Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Yankees fantasy correspondent Mick Doherty was waived by because he refused to accept changes to his handshake contract. After four years, covering two teams with his often brilliant prose and occasional baseball wisdom, for the "reward" of a byline and a free fantasy game, MED deserved better.

Though I'm not very happy about it, or how it was handled, I posted a new Jays column today instead of tendering my resignation. I made a commitment I'm going to honour, but the gig won't be as much fun without Mick, and suddenly, it feels like my last year.

Doherty once a week is better than most writers every day, which ESPN forgot. They apparently had a "replacement" standing by, and pulled the plug on Mick's final piece after it was on the site for just a couple of hours. It is reproduced here, because it's my site, and I can:

Fare-Thee-Well, Yankee Fans and Roto GMs

To better serve the thousands of fantasy baseball enthusiasts who count on correspondents for key local information, The World-Wide Leader will soon be presenting a new Yankee scribe who can commit to more than once-a-week and relevant breaking news updates. Rumor has it the replacement might even be an East Coaster, meaning he or she can pick up local sports talk radio and telecasts, which can be hard to tune in here in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. has consistenly brought excellent correspondents on board this project, including (but not limited to) current authors John Gizzi of the A's, Kent "Coach" Williams of the Jays, Don Miller of the Rays (A's, Jays and Rays ... hmmm), Brian Abbott of the Tigers and Scott Lucas on my old beat, the Rangers, as well as former contributors Chris Trimmer of the Indians and Thor Kolnes of the Marlins. So whoever ends up in this spot next is bound to bring you terrific information.(Just noticed that all of the above except Thor have double letters in their names. Not sure what that means. But it's fun to point out.)

The spring training reviews of print fantasy publications will still conclude, as promised last week, with a look at the Sports Weekly annual insert, which is usually the best single source in print as you head into a draft or auction. The final review will appear on The Batter's Box, the baseball blog hosted by the Jays' Williams, now at its new address:

A few final thoughts ... Jeff Weaver: yes ... Nick Johnson: no ... Hideki Matsui: above average, not an all-star ... Robin Ventura: old ... Jose Contreras: wait on it ... David Wells: turn the page ... Mariano Rivera: be sure you have Steve Karsay ... Other questions? They've probably been covered in one of the six previous posts to this space since the turn of the new year, but of course, things are always changing.

An archive of those six posts -- and actually, of more than 110 columns posted since 2000 -- is available at I'll leave the e-mail questions to my successor, and please note that the "" e-mail address will be discontinued at the end of March. My heartfelt thanks to the more than 250,000 readers who've accessed my correspondence in the last 3+ years -- even those of you who started your e-mails "Dear Moron" -- and please feel free to drop me a line at Excelsior!


And so ends an era. Give the new guy, David Leon, credit for his initial paragraph:

Before I introduce myself as your new Yankee Correspondent, I must first say a word of thanks to my predecessor, Mick Doherty. While I've never met the guy, he seems like a real class act and has left very big shoes for me to fill. I thank him for all of the resource information he provided to me and the advice that he offered. Mick did say goodbye in his last post dated March 13, but unfortunately it was erased by ESPN when I took over last night. In a nutshell, he thanked you all for reading and sending your emails.

David's a nice young man, but he's no Mick Doherty. Fortunately, there's only one of those, and for better or worse, he's appearing sporadically at a Batter's Box near you, for the same pay he got at ESPN, minus the fantasy game. At least we appreciate him.

Bad Call, ESPN | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gitz - Saturday, March 15 2003 @ 03:49 AM EST (#93410) #
Disappointing, to be sure. I've long since given up ever getting anything more than my free fantasy team and a silly by-line; but that doesn't make me any less mad for them letting Mick go. Coach is right: Mick deserved better.
_Marshall Mannin - Saturday, March 15 2003 @ 08:43 PM EST (#93411) #
Hey, just wanted to say thanks to all of you past, present and future ESPN correspondents. I especially enjoy JG, Thor and Mick, but I've not only learned something from many of the correspondents, I've laughed a lot, too, and that's just as important in my book.

Maybe if the Expos move here to Portland I'll apply for the correspondent position (G).

_Mick - Saturday, March 15 2003 @ 08:49 PM EST (#93412) #
While I appreciate the kind words, a few thoughts ...

- Batter's Box, while not (yet) having the name recognition of, is WAY cooler, so I get the better end of that deal.

- Coach classifies my approach as including "occasional baseball wisdom" which just goes to show he still hasn't forgiven me for my Eric Hinske analysis last year, in which I predicted a Dave Hollins-like career for the young Jay 3B. (I still think I'm right about that. And Hollins was an All-Star, so that's no slam.)

- In his most recent ESPN correspondence, Coach compares me to Casey Stengel. I take this to mean he sees me as a doddering, wizened old dude who frequently misspeaks and who, in fact, is now dead.

- Gizzi is now the de-facto Leading Talent among the correspondents, which frankly he already was even when I was there, but I'm sure I was never a threatening presence to him and he had no behind-the-scenes influence in my dismissal. While I realize that may sound somewhat, well, paranoid-schizophrenic, let me just point out that recently the new LA Dodgers correspondent claimed I had a "beautiful mind," a clear reference to John Nash.

That said, I must now go work on my new Unified Fantasy Game Theory. (Anyone who gets that joke ... you need to get out more.)
Bad Call, ESPN | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.