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Jonny Gomes “reached out” to Cardinals following reported celebration of Adam Wainwright injury

Feb 24, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds Photo Day Getty Images

Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News unknowingly created a controversy yesterday when he wrote about overhearing Jonny Gomes in the Reds’ clubhouse celebrating news of Adam Wainwright‘s elbow injury by singing.

By last night McCoy had deleted the original excerpt while posting a follow-up article explaining his version of what happened and several other writers covering the Reds offered their own versions of the situation, all of which served to blur what actually took place.

Gomes then spent much of today making the media rounds to explain his side of the story and, as reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, “reached out” to Cardinals players in an effort to clear the air. Here’s some of what Gomes told Crasnick:

[Wainwright] is a good old Christian boy. He’s the guy that you root for as a fan and as a player. He did all his work in the minor leagues, grabbed the ball as a closer and converted to a starter. He’s the guy every kid should mirror. The hardest part was facing my friends and family. They’re questioning me like, “What’s wrong with you? You’re not that type of person.” I walked through the door and my wife questioned me right out of the gate. She was like, “What’s your deal already?”

The hardest part of my night was, “How do I clean this up without backtracking, because I didn’t do anything wrong.” I was just accused of doing something I never did. I’m not like, “I shouldn’t have said that,” or, “I wish I would have said that behind closed doors.” I didn’t do anything wrong. Flat out.

Despite taking down the initial article containing his version of the events McCoy has not actually backed down from saying he heard Gomes singing in a celebratory manner, writing:

He denies he was singing about Wainwright and said he was singing something else. I’m not the only one who heard “Wainwright” in his song, but I won’t throw anybody else under the bus. Maybe my 70-year-old ears are hearing things, but at the time I didn’t know about Wainwright and wondered to what Gomes was referring. I heard about Wainwright’s injury a few minutes later in manager Dusty Baker’s office.

Under these circumstances his “I won’t throw anybody else under the bus” comment is seemingly aimed at other media members who didn’t write anything about the incident and, once it became a big story, denied hearing Gomes sing about Wainwright. Whatever the case, McCoy has made it very clear that he regrets quoting what he overheard in the clubhouse, telling Crasnick that he “just thought it was something humorous” and “a cute throwaway thing.” Here’s more from McCoy:

I didn’t think it would create this kind of furor. I love Jonny Gomes. He’s one of my favorite people, and I’m sorry he has to be dealing with this. I didn’t sleep last night.

Lost in all the hoopla surrounding Gomes, Wainwright, and the Cardinals-Reds rivalry is a pretty interesting journalistic quandary. Beat writers spend hours every week in a team’s clubhouse, where they no doubt overhear all kinds of stuff that would make for juicy articles and instead restrain themselves. However, my sense is that McCoy only quoted what he heard yesterday specifically because he didn’t think it would be a big deal. Had he thought Gomes’ behavior would have caused a big uproar or even just gotten the outfielder in a little hot water, it certainly seems like McCoy wouldn’t have written anything about it.

In other words, in many cases the juicer something said within the clubhouse doors the less likely it is to be quoted or written about directly. We’ll never know exactly what was said by Gomes in the Reds’ clubhouse yesterday, but we do know that the one guy who wrote about it did so only because he wrongly believed it wouldn’t get Gomes into trouble.

  1. scatterbrian - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    This is absurd. Your primary competition in a hyper-competitive industry suffers a setback, and you’re not allowed to be happy about it?

    • quintjs - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:42 PM

      You can be relieved to not have the face the guy, but you should never be happy about the misfortune of others.

      And by the way, winners don’t want the other team at anything other than full strength, so its a tough fair contest.

      • scatterbrian - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:55 PM

        I get not being happy about someone’s misfortune. I don’t get not being happy about the misfortune working in your favor.

        As for your second point, I think that’s bunk. If Player A is going to miss a series against Team X because of a rib cage strain, Team X isn’t rescheduling because Player A’s team isn’t at full strength. Teams take wins however they can get them, full strength opponents or otherwise.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    What’s more cowardly than rejoicing about an injury to an opposing player that is going to cost them an entire season…maybe two? How about denying that you did it. Gomes is a straight-up pussy. You did what you did. Man up and admit it. Dont play the “I didn’t say that” card. Makes you look even worse.

    • scatterbrian - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM

      RTFA Chris. He’s playing the “I didn’t sing that” card. :)

    • jamson64 - Feb 24, 2011 at 7:25 PM

      You know he said what the writer said and how?

      • paperlions - Feb 25, 2011 at 7:56 AM

        If you are familiar with McCoy’s career and his long history of high ethical standards, that would be enough for you to believe McCoy over this obvious stumbling back pedaling of Gomes.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      Dude you’re gonna set a thumbs down record this season that will never be broken. I hope there’s an easy way to track them and plot on graphs.

  3. eknirb - Feb 24, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    he’s still gonna get hit.

  4. cur68 - Feb 24, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Man it sure seems he said something. Our boy McCoy heard something and I think Gomer doth protest too much now. The trouble with this story is that there is so much bad blood twixt these 2 teams that a little thing about who sang what about whom could, in fact, result in the spillage of said blood. Gomer should contact Bond’s batting-body-armor-specialist and invest in a kevlar uniform and a Bengals helmet for that series. I do not want to be in his shoes (unless they are steel toed).

  5. metalhead65 - Feb 25, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    so the other writers who were in the clubhouse and are not backing up mcoy are lying to?

  6. djpostl - Feb 25, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    “This is absurd. Your primary competition in a hyper-competitive industry suffers a setback, and you’re not allowed to be happy about it?”

    Joke fan of a joke franchise. A true competitor would never want their rival at anything but full strength. And I love how Gomes cites a “hustle” award as some sort of defense.

    I seem to recall another guy from that franchise known for his hustle, the guy was/is a Grade A douchebag.

  7. djpostl - Feb 25, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    “so the other writers who were in the clubhouse and are not backing up mcoy are lying to?”

    yeah, because it’s not like beat writers knew about steroids in the past and didn’t say shit about it for almost 15 years. oh wait, they did JUST THAT.

  8. cardinalsdad - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Jonny Gomes needs to remember that he’ll probably get to face Adam next year some time. Pay back is Hell.

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