Why did we take down our original story about the death of a ballplayer?
A combination of death threats, lawyer threats and concern for personal safety.
September 4, 2019
Those who know me, know that I am feeling my own mortality these days.
It isn't just the wad of cotton that's taped to my face, as a result of my second surgery to remove a cancerous growth behind my right eye. It isn't just my 59th birthday. It isn't just the death of my brother at 65 last year, from a mysterious illness that turned out to be a combination of Sarcoidosis and early onset Alzheimer's disease.
It's the realization that I have become older and wiser and unwilling to risk my life, or the safety of others around me, simply in order to post news stories on the stupid internet.
A certain much loved ballplayer suddenly, tragically and mysteriously died a week ago. Not yet 28, he died long before his time. The narrative that the Tarrant County police department and the Angels have fed the public and the press, doesn't make any sense to me. He didn't die from suicide or "foul play," say the police. In consideration of the family's wishes, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office will release more information after the completion of an autopsy, we are told, on or about October 2, 2019. Or maybe they won't.
Stan Greene from our organization wrote his opinion about the story. We posted it, labelling it speculation, and the Santa Monica Observer was attacked on multiple fronts. Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails.
No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources. We'll never know if they were actually acquainted with the deceased, fans or whatever. But I do know that a young female intern from our organization got a creepy text message on her phone, just after midnight.
She wasn't frightened about it at all. But I was. I'm older, much older; and I know more about how out of hand the potential pile-on is getting in this country.
So when you wonder why you see stories like this one on the internet, see link below; remember that there are certain things worth risking your life and safety for, and others that just are not. We'll have more to say about this story in October, long after the receipts have all been tallied and the boys of summer have safely left the field.
p.s. I am in fact aware that like Babe Ruth, this was an exceptionally kind and decent baseball player, who by all accounts behaved admirably and was much loved by everyone.
p.p.s. I do not write any sports stories because pro-sports do not interest me, and I do not understand them. I am not a baseball, basketball, soccer, football or handball fan, and I do not follow any of those fine sports, having been a non-athlete in school. I suppose that's my loss, but it's true. In case it somehow isn't clear yet, I'm not just a coward, I'm also a nerd.