Former Kansas City Star sports columnist Jeffrey Flanagan has hooked up with Fox Sports and has already administered a bit of corporal journalistic punishment to his former employer and the local sports media.
“I ran into Jeff just now at the Woodside pool and I said, ‘Hey, congratulations, I heard you joined the Fox Sports team online,’ ” says Stanford’s Craig Glazer. “And he told me it’s a subsidiary of Fox Sports and that, “I will just be covering Kansas City. In fact, you can read my first story right now.'”
Flanagan’s kickoff piece for Fox was a humdinger…
“Glass says he didn’t order Hillman’s Firing,” the headline reads.
“Almost immediately after Royals general manager Dayton Moore fired Trey Hillman last week, speculation swirled that the move must have come from the top, as in from owner David Glass,” it begins. “After all, just a few days earlier, Moore had offered assurances that Hillman indeed was the ideal manager to lead the Royals now and into the future.”
Flanagan’s scoop comes at the expense of the Star’s sports department and other local media who dropped the proverbial ball. Why nobody else here thought to make the obvious follow-up call will likely remain a mystery.
“He just said he couldn’t believe that the Star’s sports didn’t bother to call Royals owner David Glass to see if he approved the firing of Trey Hillman,” Glazer says. “He said it’s Sports (Journalism) 101 – when you fire the owner of a football or baseball team – to call the owner and ask what his position was on the firing. He said it just shows how messed up things are at the Star right now. He said he thought it was very unusual how the Star handled it – David Glass is not hard to get a hold of and he couldn’t understand why nobody at the Star made the call.”
Following the posting of this story, Flanagan weighed in with a more measured take:
“I’m not trying to bash anybody,” Flanagan says. “I was just surprised that after a week nobody had done the story. Including radio and television.”
However you cut the cake, Flanagan is back, bad and has every intention of reestablishing his mark on the local sports scene.
Flanagan now says he wasn’t trying to pin the tail on the Star’s sports donkey (he has a book deal with them). However, it seems clear – if only between the lines – that were he still writing for the Star he’d have nailed the call to Glass in the first reporting of the story. Because it wasn’t done for a week, Flanagan did the honors.
As for his saying he did not intend to (publicly) diss the Star or anyone else –