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Why Mariotti Really Jumped Ship

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Aug 27, 2008 4:40PM

2008_08_27_jaybaby.jpgNow that the euphoria of Mariotti's resignation has faded a bit and we're basking in that lovely afterglow, one question keeps gnawing at us: why did Jay leave? Sure, we know he said he's gonna sell his soul to the interwebs now, but...really? Mariotti had just secured employment with the S-T through 2011, the S-T is not undergoing a bloody purge a la the Trib, the Sox and Cubs playoff chances were sure to be a boon for his rantings, and his side-job at ESPN has to be bringing in decent bank. So why jump ship when everything is looking okay? We just don't fully buy the interwebs argument.

Looks like our hunch may be right. Deadspin's Rick Chandler is reporting that Mariotti's sudden resignation was actually a flare-up of his feud with S-T colleague Rick Telander.

Details are beginning to trickle in on Jay Mariotti's sudden resignation from the Land of Newsprint, and it's pretty much what you would expect: Jay quitting in a hissy fit over a perceived slight. According to two reliable sources, Mariotti, just back from Beijing, wanted to write a column on Barack Obama. But it wasn't Jay's turn to write — it was Rick Telander's — and Telander also wanted to write on Obama.
Jay no can do column? That makes Jay a sad panda. The topic of the Obama column: a reaction to his pro-Sox, anti-Cubs comments. You can scope out Telander's Obama column here. And just to rub salt in the wound?
Mariotti resigned, and then headed to the Sun-Times office to tape his Around the Horn segment, only to find that his security pass had been deactivated while the paper was deciding whether or not to accept the resignation.
Ouch. Hell hath no fury like a Mariotti scorned, no?