The Daily News went down swinging on Thursday when its latest headline blooper concerned baseball superstar Ichiro Suzuki, who played his final two games for the Seattle Mariners in his native Japan. He went 0-for- 5 in two games while Domingo Santana hit a grand slam in Wednesday’s 9-7 victory over the Oakland A’s.
But you would not know that from the Daily News headline in sports, which proclaimed “Ichiro blasts grand slam as MLB opens in Japan.”
The Associated Press article below the headline correctly tells the true result — if only one of the Chicago-based copy and design people had bothered to read it.
“Do they even pay editors and headline writers at that rag?” asked one reader.
The Daily News compounded the error with a photo caption that showed a picture of Ichiro swinging at a pitch — during an at-bat that did not result in a hit — with a caption that read, “Ichiro Suzuki gives the fans what they want with a grand slam as Mariners beat A’s to win opener played in Japan.”
Ichiro did manage to draw a walk in one of his two plate appearances that day, but that’s a far cry from a game-winning grand slam.
It’s the kind of mistake that happens when no one is at the tiller. The News fired sports editor Eric Barrow in early January and eliminated the sports editor job, replacing him with a “director of audience development, sports.” One would imagine the best way to develop an audience in sports or any other topic is with hard-hitting — but accurate — news stories.
But it’s only the latest in a series of embarrassing gaffes for the so-called hometown paper, which is now largely copy edited and designed in Chicago.
In a story that ran in the Feb. 22 edition of the beleaguered tabloid, the News sent someone to cover a debate for public advocate where the topic of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s potential run for president was broached. All seven candidates turned thumbs-down on the idea. But the headline that accompanied the story said, “No Way Mike” — apparently mixing up de Blasio with his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.
They also mixed up the location of a town on Long Island where a lottery ticket won big — the headline labeled it SI, not LI.
The News, in a cost-cutting move, chopped its editorial staff down to about 40 people last summer — eliminating half of its staffers — and farmed out most of its design and copy editing to a centralized site run by its parent Tribune Publishing company for all the newspapers in the chain.