Ron Costello

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Add three letters to his middle name..."

Mike Schmidt expressed his First Amendment rights the other day and got hammered for it. In case you missed the politically correct baloney and the fake news that followed it, I'll fill you in. Former Phillies great and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame — and a member of the Comcast broadcast team on home weekends — when asked whether or not the Phillies could build a team around center fielder Odubel Herrera, said this:

“My honest answer to that would be no because of a couple of things. First of all, it is a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four or five American players and talk about the game or try to learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game.”

Schmidty also said this:"To build a team around a guy, he has to sprint every ball out like Chase Utley used to do."

Then all hell broke loose.

Next day, Inquirer sports columnist Bob Brookover called Schmidt a jackass (twice), and attacked him, saying Michael Jack:
* isn't prepared when he's on the air
* sometimes he has no idea what he's talking about
* needed Pete Rose to convince him that he was the most talented player in baseball
* wasn't a leader on the Phillies because he couldn't communicate
* and wanted to be the Phillies manager without any experience and then was one and done.

I think that covers it. So, Brookover doesn't like what Schmidt said, therefore, he does a hack job on him.

Fake news? Politically correct? Unprofessional? All three.

If it's Schmidt's opinion that a language barrier would prevent Herrera from becoming a team leader, what's wrong with that? And I don't know about you but I've seen Herrera not run balls out. Right or wrong they're reasonable statements.

Schmidt had an 18-year major league career. You've got to agree he knows something about team chemistry and leadership. He didn't insult Herrera like Brookover insulted him. Brookover: "Sometimes when Michael Jack Schmidt speaks, you just have to shake your head and wonder why three letters were not added to the end of his middle name."

Whoa.

Tell you the truth, I find Schmidt's broadcasting refreshing as opposed to the rat-tat-tat blabbering of Tom McCarthy. Schmidty uses his vast experience to say what he thinks and that is so invigorating compared to the other nonsense we listen to on the Phillies' TV broadcasts.

It's inappropriate for Schmidt to say what he did about Herrera? But not inappropriate for Brookover to call Schmidt a jackass twice in the same column — and in a cheap-ass way to say it, too. Adding "three letters to his middle name." Come on, that's third-grade journalism.

So the next time the President mentions politically correct and fake news, I'll remember Brookover's assault on Schmidt. And who the real jackass is.

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