Betsy Bissen was a volunteer photographer for Twins Daily and was credentialed a few times per summer to shoot games at Target Field. The website made another arrangement for photos in 2017 and Twins Daily did not request credentials for Bissen.
On Thursday, Bissen went to social media to accuse Miguel Sano of grabbing and forcibly trying to kiss her in 2015. The incident she has alleged came after Sano’s appearance at a mall in which he was signing autographs. Bissen was again photographing the event as a volunteer.
Bissen’s accusation instantly became a national news story and serious trouble for Sano and the Twins — as should be the case. It also came with suggestions that the sports media is in cahoots with athletes in covering up stories such as this.
I traveled with the Twins full-time in the middle ’70s and frequently in the decades that followed. Throw in hundreds of other road trips when located in the same hotel as teams, pro or college, and I’ve seen scores of athletes accompanied by young women that I knew weren’t a wife or an official girlfriend.
I was never in a bar or a lobby or a hotel corridor where I saw an athlete place hands on a companion in a manner that led to her protest. Barring that, it was none of my business, or in my opinion, any other sports writer’s business if an athlete (or a coach) was choosing to ignore marriage vows.
There are some outstanding yarns out there when it comes to the lengths athletes have gone to cover up infidelity, including the Twins pitcher who called a team official a few minutes before his first start of the season to make sure his two lady guests were sitting in sections well removed from one another.
That wasn’t a story, simply an anecdote.
I did have Darren Sharper as a regular radio guest for a couple of years — usually taping those interviews at 1 p.m. Central, while he was in a hotel in L.A. I never thought to ask him if he had drugged and raped a woman that night.
I hope that naïveté doesn’t rate as a cover-up.
PATRICK'S PLUS THREE
Chipper Jones and Jim Thome should make it as first-year Hall of Famers. I voted for three more:
• Scott Rolen. He was tremendous at a very under-represented position in Hall: third base. Keep him on ballot for further look.
• Omar Vizquel. As great as Ozzie Smith as a fielding shortstop and played 400 more games.
• Johan Santana. Best starter in baseball for five years; two Cy Youngs; keep him above 5 percent to stay on ballot.
Read Patrick Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.