Neyer apologizes for anonymous review

Updated: September 17, 2004, 5:06 PM ET
ESPN.com

ESPN.com columnist Rob Neyer has issued the following apology for posting a recent controversial book review on a commercial Web site:

"I messed up.

"A couple of weeks ago, I had a visceral reaction to a new book about a Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Shortly thereafter I posted a customer review, under an assumed name, on Amazon. Why the anonymity? Because as a fairly well-known baseball writer who works for a media juggernaut, I knew that a review credited to Rob Neyer would attract more attention than I preferred. My goal, instead, was simply to add one small voice to the discussion, a discussion that I assumed would then proceed naturally.

"Unfortunately, that's not the way things worked out. An enterprising baseball writer put two and two together, and suddenly my identity became a story, if not the story, which was exactly the opposite of what I'd intended. Four years ago I wrote a book about my experiences at Fenway Park, and this too became a part of the story. I realize, in retrospect, that I've got a special responsibility to both myself and ESPN, with regard to my credibility and the company's, and my "anonymous" review didn't do anybody any good.

"Again, my original intent was merely to add my honestly held opinion to the discussion. But I certainly regret how that discussion has progressed over these last two weeks. And the next time I feel like writing under a pen name, maybe that's a pretty good indication that I should remain on the sidelines."