Sandy Koufax, an apology
A TWO-SENTENCE blind item we ran here Dec. 19 about a "Hall of Fame baseball hero" has sparked a series of unfortunate consequences for which we are very sorry. The item said the sports hero "cooperated with a best-selling biography only because the author promised to keep secret that he is gay." Two weeks later, the Daily News' Michael Gross, after finding "Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy" by Jane Leavy on the best-seller list, named Koufax as the player and ran a photo of him. Koufax himself, an intensely private man, was deeply offended by our item. The author has denied making any deal with Koufax and called our item "erroneous." We apologize to both Koufax and Leavy for getting it wrong.
1. The blaming of Gross is disingenuous to the max. Any fool with half a brain -- including me -- could have easily noted that there was only one baseball biography on the best-seller lists that was written by a woman. The Post named Koufax with the un-blindest item ever -- it was as blind as an item that referred to "an well-known Long Island-based portly piano man with a drinking problem" -- and has no business blaming others for identifying the obvious subject.
2. "has sparked a series of unfortunate consequences for which we are very sorry": Me? I'd be sorry for the initial lie. The Post doesn't seem to be. They just seem to be sorry that it's hurting the Dodgers.
3. "for getting it wrong": What's the "it", here? Are they admitting to being wrong on their being a deal between Leavy and Koufax (it seems so), or on the allegation about Koufax himself (unclear)?
There is no excuse for poorly-sourced reporting, especially on matters as personal and private as these for Mr. Koufax, and with such damaging effects on Ms. Leavy's reputation as well. Shame, shame, shame -- for the initial item, and now, for a half-assed apology.
Now, can I get back to talking about Joe Millionaire?