Friday, May 9, 2008

ESPN Editors Realize They Need To Start Fact Checking Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons wrote a piece about Barry Bonds for the magazine a few weeks ago. In it, he noted the following:

For all intents and purposes, Bonds' career has vanished into thin air. His home ballpark has had three different names (Pac Bell, SBC and AT&T), but it was mostly considered the House That Barry Built. This season, though, all traces of his dirigible-size head have been erased. Forget about a statue, inside or outside the stadium; there isn't a plaque, a banner or even a picture. It's like Bonds never happened.

That's mildly interesting, right? Problem is the May 5th issue of ESPN Magazine pointed out that it's dead wrong.

On page 16:

We whiffed when we wrote that the San Francisco Giants had removed all traces of Barry Bonds from AT&T Park. Turns out, nods to the slugger pop up in 10 places, including:

- Behind Right-Centerfield, where a plaque marks the landing spot of infamous no. 756.
- Rightfield Portal, where his name appears alongside those of the three other Giants with at least 500 HRs.
- Leftfield, where there are replicas of his five MVPs adorning the Coke-bottle platform.
- Rightfield Portwalk, where seven of the 14 monuments that line the sidewalk fence commemorate his milestones.
- AT&T Park grounds, where Bonds stars in various displays that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Giants' arrival to the Bay.

Yeah, but after those five spots, and five other spots, they've totally erased him!


Archie Micklewhite said...

You know, this is why people don't bother researching. The one time they actually check the facts, the facts happen to be wrong. This leads to an incredibly unoriginal existential crisis, then a commitment to writing straight from the gut from then on.

I hope you're happy, ESPN fact-checking department. We were this close to Bill turning over a new leaf and writing about, um, let's say the Maple Leafs. Because I'd already said the word "leaf" in that sentence.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness, I've been to Phone Booth Park this year and they have made a concerted effort to rid themselves of Bonds' imagery. They even publicized that fact before the season started. No, they have not removed every single mention of Bonds, but they have very publicly tried to distance themselves by taking any mention of him off the outfield walls and other places of prominence.

Jeff said...

But that makes sense. Most team don't have imagery of recent players littered around the ballpark. Simmons' statement was very definitive. It sounds like they've left an appropriate amount of items around with Bonds name attached. They could have ditched the MVP's, for example.