Author Topic: RIP Matt McHale  (Read 11515 times)

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Offline Birdscribe

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RIP Matt McHale
« on: July 14, 2008, 01:14:15 PM »
Just got the word after I got back from lunch. :'( :'( :'(

Matt suffered another heart attack and died this afternoon.

RIP to a class act, a true newsman and the conscience of the LA Daily News. The Great Beyond has an all-purpose beat guy and journalistic mentor at its disposal now.
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Offline Smasher_Sloan

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 01:21:46 PM »
Incredibly sad news. RIP, Matt, and thanks for consistently being one of the good guys.
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Offline buckweaver

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 01:28:39 PM »
Aww, man. Terrible news. RIP Matt.
"I feel bad for his wife and girlfriends. But it's karmic payback because he still hasn't touched the fucking plate." -- Cadet, after Matt Holliday let a ball hit him in the nuts in NLDS Game 2

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Offline SoCalDude

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 01:33:38 PM »
   Now, free of pain and suffering, he will be able to attend the All-Star Game -- as was his wish -- and have the best seat in the house.
   Matt, the profession is another notch poorer today. Rest In Peace, my brother.
   

Offline MileHigh

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2008, 01:41:13 PM »
RIP. This sucks.
They don't have to do this. Everybody knows the arithmetic. We get the annual reports. Several parts of their company are doing very well. The Rocky had a tough year. They decided to walk away. Basically, my feeling is they quit on us. They quit on everybody in the newsroom. -- Jeff Legwold, Rocky

Offline JakeandElwood

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2008, 01:44:06 PM »
RIP, from the kind words here and the other thread I can tell he was a good man.
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Offline Colton

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 02:06:36 PM »
Wish I had had the pleasure... RIP.
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Offline Soccer Stomper

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2008, 02:08:59 PM »
Awful, awful news! I had the honor of working with Matt. You couldn't ask for a nicer guy...very respectul, extremely knowledgeable. A gentleman and a scholar all around. Best wishes to the family...We are poorer today for having lost him...

Armando Hernandez.
Former Daily News employee.

Offline Claws for Concern

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2008, 02:31:11 PM »
I echo everyone's comments on here. I had the pleasure of working with Matt at the Daily News and loved talking to him about his hockey beat days as well as great stories from the road when he was covering baseball.

I've sent this unfortunate news on to a handful of other current and former sportswriters who knew him or worked with him. Matt was an all-around nice guy and he will definitely be missed.

RIP to a great man.

The story up on www.dailynews.com says he was 50.

This is the third sportswriter friend I've lost in three weeks. Best wishes go out to Matt's family and many friends who are grieving.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 05:07:22 PM by Claws for Concern »

Offline WriteThinking

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2008, 02:52:40 PM »
I only met Matt a couple of times, but once was while I was interviewing for a job.

We had a fairly long conversation, and my impression was that Matt was a very empathetic, compassionate and engaging person, and someone who cared about both his newspaper and journalism in general.

The industry could use more of all of that right about now. 


Offline Tim Brown

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2008, 02:53:44 PM »
Man, I'll miss Matt.

The thing about him, he was always more concerned with your career than his. He was always more concerned with your advancement, your improvement, your direction. Everything he touched became better. Everything he laughed at became funnier.

The best editor I ever had. One of the best men I ever knew. What a sad day...


Offline casty33

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2008, 03:15:11 PM »
I echo the same feelings of sadness for Matt. I knew him when he covered the Dodgers and I'd come into town as a visiting writer. He was always courteous and fun and we're losing far too many good baseballl people. 

Offline forever_town

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2008, 03:19:29 PM »
I'm guessing he and Van McKenzie can now share some jokes in the Great Newsroom in the Sky.

RIP.
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Offline rpmmutant

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2008, 04:32:06 PM »
I feel fortunate and privileged to have worked with Matt for as long as I did. Having the opportunity to pick the brain of a man so knowledgable and passionate is something every journalist should get the chance to experience. A truly great loss.

Offline buckweaver

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2008, 05:13:37 PM »
Paul O. weighs in, with a crazy story from SLC '02:

http://www.oberjuerge.com/?p=257
"I feel bad for his wife and girlfriends. But it's karmic payback because he still hasn't touched the fucking plate." -- Cadet, after Matt Holliday let a ball hit him in the nuts in NLDS Game 2

"Don't fuck with happy." -- Elliotte

"wait, cadet is the wolf? -- Angola!

Offline Piotr Rasputin

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2008, 05:14:27 PM »
Dammit.

Matt was a good guy, very good journalist, and all-around class act and asset to where he worked.

RIP, Matt.

EDIT: Great story by Oberjuerge, buckweaver. The toe, the motivation to get up the mountain, wow.

And "Lovably crusty" is as good a description of Gordy Verrell as any.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 05:18:24 PM by Piotr Rasputin »
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Offline Claws for Concern

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2008, 06:16:45 PM »
Very nice piece by Paul O, buckweaver. Thanks for posting the link.

Offline fishwrapper

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2008, 08:38:49 PM »
This has been the worst day of my career.
Losing Matt exponentially worsens a dark day.
Goodbye, Friend.
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Offline Alex Kimball

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2008, 08:39:41 PM »
Man, I'll miss Matt.

The thing about him, he was always more concerned with your career than his. He was always more concerned with your advancement, your improvement, your direction. Everything he touched became better. Everything he laughed at became funnier.

The best editor I ever had. One of the best men I ever knew. What a sad day...



Among his many, many attributes, Matt was one of the most genuine, nicest people I have ever met. I was lucky enough to work with him at the Daily News in the late '80s when I was just a pup. And even more lucky to be able to call him a friend ever since.

A few years ago he and I were on a panel together at an L.A. Times seminar for college sports writers. As I sat and listened to him field questions, I realized how much he truly loved journalism and how much he enjoyed passing that on to people who were just getting started.

Matt loved newspapers so much, it earned him a nickname on the Dodgers beat--Bag Lady--because he was always grabbing discarded out-of-town newspapers as he exited his flights.

So long Matt. We're going to miss you, pal.


Offline RamonaShelburne

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2008, 12:23:48 AM »
I've got tears in my eyes as I write this, as I have had since I got the call today that Matty had passed away. As one of those young writers Matt took the time to mentor, I can tell you that I feel truly blessed to have had that opportunity, and I know that so many of us around the country do too.

The list of people whose careers Matty has touched or inspired is quite a club. Marc Stein, Tim Brown, Marc Spears, to name just a few.

I can't tell you how many people came up to me or other Daily Newsers in the months since Matty's condition became public and told their own stories of how much Matt did for them, and how important a figure he was in their lives.

I was so glad to have the opportunity to visit him in Boston. Steve Dilbeck and I took turns calling friends and fellow writers and holding the speaker phone up to his ear so they could wish him well. I was never sure how much he heard, but I knew he felt it.

When Brad Turner, who covers the Lakers for the Riverside Press Enterprise, got on the phone and gave Matty a pep talk in the way only BT could, a little smile even came across his face.

That's what I've been holding onto today. That somewhere, deep down, Matty finally knew how much and how many people cared about him all over the country.

Matty wasn't the guy who lit up a room the second he walked into it. It took a while with Matty. But once you realized what a lovable, genuine guy he was, you'd run through a wall for him.

There was a part of me, and I'm sure all of us who knew him, that always wondered if he knew just how much people cared about him. One time, after a particularly sharp story he'd filed, I paid him a compliment and he seemed a little uncomfortable with it. He wasn't the kind of guy who liked being out in front of the camera, seeing his name in the paper or flashing across an ESPN scrawl. He was the glue guy: passionate, invaluable, totally selfless. Happiest when those he helped mentor succeeded.

To often, you don't realize how important those guys are to you until they're gone. But there's a warm spot in my heart, knowing that in his final months, we all knew, and more importantly, he knew.

I'd like to share a few links you all might appreciate.

Steve Dilbeck wrote an incredibly touching column today, eulogizing Matty.

http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_9882596

As did Daily News Executive Sports Editor, Kevin Modesti.

http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_9879800

The Daily News has also set up a guestbook for anyone who'd like to share their memories. We'll keep you posted on the funeral arrangements.
http://www.legacy.com/LADailyNews/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=113406211
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 12:47:53 AM by RamonaShelburne »

Offline PaolaBoivin

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2008, 08:24:53 AM »
During my formative years in this business, when my angst and self-doubt were never far behind, Matt always made me feel worthy. I clung to that for a long time. Class act, that guy.

Offline Frank_Ridgeway

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2008, 10:17:54 AM »
This is sad news about a good guy. My sympathies to those of you who knew him better than I did.

Offline JR

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2008, 12:17:16 PM »
Obviously I didn't know the gentleman but by the posts here and on the other thread, was highly respected in the biz.

RIP.
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Offline RamonaShelburne

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2008, 02:06:06 PM »

Offline Birdscribe

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Re: RIP Matt McHale
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2008, 02:11:24 PM »
Thought you all might enjoy this:

http://www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth/archives/2008/07/my-friend-matty.html


Thanks for this, Ramona.

Leave it to the underrated Hoffarth to distill Matt's legacy to its essence.
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