Last night I sat at my dinner table and hosted my first ever Twitter group break. While I sat there I watched the Dodgers/Braves game on Fox Sports South, of which Joe Simpson (and Chip Carey) do color commentary. Being that Joe Simpson works for Fox Sports South who just about exclusively televise Braves games, its no wonder who he "roots" for. However he made some comments on last night's game that have ruffled a lot of feathers, even Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts. Below is a video from last night's game with his comments.
In a nutshell, Joe was criticizing the Dodgers organization after he witnesses the team's batting practice from earlier in the game. To accompany his comments was video of batting practice showing several Dodgers players wearing t-shirts.
A lot of the negative comments on Twitter and on social media in general were about Joe Simpson calling out Chase Utley. People are mad that Joe was criticizing him for wearing a "K Cancer" shirt. The question I'm asking myself is did these people even listen to the commentary or watch the snippet from last night's game?
I watched this clip over and over today and I must have missed the part where Joe Simpson is anti-anti-cancer as Keith Olbermann has said on Twitter. Joe praised Chase for being a great player, but when he said "what he was wearing today was an embarrassment", he was again referring to the attire being worn (rolled up pants, no socks & a t-shirt) and not what was ON the t-shirt.
Now some may say I'm just inferring that he was referring to what was being worn, but earlier in his comments he addressed the entire team for not wearing batting practice t-shirts (that have their name on the back) and the video showed other players (not just Utley) wearing generic t-shirts.
Baseball above any other professional sport prides itself in its roots. Why else do some players wear their socks to their knees, or why is there such an uproar against the idea of having a designated hitter in both leagues? Yes you can say Joe was just being a grouchy old man, but he was also just doing his job. He's paid to call a game and talk about baseball and what he sees. This particular day he noticed Dodgers players not in your typical batting practice attire while the gates were open and fans were in the seats.
Don't agree, fine. We all have opinions and are free to share them, but some of the things I've specifically seen on Twitter from Dodgers fans are pretty appalling. Why all the hate and vulgar language I don't understand. Why people are twisting his words around to where he's against players wearing a t-shirt with a positive message (like the one Utley was wearing) is down right insane.
While Joe may not be my favorite play by play guy for Braves telecasts, I just don't understand why everyone is being so hostile. I can see why Dave Roberts was upset...he felt his guys were being attacked so he stepped up. Bobby Cox was always there for his players as well, however I understand Dave Roberts is expecting a formal apology from Joe Simpson. For what? Sharing his baseball opinion? At the start of today's game I haven't read anywhere that Joe has issued an apology, however I did read he stopped by the visitor's clubhouse before the game and had some words with Utley. What was said? We'll probably never know and perhaps it's best to leave it that way.