The Name Game: We Lose

How could they get it so wrong?

Los Angeles Times How could theLos Angeles Times screw up so badly? How could they get the names – of all things, the names – wrong in their “exclusive” story this week stating that five baseball players, including the venerable Roger Clemens, had used performance-enhancing drugs.

A day after the story was published, the federal attorney overseeing the investigation into the use of drugs in baseball issued a statement saying the story contained “significant inaccuracies.” Today, the attorney, along with the lawyer for former pitcher Jason Grimsley, who is at the center of the investigation, said the inaccuracies had to do with the names in the report.

This is a mess. That’s about the best thing you can say about it. Times sports editor Randxy Harvey says the paper “stands by” it story. of course. But clearly, this is a mess.

Much has been said about how baseball will recover from its “steroid” era, and how fans will look at new records in light of the revelations that have come to light in recent years about the use of steroids and other drugs in baseball.

But hear this: The sports media will also have to undergo some rehab. How will it (we) deal with the reality of how we’ve handled this mess – from our lackadaisical treatment of Mark McGwuire to our Barry Bonds witch hunt (which including the use of illegally leaked grand jury testimony) to our now gleeful publishing of names that just may have nothing to do with perfomance-enhancing drugs.

Baseball’s steroid era? It may turn out to be nothing compared with the steroid era that engulfed sports journalism.

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