Hey, at least he didn’t claim he was doing a blog. From the Journal News’ Janet Paskin and Bill Hughes.
Mark Sabia, yellow-flagged microphone in tow, has been a regular in press boxes at Yankee Stadium, Shea and Madison Square Garden for years. He pushed his way to the front in post-game interviews, button-holed players for one-on-ones, and complained when he felt he wasn’t being treated fairly. In other words, he was indistinguishable from the rest of the small-market television sports reporters in New York’s locker rooms.
Except the outlet Sabia represents ” Westchester Cable Services ” doesn’t exist, according to the Queens County District Attorney. Sabia, who lives in Ossining, was arrested Monday when he showed up to cover Opening Day at Shea and was charged with scamming season passes for almost all of New York’s professional teams, as well as for several World Series and League Championship Series dating to 1998. He was charged with five felony counts of falsifying business records and 16 misdemeanor counts ranging from petit larceny to criminal impersonation.
“Isn’t that wild,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “That’s sick, man.”
But according to Sabia, he’s a veritable David among broadcasting Goliaths, an entrepreneur who has been carving out a niche for himself for the past 23 years as an independent videographer who sells short feeds to small television and cable shows throughout the region.
“I’m just a little guy trying to make a living, and I would never intentionally or unintentionally hurt or defraud anyone,” Sabia said. “I will tell you this ” I have worked very hard since I was 17 years old to earn a living in this business, and I’ve never lied or misrepresented myself to anyone.”
Sports media representatives, however, disagreed.
“It’s extremely disappointing and frustrating,” said Patrick Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball. “I think this is a very, very rare instance. He is someone that, because of longevity, it was assumed that he was doing legitimate work.”
They’ve been making the same assumption about Mike Lupica for years.