By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — On Monday, The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin wrote a column that stated definitively that Nick Caserio wants to leave the New England Patriots. Within an hour, Volin went on sports talk radio in Houston to, as he explained, try to put the toothpaste back in the tube. Volin said the story was just an opinion, not an actual report.
Now, though, Volin is retracting his retraction. He now claims the story is a report.
Appearing on WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan Show” on Wednesday, Volin said that he stands by his initial story as a report.
“So, yes, sure, it’s a report. It’s analysis,” Volin said. “We do this all the time. As you guys mentioned, if it was a positive story, no one would care. But it’s a quote-unquote negative story, so the Jerry Thorntons of the world are flipping out.”
Volin was referring to the Barstool Sports Patriots writer, who wrote, “If you’re a veteran of watching the anti-Patriots propagandists trying to incite panic, you realize there’s a pattern to how these things play out. The initial reaction to every story, big or small, negative or benign, is always the same. Worst case scenario. Panic in the streets. Mass hysteria. Anarchy in Foxboro. … Until it turns out there was nothing to the story. Until we find out it was all pure speculation, conjecture and opinions pulled out of asses. By which time it’s too late because the media has already gotten the benefit of the TV and radio ratings and the digital media the clicks which were baited.”
Volin defended himself against such criticism, telling WEEI that he does have an informed opinion.
“In this case of Nick Caserio, the facts speak for themselves. If he didn’t want to go to Houston, the Patriots would not have had to jump through all those hoops, file tampering charges, enforce his contract. It’s very clear that Nick Caserio wanted this job and would have taken this job if it were allowed to him,” Volin said of the Patriots’ director of player personnel. “And then on top of it, look, I’ve been reporting on this team for six-and-a-half years. It’s not like I walked into this situation in a vacuum. I know stuff, I talk to people. You mentioned it earlier, I broke the Jack Easterby [leaving the team] story earlier this offseason. I know people want to pretend like I’m hated in Foxboro and no one talks to me, but unfortunately that’s not the case. I do have some inside knowledge on the situation.”
Host Mike Mutnansky asked Volin point-blank if the story can now officially be considered a reported story by Volin.
“Absolutely. I stand by everything that is written there. It’s all, I think, 100 percent true. Yes,” Volin said. “There’s no other way to interpret this story. The facts speak for themselves. And I know things on background. I know things about the relationship among the guys in the front office. I don’t think this will affect Nick Caserio’s job performance this year. I think he’s good at his job and doesn’t want to affect his reputation and things of that nature. But he looks around the league and he sees all these guys who are less accomplished than him getting general manager jobs, probably making more money than him. He’s been here 19 years, he’s restless. He wants to go be a general manager. And the Houston job, while I do think it’s a lateral move, is obviously a good setup for him.”
So, that is that.
Really, not much has changed from Volin’s initial couching of the report. When speaking on Houston sports radio, Volin said, “No one’s telling me, ‘Aw, Nick wants out.’ What I’m doing is looking at all the facts of the situation and analyzing it and using some logic and common sense to try to tell people what’s going on.”
That’s right in line with what he said Wednesday: “It’s not like I had two people banging down my door and saying ‘Nick Caserio is stomping his feet, and you can source this.’ But you look at the situation and, like I said, the facts speak for themselves. Everything about this situation says Nick Caserio wants to leave the Patriots and go to Houston.”
All that’s changed is the additional note that Volin has background information on the relationships of people in the Patriots’ front office, and that Volin is comfortable with his story being referred to as a “report.”
And so, we can now officially revert back to the status we all assumed on Monday, only to have been told to change our tune on Tuesday. As of Wednesday, Nick Caserio wants to leave the Patriots, and that’s a report. (And analysis.) (And an inference based on what is publicly known.) (But also, definitely, a report.) (For now.)