There are two stories emerging from the court proceedings underway in South Africa, which began yesterday to determine if Oscar Pistorius should be allowed bail after he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp with a 9 mm pistol on February 14th. The first is about the evidence collected by police on that night, and Pistorius’s explanation for its more damning aspects. The second is the media coverage of the first.
Even before a tabloid’s touch, it all seems rather salacious. A national athletic star shoots his model girlfriend, who has a law degree, on Valentine’s Day. These are enough details to send the editors of church newsletters into a tizzy of anticipation. Throw in a possible love triangle with another national sporting star in South Africa, add the “boxes and boxes” of steroids and testosterone that were found at the scene, and don’t forget about the bloody cricket bat that was supposedly used to bash in the door. Now, it seems we can add a feisty legal duel between prosecution and defence.
Suddenly, memories of the O.J. Simpson trial begin to elicit yawns.
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On Tuesday morning, the weekly Miami New Times News released an investigative report that attached the names of several Major League Baseball players to Biogenesis, a recently closed anti-aging clinic that was revealed to be in the business of supplying banned substances from human growth hormone to testosterone to anabolic steroid. Among the names found in the lab’s records were New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Oakland A’s starting pitcher Bartolo Colon and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera.
Nowhere to be found in any of the sourced records was American League Most Valuable Player, and the first hitter in 45 years to win his league’s Triple Crown, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers.
Nonetheless, such details didn’t stand in the way of Canada’s national television sports network, TSN, from televising a graphic that mistook Melky Cabrera for Miguel Cabrera during its 6:00 PM broadcast of Sports Centre. It’s an extraordinary embarrassment on multiple levels. In addition to Miguel’s being among the most recognizable faces that the game offers, it should be remembered that Melky signed a free agent contract this off season with the only Canadian team in the Major Leagues, a team with which a Canadian national television sports network might be somewhat familiar.
Image via @DHSpeedagon.