Jul 18, 2011, 4:45 PM EST
Over at SB Nation, former ESPN writer Rob Neyer talks about why he was suspended by his longtime employer back in 2000.
After writing and before posting a piece on a statistical controversy involving Randy Johnson, Neyer attempted to contact Elias editor Steve Hirdt “for some clarification.” When there was no prompt response, he ran the piece anyway.
Shortly afterward, my editor called. Or rather, my editor’s boss called. They were yanking my column because I hadn’t called Elias. But I had called Elias. My editor’s boss called me back a few minutes later. Sorry. Steve Hirdt says you didn’t call. Nothing we can do about it. Tough (%$^!).
Neyer, upset about the incident, criticized ESPN on his personal website and was originally suspended for two weeks, without pay, as a result. The suspension was later reduced to one week.
To this date, Neyer is convinced Hirdt didn’t get back to him for personal reasons. Neyer is a Bill James disciple, and James and Hirdt have had a long-running feud, which Neyer briefly touches on.
Neyer adds that he was once scheduled to debate a topic with Hirdt on ESPNews, but that Hirdt refused to appear with him, leaving Neyer to apparently debate himself.
- THE YEAR IN REVIEW: HBT’s most commented-upon stories of the year 64
- The Yankees are treating Alex Rodriguez differently than they treated Derek Jeter. So what? 32
- Braves sign setup man Jason Grilli to two-year contract 13
- My Imaginary Hall of Fame Ballot 119
- Phil Hughes signs a three-year extension with the Twins 27
- The Padres have talked to the Phillies about Cole Hamels 23
- Why is John Smoltz a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame? 63
- Phillies GM told Ryan Howard they’d be better off “not with him but without him” 85
- Bud Selig will get a $6 million a year pension. Which is obscene. (145)
- My Imaginary Hall of Fame Ballot (119)
- Today’s specious anti-Mike Piazza-for-the-Hall-Fame argument (93)
- St. Petersburg City Council votes down deal to allow Rays to look for new stadium site (90)
- Phillies GM told Ryan Howard they’d be better off “not with him but without him” (85)