Indians first baseman Ryan Garko and Chronicle-Telegram assistant sports editor Scott Petrak were unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight Saturday night, as they were accused of giving the Boston Red Sox added incentive to beat the Indians in the American League Championship Series.
Fox reporter Chris Myers did a story during the Game 6 broadcast about an item taped to the Red Sox locker room door as motivation. Someone connected with the Red Sox had blended part of Petrak’s Friday column with a quote from Garko to make it sound like Garko was guaranteeing a series win over the Red Sox.
“This Indians team is better than the Red Sox and will prove it once and for all in cramped Fenway Park. Sure, a home-field celebration would’ve been nice, but silencing Red Sox Nation in its house will be just as sweet.
“The champagne tastes just as good on the road as it does at home.”
Here’s the problem: Garko only said the part about the champagne. The rest was Petrak’s opinion, written as part of a column telling fans to relax after the Tribe had lost Game 5 at Jacobs Field. The Garko quote was separated by quotation marks.
Myers pointed this out Saturday night, as Fox showed the excerpt of the column under Petrak’s name and affiliation. The Garko quote was shown separately.
“It wasn’t like it was a very meaningful quote,” Garko said Sunday before Game 7. “The thing that made it a story was the Red Sox put it in their locker room.”
After Game 6, Garko was made aware of the “controversy” when his mom called and told him what she had seen on television during the game.
“If you need quotes from the other team to motivate you now, then you’re doing the wrong thing,” he told the L.A. Times.