It wouldn't be the first time Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote something that was later denied. I mean, the guy would rather leave his journalism integrity behind for more provocative and possibly untrue storytelling instead. Is it illegal? Nope. Is it wrong? Well, only if you went to school to be a respected journalist... then it's wrong. But hey, if Madden and his readers don't care, neither do I. I just want to make a point. Don't know what I mean? Keep reading...
On Saturday Bill Madden wrote a piece in reference to the Joe Maddon departure and in it, there was a section that read:
"Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has been frustrated in his efforts to get out of Tropicana Field in St. Pete and move to a new stadium in Tampa, but there is growing belief that the economically depressed Tampa Bay area won’t support the Rays no matter where they play. And according to sources, Sternberg has had discussions with wealthy Wall Street associates about moving the Rays to Montreal, which has been without a major-league franchise since the Expos were transferred to Washington in 2005. As one major-league official put it to me Friday: “Say what you will about Montreal, but the Expos drew well over two million fans four times there in their heyday, while the Rays did that only once, their first year."
Now, while the idea of the Rays brass being frustrated makes a lot of sense... something didn't jive for me personally. I mean, Montreal came out of nowhere and while it makes for a great story... I personally didn't quite believe it.
Let's just say, knowing what I know about Bill Madden's track record and how he used to be a true journalist, but now he's more of a "Full Blast Provocative" (is that even a term?), I held back on reporting the story on BYB. I didn't want to jump the gun because, well, I didn't believe it. Yet, it's me, a dad and "regular guy" first and not incredibly great at being a gumshoe or detective when it comes to "digging" for clarity or confirmation. After all, big time news guys do that.
After I read his story, I was on the field with my kid. My day went on. That being said, it sat in my mind all day. "Montreal?" It doesn't make sense. There were plenty of rehashes of Madden's piece Sunday and Monday and BYB stayed quiet. I was suspicious...
Now, word on the street is, it's not true after all...maybe Or let me rephrase, it's been shot down by the Rays.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times... you know, someone who would actually KNOW what's going on in Tampa Bay, he has the real scoop. It's a statement by the Rays:
"We are committed to making baseball work in the Tampa Bay region. We will do everything we can to make that happen and right now things are moving in a productive and positive direction. We have not spoken to Montreal - or any other city, including Tampa - about relocation at any point.''
Now here's the thing... are the Rays reps lying to their fan base or is Bill Madden? Well, it's very possible Madden's sources are correct and the Rays are bullshitting us. But this is the bottom line; Now that I have both sides of the story, we here at BYB are much more comfortable bringing you the story.
Finally, let me say this. I wish Montreal would get baseball back. The Expos were fun to watch and the fan base is incredible there. Secondly, I don't dislike Bill Madden. In fact, for a while he was a guy I went to on a regular basis for news. But something happened about a decade ago. He became more salacious. He became more provocative... too much for my taste. Now, when I read a Madden column... I wait.
I'm glad I waited on this one...
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