More Messages: Slugout Over the Dugout

Rocky Mountain News sportswriter Tracy Ringolsby's July 30 induction into the writer's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame was a big deal -- and the Rocky made damn sure everyone knew it. The July 29 edition included an appreciation of the Colorado Rockies beat reporter by editor/publisher/president John Temple, in full promotional mode, and a lengthy profile by scribe David Montero that came complete with an artsy photo of the cowboy hat-clad Ringolsby sitting atop a horse at the golden hour. Then, in the days that followed, the paper added more material in print or online, including a sizable piece filed from the Hall's Cooperstown, New York, locale, and the complete text of Ringolsby's speech. Even News columnist Bernie Lincicome seemed to feel things had gotten a bit out of whack. In his July 31 offering, he wrote, "When the biggest news of the day is a sportswriter accepting a Baseball Hall of Fame honor -- one certainly well deserved -- things around the Rockies are predictably uninspired."

Well, the hoopla ain't over. As dutifully noted by Rocky TV-and-radio columnist Dusty Saunders in his August 3 update, a thirty-minute profile of Ringolsby will air at 9:30 p.m. tonight on Fox Sports Net, another of the journalist's employers.

Of course, it's possible that tonight's doc will be less puffy than the coverage that's preceded it -- but the odds of that happening are similar to the prospect that the Rockies will win every game the rest of the season and become World Series champs. That's too bad, because Ringolsby is actually quite a colorful personality, with a pugnacious side that's never far from the surface. As evidence, check out this Message column from 2000 about a press box punch-up involving Ringolsby and Mike Klis, who was then eyeballing the Rockies for the Denver Post. Klis wound up hammering the back of Ringolsby's head after the latter told him, "Get the fuck out of our area. We've got work to do, and we don't have time to listen to your bullshit." Instead of responding physically, Ringolsby let his words do the pummeling. When asked if Klis inflicted any damage, Ringolsby said, "No welts, no bruises, no anything.. I've had ex-wives who hit harder."

Spoken like a true Hall of Famer. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts