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.

Freddie Freeman has elbow surgery

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Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.

Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.

It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.

Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.