Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sportscaster Says [X] On Air, Later Clarifies That He Didn't Actually Say [X]

I was about to preface this post with a protracted discussion about two massive problems affecting the world of celebrity today. On one hand, almost anything a famous person (even a local baseball broadcaster; I'm counting them as celebrity because they have access to audiences of millions) does can be unfairly and wrongly taken as offensive by nearly any person or group of people. But on the other hand, because celebrities have to half-heartedly apologize for stupid shit all the time, when it comes time for them to either make a legitimate apology or at least own up to something controversial that they said, they're completely unable to do so. Yup, I was going to spend like six paragraphs talking about that subject. But fuck that noise. It was probably bad enough for me to include even that brief summary in the post. Let me just tell you about this thing I heard that I feel is worth mentioning on this blog.

That second problem described above, regarding being unable to either apologize for a legitimately offensive statement or own up to it and defend it as controversial but appropriate, happened two nights ago in Kansas City. Said Royals broadcaster Ryan LeFebvre of visiting Rangers Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley: (quote is pulled off Sportscenter audio and is 100% accurate)

Here's a guy (Hamilton), with all the troubles he's had, has shown that if you work at it you can get your life back in order. And that would be a pretty good role model for Milton Bradley, who clearly has no control over himself, because it's the same thing year after year. This game is... this country, really, if you follow baseball, has really embraced Josh Hamilton. And I think they've wanted to do the same with Milton Bradley. But Milton Bradley has refused to allow himself to be put in that position.

Now, let me add a brief but obvious disclaimer before I come to my long overdue conclusion: I'm not here to defend Milton Bradley. As far as pro athletes go, he seems like a grade-A shithead. He's done almost nothing in his career to convince me that he's not an awful teammate. I'm not sure what kind of person he is outside of baseball, but if the hotheadedness he shows there translates over to his personal life (and fairly or not, I assume it does to some extent), he's probably not a great guy to hang around with.

There, I'm done. That was mean, wasn't it? Sure. But I'll stand by it. I'd say it to Bradley's face, as long as there was someone in the room to prevent him from beating me mercilessly. And that's what make me different than Ryan LeFebvre, because according to Sportscenter, you know what he said about those comments when later asked about them? Apparently he "wasn't singling out Bradley" and "wasn't ripping him."


Read the original monolouge again, and let me know if I'm taking crazy pills here. Is that not the very definition of singling someone out, and, although not very maliciously, also close to the definition of ripping someone? Now you probably see why I wanted to write that intro. And now we come full circle to the end of the most cumbersome post in this (or maybe any) blog's existence. LeFebvre, in my mind, had two options once what he said became an issue and required further comment:

He could have A) apologized to Bradley and said he didn't mean to come across so harsh or without provocation. He didn't have to do this, of course. His original comments weren't really harsh enough to warrant it. But had he wanted to, he could have apologized, and it wouldn't have been weird or anything.

OR, he could have B) owned up to what he said and reaffirmed it. He could have simply said he was stating his opinion on the matter based on everything he's ever seen out of Bradley, and that while it's not the end of the world, it seems like Bradley is a troubled guy with some anger issues. There, that's not that hard, is it? Although it might have the fallout of causing Bradley to follow LeFebvre to his car one night and cave in LeFebvre's head with a bat, it's still an acceptable way to respond to the situation.

Is it really that hard to do one of those two things? Apparently so, because instead of either of them LeFebvre just decided to punk out and tell a bald-faced lie to a scandalously interested national audience. "Hey, I know I was singling out Milton Bradley and kind of ripping him, but I want you all to know that I wasn't singling him out or ripping him. Just thought I'd clear the air on that." OK, buddy. Whatever you say. Jeebus- give me a fucking break. What is this world coming to?

I know, I know, this post stinks. Sorry. Listen, all I ask is that if you leave a comment telling me this post sucks, and later on someone asks you "Hey, didn't you tell Larry B earlier today that his post stunk?", don't deny it.


Anonymous said...

This is unrelated, but if you google "gay mariotti" you get over 89,000 hits. you only get about 60 if you put quotation marks around "gay mariotti"

larry b said...

I wouldn't necessarily call that unrelated. How many hits do you get if you google "Ryan LeFebvre is a little bitch?" (Without quotes.)

Chris W said...

that's the kind of question you can't find the answer to yourself

Tonus said...

So "Milton Bradley, who clearly has no control over himself" isn't ripping the guy? Okay...

Then again, larry b called out larry b by ripping him with "I know, I know, this post stinks." The question being, would he say that to larry b's face, or would he pussy out and claim he was misquoted?

Anonymous said...

When I read that quote, I couldn't help but think it was a touch racist. Not that actual quote, but the underlying message. As in this white fella cleaned up his act, so all those crazy black people out there have no excuse. I may be way off base though, so I'll ask for a ruling.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I can see how that is. I don't really think it does justice to either ball player though to compare their two stories. Bradley has a history of personality issues and Hamilton is a recovering drug addict.

I think the announcer was incorrect in trying to compare the two. As far as cleaning up their act overall I can definitely see how it could be a touch racist.

The problem lies in the fact that with Bradley attempting to attack the announcer the story loses a little more credibility to claim racism.

larry b said...

Anonymous, I'm going to go ahead and call you way off base. That quote, as far as I read it, has nothing to do with anyone except Bradley. (Regardless, of course, of what LeFebvre said about "not singling him out.") Where's the racism there? How did you come up with that subtext? Bradley's jackassism is a function of his personality and nothing more. You can find people like him from any race.

Anonymous said...

OK, that's fair. Thinking more about it, I'll take it back. The reason I felt that way was mainly because I couldn't see the same comparison made if the races were reverse. If Milton Bradley was white and Hamilton was black, the comparison would have been framed differently. As in, Bradley would have been viewed as either a troubled guy or just as ass, but less as a leaguewide problem that needs to follow the example of Hamilton. But giving it more thought, I think it was less racist than just sort of glib.

CitizenX said...

Unsurprisingly, Barry Lee is missing the point. The point wasn't to rip Milton "Friedman" Bradley, it was simply to imply that maybe if he did coke, he would be agressively friendly instead of aggressively dickheadish. All the girls I know who do coke put out, especially for guys with coke. After all, nobody has more self-control than a cokenocerous.

On an unrelated note, I really wish just once a doctor would refer to cancer as a "milton bradley" and see how silly that dysphemism is.

Chris W said...

WC: "I've got my rusty case I have to cut you deeper than Vanessa Del Rio's vagina. Not to single out Vanessa Del Rio. I'm sure many porn stars have deep vaginas."

Jay-Z: "You was a ballerina. I've got the pictures I've seen ya. Not that Prodigy is the only rapper to have dressed up like a ballerina.

Tupac: "That's why I fucked your bitch you fat motherfucker. That said, I'm not singling out Biggie for being fat and cuckolded. I'm just talking about generally having sex with the wives of obese rappers."

Bengoodfella said...

CitizenX where do you get your thoughts from? In that one post you inverted Larry's name, made a reference to a leading economist, for all I know made up a word for a cokehead, and brought up using Milton Bradley's name instead of cancer.

I have read several articles about Josh Hamilton and the choices he has to make concerning not hanging out with his teammates and going home after games, but I can't help think about how boring that really seems. I would think there would be a middle ground between between being a hardcore druggie/drunk and never going out in public. I guess I am not a recovering addict though, so I have sympathy for what he has to go through to get better.

Since he is from my part of the world, this story has gotten blown up all over the place here and I am actually a little tired of it. I think Milton Bradley should attack the next journalist that asks Josh Hamilton a drug recovery related question.

larry b said...

The best part of the situation is that when Bradley was intercepted by his manager and GM on his way to the Royals' broadcast booth when he heard what was being said about him, he claimed he only wanted to "introduce himself" to LeFebvre. The subtext there, of course, being that he intended to introduce himself by way of a brutal mauling. Preferably live on the air. If that had happened, imagine the Youtube sensation that would ensue. Damn.

dan-bob said...

I actually enjoyed Larry b's take on this article.