I try to avoid serving as a referee for sports scoopage disputes, but I couldn’t help myself in the wake of ESPN’s peculiar promotion of Wednesday’s “E:60” interview with Dwight Gooden.
The network got plenty of media mileage out of an interview it hyped as Gooden “for the first time on television’’ detailing what he was doing and where when he missed the 1986 World Series victory parade.
(Long story short: abusing drugs on Long Island.)
In fact, Gooden has told similar stories before not only in print but on SNY last November and in even more detail on MSG’s simulcast of WFAN’s morning show in May.
I asked a ESPN spokesman about this, and he copped to the network being in the wrong, saying: “We weren’t aware of some of the interviews he had done. We shouldn’t have positioned it that way. We apologize for that mischaracterization.’’
Meanwhile, Thursday Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton intimated that afternoon boss Mike Francesa gave ESPN credit for the Gooden story and intentionally ignored their interview from May.
“I wasn’t not crediting them on a story; I wasn’t even aware he was on the air with them,’’ Francesa said on the air later, adding that it was not his intention to credit ESPN with a scoop.
“It’s no secret we don’t have any relationship with the morning show. But I’m being honest with you, I didn’t even know he was on the show . . . I spend the morning with my kids. I don’t listen to them in the morning. I don’t listen to anything in the morning.’’