Ian O'Connor goes on record about 'off record' claim
When a prominent sports figure takes on a prominent sports journalist I tend to react like a mother bear protecting her cubs.
Thus did I call Ian O'Connor last night to get his take on Willie Randolph's assertion that he thought their controversial conversation Sunday was "off the record."
It would have been much worse had Randolph said he explicitly told O'Connor the interview was off the record. Instead he admitted merely to assuming it, something he acknowledged was a mistake.
In a part of his WFAN comments that did not make into the above-linked article, Randolph said, "I was just happy to see him. We were just talking. We were in the middle of the clubhouse just kind of shooting the breeze and stuff . . . I just let my guard down there for a second, but thats still on me. Thats my responsibility.
Randolph this week referred to O'Connor as a "friend," apparently a reference to the fact the columnist publicly has been supportive of him in the past.
Fine. But other reporters who saw O'Connor and Randolph talking in the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium said it looked like a formal interview.
Perhaps the tape recorder in O'Connor's left hand was a hint.
(Triple WatchDog kudos to the first person to identify the trial pictured.)