Tuesday, May 06, 2008

John Dellapina: Foolish or Intrepid?

John Dellapina first reported that Sean Avery had suffered cardiac arrest due to problems with his spleen. The Rangers and Avery denied the cardiac arrest part, but did say that the winger had a lacerated spleen. If the latter are to be believed, this story in today's New York Post makes Daily News Rangers' beat writer John Dellapina look even more foolish. Here's a snippet of what Sean Avery had to say in the article by Larry Brooks:

Avery said he was in "such bad shape the first couple of days," that he had no idea that one publication reported that he'd suffered cardiac arrest and was found unconscious in a Manhattan hotel room before being rushed to the hospital at 3:30 the morning following the game.

"Nobody said anything, but then it kind of funneled through," said Avery. "To make up lies, it just shows the credibility of the people who would put that stuff out there and then try to stand by it even when it's proven false.

"That anyone would print something that's just false . . . I don't know why people have the need to lie about me."

I'm down on Dellapina who usually is solid in his reporting, although he will never out scoop anyone, none of the local hockey writers get scoops except for Larry Brooks. But should I give him a second chance? Dellapina defended himself on his blog by stating this on April 30:

Finally, for all those from other media outlets and newspapers who have sarcastically dismissed our initial web story about Sean Avery’s hospitalization since the Rangers refuted it Wednesday afternoon, I wonder:

Was your initial reaction that the story couldn’t have been correct or did you simply race up to the MSG Training Center to get player reaction? And, did you call the hospital and/or Avery’s representatives to get the real story or did your “reporting” simply consist of taking the team’s word for what happened?

Fortunately, the intrepid men an women of the press who have exposed baseball’s steroid problems didn’t similarly regurgitate what they were told by people who understandably want their businesses viewed as beyond reproach.

I'm still waiting to see what else comes out about all of this before I write off John Dellapina. Still, though, he did a lousy job on this one, unless of course the Rangers and Avery are lying.

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