The dog poop in his mailbox cost him a few squirts of Glade. The razor scars on his back door didn’t affect the security of his home, and he feels bad that his neighbor’s windshield got smashed.

The death threats on social media? They made him more angry than scared.

Still, Joe Santoliquito had to call the cops. Twice.

Today, though, the sun shone bright in Santoliquito’s world for the first time since he published a piece for PhillyVoice on Jan. 21 that used anonymous sources to paint Carson Wentz as a selfish bully who played favorites this season. Why?

Because Wentz admitted in an interview published Monday morning that the sources weren’t wrong: “I’m not going to sit here and say it was inaccurate and completely made up. ... I can be selfish. ... Maybe wasn’t the greatest teammate at times."

Wentz stopped short of agreeing that his shortcomings short-circuited the offense, and he downplayed the depiction of conflict between him and his teammates and coaches. Nevertheless, the tenor of the interview was that Wentz realized that, as the face of the franchise and the most important player, he at least needs to be more inclusive.

Santoliquito is relieved.

“I feel like my credibility is back. I feel validated,” Santoliquito said Monday morning.

He enjoyed a measure of fame — or notoriety, depending on your perspective — after his story hit, mostly from outlets eager to question his integrity. Monday, he dealt with a deluge of 15 fresh media requests. He ignored almost all of them. He didn’t feel like he needed to defend himself any more.

“I just feel like people know I didn’t make this up," he said." It didn’t come out of the blue.”

Santoliquito, who previously worked for this company, spoke while having breakfast Monday morning with a former colleague of his and mine, an unimpeachable third party who vouched for the existence and accuracy of the anonymous quotes and texts. Santoliquito wore his uniform for all occasions: old-school Phillies baseball cap, sweatshirt, sneakers and jeans. Together, they savored the taste of vindication.

Santoliquito reiterated that, despite his criticisms of Wentz in the past, he never sought to cast Wentz as a flawed leader; rather, that he pitched the story as a deep dive into the struggles of first-year offensive coordinator Mike Groh. It was Groh’s defenders who, unprovoked, criticized Wentz.

» MARCUS HAYES: The ‘selfish’ claims about the Eagles' Carson Wentz might show us Mike Groh isn’t as bad as we thought

Santoliquito also reiterated that all of his sources hope and expect that Wentz, 26, will be a better player as he matures. That included being more forthcoming about injury issues ... which Santoliquito illustrated Monday, with this nugget:

"He was in such pain this season that he couldn’t sit down prior to the Minnesota Vikings game. He was in that much pain."

The Eagles played the Vikings on Oct. 7, Wentz’s third game back after missing the first two recovering from the knee surgery he’d undergone in December. This is intriguing because Wentz didn’t appear on the Eagles' injury report until the following week — a report that said he was not injured but only needed “rest.” He appeared on the report the next two weeks with back issues, then did not appear on the report for the next six weeks, when a stress fracture in his vertebra was diagnosed.

If Wentz was, indeed, in extreme pain, his effort was heroic. Wentz threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings in a 23-21 loss ... but maybe those numbers are deceptive. He was 10-for-14 for just 125 yards and no touchdowns through the middle of the third quarter, at which point the Eagles trailed, 20-3.

» COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT: Carson Wentz talks tough season, recent criticism

Why does all of this matter? Because, for the past two weeks, the story has been as much about Santoliquito as it was about the claims that teammates and other sources made about Wentz — that his “selfish” and “uncompromising” nature, especially in relation to first-time offensive coordinator Mike Groh, hurt the Eagles' offense.

Predictably, some Eagles teammates, fans and media immediately rallied to Wentz’s defense, mostly on social media. Some, like me, parsed the reporting process — particularly, an intentionally tepid effort at seeking comment from Wentz, the Eagles, or players who consider Wentz a fine teammate — but did not question the veracity of the sources.

Others went too far. Like the Twitter warriors and anonymous emailers who threatened not only Santoliquito, but also his current colleagues.

Threats and harassment are not uncommon for journalists in general, and sometimes the dangers are devastatingly real, but sportswriters seldom see them manifested physically in the sort of vandalism Santoliquito suffered. The Inquirer and Daily News was unable to secure copies of the threats, or copies of any reports the police might have filed.

The dog poop was disposed of almost immediately, and Santoliquito declined to provide information concerning his neighbor or the car, but the damage to the door was real, and horror-movie spooky.

“It’s like a great bear claw scratched down it," Santoliquito said.

Which is awful.

But it could have been much, much worse.

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