Reconnecting…O’s help us out…MASN’s dumb defense…

May 09, 2007 | Drew Forrester

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Just got back from the ballpark.  Jay Gibbons hit a solo homer and had a couple of other hits…he had a decent night at the plate this evening.  Melvin Mora made 4 or 5 outstanding plays at 3rd tonight – and Tampa’s Carl Crawford, who absolutely had a home run stolen from him by the umpire, made a phenomenal catch in left field off the bat of Ramon Hernandez.  There were a bunch of highlight-film defensive plays tonight.  It was good to see.  Jeremy Guthrie looked sharp on the hill for the O’s…give him the ball in Boston on Sunday and let’s see what he does there.  I liked what I saw of him this evening.  As for Tampa’s starter, Jae Seo (pronounced “so”)…I’m saving that joke for tomorrow morning’s show.

Our “Reconnect with Baltimore Baseball” Night was a huge success.

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Thanks to Buddy and Terry at Edgars for making us all feel welcome and providing the families with “ballpark food” but NOT at ballpark prices, fortunately.  A bunch of the families headed over to the Sports Legends Museum as well and we offer our appreciation to Mike Gibbons (Director) for providing a discounted rate to all of our WNST families in attendance.

Dayle Kirby and the 80 or so kids and parents from North Bend Elementary School in Jarrettsville showed up in great form and they were having a grand old time up in Section 352 when I went up there for some pictures with the kids in the 4th inning.

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They had posters made up and were all sporting their “Erik Bedard T-Shirt”, which was a great give-away item at OPACY tonight.   My thanks to Jay (Toyota) and Grant (Piv’s Pub) Pivec who helped bring North Bend Elementary School out tonight — the kids worked hard for this evening’s treat and it’s all because of the Pivec brothers.

And thanks to the Orioles – they sent t-shirts over to Edgars to make sure our WNST families all got Erik Bedard shirts…a truly nice gesture on behalf of Greg Bader and anyone else over there who signed off on that decision to help us out this evening.

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I’m not sure what Rick Dempsey was thinking about when he made that domestic violence joke to Jay Gibbons’ wife on Saturday, but it’s clear he made a mistake.  For MASN to defend him with that “Rick shoots from the hip” explanation is almost as dumb as what Dempsey actually SAID.

I don’t know why people say dumb stuff.  Everyone knows domestic violence isn’t something to joke around about…and Dempsey is smart enough to know he was wrong.  This is what happens when baseball people try to be stand-up comics.  It doesn’t work.

I know Rick Maese wrote about it in today’s Sun, so the story is probably just beginning, instead of ending, but Dempsey could quickly cut this thing off at the pass by just taking a few easy steps.  Rick meets privately with Gibbons and his wife and says “I’m sorry”.  He then volunteers to speak at a House of Ruth function, donates $1,000 to them and all is well.  If MASN had an ounce of self-evaluation in their collective souls, they’d match Dempsey’s $1,000 donation and have some sort of on-air fund-raiser during a game in the not-so-distant future.  Something GOOD would come out of this mess.  Of course, to do that would violate the marketing and PR principles that MASN is probably going to use:  “in times of controversy, just act like nothing happened and it will fade away much more quickly than if you make an issue out of it.”

But when some guy from MASN named Todd Webster proudly proclaims that Dempsey should be excused because he’s – I’m paraphrasing here but you’ll understand – “a straight shooter”, I think Webster needs to be given a crash course in sensitivity.  What if Dempsey would have made a disparaging remark about gay men?  Or Asian women?  Would he still be a “straight shooter”?  How about if Todd Webster’s sister or niece were domestic violence victims…suddenly Rick wouldn’t be such a straight-shooter, I’d bet.

Anyone who has ever spent any reasonable amount of time on the air has said something they’ve either regretted or, at the very least, can admit it could be deemed offensive to SOMEONE out there.  But when that happens, if the evidence is such that you crossed the boundaries of common decency, you say, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” and you move on from there.

For MASN to ask us to forgive Rick Dempsey because he “shoots from the hip” is just another in a long, long, long line of puzzling things that happen “over there” which make you scratch your head and say, “huh?”

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Thanks again to all of you who made our “Reconnecting” night a success, particularly the families who showed up to enjoy a night of baseball with us.

DF

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