Jay Mariotti to Boston? No Thanks

As someone who used to spend his days (and nights and weekends and holidays) toiling in the sports department of a newspaper, I’ve been enjoying a bit of schadenfreude at the departure of Chicago Sun-Times hack columnist Jay Mariotti.

Mariotti is the worst kind of sportswriter, a bloviating bouffant talking head who relies on lazy suppositions and overheated rhetoric to get on ESPN, instead of actual reporting to back up his rip jobs. When your two main claims to fame are appearing as a regular on Around the Horn and not talking to the people you’re attacking, there’s not much left to say. (Don’t take my word for it. Look at what former colleagues Roger Ebert, Rick Telander, and Chris DeLuca had to say. Not to mention his former readers at the Sun-Times.)

All that’s well and good, but the rumor mill has been churning with speculation that Mariotti has his eye on our fair city. Thankfully, the Herald’s Jessica Haslem cut through the noise and talked to the permed one who claimed, “Who, me?”

From Haslem’s piece:

Mariotti told me he’s fond of Boston and “certainly respects” a lot of the journalists who work here.

“It’s a tougher town than Chicago. I think that I would fit right in, but to answer your question flat out – No – I have not talked to anybody there,” Mariotti said.

It’s an open-ended question as to whether Boston is a “tougher town” than Chicago, but if newspapers are keen on saving their circulation base, perhaps it’s time to look past the failed generation of yellers and screamers, and cast an eye toward the insightful analysis churned out by the likes of Aaron Schatz, the folks at Baseball Prospectus, and John Hollinger. Just a thought.

Of much bigger import to sports fans is the breaking news that Jeff Horrigan is leaving the Herald (as reported by David Scott). The widely-respected baseball writer is yet another blow to the paper, which has lost Mike Felger, Tony Massarotti, and Rob Bradford in the last few months. Horrigan is the anti-Mariotti, a dilligent, hard-working reporter who used his access to the locker room to provide insight and analysis. He’ll be missed.