Perhaps Jaycee Dugard Did Not Need All This Sports News So Soon

Orange County Register sports columnist Mark Whicker would like to apologize for phoning in his column on Tuesday. He realizes now that child kidnapping/rape/enslavement cases are more than easy pegs for sports listicles.

In a note to readers today, Whicker admitted that it was a "lapse of professionalism" for him to use his Tuesday sports column as an opportunity to fill Jaycee Dugard—kidnapped, raped, impregnated, and imprisoned for the past 18 years—in on the sports action she's missed in that time. While it is technically true that "Many odd things have happened in sports the past 18 years," Mark Whicker now realizes that that fact does not necessarily need to be juxtaposed with a horrific child kidnapping case in order to cobble together a space-filling sports column when regular sports action is slow.

He also has now come to understand that the column's kicker—"Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard."—while pithy, may have been misinterpreted by some readers as being callous towards the ordeal of this young woman tortured unimaginably by a child rapist psycho. For this, Mark Whicker is sorry. But he would be remiss if he did not re-assert one important fact:

Jackie Autry isn't in charge of the Angels anymore, as you might have surmised by looking at the standings.

That's news that anyone can use—kidnap victim or not. Mark Whicker thanks you for your attention.