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Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

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Controversial Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti has resigned, citing the grim outlook in the newspaper biz. A few hours later, the paper released a statement, and it wasn’t the usual happy trails one might expect. I wonder why? Here’s the press release from Sun-Times Editor in Chief Michael Cooke - check out the last sentence of the third paragraph. Ouch.

The Chicago Sun-Times had the best sports section in the city before Jay Mariotti came to town -- that’s why he signed up with us -- and his departure does not change that. We still have the stars -- respected veterans such as Rick Telander, fiery newcomers such as Greg Couch, quirky voices like Carol Slezak, not to mention seasoned beat reporters tracking the Cubs and White Sox toward their eventual collision in the World Series, plus the Bears, the Bulls, the Blackhawks, and all the other teams that make Chicago the sports center of the nation. We could have a World Series in Chicago in a couple of months ... talk about excitement! The Chicago Sun-Times and suntimes.com will continue to have the scores and the stories before anyone else, anywhere, and the deepest and most comprehensive stats and standings. We wish Jay well and will miss him -- not personally, of course -- but in the sense of noticing he is no longer here, at least for a few days. A paper, like a sports franchise, is something that moves into the future. Stars come and stars go, but the Sun-Times sports section was, is and will continue to be the best in the city.

The Trib has a hilarious recap of Mariotti columns from 2005, when the White Sox won the World Series, despite his year-long claims of the South Siders’ ineptitude. Me? Fair and balanced, all the way home. Update: Readers respond to Mariotti’s departure...and the Sun-Times makes gets a buck or 2.

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