Daily News Headline Is soooooooo NOT News

I confess to reading the NY Daily News every day. The nice man who owns the bodega down the street will be happy to vouch for my daily visits if you need further proof.

I am also a HUGE Bill Madden fan. I’m pretty sure I have read every book he has written. I respect his viewpoints, since he has always been a class-act as a witness to New York baseball for decades.

That is why I am STUNNED to read today’s article with his byline that mentioned the lack of Yankee players at Bob Sheppard’s funeral service yesterday. So stunned that I actually have a problem believing that Bill Madden had ANY part of it getting into print. I’m going to believe that some idiot editor – deserving of a pink slip – thought he/she could drop the few lines into Bill’s words about the service to “spruce it up” and nobody would notice. I am believing this explanation until I read the apology that a man with Madden’s class will surely make.

I attended the service yesterday. Almost everyone in the packed church sanctuary arrived WELL in advance. Aware that transportation was being made available from Yankee Stadium, I wasn’t surprised to see the large group of Yankees employees and beat writers arrive at the same time – including Mr. Madden. The “lack” of players arriving seemed to dictate that something MUST have happened to their transporation. I’d like to believe that the Yankees and anyone in that travelling group would have realized how absolutely disrespectful it would be for them to enter the sanctuary after the reverent service began and try to “scootch” into the already-packed pews.

It’s also important to know that there was quite a large contingent of “fans” in the rear seats of the sanctuary. I was horrified to see that people would pay their “respects” to Bob Sheppard by showing up in “Evil Empire” t-shirts and other similar wardrobe choices. Knowing how much a Majestic pinstripe uniform top costs – there’s only one word to describe anyone who would show up at a funeral dressed for a day in the Yankee Stadium stands – DISRESPECTFUL.

It was a hot and humid morning in downtown Baldwin yesterday, and all of the doors of St. Christopher’s were open to provide a breeze. Once the service began, I was hoping that the Yankees that were surely on the way would stay away – since their arrival would have likely elicited cheers from those lined on Merrick Road outside. Those cheers never came – keeping the solemnity of the service intact. I don’t know if players attended the burial service or sent their regrets to the family. What I DO know is that once the funeral service began I didn’t think anything of the lack of Yankee players there. For whatever reason they were NOT there – respect dictated their absence from that point on.

As was stated by more than one person during the service Mr. Sheppard was many things in life. Being a “Yankee” was far down his own list, as well as the lists of his family and friends. Christian, family man, teacher – THOSE are the monikers that mattered to all.

Dear New York Daily News – do the right thing and confess to the poor judgment displayed in such a headline. ASAP.


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