I have been writing for New York sports day for about six months. I was sitting outside gate four staring at the old Yankee stadium site, actually daydreaming about yesteryear and what I considered the greatest days in Yankee history. I get my incentive and motivation to write my books especially my children’s books by doing this a couple of times a day. One day as I was sitting there, Joe McDonald, the publisher of NY Sports Day happened to walk by and started a conversation with me. He talked to me about his website and asked if I would be interested in writing a column for him.
I told him that I was already writing a column for Chris Ruddy and Newsmax and I told Joe that as long as I had the freedom to write about what I considered beautiful human interest subjects pertaining to sports and entertainment and not edited, then I was in. I told him that I would write about some of the biggest stars in the world but only about the beauty of the artist. I will let everyone else write about the rest.
Yesterday, I wrote a piece about the great relief pitcher, Aroldis Chapman. The story was supposed to be a total complementary type story about a true artist of his craft. Writing for NY Sports Day, I thought the story would be just that but it wasn’t. It took on a life of its own. It went viral. I finally know what going viral means especially when I get a call from a friend in London and from another in Tokyo. I thought, “Oh God, what did I do.”
At that moment I called one of Chapman’s agents because I’m the type of person that has to confront possible negative situations head on. I told the agent that I had written the story to show everyone what a terrific individual Chapman is. I emphasized to him that Chapman did say to me that this was a business. The agent told me that he had not read the piece so I texted it to him.
I am writing this column to apologize to Aroldis Chapman and his agents. When I wrote this piece it was meant to be a small sweet piece, not the giant that it turned out to be. The last thing that I would ever want to do is to hurt Aroldis in anyway. This guy is the hardest worker in sports and just a good guy.
I guess I have seen the movie “The Pride of the Yankees” so many times that I almost envisioned myself in the role of Walter Brennan (the reporter that was always protecting Lou Gehrig) but in this case it backfired on me.
The great Yankee owner George Steinbrenner used to say to me, “Sometimes you care too much about these guys (as I do) and someday you’ll find out that this truly is a business.” I guess I still haven’t found out.
I will close by saying that I wish Aroldis Chapman and his family good luck in whatever city he ends up playing baseball in. Thank you for being a great highlight reel at Yankee Stadium and in all of baseball this year.
Ray Negron can be heard every Sunday on his show “Impact” 0n 1050 am ESPN Deportes from 11 am to 1 pm and read on Newsmax.