A Swing and a Miss
As you likely recall, last week I write a piece about former major league pitcher and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling who posted a Tweet and many Facebook notes that repeatedly maligned Muslims as killers, called Hillary Clinton a drunk murderer, suggested civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis wasn't patriotic, supported the Confederate flag as supposedly honoring God in a Christian fight for liberty, had posts demeaning of women, and made comparisons of gun control to 9/11. And more. ESPN took him off their Little League World Series coverage, and subsequently suspended him from their Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team.
And who was there to slam ESPN and defend this egregious, irresponsible, demeaning commentary? Well, dear old Sarah Palin, of course. The former half-term governor said...oh, honestly, I don't know what she said. I couldn't imagine caring enough about what she said which defended this behavior. The headlines said enough, including as they did a brief quote, and that was plenty enough to make one's eyes glaze over. The mere the fact that she hadn't figured out that any business has the right to not have someone who smears women, Blacks, religion and more as the public face of their brand is reason enough to grasp that anything she said that wasn't actually critical of that meant that anything else said was just pure babble and Palin word salad.
Hey, even Curt Schilling himself thought the suspension was proper. Although he was reticent at first, he subsequently released the statement, "I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part."
(Okay, this was more than mere bad decisions, but he does at least get some points for saying it was his fault and that ESPN acted correctly.)
But there's Sarah Palin yammering her head off in a desperate plea for attention on behalf of intolerance. In baseball world, this is known as whiffing at the pitch.
The thing is, Ms. Palin's rant against the suspension was made all the funnier on Sunday night when ESPN replaced Schilling in the prestigious Sunday Night Baseball booth with (are you ready) the first woman ever to sit in that position! There in the booth doing commentary for Major League Baseball was Jessica Mendoza, a former two-time Olympic medal winner for Team USA, and four-time All American softball player.
I thought she did a solid job and performed respectably. Fortunately, she generally tried to limit her comments to areas she knew about, which was hitting. And that was very smart and good of her. A lot of analysts yammer, and she didn’t. The problem is that hitting is the area of expertise, too, of the other analyst in the booth, John Kruk, she sort of overlapped there, and she could offer nothing about pitching, which is what former pitcher Schilling did so well. Or why so many broadcast booths have a former pitcher doing commentary.
Again, to be clear, I didn’t think she embarrassed herself in the slightest, and even had some good commentary, and did fine. I just didn’t think she added all that much and wasn’t able to cover an area that was missing.
That said, I’d prefer her to Curt Schilling.
So, all I can say t Sarah Palin is -- you go, girl. One small step for Woman, one giant leap backward for Womankind.
Actually, making it all the better still is that the game Jessica Mendoza got to help call was one that made national news -- a no-hitter by Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta!! (And yes, that it was a member of the Chicago Cubs does, in fact, make it even better still...)
Here's video of the final two outs of the no-hitter, starting with one out in the ninth inning. Unfortunately, Ms. Mendoza doesn't say a word during this -- that's what I mean about her limiting herself to areas she knew about, and pitching is the focus here, though in fairness John Kruk doesn't say a lot. But she comes in at the 5:00 mark, if you want to hear her.
So, if she doesn't say much -- and nothing during the last two outs -- why post this then? Hey, a Chicago Cub pitcher just threw a no-hitter on national television!!! You think I wouldn't post it??!!
The bleating voice of Sarah Palin cannot be heard, drowned out no doubt by the cheering crowd. And by Jessica Mendoza.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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