Update: LeBatard second-guesses decision; Miami Herald sports editor, Wilbon, Kornheiser scold him for Deadspin stunt

Update at 11:30 ET:  Dan Patrick’s producer just posted the following tweet.


Dan LeBatard has enjoyed a terrific career, winning many national awards as a columnist for the Miami Herald. It enabled him to go to another level with TV and radio shows on ESPN.

Yesterday, though, wasn’t one of his better days.

LeBatard faced considerable fallout for his decision to give his Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin. It was his way of protesting the voting process. Deadspin turned around and using fan voting to determine LeBatard’s ballot.

He wrote: “I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we’ve made of sports.”

LeBatard was feeling a bit cocky in the video. However, a couple hours later, he seemed to be second-guessing his decision on his ESPN radio show by 6 p.m. ET. During the previous hour, Tim Kurkjian and then Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, men he greatly respects, scolded him for participating in such a stunt. Wilbon called it “garbage.”

“This is egotism run amok,” Korheiser told LeBatard.

Here is a link to the Kornheiser and Wilbon interview.

As I wrote yesterday, all three of them thought LeBatard should have used his own vast platforms to make his point about the process. Kurkjian felt by going to Deadspin, LeBatard made himself the focus of the story, taking away from the intent of his mission.

After an hour of that, and with considerable other criticism coming in from the journalism community, LeBatard seemed overwhelmed at the top of the 6 p.m. hour. You got the feeling he felt, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

The reaction got worse for LeBatard, and it came from his own employers.

In a Clark Spencer story in the Miami Herald, sport editor Jorge Rojas said it best. (Note: LeBatard now is technically a freelancer for the Herald):

“Whatever issues might be raised about the Hall of Fame voting process, we do not condone misrepresentation of any kind,” Herald executive sports editor Jorge Rojas said in a statement. “Dan had a point to make. We think there are other ways he could have made it.”

Exactly. A journalist should never misrepresent himself. He accepted the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America. There is an implied trust that he would use it in good faith. He didn’t.

There’s more. From Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote.

“I love that my buddy Dan must now act as if he’d have preferred none of this get out when in fact this is publicity gold … for somebody with a daily radio show who fancies himself a cutting edge establishment-tweaker.”

Mike Oz of Yahoo! Sports had the reaction from LaVelle E. Neal III, the BBWA president.

“When you accept a baseball writers’ card, there’s a certain way you need to go about your business, a certain conduct you need to have at all times,” Neal said. “It’s disappointing that someone would decide to manipulate his vote in that way.”

More reaction from baseball writers:

“It’s sad that one of our members would do this,” said Bill Madden, long-time baseball writer for the New York Daily News and a member for 41 years of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, whose most tenured members vote for the Hall of Fame.

Said Mark Feinsand, who covers the New York Yankees for the Daily News: “The writers who cover the sport earn the right to vote and don’t earn the right to allow others to cast their votes. If you don’t think your vote means anything, then don’t vote.”

Meanwhile, a story on ESPN.com had the network attempting to distance himself from the stunt.

“We respect and appreciate Dan’s opinions and passion about Hall of Fame voting,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement. “He received his vote while at the Miami Herald. We wouldn’t have advocated his voting approach, which we were just made aware of today.”

I’m sure LeBatard will get a phone call or two today from top ESPN executives, if he hasn’t already.

Again, serious journalists don’t do something like this, which is disappointing because I consider LeBatard a serious journalist.


Why? Disappointed that it was Dan Le Batard who gave Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin

I have known Dan Le Batard for a long time, and I hardly think he is a “scumbug,” which was my initial label for the voter who turned over his ballot to Deadspin.

However, I am disappointed that it is Le Batard who gave his vote to Deadspin. I would be disappointed in any voter who participated in this stunt.

Le Batard writes on Deadspin’s site:

I feel like my vote has gotten pretty worthless in the avalanche of sanctimony that has swallowed it.

I have no earthly idea if Jeff Bagwell or Frank Thomas did or didn’t use steroids.

I think I understand why the steroid guys were the steroid guys in this competition-aholic culture.

I hate all the moralizing we do in sports in general, but I especially hate the hypocrisy in this: Many of the gatekeeper voters denying Barry Bonds Hall Of Fame entry would have they themselves taken a magical, healing, not-tested-for-in-their-workplace elixir if it made them better at their jobs, especially if lesser talents were getting the glory and money. Lord knows I’d take the elixir for our ESPN2 TV show if I could.

I don’t think I’m any more qualified to determine who is Hall of Fame-worthy than a fan who cares about and really knows baseball. In fact, many people analyzing baseball with advanced metrics outside of mainstream media are doing a better job than mainstream media, and have taught us some things in recent years when we were behind. In other words, just because we went to journalism school and covered a few games, just because accepted outlets gave us their platform and power, I don’t think we should have the pulpit to ourselves in 2014 that way we did in 1936.

Baseball is always reticent to change, but our flawed voting process needs remodeling in a new media world. Besides, every year the power is abused the way I’m going to be alleged to abuse it here. There’s never been a unanimous first-ballot guy? Seriously? If Ruth and Mays and Schmidt aren’t that, then what is? This year, someone is going to leave one of the five best pitchers ever off the ballot. Suck it, Greg Maddux.

I’ve become a more and more lenient voter over the years, often allowing the max 10 guys in a year, and I wanted to put in more this year. I happen to agree with most of the reader selections. I was afraid you guys were going to have me voting for Jacque Jones and no one else. I was kind of surprised this particular snark-land respected the process. I found it impossible to limit it this year to 10, but 10 was all that was allowed, so thanks for the help. But why limit it to 10 in a year that has more than 10 worthy candidates, by the way? How dumb is that?

And my final reason: I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we’ve made of sports.

I’m not sure what kind of trouble this is going to bring me. I imagine I’ll probably have my vote stripped. But I don’t want to be a part of the present climate without reform anyway. Given that climate, doing THIS has more impact than my next 20 years of votes as sanctimony bars the HOF door on the steroid guys. Because, in a climate without reform, my next 20 years of votes will be counted but not actually heard. At least this gets it heard, for better or for worse.

For starters, at least Le Batard wasn’t paid for his vote. The first Deadspin story said, the person “sold us his/her vote.”

That notion sent me through the roof. Hence, in part, my harsh reaction. Journalists shouldn’t be bought.

Apparently, that first person backed out for whatever reason, and Le Batard stepped in.

Why? Well, it will gain Le Batard a ton of publicity today, drawing attention to his various ESPN shows. Sorry, Dan, but that had to factor into your decision.

Also, Dan, if you are so disturbed about the process, why did you use Deadspin as a vehicle? Surely, you have plenty of your own platforms to get out your message.

All in all, it just seems to me by undermining the process, Dan, you sold out your fellow members of the sportswriting fraternity. Yes, the process is flawed, but your stunt also reflects poorly on people you’ve shared the press box with for years. There are better methods if you truly wanted reform.

Bottom line: The whole thing just doesn’t strike me as something a serious journalist would do. And I’ve always thought of you as a serious journalist.

Anyway, those are a few quick thoughts. Hope you enjoy the fallout.





More love (not!) from Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs: Calls me ‘Dumbest F-ing guy in sports media’ in podcast with Leitch

Well, I got quite a New Year’s greeting from a couple of old pals.

Thanks to some readers, I’m just catching up with a Will Leitch Experience podcast with Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs via Sports on Earth. No surprise (Hi, Tommy), they weren’t effusive with praise about yours truly.

However, it was a surprise that at around the 28-minute mark, the podcast suddenly veered towards me. Talk about ruining a podcast, right?

Leitch interrupted Craggs to say he wanted to tell an “Ed Sherman story.”

Leitch talked about me contacting him in July, 2012 when I noticed the Illinois alumni magazine put the Deadspin founder on their cover. I thought it was an unusual choice, given Deadspin’s edgy content and that the magazine is generally very conservative.

I wrote in the post:

Every quarter, I receive the Illinois Alumni magazine. The issue focuses on notable graduates, such as scientists, business leaders, economists, etc. Prominent alums, to be sure.

So imagine my surprise when I received the summer issue of Illinois Alumni and saw Will Leitch on the cover. Yes, Will Leitch, the founder of Deadspin.

I reached out to Leitch because I knew he would have a funny response. He did, replying in part:

Ha. I had no idea I was going to be on the cover and had honestly forgotten about the interview until someone told me about the story on Twitter. I suppose it’s an honor, but I can’t help but think that the honor, as a concept, is lessened by the fact that it was bestowed upon me (no club that would have me as a member, all that). I really do hope it doesn’t cause anyone to cancel their subscription.

It was an amusing post. Nothing more.

However, in the podcast with Craggs, Leitch made it seem like I was badgering him for a comment.

“He said, ‘I just wanted to see if you had a comment about the University of Illinois putting you on the cover of their alumni magazine?'” Leitch said. “I said, ‘I think I’m OK with it. If you ask me to make a big thing of it, I will say I’m not against it.'”

Leitch said he never dealt with me before that contact. Evidently, he forgot I had talked to him about his 2010 book, Are We Winning? I actually read the book, which focused on being a Cardinals fan and his relationship with his father. It was an entertaining read, and I did a Q/A with Leitch while I was with Crain’s Chicago Business.

Anyway, in the podcast, Leitch theorizes that my exchange with him was the start of my feud with Deadspin.

“Something about that set him off, and I think you guys (Deadspin) are getting the brunt of it,” Leitch said.

Totally not true. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Leitch then went on to say, “He’s an amusing little figure that keeps popping up.”

One of those amusing little things was my critique of a Leitch column on Darren Rovell last February. The column was a vicious attack that went over the line. I wasn’t alone in that view.

However, as a result, Leitch now has reason not to like his fellow U of I alum.

Craggs, meanwhile, took the opportunity to call me some not-so-nice things.

“He might be the dumbest fucking guy in sports media,” Craggs said. “That’s saying something. I’m willing to go out on that limb.”

Well, at least I’m No. 1 in something.

You see, I also have been critical of Deadspin from time to time.

“He seems to have figured out that there’s a percentage for him to be the guy on the Internet who’s always ripping Deadspin,” Craggs said.

Yes, much like Deadspin’s strategy in aggressively covering ESPN.

“He seems to labor under the delusion that the reason we don’t like him is that he has criticized us in the past,” Craggs went on. “If that were our criteria for not liking somebody, we wouldn’t like anybody.

“He’s such a hack through and through. He only can see the world through a hack’s eyes. He thinks we’re responding to him the way he responds, i.e. hackily. He can’t fathom the idea that we hate him because he really sucks at what really should be a cool job.”

Hackily? So, Tommy, if I praised Deadspin’s work, they’d still hate me? Somehow, I don’t think that would be the case.

Later, Craggs wrote about how he and John Koblin noticed how I tend to use the phrase, “No surprise,” or in the “the no surprise department.”

“He’s this incredibly savvy guy who can’t be surprised by anything,” Craggs said. “The unflappable Ed Sherman.”

All I can say is that I’m truly surprised Craggs and Leitch spent so much time talking about me. I think they would agree with me that they might want a mulligan there. Surely, there were better things to talk about it.

But hey, I appreciate it. Thanks for the pub, guys.










Deadspin Hall of Fame fallout: No comment from Cooperstown, BBWA; Members outraged

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and that you’re enjoying the 10 extra pounds you’re now carrying. Looks good on you.

I wanted to clear out a few leftovers from Deadspin’s prank of getting a Hall of Fame voter to sell its vote to the site.

Late last week, I heard from Jack O’Connell, the secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He was terse in an email.

“The BBWA declines comment,” O’Connell said.

This morning, I got the same reaction from Brad Horn, the spokesman for the Hall of Fame. “We do not have a comment,” he said.

However, beneath the surface, you know the Hall and the BBWA are outraged that one of its voters would put a vote up for sale. Supposedly, it is being down to highlight the hypocrisy in the entire process.

I suspect the main purpose is for some idiot to make a quick buck. Note: I didn’t call the person a “scumbag” as I did in my initial post. Some people thought it was a bit too harsh. Hopefully, idiot still makes the point.

Deadspin’s motivation also is clear, and it has nothing to do with hypocrisy. This is all about getting attention to the site. You’d have to say good job in that department.

While the Hall and BBWA aren’t talking, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News summed up the feelings of all during an interview last week on Chris Russo’s show on Mad Dog Radio.

I can tell you one thing: This person will be forever banished from the Baseball Writers’ Association. And, in my opinion, this is one of the most despicable things I can ever think of.

Why such a harsh reaction? For starters, journalists shouldn’t be for sale. There’s an integrity issue here. I suspect this idiot doesn’t have much of that commodity.

Also, regardless of whether the system is flawed, by accepting the vote, the person made a commitment to do the best job possible to execute it in a proper and thoughtful manner. If you have problems with the system, voice them. Go through the proper channels. Even go public.

No, instead this idiot decided to hide behind Deadspin.

The site says the voter’s identity will eventually be revealed. Considering the fallout, I have my doubts that will happen. In fact, I wonder if the idiot will even go through with the whole thing.

If the idiot does on both counts and we learn his/her identity, well, better have a thick skin.





Will scumbag who sold Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin actually reveal identity?

Yesterday, “the kids at Deadspin,” as Jason Whitlock likes to call them, disclosed that they had purchased a ballot for the upcoming Baseball Hall of Fame election from one of the voters. Yes, some scumbag actually sold a vote to Deadspin.

What is the point? Deadspin’s Tim Marchman explains:

Our idea was to make a mockery and farce of the increasingly solemn and absurd election process, and to take some power from the duly appointed custodians of the game’s history and turn it over to the public.

Yeah, right. The idea was to generate publicity for Deadspin. And it worked, unfortunately. Just heard discussion about the stunt on sports talk radio in Chicago.

The sad part is, Deadspin got some scumbag to buy in. That person remains anonymous for now, Marchman writes.

For obvious reasons, the voter will remain anonymous for now, but he/she will be filling out his/her ballot on behalf of Deadspin readers, who will be polled in binding elections. The voter will announce his/her name and motivations once his/her vote has been officially cast.

Oh really? A person actually is going to step forward and explain why he/she took on this noble crusade?

I’d be surprised if that occurs. The criticism already is fairly intense. Labeling this voter a “scumbag” actually is fairly tame considering what is being said elsewhere.

Also, if this voter was so intent on exposing the process, why did he/she have to sell the vote to Deadspin? Why not just donate the vote without a price? It says something about the integrity of the person that he/she can be bought.

Sure, the Hall of Fame voting process has its flaws. They all do. I continue to maintain sportswriters shouldn’t vote in the first place. It falls under the heading of, journalists cover the news, not make the news.

However, this scumbag likely has participated in the process for years. Why now to make a statement? Oh yeah, you’re getting paid. Don’t worry about stabbing your brethren in the back.

No, I suspect this scumbag won’t be able to weather the scrutiny by coming out of Deadspin’s closet.

More to come on this story.



Simmons to SI.com: Deadspin sources are ‘liars’; troubled that they likely came from ESPN

Will be interesting to see if Deadspin picks up on Richard Deitsch’s interview with Bill Simmons at SI.com today.

Simmons strongly denied a John Koblin story last week that he was responsible for Magic Johnson leaving NBA Countdown.

Simmons told Deitsch:

Those unnamed “sources” are liars. Someone planted a fake story to try to make me look bad, and there’s a 99.3 percent chance it came from someone in Bristol (which presents its own set of concerns). I was upset; I can’t lie. Maybe this happens to people more often than I realize, and maybe it comes with the territory, but man … I can’t properly explain how fantastic it was to watch basketball with Magic for nine months.

Later he told Deitsch:

Anyway, that’s why the “report” upset me so much — it wasn’t just that someone made it up (and how disturbing that is), but how I felt in real life was the exact opposite of what that “report” portrayed. I felt blindsided when Magic left. I thought he was quitting on the show, and I guess on me, too. I took it personally. But then I thought about the whole Dodgers thing (and how into those games he was), and it made more sense and I got over it.

Last week, when Simmons and Johnson’s agent issued statements denying Koblin’s story, Deadspin wound up burying them in the comments section. Koblin added, “Sure, OK, but who was saying they were enemies?”

Interesting that the comments weren’t included in an updated version of the main post. But then, that would have required balanced journalism where both sides of the story are reported.

Given that perspective, I shouldn’t expect Deadspin to do much with Simmons’ comments to a major platform like SI. Besides, everyone has moved on, and Deadspin is working on slamming someone else.

Also, Simmons has reason to be concerned that the original source came from ESPN. It’s a big place with a lot of different agendas. Clearly, there are people who don’t like or resent Simmons’ success. It likely will happen again.

So as they say: Consider the source.





Update: Simmons on Magic: “GREAT GUY”; denies Deadspin story about Johnson departure from Countdown

Update: Bill Simmons, through ESPN, issued this statement:

“I loved getting to know Magic these past 12 months and was saddened to hear about his decision. We genuinely liked working with one another. Last night Lon Rosen and I were already talking about other possible projects that Magic and I could do together down the road. He’s my friend. And a GREAT guy.”

From Lon Rosen, Johnson’s agent.

“Magic and Bill Simmons got to be very close and continue to be close.  Bill Simmons and Earvin Johnson are friends. Earvin’s close to Bill. We called Bill before the release went out. Bill has been to parties at Earvin’s house. He’s been to Dodgers game with Bill. He likes Bill a lot.”


Bill Simmons issued a tweet, refuting a Deadspin story that he is responsible for Magic Johnson’s departure from ESPN’s NBA Countdown.




In the post, John Koblin bases his information on ESPN sources.

ESPN sources tell us that Johnson’s departure was the result of an old-fashioned power war, with one very clear winner: Bill Simmons. “It’s Simmons’s show now,” said one source.

Magic apparently was not at all happy when ESPN told his buddy Michael Wilbon that his role on NBA Countdown would be diminished. He was “booted,” according to one source. Another ESPN insider also said that Magic was “privately seething over the Wilbon thing and in general did not like that Simmons held all the power and influence.” Magic didn’t necessarily need the power, our sources explained; he just didn’t feel like kowtowing to Simmons when he’s, well, Magic Johnson.

“The bottom line is they turned that show over to Simmons,” said our source. “That’s why Doug Collins got hired and why Wilbon was out.”

Simmons obviously isn’t buying that account.


Honored: Deadspin names Sherman Report to list of Top 100 ‘Worst’ Twitter accounts

On behalf of the entire Sherman Report organ-I-zation (me), I would like to thank Deadspin and editor Tommy Craggs for this honor.

Deadspin has named me No. 35 on its list of the Top 100 Worst Twitter accounts. And as you can see, they had some kind words for me.

This “dreary newspaper hack” likely made the list because I have dared to criticize Deadspin on occasion. You see, Deadspin can knock the snot out of anyone it wants. But if you call them on something, it irritates their sensitive, thin skin.

But hey, I have no problem being on the list. I’m in some elite company.

From Deadspin:

These are listed in no particular order, and the only real criteria for inclusion were 1) working our nerves in some way and 2) coming to mind when we were drawing up a list of terrible accounts. We hope this list is useful to you as you choose sports-related Twitter feeds to avoid.

The list features Sports Illustrated Pete Thammel at No. 1; Shaq is second. SI’s Richard Deitsch actually checks in at No. 7. Who did you tick off over there, Richard?

Others: Dan Levy of Bleacher Reports, 19; Peter Gammons, 22; Jason La Canfora, 25; Bill Simmons, 33; Colin Cowherd, 37; Peter King, 44; Skip Bayless, 56; Jason Whitlock, 58; Dick Vitale, 68.

The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre checked in at No. 70. Deadspin referred to him as “ESPN PR guy.”

Hey Deadspin, I thought that was my job.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Darren Rovell only being ranked at No. 40. You would have figured one of Deadspin’s favorite targets would be placed much higher, especially  for a Twitter list.

At least, Deadspin showed that everyone is fair game. It had Craggs ranked 53rd.

As I write this, the post has had nearly 140,000 page views. So under the heading of “any publicity is good publicity,” hell yes, I am happy to be included on this list.

This is a proud day for Sherman Report.

Thanks, Deadspin.







Why Deadspin’s analysis of SI’s Oklahoma State series really ‘sucked’

In Deadspin’s world, everything sucks. If it doesn’t suck, the site doesn’t want any part of it.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Deadspin ran a post Tuesday with this headline:

Why SI’s Oklahoma State Series Sucked: The Inside Story

Recently, Deadspin labeled me as “ESPN PR’s favorite sports media reporter.” Now after this post, I am sure that I will be Sports Illustrated PR’s favorite too.

However, I can’t let this pass.

The Deadspin post, written by Dom Cosentino, is based on “a source” who was in the room when Sports Illustrated’s George Dohrmann and B.J. Schecter laid out the series for Oklahoma State officials. Considering that there were a handful of people in the room, SI likely has a good idea of the identity of this person.

Do you think this person had an agenda?

Cosentino writes:

The two sides met for approximately three hours that Tuesday—that conversation was off the record, according to an SI source—then re-convened on Wednesday afternoon for roughly three more hours. These meetings would be the first time school officials were informed specifically and directly about the depth of SI’s investigation.

A report in The Oklahoman described the meetings OSU had with SI as “very professional.” Our source agreed with that assessment, adding that the discussions were “cordial.” At the same time, the source said, “We asked for a lot of information, most of which was not provided.”

There also was some Thayer Evans stuff about being pro-Oklahoma, territory that’s already been covered.

Cosentino later writes:

Our source said the Oklahoma State officials asked for names of any players, coaches, tutors, or professors mentioned in the report. Dohrmann and Schecter did not provide the names of any players making specific allegations, nor did they provide the names of any tutors or professors. Once the stories were published, the source added, it was apparent that SI had talked mostly to “disgruntled” players prior to the meetings—players who the source said posed “very little risk” of informing school officials they were being questioned by a reporter.

“There were inferences made that players would recant,” the source said. “They did not want us contacting them.”

On one hand, SI was being prudent: The magazine clearly did not want OSU interfering with its investigation. Also, the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents schools from releasing transcripts without the consent of a student over the age of 18. But SI’s reluctance to name certain players, tutors, or professors also made it impossible for OSU to verify—or refute—some of the specific allegations being made.

Cosentino then hammered SI for having the wrong information about Fath’ Carter and his academic record. Perhaps that situation could have been rectified, he implies from the source, if SI had been more forthcoming about what it had.

Admittedly, the Carter segment is troubling, giving the school and its supporters a huge target to shoot down the series. It is a big flaw. SI definitely would like to have that one back.

However, does that mean the entire series “sucked?” Hardly.

SI talked to more than 60 former players and numerous assistant coaches and other staffers associated with the program through the years. Even if some of them were labeled quote-unquote “disgruntled,” it leads to a basic question: Why did Oklahoma State have so many disgruntled players? Doesn’t that suggest a trend?

Cosentino writes:

Dohrmann and Schecter also presented the OSU officials with a figure indicating that from 2002 to 2010, 48 percent of football players left the program before exhausting their eligibility. OSU objected to that number and asked about SI’s methodology. Dohrmann and Schecter promised to look into it. That 48 percent figure was subsequently leaked to the Oklahoman, perhaps justifying the magazine’s discretion in dealing with the university.

Actually, the number had to be adjusted down because it included a player who was killed in a car accident.


By the time SI published the eligibility figure in Part 5 of its series, Vernon Grant had been removed from the list, and the statistic had been revised to 43.5 percent. “They came back and apologized and said they recalculated this number,” the source said. “On their own, they admitted that the 48 percent is wrong.”

Yes, but how much difference is there from 48 to 43.5 percent? Doesn’t that still suggest a problem. Not sure what Cosentino is getting at here.

I’m not saying Cosentino didn’t make some valid points. And to be fair, he might have written a more balanced piece if SI had made its reporters available to counter some of the charges. It didn’t, although SI’s top editors Chris Stone and Jon Wertheim previously did a Q/A chat on Deadspin.

Clearly, though, Cosentino got used by the “source” at Oklahoma State. The crisis management agenda continues at the school, and Cosentino and Deadspin were more than willing to go along for the ride.



Deadspin calls me ‘useless,’ ‘ESPN’s favorite media reporter’

Many thanks to Deadspin’s John Koblin for the publicity.

His post on ESPN reprimanding Jason Whitlock included a few shots at me.

Useless Ed Sherman, ESPN PR’s favorite media reporter, didn’t like what he’d heard from Whitlock, and he rang up the Worldwide Leader to get its thoughts on the matter. ESPN apparently agreed with Sherman. The statement reads: “We have discussed Jason’s comments with him. They were personal in nature, they do not represent ESPN and they are not acceptable based on the standards we have set.”

No surprise here, as Sherman would write.

OK, here’s the deal. Deadspin generally likes Whitlock. He’s done long interviews with Deadspin. Whitlock also has praised Deadspin many times, including during an interview on the first Olbermann show.

On the other hand, I have had the audacity to criticize Deadspin, namely on its coverage of the Manti T’eo story. Actually, I praised the reporting, especially how they used social media to undercover the sordid tale.

However, I knocked them for going with an “80-percent sure” quote from a source saying T’eo was in on the fake girlfriend thing. I hardly was alone in making that point.

Deadspin, though, took offense at that view and a few other things I’ve written. As a result, I now get labeled “useless” and ESPN’s PR guy.

I’m sure Koblin also heard from many ESPN staffers yesterday who were upset about Whitlock’s comments, calling them a double standard given the network’s policy. The resulting statement wasn’t about me making a call to Bristol. It was to quell the internal fire within Bristol, and to remind all, including Whitlock, that there are guidelines in place about these matters.

But if Koblin wants to make me a focus in his post, that’s great. Best publicity I’ve gotten in a long time.