Heidi Watney Talks Felger’s ‘Mudslinging’ On Toucher & Rich

BOSTON (CBS) – It has been a trying few weeks for the Boston Red Sox, their fans and even those who cover the team.

Update: Felger: Remarks About Watney ‘Regrettable’

98.5 The Sports Hub host Michael Felger didn’t hold anything back on Wednesday, calling out owners, players and reporters.

Felger & Mazz: Fallout At Fenway

That included NESN’s Heidi Watney, who responded to Felger’s comments on Twitter.

On Thursday, Watney joined Toucher and Rich to give her side of the story.

“In the assassination of just about everyone’s character that’s involved remotely with the Red Sox these days, it seems, he brought my name in the mix and a rumor that I was linked to when I first got into town,” Watney said of Felger’s rant, which alluded to a relationship with Red Sox captain Jason Varitek.

“Which, by the way, is not true,” she added.

“So he (Felger) brings me into this cesspool of garbage that’s being thrown around here.”

Watney said she texted Felger’s co-host Tony Massarotti, to find out why “you guys are bringing me into this.”

She said Massarotti told her  “nobody can control Felger.”

Watney, who was listening to the show from her car, said Felger got worse and attacked her character.

“It’s not only hurting to hear rumors about yourself that (are) not true, years later, after the rumor even came about, but also to hear someone say ‘Oh you can’t even call yourself a reporter.'”

Watney said she’s never met Felger, never seen him in the clubhouse or at Fenway Park.

“It was just really upsetting to me,” she said.

Watney told Toucher and Rich that she feels there is a “stigma” that goes with being a female covering the Red Sox and it’s “something you have to deal with.”

“NESN’s policy has been not to comment on rumors and gossip and innuendo and I agree with that, because a lot of times you just give more fodder,” she said.

“I regret, in a way, even sending that Tweet yesterday because of what it stirred up, because people that weren’t listening didn’t know what was going on and now everyone’s chiming in.”

She also clarified the story behind Carl Crawford’s “Go talk to the captain” comment and addressed Comcast’s Joe Haggerty’s comments on Twitter about her.

“I don’t understand why Joe would even say that,” Watney said.

“I don’t report rumors.  I just don’t.  I am not TMZ and I’m not interested in assassinating anyone’s character.”

“I don’t have a beef with anyone, I was upset that Felger brought me into all of this mudslinging,” she said. “Because it really has gotten ugly over the last couple of days here.”

One reason Felger called out the Boston media was how long it took for all the clubhouse shenanigans to come to light –  specifically, pitchers drinking beer, eating fried chicken and playing video games in the clubhouse during games.

“Nobody’s in the clubhouse during the game. How are we supposed to know who is eating fried chicken, supposedly, reportedly, and drinking beer during the game?  We’re not there,” Watney  said, adding that no one from the Red Sox has officially confirmed that any of that happened.

“Sometimes I feel like, in this town, if a rumor gets said enough, people just automatically believe it’s gospel.”

“I know that there were things that were going on in that clubhouse, obviously in this fallout, they have a lot of things that they need to get fixed. But I personally don’t believe attacking anyone’s character, whether its Terry Francona, Theo Epstein, Josh Beckett or John Lackey… attacking anyone’s character is not going to make this team better.”

Watney said the situation is so ugly, David Ortiz mentioned to her Wednesday it has him thinking about his future.

“(Ortiz said) ‘I’m trying not to comment right now.’ The drama is forcing him to look at whether he wants to come back to this situation or not,” she said, adding that Ortiz loves Boston and has strong ties with the city.

Read: Ortiz Sick Of Red Sox “Drama”

“It’s forcing a lot of people in the organization look at this and say ‘What is going on? Why is this town, why are the media, the fans everyone, attacking their own?’ I know people want answers; it was an epic collapse, it was ugly. But I don’t think attacking people’s character is going to help anything.”

Listen to the entire interview here:

  • TJT

    Watney denies a relationship with Jason Varitek. Does she also deny a relationship with Nick Green?

    The point is that many of the Boston media are in bed (not always in a literal sense) with the local athletes, coaches, and team management. I believe that they fear reporting some things becuase it could jeopardize their cozy relationships and hurt their careers (cut off access).

    • RedSoxGirl

      who cares about her personal life? This is about baseball….the red sox. And please share with us where you got your information about the reporters “in bed” with the players. I’m guessing you have NADA. Let’s keep this about baseball.

  • AFA

    In answer to the previous comment – you prove what Heidi was saying, there you go again, Now you talk of Nick Green – do you have proof or is it another smear?
    As to cozy relationships it happens in sports and politics and everything. Go down Route 1 and see the act there. There isn’t a reporter ( except for Ron Borges ) that is ever critical of the Patriots.

    What I find laughable with JoeHaggerty is that he is at Fenway Park in the Summer too and he didn’t report anything either. He is a hypocrite ! ……..

  • Mike

    Watney did this without the Sox brass having knowledge of or okaying it? I doubt it.

    • AFA

      What would the Red Sox okaying this interview serve? …I think we are getting a little paranoid in the city of Boston and we need to settle down a bit.

  • Tom

    Felger is a DB contrarian!! If he says “Fact not opinion” one more friggin time after spouting off selective statistics that support his agenda, I’m going to flip out. Maz is just his yes man after starting off with his own opinions on the show for the first 3 months, Felger trained him quickly. What does “The Wood” see in that guy?

  • http://larrybrownsports.com/media-news/heidi-watney-goes-off-on-radio-host-for-mentioning-jason-varitek-rumor/92276 Heidi Watney Goes Off on Radio Host for Mentioning Jason Varitek Rumor | Larry Brown Sports

    […] Watney went against company policy by commenting on the rumor, and the story grew once she sent her tweets. Watney went on The Sports Hub’s morning show to further defend herself. […]

  • burke

    During September, about the only good thing to look for on a Red Sox game broadcast was a report from Heidi Watney

  • LC

    Just great, we’re gonna run Heidi out of town too? Nice going guys!

    • gramps

      Well, if that happens, at least we’ll still have….’Judge Judy’!

      She’d make short work of that ‘wimp’ Felger.

      She’s such a ‘babe’!


  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/10/14/felger-mazz-felgers-apology-to-heidi-wantney/ Felger & Mazz: Felger's Apology To Heidi Wantney « CBS Boston

    […] reporter Heidi Watney joined Toucher & Rich on Thursday morning to respond to comments Felger made on Wednesday’s show about […]

  • Vinny

    UGH. FIrst of all, I follow her on Twitter, and any good reporter should know which “Their/They’re/There” to use and when to use it. Second, any good ‘reporter’ should remain impartial. She’s a sideline CHEERLEADER most of the time. She uploaded a twit pic from that final Baltimore series of Ortiz hugging….Beckett or Lester. One of the KFC boys. “Ortiz gives Lester a Big Hug after his Final Start!!!” Reaaaaally?? Peter Abe wouldn’t think of tweeting that.
    While her In-Game stuff is alright, she should have a tougher skin. Suzyn Waldman in NY has been getting raked over the coals for YEARS! I would think if a Woman goes into a “Man’s sport”, she’d be prepared.
    The Varitek ‘rumor’s’ have been going ’round for years. It’s old news. LET IT GO, Heidi.

    The whole organization is under the scope these days Heidi. When you hang with garbage, you start to stink. Just remember that.

  • Joe

    AFA, it is obvious that Haggerty’s twitter comment was a sarcastic response to Watney’s remarks so where is the hypocrisy? If anything, Haggerty could have taken Felger’s remarks as a personal attack since Felger criticized all of the “Boston Media” as failing to do their job in not reporting everything we’re currently learning. Say what you want about Felger, but you can’t say he doesn’t have the balls to call a spade a spade. He’s absolutely correct in that no one is above criticism when the door is opened. You want to be in the spotlight, don’t cry about the glare!!!

  • Dan

    Perhaps Watney should refrain from sleeping with members of the Sox, especially the married ones… Maybe then her name wouldn’t come up during a mud slinging incident like this!

  • Jack

    Felger married another reporter, Sarah Underwood. Some people should not throw stones, two faced.

  • fan2012


  • Craig

    Naughty Mazz’s forwarded text message to Heidi: “I know you’re not a trashy dame but you sure got nice Boston globes!”
    Trick or treat, sweater meat, boy I wish I was her seat.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/10/14/the-d-a-show-heidi-watney-vs-chuck-perks/ The D.A. Show: Heidi Watney Vs Chuck Perks « CBS Boston

    […] To The Actual Interview: Watney Talks Felger’s ‘Mudslinging’ On T&R Watney vs. Perks Share this No comments […]

  • Nikhil

    Its time to move on. Whether the rumors are true or not, Heidi makes valid points that the media really is a cesspool of spewing hatred and character judgement and its inane. I like sports media that doesnt bash or character judge people. i remember as soon as news broke out that terry was leaving, felger bashed francona so hard, and it just came off as incredibly disrespectful.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/11/16/heidi-watney-leaving-nesn/ Heidi Watney Leaving NESN « CBS Boston

    […] Read: Watney Responds To Felger’s Mudslinging […]

  • donte

    lfelger better shut up and leave my girl heidi alone he is a bagel eating puke.

  • Big johnson

    that felger is an abrasive and annoying person that should not get heidi involved in the rd sox problems it has nothing to do with her, She will bbe missed she is a real piece o’ tail man thats gonna e missed!

  • hellboy

    I really wish NESN would get rid of Felger…he whines whenever he talks, is nearly always speaking in the negative and is not AT ALL enjoyable to listen to. What constitutes his knowledge of any sport is lost in the cloud of bluster he uses to communicate his point through. Get rid of him!!!

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