Rick Reilly Questions The Ethnic Makeup Of The Home Run Derby

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I didn't think it was possible for someone not named Chris Berman to annoy when watching the Home Run Derby but he's been officially replaced. Rick Reilly on-air is about the worst thing you can add to a broadcast, and it's not even close. Here he is waxing exstatic about how there are too many "white" competitors in the Derby....

Let's forget for a second that all defending champions denied a chance to defend, and I'll even look past the fact that he didn't know that non-All Star Game participants aren't invited. He seriously decided to drop nonsense like this throughout the broadcast. I don't know how many times he said the word heroin in regards to Josh Hamilton, and while it's the truth, it just begs of a desperate man searching for an angle on-air. Just a bad decision to have him on the broadcast....send him to England for the British Open now please.

Also, the Karl Ravech "Interesting Concept" line is just about the funniest thing I've heard in awhile.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 7:33 AM


was it me or did i hear correctly that Joe Morgan thought it was more impressive that Hamilton can hit a baseball then survive heroin addiction?

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 7:35:00 AM  

Additionally he complained that there were no Latin players. I am pretty sure even though Longoria is pretty pale both his parents are hispanic. Rick Reilly was absolutely terrible, and offensive.

fortfunexpat said...
Jul 15, 2008, 7:50:00 AM  

Reilly was brutal all night, and his commentary on the race was ill-advised, to say the least, especially when he remarked that the field of competitors looked like the Kiwanis Club. Of course, it's not like he's any less white than Morneau or Berkman.

I did get a laugh, however, when Reilly noted Hamilton's success and his openness with his faith, and then said, "tonight's a tough night to be an atheist."

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 7:57:00 AM  

It's curious to see Berman -- who took decades to earn the title of "personality" who spoils successive and diverse events -- be so quickly unseated by Reilly.

Maybe an on-air douche-off between the two?

DalkeGeedz said...
Jul 15, 2008, 8:01:00 AM  


will there be a video of chase utleys "Boo? F-k you" to the fans during the introduction?

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 8:01:00 AM  

Anyone see the cop choking a fan in the crowd going after Hamilton's 17th HR?

Mike Brown said...
Jul 15, 2008, 8:15:00 AM  

reilly is so bad its ridiculous. what the hell is the point of him on espn anyway. he was decent with sports illustrated. another reason why i hate espn. hes worse than berman, steve a, stuart scott, trey wingo, kuselias, and bayless combined.

madnice said...
Jul 15, 2008, 8:22:00 AM  

I personally liked when towards the end of Hamilton's outs (maybe when he had 8?), Morgan called that Hamilton "finally made another out" and the ball ended up in the upper deck. Great vision, Joe.

Brez07 said...
Jul 15, 2008, 8:46:00 AM  

congratulations to "jason" morneau for winning the home run derby. loved EAs expression afterwards.


Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:12:00 AM  

Reilly was terrible...not only did he make the hispanic comment, but he talked about religion and he made a terrible attempt at a joke about josh hamilton finding a new way to "get high"

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:15:00 AM  

AA you have to get the video of EA after that guy called Morneu "Jason". Priceless, she almost cracked up.

And yes, Reilly is a disaster but at least he said Kiwanis club and not Klan meeting.

How many people did they have calling that thing? 8, 9? Good lord.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:19:00 AM  

And Rick, FYI, but Grady Seizmore is half-black...in fact, I learned that from your former magazine

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:20:00 AM  

"I personally liked when towards the end of Hamilton's outs (maybe when he had 8?), Morgan called that Hamilton 'finally made another out' and the ball ended up in the upper deck. Great vision, Joe."

I got a laugh out of that too, Matt. Morgan was his usual terrible self last night. There was that, there was him dismissing Hamilton's personal success story as less important than his baseball success, there were a couple of times where someone used superlatives about one of the players in the Derby and Joe analogized that player to someone from the 70's so that the present didn't look better than the past, and the usual slate of other Morgan-esque comments.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:21:00 AM  

I wish ESPN would have just let Karl Ravech and Peter Gammons call the whole show. That'd never happen, but it'd be a dream come true. Ravech is one of the best anchors on the network, and Gammons is the greatest baseball writer alive and still one of the WWL's best bright spots.

I wonder what Joe Morgan thought when Gammons talked about how young players like Braun did so well in the fan voting because the fans were much smarter, took advantage of internet resources, and embraced statistical breakdowns of these players instead of just punching ballots at the park with no research.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:25:00 AM  

Reilly is a clown and I'm glad AA is calling him out. He was definitely, in the words of the great Larry David, "trying to be too affable". It was brutal hearing him - from constantly saying "heroin" to the racial/ethnic failed joke, to flat out not knowing his stuff, he was bad.

Otherwise, yeah, James brings up a good point that Gammons had a great point when he said fans knew their shit...

Brian said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:37:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tepid Epics said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:47:00 AM  

"tonight's a tough night to be an atheist."

I laughed so hard, then shook my head. What on earth was he thinking...

And yeah - what was up w/ the Policeman about to chokeslam that guy going for one of Hamilton's bombs in the 'black' area? Classic New Yo'k coppa!

Tepid Epics said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:48:00 AM  

Anyone else catch how Riley referred to Max Schmeling as "Hitler's Schmeling." I thought that was pretty out of line, yeah the guy was German during the Nazi regime but that doesn't mean he was Hitler's pawn or a sympathizer. If I were one of Schmeling's descendants I would be pretty pissed at Riley

Doug the Punter said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:54:00 AM  

"...send him to England for the British Open now please."

Keep him, we don't want him.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 9:58:00 AM  

I think Ravech's line should be part of all ESPN's questionable endeavors:

JH: "Rooting for the Celtics is like calling Hitler a victim."
KR: "Interesting concept."

BB: "I remember being struck by the notion that from the time of birth, people in Palestine are taught to think that dying in the name of God is a good thing. They grow up wanting to be suicide bombers. So bringing it back to sports ..."
KR: "Interesting concept."

ESPN: "I think we should hire that Kruk guy from that Best Damn show."
KR: "Interesting concept."

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 10:14:00 AM  

Not sure who said it, but my favourite moment was when it was said that "Hamilton is 'blowing' away the field" followed by a brief chuckle by the one guy in the studio who picked up on the unintentional pun...I lauged my ass off...

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 10:41:00 AM  

I just love Joe Morgan!!!! He did not dismiss JH's heroin, crack and alcohol survivor story, he merely was impressed that he could still hit after three years of not facing competitive pitching. Were you guys this impressed when Darryl Strawberry or Doc Gooden got clean??? I think not...they fell off the wagon and hopefully JH will not have to endore relapse because I don't know what you hypocrites and ESPN will do...

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 10:56:00 AM  

Joe rooting for Hamilton to make outs so he could hit the gold balls out seemed a tad unnecessary. It was the kid's coming out party and the fans were eating it up but Joe, being the humanitarian that he is, was thinking about the kids.

GMoney said...
Jul 15, 2008, 11:02:00 AM  

I knew I enjoyed tidbits of Rick on DP's old show, but have found little to appreciate in the present incantation. I would have loved a camera shot of Ravech's face after the whole comment and when Ravie said "interesting comment". WTF?
I actually think Steve Phillips added but then that's is because I hate Berman and Morgan.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 11:21:00 AM  

I had to turn the thing off after Hamilton's round. Listening to those effing idiots was starting to make my ears bleed. I just couldn't take it anymore.

Seriously, is ESPN trying to turn people off of sports? Cause if so, they're succeeding with flying colors.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 11:48:00 AM  

When I heard the "eight white guys" line, I could feel the collective awkardness of everyone else.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 11:57:00 AM  

More white liberal guilt on display than at a Bill Bradley convention.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 12:30:00 PM  

If Gus Johnson would have been the one saying that it was more impressive that Josh Hamilton could hit than him beating heroin, this place would not have a problem. The arbitrary nature of this site has to stop. If one of your "good guys" does anything, no matter how over the top or impressively stupid it is, it's OK. But if one of your "bad guys" does anything remotely out of line, or does the same damn thing, it's the end of the world.

Yeah, Joe compares players to guys from the 70s. You know why? cuz thats when he played, that's who he saw up close and personal every day, and that's who he can compare them to. And it's not like he's comparing them to scrubs, he's comparing them to the legends of the game, and I for one enjoy hearing about the history of baseball while I'm watching it...and I'm 20...not 50 or 60...anyway thats all.

P.S. To the idiot that didn't know anything about Lewis v. Schmelling in an earlier post, in everything I've seen about it, it has been termed a victory against the aryan race. Schmelling was very much part of Hitler's plan.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 12:35:00 PM  

Haha...I love people like you Anon. You keep me in this game. I've hammered Gus Johnson before and will at some point again.

If you suck you suck. Sorry. Keep reading though!

Jul 15, 2008, 12:45:00 PM  

Schmeling may have been part of Hitler's plans, but he wasn't a willing participant. He just wanted to box, and because he was good, Hitler used him as the model for the Aryan race. It's not like he just went out there goose-stepping and throwing out "Heil Hitlers" before every match. The fact that he saved two young Jewish kids on Kristallnacht should give him some respect.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 12:58:00 PM  

AA, according to Peter Abraham, a Yankees beat writer who runs a great blog, Jason Giambi was invited to the home run derby this year, despite not being an all star. According to Abraham's MLB source, this is the first time a non-roster player has been invited to the Derby without being an all star.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 1:53:00 PM  

Guys, in 2005, there were, I think, a few non-All Stars participating. Hee Sop Choi comes to mind. That was the WBC season.

Eric said...
Jul 15, 2008, 2:00:00 PM  

Anybody else catch Joe Morgan constantly bringing up Sammy Sosa throughout Hamilton's epic display? After his 15th home run or something Morgan would say "Well, he might be able to get near Sammy Sosa's record of a 524 foot home run." He kept repeating that, as if Josh hadn't yet achieved Sammy Sosa status. I'm sure MLB was thrilled with old Joe bringing up shadows from it's steroid fueled past.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 2:03:00 PM  


Nobody says that Joe can't compare players of today with players from the 70's. There's nothing wrong with him talking about his playing days or his peers, and like you (I'm 24), I enjoy hearing about baseball history. However, if you think all his comparisons are that innocent, then you haven't listened to Joe all that much. He is notorious for dismissing and minimizing the accomplishments or talents of a present-day player by saying, "yeah but 70's Player X did that too", "70's Player Y was even better at that", or something else to that effect.

It's fairly obvious from listening to Joe that he believes the players of today are inferior to the players of his day.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 2:21:00 PM  

Rick Reilly was a buffoon last night, a complete embarrassment. He even made some stupid, gratuitous crack about Nancy Reagan. The guy has no class. He made Berman look like a statesman.

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 3:26:00 PM  

This was my first experience with Reilly when I was not sitting on the toilet, dropping the kids off at the pool, and looking at his column to distract me - I must say I was not impressed.
I tuned in late so I didn't know who that whiney little voice was until today but I must say I am shocked, SHOCKED that Reilly is that bad.
Besides the fact that his voice is less suited for broadcast than Robert Kennedy Jr. his analysis was beyond inane, surpassing even Skip Bayless levels,

I think this one took the cake:

"Its a tough night to be an atheist"

Anonymous said...
Jul 15, 2008, 4:06:00 PM  

Why did Gammons feel it necessary to take a swipe at Nancy Reagan? I hate this kind of political crap in sports.

Also, Reilly's anti-white comments came about with Morneau and he railed at him being selected. And who ends up winning the whole thing? Irony is so damn sweet.

I'm from Denver and I'm embarassed to say that so is Reilly.

Anonymous said...
Jul 17, 2008, 5:53:00 PM  

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