The Toronto Blue Jays are being sharply criticized by one MLB broadcaster for the decision the team made about its radio broadcasts for 2021.
The Blue Jays announced Friday that they will not create a specialized radio broadcast of the team’s games this season. Instead, a simulcast of the television broadcast will air on the radio instead. The team cited COVID-19 restrictions as the key reason for the decision, but did not specify if the simulcast would remain in place beyond 2021.
Whatever the explanation, it did not sit well with many. New York Mets radio announcer Howie Rose called the decision “reprehensible” and a “total disgrace” on Twitter.
My goodness, that is nothing short of an absolute, total disgrace. They should be embarrassed. Either you’re major league or you’re not. Utterly reprehensible. Baseball on the radio is art and is the last sport that should ever simulcast. Serves no one. https://t.co/5ijGPWrD4h
Even if one doesn’t care about the romanticism of baseball on the radio, there are good reasons to keep a specialized radio broadcast in place. Radio broadcasts are typically more descriptive, as they have to describe events for people who cannot see the game for whatever reason.
The Blue Jays are facing some logistical issues this season. That’s understandable. Even in light of that, it’s tough to disagree with Rose’s assessment of their decision.
The New York Mets wanted to wear caps on Wednesday night that paid tribute to the city’s first responders on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but they were once again told by Major League Baseball that it would not be allowed. Longtime Mets radio announcer Howie Rose finds that despicable.
During the radio broadcast of New York’s 9-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Rose unloaded on MLB for continuing to prevent the Mets from honoring the first responders on 9/11.
Mets radio announcer Howie Rose absolutely eviscerates Major League Baseball for not allowing the Mets to wear First Responders hats on 9/11. He comes with the receipts, too! pic.twitter.com/3jpiJjEt1c
“I’m sorry, it is just incomprehensible to me that Major League Baseball cannot see fit to allow the Mets to pay tribute to those who gave their lives and in some cases are still doing so,” Rose said. “It’s OK for MLB to foist those horrendous players weekend uniforms on us. They allowed the Houston Astros to wear Apollo 11 caps commemorating the moon landing 50 years ago.
“Somebody at a very, very high level in Major League Baseball’s hierarchy needs to answer this: Whose rights are being infringed upon by the Mets wearing first responder caps for one game? It’s not about copyright. It’s not about licensing. We need to know who would be hurt, who would be damaged by the Mets wearing those caps.”
When the Mets wanted to wear the caps in honor of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 back in 2011, MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre explained that the league is “just trying to keep it consistent” and does not intend to be disrespectful. Now eight years later, many — like Rose — are shocked the league hasn’t made an exception.
Fortunately, the Mets did wear some awesome custom cleats during Wednesday’s game courtesy of rookie Pete Alonso. They didn’t ask permission to wear them since they knew MLB would deny it, so perhaps they will do the same with the first responder caps at some point in the future.
The New York Islanders are absolutely atrocious this year. With a 4-12-4 record through 18 games, I can’t imagine there are many Islanders fans out there who are still holding out hope for a successful season. Many have likely lost interest, but one person who has definitely lost interest is their TV announcer, Howie Rose. How do I know that? Why don’t you ask Howie himself? Check out the video of Howie Rose bashing the Islanders on TV, courtesy of YouTube user blevine77:
Rose also does the TV announcing for the New York Mets in case you didn’t understand the “Is it spring training yet?” comment. The comments were made during what Howie thought was a commercial break before the Islanders went on to lose their 13th straight game. For that reason, the only real crime here is carelessness. Rose later apologized for what he said and explained that he was unaware he was still on the air, but is there anyone out there aside from his producer that can honestly say they’re upset about it? When a team is that horrendous, you can’t expect a guy who has to watch them every night to be immune to the stench — even if he’s getting paid to do it. Thanks to Deadspin for the heads up on the video.