This week in baseball
Artwork by Mike Dancy II

This Week in Baseball: Grand slams and Controversy in Cincinnati

www.franchisesportsmedia.com

 

Hello again for a look at another week in baseball, and while we are approaching the halfway point of this shortened season, social media has been swirling like hurricanes with these two huge stories all last week. 

 

The SLAM Diego Padres make history

 

While Fernando Tatis Jr’s grand slam on a 3-0 count brought out the many different debates on the importance of unwritten rules in baseball, the Padres turned the story into a much larger important stat, one that made history. The Padres had four consecutive grand slams in four games, the first time a major league team has ever achieved this unbelievable feat—all against the Texas Rangers.

 

TWIB
Photo Credit: NY Times

It all started with Fernando Tatis Jr’s grand slam, and on the night, Tatis seems to piss off every old school pitcher with one beautiful swing. Well, maybe not really everyone, just Rangers manager Chris Woodward, and pitcher Ian Gibaut. With Woodward’s disdain for the enormous lead that Tatis propelled the Padres to, he must have hated the remaining three games of the series, with the Padres breaking a record on the behest of his Rangers.

The next night it was Will Meyers with a grand slam in the first inning. In game 3, Manny Machado, with a walk-off grand slam in the 10th that pretty much cemented the idea that it was right on Tatis to swing on 3-0. In the 4th and final game of the series, Eric Hosmer would come to bat in a bases-loaded jam and blast one out in the 5th, making history in the process. 

The bats are alive in the town of San Diego, or Slam Diego seems more fitting. After the melancholy in Fernando Tatis Jr.’s face when his own team talked him down from having a huge night that he had, it was hard. Seeing a young player that didn’t do it out of disrespect, but because he wanted to ensure that his team won the game. 

7-runs in a ball game is not enough in baseball, just ask the Philadelphia Phillies. (Had a 7-0 lead against the Toronto Blue Jays and ended up losing the game 9-8) To be fair, the Phillies scored 7 in the first inning, with still a lot of innings left to play. Baseball is a sport where magic can happen; all you need is a rally.

 

Controversy in Cincinnati 

 

Thom Brennaman found himself in hot water Wednesday when a hot mic caught him using a homophobic slur, while the game paused for commercial. The panic instantly set in as social media cycled the clip around like fans sharing nachos at a ballpark. Brennaman issued an apology during the game (calling a home run in the process) and was replaced in the fifth inning by announcer Jim Day.

Here is what Brennaman said during his apology on the air:

“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went over the air that I am deeply ashamed of. If I hurt anyone out there, I can’t tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I am very, very sorry.” 

Brennaman continued after calling a home run: “I made a comment tonight that I am deeply ashamed of, I am so very sorry. I pride myself as a man of faith. I don’t know if I am going to be putting on this headset again.”

Snowball effect is in play as the baseball world has come forward to speak against Brennaman’s comments, and shortly afterward, the Reds suspended the veteran announcer.  Here is the official statement released from the Cincinnati Reds organization:

 

baseball
Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

 

“The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman. He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts. We will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days. In no way does this incident represent our players, coaches, organization, or our fans. We share our sincerest apologies to the LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across this country and beyond. The Reds embrace a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination of any kind, and we are truly sorry to anyone who has been offended.”

 

Reported by ESPN, now Fox Sports has announced that Thom Brennaman will not be part of the NFL (National Football League) broadcasting team this season. Here is FOX’s statement regarding the matter.

FOX Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom Brennaman’s remarks during Cincinnati Reds telecast. The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of FOX sports.”

It’s always a tough thing to deal with when you pull back the curtain on someone that you think you know very well based on the fact that you enjoy said person’s work. That’s the crazy thing about media, you allow these announcers, and players inside your home every game day, and you feel connected as a unit, a team, a family. 

I do have to say that using faith as a defense to stand upon as a crutch was the wrong move, given the situation that he was caught saying it without the knowledge he was on the air. It’s a messy situation that may end up proving him right; he may not put on a headset again; that’s a possibility.

 

Come back next week and let’s talk about some happier things, shall we?

 

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-Joshua Rushford – Franchise Sports Media

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