photo: @andrewburer, UT – San Diego
[If you've yet to read what I posted about the Everth Cabrera arrest, read this first.]
I was first contacted about the Everth Cabrera arrest story on Wednesday night at 11:20PM.
TMZ was the first to report the story online Friday afternoon at 1:17PM.
I know what you’re thinking… “You have a blog, Brady… why’d you let TMZ scoop you?” Fantastic question. Let’s open up and get honest about how I approached, or didn’t approach, this story. You see, I’m not a journalist… I’m a blogger. I’m a writer, sure, but not a journalist. I never went to journalism school. I don’t have a boss at LobShots. I do whatever I want. I don’t have anybody telling me what’s okay or not okay to post.
Contrary to what some of you might think, I’m not an idiot. I got my Bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego, but I never took any writing or journalism classes. I don’t always know the proper etiquette. I hear the term “journalistic integrity” tossed around all the time, but what’s that really mean for a guy with a sports culture blog? I’m guessing if a journalist received the story I did… they’d feel obligated to break the news. Me? I wasn’t so sure. I have plenty of common sense, and I’m able to logically think through most things in life. I have a knack for what stories I blog will be big, and which ones won’t. I’ve even picked up a few tips from real journalists over the years. I’ve learned that even if you’re a blogger, if you get a story from a source, and that source wants to remain anonymous… you make damn sure that source stays anonymous. That was the easy part… the hard part comes next.
As I heard the scoop, I guess you could say I went through emotional stages while I processed it. As I received all the details, I thought to myself, “No way this is real. No way Everth really did all this. No way anybody is that stupid. This will be HUGE National news and I can’t believe I’m the only one (possibly) with this story!” Then I took a deep breath. Then I thought… “Wait, I wonder if the Padres know? If I go posting this story, and the Padres don’t even know about the arrest… they’re going to hate me. But what if they DO know about the arrest, have kept silent, and I go posting this story… they’re going to hate me.” Full disclosure, I have friends that work for the Padres. People that I really enjoy and are truly great people… should I privately reach out to them? I don’t want to burn bridges with them. Will they just tell me to put a lid on it? How should I handle this? I had no idea what to do next…
Then I took another deep breath…
That’s when reality struck. That’s when I immediately moved past what an idiot I thought Everth was… and I remembered his tear-jerking press conference where he apologized for using PEDs. I loved him in that moment. So raw. So real. I remember how I had a few friends who knew Everth and said they thought he was a great kid… just let his head get away from him sometimes. Hence, the domestic abuse charges (that were eventually dropped), the PED use, and now this DUI arrest and release. People that I respect really did think Everth Cabrera was a solid dude. Still do. Just misdirected. I don’t know him personally. Like you, I know what I read/see/hear.
That’s when reality dug deeper. Last Sunday, I had the incredible opportunity to be a part of the first ever #SDSocialSummit at Petco Park. I got to talk and hang out with a lot of the Padres front office and staff. Mike Dee, Buddy Black, Josh Stein, Wayne Partello, and Ron Fowler to name a few. There was one player out on the field when I was standing in the Padres dugout. One. He was with his young son. Who was it? You guessed it, Everth Cabrera. As I watched Everth playing with his kid in the outfield I remembered that he’d just had another child with his wife Connie. I follow her on twitter and instagram and she seems great. She posts scripture verses and photos of her and the kids and Everth. Then I thought about my wife and kids. Then I thought about what Everth did to his wife and kids by going off and being an idiot. Then I got pissed. Just really, really angry.
You know the kind of anger I’m talking about? The kind that rips you to the core. The kind that really makes your blood boil. In those moments, I didn’t care that this dude was a professional athlete. I cared about his family. First and foremost, he’s a father and a husband. What the hell was he thinking?! I was fuming.
I know, I know… get off your high horse, BP. Okay, allow me to step down for a second. Listen, I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. But I can’t fathom ever putting my family in a position where I decided to get behind the wheel of a random car where I’m high as a kite… so high that I thought it was a good idea to stop my car in the middle of a freeway lane, get out, walk around on a double-yellow line, and when I was confronted by authorities… I threatened to cut their balls off if they touched me or tried to put me in a patrol car. Think about that. Let that simmer. Think about everything that must have led up to that point? Who does that? What person, let alone a multi-millionaire, thinks that’s a good idea? Mind-blowing. My anger grew. How could he do that to his family?
I reached out to a trusted member of the sports media world and didn’t hear back… I was lost. What do I do with this story? I just didn’t know. All I knew is that he pissed me off.
Then TMZ “broke” the story. I was still pissed, and now the cat was out of the bag. I no longer had to wrestle with the dilemma of making the arrest public. So, what did I do? Well, I guess I figured this… “Welp, the story is out there… people might as well know the truth. I wasn’t the one to throw Everth under the bus, but everybody, especially Padres fans, at least deserve to know what really happened…” So I started tweeting. Again, you’ve seen the tweets I sent. Like it or not, they’re true.
Now they’re out there. Now what? Did I do the right thing? Should I have just kept quiet? I don’t know. I honestly don’t. Part of me wishes I pretended I didn’t know a thing. Part of me wishes I published the whole story before the scumbags at TMZ got all the credit. Who knows if I made the right decision? That’s life, right? We live and we learn. Am I going to be exiled from the Padres now? Maybe. I don’t know if what I shared was my right to share… but I did it… and to be honest, I don’t feel great about it. I feel like I need to wash myself clean of those tweets. They just feel dirty. Since tweeting, I’ve constantly asked myself, “what good came from me sharing all of that… except to further embarrass Everth, his family, and the Padres?” Maybe that’s my subconscious telling me that I blew it. I don’t know the answer.
So I’m not a journalist… but what’s my responsible as a blogger… a writer… a decent human being? The more I ponder this… the worse I feel. I don’t have all the answers, I just know that this whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. I want Everth to get himself together. I don’t care if he wants to smoke weed, but don’t get so high you get behind the wheel and put others in danger. Don’t embarrass your family… rather, put them first. I genuinely want Everth to get help, because I’m sure, deep down, he really is a good person. But until that good person emerges, it’s time for him to leave baseball and get his priorities in order.