Ethics Hero: Former Cleveland Indians Star Kenny Lofton

[My apologies to Kenny: This is a month late.]

Lofton, a great baseball player for many years, had the guts to articulate nicely my nausea every time I am forced to watch the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team of Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Mendoza, and Matt Vasgersian. It’s a horrible trio, even if you don’t know that Rodriguez is such a loathsome individual and a blight on the game he played. For much of each  broadcast, they sit around joking and blathering while barely paying attention to what’s happening on the field. This would be annoying if they were members of the Algonquin Roundtable, but none of the three are especially clever, insightful or witty. It is obvious that the producers hand them the game’s alleged “narrative,” and they flog it for three hours, as if anyone who understands baseball watches a typical game that way.

But I digress. The issue at hand, flagged by Lofton, is Rodriquez, soon to be Mr. Jennifer Lopez, and there goes another performer I will never watch again. Lofton  told the New York Post last month, beginning with the issue of known and suspected steroid and PED cheats being eligible for election to the Hall of Fame:

“I just don’t like it. It pisses me off when they still talk about the guys who did PEDs still have the opportunity to get in. You cheated the game. Look at somebody like Pete Rose not in the Hall of Fame. I’m not saying what Pete Rose did was right, but his numbers that he put up were real numbers. If it’s all about numbers, guys who cheated the game shouldn’t be in. PED guys piss me off. I just get irked every time I hear people talk about it. You’ve got… a guy [Rodriguez] who got caught with PEDs doing the World Series. I can’t even watch the World Series now. That’s sad, you have a game that I love, I played 17 years in it, and you have Major League Baseball allowing a guy that knowingly cheated the game twice, and he’s the face of baseball, doing the World Series. That is not cool. To see somebody who cheated the game blatantly is doing the World Series? Come on, people. You’re basically telling kids nowadays that it’s OK to cheat the game of baseball. It’s OK to cheat. You will still get a job being a commentator, being the face of baseball. I don’t see how that flies with anyone.”

Neither do I.



7 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Former Cleveland Indians Star Kenny Lofton

  1. 3 cheers for Lofton. And having watched Red Sox v Mariners Thursday evening, your assessment of the broadcast is also spot on. Stilted and uninformative, never mind descriptive.

  2. One of the reasons I appreciate being mostly deaf, I don’t really have to listen to inane broadcasters who know next to nothing about the sport. I get to just watch the game. By-the-bye, I have watched both the Rangers and Astro’s play, this season. We are NOT impressed. Way too early in the season, I know.

  3. They would have driven my Grandfathers both crazy, both diehard Mets fans who hated the dodgers for leaving Brooklyn. My fondness for the Mets survives to this day, probably why I deal with disappointment so well. At seven I way there for the 69 World Series, with both my Granddads and my Dad. I learned to listen to the game on the radio, as my Granddad Wawryk always did. These commentators are a bane to baseball. Let’s go Mets!

  4. A related complaint to this is the annoying phenomenon of ‘expert’ journalists and commentators who really don’t have any meaningful knowledge about their field. I notice this most in the areas of science, cars, and computers.

    I am not an expert on cars. I am not an expert on computers. I think that anyone who is paid as much as these journalists and commentators are paid should know at least as much as I do about these subjects. It drives me crazy when I hear some authoritative journalist praise the transmission in the Bentley Continental and then trash the transmission in the Chrysler 300 when they are the same transmission. I aggravates me when some computer ‘expert’ complains that a computer processor is slow when the limiting factor in the test is drive access rate.

    i guess it doesn’t even bother me that much if the person doesn’t know much, but is an enthusiast. If they are a car enthusiast writing about cars, it doesn’t bother me if they don’t understand the difference between variable valve timing and variable valve lift as long as they don’t pretend that they do.

    My impression is that this is due to the same societal factors as the recent college admissions scandals. The ‘idiot children’ of the rich and powerful need high-paying jobs. Journalism and commentator jobs pay well and require that you be able to do 2 years of unpaid internship in New York City. So, these ‘idiot children’ get the jobs and think they know everything, much like Alexandria Occasio-Cortez in Congress.

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