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First, New York Times columnist Murray Chass took the buyout.

Then he started a blog, except he isn’t calling it a blog, even though it clearly is a blog (WordPress is blogging software, after all).

The Big Lead was all over this story. Deadspin covered it too.

But we at Umpbump were a bit skeptical.

Sure, the site’s url is murraychass.com. But anybody could buy that url. There’s no guarantee that Murray Chass is in anyway associated with the website that bears his name.

The screed on the site’s “about” page is almost too intentionally-unintentionally-hilariously Chass-like to be true. Yet, if the blog is a fake, why hasn’t Chass stepped forward to say so?

We did a little digging through the site’s CSS code and found a name, Ryan, and an email address. Jackpot!

Alejandro emailed Ryan and asked if Murray Chass was really behind murraychass.com. Here’s what Ryan wrote back:

Alejandro,

I cannot comment on your inquiry. However, I’d be more than happy to let you know you should direct your question(s) to comments@murraychass.com for a more official response.

Thank you,

Ryan

We directed our inquiry to the email address Ryan suggested. A few days went by. And then this – a post on murraychass.com asking if “the folks at umpbump (do) not have anything better to do but wonder about the author of this site?”. Ouch.

The post concludes with this cryptic line:

Perhaps by now the umpbump guys have figured it out for themselves; they should be able to figure it out. If they haven‘t, though, they will have to wonder for a while longer.

We’re still wondering.

We’re wondering why Ryan promised to answer our question, but never did?

We’re wondering if Murray Chass even knows there’s a website out there that bears his name?

We’re wondering what it will take to get to the bottom of this mystery?

But one thing we’re sure of: we won’t rest until we know who is behind murraychass.com.

Stay tuned.

9 Responses to “The Murray Chass mystery”

  1. jayhawkowensjunior says:

    Did you think of, you know, asking Murray Chass if he’s got a website? It would take what, 3, 4 phone calls?

  2. I think you might be on to something. It’s a little fishy that it’s supposedly written by Murray Chass yet the About and Biography sections are all written in 3rd person.

    And he says feel free to email questions/comments but I can’t find an email address anywhere.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Ah, the phone! I always forget about that. Good call. (Pun intended.) Let me get back to you on that later today.

  4. Possible that Ryan is Murray’s son in law or something who set the thing up for him? I mean, do you really think Chass knows how to (or wants to) fiddle with all of the bloggy nonsense?

  5. Coley Ward says:

    It’s very possible that Ryan is a relative or is simply paid by Murray Chass to manage the site. We have several reasons for suspecting the site is a fake, not just the presence of Ryan’s name and email address in the CSS code.

  6. D.B. Cooper says:

    What are they?

    Share your clues, and behold the full investigative powers of the Internets.

  7. Sarah Green says:

    Well, we put our suspicions in the post, DB! My initial reaction to that about-us page was that this blog was a clever fake. We expected the truth to come out pretty quickly, but other baseball blogs seemed to take it at face value, so we decided to look into it. And if it was a real blog, why wouldn’t Ryan just say so? “Yep, this is Murray’s blog. I’m his webmaster.” So simple….

    Stay tuned.

  8. Being a blogger myself, I was also flabbergasted by the thought of a mainstream sports writer starting a blog to show his disdain for blogs. I wrote him a long email about how he’s a blogger, citing a lot of the same things as you guys have pointed out (like using WordPress – BLOGGING software). He basically told me that blogs are just guys ranting about what someone else wrote and demonstrate no originality, and that if i could send him a link to a blog that did, “it would be the first I’ve seen.”

    I sent him to your What They Need section, and asked him what blogs he was referring to. His answer:
    “The sample I saw I found researching something on Google. I couldn’t even tell you which blogs they were.”

    Basically, his conclusion is that becuase of a few blogs he can’t even remember, blogs are bad and stupid.

    Funny, I thought blog was a medium, not a label.

  9. Wow. This is some hard-hitting investigative journalism right here. Kudos to you for this important exposé. To thee, I say: Blog on, intrepid bloggers!

    (Assuming you are, in fact, who you say you are.)

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