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Shadow of a Dowd
2004-03-25 01:28
by Mike Carminati

Don't whisper. When you whisper, anyone could hear you a block away.

I never make up anything. I get everything from my books. They're all true.

He thought the world was a horrible place. He couldn't have been very happy, ever. He didn't trust people. Seemed to hate them. He hated the whole world. You know, he said people like us had no idea what the world was really like.

—Various lines from Alfred "Sterling" Hitchcock's classic Shadow of a Doubt with the too-soon-forgotten Joseph "Oxy" Cotton

The New York Post has picked up a story that was posted on Will Young's blog regarding the estimable John Dowd. That in and of itself would have been interesting enough for me: the media proper—or at least the Post paying attention to what a blogger says?

But it gets better. Dowd evidently spoke last month at Young's sports management class at GW, and with a captive audience decided to drop some pearls of idiocy along with a few outright canards, not that he hasn’t done that before. The guy makes Jon Lovitz' Tommy Flanagan, or even Pete Rose, seem credible.

The line that caught the Post's attention was:

Selig was attempting to find a way to return Pete Rose to baseball. Immediately, Fay Vincent called Selig to tell him that he was making a grave mistake, but he was ignored. Dowd’s theory is that Selig is acting on behalf of George Steinbrenner who wants to ensure a place for himself in the Hall of Fame despite having been banned from baseball in the early 1990s [ed. note – I do not agree with this theory at all]. [ed. note, Jr. – That was Young's editorial note, not mine]

Dowd continued to make individuals of shaky moral character seem credible when George Steinbrenner, Bud Selig, and Bob DuPuy, three men who I would never let into my house without first hiding the silverware, replied with incredulity to the delusion rantings. (Read the Post quotes.)

It seems that Dowd's proof for all of this was that Selig had once tried to enforce a gag order, as is Bud's wont, on Dowd regarding the Rose case. Dowd claimed that Selig attempted to get him disbarred. Although it's my believe that letting Dowd spout about Rose, Giamatti, and the little men who live in his underpants is the quickest and most effective way to get the loon disbarred.

Did Dowd ever consider that Rose's case was being decided in the court of public opinions and Selig did want the volatile Dowd stirring the pot?

It seems incredible that Dowd is a lawyer at all when he makes statements like the following:

In every baseball contract, a clause is included that states, “You will not sue the Commissioner”. Thus, Pete Rose broke another rule.

I also says in many standard leases that the landlord isn't liable for a darn thing. Contracts say a lot of things, it doesn't mean that they'll stand up in court if challenged. And besides to paraphrase Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, "What are you going to do? Ban me for life for suing you?"

There are other gems that the Post ignores in going for the obvious lunacy. Check out these:

Dowd set out to complete his investigation in three ways: honestly, completely and fairly. [Mike: How 'bout a fourth way, the American way. It's a good thing they didn’t hire that investigator who advertised cheap and easy.]

For this reason, he and his team would not write anything down as a fact unless it could be corroborated three ways. This was a nuisance because the evidence that Rose bet on the Reds could only be corroborated in two ways and was not included in the final report.

Ten people were found by the investigation that witnessed Rose betting on the Reds.

If you read the Dowd Report, you know these statements are laughingly false. The Dowd Report is nothing more than a prosecutor's brief. There is no regard for fairness. Circumstantial evidence, hearsay, and incorrect factual information are all taken at face value without any further remarks or investigation. Dowd's "corroborated three ways (baby)" means that he would set about to find someone who would say X about Pete Rose and then his two friends would confirm that the guy told them that. "He said he was talking to Pete Rose on the phone and that he was betting on the Reds from the dugout." People never lie, right? Especially when they are trying to impress their low-life, degeneratized friends. Dowd claims ten people witnessed Rose betting on the Reds, then why aren't they all in the report? "You'll have to excuse Mr. Dowd, he multiplies everything by 10. Aside from that he's perfectly normal."

And worse yet, Dowd and his slipshod Report have been reinvigorated by Rose's even sillier admission of guilt. The only credible piece of evidence that Rose bet on the Reds and therefore, should be banned for life is his own admission in his short-sighted grab for money, his public apology cum book deal. On the strength of Dowd's lamb-A's report, Selig was probably preparing to reinstate Rose. That's probably why he wanted Dowd to keep mum. But Rose ruined it for himself and now makes Dowd look credible and feel emboldened:

Dowd does not really feel vindicated after Rose’s confession because he knew that he was right the whole time.

Lovely. It's great to have an impartial investigator be so confident and so concerned about being right.

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