There are rough ways to get fired, and then there are truly heartless ones. According to the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, the BALTIMORE SUN made a pair of moves on Wednesday that falls safely under the latter category, as the newspaper axed two of their writers in the latest round of layoffs while they were at the Orioles’ game against the Angels - in the press box.
(The least they could have done was have the Orioles bird deliver the pink slips in person.)
The expiring names in question are reportedly Rick Maese and David Steele. Another writer, baseball beat writer Dan Connolly, was also told he was fired during the game, but later avoided the chop when two less-senior writers volunteered to take buyouts instead of Connolly. That’s little consolation to Maese or Steele, both of whom are longtime Maryland sportswriters with a large and loyal audience, and both of whom were told in the eighth inning — along with a photographer at the game — that they no longer had jobs.
Even for a dying industry, the way the moves were made screams of classlessness. The Sun has long had a reputation for being heartless when it comes to the bottom line, and we have THE WIRE to thank for it. That being said, an institution with the name of H.L. Mencken to uphold has no place firing respected writers in the middle of an assignment.
What’s more, if the Sun was already going to be classless, why not wait a few more hours to lay off the writers and photographer? That way you at least let them finish their last game in peace, and, from a truly bottom line perspective, you get one last piece out of them in the process.
Either way, the move was going to be heartless, and it was going to be indefensible. The only question now is whether the paper will even have enough sports writers left to cover one of the city’s most cherished institutions — albeit a scuffling one — at Camden Yards after laying off 50 more newsroom employees, dropping the paper’s total down to 144, less than half the number it had two+ years ago.