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Sun-Times Cubs writer fired

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Max Mercy, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Max Mercy

    Max Mercy Member

    From Teddy Greenstein's media column in the Chicago Trib (and boy, he seems to be reveling in this a bit, doesn't he? Jeez)

    Mike Kiley probably would term this "shoddy speculation," but the longtime Cubs beat writer for the Sun-Times is out of a job at the paper, and sources say the cause was expense-account irregularity.

    "I can confirm that he no longer works for us," Sun-Times Sports Editor Stu Courtney said. "But beyond that, it's a personnel matter I can't comment on."

    Kiley also wrote for the Tribune during his long career. He filed his last Cubs-related story on July 19, then he was reassigned to cover the Sky.

    Kiley, who declined to respond to phone messages and e-mails left for him, gained attention over the years on sports-talk radio for his close relationships with Sammy Sosa and Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Among his fellow sportswriters, Kiley was known as the knockdown king. Beat him on a story and he would go ballistic, although only in print.

    Example: After a game on Sept. 20, 2001, Cubs reliever Tom Gordon told the Daily Southtown's Jeff Vorva and me that his right elbow was so sore, he couldn't throw his curveball during a bullpen session.

    With Gordon saying, "I have to make a good decision because I don't want to hurt my team and I don't want to hurt myself," I wrote he might shut down for the season, which had less than two weeks remaining.

    The next day Kiley described that as "shoddy speculation" and wrote of "unfounded reports." The following day he called the Gordon report "completely inaccurate" and a "false representation" of the situation.

    Gordon didn't pitch again that season.

    Putting it kindly, Kiley was a fierce competitor. He also had a nose for hot stories, and the Sun-Times' sports pages will be blander without him.
  2. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    Is it just me, or was that column laced with schadenfreude?
  3. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Great word

    And, yes, it is.
  4. Max Mercy

    Max Mercy Member

    That's what struck me, yeah. I know it's Sun-Times vs. Trib rivalry, but this seemed too personal and petty. Kind of unlike Greenstein, from all accounts.
  5. PTOWN

    PTOWN Member

    I don't think the excerpt comes off as petty by any means. Greenstien is giving us a first-hand example of what Kiley is like to deal with.
  6. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    So what did he do on his expense report?
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Sounds like we won't find out. Yet more of the hypocrisy of newspapers that expect one thing from everyone else, then do another themselves.
  8. 85bears

    85bears Member

    They hired Vaughn McClure from Fresno, but I believe that's to cover college football.
  9. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And yet, they keep Eddie....
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I (gulp) agree with DyePack on this and it is one of my pet peeves with papers. Now, if they fired the guy because the believed he was padding his accounts, I can see why they wouldn't talk. They could get sued, etc. But in the interest of being aboveboard and setting an example, they should charge the guy with theft if they claim that is what happened then folks would have a police report to work off .
  11. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Let me get this straight: a competitor to Kiley on the beat scooped him on a player being injured, with the source being the player himself, on the record, and Kiley writes that the story was "shoody speculation, unfounded reports, completely inaccurate and false representation?"
    What did he write when he got beat on a story where the attributon was two sources speaking on the condition of anonimity?

    What a prick.
  12. troutx

    troutx New Member

    So was Kiley Sammy's favorite writer, as mentioned in this 1/31/05 piece from the Trib?

    A taste of Sosa's wrath

    -- By Teddy Greenstein

    It was the 2000 Wrigley Field home opener, and I was about to get my first taste of Sammy Sosa's wrath.

    Thirty minutes or so after an absurd Cubs victory--trailing 3-0 in the ninth, they rallied to beat the Braves--I spotted Sosa at his locker and went over to chat about the game.

    Everyone was in good spirits, so I didn't hesitate to joke with Sosa that the official scorer had been kind in giving him a single on his fourth-inning grounder off Walt Weiss' glove.

    "You don't think that was a hit?" Sosa asked.

    I looked at him quizzically. Of course I didn't.

    "You the official scorer, now, buddy?"

    I thought he was joking, so I played along. Yeah, I told him. I report on the games and I decide what's an error.

    "You want to take a hit away from me?"

    "Sammy, I'm just kidding."

    "I have no words for you," he replied, walking away.

    It would get worse a few weeks later, when I pointed out in a story that Cubs batters were on pace for a franchise-record 1,223 strikeouts.

    The headline read: "They're the kings of K's," and one of the accompanying photos showed Sosa whiffing.

    "Nice article," he said, calling me a name not fit for a family newspaper, as he passed me in the dugout.

    Later that day Sosa's buddy, Glenallen Hill, approached me to ask, "Why are you upsetting the big guy?"

    Sosa and I eventually made up, but suffice it to say, he was never a big fan of my work. Sosa's favorite writer would kneel at his locker while interviewing him. It came to be known as the "genuflect position."

    Bottom line, Sosa was a superstar who demanded to be treated like one. He wanted all the perks--a manager who never drops you in the lineup, teammates who fear crossing you, a guy to carry your boom box from one clubhouse to another, writers who praise your defense after an 0-for-5 day.

    And now he has been granted a final wish: a one-way ticket out of town.
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