Colin Cowherd makes a lukewarm apology, ESPN releases a lukewarm statement about his comments

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This morning Colin Cowherd opened his show with what, for him anyway, probably passes for an apology in response to his comments about Dominican baseball players yesterday:

“I could’ve made the point without using one country, and there’s all sorts of smart people from the Dominican Republic. I could’ve said a third of baseball’s talent is being furnished from countries with economic hardships, therefore educational hurdles. For the record, I used the Dominican Republic because they’ve furnished baseball with so many great players . . . It wasn’t a shot at them. It was data. Five, seven years ago I talked about the same subject. Was I clunky? Perhaps. Did people not like my tone? I get it. Sometimes my tone stinks.”

He went on to cite reports and statistics about the country’s ranking in primary education. Then added:

“I get it. I do. And for that, I feel bad. I do. But I have four reports in front of me … where there are discussions of major deficiencies in the education sector at all levels . . . I’m not saying there’s not intelligent, educated people from the Dominican Republic. I cringe at the data too.”

Which misses the point, of course. He didn’t say that Dominican people lacked formal education yesterday. He said they did well at baseball as an argument that baseball is not complex — even Dominicans can do it! — which is to say that Dominican people can’t understand complex things. That’s not a statement on poverty or the state of the Dominican Republic education system. That’s a statement about capacity and intelligence, which is a totally different thing.

For its part, ESPN issued a brief statement about it all:

“Some of Colin’s comments yesterday referencing the Dominican Republic were inappropriate and do not reflect ESPN’s values of respect for all communities. Colin’s on-air response today addressed the importance of making sure his opinions are fact-based and responsible for all people.”

Which, again, is dumb. But I guess he’s an ESPN lame duck and the less they say about him the better in their mind.

I eagerly await Jose Bautista’s response.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.