraft Family sues the pants off the Boston Herald. The Herald saves face, and redirects the Pats' ire by doing the only thing available to them - naming the source.
  • The Herald issues an apology to the Patriots, and performs its own investigation into John Tomase's story and the source.
Now, the really interesting thing to note, Chris Mortensen of ESPN mentioned that a number of media outlets, including ESPN, pursued these allegations for months before the Boston Herald reported on it,"and it just didn't meet the standard in terms of" reporting the story.

For many this was expected to resolve the whole Spygate thing. For some, they will lock onto the lawyer-speak and believe, no matter what evidence to the contrary comes out, that the Pats taped the Rams' walkthrough. For others, this won't be done until the situation with the Boston Herald resolves itself.

Still a long way from a climax.


Dave said...

I think Tomase and the Herald are in big trouble and here is why: Kraft and Belichick aren't stupid.

They issued a blanket denial about taping the Rams. They'd have never done that unless they KNEW there was no tape.

And that means both the Herald and ESPN are in a lot of hot water. Such are the dangers of using an unvetted, single source as the basis for a story.

Kevin Smith said...

The thing that saves ESPN is that they only went with the story after the Herald broke it. Hell, everybody ran with the story after the Herald broke it.

Mortensen isn't the only one I have heard mention that they didn't break it because it didn't meet the standard. The Globe ran with it as well, but only after broken by the Herald. Pretty much all admitted that they were looking into the same allegation, and all said they didn't break it because it didn't meet the standard for them.

Tomase and his editor are screwed.

Although the editor might get shielded to some extent and Tomase given up as the sac lamb.

Chris Stone said...

Tomase needs to get out of the sports reporting business. Besides not doing a good job, the Herald had to turn off the comment section of his articles because he'd get tons calling him a fat idiot. An editor, really, should have caught that Feb 2 article.

Kevin Smith said...

I have never worked for a daily and I never had an editor that would have accepted that story without corroborating evidence or a second source.

I would have had to have been given a copy for the editor to review before plugging that into any paper I wrote for. And that's the standard I would have had to adhere to at a weekly.

The only time I had a story that even came close was in Philly when I was working on a story about a kid who was shot and killed. None of the witnesses wanted their name in the story - hell, they wanted to make sure no one even saw me coming into their homes to talk to me. The only way my editor would run the story with the quotes of one was if I had at least one other witness who corroborated the account, and preferably more. In the end, I had three witnesses from three houses with identical stories - but none would give me their names.