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Friday, April 26, 2019

Reds analyst Chris Welsh offers apology over Ozzie Albies comment

Reds television analyst Chris Welsh caused an internet firestorm Wednesday night when he said this about Atlanta second baseman Ozzie Albies:

“It’s funny, I’ve read a lot about it, and I’ve read opinions on both sides. A lot of people are blaming the agent for letting him sign a deal like that. But Albies came from a very poor background, he’s from Curaçao, and when somebody offers you 35 million dollars – I mean, he may not know the difference between 35 million dollars and 85 million dollars. It’s going to have a tremendous positive effect on his family and himself. Maybe the people in his immediate family or extended family. It changes the lives of so many people.”

Albies signed a seven-year, $35 million contract on April 11. It was widely considered to be team friendly.

Sites like deadspin.com and awfulannouncing.com jumped on the story.

Wait- are any of you Chris Welsh under an assumed name? This sounds like arguments some of us made when the contract was announced.

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:03 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, ozzie albies, reds

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   1. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: April 26, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5835578)
The key is
he’s from Curaçao, and when somebody offers you 35 million dollars – I mean, he may not know the difference between 35 million dollars and 85 million dollars.
which has been interpreted as national origin/perceived socioeconomic status --> lack of intelligence/math skills.

There are smart discussions to be had about the role of these things in determining the likelihood of signing an extension (they increase it) and how much of a haircut you take, but this wasn't one. Otoh, he's speaking extemporaneously on a game broadcast - this isn't where that's likely to happen and I think it's hard to exaggerate how tough it is to fill time without sometimes sounding off. But, it was fairly graceless and seemed to be condemned by baseball I follow regardless of their political affiliation / usual stance on stuff like this. I suspect Welsh genuinely feels bad about this and wants to move on.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5835587)
That is a real apology. Way to man up, Mr. Welsh.
   3. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5835596)
A lot of people are blaming the agent for letting him sign a deal like that. But Albies came from a very poor background, he’s from Curaçao, and when somebody offers you 35 million dollars – I mean, he may not know the difference between 35 million dollars and 85 million dollars.

For what it's worth, this is exactly why you would blame the agent (if this were the case).
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 26, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5835634)
which has been interpreted as national origin/perceived socioeconomic status --> lack of intelligence/math skills.
Seems like a pretty ridiculous interpretation given the context. "Both are such large amounts of money, especially for someone coming from a disadvantaged background, that the larger amount may not make a noticeably greater impact on his life than the smaller amount" seems much more reasonable.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: April 26, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5835636)
I think the phrase "he may not know the difference" deserves an apology, even if it was meant with sympathy more so than prejudice.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 26, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5835640)
I think the phrase "he may not know the difference" deserves an apology, even if it was meant with sympathy more so than prejudice.
Agreed, it was not well put. But let's not read an offensive meaning into it that pretty clearly wasn't there.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: April 26, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5835648)
He apologized in person, he briefly addressed it on the air, and he said "this issue is now over." I have absolutely no complaints about how he handled it.
   8. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 26, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5835653)
Agreed, it was not well put. But let's not read an offensive meaning into it that pretty clearly wasn't there.
Welsh's choice of words in his apology--as well as not writing it off as simply "that's not what I meant"--opens up at least the possibility that there was an offensive meaning in there that Welsh himself recognizes.
   9. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: April 26, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5835657)
This is something that seems so difficult for people to do and Welsh did it well here. I think he was well intentioned but worded it badly.

A guy from my father's very small hometown in Cuba made it to AAA with a few clubs. He made about half a million dollars in his career but never was good about staying in shape. Today he owns a farm in the Dominican Republic and lives very comfortably and happily. My father from some conversations with him said the kid just couldn't comprehend the kind of numbers that got thrown around by MLB players. It like if someone said to me I could have a billion dollars today or the possibility of three billion dollars tomorrow. In theory I understand there is a difference but it's completely beyond my scope of understanding, I'd take the billion today in a heartbeat.

For people growing up in some parts of these countries there is a genuine lack of context for these dollar figures. And the reality is that while Albies may have left money on the table, in the end the dude never has to work another day in his life.
   10. . Posted: April 26, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5835665)
"He said something offensive and should apologize" is the internet rhetoric version of an energetic bat flip.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: April 26, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5835676)
I was afraid he was going to welsh on the apology.
   12. pikepredator Posted: April 26, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5835680)
The difference between "know the difference" and "notice the difference" . . . one syllable changes everything.

His apology is the real deal. That's all I ask of myself and other people when we screw up. Which we all do. Sometimes there's a component of making amends, but in this case his sequence - talk to the player, learn, own it on TV, move on - is a great example to set.
   13. Hank Gillette Posted: April 26, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5835694)
Welsh's choice of words in his apology--as well as not writing it off as simply "that's not what I meant"--opens up at least the possibility that there was an offensive meaning in there that Welsh himself recognizes.


It’s possible to say something where you did not mean to be offensive, and see in retrospect that it is offensive.

I give him a lot of credit for not only apologizing to Albies in person, but then apologizing to the audience on the air. A lot of people, especially a lot of politicians could take a lesson from this.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5835703)
one syllable changes everything.
"They're not gonna release the album because they have decided that the cover is sexist."

"Well, so what? What's wrong with being sexy?"
   15. Omineca Greg Posted: April 26, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5835742)
Curaçao is a developed nation (or whatever it is, its relationship with the Netherlands is complicated) I think it's weird the way people have been bringing up Albies' nationality in regards to his contract.

Curaçao's HDI in 2012 was .811, which puts it in with countries like Portugal and Latvia.

Anyway, good apology.
   16. Padraic Posted: April 26, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5835743)
Primey for #14.
   17. Baldrick Posted: April 26, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5835756)
It’s possible to say something where you did not mean to be offensive, and see in retrospect that it is offensive.

It is in fact quite common. We all do this all the time, and it's good to apologize even if you didn't realize it might cause a problem. Conversations aren't zero-sum games.
   18. Sweatpants Posted: April 26, 2019 at 08:34 PM (#5835771)
Of the 143.7 WAR amassed by Curacaoans (I looked up the demonym but didn't bother to copy and paste the fancy c), 95.3 was for the Braves. Three of the five players from there to make the all-star team did it as Braves, too. I'm surprised that Simmons hasn't made one.

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