Yesterday I wrote a quick screed — the best kind, really — against Major League Baseball using Vin Scully for its P.R. push against some cable companies who are in negotiations with the Dodgers over broadcast rights. I thought it was manipulative and low and I speculated about whether Scully appreciated it all that much.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times spoke to Scully after that and got his comments. You will not be surprised to hear that he did not rip anyone. It’d be somewhat jarring and maybe halfway to amazing if Scully ever ripped anyone, but if a good old redass rant was not in his toolbox by age 88 it wasn’t ever gonna be there.
He did feel awkward about it all, however. Scully referred to it as having his name “tossed into a negotiation” and Shaikin characterized Scully as “not being comfortable” with that. Scully said “it’s really kind of embarrassing for me,” though he also said that if it worked to get fans see more games he’d be happy. So it’s not like he’s against the idea of a p.r. campaign to resolve the carriage dispute, he’s just self-conscious about being attached to it.
Fair enough. Scully survived the McCourt years and Bowie Kuhn and all kinds of other dumb baseball people doing misguided things. Not getting his blood pressure up over it all is probably one of the reasons he’s still doing his job and doing it well.
From the Commissioner’s office on the death of Joe Garagiola:
“All of us at Major League Baseball are deeply saddened by the loss of Joe Garagiola. Joe began illustrious career as a baseball player, but it wasn’t long before everyone knew that this unique individual would combine his multi-talented media skills and wonderful personality to make a mark off the field as well. Following his nine-year playing career, which included a 1946 World Series Championship with the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe became a broadcasting icon during his 58 years behind the microphone. The winner of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award in 1991 and Buck O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, Joe narrated countless memorable moments, including Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle’s 500th career home run, as well as three All-Star Games and three World Series during the 1980s, working alongside fellow broadcast legend Vin Scully.
“With all of Joe’s professional successes, it was behind the scenes where Joe has had an equally impressive impact. For his work with kids, Joe was named the 1998 recipient of the Children’s MVP Award presented by the Jim Eisenreich Foundation. He served baseball as a leader in the fight against smokeless tobacco, working with NSTEP – the National Spit Tobacco Education Program – and traveling to each Major League camp during Spring Training to educate players about the dangers of tobacco and oral cancer. He was also a tireless supporter and longtime champion for the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps members of the baseball family who are in need.
“Joe’s love of the game was always on display, and his knowledge and insight is something that I truly admired. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Joe’s wife Audrey, their son, MLB Senior Vice President long-time baseball executive Joe Jr., as well as son Steve, daughter Gina, and their entire family, as well as his countless friends and admirers throughout our game.”
Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was forced to exit today’s game against the Mets after he was hit in the knuckles with a pitch and suffered some contusions. He’s getting precautionary X-rays, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says it isn’t considered serious.
Better safe than sorry. We’ve seen a lot of guys miss time after taking pitches to the hand.
In other news, this is the part of spring training where, basically, nothing good can happen. A lot of nothing can happen, but when things actually do happen, they’re almost always bad. If it wasn’t for dumb weather the season should rightly start on St. Patrick’s Day.