Prime Time Sports Review for Tuesday, September 18, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener calls with Bob McCown

  • Bob is outraged about Escobar and thinks the Jays were too light on him, the callers are also outraged and agree
  • A caller suggests that the light suspension was to not decrease Escobar’s trade value
  • Many callers point the blame on Rogers, saying it reflects badly on them, Bob agrees, and says it reflects badly on the entire organization
  • Bob says Rogers hasn’t gotten back to them about sending somebody to be interviewed, then is corrected by Rogers who tells him that in fact they refuse to send anybody

5pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Stephen Brunt co-hosting

First segment: Talk segment

  • Bob and Brunt discuss the Yunel Escobar situation, believe he should be punished more, Bob thinks he should be released or suspended for the rest of the season
  • Brunt says this is not a free speech issue because it is about workplace rules, and that Escobar was at work, Bob notes that if he (Bob) comes into work with an offensive t-shirt while on TV, Sportsnet would fire him
  • Brunt doesn’t understand why the Jays don’t do the cynical thing, with the season in the toilet, to suspend him for the rest of the season
  • Bob and Brunt are absolutely angry with Escobar and think its worse that he didn’t really apologize, and made excuses

Second segment: Inteview with Nick Kypreos, Sportsnet hockey analyst

  • Toronto Sports Media regular commenter, Alex, gets his email read on air by Brunt pointing out that Sean Avery in the NHL got 5 games for calling Elisha Cuthbert his “sloppy seconds”
  • Kypreos agrees that what Escobar did was stupid
  • Kypreos and Brunt talk about how funny it is that the NHL claimed the Canadian dollar had nothing to do with revenues going up when they wanted to praise the old CBA, but now, claim it does because they want to say how the old CBA is broken
  • Kypreos agrees with Bob that the problem is the teams in bad locations

Third segment: Interview with Bob Ryan, reporter for the Boston Globe

  • Ryan discusses NFL Films president, Steve Sabol’s death and the impact of NFL Films
  • Ryan says that the lineal nature of the game makes football easy to edit and turn into films
  • Bob says that the subtleties of shooting on film is one of the appeals, Ryan agrees

6pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Stephen Brunt co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Gregg Zaun, Sportsnet baseball analyst

  • Zaun thinks the problem is that there is no culture of maturity in the Jays lockerroom, and if he were manager he would tell them to act like adults
  • He links Escobar’s behaviour to Brett Lawrie making base running mistakes and refusing to correct them
  • Bob asks who is responsible, Zaun suggests it might have to do with Alex Anthopolous being a bean counter and not a baseball guy
  • Bob wonders if this is Farrell’s fault because he’s the manager, Zaun says it must be because it stops with him
  • Bob says Escobar should not be a Blue Jay again, Zaun agrees, saying it’s his bad play combined with his bad attitude

Second segment: Interview with Alex Anthopolous, General Manager of the Blue Jays

  • Anthopolous says he wanted to react last night, but MLB advised him not to and said that’s not how they do things, and they had to have a meeting with the commissioner’s office first
  • Anthopolous says that at the end of day, it’s about how to move forward and how to fix the problem
  • Bob says he thinks the Jays gave Escobar the bare minimum and doesn’t want Escobar representing the Jays or Toronto again, Anthopolous says it’s Bob’s opinion, but that people involved determined that it was not Escobar’s intent to offend and how to move forward and turn this into a positive thing
  • Brunt says it’s great that they can turn this into a chance for activism, but how could Escobar get only 3 games?
  • Bob asks who decided this suspension, Anthopolous’ says that it was decided collectively, and they weighed previous incidents of other athletes saying offensive things including Kobe Bryant in the NBA
  • Bob says but the Blue Jays are empowered to release Escobar with pay if they want, Anthopolous says that they chose not to do that and that he doesn’t agree with Bob that intent doesn’t matter

Third segment: Talk segment

  • Brunt still can’t believe Escobar only got 3 games
  • Bob points out again that the Jays could have suspended Escobar on their own
  • Brunt says that even if this is about business, it’s bad to make the community think you don’t portray the values they want, and that it might be terrible business to do this even if you wanted to be cynical

Thoughts:

Wow. Wow. Wow.

This was an INCREDIBLY emotionally charged show, and I think it’s been a while since we’ve heard a show where the people involved have been this passionate and cared so much about the topic, and it really heartened me, both as a listener (I like passion) and as a LGBT person. I knew that Brunt and Bob would disapprove of Escobar’s actions but I didn’t expect it to be THIS strongly, and that Bob doesn’t want Escobar as a Jay at all. Also, I’m glad Brunt pointed out that this is about a person working for a company and not a free speech issue, because it’s something some people seem to be missing.

The callers were all on Bob’s side too, though some expanded the issue more than others. While I’m glad to hear that sports fans are so supportive of gay rights, I don’t think all of this anger is just because of that, or at least, that the anger is more clear because of who it is, and what the situation is.

When this broke last night and I heard just how angry the Jays fans on the evening shows were, I told my friend that I think the Jays fans finally have a target for their anger.

Going into this season, I think some Jays fans (especially the ones who call into talk shows) were absolutely ready to carve the Jays if they had another non-playoff season. They wanted to criticize the Jays, the players they felt were the problem (Escobar, Rasmus), management and ownership, and we’ve heard it on the phones on various programs. People WANT a reason to be angry because of so many seasons where the Jays have missed the playoffs. But then the injuries hit, and suddenly you couldn’t blame anybody. The season was a write off, and while people TRIED to somehow pin this on management, or ownership, in reality, you really couldn’t.

This gives them their opening, because it’s legitimate (what he did was homophobic, the Jays did punish him very little) and they can pin this on a player that had a bad reputation coming in, and that’s having a bad season, and they can attack ownership and management too.

We’ve also seen this with Zaun finally able to put a narrative on the Jays season: they are a group of immature brats that have weak management. I think it probably helps that people think Farrell is on his way out too, making him not everybody’s favourite guy also.

I’m not saying I agree with Zaun’s assessment (having just heard it), but I think he makes a strong case, given what we’ve seen of Lawrie, of Romero complaining about twitter “haters”, about the Jays fighting with umpires and complaining about calls. It really does seem like this team is immature, and even the older players (Romero, Escobar, Bautista) are acting like children.

I think bad seasons need things to define them with, and it was really hard to define this season because of just how much has gone wrong and all the injuries, but the Escobar thing has. And I’m not sure that it’s unfair either, it could just be that this has been the thing that people have sensed but been unable to put a finger on until today. Zaun’s touched on this a bit, but I think today crystallized the problem in his mind and he was finally able to go “THAT’S what I couldn’t put a finger on!”

This isn’t saying that what Escobar did was okay and he’s a scapegoat, nor does it mean that fans SHOULDN’T be angry. But as somebody who’s seen so many instances of homophobia where many people show up to say “well but he didn’t intend it” or “this is not a big deal”, I have noticed the reactions of the fans seem different. I think in addition to how blatant it is, and how wrong it is, the “we need something to focus our anger at the Jays on” factor is assisting in the strong public reaction.

The Alex Anthopolous interview was definitely not his best moment. He came off as tired (which I would be too if I had this season) and defensive, and with very little to offer. He tried to do his usual charismatic “we talked to everybody, we tried to work this out, let’s move forward” thing, but Bob and Brunt weren’t buying it, and Alex had very little to offer up in his defense. As Bob says, intent doesn’t matter. First, it’s ridiculous to believe there was NO intent and Escobar spun a wheel to decide what to put on his face. He knows what it means, he had intent to do it. Not intending to be homophobic, just generally insulting, is like throwing a punch at somebody and saying “I didn’t intend to break your jaw, just bruise it a little.” And honestly, what IS he going to say? “YES I INTENDED TO HURT LGBT PEOPLE”?

And discrimination against LGBT people isn’t simply “I hate LGBT people and want to hurt them”, it’s also that you care so little for us that you don’t think about us, and therefore feel its perfectly okay to display a gay slur on your job in front of thousands of people. It’s that we matter so little to you, that you don’t care about how what you do can hurt us. In that vein, Escobar’s “oh the word means nothing!” defense shows just how little he cares about what those kinds of words mean to LGBT people, many of which are fans of the Jays.

His non-apology, I think, also galvanized fans against him, because it implied that he really didn’t think he did anything wrong. If anything, it made things worse, and encouraged the view that he didn’t just make a mistake, but that he’s a personality you don’t want on the team.

And Brunt’s right, the season’s over and the smart move would be to suspend him for the rest of it. It’d also be the smart move in terms of PR, because it could have focused all of the fan anger on Escobar instead of it now being another reason to hate the organization. I also think this might be Alex’s first real blunder. Up until now, people like him, and even after last off season where he didn’t sign any big free agents, people still seemed to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think that the dialogue about Anthopolous, in the media, and with the fans, is going to be a lot different from now on. I think we can count today as the day the honeymoon is officially over for the media and the majority of the fans (and not just the ones that call into Wilner.)

The shine may very well be off Beeston as well.

I do agree with the one caller who said that this might just be a way to try to move Escobar in the off-season, because of the Jays said “we’re done with him”, they’d have no bargaining power with other teams, and there’s ALWAYS a team that thinks they can fix a bad apple. HOWEVER, even if this were the case, it does not make it a good move, or the right thing to do. Also, it could be argued that if this were true, it’s another bullet in Zaun’s “Alex is a bean counter” gun, because it shows that Alex doesn’t understand the fans and the marketplace, and cares only about player values.

I hope in the next few days, we’ll hear more criticism of the organization, because I think their poor response is a bigger deal now than what Escobar did. He did what he did, and he was wrong, but the punishment (or lack thereof) is all on the Jays, and I hope people don’t take it easy on them.

As for the rest of the show: Kypreos basically reiterated what Bob and Brunt have been saying for the last few years (teams need to move, the high Canadian dollar benefits league revenues), and Bob Ryan didn’t really provide very much about NFL films except that he likes it.

Photo available here

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 43
  • comment-avatar

    nice review Ami. I have not listened to the show yet, but I’m interested to hear how people respond to Bob and Zaun’s accusations about AA. Those are some harsh words.

  • comment-avatar

    I wonder if zaun wrote his ticket out of town for whay he said about alex.

    Glad to see bob and brunt.coming out so strong about the suspensipn. So happy it was brunt in the co host chair.

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor9 years ago

    Kudos to Bob and Brunt for holding AA to the fire. Poor AA – clearly in over his head. He sounded like a little boy caught doing something wrong in class. The optics of this whole thing are very, very bad for the team and it is going to take time for the fan base to forget. Too bad.

  • comment-avatar

    I wonder how much of the anger by fans is related to the incident and how much is fans finally having a person at whom they can direct their ire.

  • comment-avatar

    What an amazing episode.

    I was a little worried in the first segment that the level of Bob’s righteousness was a by-product of him being in character. I was pleased when Brunt (seriously, an absolute gift to sports writing/reporting) joined the conversation, bringing some direction, measure and nuance to the discussion. At this point I felt more confident in my believe of Bob’s sincerity.

    Greg Zaun, wow…he ripped the team apart at every level. He obviously has some gripes with the team and specific individuals, but he did bring up a very interesting point about the team’s lack of mature (player) leadership. If his observations are correct (I haven’t been paying close attention since they fell out of the race), what he’s seeing is the potential bad-side of the organization commitment to the youthful core of this team. I wonder if this can (and will) be addressed in the off-season. If Alex does attempt to bring in ‘veteran leadership’, will they be able break through the bonds created, or does it create some sort of resentment, for example the Celtics Big Three relationship with the Rondo and Kendrick Perkins types. (if that makes any sense)

    Alex’s appearance on the show was indeed pitiful. I know people would have accused the organization of hiding or ducking, but strategically, it may have been the right move to better prepare themselves, as this situation appeared and moved quickly over the past 24 hours. He really came off (as you noted) as tired and over-matched. I don’t think he helped the situation at all. The phone being cutoff, whether it was intentional or not, added more drama to the situation.

    Will be interesting to see how this all plays out

    Great review, and great website (I’m new around here).

  • comment-avatar

    Wow is right.
    Another complete over reaction by the PC lame-stream-media. One game at the most
    was sufficient. It was a frggin’ joke, people.

    I now have even less
    respect for McCown and his house boy Brunt.

  • comment-avatar

    Geez. Overblown much? I can’t imagine either of those guys hasn’t said or done something completely bone-headed before. Give the guy a break. You’d think he murdered a room full of gay people. He apologized and is doing outreach. What more do you want? His head on a platter?

    I suppose the lesson to learn here is that second chances are in short supply. Is 3 games too light? Nope. Not to me. I think that’s on the money.

    I mean, seriously. Should we jail everyone that has publicly said something that’s offended other people? Don Cherry, anybody?
    Zaun, on the other hand, was on the money. His criticisms were measured, valid and I respected his viewpoint. Lots of insight there.

  • comment-avatar

    I’ll miss Zaun…

    This is the Bob that I remember and love. To call out AA, the Blue Jays and Rogers the way he and Brunt did took balls – and had to be done. They called bullshit on the corporate speak coming out of Anthopolous’s mouth and it was refreshing to hear (and great radio).

    To those that feel this is being overblown or it’s the “PC brigade” is taking over, well, what if someone had written on their face in a stadium for all the world to see the words “You are a n*****” or to our Jewish friends like Ken Rosenthal “You are a k***”? Would you be as forgiving? Would that also not show maliciousness, Ken? No?

  • comment-avatar

    It was good to finally see Bob’s irritability doing something good for a change instead of him just being him.
    For Beeston, the Jays and AA to have to be guilted into appearing on a team owned radio station is actually sad, and then sounding so pathetic and unprepared was both surprising and very dissappointing.

    As much as I am generally indifferent to the team, I actually thought AA was smarter than that, and Zaun is right, he’s not a baseball guy, he is a numbers guy, and that’s exactly why Rogers hired him. He does think with “his gut” or “instinct”, but with stats, real numbers.
    That makes this doubley dumb, because he’s never seem the assgrab and dick jokes of a sports clubhouse, he only knows the corporate world, a world where this conduct would likely be “fired with cause” material, sackable on the spot…3 games…really??
    Toronto has a huge LGBT population, and for an average talent, under-performing player, on a barely .500 team that is 18 years out of the playoffs, and playing to a less than 1/2 full building, I genuinely thought Beeston and AA would be smarter.
    Release him, pay him off and move on, that ends it…but no, instead it’s a story, a big one in a hockey-less vacuum and everything they do now will looks like guilt driven damage control, not smart ownership.

  • comment-avatar

    Towards the end of the show, Bob mentioned that all of the callers agreed with his views, which he also noted was probably more a matter of circumstance, than an accurate reading of the situation. I would have been interesting to hear an opposing view like Roger ^^ just added.

    To the point being made here, try to remove your opinions on the media (and society in general) being, lame, overly sensitive, and PC. What if the message read “Go F*** Yourself, A******e” which is something that can be harmlessly thrown around by friends. Do you think an organization would want to have themselves represented this, regardless of the intent to be insulting?

  • comment-avatar
    Another Steve9 years ago

    I agree with the start of this comment. What Escobar did was wrong, and most, if not all, thinking people know that it is true. But the hysteria surrounding the reaction – suggesting that he be run out of town, etc. – is way over-the-top. It became a bit of a mod/crowd mentality on the air, and a crowd/mob is always insane.

    Again, most rational people want to see him punished, because he did something stupid, childish, and offensive. But he did not write “Fags must die” or “I love Hitler” or anything like that. Let’s make that clear. If you kick someone out of town for a statement that says “you are a fag,” what then do you do for “death to all fags”?

    The level of outrage expressed on the call-in segment may make for good radio, but only in the sense that hysteria always makes for good radio and TV.

    Zaun was in full character-assassination mode. It was entertaining, until I realized two things.

    First, that he was talking about a baseball player who is a little bit lazy, a little bit childish (to write such stupid things), but one who is talented and who is not getting paid ridiculous money. That is, this kid Escobar is not the satan Zaun was making him out to be.

    Second, I couldn’t help but remember how Zaun’s name appeared on the Mitchell report and how his explanation as to how his name appeared there was so mealy-mouthed and cowardly that the thought of him calling another person out for cowardice (in Escobar’s explanation) reeks of hypocrisy.

    That hypocrisy is doubled when we turn to McCown. About 16 months ago both he an Krystal spent an hour on the air talking about why they only watch women sports for the good pieces of pussy that they can see, licking their lips and talking about which women-athletes they would like to slam. And then McCown has the audacity to say that he has never said anything so offensive on the air? Well, I guess in his mind, that’s true. But I do remember the criticism that he received over a year ago, and how his co-hosts became frightened whenever he brought the subject up again.

    Generally I get uncomfortable when people start becoming filled with righteous anger, because it often means that they are covering up for their own mistakes – which I think is true for both Zaun and especially McCown.

    I’m not religious myself, but I do teach religious studies, and one thing that I asked my students last week is this: what do people want in a god or religion? One of the standard responses was this: something that offers forgiveness. AM talk radio doesn’t allow for forgiveness – it encourages shouting. It kills the minds and, in these matters, often makes us worse human beings.

  • comment-avatar

    good post Steve.

    I’m still thinking through whether lack of malice makes a difference in this case.

  • comment-avatar

    Steve,
    Well written and well said…but it misses the point to some degree…
    Mob mentality?, sadly yes, Hypocrisy?, yes again, bullshit indignation? 3 for 3…but again not the point…
    You have a publicly traded company, owning the number 2 team in the biggest city in Canada, and one of their representives, wearing their uniform, in performance of his duties as an employee, made an overt and clearly homophobic gesture in public.
    It wasn’t a spur of the moment thing said in the heat of battle, this is a 29 year old guy with 6 years in the english speaking MLB. It was planned and rehearsed in advance and took intent and effort.

  • comment-avatar
    Cannibal Dave9 years ago

    “Clearly homophobic” how, exactly?

    Our culture is (slowly) coming to the realization that certain words carry the weight to offend and insult. I don’t see how you can make the leap that this in “clearly” homophobia. Do you consider anyone who utters the word “retard” to be a person who hates people with cognitive and/or physical difficulties? Or maybe do you consider the source and pass judgement on them as an insensitive and foolish person – and maybe…just maybe try and teach them better for next time?

  • comment-avatar
    the Pond9 years ago

    Wow, what a non story every else in the world but T.O. It was really telling that when Mccown asked Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe about it, he hadn’t even heard of the issue. Bob and Brunt were talking like it was the Kennedy assassination or something. Move along, nothing to see here…

  • comment-avatar

    Mop Up Duty provides some media analysis on McCwon and Zaun’s responses:

    http://mopupduty.com/the-messy-yunel-escobar-situation-091912/

  • comment-avatar

    Ugh. Well, Escobar is clearly a moron.

    I was also slightly surprised at the fever pitch intensity on PTS brought by McCown and Zaun. I’m glad they have no tolerance for that kind of behaviour, but it seemed like McCown wouldn’t have been satisfied by anything but cutting Escobar from the team.

    As a fan, I have to admit, I’d much rather the Jays traded Escobar this offseason rather than let him go for nothing (Danny Knobler wrote a column yesterday about how there would be takers for him).

    I understand the outrage over the Escobar situation, but I’ve never quite understood the axe Zaun seems to grind with AA. I’m mean, really. The ‘he’s not a baseball guy’ card is NOT taken seriously anymore. Look around the game. Those ‘young, stat nerds’ Theo Epstein and Jon Daniels really screwed the Red Sox and Rangers right?

    I think Zaun is great as a nuts and bolts guy on the broadcast, but his views on the direction of the team seem to be infused with a bitterness. Or maybe it’s just that he thinks the team should be run by an ex player rather than someone who has worked in front offices.

  • comment-avatar

    Funny, some folks are saying that this is getting blown out of proportion because it’s Toronto and or Canada. Bruce Arthur just tweeted that he is going to be on ESPN’s Outside the Lines to talk about this very issue.

  • comment-avatar

    The direct translation is “faggot”, but it can also be used to call someone weak or a girl (a pussy if you like), so it does have other possible options…if you are from the Dominican or Puetro Rico…
    But not when you’re Cuban…when a Cuban native uses that term, it is a much harsher, more vulgar statement, that “you are a faggot” as an accusation or statement. There’s little room for nuance …
    Looks and sounds “clearly homophobic” to me…
    I had an Aussie cook who used the term “mongrel” when he was really pissed at someone. We laughed it off, found the term funny in fact, but in Oz there is no worse personal insult, and calling anyone a mongrel are “fighting words” almost anywhere in the country. Words mean different things in different places, but he knew what he said, he knew what he meant.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    He didn’t really apologize. He seemed to say that he didn’t think he did anything wrong, and he apologized if people were offended, not “I’m sorry, it was wrong. I won’t do it again.” And as Bob said, if he said “I’m not sorry, I don’t like gay people”, I’d have more respect for him because he’s not dodging with the “I’m sorry for other people’s feelings” thing and then “but I have gay friends!”

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    Also, this was something he chose to do, thought ahead of time, and then did, on the job. He’s an adult. He makes decisions and should be held responsible for them. Why should he get a second chance with this organization? In other workplaces, you can get fired for doing something this major. And he’ll find another job with another team, I wouldn’t cry tears for him.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    Actually many people are very hurt by the word retarded, and it is becoming something that disabled people are trying to bring into the public eye more, and a word we shouldn’t be using.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    I also think the reaction by media people is genuine and not “PC”. PC implies that they are only doing it because they want to be “political” and I don’t think they are. I think what Escobar did offended them, and I think they are legitimately angry, as are others. They also recognize that Escobar did this at his workplace in front of the cameras and audience. This isn’t him being suspended for 3 games for saying stuff in a bar.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    Since when did local stories become non stories just because they’re local?

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    Also, I’ve seen a bunch of National (both Canadian and American) coverage about this. It was just Bob Ryan who hadn’t heard of it yet.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    As I said, Zaun has his opening and he’s going for it. I find the analysis of Zaun’s response on the comments to be interesting, because the people who think he was balanced are probably also those I wrote in my review who are trying to find some narrative to put on the failure of the Jays this season, and he’s just given them one. With Zaun, it’s less about the slur (which makes his message more palatable to people who think queer people are just the PC police) than it is about having a way to label the behaviours he sees on the team, and being able to have something to criticize Alex and Farrell about.

    I disliked that segment involving Bob and Krystal and I think it was Bob really playing himself up to fit Krystal, but it still doesn’t make it better. However, part of the difference is that he didn’t use the word “good pieces of pussy” to refer to women, you did. If he did, I think he would have been disciplined for it.

  • comment-avatar

    The media is really giving Yunel way more credit than he deserves. He is clearly not that bright of a guy and it’s very doubtful that he meant to offend anyone. Clearly a bad decision and one I hope he learns from. I’m prepared to judge the man from the decisions he makes from now on rather than this poor decision.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    I don’t know this, so I’m completely speculating, but could it be that Zaun believes his later career would have been better if GMs prized “old school” stuff over stats, and that’s why he appears bitter to some?

  • comment-avatar

    I don’t think people care whether he meant to offend people or not. Bob said that his intent didn’t matter. If you call me “tranny”, even if you are totally not meaning to offend me, you have.

  • comment-avatar

    That’s actually a great call, Ami.

  • comment-avatar
    the Pond9 years ago

    non story everywhere else. I didn’t say it was a non story locally.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    I think if they had sent Escobar home for the rest of the year, and Escobar had said “I’m sorry, what I did was wrong, I have hurt people and I don’t make excuses. I agree with the suspension. To wear the Jays uniform this season would be disrespectful to the LGBT fans I have hurt with my actions. I deeply apologize.” This wouldn’t be an issue and by tomorrow, we’d have all forgotten about it, and by next season, Escobar would be welcomed back. It’s rarely the act, but the response that ends up causing or not causing a controversy.

    Kinda like how in politics, it’s not the scandal but the cover up. If people think things have been dealt with, then will move on.

  • comment-avatar

    It was on espn outside the lines

  • comment-avatar
    Itchy Butt9 years ago

    This whole thing is kinda reminding me of John Lennon’s Bigger Than Jesus furor, and his subsequent apology.

    I think what Yunel did was wrong, but it’s more just the actions of a really dumb ball player than a homophobe.

    If the Jays were smart they would have sat him for the season, got him to write an apology in the local papers, and it’d be all over.

  • comment-avatar
    Miller from GTA9 years ago

    Let me preface this by saying that what Escobar did was wrong on many levels. However, using an inappropriate word in public needs to be put in context so that there remains enough context for someone who actually performs a hateful act towards another human being and not just use a bad word which apparently may not have been directed towards any person or group in particular. Bob McCown needs to save some of his outrage for the day when this may actually happen. The fact that noone has commented on Ami’s repeated use of the word “queer” is an example of the importance of context. When I was a kid growing up on the streets of the GTA, the word queer, fa***t, mental case, idiot, jerk, etc were essentially interchangable amongst boys when razzing each other. In no way shape or form were these words ever meant to actually be a slur agains homosexuals or mentally handicapped people. This does not make it right, but it does put in context what Escobar did and his punishment. The only voice of reason and forgiveness seems to be Paul Beeston who appeared on today’s PTS. This proves what a wise man Paul Beeston is and why the Blue Jays were so successful in the past. It’s too bad Mr. Beeston was not at yesterday’s press conference to calm the waters.

  • comment-avatar
    the Pond9 years ago

    Uh huh, how many days after the fact?

  • comment-avatar

    Let’s see, the incident happened on Saturday, didn’t get reported on until Monday evening. He got suspended yesterday and they aired the story today. Sorry the Pond, that’s just it being featured on ESPN on OTL. Here is a link http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/index

    Here in Seattle it was on the radio all day tuesday. It was on espn and espn.com when it happened. Not sure how you can it was a non story everywhere else. It got and still is getting a ton of attention in the USA.

    Google his name and click on the news tab and look at all the US coverage.

  • comment-avatar

    He apologized. But now you’ve got a problem with HOW he apologized? Wow. You’re a piece of work. He’s a baseball player, not a PR puppet. He’s going to be doing outreach and getting sensitivity training. Maybe he could have rehearsed his apology a bit better. But then you’d probably say “But but but…it felt rehearsed! He read from a statement!” He tried to explain it, and in his own words. I’m really sorry for you if you feel you needed an apology aimed directly at you. Deal with it.

  • comment-avatar

    Bob has been superb the past 2 day as he usually is when dealing with controversy.

    What is the ‘joke’ of “tu ere maricon”?; how come he didn’t write “you are straight”?Shouldn’t that be just as funny. But being straight is vastly more acceptable so “tu ere maricon” is supposed to be funny because nobody in their right mind should be gay, it must be sub-human or something. Didn’t Freud say a joke is a socially acceptable form of aggression, both for the teller and those who find it funny.
    I’m sure Beeston knows 3 games in not enough and Escobar should be gone as any other Rogers employee would be(didn’t someone at Rogers lose their job for tweeting against legalising gay marriage?). The only explanation I can think of is he knows with this juvenile club house culture mixed with social media something is bound to come up again, maybe with a more productive player in a season where games mean something, so he didn’t want the Jays to make a ‘hard’ precedent that they might have to match in the future. Yes its wrong but that how corporations think. Still I can’t believe Ecobar will play again this season, and probably be traded in the off season. Also they should let the RedSox take John(“I only understand not offensive Spanish”)Farrell and his robotic answers.
    I heard Brunt mention the Emile Griffith-Paret fight. Griffith was in the closet and visited the gay bars around Times Square. At the weigh in, Paret pulled Griffith close to him and whispered “Maricon, maricon” to him. According to the NY times article Griffith was shaken and looked around to see if anybody else heard. During the fight Paret was pummelled to death. Brunt mentioned the documentary Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story. It’s excellent and on youtube:

  • comment-avatar

    Yep. I’m personally offended by the word retarded. I loathe it. And to think, the sitting President of the United States of America went so far as to make fun of disabled people on national television. If he can say something stupid and walk CLEANLY away from it, I’d like to think Yunel can walk away from doing something stupid too. Topically, Greg Brady has said it a number of times. I don’t hear people lighting their torches to burn his house down and calling for his dismissal. But the voiceless don’t matter as much in some eyes.

    And, hey, thanks for reiterating something I had no problem understanding. He didn’t say Yunel Escobar was clearly homophobic and neither did I. I asked what was “clearly homophobic” about the phrase he wrote and went on to relate the situation to another crappy word and judgement of a person who might utter it publicly.

    Homophobia is an illness as far as I’m concerned. It’s literally “fear of gay people”. Insensitivity, stupidity or lack of understanding, compassion and empathy? Those are different things. Homophobia implies that he is scared of, or intensely hates gay people. Who knows if he’s homophobic. I get the sense that he’s just dumb, but regardless:

    Let’s walk through this:

    “Die gays, die.” – Homophobic.
    “Man, I can’t believe you’re saying that, you’re’ such a fag.” – Stupid
    “Ew, gross. Don’t touch me, you’re gay!” – Homophobic
    “That’s the gayest thing I’ve ever heard” – Stupid

  • comment-avatar

    Good thing Cito’s not around to call him a racist anymore. Sheesh. Can you imagine the vitriol then? #Ratings

  • comment-avatar

    Oh and by the way it’s the front cover panel on the USA today sports section.

  • comment-avatar
    Ami_Angelwings9 years ago

    Exactly.