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Lawyer's Blog Scoops Sports Media

For those of us situated northeast of New York, the New York Yankees' recent five-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox was particularly painful. As it turns out, the injury was accompanied by intrigue, only the public never knew about it until a week later, when a Boston lawyer broke the story on his blog.

The Yankees and the BoSox played a Friday doubleheader on August 18, with the second game lasting nearly five hours and the Yankees winning both, 12-4 and 14-11. They met for three more games, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with the Yankees winning all three, 13-5, 8-5 and 2-1.

Boston fans were feeling the pain, but they were not the only ones. On Friday, the team's designated hitter, David Ortiz, began suffering severe cramping and an irregular heartbeat. When the symptoms persisted throughout the night and into Saturday's game, Ortiz checked out of Fenway Park and into Mass. General Hospital, where he remained overnight.

Boston Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy tells what happened next:

"Incredibly, Ortiz's visit to Mass. General went unreported for almost an entire week. He is one of the most famous (and largest) citizens of New England, and yet no one dropped a dime on his hospitalization until it was reported on an obscure website while the Red Sox were in California."

That "obscure website" is Carpundit, a blog written by an anonymous Boston lawyer about "cars, law and politics." On Aug. 23, he broke the news of Ortiz's hospitalization, writing:

"I heard from a credible source that Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was hospitalized last weekend, during the disastrous Yankees series.  I was told he was at Mass General for a heart issue, possibly an abnormal heart rate.  I'm told the visit was ultra hush-hush and that some MGH employees were fired on the spot for intruding on Ortiz's privacy by asking for an autograph while he convalesced in the high-priced Phillips House wing."

The next day, Boston Herald sportswriter Tony Massarotti received confirmation from Ortiz of the report, which Massarotti referred to only as "an Internet report" without naming the blog. In a follow-up piece two days later, Massarotti gave credit where it was due, writing:

"Somewhat incredibly, all of this took place unbeknownst to many. It was not until Thursday, when rumor of Ortiz’ visit to Mass. General first appeared on an Internet blog ( that there was any hint of a problem."

The same day brought Shaughnessy's Boston Globe piece and reference to the obscure Web site. To that, Carpundit replied:

"Well, he's right -- this is an obscure website.  I even use a Typepad URL.  If David Ortiz brought you here looking for the latest in Boston sports news, I think that was it.  I write about cars, mostly, with a good dose of Boston, politics, and law thrown in."

Carpundit may not be a sports reporter, but he remains on the story, reporting yesterday that Ortiz was back in the hospital. As for Red Sox fans, even Mass. General may be unable to treat their pain.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 30, 2006 at 01:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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