The NEW YORK TIMES is known for strong investigative reporting, and up until now, Yale and Harvard Medical Schools both had relatively spotless reputations with the press as well. That may have all changed because of what seems to be a falsified memoir by a minor league baseball player turned doctor.
According to investigative reporters Alan Schwarz and Benjamin Hill, a book called “Odd Man Out”, allegedly a memoir about medical resident Matthew McCarthy’s one season — 2002 — with the Provo (Utah) Angels of the rookie-level Pioneer League, is fraught with errors, as identified by McCarthy’s own subjects in subsequent interviews. While the concerns haven’t reached critical mass yet, the book is already teetering on the edge of becoming a sports version of James Frey’s infamous “A Million Little Pieces”.
Need proof? Check out the disparity between what McCarthy writes about these players, and what they say about their time with the team.
Pitcher Blake Allen repeatedly talks about missing his wife and child back in Alabama; Allen, in a telephone interview last week, said his first son was born Sept. 28, two months after he had permanently left the team. Allen later is quoted saying he met his wife in Oxford, Ala., but they actually met in high school in Alexander City.
Out of baseball since that year and now living in Alexander City, Allen said last week that the more disparaging but less disprovable stories about him — crassly disparaging (Manager Tom) Kotchman, Dominican players and the Mormon citizens of Provo — were just as false. Allen added that a portion where he admitted to faking his injury so he could “just sit back and cash the checks,” which appeared in the Sports Illustrated excerpt, could seriously affect his life.
That, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Neither Viking Publishing’s Carolyn Coleburn, who is in charge of publicity for the publishing house that put out “Odd Man Out”, nor Chris Stone, Sports Illustrated’s baseball editor who green-lighted the excerpting of the memoir, could claim that they aggressively verified facts in the book.
It’s uncertain whether much will come of the new questions being raised about McCarthy’s tome, and the pitcher is already fudging some of the details about his story to make his book more defensible. Regardless, he’s bound to make serious bank on it, which goes to prove what the banking scandal should have taught us already: If someone has two Ivy League degrees, be awful careful before investing in any product they’re selling you.
As soon as India was attacked by terrorists earlier this year, concerns were raised about international cricket and the subsequent tours to be made by European and Caribbean teams to the Indian subcontinent. Well, those fears have come to terrifying realization after five policemen were killed and several Sri Lankan cricketers were injured in a terrorist attack in Pakistan early Tuesday morning. The Associated Press puts the number of injured athletes at eight, though that number has yet to be confirmed.
“Police resisted when 12 terrorists attacked the bus in which Sri Lankan cricket players were traveling,” Lahore police chief Habib-ur- Rahman told reporters. The Sri Lankan team “was the target,” he said.
Needless to say, knowing that the Sri Lankan team was the primary target of the attack is no comfort to Sri Lanka, or to cricketers across the globe. Perhaps more than any other sport, cricket athletes travel to areas of questionable security, putting themselves in front of more loosely screened fans and groups with a motive for terror. If existing concerns over India weren’t already enough, this is exactly the kind of event that could push England’s cricket team to cancel all touring outside of Europe or the West Indies altogether.
That says nothing of Sri Lanka, which is still trying to get a grasp on this latest brutal attack.
“We take these attacks very seriously,” Gamini Lokuge, sports minister of Sri Lanka, said in a phone interview from capital, Colombo.
Yes, we’d imagine they would take the attacks seriously. Now we’ll see how serious the rest of the world takes them.
Not even McCarthy could spin his way into convincing anyone that LeBron James isn’t morphing into outright greatness before our eyes. In his latest act of late-game escape, King James helped the Cavs’ rally from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit in Miami against the league’s second-highest scoring player — behind himself — Dwayne Wade.
In the end, both James and Wade were pretty spectacular. For the second straight game since being called out by the NBA for his fashion-aids, Wade went off, scoring 41 points. The only problem was that James was even better, scoring 42 in Cleveland’s 107-100 win.
If you thought that James and Wade like playing each other because it pushes them both to put up big numbers, well, you’re right. Just how close those statistics are, however, is frightening. Through 18 games between the Cavaliers and Heat, both Wade and James’s teams have won nine times. James has averaged 2.1 more points-per-game, with 0.1 more rebounds-per-game and one more assist-per-game, though both have four 40-point games against the other’s team. Spooky, huh?
Now the question is whether they’ll face off in the playoffs. If you don’t think that would make a must-watch series, well, we’re calling you crazy right now.
- Just days after pundits tried to justify the massive Redskins deal for Albert Haynesworth in part by how it would help Jason Taylor, Washington cut the Pro Bowl defensive end. The team claims it wasn’t about money, but every million helps when you ink another guy to $100 million, particularly when you can get back $8 million+ in one move. It just goes to show how shortsighted owner Dan Snyder’s reign in D.C. continues to be.
- Everyone saw Digger Phelps dancing over the weekend, but the legendary Notre Dame backer didn’t have anything to celebrate Monday after his Irish were stuffed by an efficient Villanova team.
- Lou Pinella would like to make it clear right now: He is no fan of ESPN’s Steve Phillips, and he may have good reason to feel that way. He also has plenty of company. Just go ask a Mets fan how they feel about the former GM.
- Does anyone else get the feeling that the A’s are just trying to stockpile every middle infielder with a big name left on the market? One day it’s Orlando Cabrera, then they’re in talks with Nomar Garciappara? What happened to Billy Beane the spendthrift?
- Garciaparra isn’t the only former Red Sox legend out of contract, but he sounds a lot closer to a future home than Pedro Martinez. Read between the lines in Pedro’s bizarre pseudo-interview with himself on Monday, and he sounds closer to Manny Ramirez’s unsettled contract status than Garciaparra’s.
- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is listed as the top overall prospect in all of baseball, a 6-foot-5, more cerebral A-Rod … with even more power. Naturally, because of the beating catchers take in their career, that has some wondering how long it will be until Baltimore wises up and moves him to first base.
- A-Rod just can’t figure out how to make a quiet entrance. Sure, he didn’t bring along Yuri Sucart, but ex-wife Cynthia’s appearance with his two daughters at the Dominican Republic training camp smacked of desperation, not to mention the Maybach he was driving.
- Oklahoma receiver Corey Wilson was involved in a terrifying accident over the weekend, and the Sooners got more bad news today (or at least said news leaked out to the public): Wilson is allegedly paralyzed from the waist down.
- So much for the recession: Chicago is willing to blow $10.5 million on an Olympic mascot. Seriously.