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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Jack Morris under fire for using Asian accent during Shohei Ohtani at-bat

Tigers announcer and Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris was criticizing after using an accent to answer a question about Shohei Ohtani in Detroit’s game against the Angels on Tuesday night.

Morris was asked by Bally Sports play-by-play man Matt Shepard what the Tigers “should do with Shohei Ohtani?” during his at-bat in the sixth inning.

Morris responded by attempting to use an Asian accent and saying, “Be very, very careful.”

The 66-year-old Morris apologized before Ohtani’s next at-bat.

“Well folks, Shohei Ohtani is coming to the plate and it’s been brought to my attention, and I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially anybody in the Asian community for what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani,” Morris said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 11:37 AM | 515 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jack morris

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   1. John Northey Posted: August 18, 2021 at 11:51 AM (#6034867)
Typical joke apology that isn't one. Sorry you were offended by me type of apology. Ugh. Given how many ex-players want to be broadcasters why not just dump him and put in someone else? Heard him on Jays games a few years ago (one or two) and he wasn't anything special - and we have to put up with Pat Tabler.
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 18, 2021 at 12:10 PM (#6034869)
As usual, it's hard to tell what's worse: the stupid comment or the inevitable pearl-clutching that follows.
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 12:24 PM (#6034874)
It's a coin flip. Lame attempt at a joke, but hardly a fireable offense.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6034878)
Not even a Nicholas Castellanos home run?
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 18, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6034880)
Jack "The Jackass" Morris.
   6. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 18, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6034881)
As usual, it's hard to tell what's worse: the stupid comment or the inevitable pearl-clutching that follows.


In this case, the former, because Morris is a crappy announcer.
   7. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: August 18, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6034883)
Given how many ex-players want to be broadcasters why not just dump him and put in someone else?
####### right.

   8. jmurph Posted: August 18, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6034887)
As usual, it's hard to tell what's worse: the stupid comment or the inevitable pearl-clutching that follows.

Truly, one of the great unanswerable questions. Is the guy who did the thing worse than the people who didn't do the thing? Impossible to say really.
   9. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 18, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#6034889)
As usual, it's hard to tell what's worse: the stupid comment or the inevitable pearl-clutching that follows.
The right answer is: the inevitable defense of Morris as a good guy who isn't at all racist, and we should all just sweep this under the rug and pretend it never happened. Heck, a casual perusal of Tigers forums would make you think that Morris is the real victim here, and how dare anyone point out that his casual racism was casually racist.
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#6034890)
At least Morris didn't apologize by saying, "Me so solly."
   11. pikepredator Posted: August 18, 2021 at 02:02 PM (#6034893)
I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially anybody in the Asian community for what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani


Is Morris being obtuse on purpose, or he is so dumb he doesn't know it's how he said it . . . not what he said?
   12. KronicFatigue Posted: August 18, 2021 at 02:22 PM (#6034898)
Lame attempt at a joke


What's the joke? I'm pretty forgiving of comedy that occasionally crosses a line, b/c there's a lot of good comedy at the edge of that line, and comedians have to be able to take risks. But, what's the attempt of a joke here? Ohtani is Asian, so Morris did an Asian accent because... what exactly? We needed a reminder that Ohtani is Asian? Ohtani being Asian is inherently funny?
   13. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:14 PM (#6034907)
He shoulda gone with the flapping dickey.
   14. John Northey Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6034909)
Back in the 80's jokes like that would've been normal and accepted. But that was 40 years ago (ugh). Morris was a solid pitcher (sorry not a HOF'er imo) but is not a good announcer. With so many better choices why keep using a guy who some old fans remember being good in the 80's? I'm sure there are many better choices out there.
   15. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6034910)
Ah, Primer! Never change!

I've never been a big Jack Morris fan. Sure, he helped us win the WS in '84 (still waiting for another one, guys) but he was well known in the Detroit area as a jerk. He doesn't really belong in the HOF (not as much as Whitaker, certainly) and he's pretty meh as an announcer.

So, what happened? Well, Jack said a stupid thing, and then apologized for it (it's obvious someone else wrote that apology for him, but whatever); still, he deserves to be mocked. But demanding his head on a pike is not a good look; indeed, demanding heads on pikes for every stupid little g@ddamned thing is manifestly NOT making the world a better place. Let's everybody just roll our eyes, take a step back, and calm the heck down. You'll feel better. (Really, you will.)
   16. The Duke Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6034913)
Well, that’s probably the straw that broke the camels back on Morris making the Hall of Fame……….
   17. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:27 PM (#6034915)
But demanding his head on a pike is not a good look; indeed, demanding heads on pikes for every stupid little g@ddamned thing is manifestly NOT making the world a better place.
Who's demanding Morris' head on a pike? From what I've seen online, the small number of people saying Morris should be fired/suspended have been buried under an avalanche of "it's not a big deal," or even "he was doing Elmer Fudd," or "he did something stupid."

He did something racist, and y'all can't even use the word. It wasn't "stupid" or "dumb" or "a joke," or any other innocuous adjective people use when they want to brush something under the rug. Morris' comment doesn't bother me anywhere near as much as the effort to immediately dismiss Morris' comment.
   18. T.J. Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:29 PM (#6034916)
If he's "pretty meh as an announcer" even on days where he doesn't say "a stupid thing," and he "deserves to be mocked," then why not fire him? There are hundreds of people, I would guess, who would also be AT LEAST "pretty meh as an announcer" who haven't (yet) "said a stupid thing" and "deserve to be mocked." They would love his job and might even accept less money to do so.
   19. KronicFatigue Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:30 PM (#6034917)
I don't think he should be fired over this one comment, but I also wouldn't be upset if he was. Many Americans are employees at will and people get fired all the time, for less. I'm pretty sure "don't say racist things while on the air" is pretty high on the job requirements for the position.

It's a zero sum game, and if Morris gets fired (bad for him) someone else gets the job (good for them). Maybe the person that replaces him will be less likely to be racially insensitive.

Firing someone on the spot who lives paycheck to paycheck and/or can't easily find a replacement job is rough, and I would feel worse about that. Rich Jack Morris no longer being able to call baseball games and instead having to sit at home and play golf isn't going to move the needle for me at all.
   20. smileyy Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6034919)
A suspension (he has been suspended) seems about right.
   21. OsunaSakata Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:41 PM (#6034920)
   22. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6034922)
If he was really clutch, he wouldn't have made that remark.
   23. SandyRiver Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:44 PM (#6034925)
He did something racist, and y'all can't even use the word. It wasn't "stupid" or "dumb" or "a joke," or any other innocuous adjective people use when they want to brush something under the rug.

One can be stupid and/or dumb without being racist. One cannot be racist without being stupid and/or dumb and/or (stronger adjectives.)
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:45 PM (#6034926)

The crazy thing was the number of people on Twitter insisting that he wasn't even doing a Japanese accent, that he was doing an Elmer Fudd impression (which he obviously wasn't). Even after Morris apologized there were still people going to bat for him.

I agree with #19 and 20.
   25. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:48 PM (#6034927)
There are hundreds of people, I would guess, who would also be AT LEAST "pretty meh as an announcer" who haven't (yet) "said a stupid thing" and "deserve to be mocked." They would love his job and might even accept less money to do so.

Because that ain't how it works. In sports television, being famous is far more important than being a good announcer. Kirk Gibson, who I adored as a player, is even worse on these telecasts than Morris is. (Yes, I know the man has Parkinson's; he's still boring.)

And, of course, if you fire Morris now, all of the anti-PC weirdos will come out of the woodwork. (And if you think I'm bad...)
   26. Tin Angel Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:51 PM (#6034929)
If he was really clutch, he wouldn't have made that remark.


He works a ton of innings, is consistent and reliable. It was bound to happen.
   27. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6034930)
Was Gibson always as slow and plodding of a speaker as he is now or is it a result of his condition? There's a podcast called "Sleep with Me" that's lone intent is to lull the listener to sleep with the host's milquetoast ramblings and I swear he sounds just like Kirk.
   28. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: August 18, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6034932)
If he's "pretty meh as an announcer" even on days where he doesn't say "a stupid thing," and he "deserves to be mocked," then why not fire him?

I'm guessing Morris has the Marty Brennaman thing going where he's one of the few active links to the Tigers' last World Series title.

It would be nice if Lou Whitaker got some time on air to indirectly promote his HoF chances.
   29. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6034933)
Jack Morris has been suspended indefinitely from Tigers broadcasts.


Funny how the first statement is from Bally Sports, and then the second statement is from the Tigers. (Not hard to figure out who's in charge, no?)

Oh, well, coulda been worse...Morris could've said something bad about gambling (I mean, gaming!)...
   30. PeteF3 Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6034935)
Why wouldn't the TV station be the one in charge here?
   31. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6034937)
The Tigers really needed to do something before the game today. Ohtani's starting for the Angels, and it would have been incredibly awkward to have Morris do his start after last night's "Elmer Fudd impression."
   32. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6034940)
One can be stupid and/or dumb without being racist. One cannot be racist without being stupid and/or dumb and/or (stronger adjectives.)
I disagree. There are lots of people who are very bright and very racist, and they're usually smart enough to frame their racism in policy terms.
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6034942)
I would've left the decision up to Ohtani. I suspect he would've rolled his eyes and not been half as bothered by it as the PR-conscious Bally Sports, if he'd even been aware of it.
   34. . . . . . . Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6034943)
This is probably stupid, but I don’t get why doing an accent is racist.

Accents are funny.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:32 PM (#6034945)
As others noted -- not "stupid" or a "joke" but RACIST. It has been recognized as racist my entire life. Sure, in the 60s and 70s we still had Charlie Chan movies running on WGN and, when it was just us white folks around, it was still kinda socially acceptable to bring out the Asian accent for comic effect (hilaripus!) I'm sure I did it myself from time to time. But we knew it was racist and we knew it wasn't socially acceptable to bring that humor out in a public setting or anytime Asian people were present -- unless of course you were more deeply racist.

After 66 years on this planet, Morris still hasn't caught onto the notion that he's not just talking to white guys like himself. Morris is not much older than I am and I knew this #### was unacceptable when I was, what, 8, 10? Jack Morris was 13 years old when Martin Luther King was shot, he can't claim ignorance of racial issues in American society. And, what, we think that at age 66, this is the first time Morris realized just how hilarious an exaggerated Asian accent is?

The problem here is 100% Morris. For those of you who can't see that, it's time you grew the #### up.
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#6034949)
The problem was 100% "caused" by Morris. It's hard to frame it any other way. He has to be completely tone deaf to come out with anything like that.

But IMO the question is more like: How much of a "problem" is an isolated incident where the offender quickly apologized (however scripted) and would presumably know enough not to do it again?

Did anyone even bother to get Ohtani's reaction? Since he was the nominal centerpiece of Morris's lame attempt at humor, I'd want to know his initial take before jumping the gun for obvious PR reasons. I guess it's too late for that now that Morris is gone.

FTR I'm not a particular fan of Morris and I don't even think I'd recognize his voice if and when and when I listen to the Tigers' broadcast feed, which is maybe 5 or 10 times a year. I have no idea how good an announcer he is compared to first rate ex-jock color men like Jim Palmer or David Cone. Maybe he never should have been hired in the first place, but that's a separate issue.
   37. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 18, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6034950)
I would've left the decision up to Ohtani. I suspect he would've rolled his eyes and not been half as bothered by it as the PR-conscious Bally Sports, if he'd even been aware of it.

Ohtani does not speak for all Asian Americans. A guy who has been in this country for a couple of years as a professional athlete has had very different experiences with racism from most Asian Americans.

Also, why put Ohtani on the spot? Surely you see that'd be a lose-lose decision for him?
   38. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6034951)
Jack Morris is 66 years old. He went to public high school in St. Paul, MN, then went to college for (I think) three years at BYU. He gets drafted in 1976, makes the bigs by 1977, and is established as Jack "The Jack" Morris by 1979. He was/is an avid fisherman and hunter. FWIW, he also came across many times during the whole HOF thing as kind of a d**k.

I'm not sure what to do with this basic set of facts, except I would wager he was not ahead of his time as a social justice warrior or anything at any point.

Regardless of how you feel about him, though, I am regularly surprised when people who have been in the public eye for a long time do dumb stuff like this. What he did was wrong, obviously - but isn't it also obvious to him that, even if he continues to do that same lame, crude fake accent thing in the privacy of his own home that he's probably been doing since he was seven years old, he definitely cannot do that when he is on live television? Is he so oblivious do the change in social norms and what is acceptable behavior since the mid-1970s that he has not, at a minimum, "trained himself" to keep such stupid humor out of the broadcast booth?

Each generation grew up with some social norms - jokes that were once acceptable, but no longer are, for example - that change between when they are 20 years old and when they are 50 years old. Generally speaking, these changes represent progress. As a straight white male approaching 50, I'm no different - there are things that were "normal" in 1985 that today would make you cringe. You can't undo that, but you can get better. And at a bare minimum, you should at least be wise enough to say, "I've got an awesome job doing color commentary for a major-league baseball team. If there is a 1% chance that a joke I would have told in 1980 might not come off well in 2021, I'm just going to hold it back, and focus on the game." If Morris finds it casual to make that joke on live TV, then what is he saying when he is in private?
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:08 PM (#6034954)
As others noted -- not "stupid" or a "joke" but RACIST. It has been recognized as racist my entire life. Sure, in the 60s and 70s we still had Charlie Chan movies running on WGN and, when it was just us white folks around, it was still kinda socially acceptable to bring out the Asian accent for comic effect (hilaripus!) I'm sure I did it myself from time to time. But we knew it was racist and we knew it wasn't socially acceptable to bring that humor out in a public setting or anytime Asian people were present -- unless of course you were more deeply racist.

I think you're overstating how long ago this stuff became "unacceptable". In the mid-1980s my elementary school did a skit as part of an academic competition where my friend did a fake Chinese accent for comedic effect. Not only was this not frowned upon by anyone, but we won the local competition and went on the state level.

This is not a defense of Morris -- my buddy and I talked at least a decade ago about how inappropriate that skit was, in retrospect.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:14 PM (#6034955)
Ohtani does not speak for all Asian Americans. A guy who has been in this country for a couple of years as a professional athlete has had very different experiences with racism from most Asian Americans.

a number of years ago at a press conference ahead at the very same golf course where - as it happens - the PGA Tour's annual playoffs begin on Thursday, the local mayor decided to interject himself into the conversation with a question. this was a remote telephone call on speaker, because the player was half a world away.

the mayor ignorantly and eagerly said to the player (from transcipt)

"Q. This is where I have to make a lot of public and photo opportunities. I wonder if you could give me a little hint or help, how do you keep your teeth so white."

now, this is a very dark-skinned golfer, and for a moment there was a hush in the room at this longstanding American racist trope.

after about 1 or 2 seconds that seemed to last forever, the player simply chuckled.

PLAYER: That's a good one. I guess you've got to brush every day. (Laughter).

Q. I'll have to start doing that.

PLAYER: Don't drink coffee. (Laughter)

to underscore the comment above re the Morris incident, the player was Vijay Singh of Fiji - and he clearly was unaware of the trope, so he was not offended. this was a middle-aged guy, yet you'd have had to explain to him why the question was so offensive here.

so it indeed would seem foolish to automatically let Morris off the hook if this sort of nonsense is not something Ohtani has encountered (granting that he might have. but we didn't know Singh's history on 'white teeth' until he clearly didn't grasp the ugly, ignorant - though also seemingly oblivious - undertone).
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6034956)
Waiting for the inevitable Schilling response in 3...2...1....
   42. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6034960)
Ohtani does not speak for all Asian Americans.

True, but who really does? Asian Americans aren't all one big mass of unified opinion.

And again, in terms of what he's said in public,** was this Morris's first offense? Or has he done it before? Seems to me that's a relevant question. Does one incident like this make him into a John Rocker or a Curt Schilling?

A guy who has been in this country for a couple of years as a professional athlete has had very different experiences with racism from most Asian Americans.

Also, why put Ohtani on the spot? Surely you see that'd be a lose-lose decision for him?


I'd have asked him in private, not with the TV cameras on him. He's an adult who's fully capable of forming his own independent opinion. Maybe he's genuinely offended, and maybe it's something he's even heard before in his own clubhouse when no reporters were around and the mics were off.

** If we're talking about his private idea of humor, I'm not sure why that'd be relevant. I just assume a fairly substantial percentage of jocks and ex-jocks are as clueless about race as Morris was in his "joke", but we're not seeing rosters stripped because of it.
   43. . . . . . . Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6034961)
but accents aren't racist. Racist stereotypes are racist. accents are funny. And people with accents often play them for laughs because they are funny.

Like if Shohei Otani was Shohei Otanowitz, and the same question was asked and Morris did his best yiddishe rabbi accent and said "oy, so careful", i dont think that's racist. If he did the same accent and said "vhatever vay is the cheapest vay!", that's racist.

   44. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:27 PM (#6034964)
was this Morris's first offense? Or has he done it before? Seems to me that's a relevant question


I think that's a good pt. Andy. At least before you suspend him for a long period.
   45. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:28 PM (#6034965)
Why wouldn't the TV station be the one in charge here?

The fact that the TV outlet is branded after a company that runs casinos kinda cedes the high ground a bit, yes?

How much of a "problem" is an isolated incident where the offender quickly apologized (however scripted) and would presumably know enough not to do it again?

Scalps must be taken, and Morris was dumb enough to offer his.
   46. Cris E Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6034966)
Right now Morris is back in the public eye for the 30th anniversary of Game 7, and I must say of all the guys the Twins have dropped in front of a mic this week Morris has been one of the worst. Chili Davis did an inning during the game last Friday and was funny and entertaining. There have to be dozens more where he came from. So let's hope maybe the few teams that keep sticking him in front of the camera will take this opportunity to bury him for another ten years.
   47. KronicFatigue Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6034970)
Ohtani was just one of the many victims of the racist comment and asking him how he personally feels misses the point. If Morris had done the accent randomly w/o Ohtani's involvement because "accents are funny" it would still be racist. It would be yet another drop added into the racist pool that affects all Asian Americans (and all humans). When racist jokes are deemed to be funny, it encourages others to do it. It perpetuates the belief that some humans are "other" and their differences are "less than". That's kinda racism's whole jam.
   48. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:44 PM (#6034973)
Like if Shohei Otani was Shohei Otanowitz, and the same question was asked and Morris did his best yiddishe rabbi accent and said "oy, so careful", i dont think that's racist
No, it would just be terrible, you would have Jewish organizations looking for an apology, and Morris would have to offer one. You don't get to bust out your Mexican accent when Tatis comes up the bat, you don't get to bust out your Southern draw and play banjo music when Robbie Ray is pitching. Other people's voices are not your punchlines, you don't get to play them for laughs and then feel victimized when no one laughs.
   49. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6034975)
Ohtani was just one of the many victims of the racist comment and asking him how he personally feels misses the point. If Morris had done the accent randomly w/o Ohtani's involvement because "accents are funny" it would still be racist. It would be yet another drop added into the racist pool that affects all Asian Americans (and all humans). When racist jokes are deemed to be funny, it encourages others to do it. It perpetuates the belief that some humans are "other" and their differences are "less than". That's kinda racism's whole jam.

I dunno, I'd say that applying a sledgehammer to every mosquito isn't necessarily the smartest move. I'm infinitely more concerned how people react to racist voting laws and other racist actions than I am about a 66 year old ex-jock who makes a single stupid attempt at humor. Christ, about a third of Asian Americans voted for a candidate who's the purest embodiment of racism in the White House that we've seen since the days of Woodrow Wilson. That scares me a lot more than Jack Morris.
   50. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6034977)

Ohtani was just one of the many victims of the racist comment and asking him how he personally feels misses the point.


Well not only that but it seems like it's disclaiming your own responsibility as a network or gaming partner or whatever.

I say "seems" cause not sure exactly what Andy envisions here. He mentioned asking Ohtani privately what he thought. LIke what's that supposed to be about? Why should Ohtani suddenly be in charge of what the network deems to be offensive/inappropriate? Do they have to call on the Hispanic player with the highest WAR+ on his team, when a remark is made when his team is in town and something said? or they need to call Dusty Baker when the "N" word is said? Why? and to what purpose?

BUt not sure exactly what Andy means there so...
   51. . . . . . . Posted: August 18, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6034979)
No, it would just be terrible, you would have Jewish organizations looking for an apology, and Morris would have to offer one. You don't get to bust out your Mexican accent when Tatis comes up the bat, you don't get to bust out your Southern draw and play banjo music when Robbie Ray is pitching. Other people's voices are not your punchlines, you don't get to play them for laughs and then feel victimized when no one laughs.


Of course people would be looking for an apology but that begs the question. Why is it racist? Also, I don’t recall anyone saying Morris is a victim. Obviously everyone knows the rules and the rules are no fake accents in public (though of course everyone does them in private). Break the rules and there are consequences.

But why is doing an accent racist? Is it racist to say that a Japanese guy talks with a Japanese accent? Probably yes if he speaks fluent English, but what if that’s his real accent? Is it racist to do an over the top Sofia Vergara impression?

   52. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6034983)

Of course people would be looking for an apology but that begs the question. Why is it racist?

Why is it funny?
   53. KronicFatigue Posted: August 18, 2021 at 06:34 PM (#6034987)
Of course people would be looking for an apology but that begs the question. Why is it racist?

Why is it funny?


Racists think accents are funny because they believe it to be a sign of lesser intelligence. "Look at that dumb ____, they pronounce ____ incorrectly when it should be ____. har de har har"

In reality, many accents are the result of someone speaking in a 2nd (or 3rd) language. Which is impressive.
   54. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 18, 2021 at 07:02 PM (#6034992)
To be fair, "har de har har" is a pretty airtight argument.
   55. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 18, 2021 at 07:12 PM (#6034997)
I think saying accents are racist is a stretch. Accents are accents, when someone imitates a British, Irish, French accent it is not looked upon as racist even if the person being imitated or doing the imitation is not the same color. What you say while doing an accent can be racist but why is an accent by itself racist?


People imitate how other people talk all the time and it is in no way a sign of belief of lesser intelligence, in a lot of cases it is in admiration.

What Morris did was dumb because of his job and audience without a doubt, but I don't know why it is racist. It could be racially insensitive without a doubt but that is not the same thing as racist in every case.
   56. TJ Posted: August 18, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#6035003)
Well, if Morris wants to stay on the airwaves he can always go work at Barstool Sports._
   57. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: August 18, 2021 at 07:52 PM (#6035004)
Separate from Ohtani - anybody remember this as I do and Susan Slusser does (this is her tweet):

“A reminder: Jack Morris told my friend, the immensely talented late Washington Post sports columnist Jennifer Frey, “I only talk to women when I’m naked when they’re on top of me or I’m on top of them.” She was an intern at the time, in the clubhouse, doing her job.“

Anyway, Morris is a bad announcer who seems like a pretty not great guy. Broadcasts can do better than this.
   58. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 18, 2021 at 07:59 PM (#6035009)
Accents are accents, when someone imitates a British, Irish, French accent it is not looked upon as racist


As an actual British person, I can assure you that an American trying to imitate a British accent as a joke is something that I would interpret as racist.
   59. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 08:02 PM (#6035011)
And yet there are many mainstream ads that play on the airwaves all day long where they use British accents to sell stuff. Like the Grey Poupon ad, or any numbers of ads for sports cars. Or ads for cruise lines. Its thought that the accent suggests "high class."
   60. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 18, 2021 at 08:12 PM (#6035013)
As an actual British person, I can assure you that an American trying to imitate a British accent as a joke is something that I would interpret as racist.


I am sure if this site had to fess up if they ever tried a British accent you would think poorly of all of us.

I suck at accents to the point that I quite trying a long time ago, I most definitely do not have the ear to pick up on nuance. Hell if I listen to a recording of me talking and someone says "What did you say there" I usually have no idea unless it was a recent recording and I remember my talk.
   61. KronicFatigue Posted: August 18, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6035014)
Accents are accents, when someone imitates a British, Irish, French accent it is not looked upon as racist


In what context are you experiencing this? The only imitated accents I've experienced in the last 10 years fall under 2 categories: 1) The Jack Morris racist kind and 2) people imitating their older relatives and/or their own racial group. I'm not going to quibble if someone thinks the second part of #2 falls into the #1 category.

As for mainstream ads, a lot are behind the curve. Many objectify women and use sex to sell products. Superbowl commercials often fall into lowbrow humor of "man is whipped by his wife" or "physical pain to people is funny". Of course we've seen a lot of progress with some advertising, but overall I wouldn't use ads a litmus test for what's socially acceptable.


Of course, there's also the point that the plight of the British person in America is not the same as the Asian (American, or otherwise). Yeah, there are stereotypes that the French are rude, British are snobby/elitist etc in many mainstream areas, and that's "wrong", but it's less wrong than when it involves groups that have suffered more.
   62. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: August 18, 2021 at 09:20 PM (#6035024)
But why is doing an accent racist? Is it racist to say that a Japanese guy talks with a Japanese accent? Probably yes if he speaks fluent English, but what if that’s his real accent? Is it racist to do an over the top Sofia Vergara impression?
I think saying accents are racist is a stretch. Accents are accents, when someone imitates a British, Irish, French accent it is not looked upon as racist even if the person being imitated or doing the imitation is not the same color. What you say while doing an accent can be racist but why is an accent by itself racist?

"a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father"


   63. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 18, 2021 at 09:20 PM (#6035025)
Did Chico Marx realize he was so racist?
   64. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 09:42 PM (#6035031)
When I first watched a Marx Brothers movie, I thought Chico was Italian.
   65. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2021 at 09:57 PM (#6035037)
As an actual British person, I can assure you that an American trying to imitate a British accent as a joke is something that I would interpret as racist.

another potential signup for my petition that Notre Dame still, 100 years later, calling their sports team "The Fighting Irish," with a grotesque leprechaun on the football sidelines is - perhaps not appropriate. seems that way to this Irish-American, anyway.
   66. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6035038)
"a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father"

That "comedian" almost makes Jack Morris seem funny by comparison. He's about on the level of the Babylon Bee or Brian McFadden.
   67. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 18, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6035041)
another potential signup for my petition that Notre Dame still, 100 years later, calling their sports team "The Fighting Irish," with a grotesque leprechaun on the football sidelines is - perhaps not appropriate. seems that way to this Irish-American, anyway.


As someone who is one-quarter Irish (my paternal grandmother is from County Down), I agree with you.
   68. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 18, 2021 at 10:08 PM (#6035042)
Ohtani certainly got the last laugh in this kerfluffle.
   69. Brian C Posted: August 18, 2021 at 10:15 PM (#6035046)
As an actual British person, I can assure you that an American trying to imitate a British accent as a joke is something that I would interpret as racist.

"British" is a race now?
Of course, there's also the point that the plight of the British person in America is not the same as the Asian (American, or otherwise). Yeah, there are stereotypes that the French are rude, British are snobby/elitist etc in many mainstream areas, and that's "wrong", but it's less wrong than when it involves groups that have suffered more.

Just FYI, it's kind of gauche to make this a matter of who "suffers" more. We really should be making this about universal respect and not some kind of vain social noblesse oblige.
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: August 18, 2021 at 10:35 PM (#6035052)
another potential signup for my petition that Notre Dame still, 100 years later, calling their sports team "The Fighting Irish," with a grotesque leprechaun on the football sidelines is - perhaps not appropriate. seems that way to this Irish-American, anyway.

As someone who is one-quarter Irish (my paternal grandmother is from County Down), I agree with you.


Well, I'm afraid you fellas are vastly outnumbered by the Irish Americans (particularly the Irish Catholics) who support the school and embrace the nickname. I think you'll be waiting quite some time before you get a lot of folks on that bandwagon.
   71. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: August 18, 2021 at 10:39 PM (#6035053)
That "comedian" almost makes Jack Morris seem funny by comparison. He's about on the level of the Babylon Bee or Brian McFadden.
what makes you think he was trying to be funny?
"British" is a race now?
"i'm not racist, i'm a bigot"
   72. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 18, 2021 at 11:22 PM (#6035059)
That "comedian" almost makes Jack Morris seem funny by comparison. He's about on the level of the Babylon Bee or Brian McFadden.

what makes you think he was trying to be funny?


Okay, then I guess the crowd was laughing at him, not with him, a reaction that would make more sense. But he sure seems to be pausing for laughs, not to mention enjoying them.

P. S. Wiki refers to Hari Kondabolu as "an American Stand-Up Comedian".
   73. Hank Gillette Posted: August 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM (#6035065)
The standard weasel apology: “I am sorry if I offended anybody.” No owning that he made a mistake.
   74. Howie Menckel Posted: August 19, 2021 at 12:06 AM (#6035067)
Well, I'm afraid you fellas are vastly outnumbered by the Irish Americans (particularly the Irish Catholics) who support the school and embrace the nickname. I think you'll be waiting quite some time before you get a lot of folks on that bandwagon.

as was said in various iterations about all names that can never change - but did anyway.

our time will come, and probably sooner than you suspect.
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2021 at 12:19 AM (#6035070)
as was said in various iterations about all names that can never change - but did anyway.


Please point to a single name that's changed that's like Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, where the school is the favored university for that specific ethnic group. Notre Dame is a "we" situation. The various Indians nicknames are mostly "thems." That's an enormous difference you continually pretend doesn't exist.

So no, it's not changing any time soon.
   76. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2021 at 12:23 AM (#6035071)
"British" is a race now?
There seems to be difficulty here (in several threads) distinguishing race from national origin.
   77. baxter Posted: August 19, 2021 at 12:33 AM (#6035073)
22 and 26 thank you for a grin.

But, rather than complain about opinions and who cares what happens to Morris, I just thank #10 for making me laugh.
   78. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: August 19, 2021 at 12:55 AM (#6035075)
Okay, then I guess the crowd was laughing at him, not with him, a reaction that would make more sense. But he sure seems to be pausing for laughs, not to mention enjoying them.
pausing for effect /= pausing for laughs.


fun fact:
the segment i linked originally aired on FX in 2012.

in 2017, hari kondabolu turned it into a feature length documentary, "the problem with apu".

by 2020, hank azaria retired from voicing apu on the simpsons (and i'd assume, everywhere else).
P. S. Wiki refers to Hari Kondabolu as "an American Stand-Up Comedian".

that is true, sure, but it's kind of like saying that jackson pollack's explosive diarrhea is fine art, because he's also an artist.

   79. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: August 19, 2021 at 01:23 AM (#6035077)
Please point to a single name that's changed that's like Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, where the school is the favored university for that specific ethnic group. Notre Dame is a "we" situation. The various Indians nicknames are mostly "thems." That's an enormous difference you continually pretend doesn't exist.

So no, it's not changing any time soon.

fun fact:
34% of american catholics are latino.
   80. Howie Menckel Posted: August 19, 2021 at 01:28 AM (#6035078)
Please point to a single name that's changed that's like Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, where the school is the favored university for that specific ethnic group. Notre Dame is a "we" situation.

well, it's a hardly a full-throated "we" situation, is it?

also, 36.4% of the Notre Dame student body isn't even white - much less Irish.

lastly, are you saying "it won't change anytime soon" and also "it shouldn't change anytime soon?"

two different animals

and I'm not a fan of the "cultural appropriation" wars. but anyone who is - this is not a good topic for them, either.
   81. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2021 at 01:58 AM (#6035079)
fun fact:

34% of american catholics are latino.


Whee, that is a fun fact. It's irrelevant to the question, but it sure is fun.

well, it's a hardly a full-throated "we" situation, is it?


Despite your full-throated efforts, and then some, it kind of is. Outside 1/4 of vortex, exactly how many fellow Irish-Americans have you managed to rally to the cause? Do you honestly believe that anything beyond a tiny percentage of Irish-Americans want to see the name changed?

also, 36.4% of the Notre Dame student body isn't even white - much less Irish.


And 100 percent of the student body at my son's alma mater isn't Blue Jays.

lastly, are you saying "it won't change anytime soon" and also "it shouldn't change anytime soon?"


I'm saying, both, sort of. (Frankly, I don't really care on the should question, and I'm more Irish Catholic than all of you. But I've never been an Irish fan, owing to my dad never forgiving Ara for playing for the tie).

I fail to see where the pressure will come from for Notre Dame to change the name, in the same way there isn't pressure for tribal high schools to change their nickname from Indians. Irish-Americans in general, and Irish Catholics in particular, like the name. They're proud of the name. They dream of sending their kids there, and they sure as hell don't want it changed. And, if the Irish legitimately like the name, why will the rest of the population care?

It's the difference between a "we" name and a "them" name.

When you can get a healthy number of Irish-Americans on board with your cause, then you might see ND consider the issue. But as long as the people being referenced in the nickname want it to stay, which is undeniably the case, it isn't going anywhere.
   82. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 04:44 AM (#6035081)
where is the outrage against the Lucky Charms leprechaun?
   83. homerwannabee Posted: August 19, 2021 at 05:52 AM (#6035083)
One thing to remember. Shaq did something similar, if not worse 15 years ago when not only did he use an Asian voice, he used Asian sounds I guess.
Where is he today? He's an NBA commentator.
Here's why I believe why what Morris did is being amplified.
He did it to the person who has been the face of baseball for the past three months.
He did it against a guy with a 2.79 ERA in 100 innings pitched with 40 home runs.
So ANYTHING controversial Ohtani related is going to get massive attention.
   84. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 19, 2021 at 07:51 AM (#6035085)
   85. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2021 at 09:14 AM (#6035093)
Okay, here's what should've happened to Morris, with apologies to the BTF nanny. I'll keep it short and sweet.

Bally Sports: Jack, we heard that lame-assed "joke" last night. What the FUCK were you thinking? This is 2021, not 1951, or hadn't you fucking noticed?

Morris: Hey, lighten up. I was only making.....

Bally Sports: Stop right there, and shut the FUCK up and listen, because I'm only going to say this once: We're giving you a pass on this, because it's your first offense, but the next time we hear ANYTHING like that over the air, your ass is history as far as Bally Sports is concerned. It's your choice. And this interview is over.



   86. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 19, 2021 at 09:20 AM (#6035094)
Is it ok if you talk to your cats in a very bad French accent? Asking on behalf of Mrs. Bea.
   87. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6035096)
Revenge is sweet.

It's hard to beat a 74 Game Score with a 430 ft. home run thrown in for emphasis, although Rick Wise once pitched a no-hitter with an 89 Game Score and hit two home runs on top of it.
   88. SandyRiver Posted: August 19, 2021 at 09:53 AM (#6035102)
As an actual British person, I can assure you that an American trying to imitate a British accent as a joke is something that I would interpret as racist.

Maybe it depends upon those being imitated. In his "Bert and I" stories, the late Marshall Dodge imitated the accent of Downeast Maine, an accent probably as distant from standard US anchorperson English as is a strong British accent. The Mainiacs loved it, though Dodge being a master storyteller may have helped. (His stories have not always played as well outside of Maine/New England.)
   89. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 19, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6035103)
Bally Sports: Stop right there, and shut the #### up and listen, because I'm only going to say this once: We're giving you a pass on this, because it's your first offense, but the next time we hear ANYTHING like that over the air, your ass is history as far as Bally Sports is concerned. It's your choice. And this interview is over.


Because it's always a good idea to swear at and berate people.

If I'm Morris, I respond, "I'm a Hall of Fame pitcher, and you're a minor casino functionary in a cheap suit. Screw you. I quit. And this interview is over!"
   90. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: August 19, 2021 at 10:43 AM (#6035107)
I don't want to bother to check the legal blurbs for the Tigers, but I'm pretty sure the guy deciding Jack Morris's fate is Chris Ilitch, not a minor casino functionary.
   91. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 19, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6035108)
Maybe, but Ilitch either (a) sends some flunky to do his dirty work for him or (b) he does it himself, in which case it's very unlikely he would be so unprofessional. This is business. Big business.

Sure, Jack is a jerk, and I'm sure ol' St. Nick would just love to tear into him if he had the chance...sure. Spare me the Internet Tough Guy (tm) routine, Nick.
   92. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: August 19, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6035109)
In 1990, writer Jennifer Frey of the Detroit Free Press (just an intern then) tried to interview Jack Morris in the clubhouse. His response was one that 28 years later makes your head spin: “I don’t talk to women when I’m naked unless they’re on top of me or I’m on top of them.” . . .

. . . Because it could not be worse, in the 1991 American League Championship Series versus the Blue Jays, Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett had to restrain Morris from attacking Frey physically. He called out Frey using words that rhyme with ditch and casserole. Dave McKenna and Deadspin tried to call out Morris for comments about it when Frey passed away in 2016. He had no comment. Morris has never once apologized to Frey or her family for his actions 28 years ago.
   93. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:04 AM (#6035112)
He called out Frey using words that rhyme with ditch and casserole.
What the **** rhymes with casserole?
   94. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:05 AM (#6035113)

But why is doing an accent racist? Is it racist to say that a Japanese guy talks with a Japanese accent? Probably yes if he speaks fluent English, but what if that’s his real accent? Is it racist to do an over the top Sofia Vergara impression?


I don't think impressions are inherently racist. You mentioned Sofia Vergara -- I remember seeing this clip a few years ago. I found Ellen's line of questioning pretty uncomfortable, but Julie Bowen's impression of Vergara was clearly coming from a place of friendship/affection, and wasn't really poking fun at Vergara's accent (or at least not solely at her accent). I've seen a lot of funny impressions of Pacino or De Niro over the years -- poking fun at someone's overall affect or quirks is what makes them funny.

Just making fun of someone's accent wouldn't be particularly funny to me. And just doing an exaggerated "generic Japanese guy" as a bit, unless there's something else funny besides the accent, I think would at least be considered racially insensitive. Going back to my earlier question, "Why is it funny" -- I think what makes it funny to people is that it emphasizes the "otherness" of the target. There's obviously something problematic with that.

I don't want to overanalyze this -- Morris did something racially insensitive, he apologized, he got suspended. I'm not part of the targeted group, so if his employer chooses to punish him further or not, I don't have a strong view either way.

One thing to remember. Shaq did something similar, if not worse 15 years ago when not only did he use an Asian voice, he used Asian sounds I guess.
Where is he today? He's an NBA commentator.
Here's why I believe why what Morris did is being amplified.
He did it to the person who has been the face of baseball for the past three months.
He did it against a guy with a 2.79 ERA in 100 innings pitched with 40 home runs.
So ANYTHING controversial Ohtani related is going to get massive attention.


Shaq made those comments when he was a player 18 years ago. That doesn't excuse them, but as #57 notes, Morris also made some pretty bad comments as a player and managed to get into the HOF and become a broadcaster, too. To the extent that Morris' comments today are being amplified, it probably has more to do with the fact that people in general are more sensitive to this type of thing than they were 18 or 30 years ago, and that the tools for amplification -- namely, social media -- didn't exist then.
   95. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:11 AM (#6035114)
What the **** rhymes with casserole?

I assume it more accurately rhymes with "glass bowl" and "pass toll" in case that helps.
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:22 AM (#6035116)
Bally Sports: Stop right there, and shut the #### up and listen, because I'm only going to say this once: We're giving you a pass on this, because it's your first offense, but the next time we hear ANYTHING like that over the air, your ass is history as far as Bally Sports is concerned. It's your choice. And this interview is over.

Because it's always a good idea to swear at and berate people.

If I'm Morris, I respond, "I'm a Hall of Fame pitcher, and you're a minor casino functionary in a cheap suit. Screw you. I quit. And this interview is over!"


Well, if that'd been Morris's reaction, then the only counter-response would be "Don't let the back door hitcha where the dog should've Bitcha". Being a Hall of Fame pitcher doesn't exempt you from being called to account.

And obviously I could've constructed a scenario that would've said the same thing in a friendlier tone. Here's one such possibility:

Bally Sports: Jack, we've had a lot of complaints about that little "joke" of yours last night. I know you didn't mean anything racist about it, but this is 2021, not 1951, and a broadcast booth isn't a clubhouse. We're giving you a pass this time if you apologize on the air, but one more incident like this and it will end your relationship with Bally Sports.

Would that meet with your approval?
   97. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:28 AM (#6035121)
I assume it more accurately rhymes with "glass bowl" and "pass toll" in case that helps.
I guess calling her a crass troll was kind of rude, but I don't see how it's so offensive.
   98. KronicFatigue Posted: August 19, 2021 at 12:15 PM (#6035125)
Is it racist to do an over the top Sofia Vergara impression?


Funny enough, I found it odd that Modern Family was considered so progressive as I found many of the jokes offensive. Not that I was personally offended, but I raised an eyebrow over how many times her accent was the punchline of a joke, or her Colombian heritage equating to drugs and violence, etc.

With the two gay characters, it seemed a lot of humor was based on one of them either fitting a gay stereotype or being the polar opposite. Very few of their personality quirks were independent of their sexual orientation.
   99. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6035158)
With the two gay characters, it seemed a lot of humor was based on one of them either fitting a gay stereotype or being the polar opposite. Very few of their personality quirks were independent of their sexual orientation.

For what it's worth, there were many episodes where Cam's midwestern farm-boy roots were highlighted (often in a stereotypical way, of course). And Mitchell's non-confrontational, emotional aloofness as a result of his parents' messy relationship. They played up the gay stereotypes quite a bit, though, especially with their friends. But hey, if Nathan Lane thinks the character is ok, it's not my place to tell him otherwise.

The Colombia jokes felt a bit more problematic to me, but again if Vergara is ok with them, who am I to question? Maybe in 10 years she'll reveal that she felt uncomfortable with the whole thing and pressured into doing these bits, like how Scarlett Johansson is now commenting on the objectification/sexualization of Black Widow in the MCU.
   100. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 19, 2021 at 03:04 PM (#6035162)
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